Radio Podcast

The Cosmic Boondocks – Episode #2, May 22, 2011

Subscribe to Nirmukta Radio

“Our time is burdened under the cumulative weight of successive debunkings of our conceits…. We live in The Cosmic Boondocks.”

~Carl Sagan

The Cosmic Boondocks is a podcast promoting science, freethought and humanistic values in India.

Episode #2 (22/5/2011) Shownotes

News Stories:

1. The End of the World:

Harold Camping and his Family Radio organization, on Judgment Day: May 21, 2011.

2. Yoga can help fight breast cancer

3. Ramdev’s quackery; near-death by asphyxiation:


4. Indian government   to link caste, religion to poverty survey:

Science News:

1. Elective amputation for bionic limb.

2. Endeavor carrying microbes to space station to test theory that alien life may have spawned life on earth:

Pictures of the “Ring of Fire” from the Endeavor launch:

3. Potentially the first habitable exoplanet identified:

Superstition of the week:

Clipping your nails at night can bring bad luck.


When was rice first cultivated in India?


Rising Legends, by Epic Soul Factory

I thought of you, by Maria Montilla

Built to last, by Fall Walk Run

Androzo, by Dudledrum

Gotas de nectar, by Thisan

What you want is lost, by Orphan Songs

People need people, by Kachkin

Strutin, by Tyrad

David and Goliath, by Wooden Legs

All music is distributed under Creative Commons non-commercial, attribution, sharealike license.

About the author

Ajita Kamal


  • Ajita,

    Nice broadcast and discussion, especially the part about ‘Yoga research’

    This was of particular interest to me as my sister has also caught on to this Yoga bug. And she tends to brush aside my rational objections to it.

    I liked your term for the conditioning associated with Yoga. Though it may be trite impolite for some tastes, but that is what it is.

    Maybe ‘mind self-molestation’ could be an alternative term

    May the power of the podcasts spread far and wide

    • Hi Ranganath, thank you for your feedback!
      That term slipped out, and I contemplated it for about 2 seconds before deciding to leave it in 🙂

  • Good to see the podcast running again! Any plans to have interviews of Indian freethinkers like Narendra Nayak on the podcast?

    Btw, I really like the music interludes.

    • Thanks, Satish. Definitely would like to do interviews. But I want to do a few first in the new solo format so that I get used to doing it. Setting up interviews and the editing out all the irrelevant stuff becomes very time consuming.
      Also, I hope to start looking for contributors going forward.

  • 1) Re: Rapture.. This is beyond ridiculous. Sometime ago I was lucky enough to attend a lecture by Dan Barker about his deconversion.. and he mentioned that they were waiting for Jebus to come back in the 70s and finally got tired of waiting. Even in Renaissance Italy in the 1300’s, people got tired of waiting for Jebus’s return. I wonder when Xians will start reading up on history.

    2) Ramdev.. I am glad that a medico-legal case has been registered. Imagine my surprise when I saw his products in the New Jersey desi stores recently.

    Re: the science stories in this episode, they are so incredible they sound like science fiction. Esp the panspermia test. The to-and-fro-journey is so incredibly difficult, and the scientists pretty much get only one chance to get this whole test right.

    3) Re: Quiz question on rice, I know you posted a good reference on the next podcast. Here’s some info about Rice in India.
    i.e India received rice pretty late (~2000 BC). Wheat came around 6500 BC, and needs pretty elaborate irrigation because it was suited to wet-winters climate, and Northern India had wet-summers. Without these crops, large populations and cities could not really be established, and thus one wonders how Hindus claim that there were ancient cities like Dwarka well over tens of thousands of years ago.

    • Thanks for the feedback, AKNJ.

      1. Good question. I think the majority of Christians have gotten clever and will not make such easily falsifiable claims. But there is always a sizable minority that will, I guess.

      2. US desis are just as gullible, IMO, and they’re often easier to sell such nonsense to because of the desi pride when surrounded by “Amreekan culture”. I know desis in NY who have ‘champrash’ and ayurvedic medicines shipped in by the case from India.

      3. Excellent point about the need for such agriculture as a prerequisite for modern civilization. I was also very much influenced by Jared Diamond’s Guns Germs and Steel. Of course, Hindus will claim that agriculture is a lot older and that science has just not discovered the “ancient truths” yet.

Leave a Comment