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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

A Night of Science and Silliness

By Phil Plait

I have good news if you like fun things! And if you live somewhere near the San Francisco Bay area.

On Oct. 25 I’ll be at the Castro Theatre to do not one but two science comedy events: BAHFest and the Quiz-O-Tron 9000! Both are part of the Bay Area Science Festival, a weeklong celebration of science. Or, in the case of these two events, the mocking of it. To wit:

1) BAHFest is the Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses, which is the brainchild of that ginger fiend Zach Weinersmith, creator of the Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic. The gist is that people come up with terrible science-based just-so stories to explain something, then present it to the audience and judges. To give you an idea of how this goes, read the SMBC comic that inspired it.

I will be a judge at this, and I will be harsh but fair. (Note: I will be neither.) The keynote speaker is Matt Inman, who draws The Oatmeal, so c’mon. This will be amazing.

For tickets and such, go to the BASF BAHFest page. I know Zach and I will have books and stuff to sell and sign after the event, as will Matt and probably others.

b) Quiz-O-Tron 9000 is a snarky quiz show hosted by my friend and noted MRA enemy Rebecca Watson. She asks panelists about current science news topics, and the person with the most points at the end of the show (generally arbitrarily assigned by a judge with a tenuous grip on events) wins. I’ve done this a few times at DragonCon, and it’s a lot of fun (see these photos for evidence of such funnery). It’s also decidedly adult, so fairly warned be thee, says I.

I’ll note I am the Reigning Champion of the Universe for this game, and I have the belt to prove it. I’ll be bringing the belt with me, only so I can mock the other panelists when I take it home with me again.

Get your tickets here.

I’m really excited by this. This will be a fantastically fun night, so don’t miss it.

*Correction, Sept. 30, 2014: In the original picture caption, Adam Isaak's last name was misspelled.

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