SGU Episode 890

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SGU Episode 890
July 30th 2022
Open link above to view image:
Monkeypox rashes
SGU 889 SGU 891
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
B: Bob Novella
C: Cara Santa Maria
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week
The illiterates of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
Alvin Toffler, American futurist
Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Topic

Introduction, Audiobook Recording, Celebrity Narrators[edit]

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

What's the Word? (10:20)[edit]


News Items[edit]






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

Detecting Exoplanets (16:06)[edit]

The Cliffs of Insanity!

Too Hot, Wet-bulb temperature (23:20)[edit]

Overconfidence and Denial (36:13)[edit]

Monkeypox (54:54)[edit]

C: ... I don't know if you guys remember, but we did a Monkeypox piece maybe, like, 3 months ago, when the cases in the U.S. started cropping up. We went ahead and covered Monkeypox, and so I want to direct everybody to our archive for the deep dive about the background of Monkeypox.

Who's That Noisy? (1:08:15)[edit]

New Noisy (1:15:50)[edit]

[low-quality audio of two men in conversation in English about photography]

J ...So, guys, if you enjoyed Who's That Noisy this week and you want to help, you can send me some cool Noisys that you hear in your life or you find on the web. Or if you want to try to answer this week's Who's That Noisy, you can email me at

Announcements (1:16:50)[edit]

  • Upcoming NECSS

Questions/Emails/Corrections/Follow-ups (1:18:02)[edit]

Follow-up #1: Self-Advocacy vs Kibitzing[edit]

Science or Fiction (1:35:55)[edit]

Theme: Edible Plants

Item #1: There are over 400,000 known plant species in the world, about 300,000 are edible to humans, but we regularly consume only 200, and 3 crops make up over half of plant calories consumed.[5]
Item #2: Cattails are almost entirely edible, and in fact produce more edible starch per acre than any other green plant.[6]
Item #3: Many species of cacti contain significant stores of water that can be used as an emergency source in the desert.[7]

Answer Item
Fiction cacti w/ lots of water
Science ~300,000 edible plants
cattails ~totally edible
Host Result
Steve clever
Rogue Guess
cacti w/ lots of water
cattails ~totally edible
~300,000 edible plants
cacti w/ lots of water

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

Evan's Response[edit]

Bob's Response[edit]

Jay's Response[edit]

Cara's Response[edit]

Steve Explains Item #1[edit]

Steve Explains Item #2[edit]

Steve Explains Item #3[edit]

Skeptical Quote of the Week (1:55:51)[edit]

The illiterates of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
Alvin Toffler (1928-2016), American writer, futurist, and businessman


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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