TheESP – Ep. #184 – Not well for Pell

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This week we start by noting that the measles numbers in Serbia from last week must be nonsense (it’s much worse) and again urge you to support Retraction Watch. We then report on Cardinal Pell’s failed appeal in Australia and the pope’s totally misguided efforts to help the people of Syria.
Brexit spells disaster for science in the UK, a British ‘Grief Vampire’ is touring in Sweden, but on a positive note, the Homeopathy Information Network provides help on fighting homeopathy in all of EU.
A Lithuanian man wants you to sleep with bees (don’t try this at home), Spanish Skeptics (ARP-SAPC) team up with the authorities to educate teachers on how to spot pseudoscience, and the Swedish government wants to implement a national digital register to keep track of vaccination rates.
Finally, we hand out a Really Wrong award to a private hospital in Finland for charging lots of money for an unproven cancer treatment.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:50 Greetings

The numbers on measles for Serbia must be much worse than reported. Also, please support Retraction Watch if you can.

00:10:27 Pontus Pokes the Pope – Not well for Pell and Rosaries for Syria.

00:18:34 Skeptical News

UK: Danger to science of no-deal Brexit

SWEDEN / UK: UK TV-medium touring Sweden

GERMANY / EUROPE: INH taking action in support of Spanish initiative to give homeopathy the same legal status and requirements as other medicinal products

LITHUANIA: Sleeping on beehives

SPAIN: EduSalud conference for teachers on pseudoscience and health

00:38:52 Really Wrong: Experimental cancer clinic in Finland charges huge amounts

00:44:10 Quote and Goodbye

“Science knows it doesn’t know everything; otherwise, it’d stop. But just because science doesn’t know everything doesn’t mean you can fill in the gaps with whatever fairy tale most appeals to you.”

/ Dara Ó Briain, Irish comedian and television presenter /

00:46:01 Outro

00:47:16 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #183 – Free Energy, ‘Flygskam’ and hard numbers on Measles

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This week we hear about free energy devices, about Pope Francis’ friend who stands accused of sex-abuse, and that Metro in Sweden is closing down taking with it their ‘Viral Examiner’ that has corrected and explained internet myths for almost five years.
We hear about the first publicly known (but certainly not only) victim of Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘vagina steaming’, how to sign up for Shaman Summer School and of ‘Flygskam’, the Swedish flight shaming that now goes international.
We also do another deep dive into the disastrous measles epidemic, including publishing a unique spread sheet we have created to give an overview of the European situation as of the first six months of 2019.
Finally, we hand out a Really Right award to the Lancet for their efforts to fight gender bias in science.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:52 Greetings

Pontus was interviewed by Richard Saunders on The Skeptic Zone this week, check it out: http://skepticzone.libsyn.com/the-skeptic-zone-564-11august2019

00:05:42 This Week in Skepticism

On 17 August 2006, the company Steorn published their claims on its ‘Orbo’ free energy device. They got financing to the tune of 23 million Euro, but strangely the device never materialized…

00:11:18 Pontus Pokes the Pope – Close friend of Francis to stand trial for sexual abuse.

00:16:25 Skeptical News

SWEDEN: Metro folds, and the ‘Viral Examiner’ dies with it

INTERNATIONAL: Woman burns herself during vagina steaming

FRANCE: Are you ready for Shaman Summer School?

EUROPE: ‘Flygskam’, the Swedish flight shaming, is the latest fad

MEASLES UPDATE EUROPE: Still bad and getting worse – we have compiled the numbers, you can download them in Excel or PDF-format.

00:33:19 Really Right: To the Lancet Group for committing to gender equity and diversity

00:37:25 Quote and Goodbye

“You should never be ashamed to admit you have been wrong. It only proves you are wiser today than yesterday.”
/ Jonathan Swift, Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for Whigs then for Tories), and poet, famous for works like Gulliver’s Travels /

00:38:41 Outro

00:39:56 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #182 – Anthroposophical Ups and Downs

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This week we reflect on the current heatwave and on climate change, we give a shout-out to James Randi who turned 91 this week(!) and Pontus pokes the pope for letting his Archbishops lash out against vulnerable minorities.
In the news it’s confirmed (again) that vaccinations have nothing to do with autism, we hear how Anthroposophy nuts has managed to weasel their way into the University of Basel and how pseudoscience for children is fought by good people in Spain.
Retraction Watch is turning nine years and you should support them and again in Spain there are good forces working against pseudoscience by cleverly promoting policies regarding homeopathy. Finally, we deliver a Really Right award to the Swedish government who as of 1 September has rendered the Anthroposophy-nonsense history in Sweden.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Right; Radio Spots; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:37 Intro

00:01:00 Greetings

There are heatwaves everywhere and guess what? We are to blame. Edzard Ernst has a new boo out and you can bring your copy to Ghent in a couple of weeks to get it signed!

