Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe

The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe was weird.

It was mostly a live show from Dragon*Con.  The Rogues did their normal bits of each giving a news story or a topical discussion.  Dr. Novella discussed homeopathic water.  (Yes, it is as stupid as it sounds.)  Bob discussed an exo-planet made of diamond or something similar to diamond that was recently discoverd.  The panel discussed finding of the remains of the woolly rhino, and determined it to be "cooler" than the woolly mammoth.

For me, the most interesting news article discussed was the resignation of the editor of "Remote Sensing" journal for allowing to be published a poorly authored paper questioning global warming. The Rogues seemed to agree that this appeared to be a bit of an overreaction by the editor.  It made me grimace as this appears to be "big climatology" trying to punish someone for publishing an opposing viewpoint to global warming or worse. It just feels like fuel to add to the conspiracy fire.

The panel took questions from the audience.  The most interesting question was an audience member asking about skeptics being active in politics and economics.  I found it a bit annoying that the panelists kept repeatedly using little sound effects of pop culture phrases.  (Evans' was the sound of the pedophile old man from "Family Guy" asking if someone wants a popsicle.)  I can see how one might get carried away in the moment.

The weird thing was the episode was only 105 minutes long, which is 15 minutes less than normal.  The last ten minutes or so of it was post-Dragon*Con recording of all the Rogues just kinda discussing what happened at the Con.  I had the notion that in the editing process Dr. Novella realized "oh shit, I am twenty minutes short.  I got nothing."  He decided to call all the Rogues for a time killer discussion.  It still was not enough to fully fill out the show.

It was not terrible, or unlistenable.  However, for a show that is so darn consistent, it was a bit off.

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