Episode #21: Cryonics, plants sending the bat signal, and stupidity

Cyropreservation (via Wikipedia)

The 21st  episode of Consilience is out! You can download the mp3 here (25.2mb) and the file’s page on Archive.org is here.

Teaching Angela to appreciate history

Edward Kelly, English alchemist and spirit medium, was born August 1st 1555.

Listener feedback

A slight correction from last week… July 20th, it turns out, wasn’t both the anniversary of the Moon landing and the end of the Shuttle programme. Atlantis landed on the 21st of July.


Robert Ettinger, founder of the modern cryonics movement, dies and his body is frozen for future resurrection. Well, maybe

According to a paper in Nature by Martin Connors and colleagues, 2010 TK7 is Earth’s first Trojan asteroid. The animation of TK7’s orbit is here.

Is this bush di-vine?

According to another Nature paper, Archaeopteryx may not be ancestral to modern birds. Cue creationists (and journalists, alas) being dumb.

Juno, a NASA mission to Jupiter, is launching this week. (Mike mentions Juno’s “Radiation vault“).

According to a Science paper, Marcgravia evenia, a Cuban plant, has evolved a satellite-shaped leaf to attract bats.

A recent survey suggests that Internet Explorer 6 users are more stupid then users of other browsers.

Sci-fi Quote

“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.” ~ Terry Pratchett, Diggers.


Johannesburg Sceptics in the Pub is Wednesday 3 August, at 18:30, at the Keg & Spitfire on Beyers Naude Drive in Blackheath (next door to McDonalds). FacebookPlancast.


About Michael Meadon

Michael Meadon is a graduate student in cognitive science at the University of KwaZulu Natal in Durban, South Africa. When he's not procrastinating online or propitiating his wife, he investigates the effects of rapid & unreflective facial judgments on political elections. He expects to graduate any decade now. When he was an innocent undergrad Michael studied Politics, Philosophy & Economics at the University of Cape Town. Unfortunately, he had to find out for himself that "social" and "science" often don't go so well together.
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4 Responses to Episode #21: Cryonics, plants sending the bat signal, and stupidity

  1. Rallick says:

    Good show as always guys (is ‘guys’ an inclusive term in Africa too? To me it means ‘people’ or ‘folks’. I don’t want Angela feeling left out!). I must admit to sharing the confusion (and fascination) on Lagrange points. Some make sense, but some of them are absolutely counterintuitive. Just more proof that the universe is far more fascinating when you look at it with a scientific eye, as opposed to just answering questions with ‘because God did it’. Keep up the good work!

  2. Angela says:

    Hi Rallick,
    “Guys” is used for a group of people, including men and women.

    • Rallick says:

      Yeah, that’s how I always used it, but depending on geographical region it can apparently mean just males. Glad to hear that’s not the case in Africa either! 😉

  3. Angela says:

    Well, I’m technically “one of the guys” around here anyway. Mike and Owen don’t pull any punches on account of me being a girl.

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