Monday, July 13, 2015

Bob Zimmerman, Coast to Coast's new Science Adviser

        It gives me pleasure to write a blogpost that will be entirely upbeat and positive, instead of my usual curmudgeonly scorn. Bob Zimmerman has given me permission to announce (I think for the first time publicly) that when he appears on Coast to Coast AM tonight, giving updates on New Horizons' final approach to Pluto, he will be officially introduced as the new Science Adviser. The reign of Richard Hoagland in that rôle is over.

        I congratulate Bob and I congratulate Lisa Lyon, executive producer of C2C, for making that decision. I have personally sent e-mails to Lisa and George Noory many times saying how much I've appreciated Bob's accurate, entertaining and up-to-date spots on the show, and saying how much better his contributions have been than those of his predecessor. I suppose it's even possible I may have influenced this decision in a small way.

 Exploration
        Bob is self-taught in space technology and history (just like me.) Although he does have a master's degree it's in US colonial history, not physics or engineering. His first career was actually in B movies, first as a key grip then moving into production. His only Producer credit was for Underground Terror (1989). His full IMDB credit list is here.

        Bob was interested in spaceflight, he says, "from childhood." He thought about training to become an astronaut, but realized that he didn't have the math skills. Instead, he turned his zeal for exploration upside down and went caving. Cave exploration remains his major passion.

        Once he decided to start writing about spaceflight, he became amazingly prolific. In addition to his book Genesis, The Story of Apollo 8 (1998) (which I read with admiration, having my own memories of that mission and its crew), he wrote Leaving Earth (2003) and two other space history books, as well as at least 100 shorter pieces in multi-media.

        I think he'll continue to be excellent as a popularizer of space exploration, and his New York accent is cute, too. We won't mention his politics on this blog. NOT AT ALL (grin).


Zimmerman's bio

His biblio (newspapers and magazines)

PS. For those with a taste for skullduggery, Richard Hoagland gives his side of the story here, in an interview with Steve Warner on digital radio. It's on auto-run now but will drop into archive at some point.

28 comments:

astroguy said...

Re: Dark City interview -- You can easily download the file from the site, there's a link from his website to get it.

Re: Tonight's C2C -- It states, "During the program, space historian Robert Zimmerman will provide periodic updates on the Pluto mission, as it happens." Problem: There will be no updates. No new images are coming down during the C2C program, no press conference, no releases. Unveiling of the final image to come down before the encounter will be about 6AM (I think?) or possibly 8AM EDT on Tuesday morning. After C2C is off-air.

Chris said...

Oh good god, listen to Hoagland boring everyone to death with his far-too-long explanation of why he's out. Too arrogant to put his hands up and say "You know what, I blew it, simple as that".

expat said...

What made me giggle was the demonstration of his sheer salesmanship, as he connects Obama's nomination to the "torsion field." You follow him along, thinking "this sounds convincing" and when it's over you wake up to the fact that it's COMPLETE FLAPDOODLE. Has no actual meaning at all.

Binaryspellbook said...

Infamy, infamy. They've all got it "infamy."
I did permit myself a second listen.

Dee said...

Nice to hear about Bob's new position!

And I did listen as well a few minutes of Dark City. The thing I noticed here was that only after being asked to write a chapter on Pluto, Richard had first to "do some work" (imagine that) to find how Pluto would fit in his theories. And now suddenly we have this immense, hyped up, crucial meaning added to Pluto as planetary body, one which was not mentioned before by the very one who thought he had the keys to Secrets of the inner mechanics and secret history of the solar system.

I guess this was a safe bet after all. Each and every fly-by or landing so far has given him endless material to find all sorts of anomalies or unusual features to play with, meaning: to briefly and undocumented, tentatively put them out there and forget about following up any of it. No doubt he'll find those here as well. And enough references to play with like Lowell's obsession with Planet X, the astrological transformative powers and notions of hidden power and discovery - not to mention its associations with Tuesday together with Mars, and so on. Surely it only took around thirty minutes to decide the book chapter and all the shows leading up to the flyby would be worth it! As a rebirth of the Hoagland hype himself! All astrologically completely correct.

John Dee, noted astrologer.

Chris Lopes said...

Anybody catch Hoagie's Pluto show on DM?

expat said...

Astroguy seems to have found some time to catch some of it.

https://pseudoastro.wordpress.com/2015/07/14/newhorizons-the-pseudoscience-flows-part-2/

Binaryspellbook said...

I heard some of it here in Scotland early afternoon.

It wasn't the shrill, hyperbole riddled, breathless machine gun. Neither was it slick. I kept hearing people rummaging around shifting papers on the desk and generally just being noisy.

One of Hoagland's punkawallas (in between fanning his ego) somehow managed to get Bill Nye on. Other guests I heard were Keith Laney and Richard Grossinger.

There was some small conversation about linearities in the Pluto images with Laney. However nothing that would even come close to Hoagland's usual pish. I heard nothing I didn't know and nothing that couldn't have been explained better by our own Stu Robbins. Unimpressed with the content. Impressed (in the hour or two I heard) with Hoagland's restraint.

Chris Lopes said...

The restraint could have been a result of Hoagland trying to be Mr. Science at least for one night. I'm sure he'll be back to his ole self on the 20th.

Binaryspellbook said...

