Sunday, March 15, 2009

Gasp - astrology isn't real!

We went out with Molly and Jeff on Friday. The last time we went out with them Jeff planned the evening; this time it was my turn. Problem is Sean and I aren’t exactly exciting date night people. An early dinner followed by a walk is about as wild and crazy as we get. So I felt a lot of pressure to plan something really great for our double-date. We always enjoy our time with Molly and Jeff and I wanted this evening to be big on fun.

Why I thought the planetarium was a good option I’ll never know.

Actually, the evening started out well. Jeff is a bit of a foodie so I picked a restaurant he and Molly hadn’t been to, The Traveler’s Club and Tuba Museum. Not entirely sure how the tuba museum and the restaurant are connected but the place is decorated with lots of tubas… Everyone’s gotta have a hobby I suppose.

Dinner was good – although after Molly mentioned she wondered about the cleanliness of the kitchen based on the greasiness of the waiters’ hair I was a bit grossed out. But I pushed through, finished my salad and we headed for the Bad Astronomy show at the MSU planetarium.

The Bad Astronomy show is billed as a humorous look at the ways astronomy is misused. From the write-up on the planetarium’s website I thought it would be comical. Here’s what it said:

Were the moon missions actually a hoax? Have aliens landed on Earth? Can you tell your future by the stars? Based on the popular book of the same name, this show offers a unique and fun approach to learning about the cosmos. Join the "Bad Astronomer" Phil Plait as he takes a critical look at popular myths and misconceptions to show audiences how science can be used to evaluate questionable claims.

Doesn’t that make it sound sort-of fun? Education mixed with a few laughs? You know the old adage, “Don’t believe everything you read”? I should’ve known that a scientist’s humor would be a little different than mine.

It stared out fuzzy – not the information, the actual projection. And it never cleared up. Then, instead of a “fun approach to learning about the cosmos” we were treated to a “slow approach to learning about the cosmos.” Dragging barely begins to cover it.

But I finally lost it when he threw a bunch of formulas up for the “critical look” part of the evening. Come on; math on a date? Are you kidding me?

Lest I sound like a person uninterested in education let me assure you I am interested in education. Just not on date night.

We ended our evening at Cold Stone Creamery, and sitting there eating some of the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted, I realized I shouldn’t have worried about what we did. We’re all good sports and as corny as it sounds, just being together was enough.

Even so, I’m pretty sure that’s the last time I’m going to share my date night with the Bad Astronomer dude.