Huffington Post’s newest blogger

By Phil Plait | February 28, 2006 3:08 pm

‘… me!

I’ve been reading The Huffington Post for sometime now. While I don’t always agree with what the bloggers say, I have found much of it to be quite amusing and entertaining.

A couple of months ago I noticed they would link to astronomy news, and it would get a lot of comments, but then that was it. No bloggers were following up. So I decided they needed a scientist on the blogroll to make those needed insider comments.

By coincidence, at The Amaz!ng Meeting, Lawrence O’Donnell was scheduled to talk, and he’s a regular on HuffPo. It figures: he didn’t make it to the meeting. Undaunted, I emailed him (which in itself is cool, since he is the executive produce of The West Wing) and he replied back! I sent him my pitch, he forwarded it to Arianna (now that I’m a blogger we’re on a first-name basis), and she agreed to take me on!

I was then promptly overloaded with work, so I had to wait over a month to actually write something. But the Hubble image in the previous entry seemed like an auspicious way to start my new blogging activities. So I wrote up an entry and away I went! The post went live around 8:00 a.m. Pacific time. I put in a link to my blog here, and out of curiosity I checked my access logs. In the 6 hours since the entry went live, I have accrued exactly 3 hits, and I suspect one of them is from me. So this wasn’t the giant jump I was hoping for.

Still, it’s cool to say I am blogging with one of the biggest and most popular blogs on the internets. I won’t post there terribly often, maybe a few times a month, but when I do I’ll make a note of it here.’

Comments (27)

  1. Kevin from NYC

    good for you….I read that blog sometimes…..

  2. beskeptigal

    Patience, boy patience. ;)

  3. writerdd

    That’s great! Congrats!

  4. monolithfoo

    ack! isn’t this the blog home of Depak Chopra?!?! Should be interesting.

  5. Congrats!! That’s excellent!

  6. Steve

    Things might go a little better if the first link to huffington post was spelled correctly

  7. Cool… but I think that your stuff about gas clouds like George D_tsch would probably net more readers from there than the Pinwheel Galaxy does. I like the latter though, so keep it up!

  8. Typo fixed. ;-)

    Like I said, too, I don’t agree with all the bloggers. Chopra probably hasn’t said something correct in his entire career, and I find him to be a pseudoscientist of high order. Maybe I can debunk him in my blog. :-)

  9. R2K

    Wow the page I have loved for years, in blog form!

    R2K

  10. Great news! Do us proud.

  11. Adria

    Cool! That’s where Shermer blogs. But he hasn’t quite gotten the hang of it, I think – last time I checked, he only had three entries (both reallllyyyy long).

  12. Christian Burnham

    Totally off-topic, but with regards to Shermer- anyone else think his commentary this week on http://www.randi.org is extraordinarily weak? The BA will be a guest comentator soon, and I expect that will really be worth reading.

  13. What I wrote for Randi is wordy, even for me. :-)

  14. Christian Burnham

    Oh, and just to be clear- I was only disappointed with Shermer’s commentary for the Randi website because he’s normally so great. I’ve read several of his books and subscribe to the Skeptic magazine of which he’s editor. However, last week’s essay was throw-away preaching to the choir. I can’t wait for BA’s guest commentary (this week?). Randi has always been a good supporter of the BA and quite rightly so.

  15. P. Edward Murray

    Phil,

    I was wondering when you would get around to it…:)

  16. “now that I’m a blogger we’re on a first-name basis”

    – so does she call you “Bad”?

    Seriously, it’s great to have a scientist and a skeptic blogging on the huff post – it should help counteract the Deepak Chopras and David Kirbies who post so much garbage over there.

  17. P. Edward Murray

    Phil,

    Please do a story on International Star Registry…these folks are insane.
    Just heard another of their Advertisements on WCBS 880 NYC…

    And, while your talking to Mr. O’Donnell to try and bring back “West Wing”
    on cable.

    NBC is a loser!

  18. The ISR will be lambasted properly (though briefly) on my Brains on Vacation spot wich will air Wednesday night on Sirius radio.

  19. P. Edward Murray

    Good, I just can’t stand Astronomy being used as a SCAM!

  20. Kullat Nunu

    Well, at least there’s Phil Plait adverts…

    I spotted this one:
    Black Holes: Narrated QCShow lecture by Phil Plait recorded live.
    aics-research.com/lectures

  21. Chet

    P. Edward Murray Says: February 28th, 2006 at 9:22 pm
    “Phil, Please do a story on International Star Registry…these folks are insane.”

    Well, Phil and everyone else interested–as I was checking Spacedaily.com and you should go here:

    http://www.space-travel.com/reports/Lawyer_Debunks_Space_Real_Estate_Business.html
    The Staff
    Los Angeles, CA (SPX) Feb 27, 2006

    “Before you purchase a certificate offering the Moon to the love of your life, check with space law expert Virgiliu Pop. In a groundbreaking book, “Unreal Estate – The Men who Sold the Moon”, Mr. Pop comes with legal arguments as to why one cannot actually buy extraterrestrial real estate.”
    “During the past decade, mass-media has reported about individuals and companies that have claimed ownership of various celestial bodies and, in most of the cases, subsequently offered them for sale to the public. Nowadays, the number of “owners” of extraterrestrial realestate certificates from different companies is in the range of several million.”

