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I got some Awards!

National Academy Press
Cool Science award The Nation Academy Press has picked Bad Astronomy as their Cool Science Site Of the Month for August, 2001. I am very flattered by this; the NAP is an arm of the National Academies, one of the most prestigious scientific organizations on the planet. I am very honored to have been chosen by them!

Exploratorium Top Ten award The Exploratorium Museum in my new hometown of San Francisco picked Bad Astronomy as one of their Top Ten astronomy websites in March 2001.

In the October 2000 issue of Popular Science, Bad Astronomy was picked as one of the 50 best sites on the whole web. It's listed under the Eclectic category.

In October 2000, Bad Astronomy won the Giant Tomato award which "highlights some of the best sites on the Internet". There are some fun sites there, and worth surfing.

The Tech is a silicon valley museum of technology, and every month on their website they pick their favorite 10 technology websites. For February 1999 they chose Bad Astronomy. They also picked a website hosted by the world's smallest web server and a site about pond scum! Um.

The Astronomical Unit (Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History) chose Bad Astronomy as their web site of the month, saying: "Ever screamed at the pasty-faced anchor on the news as he spewed forth complete drivel about some important astronomical event? Phil Plait has taken up the challenge of pointing out the astronomy blunders and foibles that are disseminated every day by the media and other sources."

Digital Dozen ENC icon The Eisenhower National Clearinghouse picked Bad Astronomy as one of their Digital Dozen, a baker's dozen (that means 13) of web sites they think are "new and fascinating resources for math and science"''. Gosh! About Bad Astro they say: "This extremely easy-to-navigate site works to "right the wrongs" of scientific misconceptions about the universe. Many myths about astronomy are perpetuated in the movies, on TV, and in other media; Bad Astronomy will help to find those myths and clarify the science involved. In addition to sections on various media and popular misconceptions, this site offers a section called Bitesize Astronomy with simple weekly essays about various aspects of astronomy."

The Houston (Texas) Astronomical Society picked Bad Astronomy as their Site of the Week for the week of January 17, 1999. I spent the hottest summer of my life in Houston eating good food and hanging out by a nice pool, so this award is particularly nice for me!

IBB OK Award The Itty Bitty Blackboard is a fun site with lots of info about science on it. Like my Bitesize Astronomy pages, IBB keeps it simple and fun. Bad Astronomy got the OK award for the week of January 6, 1999.

In the December/January 1998/1999 issue of the magazine Quebec Science there is an article about bad science and it lists Bad Astronomy there. The article is interesting, but it's in French. C'est la guerre!

The San Antonio (Texas) Astronomical Association noted Bad Astronomy as one of their cool sites of the month for September 1998, and also noted that it was good for the novice. You should really check out their site since it a has a lot of good info, and the cool sites (humbly speaking) really are a good place to start looking for astronomical info.

Friends of GORT Image Some movies have worked their way into our nation's psyche. One of these is "The Day the Earth Stood Still", a classic 1950's science fiction movie that still stands well today. A lot of people have heard the classic line "Klaatu Barada Nikto!" even if they aren't sure where it comes from. The line was spoken (by Patricia Neal) to Gort, the giant robot that stood silent vigil outside of Klaatu's spaceship. And now there is a website devoted to Gort, called GORT!. The webmaster is Jim Gerard, who is a tireless man devoted not only to Gort but also to being a spokesman for NASA's public outreach. We met in September of 1998 to help promote astronomy to the public, and he graciously gave the Bad Astronomy website his "Friends of Gort" award, which I display proudly.

This is isn't an award per se, but it is an honor. The Astronomical Society of Tasmania/ chose Bad Astronomy as their Hot Link of the Week for the week of August 17, 1998. They have a nice list of sites on that page, and it's well worth poking around a few of them!

stellar site award June 12, 1998
Do you like Blues music? The Alien Blues website has lots of links to blues sites, links to alien-type websites, and the site designer also decided to give the Bad Astronomy pages their "Stellar Site Award".

June 5, 1998
Sean Pratz, editor of the Lynx Links Digest, picked Bad Astronomy as a Lynx friendly science site. That's pretty neat! Here's what he has to say at the archive of links:

Why is the sky blue? If you were told it's because of the sunlight reflecting off the earth's oceans, someone misled you. Philip Plait, an astronomer at Goddard Space Flight Center, has created "Bad Astronomy" to set many astronomy-related misconceptions straight. For instance, it seems that every television station has, at one time or another, shown a news story on the first day of spring showing people balancing eggs on end, telling viewers that the Vernal Equinox is the only day of the year that such a feat can be accomplished. Balderdash! It's just as easy (or hard) to do the trick on any day of the year. Another common belief is that water spirals counterclockwise down a drain in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the south. Well, sorta. Except that the Coriolis force on the water in your kitchen sink is so small that the effect is negligible. In the macroscopic world we're familiar with, you won't notice anything of the sort. (Don't write us to argue about it, write Dr. Plait. He's not busy. He stays up late.) Tinkering with people's dearly held misconceptions is great fun. Philip must get a lot of nice mail from people who "can plainly see" that the moon does not rotate, despite what he says. Poor guy.

Well, I don't stay up too late (unless my daughter is up too) and to be honest I don't get much crank mail, or mail about the Moon like that; most people just want to know why the Moon keeps one face to us ( click here for a hint!).

