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 142 - Crankery and Notable Cranks
Ben, Celestia, and Pascual help define what makes a crank a crank, and we look into the history of this concept. Then we bring a couple of examples we think illustrate textbook cranks and why they aren't just laughable, they can do some real harm. From selling spiritual self-help books and snake oil to trying to legislate a wrong value for Pi, cranks have a long and storied history in America.
Episode 141 - The Crying Boy Curse, with David Clarke
We are joined by folklorist and author David Clarke, who traces the legend of the Crying Boy curse, a curious story surrounding prints of several paintings that featured big-eyed crying children. These popular prints were blamed for fires in the UK during the 1980s, and tales sprung up of orphaned street urchins with mysterious powers to start fires. The roots of the tale involve a confluence of journalistic eagerness, firefighter observations, material science, and good old-fashioned odds.
Episode 140 - Steve Kulls and the Georgia Bigfoot Body Hoax
After thoughts on the inauguration and future of our science agencies and news landscape, we talk to Steve Kulls of SquatchDetective.com. Ben met Steve years ago and recognized that, in a field rife with hoaxes and a low bar for evidence, he was a great example of proper investigation techniques. Steve shares with us his tenets of research and discusses his role in uncovering the Georgia Bigfoot body hoax of 2008--a tale involving a cast of characters involved in secrecy, corruption and avoiding the FBI.
Episode 139 - 2020 Hindsight!
Yay, 2020 is over! This bonus episode is a casual, nonscripted, barely outlined roundtable with Ben, Celestia, and Pascual as we go through how this year affected us both personally and in terms of skeptical outreach. Then we chat about our favorite episodes. We shall return to our normal squaring of strange topics next week!
Episode 138 - Insurrection Wednesday and an Antivax Primer
We recorded a special opener to discuss the late-breaking, Capitol-invading events of the past 36 hours and the role misinformation played in getting thousands of people to this point. Then for our main topic, we go through a brief history of antivax sentiment in the US and the dual nature of Covid vaccine hesitancy.
Episode 137 - Musical Legend Grab Bag
First, Celestia recounts some spooky incidents she's experienced during the pandemic. Then we look at a handful of music-related strangeness. Ben brings some surprising facts about the Pied Piper of Hamelin, which appears to have threads of history woven into its folklore tapestry. We discuss Satanic rumors that surrounded guitarist Robert Johnson, and look into a studio scream that launched many lurid tales. To end, we take a quick tour of pop culture origins for the scatological-sounding "brown note."
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great introduction to critical thinking.
A very good podcast
I have been listening for quite awhile. So far so good. They dropped the the ball on Antifa, but everyone makes mistakes. Skeptics don’t go to Wapo fact check to investigate, to start.
Nevertheless, keep up the good work
Great to get some sleep
I listen to this podcast almost every night to fall and stay asleep.
However, the heavy handed conflation of skepticism with atheism is too much. See Sharon Hill for an example of a scientist who treats people with respect and has an open mind despite their personal beliefs.