Author Topic: Episode #170  (Read 11623 times)

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Offline craig

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Re: Episode #170
« Reply #75 on: October 31, 2008, 09:59:36 PM »
Thanks for the explanation.

Febolas posted the pdf of the full article here: http://skepchick.org/skepticsguide/index.php/topic,15184.msg363874.html#msg363874

but it is way outside of my expertise.
"Why ya gotta act like you know when you don't know....It's okay if you don't know everything." --- Ben Folds

Offline Leslie 417

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Re: Episode #170
« Reply #76 on: November 02, 2008, 12:10:52 PM »
Everyone has probably seen this one already but here is a cool meteor compilation video.
Personally I would love to see something like "Gods apathy for Williams' family allowed family of four to die in car wreck"   ~ kat96

Offline richard blaine

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Re: Episode #170
« Reply #77 on: November 02, 2008, 12:39:09 PM »
Thanks for the explanation.

Febolas posted the pdf of the full article here: http://skepchick.org/skepticsguide/index.php/topic,15184.msg363874.html#msg363874

but it is way outside of my expertise.

Thanks, Craig. I had noticed Febolas's link, but had trouble figuring out how to actually download the paper from there. Managed to twig it this AM, and will read the paper this week for more insight, but it is a little outside of my field.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2008, 10:06:16 PM by richard blaine »
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled." - Richard Feynman

Offline Hanes

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Re: Episode #170
« Reply #78 on: November 02, 2008, 01:08:31 PM »
Everyone has probably seen this one already but here is a cool meteor compilation video.


That's really cool.  Can you imagine being a primative hunter gatherer and seeing something like that happen?  Ya, I'd probably believe in magic sky-men too.

Offline ganzfeld

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Nitpick about synaesthesia
« Reply #79 on: November 03, 2008, 04:42:52 AM »
About the Science or Fiction on synaesthesia, I was a little surprised that all of the skeptical Rogues (including Dr Novella?) believed the recent press reports that claimed synaesthesia could cause a person to not be able to see black lettering on a red background.

I can't access this newest paper right now but I would be very surprised to find this to be the case. People experiencing synesthesia have been shown black figures on colored backgrounds very briefly (one or two seconds) and have not been able to read in that short time but it doesn't cause the letters to disappear unless a lot of work has been done to make the experienced color of the grapheme exactly the same color as the background. (At least I'm not aware of any such findings. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. I haven't been able to wade through the relevant studies yet. I do think the press reports are inaccurate, though.)

If the experienced text color is red, for example, just a slight difference in two red colors would make characters visible but take the viewer a little more time to discriminate the two. The difference in reaction times is on the order of a few tenths of a second to second or so, just as it would be for someone looking at red ink characters on a red background.

« Last Edit: November 03, 2008, 04:58:14 AM by ganzfeld »
"It may be that Pluto is the nearest of a group of dwarf planets analogous to our Earth and its three near neighbours.", Hector Macpherson, Makers of astronomyā€ˇ (1933)

Offline reevesAstronomy

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Re: Episode #170
« Reply #80 on: November 15, 2008, 08:09:51 PM »
Only 100 million years untill the sun boils away our oceans? 

I'm skeptical.  Dinos died 65 million years ago.  100 million years seems so short. 



Wikipedia's silent on solar doomsday besides the eventual red giant stage.  Obviously it's going to heat up a bit before that, but it seems to me that whatever heating the sun experiences, it would be insignificant when compared to the regular cyclical heating and cooling of the earth.

The increase in heat received from the sun will increase the overall temperature of the Earth by a few degrees.  This will set off a runaway greenhouse effect just like what happened on Venus.  If the temperature were to go up 20 degrees that would be a HUGE increase in temperature.  I've also heard 50 million years until this happens.  At the moment humans are greatly speeding up this process.  Stock up on sunscreen...  :P

Whilst listening to an interview with James Lovelock, I remember him saying the sun is about his own age (he's 89) in relative terms to our biosphere.  It's only very round figures but he credits his time working with with Carl Sagan at NASA for the insight.  I understand now what he meant.  Lovelock is a great engineer and thinker in general.