TRC #558: Can Hippos Swim? + Neil deGrasse Tweetstorm + Mona Lisa True Colours

After we posted a funny meme on TRC’s Facebook page, a couple of Checkers question whether hippos can really swim so Pat goes on a mission to find out. Simple yes or no answer, right? Not on this show! Darren breaks down Neil deGrasse Tyson’s tweet and apology around recent U.S. shootings that made some people more than a little upset. Finally, Adam gives us a cool art history lesson after visiting an exhibit on Leonardo da Vinci and realizing the Mona Lisa may not be who she seems.

Download direct: mp3 file

Can Hippos Swim?

BBC – World’s Deadliest Animals

Indiana Public Media: Do Hippos Swim?

The Atlantic – How Do Hippos Move Through Water

Nat Geo: Hippopotamus

San Diego Zoo: Hippos

Live Science: Hippos

Wikipedia: Hippopotamus

Nat Geo Kids: Ten Hippo Facts

Neil deGrasse Tweetstorm

Facebook NDT apology

NDT’s Twitter


Yahoo News

Mona Lisa True Colours


True Colors of Ancient Greek and Roman Statues – Moco-choco

Whitewashing Ancient Statues: Whiteness, Racism And Color In The Ancient World – Forbes

This entry was posted in The Reality Check Episodes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to TRC #558: Can Hippos Swim? + Neil deGrasse Tweetstorm + Mona Lisa True Colours

  1. Rich W. says:

    I know that broaching any controversy involving famous people is difficult, especially with Neil deGrasse Tyson having everything from actual haters to full-blown sycophants, so kudos to you folks for addressing the issue while knowing that everyone along that spectrum will yell at you for being “wrong” on one point or another.

    (In truth, you can’t really be wrong about your own opinion; so, as always, the Realty Check crewmembers are absolutely right no matter what.)

    I feel it’s fair to say that he tries to be provocative or even “edgy” in an attempt to get people thinking more widely about things, and unfortunately he sometimes crosses the line into belligerence. So as someone who often can logically believe one thing while still completely feeling the exact opposite, I do understand why some people have a hard time applying the principle of charity and are wondering if his apology was actually a sarcastic dig at the “overly-emotional” reactions/over-sensationalism he was critiquing in the first place.

    So I don’t believe he was trying to be malicious or hurtful, yet his original comment does smack of someone just trying to prove how much smarter they are than everyone else – which is, sadly, a common affliction in any intellectual field. So, as many have pointed out, when emotions are running high he should probably simply run these things by a few friends first; and while he probably has many offers for that already, it’s an absolutely indisputable fact that you folks would be his best choice. 🙂

    As for the statues, I agree that some of them look really tacky with full color; also, I do find something special about taking in the pure forms of the uncolored pieces that we otherwise may not appreciate. The interactive virtual-reality museums of the future will no doubt let us explore all options.

    Just like hippos, I don’t float either, so I have to actively propel myself to stay afloat at all times (except in the Dead Sea). A quick search for “Baby Hippos Swimming” pretty much tells the story: the little ones can propel themselves level or up for short periods, yet it’s not at all surprising that the adults can’t or just don’t. (I mean, if you’re always in shallow water and can hold your breath for long periods, why put in so much effort? 🙂 )

    Thanks again for another great episode.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *