Skeptically Speaking online

By Phil Plait | June 22, 2009 1:00 pm

The interview I did with the folks at Skeptically Speaking is now online on their website. Funny– while I was on, it seemed like I was just babbling, but listening to it now I seemed lucid enough.

We talked about the JREF, the Million Dollar Challenge, NASA, Star Trek, and then I had to field a bunch of much tougher questions from the audience than usual. Hopefully that part made some modicum of sense. Well, either way, I had a lot of fun!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience, Astronomy, JREF, Skepticism

Comments (7)


    Phil Plait:

    … and then I had to field a bunch of much tougher questions from the audience then usual.

    Err… Phil, that should be than, not “then”. ;-)

  2. @IVAN3MAN

    Maybe he meant “much tougher questions from the audience, then [the] usual [stuff]”?


    @ Todd W.,

    Like, er… “… much tougher questions from the audience, then [the] usual [stuff from creationists and ‘Electric Universe’ nutters got on my tits!]” :P

  4. Phil, It’s the wonderful quality of your “babble” to convey so much understandable information and excitement about your subject that we love so much. Keep on babbling!

    I listened in while you were on the air and was really impressed with how cool headed you stayed. Each new “big” question I thought, “he will never manage to explain this on the air” and you proved me wrong again and again. I learned a lot.

    The live podcast crapped out about 2/3 of the way through for me so I will have to go listen to the rest. *and FYI to Skeptically Speaking the volume of everybody really was too low on the internet broadcast.

  5. Gary Ansorge

    Yeah, babbling is always a problem when you’re excited and passionate about your subject. I just try to remember to “Breath, Idiot, Breath,,,”,,,sometimes that will slow me down just enough,,,

    GAry 7

  6. Dave Wiley

    The difference between babbling and lucidity is called editing.

  7. Hi Phil,

    Hopefully this is a good place to take issue with something you said on the show.

    I haven’t seen the recent Star Trek, for which I am shameful, but you described diving from a spaceship hundreds of kilometers up. Then you said heating would not be an issue. As a spacecraft developer I have to take exception. The rule of thumb for heating is that a capsule falling straight down from 300km sees the same peak heating rate as an orbital capsule reentering the atmosphere and a fall from 500km sees the same peak heating rate as an Apollo capsule returning from the Moon.

    You could posit materials and thermal management advances in spacesuits, but I don’t think they will ever be good enough to jump from a craft hundreds of kilometers up with just a spacesuit.

    Anyway, just thought I’d let you know, and also other than that technical nit, I thought you did well!



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