I AM the Quiz-O-Tron CHAMPION!!!

The entire universe in blog form
May 14 2014 12:26 PM

I AM the Quiz-O-Tron CHAMPION!!!

quizotron belt
Forged in the heart of a dying star.

Photo by Ryan Consell

Every year, a fierce battle takes place. Only those with steely disposition, brave hearts, and sharp brains can withstand it. It is not for the faint of heart, for those of us who survive will eat the souls of the losers.

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!  

This is the blood-soaked battleground of the Quiz-O-Tron 9000: a science-based quiz show hosted by my friend and Skepchick Rebecca Watson at DragonCon.


OK, so it’s not exactly 300. But it’s fun, and the competition, while friendly, is pretty steep. Rebecca invites a bunch of her funny pals to be on a panel (some of them are funny for a living), and she throws out questions based on current science news. I’ve done it several times, and it’s a lot of fun.

Last year, the panel was big, including Lucky Yates (the voice of Krieger from Archer), comedy singers Paul and Storm, Bill Corbett (MST3K), Drew Curtis (Fark), ukeleleist Molly Lewis, all-around nice dude Ken Plume, and best-selling author Scott Sigler. Joseph Scrimshaw was judge, and also drew filthy doodles that I can’t show you here.

Sigler was the reigning champion from the previous year, but had no idea that I would rise up and destroy him. Puns drawn and jokes blazing, I completely crushed the hopeless fools before me, or possibly just got a huge amount of pity from Scrimshaw.

Whatever. I won. But I was a bit taken aback that there was no prize or anything. I actually exclaimed, “What, don’t I get a belt or something?”

Then an amazing thing happened. Ryan Consell, who is a fantastic metal craftsman (you may have seen his ridiculously cool Mythbusters rings or his Slave Leia Leo bikini) and also fetched us drinks during the quiz, took it upon himself to actually create a championship belt [Update: ... designed by Brian George]. It’s extremely cool! Ryan made a video describing the whole thing.

Incredible. The design is really cool, with robots and atoms and circuits and stuff. I love it!

Sadly, I will have to give it up soon; I won’t be at DragonCon this year, and someone else will win the now-coveted prize.

But let me ask you: Whoever that may be, will they be as mighty and fierce and terrifying as me?


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



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