I get email…from a Playboy bunny

By Phil Plait | March 27, 2006 10:59 pm

‘So in my usual manner, I get in to my office in the morning after dropping the Little Astronomer off at school, plop my bag onto my desk, start up my coffee, and grab my phone to listen to my phone messages.

The normal morning ended there. But in a good way. Well, a weird way at first, but then good.

One of the messages was from a woman with a New Jersey accent. Here it is in its entirety:

Hi Phil. I was just reading your article on the equinox and the egg. You mentioned it’s a hard boiled egg. Try standing a raw egg up on that day. That’s the way it goes. It’s a raw egg not a hard boiled egg. Have a good day.

That’s it. No name, no specifics. The caller ID listed the number as being from Jersey, so that matched the accent, but I had no clue who the person was. I wasn’t even sure what article she was talking about! The message was left shortly after last week’s spring equinox, when this legend gets attention. I have my egg standing article on my website, of course, but I also wrote one for Night Sky magazine.

So I had a laugh over that, wondering who this person was and how she got my number.

Then I checked my email.

DEAR DR. PHIL PHLAT [sic]:

YOU’RE A KILL JOY!

IN REGARD TO YOUR ARTICLE:
AOL Research & Learn: Night Sky – The Equinox and the Egg

P.S. THE EGG SHOULD BE RAW, NOT HARD BOILED. THAT’S CHEATING!
BUNNIES KNOW THESE THINGS! LOL!

Buh-Bye
BUNNYJOEY(ON HEF’S LEFT)

I must say, the last line certainly caught my attention. "Bunny"? "Hef"? I am but a man, and so I felt the need to investigate. I don’t open attached images, and my website mailer won’t let me see them anyway. So I did a search on "bunnyjoey", and voila:

OK then. I’m not sure when that picture was taken, but then, I’m not sure I care.

And yes, I am clearly not above using sex in this blog. Duh. But I also figure that using the words sex, Playboy, and bunny in this blog entry are bound to get it to rise a bit in Google. In that vein I should mention the link above about using sex in this blog contains nudity (sorta) and which, of course, means someone in the picture is naked.

I wonder how popular this particular blog entry will become? Think of this as a scientific experiment in social marketing. Oh, and did I mention that I saw the movie XXX with Vin Diesel? No? Yeah, that XXX, not a great movie, and Vin Diesel is kindof a boob, but it’s worth mentioning at least twice here. Yes. Maybe three times. XXX.

Anyway, I replied back to BunnyJoey and told her a hard boiled egg spins well, but yes, a raw egg is what you need if you want to stand one up (I’ll note that I never mentioned in the article that you should try this with a hard boiled egg– and incidentally, the article on AOL was a reprint of my Night Sky article). We’ve been exchanging lighthearted emails (she’s interested in what I know about Orion’s belt– given that Mrs. Bad Astronomer sometimes reads these entries, I’ll note that I avoided the obvious and steered Joey to my friend Jim Kaler’s pages about those stars).

OK, so not much astronomy in this entry, but what the heck. I’m human, despite being a scientist, so sex I like to mix it up naked sometimes and write about other things Playboy bunny. I obviously have no ulterior motives.’

Comments (62)

  1. Delance

    Google hits will be *astronomical*.

  2. A Simple Guy

    LOL. Talk about heavenly bodies!

  3. Yeah, because there aren’t any other sites that use words like “sex” and “naked.” You’d be better off with “mesothelioma” or something.

    Okay, I’m jealous.

  4. Ah, the wonders of the internet!

  5. Bad, bad Astronomer! Naughty, naughty! Full of naught, thou art!

    Mathematicians often resort to something called Hilbert space, which is
    described as being n-dimensional. Like modern sex, any number can play.

    – Dr. Thor Wald, in The Quincunx of Time (1973)

  6. Using the words sex and xxx and naked in a blog, I must try that with mine, thanks for the idea.

  7. Tensor

    LOL, that’s a great story Phil.

  8. Tensor

    I also just noticed that there are two ads for playboy bunnie clothing and jewelery.

  9. Jen-Luc

    I predict you’ll get at least a few hits. For some reason, I always get the odd person Googling for “sex” and “party” stumbling on my blog…. because of one post entitled “sex, lies and physicists…” :)

  10. I seem to attract a few fetishists because of a post I wrote called LaTeX: the pain, the pleasure … ok, I probably could have guessed that would happen!

