Tag Archives: Russia

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

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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to what you may have heard, Finland does not plan to go to a four-day working week, in Russia 800 science papers have been retracted and the Eurobarometer shows that EU citizens are concerned about climate change.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. #203 – How Much to Bribe a Pope?

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This week Brian is back again and we look forward to the new year. One thing to note about 2020 is the Ratio conference in Sofia in Bulgaria in June and that the super early bird tickets already are released. Chris French is going, so why don’t you? Then Jelena tells us a ghost story from this week in 1762 that took place in Cock Lane, believe it or not.
In Pontus Pokes the Pope we hear about shady monetary shenanigans involving two sitting popes and how the Catholic church is now struggling to live up to the recent changes regarding so-called Papal Secrecy.
In the news we talk about the resignation of the Italian education minister, how the NHS in the UK is trying out ‘prehab’ for cancer patients and we check back on the Samoan measles emergency.
Further news takes us to Russia who has appealed the sanctions imposed because of doping scandals, and we go to Spain where homeopaths are trying to sue the government and then we are happy to hear that the charlatan John of God has been sentenced to 19 years in jail, albeit for rape rather than quackery.
We close the show by handing out a Really Wrong Award to the archbishop of Krakow who believes that Greta Thunberg is the Antichrist since she will not let him subdue the Earth.
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

0:00:51 GREETINGS

Recorded just before New Year’s Eve, we hope that we are now heading for the new ‘roaring twenties’. There will be new opportunities to meet other skeptics in the coming year, including at the Ratio conference in Sofia on 13 June.

0:08:18 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM
On the first week of 1762, events started in London that includes murder allegations, a ghost and a haunted house. Stay tuned for the Cock Lane Ghost mystery!

0:14:47 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Did Cardinal McCarrick Bribe Two Popes?

0:21:08 NEWS

  1. ITALY: The Real Italian ‘Economic Crisis’: Italy’s Education Minister Resigns Over Funding
  2. UK: NHS to Offer Cancer Patients ‘Prehab’ Fitness Plan ‘to Boost Recovery’
  3. SAMOA: Measles Emergency Declared Over – Let’s Hope They are Right
  4. RUSSIA: Russia Appeals ‘Unfounded’ Ban from Major Sporting Competitions
  5. Spain: Homeopaths Fight Back
  6. BRAZIL: ‘John of God’ Gets 19 Years for Rapes

0:54:01 REALLY WRONG
Archbishop of Krakow, Poland, Thinks That Greta Thunberg is the Antichrist

0:59:15 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“The only victories which leave no regret are those which are gained over ignorance.”
/ Napoléon Bonaparte, (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821), French statesman and military leader /

1:02:11 OUTRO

1:03:26 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #189 – with Massimo Polidoro

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This week we first hear from the fantastic Massimo Polidoro who tells all about CICAP Fest from two weeks ago.
We then look forward to a new film which is a fictional tale about the relationship between pope Benedict and Francis and report that there is a new book is out which brings attention to the brewing schism within the Catholic church (this makes Francis rather unhappy).
In the news, Russia is not very successfully trying to cover up the fire in the smallpox lab (ouch!), Sweden extends the HPV vaccinations to ALL kids (not just girls) and the Hungarian Skeptics scores a win for kicking out alt med quackery from a medical university.
Russian bot farms spreads both anti and pro vaccination memes in order to undermine people’s trust in information in general and we again get confirmation that the climate change is escalating. The ‘fake’ city of Bielefeld did not manage to find anyone to prove its non-existence and Swedish politicians try to score populist points with crime fighting proposals that will be totally ineffective or even counterproductive.
We end the episode by being deeply disappointed in the German Health Minister Jens Spahn, who totally failed to end homeopathy funding. For that, he receives this week’s Really Wrong award.
Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview; 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

0:00:51 Greetings

Climate change rebellion is going on all over the world!

0:04:03 Interview with Massimo Polidoro

We hear more about the CICAP Fest the great success with the science festival in Padua.

