Skip navigation

Category Archives: The universe

Every now and then you come across something that is so warped and confusing that your brain explodes, cucumbers eject from every orifice and you find yourself standing in a pile of your own filth naked, with only an umbrella and a long stick of taffy! You then have to rebuild your consciousness from the ground up which takes all day and leaves you with a sense of self loathing that is hard to shake. Today was one of those days when I found this:-

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080923104410.htm

Welcome to brainfuckery. In the words of George Hrab’s Prof. Damian Handzy,

That’s totally fucked up

Welcome to the world of tomorrow! Blogs are old news, the age of the podcast has begun and in honor of the dawning of this new age I thought I would do a skeptical podcast run down of the casts that I currently (or have in the past) listen too!

Geologic Podcast
http://www.geologicpodcast.com/

Do you want to laugh? Well, if you do, then listen to George Hrab on his podcast. The show consists of sketches, his mother rapping, religious morons and many of his absolutely side splitting characters (all played by him). He even has cameos by famous pod caster Soccer Girl! (A podcast I have not yet listened to by the way.) I am not kidding when I say Mr Hrab is funny, all I can say is go check it out for yourself and then send me (or George, preferably me) money for finding it for you. It is recommended that you listen to episode 31.1 if you want to catch up and get in on the “in” jokes.

Skeptics Guide to the Universe
http://www.theskepticsguide.org/

No self respecting skeptic skips this weekly podcast. Hosted by Steven Novella, an academic neurologist and full time skeptic, and the skeptical rogues, Robert Novella, Jay Novella, Rebecca Watson (the Skepchick) and Evan Bernstein. The SGU is a must listen for any skeptic, or non-skeptic for that mater, in their weekly rounds of the podcast scene. In the show they discuss current topics in the news and skeptical community as well as devastating break downs of pseudo-science and woo. Their regular interviews are truly entertaining. The Amazing Guru of skepticism James Randi also has a regular section called Randi Speaks where he attacks certain issues head on. If you love knowledge, and who doesn’t, tune into the SGU and join its already huge (35,000 last time I heard?) listener base!

Skepticality
http://www.skepticality.com/index.php

Again, a must listen for any self respecting skeptic. Join Derek and Swoopy as they delve into a specific issue each week. Generally their show consists of an interview with a prominent personality in skepticism or science but their older shows were more like SGU in structure. My favourite recent episode was the No Intelligence Allowed! interview with Professor Richard Dawkins and Dr. Michael Shermer about the new ID movie Expelled.

Are we alone? – SETI Podcast
http://radio.seti.org/

Are we alone? Who knows! But damn it’s fun to speculate. That’s what the SETI podcast is all about… well, not really, they explore deep into different scientific issues as well as the astrobiology topics it is based on. Each podcast focus’ on one or two topics and consists of interviews and fantastic banter between the two hosts. Seth Shostak is the senior astronomer at the SETI institute.

Scientific American
http://www.sciam.com/podcast/

This is a podcast that I don’t listen to regularly, but when I do listen I enjoy it thoroughly. The podcasts are usually fairly short and consist of mainly scientific topics (duh). My recent favourite episode was their interview with Mark Mathis who they proceeded to basically rip apart. It was hilarious to listen to him back peddle when met with a difficult question.

Cj’s Skeptical World
http://tcradiolive.com/cjskeptical.php

Unfortunately CJ’s no longer makes his podcast, but what he has made so far are highly entertaining. Listen to CJ as he spews mind bending rants about Woo and science in the American and world media. He even gives this blog a fleeting mention.

I hope this quick run down has helped you to decide on what you want to listen to. With each packet of knowledge I receive I come closer to world domination, please help me in that goal by commenting and posting your favourite Podcasts.

Blam

We humans are almost incapable of visualizing big numbers. When we think of big numbers we think of a thousand, a million, but when we get to numbers in the high millions it starts to get hazy. Think about the number 100 ^100. Thats one hundred multiplied by itself 100 times. It is impossible to visualize a number of this immense size. This number is called a googolplex and it is theorized there is only about 10 to the power of 80 atoms in the whole universe, so now you can see how large this number actually is without actually comprehending it. ITS FREAKING LARGE.

Anyway, I am actually getting to something here. Lets think of a number that is much much smaller than a googol or a googolplex. That number is 1 trillion. OK, A trillion is still not a small number, in fact, its a very large number. A trillion is one thousand billion. ONE THOUSAND…BILLION. A billion… times… ONE THOUSAND. Yes, I know, so what? you ask. Well let me give you an idea of how big a trillion is. You haven’t lived for one trillion seconds, neither has your family, or western civilization. A trillion seconds ago, 31,688 years ago, humans were accompanied on Earth by Neanderthals. I hope this puts that number into perspective for you because America ALONE has spent 3 trillion dollars on the war in Iraq so far. Ummmmmmmm, WHAT!? The rest of the world, Britain included, have spent about the same all up. So thats a cool 6 thousand billion dollars spent on the war.

Now, I want you to sit back, and think about this much money.

Go read this and also read about this guy.