Tag Archives: Finland

TheESP – Ep. #220 – A crazy world of COVIDcidences


Download

This week, in the absence of Jelena, Annika Harrison joins us to bring you news and curiosities from all over Europe.
We start by mentioning Pontus guest-hosting The Skeptic Zone with Richard Saunders, then move on to discuss what an idiot Trump is and how Satanic Ritual Abuse is on the rise in Germany.
Annika then investigates whether women are indeed better leaders with special regards to how they cope in the time of the pandemic.
Then the Vatican’s Rosary App is looked into as a tool to engage catholic believers while the church has really nothing to offer in this crisis.
In the news:
– Some businesses to reopen in Germany, including churches while schools remain closed
– The European Medicines Agency (EMA) warns people not to self-medicate with chloroquine and its derivatives to avoid serious side effects
– YouTube seems incapable of keeping 5G-Corona conspiracy theory videos at bay
– A new survey suggests UK public supports a long lockdown
– Yet another crucial WHO action as experts assess the situation in Belarus
– ARP-SAPC in Spain offers Sergio Lopez Borgonoz Research Grant for paranormal investigators
– Distorted reports of a survey commissioned by the German Association of Homeopathic Doctors
– 5G tower burnings and halts to rollout of new systems all over Europe
– Wind turbine noise shown not to cause any adverse health effects in Finland
– New book by Spanish author Ramon Nogueras ‘Why We Believe in Shit’ out (in Spanish)
– Edzard Ernst shares a story of a homeopathy-induced rib fracture.
The UK Ministry of Defence gets this week’s prize for being Really Wrong for buying lemon eucalyptus oil insect repellant as COVID-19 protection.

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Annika Investigates; 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

0:11:17 Annika Investigates

Are women leaders really doing a better job than men in tackling the Coronavirus crisis?

0:23:56 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Lord praise the app!

0:28:23 NEWS

  1. GERMANY: Some businesses (and churches reopen), but there are concerns
  2. EU/HUNGARY: EU intervention to stop people self medicating with malaria drugs
  3. UK: YouTube cannot handle the 5G corona conspiracy theories
  4. UK: New survey suggests UK public supports a long lockdown
  5. BELARUS: WHO expert mission recommends physical distancing measures as COVID-19 virus transmits in the community
  6. SPAIN: Sergio Lopez Borgonoz Research Grant for investigating paranormal and pseudoscientific claims
  7. GERMANY: Two thirds of all Germans are stupid … at least this is what the ‘German Association of Homeopathic Doctors’ seems to assume
  8. EU: More 5G tower burnings and an international movement to stop rollout
  9. FINLAND: Wind turbine noise not the cause of health symptoms
  10. SPAIN: New book out by Ramon Nogueras: ‘Why We Believe in Shit” and online book launch event
  11. UK: First even homeopathy-induced rib fracture – told by Edzard Ernst

1:06:58 REALLY WRONG
UK Ministry of Defense buys lemon eucalyptus oil insect repellant as Covid-19 protection

1:10:29 QUOTE AND FAREWELL

“It is not knowledge, but the act of learning, not possession but the act of getting there, which grants the greatest enjoyment.”
/Carl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician, astronomer and physicist
who was born on 30th April, 1777/

1:12:28 OUTRO

1:13:42 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #218 – All Pell Breaks Loose

Download

This week we bring you news and topics from all over Europe again.
We start by talking about the unfortunate death (probably of Covid-19) of a board member of VoF.
After that we’re looking back at the history of LSD and how 19 April marks a special day in it, before we discuss how Cardinal Pell walks freely after the High Court of Australia overturns the previous verdict on his child abuse case.
In the news: Covid-19 update followed by details of some other stuff related to the pandemic, including: OfCom, the British media authority helping confused media consumers, a Policy Paper of the NHS release a few days after the publication of Sense About Science’s call for transparency over testing. Colloidal Silver seems to be a big sell in Finland these days, while Hungary’s response to the pandamic can only be described as chaotic, something that a petition might not be able to change. Religious liberty restrictions across Europe are also in focus as countries are trying to fight the disease, while British homeopaths “happily promote bogus treatments”. A new Chernobyl scare makes its rounds on social media over a wildfire in the area, but the best news is that Edzard Ernst’s new book ‘Don’t Believe What You Think’ is now available.
President Macron gets this week’s Really Wrong Prize for adding weight to an unproven ‘cure’ for the Novel-Coronavirus.
Also, please don’t forget that nominations for the John Maddox Prize are open until 11th May.