  11. Eighthman

    Hmm. I’m guessing that now your blog has been banned from schools and libraries across the country that use filtering software. So maybe your hit count WON’T go up.

  12. Kim

    It shouldn’t be hard to get a rise in your Google hits with such a naked ploy.

    Do comments count?

  13. Damon B.

    His name is Philly,
    and he’s throwing you,
    a sexy par-tay…

  14. Melusine

    Uh, Phil, you just killed my access-ability to your blog at work! I’ve got some weird “Access Denied” at the top of my page. Now they’re going to get the word search list and think I’m reading pornographic stuff!

    ~banging head emoticon~

  15. Michelle Rochon

    Bwahaha! What a shameless way to get hits. :P

  16. TJ

    It’s official. You are now famous. Don’t let it go to your head, it might push some hairs out. :)

  17. Brett:

    I was once poking around the Web for LaTeX code that could help me format some Elizabethan-theatre style stuff I was writing. (Why anyone would try doing science fiction in blank verse is a long story.) So, naturally, I googled “LaTeX play” — and that was the day I realized that Google is not case-sensitive.

    Come to think of it, all this talk of LaTeX is probably making the BA’s site even more salacious, as far as the search engines are concerned. (The first page of googlehits on the query “latex” all concern the typesetting software, while the sponsored link on the right is offering me something called “mega hard” videos.)

  18. Try: “Hubba Hubba Zoot Zoot mp3″, one third of my hits are from people searching for that in Google……

  19. Leon

    That was cute. I’m glad you got back with her and set her straight about the raw egg thing.

  20. Tara Mobley

    Phil, you’re silly. But why would anyone think that you had mentioned hard boiled eggs as the ones you were standing up? I had always assumed they were raw.

  21. aiabx

    Aww crap. I went googling for “naked bunny sex”, and I ended up here.
    Maybe if I try googling for “moon hoax debunking” I’ll get some porn.

  22. Cindy

    Phil,

    You could have talked about the type of cataclysmic variables I did my thesis on: SW Sex stars. I accused my advisor for picking that one instead of DW UMa as the namesake just so he could work “Sex” into the title. Of course, he nixed my idea of a title for my thesis: “SW Sextantis stars, Superhumps, and other things that go bump in the night”.

    And then there’s a lot of light curves in cataclysmic variables that have Superhumps. ;-)

  23. Nigel Depledge

    Cindy, I don’t think I’m tall enough for your comment.

    It went right over my head…

  24. Heh. Don’t forget the rude star FU Orionis, and of course the hot pair EZ Peg and OO Leo.

    I admit it. I have a childish sense of humor. But these are tame compared to other jokes we used to tell in grad school… and no way am I telling any of those here.

  25. aiabx

    > and no way am I telling any of those here.

    Aw, c’mon Phil. Have pity on those of us who never heard anything funnier than “naked singularities” and “the rings around Uranus”.

  26. Dude

    You should have posted a version without all those words so people can access your blog at work.

  27. It’s a risk I am willing to take just this once to be a bit silly. :)

  28. And no one’s mentioned the Hertzsprung-Russell mnemonic tricks yet? You could do an entire conversation:

    Oh Be A Fine Girl — Kiss Me!”

    “Only Boys Advocating Feminism Get Kissed Meaningfully.”

    Where I come from (quantum mechanics and field theory), we’ve got “couplings” and “conjugations” all over the place. I once invented an explanation of commutator relations — equations where the order of operators matters, because you’re using mathematical quantities defined such that A times B doesn’t equal B times A — which was positively obscene.

    I shouldn’t tell that one here, either. We must think of the children, after all.

  29. She was confused because you said “hard-boiled professional” and thought you meant hard-boild eggs, I guess. Silly bunny… tricks are… um… nevermind.

    By the way, while you may get some random traffic from your words, sadly, unless your masses of net-followers actually put those words on their sites, then link to yours, you’ll probably find little love from Google. Google places way more weight on linkage than it does on actual content (not to say it places no value on content, of course, because it certianly does). The higher the rank of the site that links to you (that is, the more sites that link to THAT site) the more that site’s like boosts your rating, etc.

    So… if you had those keyworks AND had a link from playboy.com to that particular page, then you’d see a nice bump in Google rank. How do you think

  30. /oops/
    How do you think bushorchimp.com was the #1 ranked search for George Bush for so long? =]

  31. L. Fuller

    Now what did that old geology t-shirt of mine say? Something along the line of:

    Thrusting, folding, over-turned beds, orogeny and eruptions are are associated with subduction zones.

