Author Topic: Episode #587  (Read 1640 times)

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Offline Steven Novella

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Episode #587
« on: October 08, 2016, 12:28:43 PM »
Forgotten Superheroes of Science: Rosa Smith Eigenmann; News Items: Hawaii Telescope Hubbub, Marijuana Changes the Brain, Brain Training and Power Poses, Listening to Experts; Who’s That Noisy; What’s the Word: ultracrepidarian; Your Questions and E-mails: Net Metering; Science or Fiction
Steven Novella
Host, The Skeptics Guide
snovella@theness.com

Offline Belgarath

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Re: Episode #587
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2016, 03:06:58 PM »
OMEGA used a series of radio pulses specially timed from 8 ground based stations  You could then use the phase difference to determine your location.  Accuracy was something like 2 miles.
#non-belief denialist

Offline davidlpf

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Re: Episode #587
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2016, 08:10:15 PM »
Don't worry the clown will go away around nov. 9.

Offline CopperNick

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Re: Episode #587
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2016, 08:20:08 PM »
Steve is a little bit off on the Barbra Streisand Effect's backstory. It had nothing to do with an unflattering tabloid story. Environmentalist Kenneth Adelman put aerial pictures of the Malibu coast on the internet as part of his preservation campaign efforts. By sheer happenstance, one or more of the pictures included Streisand's beachfront residence. The photos published online did not identify her house; she herself did that when she took legal action in an effort to remove the pictures. The point is that her privacy was perfectly safe until she acted to protect it. Here's a 2007 Forbes article on the subject.
http://www.forbes.com/2007/05/10/streisand-digg-web-tech-cx_ag_0511streisand.html

Offline Sawyer

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Re: Episode #587
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2016, 10:32:35 PM »
Steve is a little bit off on the Barbra Streisand Effect's backstory. It had nothing to do with an unflattering tabloid story. Environmentalist Kenneth Adelman put aerial pictures of the Malibu coast on the internet as part of his preservation campaign efforts. By sheer happenstance, one or more of the pictures included Streisand's beachfront residence. The photos published online did not identify her house; she herself did that when she took legal action in an effort to remove the pictures. The point is that her privacy was perfectly safe until she acted to protect it. Here's a 2007 Forbes article on the subject.
http://www.forbes.com/2007/05/10/streisand-digg-web-tech-cx_ag_0511streisand.html

I think Evan was really shoehorning it into the news item too.  He was using it to describe any sort of backfire effect, rather than the specific scenario of an individual person trying to suppress unflattering information about their personal life or career.  Which resulted in Cara now having a distorted version of what the effect is...

Offline 2397

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Re: Episode #587
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2016, 08:17:23 AM »
I think John Oliver is more biased now that he has a team of writers, compared to when he was one of a team of writers. At least on his podcast (which he dropped off from when he started hosting TV shows) he seemed to be able to call out bullshit on all sides.

Offline werecow

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Re: Episode #587
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2016, 10:06:03 AM »
(click to show/hide)

(click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 10:27:33 AM by werecow »
Mooohn!

Offline werecow

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Re: Episode #587
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2016, 12:41:10 PM »
@Steve: I can't find anything to corroborate the idea that the head of the Chinese FDA was executed because of the 2008 melamine scandal. I did find this article from 2007 (so about a year before the milk scandal) which states that

Quote
China Ex-Food and Drug Chief Executed
[...]
Zheng was sentenced to death in May for taking bribes to approve an antibiotic blamed for at least 10 deaths and other substandard medicines. Cao was given a death sentence last month with a two-year reprieve for accepting bribes and dereliction of duty.

I'm guessing even China probably did not execute two of its FDA chiefs in as many years. The article later makes mention of another melamine scandal, which may be the source of the confusion:

Quote
In North America earlier this year, pet food containing Chinese wheat gluten tainted with the chemical melamine was blamed for the deaths of dogs and cats.

The wikipedia article on the 2008 scandal does state that two people were executed for their involvement, but I don't think they were FDA members:
Quote
Zhang Yujun (alias Zhang Haitao), a former dairy farmer from Hebei, produced more than 600 tons of a "protein powder" mixture of melamine and maltodextrin from September 2007 to August 2008.
[...]
Geng Jinping managed a milk production center which supplied milk to Sanlu Group and other dairies.

(Also, on a slightly more pedantic note, I'm sure you weren't being literal, but I highly doubt the guy was actually beheaded. According to wikipedia the methods of execution are lethal injection or shooting.)

EDIT: Also, that sucks about Robert Todd Carroll dying. }|:o( I hadn't heard about that yet either... That's a great loss to the skeptical community. Skepdic is perhaps my favorite online skeptical resource (aside from the SGU of course). Is there any word on whether someone will take over the site?
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 12:51:54 PM by werecow »
Mooohn!

