Sunday, July 10, 2011

Monster Talk, The Skeptics' Guide, and The Skeptic Zone.

Hayley Stevens is the co-host of Righteous Indignation.  Righteous Indignation's pick for podcast for the year of 2010 was Monster Talk.  Now, Ms. Stevens has appeared as a guest on Monster Talk to discuss Bownessie, a local alleged lake monster.  Coincidence? Conspiracy?  I'll leave delving into the back scratching to the Conspiracy Skeptic Karl Mamer, regardless of any possible graft and grease palming that may have occurred, it was an entertaining episode.  Ben, Karen, and especially Blake were in rare pun-generating form on this episode; they all clearly had a lot of fun with the topic of a Nessie-style monster living in another British body of water.

From a skeptical view, the show did showcase once again that Hayley Stevens knows her stuff not only in regard to ghost investigations, but now on a cryptid investigation.  She discussed various hypotheses about the alleged creature.  Her investigation of the latest evidence of the creation, which in this case was a photograph taken by a gentleman named Tom Pickles.  (Don't giggle, it's bad form . . . pickles . . .  pickles.)  Hayley discussed attempts to track Mr. Pickles down, and others who have allegedly witnessed Bownessie.

The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe this week did not feature an interview.  It did feature a story about more Jesus pareidolia.  Bob covered a story on re-examining how Galaxies have been classified, which for the astronomy nerd in me was quite interesting.  Jay covered a story on Driverless cars, which while interesting actually seemed a bit out of date to me.  The autonomous car of the future coming sorta kinda around the corner has been bouncing around for months and perhaps the last year or so.  (On a recent episode of Autoline After Hours, they joked that on current Volvos with all the safety functions you could probably splice three wires together and it could drive itself.)  Evan covered a story of a drug that is made out of a bacteria found on Easter Island that might someday be useful in slowing the aging process, and then they did science or fiction.

Ok.  They also discussed the topic de jour, the skeptical shit storm of the moment "Elevator Gate."  Rebecca Watson gave her own take on the issue from within the hurricane, which was interesting.  I was sort of dreading hearing the Rogues discuss the topic as I have had my fill of the topic at this point.   (Yet, I keep reading various blogs and comment sections about it.)  However, it was good to hear from Rebecca, and the section for those tired of the issue should not skip it.  I have my own opinions about this whole kerfuffle, but I feel this thing has spiraled enough out of control that I do not feel it would do any good to continue dissecting the matter.  And what about Jeter hitting his 3,000 hit, and it's a homerun to boot.  Pretty impressive.*

While over at the Skeptic Zone, it was a solid show opening Hrab-style with Richard Saunders telling a tale of arguing with the pharmacy assistant over the ear candles the shop was peddling.  It was a nice way to start the show.  The normal welcome sometimes is a bit flat, but this one I found entertaining.  I hope they keep to this format in the future.

Maynard spoke with Helene Grover of Laughter Strategies.  It sounds cockamamie, but she seems to have a reasonable outlook on using laughter to brighten one's life rather than some serious treatment.  She and Maynard discussed some tickle spa in Spain (where the rain falls mainly on the plain) where you pay to dress in special underwear to be tickled with feathers and fingers.  That sounds cockamamie to me.  On the other hand, I am not a fan of massages in general.  I may not be the best judge of these touchy-feely type things.

This was followed by a Dr. Rachael Dunlop twofer.  (Dr. Dunlop is neither black or Harvard educated which makes it double impressive.)**  The first was an interview by Dr. Dunlop of Linda Harpo discussing how genetic research could be useful in doctors prescribing more target chemotherapy treatment for cancer victims and avoiding treatments that have little chance of success.  This was followed by a skeptical bread and butter radio interview of Dr. Dunlop on the ineffectiveness of homeopathy.

It was a solid episode of the Zone.  A nice intro by Richard, a few good interviews, and not a peep on that which I will not discuss but deals with a conveyance that moves people between floors and is not stairs or an escalator.

*Gratuitous non-sequitur change of topic.

**Joke only works if you watch "30 Rock"

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    With that ElevatorGate, for the first time ever I was not sure I wanted to listen to this week's Skeptics' Guide episode. The Rebecca Watson that enjoyed having listeners asking her to marry is long gone. Or the one that was talking about female ejaculation in a playful manner (her first SGU episode ever). I felt that, since the beginning of the show, there was really a big shift in tone.


    Skeptically yours,


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