    Now that sounds dirty!

  32. Good point, Carnax. So here goes: h ttp://www.playboy.com

  33. Actually, I prefer not to have direct links to sites like that (the link to the ex-playboy bunnies in my blog was not, as far as I could tell, NSFW). I broke the link intentionally.

  34. To add to the link business, Dragon, the link has to be to this site, not from it.

    jbs

  35. Merovingian

    Eh-heh-heh, that’s cute.

  36. Thad Ritchards

    Heh. This page (not the main blog page) was blocked from work. I wonder why? :)

  37. Simon

    The reverse process can happen; A few years back a class I was teaching had to do a project on the transatlantic slave trade in the 18th Century. I got them doing perfectly innocent web searches with key words like slave and slavery, and Oh My! I think I’ve still got mistress tania’s virtual dungeon bookmarked somewhere!

  38. ken

    Why is the guy who looks like he’s coaching 3rd base wearing A GLOVE??? a little silliness in the cause of science is a good change of pace!

  39. Nigel Depledge

    Blake, on the subject of mnemonic tricks, in our A-level biology class we were encouraged to invent our own mnemonic for the basic levels of calssification nomenclature (kingdom – phylum – class – order – family – genus – species).

    (I don’t think mine was clever enough to want to share it).

  40. Kevin Conod

    It’s only when she starts asking about what’s below Orion’s Belt that Mrs. Bad Astronomy has to start worrying!

    And I apologize for my fellow New Jerseyans. :-)

  41. Well, since we’re on the key words and increasing hits bit, might as well really draw out the internet’s interest groups. Of course, as BA should know, Vin Diesel plays Dungeons & Dragons and wrote part of the introduction to a 30 Years of Dungeons & Dragons coffee table book and that Wizards of the Coast, the producers of Dungeons & Dragons, also produces Star Wars the roleplaying game which has stars, both the Harrison Ford and Natalie Portman kind and the hot luminous bodied kind, while both Harrison and Portmen tend get rated from PG to R, the hot luminous bodies can be anywhere from O to M (and a few others). Yeah, now that’s a nice hit list of XXX, Playboy, Vin (rhymes with Sin?) Diesel (gas, need biofuel anyone?), D&D, Star Wars, Harrison, Portman, etc.

  42. Frumious B.

    Do you get this giddy over everyone who e-mails you? Or only the ones who buy into the women-as-sex-class mentality? I’m not asking that you be above using sex in this blog, but could you work on being above the kind of sex that portrays women as easily available for the gratification of men?

  43. Troy

    Her turn ons are astronomy and equinox erecting eggs, turn offs fungal Lenins in the shower.

    As for that LAST entry sounds like some kind of embittered lesbian. We are a sexual species get used to it. I’m sure if Phil got an email from say Janet Reno he’d be equally as ecstatic.

  44. Ty Pex

    Would it be wrong to tell her to try scrambled instead?

    Thought so. :-)

  45. Frumious, it’s best not to read too much into that one post. Or perhaps it might be better to see this one where I comment that I’m happy more women are showing up to professional science meetings, or this one where I praise women for their support of skepticism.

    As it happens, I like women. I like women because they are human: they can be smart, funny, interesting, diverse, surprising, curious, and wise. These are attributes I like in any human. In those posts above I mention those qualities. In this one, I didn’t, I kept it to sex. Does that make me sexist? What if I had talked about a woman’s curiosity only? Would that make me sexist?

    Because I happened to focus on an attribute that pushes your buttons doesn’t make it fair to categorize me that way. I see plenty of men and women talking about the opposite (or, if they go that way, the same) sex in a sexual manner on blogs, intelligent men and women, scientist men and women. It’s natural. It doesn’t make them sexist, it makes them human.

    At this stage in my life, I think it’s OK to talk about any one attribute, no matter what it is. I can also appreciate any one trait, but I don’t necessarily categorize that person only on that trait. I leave it open if they have other traits I might like or dislike. It just so happens that sometimes I focus on one of them.

    Now, after saying all that, you may have missed this, but the blog entry was supposed to be an over-the-top joke. I think a lot of people got it. My wife certainly did. I think the at least three women who posted comments here did too.

    And yes, I do get giddy over other emails, from both men and women. I just haven’t blogged about them. It’s best not to jump to conclusions on scant evidence.

  46. EvilBob

    Careful, Phil. My work network’s NetGranny already blocks the BAUT forum because of the occasional use of a word which describes females who are attracted to other females. Wouldn’t want a wonderful educational site like yours blocked, would we?

