Episode #714

News Items

    Interview with Peter de Jager

    • Brief History of Y2K

    Question #1: Audio Book

    • I was browsing Audible’s library, and was surprised to discover your audiobook was released! Will you be doing an announcement on the podcast? If you already did I just must have missed it (perhaps due to my filtered perception of reality…) I’m sure lots of your podcast listeners would enjoy the audiobook version, but like me, they might not know it is out! So far I’m really enjoying the book, already recommending it to colleagues and friends. Best, -Nick Cejda
    • Hey guys and gal, I apologize for the length of this email, but I think it’s something you may find interesting. I’ve listened through your entire catalogue three times since 2007 and you have taught me more valuable knowledge and skills than my undergrad in science taught me. I am absolutely certain that I wouldn’t be the same person today if I hadn’t found the SGU, so thank you to all for that invaluable gift. Anyway, I usually try not to correct things like this so as to avoid being the ‘Well, actually…’ guy, but on the latest episode during Bob’s bit about mice and infrared vision, he said how people were ‘chomping at the bit’ a couple times. Almost everyone says this expression incorrectly. It’s supposed to be ‘CHAMPING’ at the bit’, not ‘chomping’. The ‘bit’ is part of the apparatus a jockey or rider uses to control and direct horses. It fits into the toothless ridge in the back of a horse’s mouth and connects to the bridle and reins. The idiom originates from race horses grinding (or champing) their teeth against, not on, the bit from excitement or nervousness. Furthermore, the word ‘chomp’ is a transitive verb, meaning it requires an object for it to make sense (ie. the horse would need something to the chomp on). The horse does not actually bite down on the bit, so ‘chomping’ is not accurate, and even if it were, the horse would chomp ON the bit, not AT it. Call me a purist, or pedantic, but I thought you might find this interesting! Keep up the great work, Rogues. I really hope I can meet you all one day. Thanks so much, Owen Martin

    Science or Fiction

    Skeptical Quote of the Week.

    ‘Do we have to wait until there’s a few thousand cases of measles and children start to die. Will that move us ? invariably it is the children who will suffer from our ignorance.’ – Paul Offit