A skepchick of surpassing taste

By Phil Plait | October 14, 2008 1:00 pm

My feelings for Rebecca Watson are on record. So I need go no further there.

Except she has magnified them even more by very glowingly reviewing my book, Death from the Skies!

Rebecca Watson and the book
Rebecca posing with the book.
Nice, but I like this one better.

Come to think of it, given the number of cosmic events that can irradiate the Earth to the point of vaporization, "glowing" reviews should be common.

The only problem with Rebecca’s review is she complains about my puns. The thing is, I know she secretly loves them, but cannot bring herself to admit it, at least in public. C’mon, Rebecca: fess up. Or… maybe it’s because she’s a vegetarian, and the book is meteor than she’s used to.

Anyway, it’s a great review. Thanks, RW!

Oh– I’m hearing stories that the book is already appearing on bookshelves, and is being shipped by online stores. So what are you waiting for?

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, DeathfromtheSkies!, Humor

Comments (68)

Links to this Post

  1. Suburban Panic! » Archive » I’m Not Entirely Sure | October 14, 2008
  1. Dr Plait told ten pun hoping that someone would laugh at least once. Sadly, no pun in ten did!

  2. Scottso

    My copy just shipped today. W00t!!

  3. John Kerr

    I just checked Amazon and mine should be here on Thursday! Can’t wait.

  4. Robin

    According to Amazon, my copy is on its way!

  5. I don’t care what anybody says, puns are funny, so long as they are unexpected.

  6. Aww, she’s cute! And before someone accuses me of being sexist, I think you’re cute too, Phil.

  7. Phil, I searched the appendix but couldn’t find the correct odds for my chances of dying of a brain-melting pun-attack. It’s gotta be higher than a GRB, right?

  8. Richard Wolford

    Aerik, there is also a SkepDudes calendar. Lighten up.

  9. IBY

    She has got a point, Phil, some of the puns are… how can I say it… they burn, sometimes.

  10. What am I waiting for? A pun contest where the winner gets a free copy of the book!

    Ok, maybe I’ll see if I can borrow a copy from my library. You’re in the e-card catalog as the “Bad Astrologer”, right?

  11. a) The first few words should read: “Dr Plait told ten puns,” (We really need a limited edit function here…)

    b) Is it just me, or are there people that just live to complain, ridicule, and in general be unwelcome here? *sigh*

  12. Richard Wolford

    b) Is it just me, or are there people that just live to complain, ridicule, and in general be unwelcome here?


  13. Richard Wolford

    The “yes’ meant that there are people who just want to complain, not that it’s just you. Seriously needs an edit feature :)

  14. C

    This book and Sarah Vowell’s book will be mine come payday.

  15. PhilB

    I for one, appreciate the puns. Hell, most of my sense of humor came from The Muppets. (The rest from Victor Borge.)

    Yes, I see a trip to Tattered Cover on Friday.

  16. Heck, I would have reviewed it if your publisher had sent me one.

    And hey– puns and science go hand in hand — it’s the stock in trade of all us science writers, neh??

    Good work, Rebecca!!!


  17. Davidlpf

    Puntastic, more reasons to buy the book.

  18. IVAN3MAN

    @ Larian LeQuella

    a) The first few words should read: “Dr Plait told ten puns,” (We really need a limited edit function here…)

    Agreed, but that’s what happens when you’re over-eager to be the first postie! :-)

  19. Actually, I am just a horrible typist, and if FireFox doesn’t underline it in red, I usually don’t catch it until much later… Although during my long and boring workdays, I do seem to get a lot of first posts in, but that’s only by chance.

    BTW, what “code” is used here? Is it EBB (brackets like [ and ]), HTML (Greater and less than ), or something else? And are the tags relatively standard (i.e. B for bold, I for Italic, etc.)? Without an edit, I am almost afraid to experiment for fear of the page getting dorked up.

  20. IVAN3MAN

    @ Larian LeQuella

    The HTML codes here are:

    Italics: “” _____ “”

    Bold: “” _____ “”

  21. Hey Phil, any plans from the editors to sell it as an audio book?, That’d be awesome.

  22. Amazon shipped my copy today! It’ll be here tomorrow! W00t!

  23. Cool. Thanks Ivan. Good thing I asked, since my first thought was EBB as opposed to HTML.

  24. IVAN3MAN

    You’re welcome, Larian.

  25. IVAN3MAN

    @ Larian LeQuella

    P.S. Just make sure that there is/are no “space(s)” between the HTML tags.

  26. Davidlpf

    If they do make an asudio book they should have to versions one by the BA and another by the skepchick.

  27. My copy is on its route to Spain!

    The problem is that Amazon uses swimming turtles to deliver it’s orders to Europe so the world will probably end anyway before I can read anything about the reasons.

  28. Just to let folks know, oddly enough I don’t want overt references to sexual acts in the comments. I deleted the comments that had them.

    And Aerik, if you read this, please avail yourself of the page where I list my one commenting policy.

  29. Gary Ansorge

    Dang! Wish I’d been doing an audio recording when I read that. I have a female friend that misses my laugh and that pun turned me into a duck, ’cause I really quacked up.

    GAry 7

  30. Davidlpf

    It seems Phil has a new fan.

  31. matt

    that pun just made my day!

  32. PhilB Says: “I for one, appreciate the puns. Hell, most of my sense of humor came from The Muppets. (The rest from Victor Borge.)”

    Elevenis, any two?