  47. HI, I’M YOUR BUNNY JOEY, MAY I SEE YOUR KEY PLEASE?
    I ENJOYED READING EVERYONE’S POSTS. STANDING A RAW EGG UP ON THE SPRING EQUINOX WAS ONE OF DAD’S MAGICAL SCIENCE LESSONS. SO, NATURALLY I HAD TO COMMENT. HE WAS A CIVIL ENGINEER, GRADUATED FROM CCNY. HE PLAYED BASKETBALL ON THE ONLY COLLEGE TEAM EVER TO WIN THE NIT AND THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES. HIS COACH WAS NAT HOLMAN. MY FATHER WAS ONE OF THE HONEST PLAYERS. HE HELPED DEVELOPE THE MLS AND WAS WORKING ON THE GPS WHEN HE PASSED AWAY IN 1997. THERE WERE SEVEN OF US AND DAD TAUGHT US ALOT. HE LOVED ASTRONOMY AND MATH. HE HAD US LEARNING ALGEBRA IN THE FOURTH GRADE. WE WORSHIPPED HIM. HE TAUGHT ME TO SWIM IN THE OCEAN, PLAY BALL, RIDE A BIKE, FLY A KITE AND GO FOR THE GOLD. WHEN I WORKED AT PLAYBOY, I HAD A GREAT TIME. I LEARNED THE SOCIAL GRACES OF THE ENTERTAINMENT WORLD. I SANG IN THE SHOWROOM, SERVED AND COOKED GOURMET MEALS TABLE SIDE. I WORKED MANY SOCIETY EVENTS INCLUDING DAVID DICKENS MAYORIAL CAMPAIGNE PARTY. (HE MARRIED MY HUSBAND AND I WHEN HE WAS THE COUNTY CLERK OF NY) THE NY BUNNIES HAD A SOFTBALL AND A BASKETBALL TEAM. WE PLAYED AGAINST THE POLICE & FIRE DEPT. (THAT IS A POLICE OFFICER WITH THE MITT PLAYING THIRD BASE), RADIO STATIONS, BANKS AND HOSPITALS TO RAISE MONEY FOR MANY CHARITIES INCLUDING THE CANCER FOUNDATION. WE EVEN PLAYED AT HALF TIME AT SHEA STADIUM! BY THE WAY WE ALWAYS WON!
    TODAY, I AM A REGISTERED NURSE. I WORK IN THE MEDICAL SURGICAL ARENA AT A LOCAL HOSPITAL. MY HUSBAND AND I HAVE THREE BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN AND A GRANDDAUGHTER. I SING IN OUR CHURCH CHOIR, SWIM LIKE A FISH, PLAY MAH JONGG AND VOLUNTEER TIME WORKING WITH UNWED MOTHERS. I LOVE SNEAKING UP ON PEOPLE AS A “BUNNY”. IF I SEEM A LITTLE LIKE GRACIE ALLEN AT TIMES THAT’S JUST PART OF MY CHARM. BY THE WAY ORION’S SWORD IS UNDER HIS BELT! LOL! THANKS FOR THE ATTENTION! IT WAS WONDERFUL!
    SEE YOU ALL IN THE STARS! BUH BYE! :* BUNY JOEY

  48. Irishman

    Phil, for some reason I’m getting double entries on some of the blog columns. Particularly the bunny one and the Mars Orbiter one.

  49. Ronn

    Irishman Says: Phil, for some reason I’m getting double entries on some of the blog columns. Particularly the bunny one and the Mars Orbiter one.

    Whereas I have tried several times to leave a reply without success. Maybe this one will go through . . . .?

  50. Something funny is happening when I try to upload a new entry since I upgraded. I’ll look into it. Thanks!

  51. JENEVIEVE

    THAT’S MY MOM, AND SHE’S THE BOMB!

    HEY RON, DON’T U KNOW BUNNIES MULTIPLY LIKE RABBITS

  52. Irishman

    Is ALL CAPS hereditary?

  53. Melusine

    Irishman Says:

    Is ALL CAPS hereditary?
    LOL!!

  54. beskeptigal

    It’s a small world indeed, when people from all walks of life end up together in a forum.

    Who’d of thought a woman with the image of a blond bimbo was really a very intelligent and thoughtful person; from a home where parents promoted science, learning and self confidence; with broad interests and a kid with a sense of humor. How stupid of us when we stereotype the playboy bunnies of the world.