Probably was Chris. I cannot say for certain. I am glad he did restrain himself in the hour or so that I heard at least. The thing is. When he sticks to scientific facts and controls himself he is actually very good. He comes across as entertaining and informative if a little bit long-winded. But at least he comes up with interesting snippets of info that keep things moving along.

Like you I suspect he will revert to his old self-aggrandization and name-droppery. The sad thing is. If he didn't go all Captain Ahab on NASA after being refused press accreditation it is possible that he could have gotten a TV gig similar to Bill Nye. Nothing too heavy or mathematically complex. Just simple concise information perhaps with some small science experiments for kids to reproduce. He fucking blew that chance a long, long time ago.

I found THIS.
Takes me back in time guys. Old fart out !!!!!

Chris Lopes said...

Binary, that was a great find. I could practically hear the annoying as hell screech of my 300 baud modem. Good times, good times.

Anonymous said...

http://darkmatterdigitalnetwork.com/shows/other-side-of-midnight/

This must be C2C's old "science adviser"'s new hustle....

expat said...

Indeed it is. I won't be tuning in, partly because I don't want to pay even the paltry sum of $5/month, but also because the logistics of getting digital radio into my lug'ole in bed without disturbing the missus is problematic. If it turns up on the Tube that is U I'll sample it.

Binaryspellbook said...

Fellow Emolumentees,

Let's play hyperdimensional lotto. Just for shits, giggles and most importantly "data."
How long will the Hoagland show last and will it be viable as a source of income?

For my part, I would guess a few months at best and no. I have absolutely no "data" to back that up nor do I claim to be Nostradamus ror David Wilcock. I just look at his track record of broken promises, abject lies and unfinished work.

Chris Lopes said...

They should post the first few shows on YouTube themselves, just to give people a taste of what they are missing. The woo croud is pretty stingy with their beer money. You need to give them a reason to part with it.

Chris Lopes said...

Binary,
It all depends on how long Art Bell decides to stick with it. If he leaves, DM won't keep Hoagie around, they seem to be a package deal. The thing that has to worry Hoagie though is that Art doesn't seem to be able to stay put anywhere for too long. I think he sees this radio thing as more of a hobby than an actual job.

erickson said...

For that matter, how long will Art Bell's show last on the darkmatterdigital network and will Hoagland outlast Art? I have not checked the odds but There must be a lot of action on it.

expat said...

I give it about nine months. As to the revenue stream -- no idea, don't know how much commercial time he's selling.

At least Hoagland won't have to share the profits with too many other people. Unlike the Pluto book that has 31 authors.

Chris Lopes said...

Speaking of which, did you ever get a chance to read it?

expat said...

Only the free look-in on Amazon, which I quoted in this blogpost.

Chris Lopes said...

An e-copy found its way to me. I might take a look and comment sometime.

expat said...

That one run-on sentence gave me the heebie-jeebies, I couldn't read the rest of it now.

Chris Lopes said...

I don't intend to read the whole book, just Hoagie's contribution

To give you a taste of what's in it, Hoagie goes into how tptb were trying to snub Percival Lowell for revealing too many secrets. One of the ways was by not having his ashes (unlike Clyde Tombaugh's) on board New Horizons. While it's possible a dark conspiracy is responsible for such a thing, I think it has more to do with the fact that Lowell was buried, not cremated. The chapter is full pf such truths.






expat said...

Chris: write a review if you have time. I'll publish.

erickson said...

I hope I have not missed it, but I am surprised that no one has claimed to see stunning faces, pyramids, obelisks, or glass domes on Pluto. Maybe it will be a scoop for the new radio show. Or maybe there are too many real things to look at. Although if I were an alien I would have left a large smiley face out there . . . Just because.

astroguy said...

Hoagland is already "finding" "significant" "geometry." Ug. The compression artifacts are annoying as h-ll for us legitimate scientists, but for people like Hoagland and Laney, it's a field day of "NASA's hiding the data" and at the same time that the compression artifacts clearly yield "regular geometry" that means intelligence. Yes, yes it does: It's created in a computer during the compression phase, and in a few months, we'll have the lossless versions that won't have those artifacts.

expat said...

Yes, it's getting really silly. Keith Laney criticized this image:

He wrote "After all the praise I've handed out to them over the last few days, I have to be honest and say that the latest image is of a very most interesting terrain but is plainly TERRIBLE. Are there no other images you could show us that aren't totally blockine'd out? I'm just linking this one from their site, I see no need to even try to make this mess better or host it on mine. However, i am no quitter, and I'm pretty good at some things..."

He then produced this "enhancement" which is cosmetically more attractive but scientifically meaningless, since no actual data was added.

deb said...

Art Bell is back and Richard was a natural to go with him. I loved the all night Pluto show (and the subsequent updates). CTC is a different type show- its slick and commercial driven and about polish not substance. It are a great introduction for newbies but Art is where people go to dig-in and dig-deeper. I am not looking for interviews with people done in a careful and cautious manner- I'm 60- its now or never- I want to hear what people think- and interviews that are relaxed and fun (e.g. Hoagland interview with John Brandenburg- hysterically wonderful). Hoagland is long winded and full of himself- but he is one of the best ufologists out there and for George to have axed him makes me loose a lot of respect for George and to choose to listen to Art and Hoagland's shows before I venture over to his.