    – Jack

  33. I just had to delete another of Aerik’s comments because of the use of bad language.

    Aerik, I gave a direct link to my comments policy. It says: Don’t be a jerk. It also says not to use bad language. Did I not make it simple enough for you?

    And you were wrong in your comment anyway. Do yourself a favor and actually do a minimum amount of research: type the word “skepdude” into the search engine for this blog.

    In fact, I’ll make it easy on you. CLICK THIS.

  34. It’s out?!
    *Checks Watch*
    Yeah, it’s October!
    *Realizes bookstore is a five minute walk from coffee shop currently sipping latte at.*


  35. Davidlpf

    Who wants to the Chemist face when he sees that they are not out on the shelves intil the 20th.

  36. AFakeGuy

    Your title of the book sounds more like a 50’s sci fi movie. It there any chance of a movie being made about one of the death scenerio’s that you Phil will be the science adviser on that they (the director) have to listen to.

  37. MikeFive

    Oh, this is going to be soooo good. I can’t wait to get mine.

    One question: Does this mean Phil gets to call himself The Deadly Astronomer from now on?

  38. No Mike Five, don’t be silly. Phil Plait wears glasses, the Deadly Astronomer doesn’t.

  39. David

    Got an email from Amazon today. My copy is on the way, too!

  40. Belgarath

    Ordered. It should be here from Amazon by tomorrow…. Now to just figure out how to get it autographed……

  41. Davidlpf

    @ The Chemist

  42. According to Amazon “Death” is winging itself in my direction (Oz) as we speak.
    So BA only 9 million more sales and you’ll have sold as many copies as “A Brief History Of Time”.

  43. MikeFive

    @The Chemist

    Y’know. Come to think of it. You never see those two in the same place at once.


  44. pcarini

    I’m glad I read the comments! I tossed the notice email without even looking at it because I figured it was just Spamazon doing what they do best.

  45. Looking at that picture, I think I’m in loooooove….

    Oh, nice book Phil

  46. Man, I would SO love to read this on my next flight… will have to see if it’s any of the bookstores before I fly in a few days..


  47. huma

    so, it’s in a way like “a choice of catastrophes“, part 2? :)

  48. M. K. Oestby

    Amazon tells me: expected delivery 19th of November… the wait is soon over!

  49. Zygar

    “Aerik, there is also a SkepDudes calendar. Lighten up.”

    So the Barack Obama monkey doll would have been fine if they’d also made a John McCain monkey doll?

  50. Zygar, the comment Aerik made has been deleted. I don’t get the context you’re basing your reply on?

  51. Zygar

    I don’t think Aerik’s comment makes any difference to my response. My point is that making a male version of the calendar does not put men and women on equal ground.

  52. No it doesn’t. I’d be buying the SkepChicks calendar. Definitely superior.

  53. Zygar

    Shane, thanks for proving my point.

  54. Zygar, I still don’t get it. I think you’re taking the SkepPeople calendars way to seriously.

  55. @Zygar:
    The Skepchick Calendar is something that the Skepchicks CHOOSE to do of their own accord. They are in no way being forced at gunpoint to do this. Lighten up for Gods’ sake.

  56. «bønez_brigade»

    BTW, ‘DFTS’ is now #1 in Amazon™’s “Astrophysics & Space Science” categor(y/ies), huzzah! Hoagland’s junk has dropped to #4.

  57. As of this morning my copy has shipped!
    October 15, 2008 05:22:00 AM CAPITOL HEIGHTS MD Shipment has left seller facility and is in transit

  58. Zygar

    Lighten up? I made a point that the calendar is sexist. To claim that making a SkepDude calendar makes it less sexist is a lie. I didn’t say or even imply that I was upset.

    The Skepchick calendar is skepchicks accepting sexism. Enough said. If that’s how they want it, fine. But you’re the ones who need to “lighten up” when the truth is told.

  59. I agree with Zygar, objectifying men doesn’t make the routine objectification of women less rampant. It only presents the illusion that such objectification is acceptable.

    In essence, the Skepdude calendar, like the People’s Hottest Men, is like treating a stuffy nose by giving everyone a stuffy nose for a day.

    That’s not to say I respect the BA, Skepchick, or Neil Degrasse Tyson any less. However, I do think it is not an ideal remedy to any sort of sexism, and would disagree to their (likely) protestations otherwise.

  60. Woohoo!! It’s here! I heard a rumbling on my doorstep and there it was, a mini-box of death! I’m so excited to start reading it, I’ve cleared the rest of the day to veg out, by the pool, with a beer and Death from the Skies! Awesome :-)

    Cheers Phil,

    Ian 😀

  61. My copy is supposed to arrive tomorrow. I may call in sick to work just to read it all day!


  63. James

    “Meteor than she’s used to” had me in tears. So terrible.

    I ordered my copy yesterday from Amazon so I should be getting it soon. Can’t wait~!


  64. Is Botticelli’s “The Birth Of Venus” objectifying. What about Michelangelo’s “David”? It is just a calendar with some pretty pictures. Have you seen the picture of Rebecca for example? The worst thing about it is the shameless product placement.

    I’m not saying that all photos of nekkid people is art that doesn’t involve objectification but, geeze, get a grip. It is only a calendar.

  65. Mitchell

    My copy came today!!! It’s astronomically (har har) great so far (of course), and I hope the remainder contains just as much heavenly, deadly goodness.

  66. I’m sure Aunt Jemima is only a mascot.


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