Tag Archives: Coronavirus

TheESP – Ep. #216 – Look WHO’s talking

 

 

 

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This week an old friend of ours Brian Eggo from Glasgow Skeptics joins us to bring you a show packed with news, thoughts and curiousities.
We talk about how Skeptics in the Pub events are going online, that one time Rupert Sheldrake got stabbed and how Pope Francis has nothing to offer to help with the pandemic.
After the usual COVID-19 update we talk about how Sweden takes a different approach to the disease than most, why the Royal Astrologer should not be trusted, and how a German consumer reported homeopaths for offering sugar pills to avoid infection.
We also talk about Massimo Polidoro’s new video series, “OK Scienza”, Britt Marie Hermes’ law suit and the Skeptics Legal Defence initiative by the Australian Skeptics Inc. We mention how French skeptics at AFiS respond to a fake treatment Trump and Bolsonaro both promote, Fullfact brings you a list of guidelines to fact-checking and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences translates the mythbusting site of WHO.
Unfortunately, the WHO also gets the prize for being Really Wrong for removing the advice not to use Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) against Covid-19.

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:50 GREETINGS

Skeptics Legal Defense Fund

0:10:13 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM
Prof. Richard Dawkins was born on 26th March 1941.

0:21:21 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Don’t Worry. If you die from COVID19, you are forgiven…

0:27:06 NEWS

  1. INTERNATIONAL: COVID-19 update
  2. UK: PSA imposes strict conditions on Society of Homeopaths after judicial review requested by the Good Thinking Society:
  3. INTERNATIONAL: Homeopathy for everyone – against COVID-19?
  4. UK: The Good Magic Awards
  5. UK/SPAIN: Science-me a story
  6. INTERNATIONAL: The global fight against disinformation
  7. INTERNATIONAL: Snopes and the need for fact-checking in the times of crisis
  8. HUNGARY: Online course for students aged 13-15 to learn how to be a critical news reader
  9. GERMANY: GWUP pledging to follow science regarding COVID-19 news reporting
  10. SWEDEN: Corona means big business for the quacks
  11. INTERNATIONAL: Connection between blood type and COVID-19?
  12. SPAIN: Reading for quarantine – Escepticos is the largest collection of skepticism-related material in Spanish

1:18:47 REALLY WRONG
WHO Removes Advice to Not Use TCM Against covid-19

1:25:52 QUOTE AND FAREWELL

“Let us keep our minds open, by all means, as long as that means keeping our sense of perspective and seeking an understanding of the forces which mould the world. But don’t keep your minds so open that your brains fall out! There are still things in this world which are true and things which are false; acts which are right and acts which are wrong, even if there are statesmen who hide their designs under the cloak of high-sounding phrases.” /Walter Kotschnig, Austrian born educator and diplomat/

1:27:27 OUTRO

1:28:42 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #214 – Don’t Panic!

 

 

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The three of us finally reunite for yet another show featuring an update on the COVID-19 situation and the GWuP cancelling SkepKon 2020. Then, after an interview with Annabel Bligh of the Anthill Podcast, we return with Pontus poking the Pope again for worsening the pandemic with his irrational approach to church-going.

Our news segment covers all sorts of topics including a distant world where it’s raining iron, the Strasbourg Court rejecting case of anti-abortion midwives, homeopathy suggested as a valuable asset in times of crisis and Boiron closing down 13 sites, firing a quarter of their employees in the process.

If you want to help ongoing research into fighting SARS-CoV-2, you can try Folding@Home, then you can turn your eye towards Sweden where the acupuncturer who killed a client is back to court after having been acquitted. And finally, we mention a few social media awards that went to skepticism related contents in Germany.
Our Really Wrong award goes to Andrzej Dziega, Archbishop of Szczecin-Kamien for claiming that holy water and the holy communion can not spread the virus.

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:33 INTRO

0:00:56 GREETINGS

Coronavirus update, plus sad news: SkepKon 2020 is now cancelled.

0:15:45 INTERVIEW with Annabel Blight from The Conversation

0:25:51 PONTUS POKES THE POPE – Since Religion is Irrational, Frankie Helps the Pandemic

0:30:31 NEWS

  1. INTERNATIONAL: European astronomers discover an even more hostile world than our own
  2. SWEDEN: Anti-abortion Midwives Rejected by the Strasbourg Court
  3. INTERNATIONAL: Homeopathy suggested as a valuable asset in times of crisis?
  4. FRANCE: Homeopathy Company Boiron Closes 13 Sites and Fires a Quarter of Employees
  5. INTERNATIONAL: How you can help in fighting COVID-19 and its virus – Folding@Home
  6. SWEDEN: Acupuncture Acquittal Verdict Appealed
  7. HUNGARY: Bogus electrosmog leaflet issued by local authorities
  8. SPAIN: Spanish Actor Acquitted of Blasphemy
  9. GERMANY: Social media awards given to people dealing with topics relevant to skeptics

1:00:14 REALLY WRONG
POLAND: Andrzej Dziega, Archbishop of Szczecin-Kamien claiming Holy water and communion “cannot spread virus”

1:04:07 QUOTE AND FAREWELL

“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”

/Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor/

1:06:18 OUTRO

1:07:33 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #212 – Corona Corona Corona

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This week it cannot be helped that a lot of the episode is about different aspects on the Coronavirus and Covid-19. But we also want to remind everyone about our SkepKon raffle where we have one ticket to hand out to the conference in Berlin 21 – 23 May! Just send us an email to participate.

