Fireballs vs Fireflies, or Bad Astronomy vs The Loom

By Carl Zimmer | February 21, 2009 11:44 am

Check out Phil Plait and me at Bloggingheads with our dueling headsets, talking about citizen science and Twittering fireballs. Which of us will complete your phone order first? The race is on.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Meta, Talks

Comments (6)

  1. I enjoyed this much – nice dialogue about a lot of interesting topics. I am a long time advocate of the importance of critical thinking! I’m working on a book on making peace b/w evolution & Christianity (I am both… I’m a theistic evolutionist). I don’t necessarily agree with you (Phil) on everything (the vaccination issue…) but would have to research it more which you seem to have done. I do believe vaccinations are necessary & helpful – especialy for the more severe illnesses, but there are some serious risks associated with some vaccines. And docs do not tell people the benefits of giving kids vaccines later versus when they’re newborn… I delayed several of my kids vaccines for a few months. Keep up the good work!

  2. sdrDusty

    Very cool Carl- actually I’ve been wondering about our fireflies (Atlanta); used to see them all summer in the ’90s. Only rarely now. But knew my subjective impression did not count for much….

  3. Phil would sell 200,000 “Sham-wow!s” in 20 minutes (perfect product for a skeptic to hawk “Hey! That’s a sham! Wow! How crazy you believe it!”)

    Carl would facilitate the transaction of the sale of something priceless to the person who already knows they want to buy it. Or, if they didn’t know exactly what they were going to buy, he would calmly stand by while they made their decision.

    Both type of people are needed….

    Super job. Next time, Phil interviews Carl.

  4. Wes

    I don’t necessarily agree with you (Phil) on everything (the vaccination issue…) but would have to research it more which you seem to have done. I do believe vaccinations are necessary & helpful – especialy for the more severe illnesses, but there are some serious risks associated with some vaccines. And docs do not tell people the benefits of giving kids vaccines later versus when they’re newborn… I delayed several of my kids vaccines for a few months. Keep up the good work!

    If you’re serious, you should check out Orac’s blog, Respectful Insolence. He’s good at analyzing the vaccination issue.

    Though there are some risks involved with vaccines (there are risks involved with EVERYTHING), these risks are minuscule compared to the risk of not vaccinating or vaccinating too late. Also, you should be careful about making unfair generalizations about “docs”. Maybe some doctors are irresponsible, but there are also many responsible doctors out there, too. But a doctor shouldn’t tell a patient about a “risk” unless that risk is real (as opposed to trumped up nonsense from anti-vaccinationists), any more than a biology teacher should tell students about “weaknesses” in evolution unless those weaknesses are real (as opposed to trumped up nonsense from creationists).

  5. I listened to your blogging heads chat guys. I agree with Phil about NASA spinning off loads of invention for use elsewhere. The military also seem to do the same. Although I don’t like tattoos, I like Carl’s pic here of the electrons spinning around the nuclei. It would be good on a piece of jewellery or on a T shirt!

    Claire

  6. Adam South

    Hi Carl – Thanks for mentioning our citizen science website – The Firefly Watch – http://www.mos.org/fireflywatch

    Very interesting chat between you and Phil. Thank you very much

    Adam

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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.

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