Tag: Are We Alone

Faster than light Brains on Vacation

By Phil Plait | March 13, 2012 11:04 am

Every month (or so), astronomer Seth Shostak rings me up and we talk about some topic relevant to skepticism for his radio show, "Are We Alone". This month, we talked FTL neutrinos. That is, the latest news in the faster-than-light neutrinos saga.

If you want the background info, you can find it in the Related Posts section below.

Related Posts:

Unconfirmed rumor: FTL neutrinos may be due to a faulty GPS connection
New experiment neither proves nor refutes FTL neutrinos
Followup: FTL neutrinos explained? Not so fast, folks.
Faster-than-light travel discovered? Slow down, folks

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Piece of mind, Science

Are We Alone, Little Ice Age edition

By Phil Plait | June 28, 2011 2:14 pm

Every month or so I go on SETI’s "Are We Alone" radio show/podcast with Seth Shostak, and we discuss some weird scientifically distorted news item in a segment we call "Skeptic Check". The latest one is now online, where Seth and I talk about the recent news about the Sun’s potentially weakening magnetic field, and some folks who have leapt to the conclusion that we’re facing a new ice age because of it.

Here’s an article I wrote about this topic, and here’s the direct link to the show. [UPDATE: I just found out the AWA blog has links to the various show segments as stand-alone audio files, so here’s the link to mine.]

The conclusion? Spoiler alert: don’t stock up on portable heaters just yet.

Related posts:

Are we headed for a new ice age?
The Sun may be headed for a little quiet time
Are We Alone Skeptic Check: Tyche, or not Tyche
Are We Alone of DEATH

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience, Science, Skepticism

Are We Alone, of DEATH

By Phil Plait | May 3, 2011 2:00 pm

This week’s episode of the SETI radio program "Are We Alone" is up, complete with my semi-regular contribution to the segment "Skeptic Check". The show’s theme is apocalyptic scenarios real and imagined, so astronomer Seth Shostak and I talk about various forms of both. Supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, slamming into molecular clouds, the death of the Universe, and of course the Mayan 2012 end times-o-rama.

The whole show is pretty cool, so go check out the Are We Alone page, or if you’re impatient you can just directly download the MP3.

Related posts:

Supermoon Skeptic Check
Are We Alone Skeptic Check: Tyche, or not Tyche
Are We Alone, Death by Betelgeuse edition
Skeptic Check: Power bands

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, DeathfromtheSkies!

Are We Alone Skeptic Check: Tyche, or not Tyche?

By Phil Plait | March 1, 2011 10:30 am

This month’s "Are We Alone" podcast segment Skeptic Check is now online, where astronomer Seth Shostak and I talk about the purported jovian planet that might or might not exist in the cold depths of the solar system out past Neptune. We talk about the science of such a world, and how the media perhaps puffed this piece past a proportionate planetary propriety.


Are We Alone, death-by-Betelgeuse edition

By Phil Plait | February 5, 2011 7:00 am

The newest edition of the SETI radio show "Are We Alone" is up, and in the segment called Skeptic Check astronomer Seth Shostak and I poke fun at the latest silliness about Betelgeuse and the Mayan doomsday. The rest of the show is, as usual, really good and fun to listen to (all about ESP — but you knew that already), so head over there and give it a download. But do it before December 21, 2012.

Or wait until afterwards. It’ll still be around, as will the Earth.

Related posts:

Betelgeuse and 2012
Betelgeuse followup
Skeptic Check: Power bands
Skeptic Check: Oil’s Pill

Skeptic Check: Power Bands

By Phil Plait | November 16, 2010 2:02 pm

arewealonelogoEvery couple of months I do a short interview with astronomer Seth Shostak called "Skeptic Check" (née "Brains on Vacation") as part of the SETI’s Are We Alone radio program. In this month’s segment I diss the Power Bands that are popping up everywhere. These are simple rubber wristbands that the manufacturers claim help your body’s balanace, stamina, performance, and so on, despite no evidence that they can do so, and what look like extremely fishy demonstrations.

I wrote more about this topic in a post last week on the blog. I’ll note these Power Placebos are under fire in other places as well; for example the Australian government is casting a jaundiced eye at them as well. I love to see governments taking action when it comes to medical consumer protection!

Here’s a direct link to the interview MP3. Are We Alone is a great podcast, and I recommend subscribing. Every week there’s something fun and interesting on it!

Related posts:

Are We Alone: Conservapedia relativity denialism
Are We Alone Skeptic Check: Oil’s Pill
Are We Alone: Bomb-sniffing magic wands version

Are We Alone: Conservapedia relativity denialism

By Phil Plait | August 18, 2010 3:37 pm

arewealonelogoAt SETIcon last week, I talked with Seth Shostak as part of our regular "Brains on Vacation/Skeptic Check" segment of the SETI podcast/radio show "Are We Alone". The topic this time was Conservapedia — a frothingly antiscience and antireality website — and how it has a grotesquely wrong entry on Einstein’s Relativity (as well as a laughable 29 "counterexamples" to relativity).

The podcast is available on the Are We Alone site, and here’s a direct link to the MP3.


Are We Alone Skeptic Check: Oil's Pill

By Phil Plait | May 18, 2010 2:32 pm

arewealonelogoThis week on the Are We Alone radio/podcast show, Seth Shostak and I talk about the Intention Experiment, a group of people who think they can meditate away various problems in the world… including the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. You can guess how I feel about this. Oh wait, you don’t need to! I’ve written about it.

Go to the Are We Alone website for a synopsis as well as a list of other segments on the show, or get the direct download here.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience, Science, Skepticism

Are We Alone: bomb-sniffing magic wands version

By Phil Plait | April 9, 2010 7:41 am

arewealonelogoThe podcast "Are We Alone" is a great weekly ‘cast from the SETI Institute, and this week’s episode has Seth Shostak and me discussing the nonsense about Iraq using bomb-detecting dowsing rods (here’s a direct download of the MP3). These magic wands do not work, and their use has allowed cars loaded with bombs through checkpoints in the Middle East. This is a direct example of how magical, antiscientific thinking can do real harm, resulting in dangerous situations and even deaths… hundreds of them.

Are We Alone, 2012 repeat

By Phil Plait | November 9, 2009 3:00 pm

The "Are We Alone" SETI podcast this week is a repeat from August, but in case you missed it the topic is 2012 and other Hollywood movies where science is abused, and I talk about the real ways the world might end. Listen before going to see the movie!


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