TRC #244: Penis Theft + Atacama Humanoid + Brown vs. White Eggs

3kNlE_zps0653eeedEpisode 244 of The Reality Check is very different than your father’s skeptical podcast. The gang presents three cutting edge segments that you won’t hear anywhere else*. Darren leads things off by delving into the real or imagined epidemic of penis theft. Adam then looks into whether or not the 6-inch-long skeleton called the Atacama Humanoid is actually human. Elan finishes things off by discussing if brown eggs are better than white eggs. It’s a wild ride.

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Penis Theft

Pacific Standard


Doubtful News

Koro (Wikipedia)

Brown vs. White Eggs

Straight Dope – White vs. Brown Eggs

Fit Day – White vs. Brown Eggs


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12 Responses to TRC #244: Penis Theft + Atacama Humanoid + Brown vs. White Eggs

  1. Thad loar says:

    Just listened to the latest episode about the Atacama Humanoid and I think you missed something. Dr. Novela of the SGU wrote about it on Neurologica Blog. He points out that besides being human, the analysis could have misrepresented the living age of the specimen because of a process during mummification where bone density is increased. Taking that into account the specimen was probably a fetus of around 20 weeks. Also, there was a hole in the back of the skull indicating trauma. This most likely was the result of an illegal abortion (abortion is strictly illegal in Chile) where a hook is inverted into the cranium to pull the fetus out. This would also explain the elongation of the skull, as at that age skull bones are pliable. Thank you for the great show!

    • Adam says:

      Thanks Thad. That article went up the day of our recording so I had not seen it when I prepared my segment. Kind of wish I had at this point.

  2. Thad loar says:

    *A 20week old fetus does not have the 6th set of ribs(floating ribs) developed yet so this too is consistent with the evidence.

  3. Matt says:

    Nice awkward penis joke during your segment Adam.

  4. Tim Fletcher says:

    Is there any legitimate medical thing that would cause a penis to shrink?

  5. Darren says:

    Hi Tim,
    I’m not a medical expert on this by any means, but here is a candidate:

  6. Tracy M says:

    Brown eggs have a bit of a leg up , as the shells of brown eggs are generally thicker than the shells of white eggs.

  7. Elan Dubrofsky says:

    @Tracy do you have a source for this?

    • Tracy M says:

      Eggshell thickness is somewhat dependent on the variety of chicken. The larger varieties require a thicker shells. Chicken varieties that lay brown eggs, tend to heavier. A heavier chicken would risk crushing their eggs during incubation if the eggshell was too thin. I often buy duck eggs from a local farmer, the eggs are quite sturdy, domestic ducks are considerably larger than domestic chickens. I know personal observation isn’t data, but I do have some birds & eggs experience.

      During my undergrad work for ornithology classes I noted that the eggs from smaller song birds were quite fragile while those from a larger wild bird were sturdier. There is also a variation in shell thickness in wild populations, based on nesting habits. Those birds that lay eggs in ground nests had sturdier shells (think seabirds) while those birds that lay eggs in tree nests tend to have thinner shells. If you have ever had the chance to crack open an ostrich egg, you’ll find them much sturdier than a robin’s egg.

      • Tracy M says:

        I should also note, that the quality of feed makes a difference in shell thickness, regardless whether white or brown. Local farmers often supplement the feed with crushed oyster shells.

        On a separate note:

        Wasn’t that quite the playoff between the Bruins & the Leafs? Being from New England, I’m a Bruins fan… however my wife is from Ontario, thus a Leafs fan. I guess they wanted to pack in a lot of excitement in the playoffs to make up for the short season.

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