Episode 222 – 31st January 2014

This week we have an exclusive interview with Rufus Hound, in which he explains his reasons for standing for the National Health Action Party in the European Elections. We also find out more about the most recent Jesus & Mo controversy, why banking computers often fail – and catch up with the Festival of the Spoken Nerd ahead of their latest nationwide tour.



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Why Rufus Hound Got Political (2:00) by James O’Malley (ft Rufus Hound!)
Mo’ Controversy (34:06) by Matt Flaherty
Banking Systems (49:00) by Morgan Phillips (ft Frances Coppola)
New FOTSN Tour (62:18) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Helen Arney, Steve Mould & Matt Parker)
Benefit Plug (74:34) by Neil Denny

Follow-Up Links:

Going to QEDcon? Join The Pod Delusion’s FREE Skepticamp the day before

If you’re going to April’s QED Con, then you’ll know what fun it is – a whole weekend of skeptical talks and fun with likeminded folk. If only it could last longer!

This year – it can, if you come along to The Pod Delusion’s Skepticamp on Friday 11th April in Manchester.

What is Skepticamp?

A Skepticamp is a mini conference, with its agenda decided by the audience. You can put yourself forward to do a talk ahead of time, then you’ll be allocated a slot and you get 15 minutes to talk about a topic of your choice – with five minutes following for questions.

At our last Skepticamp in London, we covered topics as varied as technological solutions to climate change, data in political campaigns, evidence based interface design, what it’s like being a skeptical nurse in the NHS and much more.

So sign up – either as a speaker or simply a member of audience, and come and have an additional day of talks!

When and where exactly is Skepticamp?

Skepticamp takes place on Friday 11th April at the QEDcon Hotel (The Palace Hotel in Manchester), starting at 11am – so you’ll still have time to travel to Manchester in the morning. And it’ll finish long before the official Friday night “mixer” event begins. We’ll announce the further details once we have a line-up arranged.

Do I need to have a QED ticket to attend?

Nope – the event is open to anyone who can make it to the venue. Though we recommend booking a ticket to QED if you can, as it is going to be amazing weekend.

How exactly will the line-up be decided?

We’ll be looking at the talks people have volunteered to give, and we’ll put them into some sort of order. There will be a minimal vetting processing – essentially to make sure no one will turn up and explain why they think that racism is awesome. If we end up with too many talks for the time we have allocated, we’ll make some painful decisions and let you know ahead of time.

What sort of talks do you want?

Talks can be about anything, as long as you’re approaching them from a skeptical point of view. This time we’re particularly interested in talks focusing on any activism that you have been doing, or would like to find people to help you do. Have you run a campaign in your local area? Do you have an idea for something we could get together and do? Is there an issue skeptics should be paying more attention to? Let us know by giving a talk!

Can I have Powerpoint slides?

Yes, absolutely! We recommend having lots of slides and zipping through them fast to keep it pacey – and don’t cram too much text on but use it to illustrate your points.

I want to do a talk! How can I submit my talk proposal?

Fill in this form here. We’ll be in touch.

Don’t forget, you’ll have 15 minutes for talk, 5 minutes for Q&A after, and use of slides is encouraged. We recommend using lots of slides, changing quickly to give pace to your talk – and practicing beforehand to nail the delivery.

Episode 221 – 24th January 2014

This week we speak to the Project Scientist on the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission, and a scientist who studies concrete – bonus points if you listen to that second piece on the Victoria Line. We also find out how the first ever PubHD night went, figure out how far away we are from hoverboards.



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Rosetta Launch (1:20) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Dr Matt Taylor, ESA Project Scientist!)
What’s the deal with concrete? (21:33) by James O’Malley (ft Dr Leon Black)
PubHD (31:00) by Kash Farooq (ft Regan Naughton, Sera Baker, Dave Farmer & Christian Perrin)
Hoverboards (42:29) by Henry Hocking
Gay Floods (52:21) by Dean Burnett

Follow-Up Links:

Episode 220 – 17th January 2014

This week we tackle net neutrality, assisted dying, asylum seekers, aircraft safety and much more!