After the greetings we hear about holocaust denier David Irving, who was declared bankrupt This Week in History in 2002, after he sued a writer for libel and lost the subsequent trial. Pontus Pokes the Pope and tells about the new “papal task force” that will try to get all local and national Catholic organizations to handle sex abuse scandals better.

In the news, nonsense Coronavirus information is peddled by Hungarian authorities, a TV channel in Norway says that you will be protected if you donate to them while in other places, homeopaths think empty sugar pills are better. We discuss how the outbreak is a breeding ground for conspiracy theories and hear that in the UK, the PSA reaccredits the Society of Homeopaths but under strict conditions. Further on the subject, a German court says homeopathy may be totally ineffective, but that is not their concern.

We finish with another Corona related item and hand out a Really Wrong award to Durek Verrett, the self-proclaimed shaman and the boyfriend of the Norwegian Princess Märtha Louise. He recently published a homemade “cure” for the covid-19 disease. Spoiler: the vodka is optional!

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:50 GREETINGS

Coronavirus update, plus a reminder that the SkepKon 2020 raffle is still on. Email us to win a ticket! And we got a shout-out on TRC, the Reality Check podcast.

0:07:55 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
David Irving, famous holocaust denier, was declared bankrupt on 4 March 2002, after losing a libel suit against a writer who published a book about his “research”..

0:13:49 PONTUS POKES THE POPE – Nobody Expects the Papal Task Force!

0:18:41 NEWS

0:45:53 REALLY WRONG
NORWAY: Norwegian Shaman and Boyfriend to the Princess, Durek Verrett, Publishes a “Cure” for Covid-19

0:51:53 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive”
/ Blaise Pascal, French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Catholic theologian /

0:54:22 OUTRO

0:55:37 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #211 – Dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden

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This week we talk about the John Maddox Prize, the BBC’s new show series about Greta Thunberg and about Darren Brown, born on this day in 1971. Pontus Pokes the Pope and finally we get Francis’ take on celibacy in the Amazon (or do we?), and of course the highlights from the latest sex abuse scandals.
In the news we hear the latest regarding the CoViD-19 Coronavirus, more details about dangerous measles complications and check how much of the climate change debate that are driven by twitter-bots. The latest mass shooting in Germany shows that conspiracy theories are not something to take lightly, the Hungarian government sponsors creationist nonsense, Jeff Bezos finally announces some philanthropic activity and Scandinavian tele company Telenor launches HiperSchool in Hungary, a tool to teach young people how to handle Internet misinformation.
We end by handing a Really Right Award to the DA! art competition, arranged by Giordano Bruno Foundation and Natalie Grams.
Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:51 GREETINGS

Nominations for the John Maddox Prize open soon, Greta Thunberg gets her ‘own’ TV show on the BBC.

0:11:18 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
Derren Brown was borne on 27 February 1971.

0:15:44 PONTUS POKES THE POPE – No Hanky-panky in the Jungle Please, We’re Catholic
Frankie did in the end not dare to let go of the celibacy rules in the Amazon. Also, Jean Varnier, founder of Catholic charity l’Arche abused at least six different women and de-frocked Cardinal McCarrick sent almost $1 million to a cult known for sex abuse (and no one knows where he is now).

0:31:14 NEWS

1:02:10 REALLY RIGHT
GERMANY: DA! art Prize Focusing on Pseudoscience with this Year’s Patron – Natalie Grams

1:08:06 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“If nature leads us to mathematical forms of great simplicity and beauty—by forms I am referring to coherent systems of hypothesis, axioms, etc.—to forms that no one has previously encountered, we cannot help thinking that they are “true,” that they reveal a genuine feature of nature…”
/ Werner Karl Heisenberg, German physicist, Nobel laureate, and one of the founders of the field of quantum mechanics /

1:09:50 OUTRO

1:11:05 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #209 – Heart-o-puncture™

