Exposing PseudoAstronomy

July 19, 2010

Upcoming Public Talk on 2012 Doomsday – Fiske Planetarium, CU-Boulder, Colorado

I rarely do plugs on my blog, but this one has two parts to it so I thought I’d go ahead. I’ll be doing a public lecture / planetarium show this Friday, July 23, starting at 8:00PM at Fiske Planetarium on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus. The show will be about 2012 with the short title: “Doomsday 2012.” In the talk, I will be discussing:

  • History of the 2012 phenomenon.
  • Geographic Pole Shifts (and Planet X).
  • Magnetic Pole Shifts.
  • Galactic Alignments.
  • “Something” on the Sun.

Should be fun! The poster advertisement is shown in the image on the right. It was hastily put together by me after a misunderstanding today. I had seen a cool image that the planetarium was using to advertise the program, and I figured they had made their own poster, even though I had told them I wanted to make it (since, personally, I hadn’t been a fan of their posters in the past). Since I saw this image advertising the event on their website, I figured they had just forgotten. And also, I liked it, so I didn’t say anything.

I went to practice the talk today at the planetarium (and work out timing for various effects and use of the star projector) and noticed that the poster wasn’t hanging up. So I sent an e-mail asking about it and asking if I could have a copy for personal use. The reply came that they thought I was doing the poster. Sigh.

So I said that I was planning on it, saw they had one on the site, and assumed it was all done. Nope, that was just a small image they’d found online and was about 100×150 pixels … not quite the right size for a 20″x30″ poster. And their graphics guy was out until Wednesday.

So, I spent an hour this afternoon and came up with what you see. It’s not great, and it’s not as cool as the one they had found online, but it gets the message across.

Anyway, another reason (that second one I mentioned) for this post is that I had my fourth interview with a news paper in the last few years. The local newspaper, the Daily Camera contacted me last Friday and asked if they could interview me for a “5 Questions” column about the show. The reporter actually asked me 9 questions and chose the shortest 5 or so, leaving out a few that I thought were much more interesting, but that’s typical of news reporters. There are also two language issues I have with the introduction.

First, he calls me a “self-proclaimed skeptic” which to me sounds similar to a “self-proclaimed [insert topic of your choice].” I dunno, maybe I’m just being over-sensitive. The other is that he makes the ever-common mistake of referring to 2012 doomsday proposals as “theories” instead of “hypotheses” or really just “random nut-job suppositions.” Oh well.

The local skeptics group (Mile-High Skeptics) will be at the show and I’ll be joining them for drinks (FOOD) afterwards. So, if you’re in the area, come on by! I do have to mention that ticket prices are $6 for adults, $3.50 for children/seniors, and $5 for students with ID. Not that expensive, and – come on! – what else are you going to be doing on a Friday night?


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