Tag: Phil Plait

The Short Video Comes Into Its Own


shutterstock_232596862Here at Ricochet, we’re big on reminding you that our site isn’t like the rest of the Internet: we’ve got smarter, better, conversation than you’ll find anywhere else, without the trolls. Our members have real expertise and their posts and comments can and do get picked up in the broader media, which are two two of the many reasons you should join (use the coupon code “MAY” to get a free month).

But we’re not the only ones doing things right. One of the truly great things that’s come out of the last few years is the explosion of the short educational video. Such things predate the YouTube era, of course, but they were more likely to wind-up on Mystery Science Theater 3000 than to be sincerely recommended to — let alone willingly watched by — friends.

But thanks to the affordability of high-quality production equipment and the ease of publishing and peer-to-peer sharing available through YouTube and social media platforms, excellent videos can be disseminated easily to be enjoyed by millions. Obviously, there’s a great deal of schlock out there, but there are some real gems as well. And, being the internet, they’re available for free to anyone in possession of a tablet with an internet connection or USB port, a few minutes’ worth of attention, and little interest.

Crises of Climate


Over at Bad Astronomy, Phil Plait forecasts impending doom now that the committees that oversee NASA and NOAA (The National Atmospheric Administration) will be chaired, respectively, by Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

Plait’s primary cause for concern is that both men are climate change “deniers” (a “staunch denier” in Cruz’s case). More specifically, he cites both of them saying that global warming has paused for more than a decade. As Cruz puts it in an interview Plait embeds: