Podcast #76 - January 3rd, 2007
News Items: NeuroLogica Blog, Evolution in Cobb County, 2006 Predictions, Homeopathy in Scotland; Your E-mails and Questions: Salt Lamps, UFOs, Intelligent Forces, Chelation Therapy; Randi Speaks: Optical Illusions; Science or Fiction; Skeptical Puzzle
- Announcing the NeuroLogica Blog Dr. Novella has started a daily blog on Neuroscience, Skepticism, and Critical Thinking
- Psychic Predictions for 2006 Pat Robertson-s Predictions: news.aol.com/topnews/articles/_a/pat-robertson-predicts-deadly-attack-on/20070103105109990001
Fred Fasset-s Predictions: www.psychicfred.com/predictions_2006.htm
Elizabeth Baron-s Predictions: www.elizabethbaron.com/2006_predictions.htm
- Evolution in Cobb County Case Closed
Anti-Evolution stickers gone for good in Cobb County, Georgia
- Homeopathy in Scotland www.sciencedaily.com/upi/index.php?feed=Science&article=UPI-1-20061128-10063500-bc-scotland-homeopathic.xml
Previous episode where we discuss homeopathy at length: http://www.theskepticsguide.org/skepticsguide/podcastinfo.asp?pid=59
Two articles by Dr. Novella about homeopathy: www.weirdsciencecolumn.com/site_weirdsciencecolumn/weirdscience-homeopathy093004.htm
Questions and E-mails
- Salt Lamps Hi guys!
I've been listening to the podcast for several months now and enjoy it immensely. Happy to hear you're gaining the popularity you deserve.
I received the most ridiculous present for Christmas this year and immediately thought of the skeptic's guide. My brother's girlfriend got the entire family Himalayan Salt Lamps. At first I thought it was just another funky looking light fixture. But upon reading the included pamphlet I was bombarded by the most pseudo-science I've ever personally encountered in my entire life. I've included scans for your enjoyment but my personal favorite how it 'can reorganize the epidermal layer of our skin'. You can imagine my horror when I learned the girlfriend is actually the one who wrote the pamphlet and sells the lamps for $25 a piece. On the bright side, it's a decent light and I enjoy joking that it's one of the Sankara Stones from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
Keep up the great work and good luck in the coming year.
Review article of ionizers and asthma: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=12917939&query_hl=3&itool=pubmed_docsum
- UFO's Dear All,
Newly arrived to your show, I quickly became addicted. I have one question that you may have addressed before (so sorry if it is the case). Is there any UFO story that is worth considering or pursuing? If such story exists, then there may be room for (skeptic) dreams that we sometimes need.
Thank you for this very much enriching and entertaining show.
Recent UFO Flap: www.chicagotribune.com/classified/automotive/columnists/chi-0701010141jan01,0,5874175.column?coll=chi-newsnationworldiraq-hed
French Space Agency releases UFO data: www.newscientist.com/blog/space/
- Intelligent Forces Hi all, love the show. I just found this site and thought I'd pass it along as its very funny.
I hope you haven't seen it before.
Keep up the good work.
Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
- Chelation Therapy What's Chelation? Is it safe? Is it helpful?
I've recently discovered your podcast a couple weeks ago, and am thoroughly impressed. I'm working my way backwards through your episodes but have not yet encountered the topic of 'chelation'.
My grandparents, who I've always regarded (and still do) as a couple of the most intelligent people I know, have been undergoing regular chelation treatments for the past few years.
When they first told me about it a couple years ago I thought it was a little strange but figured they knew what they were doing. I didn't give it any thought until I became a skeptic a couple weeks ago (which caused me to find your podcast, sorry if you confused the cause and effect for a sec).
Getting regular chemical transfusions doesn't sound too safe to me, should I talk to them about it? Is it safe? Is it helpful?
Keep up the great work!
P.S. I recommend that you mention Richard Dawkins' great new book The God Delusion. It's really helped me to come to terms with my latent atheism, and it has completely changed my life (your podcast has helped with adjusting too (I don't know any atheists personally).
Good review article of chelation therapy: www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/chelation.html
- James Randi The Uncompromising Observations of a Veteran Skeptic
Each week James Randi gives a skeptical commentary in his own unique style.
This week's topic: Optical Illusions
Science or Fiction [ Show Answers ]
- Question #1 Fiction Study demonstrates the ability to change the buying preferences of subjects by magnetically stimulating certain regions of the brain.
- Question #2 Science New study shows that humans are actually quite good at tracking by sense of smell alone.
- Question #3 Science Astronomers think they may have seen the very first stars in the universe.
- Puzzle This Week's puzzle
I read red lines on a white background
But occasionally, the background is not white
I interpret stress patterns
But by nature, I struggle to stay upright
I analyze vessels and the directions they travel
But their movements mean nothing
And though its lone job is to protect you
I have the power to see beyond this purpose
What is my profession?
Quote of the Week
- Quote 'The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.'
- George Bernard Shaw