98 episodes

Not just another “skeptical” podcast, it’s a show about critical thinking and evidence-based analysis, using science and critical thinking to examine the world around us, from the mysterious and paranormal to the mundane.

Squaring the Strange Pascual Romero and Ben Radford

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 68 Ratings

Not just another “skeptical” podcast, it’s a show about critical thinking and evidence-based analysis, using science and critical thinking to examine the world around us, from the mysterious and paranormal to the mundane.

    Episode 174 - A Musical History of the Devil

    Episode 174 - A Musical History of the Devil

    After a few words on current events, Pascual takes us on a tour of tales about Old Scratch influencing music. Whether he's giving free violin lessons, defending himself in court, or even hanging out with Anton LaVey and Sammy Davis Jr., the devil has a longstanding relationship with music of all types.

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Episode 173 - Alien Implants

    Episode 173 - Alien Implants

    After some excitement over the release of Science Friction, and Ben's discussion of Huggy Wuggy, we talk about alien implants. No, it's not just about probing jokes. We go into the multiple factors that lead people to think aliens have implanted some kind of technology into them, and what reasons aliens are thought to have for doing so, as well as how useful such implants would really be. Memory, biology, and good old cultural context all come into play.

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Episode 172 - Stigmata and Stigmatics

    Episode 172 - Stigmata and Stigmatics

    After a brief diversion about who slapped who at that big pop culture event recently, we look into a much, much different vein of show business. Get it? Vein? Seriously though, what makes people bleed from their hands and other places, allegedly spontaneously, in a replication of Christ's wounds? How many people have become known for this peculiar blessing, and how do they profit from it exactly? We'll discuss miracles versus Munchausen, fakery versus pious frauds, as well as other explanations for the affliction, and Ben recounts his visit with a bona fide stigmatic (as she was advertised, anyway).

    • 1 hr 22 min
    Episode 171 - Deathbed Confessions, Real and Rumored

    Episode 171 - Deathbed Confessions, Real and Rumored

    After a few thoughts on Daylight Savings Time, we discuss a short list of purported deathbed confessions. The last words of a consequential figure can be hijacked or twisted to fit agenda -- or, sometimes, it's not just the words that are made up, it's the person too. From cautionary tales to urban legends, deathbed confessions are a peculiar branch of the folklore tree. There are also very real deathbed confessions that have solved mysteries, revealed crimes, or reversed a long-held position. Join us as we look into a few.

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Episode 170 - Pet Psychics and Psychic Pets

    Episode 170 - Pet Psychics and Psychic Pets

    After a brief discussion on the recent jailbreak (rock break?) of a Japanese nine-tailed demon, and some thoughts on war rumors and viral stories coming out of Ukraine, we talk about people who think they can talk to animals. Or people who think their animal can talk to them -- psychically, of course. From a lost champion purebreed to a thoroughly tested terrier in the UK, we go over a few examples and our thoughts on the matter.

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Episode 169 - Levitation and the Indian Rope Trick (with Prof. Richard Wiseman)

    Episode 169 - Levitation and the Indian Rope Trick (with Prof. Richard Wiseman)

    From superheroes to saints to trumpets, the idea of things seeming to float inexplicably in the air certainly captures our imagination. First Ben takes us through a history of levitation--as a sign of possession or piety, then as purported by Spiritualist mediums, and then as a side-effect of meditation. Celestia discusses some technological ways humans have found to levitate themselves or objects, using the magic of magnetism or air friction. And then Prof. Richard Wiseman joins us to delve into the mysterious Indian Rope Trick, which has a lot to teach us about psychology, memory, journalism, and much more!

    • 1 hr 17 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
68 Ratings

68 Ratings

parker-1 ,

Good job

Keep up the good work

vboudi ,

Sample distribution unicorns

This podcast is FANTASTIC. Ben is very well educated and proposes ideas from a fun, fascinating, and free-minded perspective!

Pocketrebel75 ,

Love you guys!

Just recently discovered the podcast. I am thoroughly enjoying it. Great discussions.

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