Tag Archives: WHO

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. #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. #196 – 99.9% of All Scientists

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This week it’s the return of Brian(!) as we have sent András on a field trip to Malaysia. We celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Glasgow Skeptics and then explore signs that some bishops in the Catholic Church at least seem to be trying to do the right thing regarding the abuse scandals, however without much help from Francis. He may instead worry that he has opened Pandora’s box by allowing discussions about married priests and female deacons.
In the news ‘Trick or Treatment’, the book by Edzard Ernst and Simon Singh, has received an award and a study indicates that organic farming may actually be worse for the environment in some cases, something that leads to protests from organic defenders filled with logical fallacies.
WHO is getting hard criticism for its inclusion of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in the ICD, the International Classification of Diseases, which is also illustrated by a study the shows that TCM is causing a growing number of cases of fatal liver failure.
A French study shows that MD’s who receives gifts from pharmaceutical companies prescribe too much of the wrong drugs, the 500 not-so-qualified ‘experts’ who denied the climate change emergency are challenged by over 11,000 real scientists and Lidl has a silly solution to too much sugar in your coffee.
Finally, the Swedish government gets a Really Wrong award for their decision to subsidize the abusive Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Enjoy!

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

0:00:51 Greetings

We welcome Brian Eggo back on the show and send a belated but sincere thank you and good luck to Claire Kroulik-Klingenberg and her Jakub.

0:04:59 This Week in Skepticism

0:10:45 Pontus Pokes the Pope – More conferences on abuse, plus Francis has opened Pandora’s box

After the bishops’ conference in Leicester there is now also one in Lourdes to figure out what to do about the sex abuse issues in the Catholic Church. Also, Francis may have regrets for opening Pandora’s Box as German bishops want to get married too.

0:16:30 News

UK: ‘Trick or Treatment’ book by Edzard Ernst and Simon Singh gets award

Edzard Ernst: https://edzardernst.com/2019/11/an-unexpected-honour-for-trick-or-treatment/

ENGLAND and WALES: Entirely Organic Farming Could Raise Emissions by 70%

INTERNATIONAL: Academies warn against unregulated use of Traditional Chinese Medicine

INTERNATIONAL: Drug-induced liver injuries after TCM (Trad Chinese Medicine) SCAM

FRANCE: Doctors who receive gifts prescribe worse

INTERNATIONAL: 11,000 Scientists Warn About Climate Change

GERMANY: Retailer ‘Lidl’ sells a spoon with a bump as remedy against too high sugar consumption

0:50:32 Really Wrong: Sweden – Jehovah’s Witnesses to Receive Government Grants

0:57:49 Quote and Farewell

“There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating: people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing”
/ Oscar Wilde, 16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900, Irish poet and playwright /

0:59:26 Outro

1:00:41 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #193 – Global Vaccination Summit w Ovidiu Covaciu

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This week we have a very interesting catch up with Ovidiu Covaciu who attended the International Global Vaccination Summit organised by the European Commission and the WHO. But before that we celebrate that Jelena singlehandedly (well, not really) made sure that the new Center for Population Health in her home city of Seattle was dedicated to Dr. Hans Rosling, the Swedish professor and science communicator. We also talk about how Pope John Paul II this week in 1996 admitted that evolution probably has some merits to it after all. That doesn’t necessarily mean he liked it much.
After the interview we poke the pope with some more Amazon news and the hilarious innovations of the Vatican to make use of modern technology. Yes, it’s the eRosary™, that nifty device we’ve all been waiting for! It connects to your phone via Bluetooth and send those Hail Marys to the heavens above at the flick of the wrist (literally).
In the news we find another win for the Good Thinking Society against Peter Popoff, we anticipate the yearly ComceptCon skeptical event in Portugal and go through how the Swedish Skeptics was invited by the government to give their opinion on the coming CAM-regulations. Then we go to Spain where the Spanish Skeptics at ARP-SAPC join others to fight the dangerous idea of Bio-Neuro Emotion.
We finish off with handing out a Really Wrong award to the Polish ‘Law and Justice’ party that has passed a law that says sex education for kids is a form of paedophilia. Really, they said that.
Oh, and there’s a surprise coming for our most faithful patrons – you can join them if you want to!
Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week; 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

The University of Washington in Seattle, basically on Jelena’s backyard, has dedicated their new building for the Center of Population Health to Dr. Hans Rosling, and we couldn’t be happier about it.

0:04:29 This Week in Skepticism

Pope John Paul II famously admitted that evolution makes sense on 22 October 1996. Better late than never!

0:08:26 Interview with Ovidiu Covaciu

Ovidiu Covaciu, the great Romanian vaccination champion, made sure he was invited to the Global Vaccination Summit in Brussels, organised by the European Commission and the WHO. We get a first hand report on what he told them that they should do!

