Episode #747

News Items

  • New Kind of Black Holes
  • Organic Farming
  • Golden Rice
  • Craniometry
          • Question #1: Hydrogen Scam

              • Love your show. Member for several years. Not sure if you have followed Joi Scientific and their claim for a unique hydrogen from seawater technology. Just wanted to let you know that I was approached indirectly to help them with business matters several years ago and on looking into it I discovered every single red flag I had learned from the SGU. Seriously–all the red flags, even including investment by famous rich people. With the voice of SGU whispering in my ear, I called BS and said there was zero chance of Joi Scientific somehow reinventing physics and delivering the hydrogen economy perfectly formed. Two years and many millions of dollars later they have admitted that their claim of 200% efficiency was based on faulty measurement, so they are now seeking additional funding for research centered around ‘their improved understanding of the technology.’ So the scam goes on. I would love to hear your take on Joi Scientific if you’re ever looking for a textbook case of pseudoscience in the critical field of energy and resources. Thanks and regards, Dan Japan
          • Solar Minimum Message: Hi, I’ve seen a lot of online chat about an imminent solar minimum, possibly even a grand solar minimum. Tied to this lots of wild predictions of famine etc. I’ve found it surprisingly hard to find a decent source on this topic. NASA seem quite calm about it though. It seems to have all the hallmarks of ill informed fear mongering but wondered if its something you guys might cover at some point. Trevor

        Science or Fiction

        • Item #1 Science

          The first use of Daylight Savings time was in Ontario, Canada, in 1908. https://www.timeanddate.com/time/dst/history.html

        • Item #2 Fiction

          Researchers estimate that an extra 600 people die each year in the US due to car crashes because of the switch to DST. https://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/app.20140100

        • Item #3 Science

          Studies looking at energy cost of DST show it is basically a wash, with slight advantages or disadvantages depending on region. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/topics/reference/daylight-saving-time/

        Skeptical Quote of the Week

        “Time and again, science has shown that methodological naturalism can push back ignorance, finding increasingly detailed and informative answers to mysteries that once seemed impenetrable: the nature of light, the causes of disease, how the brain works. Evolution is doing the same with the riddle of how the living world took shape. Creationism, by any name, adds nothing of intellectual value to the effort.” - John Rennie