I am interviewed in a hot tub

By Phil Plait | August 10, 2010 3:00 pm

That was not a typo. My friend/part-time stalker Ashley Paramore interviewed me at TAM 8 during the "Skeptics in the Tub" after-hours get-together. So yeah, we’re in swimsuits, and she interviews me. It was my first time being interviewed in a hot tub, so that all by itself is rather exciting to me. For you, seeing me partially naked may curb that somewhat. YMMV.

The background audio is a bit loud, but it’s not too hard to hear us. The red color is due to low light conditions plus the weird lighting outside at the casino.

As usual when someone interviews me, I’m a smartass for the first few minutes, but then we get down to business: my tattoo, Bad Universe, Universe Today, Pamela Gay, and skepticism. I listened to the interview, and I have to say I pontificate an awful lot for a guy standing around in swim trunks. Still, I’m glad I got a chance to say some of that stuff. The last three minutes or so are actually rather important… they’re important issues to me, but also, I think, to the skeptic community at large. And I’ll have more to say on that subject hopefully soon.


Comments (33)

  1. Chief

    Did I miss the unveiling of the tat. First time I’ve heard you describe it. how about a closeup.

  2. Is that a typo? Is her name “Paramore”? Couldn’t her parents spell?


    In the hot tub?? With YOU?

    Hmmmm, hmmmm!

  3. Aaron

    On the subject of demeanour, I’m reminded of political advertising. Everyone criticises attack ads and says they hate them, but every candidate also uses them. There’s an obvious difference as calling Candidate X a fool is different from calling Candidate X’s supporters fools (and we still want to be careful about how we criticise the followers). However I have a feeling the more aggressive confrontational approaches you’re criticising might be more effective than you realize.

  4. Can we have an audio only version please.
    I don’t really want to know what a dull time stalker like Larian would do with you.

  5. YMMV

    Your Mother May Vommit?

  6. John Baxter

    Davidlpf, you can turn off you monitor. ūüėČ

  7. That is one pasty pan at the beginning. Apparently very little skepticism is going on at the gym or outdoors.

  8. ¬ęb√łnez_brigade¬Ľ

    Holy cow, the sooper sekrit tattoo finally makes an appearance. Queuing up the vid over my currently crappy connection right now…

  9. I find this hilarious and not for what may be the obvious reason. A few months ago, I was interviewed for a podcast. One of the questions asked of me was, “Who would I rather see in a hot tub, Wil Wheaton or Phil Plait?” (I think chocolate may have been involved as well but it has been awhile since I’ve listened to it). My answer was, Phil. I then proceeded to list reasons because they suddenly made it sound much more creepy than it was. So to see this, my jaw dropped to the ground because this is perfect!

    I’ll be giggling all day now because at times, I do not act my age and as you said once, Phil, I’m easy.

  10. Well, hell. If I’d known that this is the sort of “symposia” you have at TAM, I’d have made more of an effort to attend.

  11. John Baxter, strong in the snark, you are.

  12. QuietDesperation

    AAAAAAH! My eyes! Quick! I need the fire-fighting DC-10 filled with eye bleach!

  13. Cindy

    Glad Phil is keeping up his geek cred with the lack of tan. ūüėČ

  14. Nemo

    If they shot the tattoo for last season and it didn’t air, then IMHO, it’s not going to air. They do that show in at least a pseudo-chronological fashion, so stuff from last season wouldn’t fit in. Also, if it’s on TLC’s web site, I’d consider that as having aired, personally. Anyway, they can’t bind you indefinitely.

  15. Gary Ansorge

    “Oh, look, a nerd with a personality.” In some ways, you remind me of my Son. Now, if you’d just work on those deltoids,,,

    Chucklehead. I like that. Reminds me of the old days when Gramps called me that(about 60 years ago).

    Try pontificating while naked, sitting on the side of a hot tub. VERY Athenian, doncha know?

    Gary 7

  16. For those who are curious to see the tattoo: http://tlc.discovery.com/videos/la-ink-season-3-fiery-tattoo.html

    It’s ridiculous how you can’t show it until it officially airs on TV, even though it’s easily accessible online.

  17. Thanny

    There’s a stark difference between screaming at people and merely not being conciliatory.

    As it happens, no one is actually doing the former, so attacking that notion is doing battle with a straw man.

    I hope your position isn’t as weak as that, if you’re going to start criticizing people with a different approach to skepticism (one that’s no less successful, empirically).

  18. You do realise that “bad” means “bath” in Swedish, do you? As plunging yourself into water, not the town in Somerset, that is. But then again, Bath, the Somerset town, has gotten it’s name from the roman spas and baths. So there is link there off sorts, after all, I guess. What the link to astronomy, or science, or sceptisism would be, I don’t know.

  19. Philippe

    hmmm, i was hoping for a naked singularity, instead, we get red shift…

  20. The Mutt

    I’m on a horse.

  21. Christine P.

    I haven’t watched the interview yet because I HAD to see the L.A. Ink clip first. That tattoo is bigger than I expected! It definitely looks cool, though. Good choice!

  22. XPT

    Nobody asked for this, seriously…

  23. I still hope that your next tattoo will be the footprint on the Moon… ūüėČ

  24. Dude, what’s the paranoia with the tat? I’ve already seen it being done. It’s been aired in Portugal, and I’m pretty sure we don’t get stuff until after it’s aired in the States. After all, it has to be translated and all…

    Spoiler: it’s a meteor “sky-killing”. Not the best tat from Kat von D’s shop, I must say…

  25. Chris Winter

    Phil wrote: “It was my first time being interviewed in a hot tub, so that all by itself is rather exciting to me.”

    First thing I thought of was the bathtub scene in Casino Royale — the one with David Niven, not Daniel Craig. But this is nothing like that.

    “The red color is due to low light conditions plus the weird lighting outside at the casino.”

    The hot tub is inside and the casino is outside? Hmmmm…

  26. Michael Swanson

    And this gets right to the heart why I decided NOT to become a world famous astronomer: I look terrible with my shirt off.

  27. I was also interviewed in a hot tub once! Does it count if they were police officers and I was in a choke hold?

  28. MadScientist

    I must have missed the post where you revealed what tattoo you got.

  29. Interesting that you can’t show it but the clip is already up on the TLC website (see my name for link). Glad to finally see what you got, even if you can’t do the official reveal yet.

  30. mike burkhart

    I thought you were geting X rated to get more attetion for the blog .Just kidding

  31. MadScientist

    Oh, I missed the bit about the paramour in the tub.

    @Wayne: Thanks – I didn’t know the ink was top secret. Gee – if I got an ink would there be a show about me? I’d have to act like Teller or Marcel Marceau though – the cameras dislike me enough, but the microphones really hate me.

  32. WOW Phil, Very Impressive …

    Can’t Wait Until LA Ink Airs that Episode; I Almost Never Watch The Show, But I’d Have to be Crazy to Miss your Episode!

    Good Luck on your own Project, Too …

    Also, Can’t Wait to See which Network Managed to Snag you; LUCKY Devils!

  33. A friend of mine from high school was in hot tub time machine! He played the young version of John Cusack. It was cool seeing somebody from my physics 11 class on a cardboard stand-up in a theater.


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