Podcast #99 - June 13th, 2007
Interview with Phil Plait - The Bad Astronomer; News Items: Creationism Poll, Academic Freedom, Mercury-Autism Controversy in Court, Mr. Wizard Dies at 89; Your E-mails and Questions: Rods, Zero Point Energy; Science or Fiction; Skeptical Puzzle
- New Gallup Poll on Creationism in the US www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2007/6/8/105636.shtml?s=us
- Attack on Academic Freedom at the UCL www.theness.com/neurologicablog/default.asp?Display=119
- Mercury/Autism Controversy Goes to Court www.theness.com/neurologicablog/default.asp?Display=117
- Mr. Wizard Dies at 89 www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/TV/06/12/obit.mr.wizard.ap/index.html
Questions and E-mails
- Rods Steve,
I would love for skeptics guide to cover 'rods'. Some people believe they are a flying creature as yet unknown to most of science. A Los Angeles news program can be viewed here:
Of course the immediate idea is that these are artifacts of video cameras. I was frustrated that the crew didn't just film the phenomenon with two cameras and sync the footage. From that you could pretty quickly and imply determine if the event was in the camera or in the world. If it's in the world, you could determine size and speed from triangulating the two signals if you just recorded how far the cameras were from each other. It doesn't take much to really narrow down this kind of thing, and it's frustrating to see people
miss easy opportunities.
Anyway, if you guys could discuss it, that could be a fun topic.
As always, you do great podcasts.
Wikipedia rods entry: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_(cryptozoology)
Debunking site reproducing 'rod' pictures: www.opendb.com/sol/bugs.htm
- Zero Point Energy I was watching a show on the Science channel on cable, and they seemed to give some support to John Hutchinson & zero point energy, Jim Ventura and lifter research and anti gravity, Joseph Newman energy machine, Thomas Townsend Brown and anti gravity. Surprised they were taken quite seriously on a science channel. I don't know much about them, any science behind their claims?
Credulous ZPE theories: www.soulsofdistortion.nl/SODA_chapter4.html
Hutchinson article: www.sciencepunk.com/v5/2006/10/john-hutchison/
Thomas Townsend Brown:
Skeptical article on Joseph Newman
- Interview with Phil Plait Phil Plait is the Bad Astronomer
Article on Expanding Universe
Science or Fiction [ Show Answers ]
- Question #1 Science A newly published study shows that spontaneously recovered memories of childhood abuse are almost as accurate as continuous memories.
- Question #2 Fiction Among the many new species recently discovered in the deep Antarctic ocean is a shrimp species the size of dolphin.
- Question #3 Science Physicians report a case of a man who bled green blood during a surgical procedure.
- Puzzle This Week's Puzzle
Franklin D. Roosevelt
J. Paul Getty
What un-skeptical trait do all of these famous people have in common?
Last Week's Puzzle
Name the former world leader that used to laugh at UFO believers, but later became a believer himself when he himself witnessed one.
Answer: Former US President Jimmy Carter
Quote of the Week
- Quote 'Education has failed in a very serious way to convey the most important lesson science can teach: skepticism'
- David Suzuki (Canadian environmentalist, scientist and broadcaster b.1936)