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Net Neutrality (1:28) by David Eastman
Assisted Dying (5:53) by Andy Gault
Atheist Asylum Seeker (10:18) by Blakeley Nixon (ft Bob Churchill)
Life Jackets & Oxygen Masks (18:45) by Drew Rae
Eruv of this Nonsense (30:27) by James O’Malley
Care.Data (35:27) by Adam Jacobs
History Projects (43:59) by Vicky Stiles

Follow-Up Links:

Episode 219 – 10th January 2014

This week we figure out if Michael Gove was talking rubbish about the First World War (spoiler: he was!), discover if monogamy is dead, find out why science’s favourite metaphor won’t work any more… and much, much more!



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It’s Not Simple, Mr Gove (1:33) by Rich Godbehere
Origins of WWI (9:41) by Sean Slater
Is Monogamy Dead? (17:43) by Rosie Wilby
Media Law (21:42) by Alex Fitch
Dead Metaphor (32:38) by Sean Ellis
Wiki Petition (39:12) by Salim Fadhley
Zombie Stats (46:06) by Adam Jacobs
Dimensional Travel (52:17) by Nathan Rae
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brian Two

Follow-Up Links:

Episode 218 – 20th December 2013 – CHRISTMAS HADTACULAR!

This week we speak to COMMANDER CHRIS HADFIELD, who recently spent six months on board the International Space Station, whilst simultaneously becoming a hero to everyone on Twitter. We find out Hadfield’s thoughts on the current on-going ISS ammonia leak, how he got involved in Robin Ince & Brian Cox’s Christmas show, what it was like meeting Stephen Hawking, and much more.

Plus back on earth we speak to a man suing the FBI because of Freedom of Information, figure out if scientists should boycott the major journals, and weigh up whether Christmas is a good thing, or a bad thing.



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COMMANDER CHRIS HADFIELD Interview (1:46) by James O’Malley & Liz Lutgendorff (ft Chris Hadfield)
Suing the FBI (31:26) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Ryan Shapiro)
Scientific Publishing (55:13) by Andrew Holding
Sochi Pride Houses (59:02) by Marc Naimark
Boo Christmas (67:38) by Chris Chapman
Yay Christmas (74:02) by Charlotte Hooson-Sykes

Follow-Up Links:

Episode 217 – 13th December 2013

This week we look at the persecution of non-religious people around the world and how we deal with grief. Yep – it’s an upbeat show this week! We also consider MP’s pay rises, and Stu tells us how David Cameron stole his joke!



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Humanist & Atheist Persecution (1:33) by James O’Malley (ft Bob Churchill)
Handling Grief (23:06) by Dean Burnett
MPs should get a raise (30:28) by Dr*T
David Cameron Stole My Joke! (37:40) by Stu Richards
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brian Two

Follow-Up Links:

Episode 216 – 6th December 2013

This week we explore why Amazon’s drones aren’t ambitious enough, how faith schools are actually discrimination based on class, how GPS works and why Burt thinks that religion is in decline.



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Pigeon Post (1:36) by Nathan Rae
Faith School Map (10:25) by James O’Malley (ft Richy Thompson)
GPS (20:08) by Kash Farooq (ft Prof David Last)
Why Religion Is In Decline (31:51) by Burt Flannery
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brian Two

Follow-Up Links:

Episode 215 – 29th November 2013

This week we discover why feminism needs secularism, why personalised medicine threatens Big Pharma, and discover what on earth a human library is.



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Feminism & Secularism (1:24) by James O’Malley (ft Anne Marie Waters)
Personalised Medicine (12:58) by Adam Jacobs
Human Libraries (21:28) by Neil Denham
Noah (31:06) by Ian Bushfield
Sleazy PR (35:26) by Marsh
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brian Two

Follow-Up Links:

Episode 214 – 22nd November 2013

A big show this week as we speak to the man behind a new documentary on whales in captivity, find out why scientists should be on Question Time, from the man who running a petition about it, look at some crazy JFK conspiracy theories and much more!



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Blackfish (1:28) by Sandra Prow (ft Jeffrey Ventre)
Question Time Scientists (26:46) by Martin Robbins
JFK Conspiracy Theories (31:33) by Blakeley Nixon
Canadian Mayors (38:25) by Ian Bushfield
Abu Dhabi Science Festival (43:18) by Julie Gould
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brian Two

Follow-Up Links: