Skeptics with a K: Episode #082

Musicals, cancer, Star Wars and Percy Shelley. Plus Magna Carta, doppelgängers, the Great Reform Act and Elizabeth I. Putting some maize into a rat, it’s Skeptics with a K.

  1. #1 by Leper on October 5, 2012 - 10:48

    If only those rat researchers had a Shuzi band to unclump their data…

  2. #2 by G.Shelley on October 5, 2012 - 15:22

    While on the scale of many experiments, rats aren’t expensive, 200 rats, at 5 rats per cage would probably be around $80 per day just to maintain them, so over a year perhaps $30000 just to keep them.
    Which is probably one of the lower costs of the experiment, but still not insignificant

  3. #3 by Mike Hall on October 5, 2012 - 15:58

    The rats were kept two per cage, just FYI.


  4. #4 by T. McIntyre on October 5, 2012 - 17:41

    I had a funny (in hindsight) non-paranormal doppelganger experience. My wife & I had gone to a Thai restaurant and the waitress came said “Back so soon? You must be really hungry .” I told her we hadn’t been in the restaurant in over two months. She was insistent that I had been there only an hour before. Again I told her I had not been in there that day. She then ramped it up, “You were in here with a different woman, just over an hour ago.” My wife gives me a stern look , as did the waitress. I told her she was mistaken. The waitress left us to study our menus. My wife was coldly silent and would not make eye contact. A few minutes later the waitress came rushing up and she apologized. Standing at the cash register was a man that looked remarkably like myself and was dressed in very similar clothing. He had left behind his hat and returned for it.

  5. #5 by martin on October 6, 2012 - 14:43

    Hope that those negative experts never come in contact with a real one as there could be a tremendous explosion.

  6. #6 by Marc on October 7, 2012 - 08:27

    Re Vernon Bogdanor. The guy was asked to provide dates. You then proceed to say that it is pointless to learn dates. So I guess poor Vern is fucked, as Mike would say.

    But if we accept that dates are tags for events, we can consider the importance of the event. I would have found you a bit more intelligent if you had made a critique of events vs trends, or provided your own list of events. You did this a bit, but spent far too much of your airtime just bitching about how pointless it was to know dates since we have the all-knowing Wikipedia.

    Good try, but a fail, IMO.

  7. #7 by Homer's Donut on October 7, 2012 - 21:20

    I get what Marsh said about musicals, I was the same most of my life, couldn’t understand the pretentious crap, with folks just singing their way through life. Then one day I went to that Queen musical with my missus and actually enjoyed it, it had humour, taking the piss out of Brian May’s guitar solos etc I used to hate Jazz and still do, but now realize just because I don’t like something that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s crap, just means I don’t like it!!

    Doppelganger piece was interesting and reminded me of an event years ago. Years after I left school I was on a train and looked over and saw a guy, he looked at me, we smiled and started talking he said ‘It’s Ray isn’t it?”, I said “Yes….Steve?…” we then went on talking about how we got on since school etc Then as the train got to my stop we said goodbye and he said “Wow, wait when I tell the guys I bumped into Ray Bateman…” ….I looked puzzled and said “No…Ray Johnson…..” he looked puzzled then I said “Steve Gardner?…” he said “No, Steve Edwards…..” (or something like that!!) We just went silent and went our separate ways. Weird or what lol

    I also had someone phone me one day and say “Quick, get out of town….they’re onto you….look at ‘The News’ …” The News was a local paper and I looked at it and in there was a photo-fit of a guy who robbed a local jewellers who was the spit of me….the call was from a friend winding me up of course…but I avoided walking anywhere near the jewellers for a few weeks lol

    History dates: yeah get what you mean, personally I believe that some folks remember numerical information better than others and maybe a date acts as an aid memoir for them, but folks like me, I can’t even remember birthdays, I need the missus to remind me how old I am lol but if someone asked me about a historical character or event I could ramble quite well about it. For me with much of my recollections it’s as if I am living the event? I don’t mean in a woo way lol but I put myself at that event and remember that way, it kind of gives me a perspective of it, a living history of the mind as it were, but lordy lord I would fail on dates.

    The whole immigration thing is crazy, we’ll be schooling folks to be ‘more’ British than we are lol Anyhow, do the retards that make up such tests realize that the Scots, English and Welsh want little to do with each other anyway? I have lived in Wales and know too well how much some folks still hate the English for stuff done by ancestors hundreds of years ago!!! As I see it some retards are trying to make immigrants become some kind of idealized Brit that is a figment of their mind. In truth does anyone really know what it is to be British?

    BTW Mike, your accents are getting better, I really believed you had a Texican lady in the studio – much better than the ‘bloody’ Aussie accent anyhow 😉 I’m beginning to wonder if there is only one person doing the show anyhow – are you really Marsh as well 😛 lol

  8. #8 by Murff on October 8, 2012 - 20:24


    I think their point stands. In context, when your country is giving a citizenship test, what is more important, the content of the Magna Carta, or the date it was signed. That’s just one example of course. The only dates I and many others remember are the ones that happen to be national holidays 🙂

  9. #9 by Chris on October 14, 2012 - 03:11

    Needs more Katie.


    Disclaimer: I started kindergarten and graduated from high school in Texas… but none of the years in between (Army brat, I attended kindergarten in three states, and it was the my third high school). It is an interesting place.

  10. #10 by Richard Taylor on October 19, 2012 - 11:56

    Just sat down to read last weeks issue of nature. Page 158 has an article titled “Hyped GM maize study faces growing scrutiny” (with the sub title Food safety bodies slam feeding study that claims increased cancer incidence in rats).

    The article is along the same lines and mentions all the same points as SWAK. Didn’t think I would ever hear something on SWAK before it was published in nature, Good work guys!!!

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