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

  • Terrible news: Swedish Skeptics board member deceased, likely from covid-19
  • “Stay The Fuck At Home” song:

0:05:23 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM
19 April 1943, Albert Hofmann chose to deliberately ingest 250 micrograms of the Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) he had synthesized at the Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland. Three days earlier he had accidentally absorbed some through his skin by touching a container of the drug. From the accidental exposure he experienced restlessness, dizziness and “extreme activity of imagination.” Although he had first made it five years before, as a drug intended to relieve respiratory ailments, it was only on this day that he found the drug was a hallucinogen. The striking experience was one he chose to repeat.

0:14:15 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
What the Pell happened?

Tim Minchin’s song ‘Come Home Cardinal Pell’:

0:24:21 NEWS

  1. INTERNATIONAL: COVID-19 update
  2. UK: OfCom gives a helping hand to media consumers
  3. UK: Update on Sense About Science’s call for transparency – Policy Paper issued by ministry
  4. FINLAND: Colloidal Silver sells out via closed Facebook groups
  5. HUNGARY: Chaos around response to Covid-19 and online petition for more comprehensive testing
  6. INTERNATIONAL/EU: Religious liberty restrictions across Europe
  7. UK: Dangerous nonsense spread by homeopaths in the UK
  8. HUNGARY/EU: Chernobyl wildfire stirs up radiation… and social media
  9. INTERNATIONAL: Edzard Ernst’s new book ‘Don’t Believe What You Think’ is now available

1:14:45 REALLY WRONG
The presidential curse(?): Macron adds to the hydroxychloroquine hype

1:19:46 QUOTE AND FAREWELL

“The fact is, that the public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesmanlike habits, supplies their demands.”
/Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde, Irish poet and playwright/

1:21:06 OUTRO

1:22:21 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #208 – The Nuclear Option with Iida Ruishalme

Download


This week we interview Finnish activist Iida Ruishalme to talk about nuclear power and green energy. Iida is a biologist specialised in biomedical research, an environmentalist, a writer and a science communicator. She also a mum, taking the future of her children very seriously. She blogs at Thoughtscapism.com.
We first met her at the 2019 European Skeptics Congress in Ghent where she gave a fascinating talk about the importance of critical thinking when it comes to green energy and decarbonisation.
Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:52 GREETINGS

We start with reflecting a little bit on the on-going Wuhan coronavirus epidemic before we introduce our guest.

0:12:39 INTERVIEW – IIDA RUISHALME OF THOUGHTSCAPISM

1:03:51 FAREWELL

1:05:34 OUTRO

1:06:49 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #206 – From Peter’s Pence to Francis’ Pants

Download

This week we note that the Swedish Skeptics’ article from last week concerning Thomas Erikson’s nonsense personality book “Surrounded by Idiots” has gotten some attention from other skeptics, among other things Pontus was a guest on the last episode of the Skeptic Zone podcast to talk about it.
In history this week we talk about Desmond Morris and his role in the Aquatic Ape hypothesis and then Pontus Pokes the Pope about the fact that the two living popes are at odds regarding celibacy and also that the charity money from Peter’s Pence goes straight into the coffers of the Vatican.
In the news this week: Contrary to what you may have heard, Finland does not plan to go to a four-day working week, in Russia 800 science papers have been retracted and the Eurobarometer shows that EU citizens are concerned about climate change. Andrew Wakefield will screen the new film Vaxxed II at a public venue in Notting Hill, the Goop Lab will feature the Dutch “Iceman” Wim Hof, an Italian court has against scientific consensus ruled that mobile phones cause brain tumours and John Cook is publishing a comic book about climate change denial. We hope Skeptics will help translate it!
We end by handing a Really Wrong Award to the UK Home Office and the Ministry of Justice for believing in lie detectors.
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

Our story from last week regarding the “Surrounded by…” books has been picked up by both the Skeptic Zone podcast and Steve Novella’s Neurologica blog. Check them out!.

