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17 minutes | Sep 14, 2021
Skeptoid #797: Why You Need to Care About Methane
For all the talk about carbon dioxide's role in climate change, we hear surprisingly little about methane. Some say it represents even a greater threat, but if that's so, why isn't it getting more attention? Today we're going to see what the science really says, and what we should be doing about it.
4 minutes | Sep 8, 2021
Skeptoid's 15th Birthday Celebration!
Skeptoid invites you to help us celebrate our 15th birthday at skeptoid.com/birthday
16 minutes | Sep 7, 2021
Skeptoid #796: 9/11 Truthers, 20 Years Later
Following the events of 9/11 way back in 2001, it was inevitable that a few wacky conspiracy theories were going to arise, as happens around nearly every major world event. But something sets 9/11 conspiracy theories apart from all the others: their unique longevity. And it turns out there's solid science behind why a fantasy like 9/11 Truth is the one that endures.
6 minutes | Sep 1, 2021
Wondery Suspect podcast preview
A big Halloween party at an apartment complex in Redmond, Washington. Themed rooms and costumed partygoers. But by the end of the party, one of the hosts is dead. The police look to the partiers as the prime suspects: was it the guy in the devil mask, the bank robber, the construction worker? As investigators comb through forensic evidence, witness testimony, DNA, and even consult with a psychic, they zero in on one suspect in particular. But for what reason? Host and reporter Matthew Shaer (Over My Dead Body) returns to the scene of the crime, speaks with everyone about a night that still haunts them years later. It’s a series about race and policing, mislaid justice, cutting-edge science, and the kinds of weighty choices that cops and prosecutors make every day -- choices that, once made, are difficult to reverse.
16 minutes | Aug 31, 2021
Skeptoid #795: What Made the Shroud of Turin Immortal
For centuries, the faithful have believed that the linen sheet called the Shroud of Turin bears the actual, physical imprint of the face of Jesus, made while his body lay in the tomb for three days. However, the science proves that it can't be true. So what is the much larger picture of how and why the Shroud came to be, that keeps believers believing after so long?
16 minutes | Aug 24, 2021
Skeptoid #794: Why You Needn't Worry About the Missing 411
It's no surprise that people do sometimes go missing in the wilderness, including America's national parks. But one notion, called the "Missing 411", claims that inside the parks that number is much higher than it should be, and that the National Park Service covers up these disappearances. Is this true, or does the data say it's just another unfounded conspiracy theory?
18 minutes | Aug 17, 2021
Skeptoid #793: Your Turn Yet Again
On Skeptoid we're always digging into the true science and true history behind some of the weird phenomena that a lot of people believe in, but sometimes bizarre events happen closer to home. Today we're going to examine some of your own personal strangest experiences to see if we can find a science-based explanation.
16 minutes | Aug 10, 2021
Skeptoid #792: Your Turn Again
Here on Skeptoid we look at popular urban legends and see if there's any truth behind all these things that a lot of people just seem to believe. What about the things you believe? Today we've got a handful of your own personal experiences that many of you have sent in -- and we're going to give them the same Skeptoid treatment.
16 minutes | Aug 3, 2021
Skeptoid #791: Dowsing: Water Witchcraft
As global warming causes some places to get wetter, it causes others to get drier. And in these places, water is becoming so scarce that people are willing to try anything -- whether it's based on folk wisdom, or even on magic. Today we're going to see how one such method stands up to science: dowsing.
18 minutes | Jul 27, 2021
Skeptoid #790: Is the Existence of Billionaires Inherently Harmful?
You can hardly turn around these days without hearing someone lecture about how immoral it is that billionaires exist. It's a popular view. But is this just an emotional or ideological reaction, or does economic theory also show that the existence of billionaires is actually harmful to a nation's economy or its people?
17 minutes | Jul 20, 2021
Skeptoid #789: All About Clearcutting
Everyone should be outraged at the ugly scars on formerly green mountainsides left by clearcutting, the practice of removing not just the trees needed for logging, but everything else as well, leaving only bare dirt. But many of us are not completely aware of the reasons this is done. Today we let forestry science answer the question of whether clearcutting truly does reduce the amount of old growth forest, or if it might (counterintuitively) leave us with more.
17 minutes | Jul 13, 2021
Skeptoid #788: The UFO Rogues Gallery Takes Over America - Part 2
This week, the conclusion of our two-part examination of the group of paranormalists who successfully convinced the world media that the US government takes UFOs seriously. It's one of the most successfully PR campaigns in the history of pseudoscience, and its actual roots should surprise and anger everyone.
16 minutes | Jul 6, 2021
Skeptoid #787: The UFO Rogues Gallery Takes Over America - Part 1
For years now, the news has been full of Navy UFO videos and reports that the Pentagon takes alien visitation seriously. But it turns out the source of all this news has been neither the US military nor even legitimate reporters, but rather an unlikely group of paranormalists with exceedingly good press release skills.
19 minutes | Jun 29, 2021
Skeptoid #786: Horses in Pre-Columbian America
The mainstream science view has long been that horses were extinct in the western hemisphere until they were reintroduced to the Americas by the Spanish conquerors. However, a growing movement has been challenging this view and claiming that horses were always in the Americas. Today we're going to see if science casts a definitive vote in telling us which version of history is correct.
2 minutes | Jun 24, 2021
Whistle-Stop Tour 2021
To celebrate crawling out of our pandemic cocoons, I am doing a tour of the continental US with free events in as many cities as I can reach. To sign up and get more info come to skeptoid.com/tour.
18 minutes | Jun 22, 2021
Skeptoid #785: Desalination vs. A National Water Grid
As global warming causes floods to worsen in the eastern US, it also causes droughts to worsen in the west, a trend which will continue. Today we're going to look at the science behind two proposals to help with the west's new water-starved normal: desalination and a national water grid.
17 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
Skeptoid #784: Head Transplants
We've all heard the tales of mad scientists switching the heads of dogs and monkeys and sometimes even of people, to the point where many aren't even sure any more where the fiction ends and the reality begins. Today we've got a roundup for you of the true state of the science behind head transplants.
17 minutes | Jun 8, 2021
Skeptoid #783: The Legend of Barsa-Kelmes
Urban legends come from all around the world, and when they happen in non-English speaking countries, the version we get is usually boiled down to just the most sensational aspects that the translator decided to share. Today we're going to look at one from central Asia, a former island in the now-dry Aral Sea, said to be the source of countless paranormal events: Barsa-Kelmes.
16 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
Skeptoid #782: A Collection of Corrections
As this is a show dedicated to the correction of misinformation in popular culture, sharing the tools for telling what's real from what's not, it's important that we get things right. But we don't always. And so today we've got another episode for you dedicated to the correction of errors in past episodes, and some of them are surprising.
18 minutes | May 25, 2021
Skeptoid #781: Space Junk: The Real Risk and What to Do About It
What happens when one satellite crashes into another, and then another? Can such collisions actually trigger an irreversible cascade that eventually destroys everything we've got in orbit, and makes Earth's local space a useless zone of death? Luckily we don't have to wonder, because we've got the science-based answer for you.
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