SpaceFest IV interview

By Phil Plait | September 29, 2012 7:00 am

In May I attended SpaceFest IV, a gathering of space enthusiasts, astronauts (who, I suppose, are legit space enthusiasts), astronomers, and more. It’s a lot of fun, and great to see old friends and meet new science geeks. I missed last year’s, unfortunately, but was happy to be able to go this year again.

While I was there I was interviewed about the Mayan apocalypse, Symphony of Science, and building a real Enterprise. It was an eclectic series of questions.

There are also video interviews of my friends Dan Durda and Meteorite Man Geoff Notkin, too.

I hope there’ll be another SpaceFest next year! I had a lot of fun, and I bet a lot of you reading this would too.


Related Posts:

- Come to Space Fest IV!
- A Spacefest Odyssey
- Spacefest 2009
- Spacefest wrapup

Comments (10)

  1. Grand Lunar

    Very cool, Phil.

    I wish the media would turn to people like you for answers on the 2012 crap instead of whatever sources they think earn themselves ratings.
    Lots of people are going to look foolish when the non-event occurs.

    I was curious about your thoughts on the Build the Enterprise website.
    I was excited about it for a time, but then began to realize that this really isn’t a feasible idea.
    Also, the guy that owns the site has gone on about some new concept that’s estentially a “cold fusion” reactor. The technical name is different, but it’s basically the same idea with a different label.
    To me, it sort of takes away the credibilty of the idea, as it’s not envoking enough critical thinking on the subject.

    I’m a bit more excited about the idea of an outpost at the L2 point (the article of which is on Universe Today).

  2. VinceRN

    Seems like there are a hundred people debunking this for every one that believes it. There are vanishing few who really believe it, I have never met one. The closest is a guy who thinks the Mayans knew something and is into the whole ancient aliens thing, but even he doesn’t think it means the end of the world.

    I think there are the same few dozen people that post things on line and call George Noori all the time, and even among them half are pretending to believe it to con money out of the other half.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to have all the debunking out there so that the occasion gullible but salvageable person will find more real science than woo. But I do think a lot of what we see along these lines is just skeptics talking to each other and laughing about how dumb other people are.

    I’ve read a lot of things about how many people supposedly believe this garbage, but talking to people around the country doesn’t reflect those numbers at all. Also, by now I’d expect to be seeing a whole lot of people selling up and quitting their jobs to enjoy their last couple months on earth and that just isn’t happening.

    Too bad too, if there were a lot of believers there would be a whole lot of crazy deals on craigslist and such. I could buy up some good stuff, then hold onto it until the world doesn’t end and make a tidy sum.

    If something like a quarter of people really believed it then the economy might be in big trouble too. That many people not paying their bills, not going to work, not applying for jobs, not going to school, it could be devastating.

    In my work as an ER nurse I see people come in anxious, stressed out or crazed over some pretty silly things, but not a one has come in panicking about the world ending before Christmas. In the lead up to “Y2K” I did see a few such patients and would expect to see some for this too if there were many actual believers.

    I think that even to the few people taking about it as if they believed it the whole thing is just a big joke, and that no more than a few deranged folks actually believe it.

  3. Chris

    Have to start a Kickstarter or Indiegogo page for the Build the Enterprise project.

    Although there is the Star Trek: Renegades project which some of you may be interested in
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/145553614/star-trek-renegades

  4. Craig Clark

    Back with Y2K I flew on that date and I got a cheaper airfare, so there is some good with these stories

  5. dessy

    I’d like to see a list of names somewhere of the apocalypse subscribers – so they can be held accountable. I suspect many have moved on past 2012 to the next ‘big thing’…

    I hear the van Allen Belts are going to ‘fall down’ in 2016 next. Must be time to cash in and make a DVD!

    /Sarcasm.

  6. Dressy @5 – I like this 2016 magnetic pole reversal thing. I think there should be a chance to make money on it. What if al the usual skeptics just kept quiet about, didn’t debunk this one, evaded questions on it? Just silence and perhaps a few leaked emails could turn 2016 into a gold mine for the prepared mind.

  7. Nic

    Great stuff, I enjoyed that..

    Re the Mayan ‘end of the world’ thing, I’ve certainly heard, in my 46 years many many predictions of the end of the world. What normally happens of course is nothing happens and then the guys promoting it say they made a minor miscalculation and push it out another 8 or 10 years so they can continue selling there horsesh*t. (Sorry, an insult to horses. That stuff is at least useful if you grow roses..)
    Anyway – I wonder if anyone has a list of doomsdays past? I must have largely ignored at least 20 in my time…

  8. #7 Nic:
    Well, there were two during last year alone!!!! i.e. that cretin Harold Camping, with his prediction of the so-called “Rapture”. When it didn’t happen on his first predicted date, he made up some lame excuse and moved the date back six months… and some of his fellow retards still believed it!!!!

  9. Jon Hanford

    Nic (7) asks:

    “I wonder if anyone has a list of doomsdays past?”

    Well there is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dates_predicted_for_apocalyptic_events

    Although I don’t know your age, you’ve probably missed more than 20 :)

    Neil (8):

    Harold Camping also predicted the “Rapture” for *three* dates in 1994 and one in 1995 (see link). His track record speaks for itself.

  10. GeneralMusings

    Hey, any excuse for a party. :thumbsup:

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