Episode #100

News Items

    Home Buying Pseudoscience

    • I have been house hunting lately and have bumped into some pseudoscience during that time. I was wondering if you guys could cut through the BS for me. 1) My real estate agent insists that it is a bad idea to buy a house near power lines since they cause cancer and therefore the value is reduced. I believe her that the value is reduced, but not because the threat is real, but because so many people have this mistaken belief.2) A home inspector that I know told me that UFFI (Urea-formaldehyde foam insulation) was used as an insulation in the 70s. There was a brief health scare that this insulation caused health problems and now any house that ever had the insulation, even if it was removed at great cost, has had its value greatly reduced. And apparently there was no scientific basis behind the scare.A link to info about UFFI: www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/maho/yohoyohe/inaiqu/inaiqu_008.cfmThanks for your great show, it’s by far the best podcast of the 10 or so I listen to every week.Jonathan AbramsOttawa, CanadaSkeptical article on power lines: www.csicop.org/sb/9509/rothman.htmlUFFI: www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/maho/yohoyohe/inaiqu/inaiqu_008.cfmwww.epa.gov/iaq/formalde.htmlwww.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml82/82005.html
    • Found this video of magnetic father and son in Taiwan. Any suggestions on how they pull this off? (Or put it on, as it were)videoholicsanonymous.blogspot.com/2007/06/amazing-magnetic-child.htmlBrandon Adams Long Beach, CA
    • Thanks for the great podcast,here are a some topics i thought might be interesting to research and discuss for the show…1. I saw a show with Leanord Nemoy (can’t remember the name) he showed a video of a woman in China having brain surgery with supposedly only acupuncture to numb the pain, she was fully awake during the procedure.2. the war on drugs is an interesting topic, specifically is the research true that the netherlands has lower addiction rates than the u.s. (these statistics are all over the internet by advocates for the decriminalization of drugs in the u.s. – is it the government’s right to intervene in people’s choice to use drugs if they are not putting anyone else in danger-‘plan columbia: cashing in on the drug war failure’ was an interesting movie that stated that the u.s.government is supposedly giving money to the columbian military even though it is one of the leading smugglers of drugs out of its own country. – america has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prison population; most non-violent drug offenders (penn and teller’s bullshit has an episode about the drug war)3.the ‘holding back of the electric car’ i know you discussed this before but the movie ‘who killed the electric car’ says that the electric car was not given money by the government to succeed because pressure by the oil companies was put on the government to sustain the popularity of gasoline fueled cars. the movie also states that the hydrogen fuel cell cars were given government money because they knew the technology wouldn’t become public or affordable for a long, long time.4.the alleged danger of PVC, aspartame, flouride, and aluminum 5. pagan roots of christianity (more specific examples)6. is premium gas really better than regular for some engines, and is water added to gasoline to extend it in warmer months.7. do women cheat as much, less, or more than men? ( evolutionary theories as to why or why not)sorry about the length, let me know if this is helpful.Brad Carlson Illinois, USA

    Science or Fiction

    • Item #1 Fiction

      Archaeologists have discovered the first known example of money, copper coins more than 8000 years old.

    • Item #2 Science

      Physicists announced the discovery of a new elementary particle, in the same category as protons and neutrons known as baryons.

    • Item #3 Science

      Neuroscientists have discovered that two independent brain networks share ultimate behavioral control.

    Skeptical Quote of the Week.