Offline lonely moa

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Re: Episode #587
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2016, 12:44:14 PM »
Darwin published 25 books, not one.
"Our minds are not quite designed to understand how the world works, but, rather, to get out of trouble rapidly an have progeny."  Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Offline Gyroscope

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Re: Episode #587
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2016, 06:47:56 PM »
Great show as always. I'm interested in the talk on solar panels. In particular the idea that (if I understood Steve correctly) he was going to get a credit on over-production that was the same as the retail price per kw? This essentially means the power company has to buy excess at retail price instead of whole sale? Obviously this is great for the customer but it can't be sustainable long-term and is the wrong model for the industry as a whole.

In Australia we have the worlds highest take up of rooftop solar (around 15% of homes which is more than a million homes now). In the early days people were getting very good 'feed-in tariffs' on excess production under state law plus generous federal government subsidies but this has backed off a lot now. I don't know all the states figures but in my state of western australia the buy-back price for power from my own panels is very low - essentially a wholesale price so the power company can obviously use the power and profit off it. I think this has to be a more sustainable model as it turns roof top solar into a valuable part of the energy production equation. So as a consumer I pay very small power bills even when running my aircon during the warmer months when there is plenty of sun but in winter when using heating during darker hours my bills are higher as I am using grid power more but still pumping plenty of power back into the grid during daylight hours. 

It also interesting to note that this system even though it doesn't seem favorable to the consumer does not seem to have discouraged the take-up since it is as popular as ever even long after the government incentives and good tariffs rates have finished or reduced. (Also by the way nearly all roof top solar here is paid for by the homeowner direct rather than by the power company like Steve's deal). Also I think this system is now about to start a revolution in home battery storage in Australia since now there is a large incentive to store your own power since the wholesale price is so low you may as well store it and use it yourself over night. This also is to the long term benefit of everyone overall though it does create issues about who pays for the grid once a lot of homes are essentially not using it and the power companies end up being used for high demand baseload more and more but can't sell as much power to the grid. Topic for another time I guess.

Offline Dan I

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Re: Episode #587
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2016, 08:10:32 AM »
Steve is a little bit off on the Barbra Streisand Effect's backstory. It had nothing to do with an unflattering tabloid story. Environmentalist Kenneth Adelman put aerial pictures of the Malibu coast on the internet as part of his preservation campaign efforts. By sheer happenstance, one or more of the pictures included Streisand's beachfront residence. The photos published online did not identify her house; she herself did that when she took legal action in an effort to remove the pictures. The point is that her privacy was perfectly safe until she acted to protect it. Here's a 2007 Forbes article on the subject.
http://www.forbes.com/2007/05/10/streisand-digg-web-tech-cx_ag_0511streisand.html

I think Evan was really shoehorning it into the news item too.  He was using it to describe any sort of backfire effect, rather than the specific scenario of an individual person trying to suppress unflattering information about their personal life or career.  Which resulted in Cara now having a distorted version of what the effect is...

My guess is she'll go look it up herself, she seems to be that kind of person (on her Talk Nerdy podcast she's constantly Googling things that people bring up DURING the show.) Plus the actual story (as described above) really is even better. There was literally NO REASON for Streisand to think anyone could connect her to that photograph until she came out basically screaming "THAT'S ME! THAT'S ME! THAT'S ME!!!!!!"

Offline papposilenus

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Re: Episode #587
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2016, 08:57:03 PM »
Great comic on the replication crisis and p-hacking:

https://thenib.com/repeat-after-me

Offline Andrew Clunn

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Re: Episode #587
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2016, 04:19:34 PM »
Steve is a little bit off on the Barbra Streisand Effect's backstory. It had nothing to do with an unflattering tabloid story. Environmentalist Kenneth Adelman put aerial pictures of the Malibu coast on the internet as part of his preservation campaign efforts. By sheer happenstance, one or more of the pictures included Streisand's beachfront residence. The photos published online did not identify her house; she herself did that when she took legal action in an effort to remove the pictures. The point is that her privacy was perfectly safe until she acted to protect it. Here's a 2007 Forbes article on the subject.
http://www.forbes.com/2007/05/10/streisand-digg-web-tech-cx_ag_0511streisand.html

I think Evan was really shoehorning it into the news item too.  He was using it to describe any sort of backfire effect, rather than the specific scenario of an individual person trying to suppress unflattering information about their personal life or career.  Which resulted in Cara now having a distorted version of what the effect is...

I'm just the victim of my cognitive privilege

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #587
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2016, 05:11:48 PM »
Not a fan of her singing, but she was fucking hilarious in What's Up, Doc? Absolutely brilliant.
Daniel
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Offline rrsafety

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Re: Episode #587
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2016, 11:18:22 AM »
I was really surprised with the unthinking support of net metering for home solar I heard on the podcast. Even more surprised SGU used a judgment laden 'report card' from an advocacy group to determine which states are good or bad for long term solar development.
Even the most rudimentary look at net metering demonstrates that it is a disaster for the development of smart solar grid infrastructure when electricity suppliers are forced to buy electricity from solar homes at the same price it is sold for. Any forced price that doesn't cover overhead, research, development, repair of the grid will be a big problem. Net metering is far from "good" for solar, it is a long term horrible idea.
This is a thoughtful piece: https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/how-to-find-compromise-on-net-metering
« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 11:22:10 AM by rrsafety »

 

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