00:11:19 This Week in Skepticism

On 7 August 1928 James Randi, ‘Grandfather of Skepticism’, was born. Happy birthday and many happy returns!

00:15:14 Pontus Pokes the Pope – In Poland, ‘Rainbow plague’ is the new threat replacing communism.

00:27:08 Skeptical News

INTERNATIONAL: A new study reinforces the conclusion that autism is primarily genetic

SWITZERLAND: A chair of anthroposophical medicine at the University of Basel

SPAIN: Position Statement From The Spanish Association Of Paediatrics Medicines Committee Concerning The Use Of Alternative Medicine And Pseudo-Science In Children

INTERNATIONAL: Retraction Watch turning nine years

SPAIN / EUROPE: Spain wants EU law changed that classifies homeopathy as medicine, and you should help!

00:45:33 Really Right: The end of Anthroposophical ‘medicine’ in Sweden!

00:51:33 Radio Spots

00:53:45 Closing remarks, Quote and Goodbye

Seven games to teach kids Fact-checking

Quote:
“Once your faith, sir, persuades you to believe what your intelligence declares to be absurd, beware lest you likewise sacrifice your reason in the conduct of your life. In days gone by, there were people who said to us: ‘You believe in incomprehensible, contradictory and impossible things because we have commanded you to; now then, commit unjust acts because we likewise order you to do so.’ Nothing could be more convincing. Certainly anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.”
/ François-Marie Arouet, AKA Voltaire, French writer and philosopher/

00:59:21 Outro

01:00:36 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #181 – Medical Misinformation

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This week and from now on, you can now listen to us on Spotify too!
If you do, this episode will tell you about how Lamarck, born today 275 years ago, got it wrong about evolution but also was somewhat on the right track, more than 60 years before Darwin.
Pope Francis is starting to sound more and more like this week’s quote supplier, George Orwell, and in EU the fight may be forming against the bad rules about CRISPR.
Facebook and Twitter want to fight bogus medical cures, but it seems that some quacks are already using that fact to their advantage. In Italy, new numbers tell us that they do not seem to be able to get to grips with their low vaccination rates.
Finally, there’s a tragic story in progress concerning the current miss Europe who is promoting made-up treatments for her cancer. She is claiming that it works, which of course is bound to mislead lots of others to make the same mistake.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:48 Greetings

We are now on Spotify for those who prefers listening there! This weekend see that start of Skeptics on the Fringe, don’t miss that if you’re anywhere near Edinburgh for the next month or so.

00:08:12 This Week in Skepticism

On 1 August in 1744, Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, chevalier de Lamarck, or ‘Lamarck’,  was born. He was a French naturalist with not entirely correct ideas about the evolution of species and although he was wrong about how it works, he still set the stage for Darwin, who was born about sixty years later.

00:13:07 Pontus Pokes the Pope – Francis is learning Newspeak a la Orwell.

In the days of Trump not even the Pope hesitates to redefine the meaning of words …

00:17:33 Skeptical News

SWEDEN: University leaders urges government to fight EU ban on CRSPR

INTERNATIONAL: Facebook wants to limit the reach of bogus medical ‘cures’ by treating them like spam

INTERNATIONAL: Is Facebook really about to shut down large anti-vaxx group?

ITALY: Italy fails to meet vaccination targets

00:35:53 Really Wrong

Miss Europe claims she is curing her cancer with cannabis oil

00:42:47 Quote and Goodbye
“We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right.”
/ George Orwell, 25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950, English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic. /

00:44:20 Outro

00:45:35 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #180 – Sander van der Linden on Bad News and prebunking

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This week András interviewed Sander Van Der Linden, who is a social psychologist and has done extensive research into how we should approach the fight against #fakenews and the spreading of #misinformation about #climatechange, #vaccinations and all sorts of popular social issues by applying prebunking instead of debunking. He and his team at Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab have developed a tool that can be used to inoculate people against psychological manipulations and it goes by the name ‘Bad News’.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:50 Greetings

00:02:13 Interview with Sander van Der Linden

00:50:53 Farewell

00:51:55 Outro

TheESP – Ep. #179 – Religious Liberty?

