NECSS of DEATH!

By Phil Plait | April 14, 2011 10:42 am

Last weekend I was in NYC attending the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, aka NECSS. It was a lot of fun, as I kinda figured it would be. Skeptic conferences usually are! And of course it was a chance to catch up with a lot of old friends.

Attendees are writing their opinions of the meeting all over the place (like here, here, and here for starters). I’ll spare you the recap, which would boil down to how awesome my talk was, and cut to the chase which is to thank Michael Feldman from the New York City Skeptics, and all the folks from the New England Skeptical Society for inviting me and throwing such a fab conference.

I’d be remiss, though, if I didn’t include this little bit of funnery. Skeptical singer songwriter and BA friend George Hrab was at NECSS. On Geo’s last album, "Trebuchet", he wrote a tune called "Death from the Skies" — based on the brilliant book of the same name. He plays the funky beat, and I read statistics of getting killed by various astronomical events. We performed this song live both at Paddy Reilly’s, a bar where Geo had a gig, and to close out the ceremonies.

Here’s the recording of the latter, which is pretty laid back considering how many octillions of Joules of energy I’m talking about:

And what the heck, here we are at the somewhat more rambunctious bar the night before:

See? If you go to skeptic meetings you can experience stuff like this live. It’s way too much fun.

There are photos of NECSS popping up all over the place (search Flickr), including for example a nice set by Bruce Press. I also like this shot of Geo and me taken by Brian Engler. Apparently I had just stubbed my toe.

NECSS really is a terrific event. I hope to see you all there next year!

Comments (10)

  1. Gary Ansorge

    This link(this shot of Geo and me), took me to an expired page.

    We need to teach you to drum. First,,,get a drum,,,
    (it’s really all about listening)

    Gary 7

  2. Mchl

    Not all photos on FaceBook are publicly accessible. Perhaps you should get Brian’s permission to post it somewhere else?

  3. I got to see the video earlier. Way too much fun! Wish I could have made it…

  4. Hey! Thanks for linking to my review! It was a great time, and nice to finally meet you.

  5. Monkey

    Facebook fail….can they be seen anywhere else?

  6. I attended both events. What most of those attending the Paddy Reilly’s event missed was the knocking over of various bottles and glassware left on the tables in the corner. The resulting broken glass pieces on the hardwood floor made the floor dangerous to walk on and difficult to see in the dark. It was too loud to warn anyone. I used my sonic screwdriver (UV light) to find the pieces and kick them away under the bench against the far wall. I ended up missing the performance so was happy to see it repeated on Sunday. Yes, the “Doctor” called and as usual was never noticed. (Yes, I did see the Monday night free screening, in case you’re about to ask about that.)

  7. @Julie

    I missed the broken glass part, but I was witness to someone spilling their glass on the table, seconds after telling someone that as a pool table owner themselves, they didn’t want someone else sitting on it. Oh, irony.

  8. Diederick

    So I see that in America it is not inappropriate to put your hand in your pocket while on stage?

  9. Catalyst

    Freaking Awesome! Totally dig the song dude!

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