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The Influence of Randomness

Melvin Dummar says a grand conspiracy has denied him his portion of billionaire Howard Hughes' vast estate. Many consider Dummar to be a fraud but an in-depth investigation by Gary Magnesen has apparently shown Dummar to be a good samaritan who saved Hughes from certain death. Both joined George Knapp to discuss why Hughes was in the desert, as well as those who schemed to deny Dummar and several institutions of their rightful share of the Hughes estate. In the first hour, veteran music journalist Joel Selvin talked about the notorious Rolling Stones Altamont concert of 1969, considered by many to be rock’s darkest day.

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The Influence of Randomness

Show Archive
Date: Wednesday - May 14, 2008
Host: George Noory
Guests: Leonard Mlodinow, Richard C. Hoagland

Appearing in the middle two hours, physicist and writer Leonard Mlodinow spoke about his recent studies on randomness, and the influence it has in our daily lives. The title of his new book, The Drunkard's Walk, refers to the idea that we often end up getting to places through a meandering pathway.

Randomness takes the form of unplanned or unpredictable events, which can end up greatly affecting a person's choices and outcomes, he explained. Even though someone might have certain abilities, due to circumstances beyond their control, there is a certain amount of variation in how things turn out.

He cited some instances in baseball, such as the year when Roger Maris hit 61 homeruns, even though his average was 45, as an example of random variation. George shared an incident when he had a life-saving intuition while driving, and Mlodinow suggested that when people have certain intuitions they may be responding to subconscious physical cues.

The last hour featured Open Lines with callers sharing incidents of when they had prominent intuitions.

Hoagland Update

First hour guest, Richard C. Hoagland reacted to the hype around a NASA press conference (which turned out to be a news release about a supernova discovery in our galaxy-- see article below). He speculated that the announcement might be NASA's way of drawing attention to the center of the galaxy (which our solar system is said to be aligning with in 2012).

Bumper Music

Bumper music from Wednesday May 14, 2008

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