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This week we celebrate Britt Hermes’ lawsuit victory and that Annika got married (yay!) and urge everyone top make plans for ESC in Belgium – there’s still time to get your tickets!
We hear about celebrated scientist and skeptic David Colquhoun and we get into how the term ‘Religious Liberty’ is so misunderstood and misused by the church.
András gives us a special interview with Heather and Mark Pentler of the Edinburgh Skeptics who reveal all about the upcoming Skeptics in the Fringe in August.
In the news it is formally confirmed that France is stopping public funding for homeopathy and there are signs that Germany may go the same way. HPV vaccinations get included also for boys in the UK, same sex marriages and abortions get allowed in Northern Ireland (upon time). The WHO releases a report that shows that we have not improved global vaccination rates in the last 8 years, but we learn in other news at least that measles vaccinations will now become mandatory in Germany.
Finally, ‘psychic healer’ Jeanette Wilson gets a Really Wrong award for her current tour of the UK and for her stupid nonsense in general.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Interview; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:50 Greetings

The lawsuit against Britt Hermes is over since Colleen Huber has chosen not to appeal. A big shout out to our collaborator Annika who got married! And don’t forget to make plans for the European Skeptics Congress in Ghent, Belgium, on 29 August – 1 September.

00:08:42 This Week in Skepticism

On 19 July In 1936, David Colquhoun, British Pharmacologist and prominent skeptic was born.

00:16:02 Pontus Pokes the Pope – ‘Religion Liberty’?

You keep using that phrase – I do not think it means what you think it means…

00:21:04 Interview: Mark and Heather Pentler of the Edinburgh Skeptics

András caught up with our friends in Edinburgh how have prepared to fill the Skeptics in the Fringe calendar for 23 evenings straight in August! Be there if you can!

00:37:19 Skeptical News

FRANCE / GERMANY: French health minister confirms end of homeopathy funding – is Germany next?

UK: HPV vaccinations for boys

NORTHERN IRELAND: Same sex marriage and abortions allowed

WORLD: WHO global vaccination rates for 2018

GERMANY: Mandatory measles vaccinations from March next year

00:53:40 Really Wrong

‘Psychic healer’ Jeanette Wilson is touring the UK

00:58:57 Quote and Goodbye
“The great experimental principle, then, is doubt, that philosophic doubt which leaves to the mind its freedom and initiative, and from which the virtues most valuable to investigators in physiology and medicine are derived. ”
/ Claude Bernard, 12 July 1813 – 10 February 1878. French physiologist who helped establish the principles of experimentation in the life sciences. /

01:00:53 Outro

01:02:08 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #178 – Camp Quest with Andreas Kyriacou, plus IQ testing and killing science

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This week while Pontus is away, we talk to Andreas Kyriacou from Switzerland about Camp Quest Switzerland before moving on to other events, IQ testing and a lot more, including a German petition to hold CAM practices to the same standards as real medicine, how the Hungarian Academy of Science is being killed off by Viktor Orban’s government, legal action against a science writer in Ireland, the situation of SCAM in Switzerland and Facebook trying to tackle the ever-growing issue of deep fake videos.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview with Andreas Kyriacou about Camp Quest; This Week in Skepticism; News; Quote; Outro

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:48 Greetings

00:05:21 Interview with Andreas Kyriacou

About Camp Quest Switzerland

00:21:44 This Week in Skepticism

Alfred Binet, French psychologist, born 8 Jul 1857.

00:30:40 Skeptical News

GERMANY: A German petition to stop authorising ineffective medicines (what organisation from?)

HUNGARY: Hungarian Academy of Sciences stripped of its research network by government

IRELAND: Gemma O’Doherty launches legal action against science writer David Robert Grimes

SWITZERLAND: SCAM situation in Switzerland

INTERNATIONAL: Zuckerberg Says Company ‘Evaluating’ Deepfake Video Policy

00:52:02 Quote and Goodbye
“Love of learning is the most necessary passion … in it lies our happiness. It’s a sure remedy for what ails us, an unending source of pleasure.”
/Emilie du Chatelet French natural philosopher, mathematician, physicist/

00:53:47 Outro

TheESP – Ep. #177 – Monarchy is stupid!