May 22, 1998
This isn't so much an award, but the newspaper the San Jose Mercury has listed Bad Astronomy under their picks for "your weekend wandering pleasure." They say: If your interests lean more toward the extraterrestrial, stop by Dr. Philip Plait's Bad Astronomy page. Phil is not a practitioner of bad astronomy, but its sworn (though good-humored) enemy, and popular belief, the news media and the entertainment world give him plenty of targets (like the recent spate of celestial-object-hits-Earth movies). As a reward for their obvious good taste, I suggest you go out and buy a couple of hundred copies of their paper.

yahoo April 30, 1998

Perhaps you have heard of Yahoo!, the premier search engine on the web that about ten million people use every day? They have scores of people chained to their desks in a windowless basement tirelessly scouring the web looking for places that other people might like to see. One of their minions stumbled upon these very Bad Astronomy pages, and decided to put them on their list of Cool Sites. Before this event, I tracked about 100-300 hits a day on my main page. After Yahoo! listed Bad Astronomy, I started getting about 3000 hits a day. Since Yahoo! did not email me to let me know they had done this, I was baffled about this huge increase in hits, and (perhaps stupidly) put a note on my main page asking people to drop me a line and say from where they came, so I could find out. An hour later I had received about 30 emails, so I hastily tore that note down. ;-) Anyway, in a year and a half since I started these pages I had received about 30,000 hits, and in the two weeks since Yahoo! listed me I have received over 50,000 more. So thanks, folks at Yahoo!, for making this site available to so many people. Incidentally, you can also get to the Cool Sites list using Netscape by clicking on the "What's Cool" button right at the top of your browser.

April 22, 1998
Some websites are just so much cooler than others. The World Wide Weirdness pages are much like my own Bad Astronomy pages, except they take on the burning issues of aliens, alien abduction, alien channeling, alien experiments... you get the picture. Also lambasted are horoscopes, Hollow Earth fanatics, conspiracy theorists and everyone else with a weird unprovable idea. It's the kind of page the Bad Astronomer would have if he didn't want to get letter bombs in the mail. Anyway, The webmaster there gave me his coveted "Oscarzeta" award for my own efforts to try to actually use rational thinking. You can find the links to here on the Skeptic's Reseources page and the Science Friction page

April 21, 1998
The Orlando (Florida) Sentinel ran a brief blurb about the Bad Astronomy site in their newspaper on April 14. I searched their website and was able to get the headline and lead paragraph of the story: SMART ASTEROID GUY

Published on 04/14/98, Article 1 of 1 found.

Bad means good when it comes to the Bad Astronomy Web page.

It would help if you had a little interest in astronomy before visiting the page though. Stargazers will get a kick out of the Bad Astronomer's stellar sense of humor. He picks apart media reports that involve astronomical claims and scientific conclusions.

The Baltimore (Maryland) Sun picked up the story as well in their new section called "Plugged In". Unfortunately, they also included the wrong URL! Oh well. If you're reading this that doesn't matter anyway.

April 20, 1998
This somewhat eerie award is from the folks at Eye on Science who give out awards to sites that disseminate science information to the public. There are many fine sites listed there and I recommend you take a look!

(April 9, 1998)
The slightly demented folks at Vegas Lounge decided they liked my website and gave me their "Passenger Pick" of the week for April 8, 1998. Other honorees that week were a "Logan's Run" page (a great flick), "Man... or Astroman", a group the music of which I have never heard, and a mention of the "Lost in Space" movie. Far out.

Here's what they said about Bad Astronomy:


The alleged "face" on the surface Mars is really a butte. It is impossible to read by starlight alone. There are actually 13 to 24 constellations in the zodiac. Everything the producers of NBC's "Asteroid" know about the actual article would fit neatly on the head of a pin. Foul in name only, Bad Astronomy takes pains to debunk all the false information we are fed about the heavens by television, films and ingrained superstition, and does so in such a witty and entertaining fashion that even nonbelievers can't help but smile. Though astronomer Philip Plait claims to be only an "average" astronomer, his ability to explain astronomy in such basic, friendly terms puts him in our cool book. Plus, he makes a point of crediting his references, isn't afraid to admit when he's wrong and looks good in a cheesy spacesuit.

(March 11, 1998)
This is the farthest award I have received! The Blue Planet Landing Site has a web page called Site of the Nite and they decided that Bad Astronomy qualifies. They are based in Croatia, which for me is a third of the way around the planet. Other winners of their award are the STS-90 Neurolab Crew and the Galileo Probe web page, not to mention the Mars Pathfinder Site! I am in very good company indeed. I hope I can live up to it.

The folks at the Lucille Miller Observatory in Maiden North Carolina gave the Bad Astronomy web pages "four Bobs", which I assume is a good thing. They also give a special "Dumbbell Nebula" award to people and things that dispense Bad Astronomy, such as newscasters TV ads and the like. It's nice to know I am not alone here in bringing this stuff to the public eye.

The discerning people at SpaceViews, a subsidiary of the wonderful group the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS), gave my "Asteroid" review below an award as one of two "Best Sites of the Week" for February 24, 1997.

The PresStop is an online source for over 2850 newspapers worldwide, and they chose Bad Astronomy and Bad News as the Press Source of the Day for Tuesday, May 6, 1997.

Majon's Cybermall is a huge collection of Internet shopping links. They said that I am the "WINNER of our esteemed Majon Web Select 'SEAL OF EXCELLENCE AWARD.'" They then tried to sell me their service. So is this award a true declaration of accomplishment, or merely a marketing ploy? I'm not sure. But what the heck, I can't blame them: they have received well over a million hits between March and September, 1997. They do a lot of business, so let them link back to me!

©2008 Phil Plait. All Rights Reserved.

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