Episode #727

News Items

Who's That Noisy

  • Answer to last week: Mario Brothers

Question #1: Closest Planet

  • Hey guys, I just listened to today’s ep. Steve doubled down that Venus gets closest to Earth and is closest on average, but I’m pretty sure the latter is incorrect. Mercury is closest for most of the time, AND its average distance to Earth is smallest, not Venus. Indeed, it is, on average, the closest planet to every other planet. This was the point made by More or Less (which really is a great podcast). https://physicstoday.scitation.org/do/10.1063/PT.6.3.20190312a/full/ Isaac Virginia
  • Follow up to happiness of married women study.

Science or Fiction

  • Item #1 Fiction

    A new study finds that having higher education levels has a protective effect against developing Alzheimer’s disease. https://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-alzheimers-disease/jad180785

  • Item #2 Science

    A new review of 3000 studies from three top medical journals found almost 400 current medical practices that represent reversals, or practices deemed not to add to patient outcomes. https://elifesciences.org/articles/45183

  • Item #3 Science

    A new analysis finds that Bitcoin requires as much energy, 45.8 TWh, as Kansas City. https://www.cell.com/joule/fulltext/S2542-4351(19)30255-7?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS2542435119302557%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

Skeptical Quote of the Week

“Science cannot long remain unfettered in a social system which seeks to exercise control over the whole spiritual and intellectual life of a nation. The correctness of a scientific theory can never by adjudged by its readiness to give the answers desired by political leadership.” –Charles A. Leone, author of ‘Lysenko versus Mendel’