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Skepticism in Popular Music: The Art of Discourse

Nearly 500 people crowd The Fashion Institute of Technology’s Haft Auditorium when George Hrab takes the stage for his hybrid musical act/quiz show, A Skeptical Extravaganza of Special Significance. The bald, bespectacled performer is joined by the self-described Rogues of the immensely popular Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast and children’s show host turned science advocate Bill Nye (“The Science Guy”).

Hrab leads the group as they tackle such hard-hitting topics as the Millennium Falcon vs. the starship Enterprise, but really turns up the heat when he forces Skeptics’ Guide point man Steven Novella to defend the American system of units against Nye and the metric system. Nye, perhaps emboldened by his audience-decided victory, later interrupts Hrab as he plays an acoustic version of Thomas Dolby’s 1980s synth-pop song “She Blinded Me with Science.” Hrab responds by offering his guitar to Nye, who politely declines.

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