Skeptics with a K: Episode #070

Featuring the Maginot Line, glowing soliders and cheap Audis. Plus waterfalls, worms, thunderbirds and gambling. Increasing the price by a penny every time you click, it’s Skeptics with a K.

  1. #1 by NickT on April 20, 2012 - 09:25

    Your talk of sci-fi esque plots in otherwise down-to-Earth TV series reminded me of an episode of Heartbeat I have a vague recollection of in which there are UFO sightings and implied alien abductions. (A google search leads me to the 1995 series 5 episode “Gone Tomorrow”.)

    My recollection of the episode is wooly however, as I probably only watched it while channel flicking…

    UFO’s in T’Heartbeat. Whatever next?

  2. #2 by G.Shelley on April 20, 2012 - 15:42

    A thought on the bid sites you talked about. I recently have been reading the book “Moral Minds” and it mentions an experiment where you can get two people to bid on a dollar, but they lose whatever money they bid, even if they don’t win, which is a similar concept. Typically, it will start at one cent, and each will outbid the other by another cent.
    And then it goes up. By the time the first person bids a dollar (and so would only break even), the other is set to lose 99c, so will typically bid one dollar and one cent, therefore reducing their prospective loss by 98c.
    I suspect something similar happens here, not just the desire to win, but an awareness that you have already put down 10pounds, and will lose all of it unless you win the bidding, though clearly not to the same extent.

  3. #3 by soren on April 21, 2012 - 12:40

    One thing you didn’t cover with the penny auctions is, that imagine the site is not honest?

    It would be easy to set up an auto bidder. If the set margin on a product has not been reached, then the auction site can enter a bid from a virtual user, forcing real users to spend more money on the item, or indeed have the virtual user win, thus pocketing all profits and keeping the item, if indeed the item ever existed!

    Allegations of foul play in these auctions have surfaced in Denmark.

  4. #4 by Chew on April 22, 2012 - 02:48

    Finally! An American gets to make fun of the English mispronouncing an American name! It’s pronounced “shy-low”, not “shee-low”!

  5. #5 by Marc Naimark on April 22, 2012 - 07:35

    It’s SHY-low, not shih-LOW

  6. #6 by Chris on April 26, 2012 - 03:01

    To be fair, there is no pronunciation guide on the Battle of Shiloh wikipedia article. Though there is one for Cairo, Illinois, it is Kair-ro, not like the city in Egypt. Kind of like how the Thames River by New London, Connecticut is not pronounced like the one in England.

    Though Mike could have asked his wife.

  7. #7 by Chew on April 26, 2012 - 04:06

    I was stationed in New London, CT, in the Navy for 10 years. I gave up trying to get people to pronounce it correctly after 5 years.

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