0:08:48 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM
Desmond Morris, British zoologist and anthropologist was born on 24 January 1928. He was instrumental in popularizing the Aquatic Ape hypothesis.

0:19:27 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Celibacy Controversy Deepens, Francis Diverts Charity Millions to Cover Vatican Losses

0:27:22 NEWS

0:57:10 REALLY WRONG
UK: Lie Detector Tests for Convicted Terrorists as a Security Measure

1:02:39 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“To spread healthy ideas among even the lowest classes of people, to remove men from the influence of prejudice and passion, to make reason the arbiter and supreme guide of public opinion; that is the essential goal of the sciences; that is how science will contribute to the advancement of civilization, and that is what deserves protection of governments who want to insure the stability of their power.”
/ Georges Cuvier, (23 August 1769 – 13 May 1832), French naturalist and zoologist, widely recognised as the father of comparative anatomy and paleontology – from Rapport historique sur les progrès des sciences naturelles (1810) /

1:03:50 OUTRO

1:05:05 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #192 – Dark Side of the Moon

Download

This week we first have a look to see if it was really the President of Finland who said he preferred reindeer to Trump before we congratulate the Spanish Skeptics for ceasing the opportunity of the Nobel week to point out what the ‘Nobel disease’ is in the mainstream media. We also remember the mockumentary ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ that premiered this week 17 years ago.
Social media is tough to handle, as pope Francis discovered when accidentally tagging an NFL football team on Twitter, much to the delight of all the fans. Meanwhile his synod on the Amazon is fully underway, and we report on the latest developments.
In the news, we report on the Global Vaccination Summit on-line, discuss the anti-gay sentiments in France, Flat Earthers in the Netherlands and the rising homeopathy resistance in Germany. We also discuss illegal circumcisions in Sweden, a new skeptical book from CICAP in Italy and the start of a huge medical lawsuit in France.
We end by handing yet another Really Wrong for covering up sex abuse in the Catholic Church, this time to Swedish Cardinal Anders Arborelius.
Give it a listen!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; 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

Do the President of Finland really prefer reindeer and snowballs to Trump? We would not blame him if that was the case, but in fact he did not say so in a video circulated on-line. The Spanish Skeptics ARP-SAPC and Círculo Escéptico took the opportunity apropos Nobel week to spread some knowledge about the ‘Nobel Disease’ in the Spanish newspaper ABC. Well done!

0:10:00 This Week in Skepticism

The ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ mockumentary was released on October 16, 2002.

0:15:20 Pontus Pokes the Pope – the Synod for the Amazon is in full swing

Why stop at married priests, why not women too. At least if they all stay celibate…

0:19:50 News

INTERNATIONAL: Global Vaccination Summit to fight vaccine hesitancy

FRANCE: Anti-gay demonstrations against new IVF law

THE NETHERLANDS:  0.9 per cent of Dutch people believe the Earth is flat

GERMANY: Homeopathy – even the SPD now supports defunding homeopathy

SWEDEN: Illegal Circumcisions in Sweden

ITALY: New book by Berti & Garlaschelli: The detective of the incredible

FRANCE: Mammoth trial begins for Mediator scandal

00:37:51 Really Wrong: Swedish Cardinal Arborelius admits to having covered up sex abuse

00:41:34 Quote and Goodbye

“Most often people seek in life occasions for persisting in their opinions rather than for educating themselves.”

/ André Paul Guillaume Gide, 22 November 1896 – 19 February 1951. French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature /

00:42:51 Outro

00:44:06 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #185 – Rain dance for the Amazon

Download Become a Patron!

This week it is true that the Amazon (Amazonas? Amazonia?) is burning and glaciers are dying, but misinformation is still everywhere. Especially, meditation and rain dances will not help.
Instead we should learn from John Locke, born this week in 1632, and who taught us the benefits of empiricism.
Even though the Cardinal Pell story seems to be all over for him, the Vatican still faces a giant dilemma on how to handle it.
There’s a 1 million Euro award for you if you can prove that a German city doesn’t exist, Nobel laureates are sometimes cranks, but you can learn key concepts for making informed choices if you read Nature Magazine.
Edinburgh hesitates in kicking out non-elected religious school board members, Valigia Blu gets Italian Skeptic award from CICAP, the UK loses status as “Measles free” and study from Australia suggest that political views are perhaps not so much of a factor in vaccination resistance.
Finally, we conclude that no matter what they think in Turku University in Finland, climate change is definitely man-made and whoever says differently are Really Wrong.