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This week Jelena discloses the location of her new place to live – and it’s far away! Then we hear about how Pasteur would not have been even close to pass today’s ethical guidelines when he tested his rabies vaccine, that the Catholic Church will discuss marriage for priests but rather walk out of the game than play football against pro-choice opponents.
A huge meta-analysis covering 60 million people clearly shows the benefits of HPV vaccinations, the Good Thinking Society needs our help in challenging the PSA over homeopathy accreditation and France will stop funding homeopathy which directly hits the finances of Boiron.
A much-publicized study is very premature in claiming that there is a link between microbiomes and autism, Iceland recognizes the need to allow for gender neutral names and absurdly under the legal system in Sweden, your man gets a milder sentence for beating you, if it turns out you have “provoked him” by being unfaithful.
Finally, apropos Prince Charles’ latest endorsement of homeopathy, Pontus goes on a rant against monarchy and hands him a Really Wrong award.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; GSOW Radio Spot; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:50 Greetings

Big news everyone: Jelena goes all American! (But nothing changes for the show…)

00:04:16 This Week in Skepticism

On 6 July In 1885: Louis Pasteur saves boy from rabies with his new vaccine, but also cut quite a few corners in ways that would never be allowed today (if even then).

00:10:50 Pontus Pokes the Pope – Married priests? Maybe, but only if far away!

Priests to be married? Not anytime soon and not anywhere near Rome, but a big synod will discuss it in Rome in October. Plus, the female Vatican soccer team walks out on a game rather than face pro-choice protests.

00:14:48 Skeptical News

INTERNATIONAL: Huge meta-analysis confirms how well HPV Vaccination programs work

UK: Good Thinking files Judicial Review over PSA reaccreditation of Society of Homeopaths

FRANCE: Boiron shares down 22% after HAS’s recommendation to stop funding homeopathy

INTERNATIONAL: Backlash for study of microbiome’s importance in autism

ICELAND: Gender neutral given names and family names allowed

SWEDEN: Supreme court ruling still in effect: If you have been unfaithful, your man gets a milder sentence when he beats you

00:29:54 Radio Spot

00:31:47 Really Wrong

Prince Charles has been announced a patron of the Faculty of Homeopathy which illustrates why monarchy is a stupid system.

00:35:44 Quote and Goodbye
“Science makes people reach selflessly for truth and objectivity; it teaches people to accept reality, with wonder and admiration, not to mention the deep awe and joy that the natural order of things brings to the true scientist.”
/ Lise Meitner, 7 November 1879 – 27 October 1968. Austrian-Swedish physicist who worked on radioactivity and nuclear physics /

00:36:41 Outro

00:37:56 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #176 – Fighting Pseudo-therapies

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This week we clarify the difference between a ‘skeptic’ and a ‘denier’ when it comes to climate change and plug the Rationalist International Conference (Cambridge, 27-28 July) before Jelena debunks the myth that an American businessman once got tricked into buying Tower Bridge in London.
In a special interview we talk to Fernando Cervera, one of the founders behind the European manifesto against pseudo-therapies.
Pontus pokes the pope for the way the Catholic Church keep screwing (pun intended) their congregations.
Then we get a new segment, ‘Annika Reports!’, where Annika Merkelbach interviews speaker and archaeologist Mirko Gutjahr at Cologne Skeptics in the Pub.
In the news this week, we have the results from the world’s biggest study of vaccine attitudes, UK holidaymakers are warned to get vaccinated before visiting Europe and a Spanish doctor is suspended for promoting the old myth that vaccines cause autism.
Finally, we hand out over a million Really Wrong awards(!) to everyone that have signed Boiron’s desperate petition to keep public funding in France for useless homeopathy.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Interview with Fernando Cervera; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Annika Reports!; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:55 Intro

00:01:19 Greetings

We clarify the difference between a Skeptic and a climate change denier and highlight that the Rationalist International Conference takes place in Cambridge 27 – 28 July.

00:07:38 This Week in Skepticism

On 30 June In 1894, Tower Bridge across the River Thames in London was officially opened by the Prince of Wales and it is now very much an icon of the city. However, the story about how Robert P McCulloch was conned into buying London Bridge thinking he actually paid for Tower Bridge in 1968 is just an urban myth.

00:12:24 Manifesto against Pseudo-therapies – Interview with Fernando Cervera

00:21:39 Pontus Pokes the Pope – Neither compassion nor compensation

It’s all about the money: Rather than compensating their victims, Catholic US dioceses transfer their assets to other entities and declare bankruptcy.

00:25:46 Annika Reports! – Interview from SiTP in Cologne with Mirko Gutjahr

00:32:46 Skeptical News

INTERNATIONAL: Biggest global study on vaccine attitudes

UK: UK health authority tells holidaymakers to get vaccinated to go to Europe

SPAIN: Spanish doctor suspended for claiming vaccines cause autism

00:41:34 Really Wrong

Over a million Really Wrong awards(!) to everyone that have signed Boiron’s desperate petition to keep public funding in France for useless homeopathy.

00:44:56 Quote and Goodbye
“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”
/ Galileo Galilei, 15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642. Italian astronomer, physicist, engineer and polymath. Also notably, not a fan of the Pope /

00:46:39 Outro

00:47:54 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #175 – The Brilliant Mind of Gwyneth Paltrow

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This week we remember Willem (‘Wim’) Betz, the iconic Belgian physician, researcher and skeptic, co-founder of SKEPP (Belgian Skeptic Organisation) and CSICOP fellow, who sadly passed away on 8 June.
Pontus reports his experiences at the big political event in Stockholm last week (Järvaveckan) and then Jelena talks about the life and times of William Crookes, who was a brilliant scientist, but also a believer in paranormal phenomena.
When Pontus pokes the Pope, we find that Pride month is not for the Vatican, who felt the need to issue a 31-page document to say that trans people ‘annihilate the concept of nature’. We then enjoy the three remaining SkepKon interviews by Annika Merkelbach.
In the news this week, the German minister of health takes a stand against ‘gay conversion therapy’; we urge scientists, researchers and medical practitioners to sign the manifesto against pseudotherapies and a Swedish on-line casino gets its license revoked for taking unfair advantage of their customers. Zotaro teams up with Retraction Watch to alert people about retracted studies, homeopathy seems about to be losing funding in France, and Snopes debunks the claim that Facebook’s Shake-and-Report function leads to people being banned on Facebook. Anti-abortion sentiments are spreading to Europe from the US and the Italian parents who treated their boy with homeopathy get convicted in court.
To rap it all up, we strongly disagree with the ‘Brilliant Minds’ Foundation that apparently believes that Gwyneth Paltrow has one…

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Interviews from SkepKon; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:50 Greetings

We report on the sad passing of Willem ‘Wim’ Betz, the long time Belgian champion of skepticism, activist and fellow of CSICOP and much more. Pontus tell us of Järvavecken, the huge political event in Stockholm which he attended last week with the Swedish Skeptics, along with 53,000 members of the public.

00:06:14 This Week in Skepticism

Sir William Crookes; 17 June 1832 – 4 April 1919. Great british chemist and physicist who attended the Royal College of Chemistry but also was a believer in spiritualism

00:11:48 Pontus Pokes the Pope

First a smaller correction form last week’s report about Cardinal Pell and then a clarification from teh Vatican (as if we ever needed one) about their feeling about trans people and anybody else who don’t fell comfortable with the gender they got assign at birth. Oh, and it’s fine to intervene against children’s rights, even againts the will of their parents.

00:16:08 Final SkepKon interviews, by Annika Merkelbach

We get the remaining SkepKon interviews from our marvelous reporter on the ground, Annika Merkelbach. This week:
Gerald Sorko (Active around @sitpkoeln)
Dr. Stephanie Dreyfürst (@SDreyfrst)
Dr. Nikil Mukerji (@nikilmukerji)

00:29:50 Skeptical News

GERMANY: Minister of Health wants to ban gay conversion therapy

INTERNATIONAL: Spanish manifesto against Pseudotherapies goes international

SWEDEN: License withdrawn for large on-line casino

INTERNATIONAL: RetractionWatch teams up with Zotero and provides retraction alerts

FRANCE: Homeopathy in trouble

INTERNATIONAL: Does Facebook Have ‘Shake-to-Report’ Feature That Lands Users in ‘Facebook Jail’?

NORWAY: Abortion rights under pressure

ITALY: Parents of boy who died because of homeopathy convicted of manslaughter

00:50:48 Really Wrong

‘Brilliant minds’: Barack Obama, Greta Thunberg – and Gwyneth f-cking Paltrow(!)

00:54:21 Quote and Goodbye
“A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth”
/ Albert Einstein 14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955, German-born theoretical physicist /

00:57:06 Outro

00:58:21 Out-takes