TheESP – Ep. #256 – Bring On the Vaccines


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This week we start the new year with an update on the Swedish pandemic laws and recommend you check out the speech that András gave at Monterrey Skepticamp 2021. In skeptical history we celebrate the birth of Alfred Russel Wallace and Pontus pokes the Pope for ‘firing’ a Cardinal and an Archbishop. We get a Covid vaccine update and then we look at the news:

  • Swedish Skeptical Awards for 2020 – Enlightener and Confounderer of the year
  • Latest book by Edzard Ernst – in German
  • Edzard Ernst’s challenge unanswered by homeopaths
  • German pilot draws syringe on the map to remind everyone of the COVID-vaccine
  • Dramatic change in opinion – 71% of Swedes say they will vaccinate against covid

We finish with a Really Wrong Award going to the New York Times for thinking the UK are going to “mix-and-match” the different covid vaccines.

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week; Covid Update; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

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

0:00:26 INTRO

0:00:50 GREETINGS

0:10:04 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM

0:17:28 PONTUS POKES THE POPE

0:24:37 COVID UPDATE

0:34:04 NEWS

0:50:09 REALLY WRONG

0:55:57 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn’t have to be like this. Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.”
/ Stephen Hawking (8 January 1942 – 14 March 2018), English theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author /

0:58:57 OUTRO

1:00:26 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #255 – Happy New Year 2021!


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We are extremely happy to welcome the first ever ESP Skepti-baby! Annika and her newborn girl are doing very well and they send their regards to the listeners. Whoohoo!

We spend the episode to look back at the very strange year of 2020. Lots of bad news of course and not just pandemic related, we will for one thing always miss the grandfather of modern skepticism, James the Amazing Randi.

But there were good things too, like the many great people we had the fortune to interview and the 250th episode live stream with all our special friends. We are looking forward to seeing the new year and there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic, like the new vaccines. We hope all our listeners are ready to follow us into 2021, and who knows, we may even get to meet some of you at QED, because this year it has to happen, right?

And speaking of good news, we also hand out a Really Right Award for the Anti-vaxx Playbook.

Happy New Year!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Covid Update; Ups and Downs of 2020; Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:51 GREETINGS

0:04:58 COVID UPDATE

0:13:58 UPS AND DOWNS OF 2020

0:37:35 REALLY RIGHT

0:48:59 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day. Never lose a holy curiosity. … Don’t stop to marvel.”
/ Albert Einstein (14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955), German-born theoretical physicist /

0:50:08 OUTRO

0:51:22 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #253 – Big Dicks and Aliens


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This week we talk about that alt-med and antivaxxers have been visible on TV and how a town in Austria had to change its rather unfortunate name. We celebrate the anniversary of the Hungarian Skeptics and then we get into the news:

  • New Brexit craze – Vaccine approval sped up because no EU to hold us back
  • Bibliometric analysis of global research into SCAM and COVID-19
  • Former space security chief goes mental about alleged aliens
  • What’s with the phallic symbols everywhere?
  • Swedish health regions have spent 28 MEUR on weighted blankets
  • John Maddox prizes announced TODAY
  • Das Goldene Brett – finalists announced
  • Follow-up: Influencer selling fish oil as covid treatment found guilty
  • New series of videos: A scientist in the supermarket

Then the Really Wrong award goes to all the religious exemptions to covid restrictions.

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week; Covid Update; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

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

0:00:28 INTRO

0:00:54 GREETINGS

0:12:26 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM

0:17:22 COVID-19 UPDATE

0:30:14 NEWS

1:04:27 REALLY WRONG

1:13:26 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“As our own species is in the process of proving, one cannot have superior science and inferior morals. The combination is unstable and self-destroying.”
/ Arthur C. Clarke (16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008), English science-fiction writer, science writer, futurist, inventor, undersea explorer, and television series host /

1:16:19 OUTRO

1:17:34 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #249 – Homophobic Orbán


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This week Pontus is a bit under the weather so András and Annika send him their “thoughts and prayers” (don’t worry, he is fine). Then we mention an interesting documentary about SCAM practitioners and give a heads up for next weeks jubilee episode 250. And five years ago this week the ESP made its debut! Then we give a Covid update before we get into the news:

  • The new Pre-Bunking game: Breaking Harmony Square
  • Another science communicator and journalist charged for speaking out against frauds
  • Edzard Ernst’s challenge to all homeopaths in the world
  • Thermographic imaging – a risk to cancer patients
  • Newly emerging issues with climate change actions
  • Measles cases in 2019 at a record high in 23 years

To round off the show, Victor Orbán gets a Really Wrong award for using the pandemic as an excuse for homophobic nonsense.

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; COVID Update; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:51 GREETINGS

0:09:57 COVID UPDATE

0:28:59 NEWS

0:46:00 REALLY WRONG

0:54:50 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“Science may be weird and incomprehensible – more weird and less comprehensible than any theology – but science works. It gets results. It can fly you to Saturn, slingshotting you around Venus and Jupiter on the way. We may not understand quantum theory (heaven knows, I don’t), but a theory that predicts the real world to ten decimal places cannot in any straightforward sense be wrong.”
/ Richard Dawkins (26 March 1941 – ), British ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and author. /

0:56:48 OUTRO

0:58:02 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #235 – Show Me a Real Acupuncturist


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This week Brian is back(!) as András has gone missing(?) We chat again about the wonderful online events out there: you should definitely check out the Edinburgh Skeptics on the Fringe productions. We then talk about the Wow! signal that was recorded this week in 1977 and also find that Francis seems to have done something good for once.

In this week’s news:
– Two outbreaks in Mamming, Bavaria
– Danish abattoir closed over COVID-19 cluster
– Disinformation not only consumed by young or uneducated
– Countries with mandatory BCG vaccination might actually be better off in the fight against COVID– 19
– 10 Coronavirus scams to be weary of
– WHO calls for caution about Russian vaccine roll-out
– No need to celebrate: 0.01 degrees less global warming by 2030 due to the pandemic
– NHS hiring a spiritual healer
– No positive outcomes at all from having free-schools in Sweden
– UK government may intervene to curb dangerous ‘cancer cure’ propaganda

The prize for being Really Wrong goes to NICE in the UK (the National Institute for Health Care Excellence) for recommending acupuncture, despite any evidence or science.

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:54 GREETINGS

0:06:33 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
the Wow! signal was a strong narrowband radio signal received on August 15, 1977, by Ohio State University’s Big Ear radio telescope in the United States.

0:12:40 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Francis surprises everyone by appointing women, and Benedict is feeling poorly (but “that’s to be expected”)

0:19:00 NEWS

1:07:12 REALLY WRONG
NICE recommendations on acupuncture

1:14:43 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“A scientific theory
Isn’t just a hunch or guess
It’s more like a question
That’s been put through a lot of tests
And when a theory emerges
Consistent with the facts
The proof is with science
The truth is with science”
/ They Might Be Giants, From the song “Science Is Real”. Opening track of their kids album ‘Here comes science”.

1:16:45 OUTRO

1:18:00 OUT-TAKES