Video Interview on "Star Talk" with Neil Tyson at 2012 San Diego Comic Con

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Jan. 3 2013 2:02 PM

Talking Tech and Science with Neil Tyson on "Star Talk" at Comic Con

Gary Dell'Abate, Neil Tyson, Chris Hardwick, and Phil Plait at San Diego Comic Con
Gary Dell'Abate, Neil Tyson, Chris Hardwick, and me at the 2012 San Diego Comic Con. I love the speech bubble on the booth in the background.

Image credit: Phil Plait

One of my favorite events of the year is the Mecca of nerdery, San Diego Comic Con. According to some estimates, eleventy billion geeks (actually, closer to 150,000) converge on the town every July to talk and hear from people involved in creating their favorite TV shows, movies, books, and comics. It's a seriously huge event.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

At the 2012 SDCC, I was very excited to have my friends Chris Hardwick (from Nerdist) and astronomer Neil Tyson ask me to be on a live video version of Neil’s popular radio program “Star Talk”. Also appearing was Gary "Baba Booey" Dell'Abate (from the Howard Stern show), who is a huge gadget nerd. The four of us sat in a booth on the cavernous exhibit floor of the San Diego Convention Center and talked about gizmos—the tech, the science, the silliness. It was a lot of fun, and Hardwick just put the video up:


The video is about 20 minutes long, but we actually talked for over an hour. I hope more of that goes up at some point; Chris had to leave early to go to another event (I think he was meeting up with, seriously, the cast of Doctor Who!) and Gary also had to run, so Neil and I talked astronomy and space tech for a while.

After the interview, Neil’s producer mentioned that some of the cast of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” were signing autographs at a nearby booth and wanted to meet him. Neil asked me to tag along, so we went over and met Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis, and LeVar Burton. That’s when this happened:

Oh my.

Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis, and me at San Diego Comic Con.
Brent Spiner and Marina Sirtis, with me horning in while they chatted with Neil Tyson.

Image credit: Phil Plait

SDCC is always amazing, and last year I had the great pleasure to moderate a panel on the Science of Science Fiction, which is becoming something of a tradition. I have every plan on doing it again this year, and when I do I’ll be sure to let everyone know here on the blog. I hope to meet a lot of BABloggees there!



Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Free Speech

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 3:13 PM Why Countries Make Human Rights Pledges They Have No Intention of Honoring
Oct. 21 2014 1:12 PM The Global Millionaires Club Is Booming and Losing Its Exclusivity
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 1:47 PM The Best Way to Fry an Egg
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.