Tag: Big Picture Science

Big Picture Science: Doomsday live show

By Phil Plait | October 11, 2012 9:00 am

My friends at SETI’s Big Picture Science podcast – what used to be called the Are We Alone radio show – want to put together a live show for the October 27 Bay Area Science Festival, a huge public gathering of folks where they can learn about science. They plan on holding a lively panel of astronomers, climate scientists, and other experts about the facts behind doomsday theories (such as they are).

But they need help to raise the funds to do this. They need $4000, so they started a Kickstarter fund to help. They’re almost there – as I write this they’re only $600 away, with a couple of days left to go – though of course with more funds they can do more.

This is being done by my good friends SETI astronomer Seth Shostak and science journalist Molly Bentley, and I support them. In fact, I’ve done many a segment of the Big Picture Science podcast: Seth and I do a roughly once per month interview called Brains on Vacation (see Related Posts below). So I know this show does good work, and the live show will be really fun, entertaining, and of course educational. In a good way!

Go check out their Kickstarter and beam them some cash if you can. Thanks!


Related Posts:

Big Picture Science: Antivaxxers (and updates)
Faster than light Brains on Vacation
Beast of Skeptic Check
Big Picture Science: climate change denial on Fox News

People's Choice podcast awards

By Phil Plait | October 13, 2011 2:00 pm

Every year at this time the People’s Choice Podcast Awards are held. This year, three different podcasts with which I am involved in some way are nominated in the Science category!

Big Picture Science (what used to be Are We Alone) is the SETI podcast/radio show where I do the (roughly) monthly Brains on Vacation segment with astronomer Seth Shostak. My friends Fraser Cain and Pamela Gay do the Astronomy Cast podcast (I’ve been on it a few times). And the Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast, where I’m a frequent guest and general rabble-rouser, is also nominated.

I like all three, so I have no problem if my readers vote for any of these. You can vote every day, once per day, until October 27. Voting resets at midnight Eastern US time.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Science

Beast of Skeptic Check

By Phil Plait | October 4, 2011 4:18 pm

Every month or so I sit down (virtually) with my buddy Seth Shostak, and we record a short interview for Skeptic Check, part of the Big Picture Science podcast/radio show. Seth’s on the road right now, so they’ve put a "Beast of Skeptic Check" online, featuring some of Seth’s favorite segments. You can also just hear the part I’m in (talking Moon Hoax) on the Big Picture Science blog.

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Related posts:

Big Picture Science: climate change denial on Fox News
Are We Alone, Little Ice Age edition
Are we headed for a new ice age?
The Sun may be headed for a little quiet time
Are We Alone Skeptic Check: Tyche, or not Tyche
Are We Alone of DEATH

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience, Debunking, Science, Skepticism

Big Picture Science: climate change denial on Fox News

By Phil Plait | August 15, 2011 12:41 pm

Every month or so I do a skeptical segment with astronomer Seth Shostak called "Brains on Vacation" for the SETI radio show/podcast "Big Picture Science" (what used to be called "Are We Alone?"). This month’s episode, Plotting Along, is about conspiracy theories and is now online. You can listen to it there, or download the file directly.

This time, I talked about the climate change denier Joe Bastardi’s bizarre take on global warming that recently aired on Fox News — you can read all about what he said on sites like Scientific American and Media Matters. Basically, Bastardi denies humans have anything to do with climate change, and has a history of saying things that, um, turn out not to be entirely accurate when it comes to basic science.

In this case, Bastardi tried to invoke the First Law of Thermodynamics to show humans don’t cause global warming, a truly weird thing to do since the First Law actually supports the idea that pumping CO2 into the air makes it heat up. Without carbon dioxide, the energy from the Sun would hit the Earth, with some being absorbed and some radiating away. Energy is neither created nor destroyed, just balanced. However, carbon dioxide traps some of that heat, warming us up*. It’s not that new energy is being created someplace, it’s just that more of the Sun’s heat stays trapped here on Earth instead of being radiated away. That energy cannot just go away or be destroyed, so we warm up.

The First Law is safe. Phew!

Not content with just physics, Bastardi then moved on to chemistry: this time, Le Chatelier’s Principle. Read More

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