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:50 Greetings

The fires in the Amazon make people desperate to help, but perhaps they should find something more useful than meditation and performing rain dances. That and a funeral for the Okjökull glacier in Iceland get us on a long discussion about climate change, flight emissions and future transportation.

00:15:24 This Week in Skepticism

John Locke, English philosopher and physician and one of the first British “Empiricists” was born on 29 August 1632.

00:18:31 Pontus Pokes the Pope – The Pell case is not over for Francis.

00:24:31 Skeptical News

GERMANY: Bielefeld in Germany offers €1 million to anyone who can prove its non-existence

FRANCE: Anti-vaxx disinformation – the ‘Nobel decease’ is still a problem

INTERNATIONAL: Key concepts for making informed choices

SCOTLAND: Edinburgh delays decision to remove church voting rights in school boards

ITALY: CICAP awards Valigia Blu for their efforts to bring rationality into journalism

UK: Measles in the UK: ‘Elimination status’ is lost

INTERNATIONAL: Do our political views influence vaccination rates?

00:50:25 Really Wrong: FINLAND: Is climate change not man-made?

00:55:34 Quote and Goodbye

“False and doubtful positions, relied upon as unquestionable maxims, keep those who build on them in the dark from truth.”
/ John Locke, 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704, British philosopher /

00:58:44 Outro

00:59:59 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #184 – Not well for Pell

Download Become a Patron!

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. #167 – Notre-Dame, Measles quadruples and Hungary wants to control Facebook

Download

Become a Patron!

This week we discuss the Notre-Dame fire before we celebrate this week’s icon, the Hungarian astronomer and skeptic Iván Almár. The Measles epidemic is getting even worse with the WHO showing a 300% global increase so far this year, Metabiota has launched a new website for tracking epidemics, Anthroposophs claim to be for vaccinations (they’re really not) and the Hungarian government wants to control Facebook.
Also, the “Finns party” switches to a new conspiracy theory when the old one is not attractive enough, the MMR vaccine does NOT cause diabetes and Brussels thinks 5G testing is using people as Guinea pigs. We learn (again) that stop eating sugar does not cure cancer and we give a shout-out to the Portuguese skeptics, ComCept, that are now on Patreon.
We close the show by saluting one of the champions of keeping the Internet a little bit saner: Snopes.com

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; News; Really Right; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

We discuss the fire at Notre-Dame and ask you to support Rectraction Watch and also talk about the latest Skeptical Club in Budapest who debated how science fiction can shape society.

00:21:35 This Week in Skepticism

Iván Almár, born 21st April 1932. He is an Hungarian astronomer and prominent figure of SETI and the Hungarian skeptic movement.

00:26:32 Skeptical News

FRANCE: Good news: Measles cases go down in France

INTERNATIONAL: Bad news: The number of measles cases globally quadruple in 2019

INTERNATIONAL: Metabiota launches new epidemic tracker website

INTERNATIONAL: Are Anthroposophy enthusiasts for or against vaccinations?

HUNGARY: Facebook vs Hungarian government – who will win?

FINLAND: Right wing party switches to new conspiracy theory after old one loses attraction

UK: Diabetes claimed on Facebook post to be a side effect of MMR. It is not.

EU: Brussels puts 5G testing on hold in case it’s harmful

UK: Stopping all sugar intake won’t cure cancer

PORTUGAL: ComCept goes onto Patreon

01:01:04 Really Right

Snopes.com are Really Right for relentlessly debunking stupidity – most recently about Notre-Dame.

01:04:45 Quote and Goodbye
“Science, my lad, has been built upon many errors; but they are errors which it was good to fall into, for they led to the truth.”
/ Jules Verne, French writer pioneering science-fiction – Quote from Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1864) /

01:07:28 Outro

01:08:43 Out-takes