Author Topic: Episode #493  (Read 4383 times)

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Offline Steven Novella

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Episode #493
« on: December 20, 2014, 10:57:25 AM »
Guest Rogue: George Hrab; This Day in Skepticism: First Electronic Instrument; Special Reports: Bertrand Russell’s 10 Commandments; News Items: DNA Survives Spaceflight, Hong Kong Pillows, Discovering New Particles, Graphene Armor, Survey on Apathy; Science or Fiction
Steven Novella
Host, The Skeptics Guide
snovella@theness.com

Offline Hypersapien

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Re: Episode #493
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2014, 02:59:29 PM »
Regarding fake fake eggs:

When you first mentioned the idea of fake eggs a couple episodes ago, that rung a bell because I remembered seeing a documentary about counterfeit goods in china which specifically talked about this.  Needless to say, it didn't go over-easy with me when you declared this a myth in the current episode.  I scrambled to find the old video, in hopes that I could crack this case.

Chinese Counterfeit Goods segment on fake eggs (Skip to 22:35)


I found a handful of articles demonstrating various chemical recipes you could use to create fake eggs, or how to detect them, but most of these articles also had a footnote offering the same conclusion that you did; fake eggs are a hoax. 

I tried googling the incident mentioned in the video, but couldn't find an account of any singular event.  At the very least I feel like the video and articles I've come across demonstrate that it seems completely plausible to make something egg like that could fool someone, but I can't find an incentive to do so.

Offline bachfiend

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Re: Episode #493
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2014, 07:33:53 PM »
Francis Collins isn't a Catholic (as one of the panelists stated).  He's an Evangelical (whatever that means).  He was asked in an interview whether he was a Protestant.  He demurred, describing himself as a 'serious Christian'.

The item about kapok and liver health reminded me of a pathology report on a needle liver biopsy which read 'normal liver, normal kidney, normal skeletal muscle, normal skin, normal kapok mattress material...'

Offline frothy

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Re: Episode #493
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2014, 12:34:33 AM »
The fake eggs thing, yeah it could be false, but I wouldn't completely rule it out.

I've definitely seen fake eggs being made on TV before. I have no idea if it's a real scam or not. As for nobody seeing fake eggs first hand, well that's the point isn't it? It'd be a pretty poor scam if you realised they were fake.

Manpower costs in China are pretty low, and if the chemicals are cheap, I could believe it being profitable.


Offline lonely moa

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Re: Episode #493
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2014, 02:15:18 AM »
Fake eggs in China?  What about melamine in infant formula.
"Pull the goalie", Malcolm Gladwell.

Offline postwaste

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Re: Episode #493
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2014, 10:04:35 AM »
I was delivering my mail route while listening to the show. I'm certain people on my route think i'm a lunatic. The DNA on the rocket segment made me crack up. 

Offline Citizen Wolf

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Re: Episode #493
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2014, 11:31:41 AM »
The SGU team do a great job of skeptical outreach and I am most certainly glad of their work.

However, they should be careful of having their hard-fought and well-deserved good reputation undermined by rouges appearing in public (or on normal podcasts) drunk. It shows a lack of professionalism and disrespect for the audience.

My 2 cents.
The only thing I can be sure of is that I can't be sure of anything.

Offline brilligtove

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Re: Episode #493
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2014, 12:39:21 PM »
The SGU team do a great job of skeptical outreach and I am most certainly glad of their work.

However, they should be careful of having their hard-fought and well-deserved good reputation undermined by rouges appearing in public (or on normal podcasts) drunk. It shows a lack of professionalism and disrespect for the audience.

My 2 cents.

I might agree with "disrespect" if the situation is inappropriate (e.g., not at a party, pub, or similar environ), but "professionalism" implies that the rogues are professional skeptics. For most of them this is their passion, not their full time job.

I personally enjoy hearing them be goofy, passionate, silly, noisy, and ribald. I listen becuase their information is great, but also because they are fun.
evidence trumps experience | performance over perfection | responsibility – authority = scapegoat | emotions motivate; data doesn't

Offline Citizen Wolf

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Re: Episode #493
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2014, 04:34:26 PM »
@Brilligtove
Regarding professionalism; yes I understand your sentiment about this being their passion and not their actual means of making a living.

I used the term 'professionalism' in a more general way to mean being commited to what you do and showing that you take it seriously. Now obviously the work that goes into the SGU is phenomenal and so clearly they do take it seriously. Their commitment to producing a weekly show is genuinely amazing. I can only imagine all the extra unseen work that goes on in the background.

The flipside of all this is that the SGU are very popular and are a defacto public face of skepticism. A big part of their work is out-reach and to those on the outside who may not know, seeing people present the show drunk only detracts from the hard work that they do themselves. What I mean is, when one person shows up drunk it demeans the whole show, including those rogues that aren't drunk.

As I say, it's just my opinion and perspective. The SGU themselves can run the show as they see fit, and long may they continue to do so.
The only thing I can be sure of is that I can't be sure of anything.

Offline Movius

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Re: Episode #493
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2014, 10:18:28 PM »
You're confusing drunk with 'it was after midnight when the recording finished at the end of a day when the conference started at 9AM.'

Offline JohnM

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Re: Episode #493
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2014, 10:24:43 AM »
I didnt even realise anyone was drunk?

I thought they were being a bit more frank, espec about religion which is a rare treat from the SGU.


Offline ArdeaAbe

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Re: Episode #493
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2014, 11:51:34 AM »
Because people were asking at the end, Bufo is the genus name for true toads. Hence beelzebufo, demon toad.

Online amysrevenge

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Re: Episode #493
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2014, 01:44:19 PM »
I appreciated the update on the fake egg story.  I think it probably speaks to a (shameful) degree of unconscious elitism/racism that it is so easy to believe that those poor uneducated gullible Chinese peasants were being swindled so easily and persistently in a way that us sophisticated college-educated westerners would never be fooled.  I feel a little bad about how obviously true the original story sounded to me.
Big Mike
Grande Prairie AB Canada

Offline Plastiq

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Re: Episode #493
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2014, 01:48:34 PM »
The SGU team do a great job of skeptical outreach and I am most certainly glad of their work.

However, they should be careful of having their hard-fought and well-deserved good reputation undermined by rouges appearing in public (or on normal podcasts) drunk. It shows a lack of professionalism and disrespect for the audience.

My 2 cents.

I find drunk Rebecca pretty painful, too. Shame, because it seems to be an invariable pattern for the live shows.

Offline Harry Black

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Re: Episode #493
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2014, 10:43:23 AM »
I love the less formal and restrained shows.
I suggest mandatory imbibing for all rogues prior to every episode.

 

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