    And Frumious B., there are lots of beautiful women who write to the BA, so what? I took the comments as much about the fame of Bunnies as their image. The real issue is why do people we’ve heard about give us some extra emotion when we encounter then directly? Sometimes there’s no societal issue. I’m pretty certain most people here would be in awe if Steven Hawking or Kip Thorne posted a comment on this blog. Sometimes you wonder why someone like a movie star or sports figure is valued so highly by society. But most of us would still experience some (I’m not sure how to describe) emotion if a person of fame sent us an e-mail. In this case the title rather than the individual carries the fame, still it is essentially the same.

    And why deny men are men. I can admire a nice looking man as well. Ms Bunny has shown us she has a lot more qualities than just her looks. I’m kind of glad that has come to my attention. I’m glad Phil decided to share that with us.

  55. Ronn

    I’m going to try one more time:

    Kevin Conod Says: It’s only when she starts asking about what’s below Orion’s Belt that Mrs. Bad Astronomy has to start worrying!

    Below Orion’s Belt? Everyone knows ain’t nothing below Orion’s belt but a whole lotta interstellar gas. And that problem could probably be fixed if Orion would just take RiGel after drinking Betelgeuse . . .

  56. Herb

    Ronn. I hope this helps broaden your horizons.

    What’s under Orion’s belt? His Sword and then some:
    Winter is the season of Orion, the hunter. You can find Orion by looking for the three closely set stars in his belt a little further south than overhead. Once you have seen these a couple of times you will be able to recognize them anywhere. As well as the belt, Orion includes shoulders (the two bright stars above his belt, to the north), two feet (the two bright stars further south) and a scabbard hanging from his belt
    The constellation of Orion can be used as a sign post that points to many other objects in the sky. If you draw an imaginary line through the stars in Orion’s belt, it will point down and to the left to the star Sirius. Sirius is the brightest star in the entire sky, and lies at the southern corner of the winter triangle. Betelgeuse is the upper right corner of this triangle, and a bright star named Procyon (in the constellation Canis Minor) is the third corner. You can find Procyon by drawing a line due East from Betelgeuse.

    Sirius is the head of Canis Major (Big Dog) and Procyon is Canis Minor (Little Dog), Orion’s hunting dogs. Below Orion is Lepus (THE RABBIT) (could we say Bunny? lol!), who is hiding under Orion’s feet . If you draw a line through Orion’s belt that goes up and to the right, you will see the star Aldebaron, which represents the eye of Taurus the Bull, whom Orion is hunting. Continue on that line from the belt through and you come to the Pleiades (the Seven Sisters) a star cluster that reveals a lot of detail with binoculars. Above Orion, about half way to the northern horizon lies another bright star, Capella, which is brighter than Aldebaran.

    Next, draw a line from Rigel through Betelgeuse to find the two bright stars Castor and Pollux; these are the Twins of the constellation Gemini. To the left (east) of Gemini is Leo (the Lion), which appears as a giant, backwards question mark. The large star at the base of the question mark is Regulus, which is the 21st brightest star in the sky. And Leo means that spring is coming.

  57. I am clearly not above using sex in this blog.

    So? PZ Myarrrrs has given us worm pr0n, squid pr0n, and might even regale us with pirate pr0n one of these days.

    Okay, so he studies zebrafish and squid, which copulate; and you study stars, which don’t. You can still talk about sex if you want.

  58. joyce

    Herb – that was a great post! I have a friend who teaches astronomyand she uses this same story (or almost the same) to get across to us “dummies” the wonders of the heavens! That also makes it alot easier to remember the constellations and stars. If only my skies were a little darker so I could see everything more clearly. Thanks!

  59. Brian

    Who cares? Really!

  60. Bracey

    Hi I stumbled onto this page, (with stumbleupon) I know nothing at all about astromony basically (althought I really wish I did I find it amazing) but I really enjoyed reading this blog for the sheer fun of it all. Just as someone said about a gorgeous looking blonde being clever intelligent ect, well I kinda thought the same about a brainiac having a much lighter side (which I suppose is obvious) but I mean to actually bring it out in his science blog. Anyways like the site and I’m sure I’ll be back to try and see if I can learn a thing or three. All the best from North East England, Bracey! p.s I’ve thumbed this up on SU!.

  61. I found your blog site while searching for something different on Bing about topics related to movies, however I had the probability to look over this article and I found it very helpful certainly.

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