More egg standing silliness

By Phil Plait | March 28, 2006 2:55 pm

As a followup to my run-in with a Playboy bunny (oops, more googleness), I give you here a clip from an interview I did with my local news station, KFTY Santa Rosa, a couple of years ago on the vernal equinox.

Comments (15)

  1. And in a related story, CBC reports on NASA cutting off funding for growing meat: http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2006/03/27/lab-meat-200602.html

  2. grand_lunar

    Pretty cool to see the BA on TV, educating the public. Kudos!

    Well, not only do we have a plug for the book, but I suppose the website itself too, right?

  3. One of the funny aspects of the balance an egg thing in the myth is it seldom required balancing the eggs exactly at noon at 23d north lattitude (or at midnight in September) – anywhere else, assuming gravity is specially cooperative on that day, the angle between the Sun, Earth, and Egg are not directly in line. (This struck me as odd since for much of my life this myth was reported while I lived almost twice this lattitude north – basically there was a twenty-two degree angle between the Earth’s center and the sun and between the Earth’s center and any eggs standing on end in my neighboor hood. Yet people reported success. Obviously it couldn’t be the lining up of the Earth, the Sun and a given egg.

    jbs

  4. Karnalis

    I’m curious, Phil. Just how often is your name mispronounced by people in things like this? I keep hearing you referred to as “Dr. Platt.” It is pronounced “playt,” right?

  5. Tara Mobley

    I’m glad you put that up. Even if I had known about your site when you did that, I wouldn’t have gotten to see it. I’m a little too far South. But it did inspire me to try to stand an egg up today. I succeded. Yay!

  6. Geez, I have trouble even with those Paaz egg stands! You could join the Barnum and Bailey Circus, BA!

  7. It’s “plate”. People mispronounce it all the time. I’ve stopped correcting them in situations like that, when it’s too late. :)

  8. sapjes

    Very cool to see the video! I’m gonna try like crazy to get them eggs stand up! All raise!

  9. Nigel Depledge

    Phil, I would have pronounced your name “platt” because it resembles the word “plait” (as in, to plait one’s hair), which is pronounced that way here. So now I know better.

    Well, the clip was good. Three things, Phil:

    (a) were those eggs raw or hard-boiled? Were you cheating?
    (b) your family get-togethers must be something to behold, if you get several of you balancing eggs at once! :)
    (c) you shameless plugger, you!

    Incidentally, I noticed that Bad Astronomy is now available in paperback in good bookstores in the UK, too…

    Also, you may have been a Bad scientist for assuming you couldn’t balance eggs on the pointy end, but you are a Good scientist because you changed your view when presented with appropriate evidence.

  10. Dan Gerhards

    Nifty…I watched the whole thing. If you ever share videos again, please do it like this if you can. Sometimes it takes some dancing around for those of us on Linux systems to watch embedded streaming video, but this worked perfectly the first time. Thanks!

    I read the book, and I recommend it!

  11. Nigel: they were raw. I am very good at standing eggs, so I don’t need to cheat. Yes, it is fun to see lots of eggs standing up. And plugging? Duh. :-)

    By the way, the book was never in hard cover; it was laways paperback.

  12. Melusine

    The Bad Astronomer Says:
    Nigel: they were raw. I am very good at standing eggs, so I don’t need to cheat.

    Is that on your resume? At least you have proof that you’re an “expert” egg-balancer. No, BAD cheating…no siree!

    When the BA talks, his eggs get up and listen. ~woo~

  13. Robert Madewell

    I have heard all my life about standing eggs on end only at eqinoxes. At a family gathering at Thanksgiving, I stood an egg on end, thus debunking the nonsense. A friend who watched me stand the egg up, still claims the “only at equinox” myth. (after being shown that you can stand an egg any old day of the year. By the way, I also conducted an experiment where I put 2 ice cube trays in the freezer. One was filled with cold tap water, the other with boiling water from a tea pot. According to my wife, the hot water freezes first. According to my experiment, the cold water freezes first.

  14. Robert Madewell

    Correction: According to some websites hot water freezes first. Still in my experiment the cold froze fist.

    http://www.school-for-champions.com/science/mpemba.htm

  15. Skeptyk

    Ah, I figured out a way that made the eggs easier to stand: shake the egg so the gloop inside gets all busted and scrambled. The heavier yolk falls into the bottom as you set the egg end up on the table. Much easier, IMO.

    My husband taught High School science and math for years, and his first year at one school, he saw the physics classes troop outside one cool March day with their teacher to stand eggs. Alas, it was not an exercise in critical thinking. The Physics teacher had been doing this for years.

    It took one day, of course, to debunk, with gracious good humor all around, but, cheesh.

    Actually those were the good old Enlightenment days, I guess, since, bythe time he left that school, the Chemistry teacher was promoting homeopathy and Reiki.

    Thanks, Phil.

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