SGU Episode 973

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SGU Episode 973
March 2nd 2024
973 Odysseus.jpg

"An American company has made history by becoming the first commercial outfit to put a spacecraft on the Moon." [1]

"The Odysseus mission is funded by NASA as part of their program to develop private industry to send instruments and supplies to the Moon." [2]

SGU 972                      SGU 974

Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella

B: Bob Novella

C: Cara Santa Maria

J: Jay Novella

E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.

Robert Coveyou, American research mathematician

Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Discussion

Introduction, Leap year, AI Willy Wonka party[edit]

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

Special Discussion: Alabama SC Decision (7:28)[edit]

  • [url_from_show_notes _article_title_][3]

S:...ineluctably[v 1]...

News Items[edit]






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

First Private Landing on the Moon (19:39)[edit]

Sex Difference in the Brain (28:40)[edit]

Bee Venom for Breast Cancer (37:29)[edit]

(click to create redirect page)

E:...Hey, I'm noticing a pattern: every three years, I bring up bee venom therapy. (Cara laughs) I don't know what it is. I don't know. I have to scratch this itch every three years. I did this last in 2021; before that I had talked about it in 2018. So I don't know.

Learning Empathy (48:02)[edit]

Brightest Object (59:45)[edit]

B: So it's been roughly 185,000 minutes (Transcriptionist's note: approximately 128 days) since I've had my last black hole news item[link needed].


Who's That Noisy? (1:10:10)[edit]

New Noisy (1:13:49)[edit]


J:...If you think you know what it is...

Announcements (1:14:58)[edit]

J:...1000th show...

Potent Quotables (1:18:37)[edit]

Questions/Emails/Corrections/Follow-ups (1:28:56)[edit]

Correction #1: Oats consumption math error[edit]


Science or Fiction (1:31:08)[edit]

Item #1: A recent review finds that male psychopaths outnumber female psychopaths 10:1.[8]
Item #2: A new study finds that boiling tap water for 5 minutes removes up to 90% of nano and microplastics from the water.[9]
Item #3: Using AI scientists have developed a method for atomic force microscopy of material surfaces with resolutions below the width of the microscope probe tip.[10]

Answer Item
Fiction Male & female psychopaths
Science Boiling removes plastics
Atomic force microscopy
Host Result
Steve win
Rogue Guess
Male & female psychopaths
Male & female psychopaths
Boiling removes plastics
Male & female psychopaths

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

Evan's Response

Jay's Response

Bob's Response

Cara's Response

Steve Explains Item #3[edit]

Steve Explains Item #2[edit]

_rogue_mentions_scale_or_scaling_[v 2][v 3]

Steve Explains Item #1[edit]

Skeptical Quote of the Week (1:47:35)[edit]

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.

 – Robert Coveyou (1915-1996), American research mathematician who worked at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory 

E:... "Random number generation is too important to be left to chance [sic]." ...


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[11]
  • Fact/Description
  • Fact/Description



  1. Wiktionary: ineluctable; impossible to avoid or escape
  2. Wiktionary: scale; see etymology #2 and limescale, below
  3. Wiktionary: limescale; A white, chalky deposit of calcium carbonate found in kettles, washing machines etc., especially in a hard water area
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