0:15:33 Pontus Pokes the Pope – New book makes Francis talk openly about the schism

About the new film “The two Popes”:

About the book and Francis’ view on Catholic schism:

0:20:03 Skeptical News

RUSSIA: Fire in Russian Lab with smallpox-virus

SWEDEN: Boys to be included in HPV vaccination program

HUNGARY: Germanic New Medicine in physicians’ further education at Medicel University

RUSSIA / INTERNATIONAL: Malicious Bots and Trolls Spread Vaccine Misinformation

CLIMATE: 2015 – 2019 hottest five-year period ever

GERMANY: Bielefeld 1 million remains unclaimed

SWEDEN: Researchers criticize political approach to fighting crime

00:43:43 Really Wrong: To Jens Spahn for not ending funding of homeopathy in Germany

00:48:26 Quote and Goodbye

“Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything”
/ Plato, 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC, Greek philosopher /

00:52:25 Outro

00:53:40 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #165 – April fools, Rigvir Scandal and Unicorn Awards

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This week we talk about some great April Fools’ pranks, we look at the Vatican’s new child abuse law, mumps outbreak in Madrid, climate change models being validated in new observations. We get a first report on why the fake cancer cure Rigvir is being banned (look out for more Rigvir news in the future), we look at how Catholic priests are burning books in Poland, how there’s a battle between Russian homeopaths and skeptics and whether the recent Swedish CAM inquiry is good news or not. The French academies of Medicine and Pharmacy have suddenly discovered that homeopathy is not a thing, Portuguese Skeptics COMCEPT has presented this year’s Unicorn Awards and the new Italian government again demonstrates that they are anti-science.

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

00:00:51 Greetings

More dodgy research on homeopathy for Dengue Fever; Elections in Ukraine; Does health matter in the European Parliament elections?; COMCEPT Manifesto; Debating Anthroposophs in Sweden; Reminder of the SkepKon raffle – Send an email to us and you can win a ticket!

  • https://edzardernst.com/2019/03/more-dodgy-research-on-homeopathy-for-dengue-fever/
  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-47767440
  • https://epha.org/does-health-matter-in-the-european-parliament-elections/
  • http://comcept.org/2019/03/26/manifesto-saude/

00:15:36 This Week in Skepticism

April Fools’ 2019: Internet Pranks

00:22:07 Pontus Pokes the Pope

New Vatican law against abuse – not going far enough

00:26:09 Skeptical News

SPAIN: Mumps outbreak in Madrid: Dozens of cases reported at Pontifical University of Comillas

UKRAINE: Rate of measles in Ukraine is rising again: 35K cases reported year-to-date

SWEDEN: Climate change: Average temps in the north rising faster than global temps

LATVIA / WORLD: Fake cancer drug Rigvir banned

POLAND: PONTUS: Catholic Priests in Poland Burn Harry Potter Books to Eradicate Evil

RUSSIA: Russian homeopaths strike again (twice) in virology journal — and a skeptic strikes right back

SWEDEN: Government Inquiry about CAM

FRANCE: The French Academies of Medicine and Pharmacy have just ousted homeopathy

PORTUGAL: Prémio Unicórnio Voador 2018 (Unicorn Awards)

00:59:59 Really Wrong

Italian Government to stop issuing vaccination certificates

01:03:19 Quote and Goodbye
“The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.”
/ Oscar wilde, Irish poet and playwright /

01:04:32 Outro

01:05:47 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #150 – Antivax Italian politicians, Russian homeopathy and baby acupuncture

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

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Intro

00:00:55 Greetings

00:06:16 This Week in Skepticism

1972 – Apollo program: Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt begin the third and final extra-vehicular activity (EVA) or “Moonwalk” of Apollo 17. To date they are the last humans to set foot on the Moon (or any other planetary body outside Earth).

00:09:45  Pontus Pokes the Pope

Cardinal George Pell in court for charges of sexual misconduct towards children.

00:15:58 Skeptical News from around Europe

  1. Italy: Italy’s anti-vax health minister fires 30 experts from Higher Health Council
  2. Russia: Homeopathy in disguise
  3. Sweden: Macchiarini charged in court after all
    • https://www.dn.se/nyheter/sverige/overaklagaren-fattar-beslut-om-paolo-macchiarini/
  4. UK: Charity Commission publishes new guidelines for CAM charities
  5. Spain: The Skeptical Circle of Spain announces winners of the Pepe Cervera and the José Carlos Pérez Cobo prize.
  6. Sweden: Baby Acupuncture against Colic
  7. Belgium: Belgian authorities investigate case of autistic woman’s euthanasia

00:43:20 Really Right

  • Ovidiu Covaciu, educating people about vaccinations in a Facebook group.

00:46:38 Quote

“We don’t need to share the same opinions as others, but we need to be respectful.”
/Taylor Swift, American singer and songwriter/

00:48:01 Outro

00:49:16 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #134 – Psychic Taxes, Homeopathy and One Hell of a Bus Ride

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

Show Notes:
00:00:26 Greetings

As Eggman (Brian Eggo) sits in for Andras we examine the latest news which includes Psychic Sally’s taxes, the end to NHS funded homeopathy in England, Russian attitudes to conspiracy theories, the latest measles situation and more.
Also the Pope gets poked about his upcoming Irish visit and Brian gets on bus 666 to Hel (sic).

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

Also check out the on-going Edinburgh Skeptics on the Fringe, ending 26 August!

00:05:27 This Week in Skepticism

Actress Sylvia Millecam died Aug. 19, 2001 after seeing psychic & alternative healers.

00:13:25 Skeptical News

UK: Psychic Sally hit with almost £3m tax bill

EUROPE: EU Court of Justice declares gene edited crops to be GMO

UK: NHS Bristol ends funding for homeopathy, ending all homeopathy commissioning in England

RUSSIA: Russian beliefs in conspiracies

EUROPE: Measles outbreak updates

UK: A UK parliamentary committee about risks to ‘shared values and the integrity of our democratic institutions’.

POLAND: Take bus 666 to Hel!

00:53:28 Pontus Pokes the Pope: Pope Francis goes to Ireland and still doesn’t care

00:56:30 Really Wrong: Portland Centre for Integrative Medicine

01:01:20 Radio Ad

01:02:32 Farewell and Quote

“There cannot be mental atrophy in any person who continues to observe, to remember what he observes, and to seek answers for his unceasing hows and whys about things.”

Alexander Graham Bell, Scottish-born scientist, inventor and engineer.

01:08:02 Outro

01:09:17 Out-takes

Episode #061

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This week we are talking about well known quack and discredited doctor Andrew Wakefield and his campaign promoting ‘Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe’, a pseudo-documentary that promotes the false idea of vaccines causing autism and then many other things.

If you’re interested in the events happening across Europe, please visit our calendar page.

Segments
Intro; Greetings & Feedback; This Week in Skepticism; Skeptical News; Analysis; Really Right; Quote

Show notes:
00:00:00
INTRO music

00:00:26
Greetings & feedback

00:10:05
This Week in Skepticism
Galileo Galilei, the father of mothern science.

00:20:39
Skeptical News

  1. Hungarian fitness guru and his crusade against sugar has turned even more absurd
  2. Sweden Democrat opposes local bicycle plan – because heavy breathing is not environmentally friendly
  3. Robert Young (author of ‘The pH Miracle’) charged over death of cancer patient.
  4. Russian Academy of Sciences denounces homeopathy
  5. Wikipedia editors decide The Daily Mail should not be used as a reference in articles

00:38:20
Analysis: How different countries across Europe set out to tackle the problem of fake news.

00:51:14
Really Wrong
Really Right: Prof Hans Rosling for educating the world with facts

01:00:07
Quote
“You look at science (or at least talk of it) as some sort of demoralising invention of man, something apart from real life, and which must be cautiously guarded and kept separate from everyday existence. But science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated.” /Rosalind Franklin, English chemist and X-ray christallographer/

01:01:55
Outro

01:03:10
Out-takes