Episode #23: Fermat, anti-matter and bananas

The 23rd episode of Consilience is out! You can download the mp3 here (25.8mb) and the file’s page on Archive.org is here.

Teaching Angela to appreciate history

This episode is bananas

August 17th, 1601 is the birthday of Pierre de Fermat, the man who sparked a 350 year long search for a general proof that no three positive integers can satisfy the equation an + bn = cn where n>2.


Guinea worm has been eliminated from Ghana.

SETIStars has saved the Allen Telescope Array.


Plesiosaurs may have given birth to live young.

Earth has an anti-matter halo.

And this shit is bananas! In which we laugh our heads off about an aura reader who claims some rather silly things about bananas. And Mike does the math.

An exoplanet has been discovered which is less reflective than coal.

Feature: 101 – UFOs

What is a UFO? Are Aliens visiting Earth? The UK Ministry of Defense has released another batch of UFO reports and we examine why they do not make good evidence for alien visitation. We also look at some of the more reasonable explanations about what UFOs might be.

Sci-Fi Quote

“An education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.”

Hogfather, Terry Pratchett


  1. Durban
    1. Skeptics in the Pub – Thursday, 18th August, 18:00. Pizetta, Davenport Road, Durban. This month’s topic: Skeptical Activism.
  2. Pretoria
    1. Skeptics in the Pub – Saturday 20th August, 12:30 at Co.Fi, Brooklyn.
  3. Johannesburg
    1. Dialogue in the Dark group booking – Saturday 20th or Sunday 21st August, Sci Bono Discovery Centre, Miriam Makeba Str, Newtown.


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7 Responses to Episode #23: Fermat, anti-matter and bananas

  1. Pingback: Bananas have Consilience Podcast hosts in tears | The Skeptic Detective

  2. Tracy McIntyre says:

    Don’t know if you’ve seen this movie “Fermat’s Room”, but it’s mathematical thriller.

    Bananas emit about the same amount of radiation (0.1 sieverts) as living within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant. That would mean that a person eating three bananas a day would receive more radiation than someone who was within 10 miles of the Three Mile Island Power Plant Accident in 1979. (I was attending Penn State University, at the time. In a beer fueled act of stupidity, my friends and I drove to the area to see what was happening.)

    As to the Holistic Deli, don’t order the Homeopathic Happy Meal. Trust me.

  3. Angela says:

    I have heard the stat about bananas being radioactive, but didn’t think about it while we were recording – it is a very good point!

  4. Anti Tom Maydon says:

    Hi guys. Anti-Tom Maydon here(!).  Btw enjoyed your banana rants. Just so you know… I think the banana part is written in jest by Groupon staff (the same tone is used on other ads). Having lived in china and south America, I can tell you that per-capita banana consumption is certainly a lot higher in plantain and banana rich Ecuador or brazil, (right Michael?)

  5. Angela says:

    Hi Anti-Tom,
    Isn’t it a bit odd for Groupon to just add things to adverts? If I was offering a t-shirt special and they just went ahead and appended some rubbish statistic about t-shirt wearing habits in Outer Mongolia, I would be seriously upset!
    Anyway, I will defer to Mikes wisdom on the banana eating habits of Brazil.

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