Skeptoid is an excellent podcast for a skeptical treatment of paranormal claims, conspiracy theories, alternative medicine, etc. Over the past 8 months or so I’ve listened to every episode up to and including #376, and I thought I would share my favorites. The most reward episodes have often been those challenging my own beliefs, since those open the door to learning something new.
- Blood for Oil (#32) – I had completely accepted the narrative the the US went into Iraq for oil.
- Mercury Fillings (#36) – My dad has removed some fillings, and I never doubted that mercury fillings are a health hazard.
- Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: Real or Imagined? (#72) – Interesting because of the Swedish connection.
- What You Didn’t Know about the Stanford Prison Experiment (#102) – I’ve heard about the experiment many times (for example in The Violence Within Us) and never doubted the conclusions.
- Search for the Missing Cosmonauts (#115) – Fascinating because it’s somewhat plausible that Soviet cosmonauts died, but there’s no good evidence for it.
- The Lucifer Project (#143) – A silly conspiracy theory about igniting Jupiter as a second sun, but the science is interesting.
- Cargo Cults (#199) – Cargo cult coding often comes up in Web standards discussions, but I didn’t know anything (true) about actual cargo cults before.
- Speed Reading (#229) – I no longer feel bad about reading slowly, because I probably don’t.
- DDT: Secret Life of a Pesticide (#230) – This was the first time I’d ever heard that DDT could possibly have any positive qualities.
- The Siberian Hell Sounds (#307) – I heard about this from a Christian classmate in high school and never questioned that someone did in fact hear scary sounds from a deep borehole.
- The Bermuda Triangle and the Devil’s Sea (#337) – I’d heard and accepted some natural explanation for the Bermuda triangle, but was in for a surprise…
- The Cult of Nikola Tesla (#345) – To balance out The Oatmeal.
- The Black Knight Satellite (#365) – Anything in orbit is interesting, even if it’s not there.