  22. The Huffington Post? Egads…just trying to read anything there makes my eyes bleed. Why would you bring yourself down to that level?

  23. Lucid

    I see this as a blessing and a curse. Blessing because you’ll get more readers. Curse because I always hear conservative radio portray Huffington Post as out of touch liberal, secularist, freedom hating terrorist lovers, blah, blah, blah. I think it makes it easier for opponents (like the ID folks) to label you as “leftist scientist.”

    I would have personally preferred to see you stay more “independent.” You know, an unbiased voice of science that’s beyond reproach. I fear you may have made it harder to make your point because of your association with HP.

    You give science a good voice. The new megaphone damages your credibility, I think.

    I wish you the best of luck and will continue to read. Just keep it about fighting the good fight for science and tread on any party lines necessary. Cheers!

  24. I am unbiased. Or more accurately, I have tried to minimize my unreasoned prejudices. If I think the Bush Administration is suppressing and distorting science, that is not bias, because there is a vast amount of evidence that this is precisely what’s going on. That is truth, and saying otherwise is spin.

    If the right wing wants to take me on because they perceive me as liberal, then they are free to do so. The far left wing would undoubtedly also have issues with many things I say. As an independent thinker, I adhere to no one strict philosophy. I find some liberal arguments compelling, and others not. The same is true for libertarianism, conservatism, and a whole passel of other “isms”. I find no need to stick to one ism blindly; in fact, I feel just the opposite is needed.

    You will find that pinning me down to a simple sound bite ideology will be difficult, if not impossible. The real world is complicated, and doesn’t necessarily fit into our too-small boxes.

  25. Lucid

    After reviewing my comment, I realize it kind of sounds like I’m insinuating that you’re going to become more biased. That wasn’t my intention.

  26. Melusine

    Lucid Says:

    March 1st, 2006 at 11:11 am
    I see this as a blessing and a curse. Blessing because you’ll get more readers. Curse because I always hear conservative radio portray Huffington Post as out of touch liberal, secularist, freedom hating terrorist lovers, blah, blah, blah. I think it makes it easier for opponents (like the ID folks) to label you as “leftist scientist.”

    Small minds think in small ways. I’m not referring to you, Lucid, but that kind of thinking and compartmentalizing. The HP links to George Will–nobody is going to accuse him of being “leftist.” Will is a true, blue conservative, not a neo-conservative, and he doesn’t write things in his columns such as, “Freedom hating terrorist lovers,” or such polarizing nonsense that is patently false propaganda.

    I agree with you that the ID folks are more than happy to use whatever they can to sway the confused puplic into flocks; those flocks will help their religious, economic, and legislative goals at the voting booth or on the school board. Fortunately there are religious conservatives speaking out against the IDers. Fortunately there are those who are saying, “Hey, I’m not so sure I want to be part of a club that would have you as a member.”

    But I don’t think Phil comes off as very political. He doesn’t like what this administration is doing in regards to science, for sure, yet I have no idea what Phil thinks about a lot of major issues. Haven’t a clue. I have some ideas, but it’s mostly inference. His focus, at least here, has always been related to science.

    I get tired of those who so readily want to put others in a box and label them.

  27. icemith

    I agree that you, Phil appear to be a reasonable person, and that I have not found any evidence against it. And it is also reasonable to know what the rest of the world is thinking, how could one know otherwise, without sometimes engaging them, even on their turf. Keep up the good work Phil, or should I be courteous and say Mr Astronomy?

    The reason for this blog however relates to the Huffington Blog. I had never heard of it before, as I gather the usual subject matters seem to be pariochial US stuff. There seems little interest here in Aust.

    Nevertheless I found it intriguing that just before I opened this particular post re Ms Huffington, I had been watching TV, and with the program ended, it had gone on to another called “The L Word”- series return ( I did not know it had gone away, never having heard of it), but it had some reference to Adriana Huffington and lesbianism. Not interested I switched channels, and with “Curb Your Enthusiasm” on in the background ( the ep. with the sheet with the hole), I proceeded to check my mail. The Blog came up and I was surprised to see THAT name again- Huffington. Rechecking seemed to confirm it. Quite a co-incidence I feel, to have the two touching down in my living room at the same time. As a matter of course I then logged on to the Huff. Blog but didn’t find much to interest me. ( But at least Larry David in ‘Curb…’ was funny if predictable for the last ten minutes I saw). Oh yes I also bit the bullet and downloaded the 69Mb version of M 101—— absolutely beautiful, that got my mind off other things! That is in another post, but thanks for the opportunity.

    Ivan

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