Meet The Skeptics!

Tom Croucher is the 4th Australian I've interviewed for this podcast! Somehow, I highly doubt he'll be the last.

Tom and his brother Nick are more commonly known as the Skeptic Bros. They co-write a blog affectionately titled "The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide." More recently though, they have made a pretty big splash in the Skeptical world by manufacturing and selling "Placebo Bands." These are a perfect knockoff of the more widely known Power Balance bracelets. The key differences are a) the Placebo Bands are appropriately named and b) The Placebo Bands cost about 5% of what the Power Balance bands cost for an essentially identical product.

Check out Placebo Bands featured on Scam School with Brian Brushwood!

Check out Tom at any of the following:

Twitter: @tomfoolery_101

Follow me on Twitter too!: @MeetTheSkeptics

Direct download: Meet_Tom_Croucher.m4a
Category:Science and Skepticism -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

MTS: Meet Jay Novella

While I’ve gotten a unique kick out of each interview so far, this one was particularly interesting in that it was done as we walked through a Haunted Corn Maze owned by Bob Novella, Jay’s older brother and one of the co-hosts of Skeptics Guide to the Universe. Jay adds a wry sense of humor and a lighthearted comedic touch to the SGU podcast and he was as fun in person as he seems on the show.


During the interview, we talked about additional projects that Jay and the SGU crew were getting involved in. One past project was a comedic video series that Jay produced himself. While it didn’t go very far, I really enjoyed it. Here’s Part 1 of the first Episode.


Enjoy the interview and follow me on Twitter: @MeetTheSkeptics.


Direct download: Meet_Jay_Novella.m4a
Category:Science and Skepticism -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Jason Brown is a Skeptical activist in Sydney Australia. Primarily, he organizes Sydney's Drinking Skeptically group. He's also a bit of a podcaster himself, plays Bass Guitar on Youtube, and is a wine aficionado with a Wine Podcast that is under construction at the time of this episode.

In Vino Veritas Podcast

More prominently, Jason runs the website This is an inceredibly helpful site that aggregate feeds from Skeptical sources all over the world. In essence, if you're looking for good stuff to read and think about, Skepticator's the place to find it.

In our interview, we spoke about TAM Oz, local organization, homeopathy, and the Anti-Anti-Vaccine movement known as "Stop the AVN.


Follow me on Twitter @MeetTheSkeptics and follow Jason @DrunkenMadman.

Direct download: Meet_Jason_Brown.m4a
Category:Science and Skepticism -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

As both an entertainer and an educator, Art Benjamin has inspired and excited people about math for several decades. He is a Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College and has produced several courses for The Great Courses, including The Joy of Mathematics and Discrete Mathematics in addition to writing the book “The Secrets of Mental Math.”


Secrets of Mental Math: The Mathemagician's Guide to Lightning Calculation and Amazing Math Tricks

I’ve been a fan of Dr. Benjamin’s since I was sipping coffee on a Sunday morning almost a year ago and scrolling through the great videos on TED. His presentation was labelled “Jawdropping” by the other viewers so I decided to check it out. By combining rapid mental calculations and magic, he has created a unique show that defies belief. Are you skeptical? Check it out right here.

Direct download: Meet_Arthur_Benjamin.m4a
Category:Science and Skepticism -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Daniel Loxton is an artist, writer, editor, and former shepherd. He grew up on the idyllic Vancouver Island and was once a strong believer in many Pseudo scientific things such as cryptozoology. Today, he puts his considerable talents to use as an artist and editor for Junior Skeptic magazine and as an author of the children's book:

Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be

Daniel and I talked about his past, current projects, and the various things he has planned for the future. Especially keep an eye out for his series of children's books! In particular, a book on Dinosaurs will be released on September 1, 2011.

Skeptic Magazine

Follow Daniel on Twitter at @Daniel_Loxton and/or follow me at @MeetTheSkeptics

Direct download: Meet_Daniel_Loxton.m4a
Category:Science and Skepticism -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Jennifer Michael Hecht was a bit of a welcome diversion from my normal guest. We Skeptics are often accused (sometimes rightfully so) of being overly literal and scientific. Jennifer Michael Hecht draws on history and poetry to discuss and present ideas about ethics, culture, and morality. Some of her books include:

Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson

Funny (Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry)

The Next Ancient World

The Happiness Myth: The Historical Antidote to What Isn't Working Today

From her website: "Jennifer Michael Hecht is the author of three history books and two volumes of poetry and she is currently serving as one of the five judges for the Nonfiction category of the 2010 National Book Award.  Her bestseller Doubt: A History demonstrates a long, strong history of religious doubt.  Hecht’s The End of the Soul: Scientific Modernity, Atheism, and Anthropology won the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s 2004 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award “for scholarly studies that contribute significantly to interpretations of the intellectual and cultural condition of humanity.”  Her most recent book, The Happiness Myth brings a skeptical eye to modern wisdom about the good life.  Hecht’s poetry books are The Next Ancient World which won three national poetry awards, and Funny which Publisher’s Weekly called “one of the most original and entertaining books of the year.”  Her prose and poetry appear in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post.  Hecht earned her Ph.D. in the History of Science from Columbia University in 1995 and now teaches in the MFA program of Columbia University and The Graduate Writing Program of The New School University."

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter! @MeetTheSkeptics


Direct download: Meet_Jennifer_Michael_Hecht.m4a
Category:Science and Skepticism -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Kylie Sturgess came to my attention a while back as one of the many Australian skeptical activists who is out there beating the drum of rational thinking about as consistently as anybody. Kylie runs her own website, podcast, and blog all while somehow finding time to actually live her life.

She is an active skeptic and holds qualifications in Philosophy, Education and the measurement of paranormal belief. A teacher with over ten years experience in the field, Kylie has lectured on teaching critical thinking, feminism, new media and anomalistic beliefs worldwide.

If you are at any Skeptical conferences anywhere in the world, there's a good chance Kylie's there too. Make sure to say hello!

@podblack on Twitter.

Direct download: Meet_Kylie_Sturgess.m4a
Category:Science and Skepticism -- posted at: 7:53am EDT

Having been a fan of Skepticality, I knew I wanted to get both Derek and Swoopy as guests at one time or another. For no logical reason, I simply asked Derek first and he gladly obliged. An interview with Swoopy is in the works (at the time of this publication) and you should see it pretty soon. For any of you who don't know, Skepticality was one of the first Skeptical podcasts out there and it set the bar pretty high in terms of quality production and entertaining. We have all been struggling to catch up ever since they set the standard.


To put it in scientific, technical terminology, Derek’s a bright cookie. We was at the forefront of the podcasting movement (pre-dating Steve Jobs and iTunes’ participation). He helps organize Dragon*Con, the annual Mardis Gras for self proclaimed science geeks. He hosts Skepticality with partner “Swoopy,” and he basically keeps the rest of us on our toes with keen insight and a no-holds-barred attitude toward spreading reason and scientific thinking.


In this interview we talked about Derek's stroke a few years back, Skepticality, Dragon Con, and several other things. Enjoy!


Follow me on Twitter @MeetTheSkeptics.


Direct download: Meet_Derek_Colanduno.m4a
Category:Science and Skepticism -- posted at: 12:00am EDT