Radio Freethinker

Vancouver's Number 1 Skeptical Podcast and Radio Show

Posts Tagged ‘wifi’

Radio Freethinker Episode 160 – Somebodies Watching Me Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on April 3, 2012

This week Internet Surveillance, anthropomorphic extinction down-under, Lucky’s neighbors Uranium gets better and Picking your skeptic battles.

Download the episode here!


Pirate Satellite!

In its never-ending quest to avoid prosecution or have disruption in its religious services (check out Kopimism and her is Canada). Pirate Bay is exploring launching its own low earth satellites.

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Online they are always watching you

We talk about a series of stories about online surveillance and the effects technology has on our sense privacy and security. The take-way is many conspiracy “nuts” point to a series of acts/events/laws and string together some major plot; we tend to say the conspiracy is crazy while often ignoring the specific events/laws/acts, although independent, may warrant our attention for non-conspiratory reasons…such as freedom or security.

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Anthropomorphic Extinction

We talk about how resent research reveals that it seems more likely that the arrival of humans to Australia resulted in a continental climate change that lead to a major shift in the flora on the mega-island which, with the help of human predation, lead to the extinction of the megafauna down-under.

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Lucy’s Neighbors.

We talk about how resent research has uncovered yet more evidence the early human ancestors were varied and co-existed. New the site of the Lucy discovery, bones from another species of hominid have been uncovered that showed a more inter-terrainial lifestyle. Although able to walk-upright its feet were more adapted for grasping…likely for arboreal locomotion. 

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Uranium just got better!

New research has help refine the ratio of U358 to U355. Why should we care? Its one of the best way we have of determine the age of REALLLLLY old things. Science making science better..

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Picking your skeptical battles.

We begin by exposing and debunking a ‘new’ website intent of propagating the ‘illusion’ Wi-Fi is dangerous to children in schools (we can assume else were, but their rage is focused on schools).
We then explore that a large (most?) important part of skepticism is not to call these people out or to make ourselves feel superior but to focus societies attentions of ‘real’ or more pressing issues.
To exemplify this, we compare the resent row over Pink Slime and the new Harper Budget. We explore the minor health risks Pink Slime MIGHT have and how people are putting there efforts to ‘get this removed from the food chain’ while the current budget removes government regulation over ingredient labeling.  So, even if you hate Pink Slime, there will be no government agency to insure its NOT in your food…that will be your responsibility, and then you get to bring it to the attention of the corporations (who i suspect already knew but hopped you would not).
We conclude by expressing that people need to put their energies (at least the majority of their energies) into the important battles and that skepticism is another tool to help us and society pick those battles.

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Skeptical Highlights:

Video Highlight…

Every wonder why spiders don’t get stuck on their own webs?
Well check out Science Fridays Video of the week, where all is explained. Seems to be a combination of hairy feet, oil and stepping lightly.

‘All About Vaccines’ Charity Event to Take Place in Okanagan, British Columbia

The event takes place on April 22nd, all the information you need is right here, and you should buy your tickets in advance (it’s free but the donations go to the IAVI).

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Show Notes for Episode 127

Posted by Don McLenaghen on August 9, 2011

It’s the Friending Pharma edition of Radio Free Thinker

Download the Episode here!

Song: Why can’t we be friend by War

Banter about Fusioneers and the people who both created WORKING fusion reactors and those who failed to create fission reactors IN THEIR HOME!


Why oh why, wifi May?

Those who keep tabs on politics know that there was a historical first last election. Canada finally elected its first Green Party member. There was hope that a more enlightened voice would not be heard on Parliament hill…sadly, in a recent tweetisode, Elizabeth May voiced her concerns over “Electromagnetic frequencies”. Here what we have to say about her and her comments

Big Pharma wants to ‘friend’ you

Big pharma is using social media to market directly to customers (ie patients). Resent reports raise concerns about the lack of regulations and enforcement of safety and ethical standars. Guess where we come down on this issue?

Federal scientist unfairly silenced.

A spirited discussion about the role of scientist to promote their work in the popular press and the governments attempts to ‘restrict’ that role. Here Don take on Jenna and Daniel as he supports freedom of information. Note, this debate got cut short with Don ending with a ‘straw-man’ claim, read the upcoming blog where the end of the debate can be heard.

Interview with Jennifer Ouellette
Jennifer Ouellette is a recovering English major who stumbled into science writing as a struggling freelance writer in New York City and found it was the perfect career for her. She has been avidly exploring her inner geek ever since. Now based in Los Angeles, California, she is the author of three popular science books for the general public: The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse (August 31, 2010), The Physics of the Buffyverse (2007), and Black Bodies and Quantum Cats: Tales from the Annals of Physics (2006), all published by Penguin.

Jennifer’s work has appeared in the Washington Post, Discover, Salon, Nature, Physics Today, Symmetry, Physics World, and New Scientist, among other venues. She maintains a general science-and-culture group blog called Cocktail Party Physics, featuring her avatar altar-ego/evil twin, Jen-Luc Piquant, and also blogs about physics and space science for Discovery News.

Skeptic Highlights

Cave of Forgotten Dreams – a documentary by Werner Herzog, exploring the Chauvet caves of Southern France, where the oldest forms of cave paintings exist.

Dinosaurs for the Summer

We all know that global climate change will likely elevate the earth’s temperature by 3-10 degrees. Wonder what the world will look like? Well history has already run that experiment once before during the age of dinosaurs. You can check what that might have looked like by heading down to Science World for their Dinosaur Extreme exhibit. Get a look at what life was link in the dinosaurian past.

While there check out the air conditioned theater and see Dinosaurs Alive! A the OmniMax theater daily at noon and 2pm. $5:50.

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