0:28:29 Pontus Pokes the Pope – more on the Amazon, plus Praying via Bluetooth

The Vatican makes hilarious efforts to stay relevant in the age of ‘the Internets and all that’. Meet the eRosary, your hotline to God!

0:33:35 News

UK: Ofcom fines Ben TV £25,000 for Peter Popoff infomercials

PORTUGAL: ComceptCon 2019

SWEDEN: As Requested by the Government, the Swedish Skeptics (aka VoF) Has Given Their Opinion on Suggested CAM Regulation Changes

SPAIN: ARP-SAPC (Spanish Skeptics) joins the request that the College of Physicians of Murcia stop the activity entitled “A course of miracles”

00:49:09 Really Wrong: To the Polish ‘Law and Justice’ party for passing a law that criminalizes sex education for kids and says it is a form of paedophilia 

00:52:16 Quote and Farewell

“The one real goal of education is to leave a person asking questions.”

/ Max Beerbohm, 24 August 1872 – 20 May 1956. English essayist, parodist and caricaturist /

00:53:59 Outro

00:55:14 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. #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. #141 – Ig Nobel Prize, Rosaries, Factfulness and the WHO making a big mistake

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

This week we look at the history of the Ig Nobel Prize, try to find out (Spoiler alert: without success) why pope Francis thinks rosaries are the best way to defend the church from the “Great Accuser” and bring you a ton of news, including: the Romanian referendum on the inclusion or exclusion of same sex marriage in the constitution, a Hungarian cancer quack who boasts likely made-up qualifications, Hans Rosling’s ‘Factfulness’ to become available for free to Swedish students, hundreds of Spanish scientist appeal to Health Minister for action against ‘pseudoscience that kills’, Natalie Grams’ highly anticipated English book on homeopathy to come out in December, what The Croydon Cat Killer might actually be, Informationsnetzwerk Homöopathie’s new cool educational material published, investigation into a possible link between measles cases and health-related budget cuts in Italy.
Also, we are sheding some light on how wrong the WHO is for legitimising Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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

Show Notes:
00:00:26 Greetings

00:03:58 This Week in Skepticism: The first Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony (2 October 1991)

00:11:48 Pontus Pokes the Pope

His Francisness calls for daily Rosary prayers during October

00:18:18 Skeptical News

ROMANIA: Referendum on same sex marriages

HUNGARY: In search of claimed qualifications of a cancer quack

SWEDEN: Hans Rosling’s last book ‘Factfulness’ free for all Swedish students

SPAIN: Hundreds of Spanish scientists ask for action against pseudoscience “that kills”

GERMANY: Natalie Grams’ book to be published in English in December

UK: The Croydon Cat Killer

GERMANY: INH comes out with new youtube video and other info material

ITALY: Possible link between health cuts and measles

00:47:25 Really Wrong: WHO to include TCM in the ICD

00:53:39 Quote and Farewell

“The only victories which leave no regret are those which are gained over ignorance.”
/Napoleon Bonaparte/

00:54:31 Outro

00:55:46 Out-takes

Ep. #135 – ET healing, first contact in Germany, wet cupping, plus religion

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

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Greetings

While unfortunately Jelena is not present, this week we talk about an ET healer in the Netherlands before we share the latest updates on measles. The comes the outrageous fact that Germany has no official plan for a first contact situation and how religious taboos can cause trouble. El escéptico’s 50th issue is out now, while wet cupping is gaining ground in Amsterdam. Also, the pope gets poked again while pastafarianism doesn’t get recognised as a religion.

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

00:11:50 Skeptical News

NETHERLANDS: “ET Healer” not prosecuted for possible contribution to suicide

UK: Royal homeopath dies in a bicyle accident

INTERNATIONAL: MEASLES UPDATE: Finally it makes the news (but the reported numbers are too low)

GERMANY: No preparations for alien landing situations

SWITZERLAND: Muslim couple denied Swiss citizenship over handshake refusal

SPAIN: Issue #50 of El Esceptico to be released

NETHERLANDS: Wet Cupping on the rise in Amsterdam

NETHERLANDS: Pastafarianism “not a religion” – rules Dutch court

00:30:50 Pontus Pokes the Pope: Frankie boy cannot handle the scandal

00:35:16 Really Right: Greta Thunberg, 15, takes a stand for climate

00:40:59 Farewell and Quote

“Of a number of variant hypotheses about the same facts, that one is true which shows why facts, which in the other hypotheses remain unrelated, are as they are, i.e., which demonstrates their orderly and rational mathematical connexion.”

/Johannes Kepler German astronomer and astrologer/

00:42:20 Outro

00:43:35 Out-takes