Portland review of my talk of DEATH

By Phil Plait | September 13, 2012 7:00 am

Last month I was in Portland, Oregon to give my Death from the Skies! talk for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry as part of their Science Pub series. It was, quite seriously, one of the best audiences ever. They were totally into it – having beer served at the theater probably helped – and almost everyone stayed for the 45 minute Q&A session, and the line to sign books was pretty long as well. I felt like a rock star.

One person in the audience was Taylor Hatmaker, who writes for tecca.com. She wrote a wonderful article about the talk called 9 Terrifying But Mostly Awesome Facts About Asteroids We learned from Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait (which was also picked up on Mashable! W00t!), and it makes my cockles warm because she added more info about the facts that weren’t in my talk. That means she liked this enough to go out and do more research, which is the coolest thing ever. That’s pretty much the best thing a speechifier and science outreacher can ask for.

To give you an idea of how much fun I had, photographer D. Scott Frey took a ton of pictures, including this one which is now one of my favorites:

See? I told you I had a great time! And clearly the end of the world can be fun.

My thanks to Amanda Thomas, Andrea Middleton, and Scott Frey for all their help and hospitality. If you ever get a chance to visit OMSI, do so!

<shameless plug> And if you represent a museum, University, or some other place that hosts talks, and you think I might be a good fit for your audience, then please contact my reps, Samara Lectures. They’ll be happy to chat with you about it. </shameless plug>


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MORE ABOUT: OMSI, public talk

Comments (21)

  1. Caption for the photo: Evil mastermind Phil Plait laughs maniacally as he presents his plan for world domination.

  2. Chris

    I was thinking in Armageddon, they could have had an asteroid the size of Rhode Island or Puerto Rico, which would have been just as devastating and “slightly” more accurate, although I’m sure the nukes still would have had little effect. But I’m sure the line “There’s an asteroid the size of Puerto Rico heading for us” would have been fun to hear in the movie.

  3. Nigel Depledge

    @ Todd W (1) –

    You win +1 internets!

  4. Nigel Depledge

    @ Chris (2) –
    I fear that half of the audience would conclude that the best response is to invade Puerto Rico.

  5. Charles Boyer

    You know you have arrived in life when your name is displayed behind you in 50cm high letters. Congrats Phil and hopefully one day you can make it up here to the Carolinas…

  6. Thanks for the kind words (and link!). We had a great time hosting and I heartily recommend getting Phil to come speak at your event. We’ve had a lot of scientist speak, and he was one of the best.

  7. DanM

    — ” I felt like a rock star.”

    Dude, you ARE a rock star.

    p.s. My offer to help out with lectures for your science camp thingie still stands (grinning hopefully, wanting to ALSO be a rock star…)

  8. Kkozoriz

    Fry: [after the news lady annouces Leela’s first name is Turanga] Turanga?
    Amy Wong: That’s her first name, Philip.
    Bender: Philip?

  9. Bill

    Phil, you’re casting multiple shadows from multiple angles. I’m callin’ conspiracy!

  10. Other Paul

    @Bill #9 – Egad, sir – you’re right. The shadows are all wrong. This talk must’ve been faked.

  11. Ryan S

    Hot Cockles! That reminds me of this great Woody Allen scene.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZiZwQaV5BQ

  12. Regner Trampedach

    Bill @ 9, Paul @ 10: How can the audience be all in shadow, while there is so much light on Phil. I say that talk was faked on he Moon. It’s obvious when you think about it…
    Cheers, Regner :-)

  13. Someone in charge needs to book you for the Fermilab Lecture Series! (click on my name for the link)

  14. Portland loved having you, Phil! It was my first SciPub, but OMSI can bet I’ll be back for more. :)

  15. sorrykb

    @Todd W. (1):
    I for one welcome our new astronomer overlords.

  16. Great presentation by Phil P. Even better to get to meet him. Super nice guy who gave everyone a few minutes.

  17. RAF

    Serving beer at a scientific talk?

    Really???

  18. The talk was excellent — and I only had one beer, I swear. Come back to Portland soon!

  19. Brennan

    Hey Phil, how much would we have to pay you to come to my high school in Indiana? To many people here are ignorant about this whole doomsday thing, and from what I’ve read here on this blog, and from your book (only on chapter 4 right now), you could explain it really well. Plus, it would be really really awesome.

  20. John

    Dont ever buy this magazine. they will harass you to no end to buy again. they will call your house every day multiple times and not remove you from the call list.

  21. @John

    Umm…did you have anything constructive to say about Phil’s post?

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