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Email Information Public Talks


Contact Information

PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE SENDING ME AN EMAIL!

I get email. Lots of email. Lots and LOTS and LOTS of email.

Most of it is spam, of course (I now get 100 an hour, yes, per hour), but something about this site really gets people fired up to send me email. I really like hearing from readers, and it's fun to reply. But the sheer number of real emails (between 40 - 100 per day) makes it very hard/impossible to answer them all. Lately, I find I have less time to answer them.

If you want to email me, great! But be aware that it may take me a month or more to answer. Also, if you do email me, please keep in mind the things that follow. Some may sound harsh, but believe me, when your email queue is 500 messages long, you get a little desperate. :-)

  1. Make the subject line clear! I have an aggressive spam filter. If you put the word "viagra" in the subject line, or anywhere in the email, I'll never see it. HTML coding also makes the spam detector twitchy. Don't put "hi" or "hello" in the subject line, or anything else that you see is in the subject lines of all the spam you get yourself.
  2. I sometimes get email from people asking me if I have heard about this idea that NASA may have faked the Moon landings. Seriously, I do. So please, please, please USE THE SEARCH ENGINE FOR THIS SITE BEFORE EMAILING ME! Also, try searching the Bad Astronomy and Universe Today Bulletin Board as well. Many topics are discussed there, and the answers you seek may lie there.
  3. Speaking of which, search Google first as well. I get emails asking me about space history, or how many galaxies there are, or things like that, all of which can be answered more quickly using a web search. I know that sounds obvious, but really about half my email are questions like that. It has gotten so bad I now routinely delete emails when I think they can be answered using Google. I hate doing that, but I have little choice.
  4. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ME BINARY ATTACHMENTS. I absolutely 100% completely and positively will not look at them. Opening attachments is how computers get destroyed. If you have an image you want me to see, then send me a link to it. There are lots of free photo-hosting websites you can use for stuff like that.
If, after all this, you still want to get in touch with me, my email address is thebadastronomer "at" gmail.com. Obviously, replace "at" with the "at" symbol. I write it that way to prevent spammers from using robots to get my email address. Grrrr.


Public Lectures

I have been giving public talks for the past several years, and it's one of my favorite things to do. The talks use PowerPoint and generally have images, sounds, video clips, and lots of jokes. I love to talk about astronomy and get the audience laughing, and it amazes me that the two really do mix well! I have several talks prepared:
  • "Bad Astronomy": Still a favorite after five years (and I update it when I can), this talk starts off with me standing an egg on end and discussing this legend and using it to talk about misconceptions in general. The talk then branches off into a dissection of Hollywood movies, using specific clips from well-known movies.
  • "The Moon Hoax Hoax": Yes, the silly idea that NASA faked the Apollo missions is still around. This talk basically rips the hoax arguments to shreds. I use clips from the Fox TV show and go point-by-point through much of it, gleefully showing just why these arguments are wrong. I have given this talk at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center (or you can click here for a personal account of that trip), the Space Telescope Science Institute, and many other locations. It's a favorite.
  • "Seven Ways a Black Hole Can Kill You": this is about, well, seven ways a black hole can kill you! It's my most recently developed talk, and has lots of fun and gruesome ideas about all the ways a black hole can ruin your day. It's based on solid science, but uses humor to teach people about what black holes are and how they work.
  • Although I don't have specific talks developed for these topics, I can talk about:
    • The Hubble Space Telescope

    • Careers in astronomy (generally for high school students)
    • Upcoming astronomical events (meteor showers, the occasional bright comet, etc.)
    • Anything else you can think of!
For more information about arranging a speaking engagement, please contact Beth Quittman at 206-529-4711 or info @ samaralectures.com.



©2008 Phil Plait. All Rights Reserved.

This page last modified Saturday, 05-Mar-2011 18:03:18 UTC


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