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This week before we get into the meat of the show, we talk Corona, Greta Thunberg and look forward to Adam Rutherford’s new book, “How to Argue with a Racist”. We also have two good news for our German friends: Natalie Grams have launched her podcast “Grams’ Sprechstunde” and we have a ticket raffle for SkepKon 2020 in Berlin. Tune in to find out how you can win a free ticket!
In this week in history we celebrate Charles Darwin who was born on 12 February 1809. Pontus Pokes the Pope for hypocritically telling others how to reduce poverty when he personally has misplaced tens of millions of Euro from the Peters’ Pence charity. Also Cardinal Barbarin get off scot-free for covering up a child molester.
In the news we report that the BBC launches “My World”, a show to teach young audiences to spot fake news, that the WHO fights the “Infodemic” of fake Coronavirus rumours and that they get help from Factcheck.org and Fullfact.org.
Climate change reaches new heights with the warmest January on record for Europe and Ryan Air hypocritically wants us to believe that their flights are carbon friendly (we don’t buy it).
We end by given a Really Wrong Award to the Swedish legal system which allows acupuncturists to ram needles into the hearts of cancer patients. That’s right, heart-o-puncture™ is apparently legal.
Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:50 GREETINGS

We talk about Corona, Greta Thunberg and Adam Rutherford’s new book, “How to Argue with a Racist”. Good news for our German friends: Natalie Grams have launched her podcast “Grams’ Sprechstunde” and we have a ticket raffle for SkepKon 2020 in Berlin! You can win!.

0:18:43 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
Charles Robert Darwin was borne on 12 February 1809.

0:24:15 PONTUS POKES THE POPE – Holier than Thou – Should Francis Lecture Others on the Poverty Gap?
Francis takes on the issue of poverty with total lack of self-awareness and in other news, France’s top Catholic cleric, Cardinal Barbarin, gets cleared of abuse cover-up although he definitely knew what was going on.

0:29:22 NEWS

0:51:17 REALLY WRONG
SWEDEN: Acupuncturist Freed of Manslaughter Charges

1:04:52 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“I think that the appetite for mystery, the enthusiasm for that which we do not understand, is healthy and to be fostered. It is the same appetite which drives the best of true science, and it is an appetite which true science is best qualified to satisfy.”
/ Richard Dawkins, British evolutionary biologist, author, from “Science Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder”, John Brockman, Edge.org, 1.2.97 /

1:05:48 OUTRO

1:07:03 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #207 – Coronavirus Misinformation

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This week we first get the record straight and correct our position on Ocean Cleanup – while we appreciate the sentiment, the whole idea is both damaging and unscientific. Two great Skeptical events are coming up this spring: Skepkon 2020 in Berlin 21 – 23 May and the 4th Conference on Science and Pseudoscience 13 -14 March in Alicante.
In this week in history we hear about Russia’s own Roswell incident, the Height 611 UFO crash. Pontus Pokes the Pope and gives us the latest on the celibacy controversy, the first female high-ranking appointment in the Vatican and how Father Robert, aka the Digital Jesuit, invited Francis for a D&D session in the crypt.
All news sources are full of Coronavirus stories at the moment, but how does one separate the facts from fiction? Swedish Schools keeps patronizing known Scientology organisations and the Spanish Manifesto against Pseudotherapies gets momentum abroad.
Greenpeace wants a piece of the action on the Green party’s recent success in the Hungarian election, but they are more ideologically driven than they should be. Can we afford to mitigate climate change effects? In fact, it is uneconomical NOT to do so, according to a new study and again we point out that homeopathy of course cannot replace antibiotics.
We end by shaming Corriere Della Sera for promoting pseudoscience and hand them a Really Wrong Award.
Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:52 GREETINGS

Everyone gets it wrong sometimes and Jelena has had reason to revise her position on Ocean Cleanup from episode 204. But we are happy to see that both Skepkon 2020 in Berlin 21 – 23 May and the 4th Conference on Science and Pseudoscience 13 -1 4 March in Alicante have now been announced.

0:12:39 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM
The Height 611 UFO incident, Russia’s own Roswell, happened on 29 January 1986.

0:21:18 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Update on Celibacy Controversy, First Woman to Hold High Post in the Vatican and Father Robert Seems Like a Cool Guy.
Cardinal Robert Sarah digs in his heals regarding celibacy and insists that his former popeness Benedict agrees. Francis appoints Francesca Di Giovanni to the highest-ranking position ever for a woman in the Vatican, but we are not convinced. Also, Father Robert, aka the Digital Jesuit, seems to be a cool dude who is not too shy to invite Francis for a friendly game of D&D.

0:27:36 NEWS

0:58:14 REALLY WRONG
ITALY: Corriere Della Sera Sneakily Promotes Pseudotherapies

1:03:51 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“The unspoken rule of democracy: three stupid ones will always outvote two smart ones.”
/ Ljupka Cvetanova, writer born in Kocani, North Macedonia /

1:05:34 OUTRO

1:06:49 OUT-TAKES