SGU Episode 971

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SGU Episode 971
February 17th 2024
971 FCC.jpeg

"The Future Circular Collider (FCC) study has looked into various collider designs, envisaging a research infrastructure housed within a 100km underground tunnel. This ambitious project is promising a physics program that will take high energy research into the next century." [1]

SGU 970                      SGU 972

Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella

B: Bob Novella

J: Jay Novella

E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week

Starving brains can hallucinate, but even well-fed minds can convince themselves they feel something that simply isn't there.

Jonathan Jarry, Canadian science communicator

Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Discussion

Introduction, Pennsylvania and Lent[edit]

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

George's concert; D&D (3:40)[edit]

Quickie with Bob: Metalenses (10:05)[edit]

News Items[edit]






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

Flow Batteries (12:17)[edit]

Green Roofs (31:48)[edit]

LEGO MRI Scanner (42:16)[edit]

The LEGO Foundation has announced it will donate 600 LEGO® MRI Scanners to hospitals worldwide to help children cope with the uncertainty of having a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan. (Click/tap image for article.) [7]

Video: We're bringing play to hospitals with LEGO® MRI scanners

Mayo Clinic and Reiki (49:25)[edit]

  • Mayo Clinic Promotes Reiki[9]
     (Note: Mayo Clinic Press quickly took down the article "My journey from energy work skeptic to Reiki practitioner", even before it could be archived online)

The Circular Collider (1:03:44)[edit] in meatballs...

Who's That Noisy? (1:18:34)[edit]

Answer to previous Noisy:
Adobe Podcast AI Speech Enhancer's attempt to make speech from intro to 1928 recording of Stack O' Lee Blues by Mississippi John Hurt

New Noisy (1:26:13)[edit]

[whopping, laser-like shots/wobbling sounds]

J:...what this week's Noisy is

Announcements (1:26:54)[edit]

...thousandth episode

Name That Logical Fallacy (1:30:24)[edit]

  • Gambler's Fallacy & Regression to the Mean


Science or Fiction (1:36:55)[edit]

Item #1: A recent study shows that older adults are more vulnerable to first impressions of trustworthiness even in the face of contradictory evidence.[10]
Item #2: A machine learning analysis correlating road features with accident frequency finds that the most predictive variable for high crash risk is the presence of distracting billboards and other advertisements.[11]
Item #3: Researchers find that short and simple corrective statements on social media help readers identify false information.[12]

Answer Item
Fiction Billboards = highest crash risk
Science Elderly more vulnerable
Corrective statements
Host Result
Steve clever
Rogue Guess
Corrective statements
Billboards = highest crash risk
Elderly more vulnerable
Billboards = highest crash risk

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

Evan's Response

Bob's Response

Jay's Response

George's Response

Steve Explains Item #1[edit]

Steve Explains Item #2[edit]

Steve Explains Item #3[edit]

Trusting the data in Bethlehem, PA (1:54:34)[edit]

Skeptical Quote of the Week (1:59:06)[edit]

Starving brains can hallucinate, but even well-fed minds can convince themselves they can feel something which simply isn't there.

 – Jonathan Jarry, Canadian science communicator, McGill University Office for Science and Society 


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[13]
  • Fact/Description
  • Fact/Description


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