SGU Episode 889

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SGU Episode 889
July 23rd 2022
889 solar tower fuel plant.png
Solar Tower Fuel Plant
SGU 888 SGU 890
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
B: Bob Novella
C: Cara Santa Maria
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein
BD: Brian Dunning, American writer and producer
Quote of the Week
Scientific principles and laws do not lie on the surface of nature. They are hidden, and must be wrested from nature by an active and elaborate technique of inquiry.
John Dewey, American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer
Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Topic

Introduction, Cara's Return, Post-Op reflections[edit]

Voice-over: You're listening to the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe, your escape to reality.

Special Segment: Cara's Cancer Experience (4:33)[edit]

News Items[edit]






(laughs) (laughter) (applause) [inaudible]

Global Warming Technologies (27:50)[edit]

SLS Launch (46:33)[edit]

Periodic FRBs (51:18)[edit]

Habitable Super Earths (56:40)[edit]

S: All right, Bob, finish up by telling us about haaaabitable super-Earths. "Habitable."

B: Habitable!

Who's That Noisy? (1:04:55)[edit]

New Noisy (1:07:24)[edit]

[seeming old/amateur recording of discordant piano notes]

J: There it is.

E: Gee!

Announcements (1:08:12)[edit]

Interview with Brian Dunning (1:10:05)[edit]

Science or Fiction (1:32:08)[edit]

Item #1: Scientists have been able to create a DNA based nanomotor that can convert electricity into kinetic motion, and in which they can control the direction and speed of the rotation.[5]
Item #2: A decade-long investigation finds that about 20% of moth species, representing thousands of species, produce ultrasound to deter bats by either jamming or confusing their echolocation or serving as warnings of toxicity.[6]
Item #3: A new simulation of Jovian planet ring formation indicates that Jupiter likely had a massive ring system throughout most of its existence.[7]

Answer Item
Fiction jupiter's massive ring system
Science dna-based nanomotor
moths produce ultrasound
Host Result
Steve swept
Rogue Guess
jupiter's massive ring system
jupiter's massive ring system
jupiter's massive ring system
jupiter's massive ring system

Voice-over: It's time for Science or Fiction.

Cara's Response[edit]

Jay's Response[edit]

Bob's Response[edit]

Evan's Response[edit]

Steve Explains Item #1[edit]

Steve Explains Item #3[edit]

Steve Explains Item #2[edit]

Skeptical Quote of the Week (1:50:58)[edit]

Scientific principles and laws do not lie on the surface of nature. They are hidden, and must be wrested from nature by an active and elaborate technique of inquiry.
John Dewey (1859-1952), American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer, from Reconstruction in philosophy, 1920


S: —and until next week, this is your Skeptics' Guide to the Universe.

S: Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is produced by SGU Productions, dedicated to promoting science and critical thinking. For more information, visit us at Send your questions to And, if you would like to support the show and all the work that we do, go to and consider becoming a patron and becoming part of the SGU community. Our listeners and supporters are what make SGU possible.


Today I Learned[edit]

  • Fact/Description, possibly with an article reference[8]
  • Fact/Description
  • Fact/Description




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