Episode #79

News Items

    If Rebecca Ate Meat

    • Hi Guys!I really enjoyed meeting you all (except Perry) at TAM 5. Steve, I thoroughly enjoyed your talk on Sunday and I can’t wait to hear those interviews you all recorded. You may remember me as the fangirl who sat with the guys on the shuttle to the airport and that chance to chat with you was the perfect way to end the best weekend of my life. As for Rebecca, I’m so glad I got to meet you and my suspicions were confirmed: We do look eerily similar. I kept saying that I am the version of Rebecca that eats meat. When someone sends me the photo of us together, I will pass it on.I imagine Perry will find it amusing that a carnivorous Rebecca doppelganger lives in California. Thanks again, and I love you all.-Elizabeth RawlsOakland, CA
    • Hello, I love the show.In show #77 someone mentioned that the feeling of weightlessness disappeared after a few seconds, implying that one gets accustomed to weightlessness very quickly. As a skydiver, I’ve noticed the same thing, but I have attributed this to the fact that it only takes a few seconds to achieve terminal velocity, at which point you’re not in true free-fall and thus not weightless. You’re only weightless when you’re accelerating at 7 ft per second/second. At terminal velocity you’re no longer accelerating, but rather speeding along at a uniform rate (unless you do a barrel role or some tracking) I would say that after a few seconds your situation is closer to resting on a cushion of air. Does this sound correct?Also, I’d take issue with an elitist comment that was made in a previous episode to the effect that virtually everyone in the USA that isn’t a scientist is probably scientifically illiterate, the literacy rates being so low. I think one of the pitfalls of being a sceptic, which I often fall into myself, is being too negative. I believe this is a gross exaggeration and not conducive to your educational goals. I think that as a sceptic you may be spending so long concentrating on the pseudo-science, psychics and so forth, that you ignore the success of many books and periodicals devoted to science.I’m an artist, yet understand terminal velocity. I’ve dated no less than 3 biochemists. Two of these ladies believed in astrology, and a 3rd admitted to have wasted a large sum of money on a palm reader, so I believe there are plenty of SCIENTISTS that check their scientific method at the door when they go home from work.Anyway, thanks again for a great pod-cast; you’re doing a great service.-Carl LyndonUSA

    Science or Fiction

    • Item #1 Fiction

      Eugenie Scott (of the National Center for Science Education) wears a wig.

    • Item #2 Science

      Phil Plait (The Bad Astronomer) has 11 finger nails.

    • Item #3 Science

      John Rennie (Editor and Chief of Scientific American) once appeared in a commercial as a Leprechaun.

    Skeptical Quote of the Week.