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Jon Wertheim
 Interview: Jon L. Wertheim
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This week Derek talks with Executive Editor of Sports Illustrated Magazine, Jon L. Wertheim. Jon is the author of 'Scorecasting', the New York Times Beselling book which is a interesting blend of Freakonomics, Moneyball, and Mythbusters. Yes, the book is about sports, but it comes at the world of sports from a scientific angle to expose the hidden forces which shape how games are won and lost, while breaking down many of the superstions and myths which are embedded in popular culture about sports in general.
Show Notes

– Date – April 1, 2014
– Send your cool ‘SCIENCE!’ shout-outs to
– Theme song by Steve Seamans of the Daisy Dillman Band. Get the song HERE.
– Thank you to everyone who has been purchasing books, Skepticality stuff, or using our Amazon link to help us!

Skepticism Skepticism, Past and Future [1:20]
– The Guardian invented San Seriffe on April 1, 1977.
– Previous Skepticality history segments that mentioned hoaxes include:
#124 Jonathan Swift’s famous hoax.
#124 Several hoaxes (Turin, Kinderhook, Aurora UFO).
#134 P.T. Barnum and hoaxes.
#136 Fortsas book auction.
#141 Media hoaxes.
#157 Moon hoaxers.
#163 Space-related hoaxes.
#171 Piltdown man.
#227 Aztec UFO hoax.
– Lifehacker Australia already has a 2014 April Fools roundup.
– Tim wrote a preview of Skep Tech 2 (April 4-6 in Minneapolis) at his blog.
– Skeptic History facts are posted daily on social media find out where on this page at Tim’s blog.

Wikipedia [9:25]
Susan Gerbic
We’ve Been Busy!
– The Skeptic Wikipedia Project.

Skeptical Humanities [14:00]
In Praise of Sutton Hoo Woo.
Dr. Sam Newton.
Skeptical Humanities.

The Odds Must Be Crazy [20:00]
The Odds Must Be Crazy.
– This week’s featured story is, “The Isolated Artist“.
– Story was submitted by Skepticality listener, Rick Stromoski.
Visit the story link for a more detailed analysis and to add your comments.
– Additional thoughts and considerations provided by Barbara Drescher.
– Our theme music comes to us courtesy of Brian Keith Dalton, AKA Mr. Deity.
– Please visit The Independent Investigations Group Los Angeles.
– The Odds Must Be Crazy can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
– Wendy Hughes is on Twitter.
– John Rael is on Twitter.
– Edward Clint is on Twitter.
– Barbara Drescher is on Twitter.
– Brian Keith Dalton is on Twitter.
– Thanks to our friends Emery Emery, Heather Henderson and Blythe Renay for hospitality and support for the production of the segment. Visit them at

Interview: Jon L. Werthiem [25:15]
– Staff writer/Executive Editor for Sports Illustrated.
– Writes about Mixed Martial Arts became fascinated with the sport after going to a fight, even has a book he wrote on the topic.
– His normal writing is about the business of sports, he felt that aspect was not covered as much as it should be.
– With the rise of movies/books like Moneyball the business of sports is getting more notice.
Michael Lewis is an example of how a good author can make people care about a topic which would normally be considered boring or dry.
– Jon has written some movies and television shows.
– Even one about Pool Hustling. Pool is interesting because almost every subset of society plays in the professional ranks. One of the most well known pro pool players is Janet Lee.
– In Louisville they have the pool ‘Derby Classic‘ which draws every type of pool player or enthusiast.
– Has written books like ‘Strokes of Genius‘ about tennis, ‘Blood in the Cage‘ about MMA fighting, ‘Running the Table‘ about pool, as well as his most recent book, ‘Scorecasting‘.
– Steven Levitt, one of the folks who helped with Freakonomics actually helped out with some of the details in ‘Scorecasting‘.
– A good example from the book which is like Freakonomics is just how much weight the coin flip for overtime in Football has on the final outcome of the game.
– He came up with a fun, but better, method which involves allowing the audience to vote for who wins that particular part of the game.
– Jon used work from prominent skeptics like Dan Ariely while writing the book.
– The fascinating world of the Cubs baseball team and how they keep losing, yet are worth so much money.
– Winning or losing does not seem to matter to Cubs and their financial success.
– Fans of the Cubs come to the teams games win or lose, they even sold more tickets than the White Sox, in the same city. Even the year the Sox won.
The Cubs really are not a bad team according to the statistics.

Outro Music [31:45]
– Outro music donated by Trent Brusky of Dropfox.

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