Zoned out

By Phil Plait | October 23, 2008 5:03 pm

Back at Dragon*Con I sat on a lot of panels, and had pretty much the best time ever. Part of that is because I got to spend so much time (though it was never enough) with my good friend Richard Saunders, an Australian skeptic of some note.

Richard and fellow Aussie skeptics Kylie Sturgess and Karen Stollznow (and more who weren’t at D*C) put together a podcast called Skeptic Zone, and they just posted an interview with me from the con. We talk about southern skies, made-up Australian lingo, and they made me wear a feather boa.


Comments (21)

  1. Michael Howard

    I dearly hope that Boa appears in the “Death From the Skies” book jacket in the Author’s photo :)

  2. Phil, if you really wanted to make a statement, you should have worn the pink one.

  3. RichardSaunders

    He was wearing the pink one until I took it off him!

  4. Stand back people.

    Phil Plait actually mentioned MY BLOG for the first time.

    Pity he linked to the OLD one… it’s actually

    Guess that means I don’t owe Digital Cuttlefish of $1, as I still win my bet! 😛 😛

  5. Saunders, you were just _jealous_. You were COVETING that pink boa, I just know it. You were just _too_ gleeful when he traded it for the black one!

    By the way – the fate of those boas, Saunders? I found where you stuck them in my check-in luggage and they were given to the cleaning lady of my hotel room in Auckland, en route home. :p I bet you thought I would never get rid of them!

  6. Mike Sperry: sigh. No good idea is original.

  7. Ya missed Grinspoon’s talk! Maybe next time.

  8. Joel Birch

    Hi Phil,

    For the record, the podblack url with the word ‘wordpress’ in it is the old one, so if you point to that then no Google-juice is conferred to Kylie. Hence, the D*C link is correct (awesome!), but the Carnivalence link is incorrect, as is the link in this ‘zoned-out’ post.

    I couldn’t resist piping up about this. Kylie’s site is hugely deserving of all the search-engine ranking she can get as she does a great deal of good for the skeptical movement in Australia. Thanks BA!

  9. No, Phil – the first is to the WordPress blog, as a ‘Skeptic’s Circle host’. Who, exactly? The second is just another at the end of a list called ‘Kylie’? Seriously, it takes more than that… 😉

  10. [note Digital Cuttlefish – he STILL hasn’t changed it in the main body of his blog, despite his protests… 😉 Still $1!!]

  11. The URL is fixed. Sheesh.

  12. Lisa

    Thanks so much for coming to DragonCon this year. My son (5) really got a lot out of your talk about the end of the world. I showed him your picture on the dust jacket of Death and he immediately said, “That’s Phil.” I hope you will be coming back next year.

  13. Much better. You may keep the boas in future.

    Now, we’ll work on quality over gender-focused conferences, education being better profiled at every conference in future and so much more – just listen to the Skeptic Zone and you’ll hear what not only I but so many of my friends and co-workers have been getting up to whilst you’ve been star-gazing for skepticism… 😉

  14. Chris

    Australian lingo for skeptic is sceptic.

  15. RichardSaunders

    We are all of us doing what we can. Thanks Phil for the shout out. The show is going so well.

  16. G

    The BA wrote at Skepchick:
    “If I have a blind spot on some issue because of my gender (or race or education or economic status or political affiliation), then I need to know about it…I don’t know exactly why there is such an imbalance of men versus women in the skeptic movement…Breaking boundaries and shattering old paradigms is part of what skepticism is all about”

    Looks like both that blog (FOUR essays on women and superstition!?) and that podcast (FOUR women active in skepticism on a podcast?!) are a good source for the BA to learn about such things. Adding both to my bookmarks.

  17. Radwaste

    Mr. Saunders, thanks for coming to D*C, too. It’s a delight to be around people who want to learn. So few seem to.

    And again, Phil, delighted that PhD doesn’t mean Permanent Humor Deficit and that you’re an engaging public speaker (Powerpoint aside, yes I know it was a free talk). I had four others, family and friends at the Con, and they’ll all be there next year.

    Hoping to see you both!

  18. DingoDave

    Those boas are Sooo… Honolulu.

    But seriously, we Australians tend to be very unappreciative of the Magellanic Galaxies. Under a dark Southern sky, they stand out like dog’s balls. They’re absolutely fantastic. Try looking at them through a pair of 10×50 binoculares.

    We don’t know how lucky we are.

  19. DingoDave

    Ummm…Make that ‘binoculars’.


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