"We Stopped Dreaming"
January 3, 2012 7:26 AM   Subscribe

King of the Cosmos (A Profile of Neil deGrasse Tyson) by Carl Zimmer. (Via)

Carl Zimmer's site. (Previously on MeFi)

Mentioned in the article: Star Talk Radio (Previously)

Neil deGrasse Tyson's Twitter. His 'Ask Me Anything' posts on Reddit: Novembert and December are quite popular.

Authors @ Google: 73 minute video interview with him from February 2009 regarding his book, The Pluto Files, which discusses the public's response (hate mail from third graders!) to Pluto's demotion from planet status. A 2010 NOVA special on the subject, also called "The Pluto Files," recently re-aired on PBS on December 14, and can be viewed in its entirety online at their site.

Video from the World Science Festival: Why Science Literacy Matters.

Interview on SanDiego.com from August.

An extensive archive of audio interviews is available at his site.

Appearances on Real Time with Bill Maher: February 2011, August 2011. The title of this post comes from a comment he made during the August show.

Appearance on Jon Stewart: January 2011.
posted by zarq (17 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Forgot a link: Neil deGrasse Tyson, previously on Metafilter.
posted by zarq at 7:38 AM on January 3, 2012

Thanks, Burhanistan. I want to watch that.
posted by zarq at 7:48 AM on January 3, 2012

The story starts out with an anecdote about a star party, with NdGT pointing out stars with a laser pointer. I remember going to those when I was a little kid.

I recently got a new phone that actually came pre-loaded with Google sky map which shows you whatever stars/planets you happen to be aiming your phone at at the time. I'm sure there's something similar for iPhone. Being able to go outside at night and see which star is which so easily is really fun.
posted by delmoi at 7:51 AM on January 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

Also the origin of this meme, which thankfully is not nearly as popular here as it is on Reddit.
posted by fuse theorem at 8:00 AM on January 3, 2012

Tyson's popularity helped push me to get an 8 inch Dobsonian telescope for Christmas. Seeing my 5 year old daughter yell out, "Oh, my, GOSH," when she saw Jupiter and a few moons was enough to almost make me cry. I want her to have the same push toward science that we need, what Tyson is pushing for. It starts with kids that age and it's responsibility to keep pushing them to embrace it.
posted by fijiwriter at 8:09 AM on January 3, 2012 [7 favorites]

I would now like fanart of Dr. Tyson in purple tights and a tube hat and a cape please.
posted by elizardbits at 8:14 AM on January 3, 2012 [7 favorites]

He is also a decent writer and has a new book out in February.
posted by Wretch729 at 8:19 AM on January 3, 2012

elizardbits: I would now like fanart of Dr. Tyson in purple tights and a tube hat and a cape please.

If nothing else, a quick photoshop hack of this image with a NdGT headshot. Until then, I'll copy a few interesting tweets.

31 Dec FYI: New Year celebrations begin 6hr too early per yr, relative to Earth's orbital return spot. The 4yr leapday corrects for it

31 Dec Geek Heaven -- New Year's Eve: Two marathons, one night -- SyFy channel's "Twilight Zone" and TBS's "The Big Bang Theory".

25 Dec Christians: MerryChristmas; Jews & Muslims: HappySunday; Atheists & Agnostics: HappyDay359 (Days of week are named for gods)

21 Dec Yup. Earlier this evening, my Geek teen daughter hacked my Twitter account. The cost of raising a SciTech literate child.

11 Dec State of the world is so bleak, that w/o utopian visions that SciFi authors provide, much of today's world would be w/o hope.

7 Dec Need a distraction today? Not only does 12+1=11+2, but the letters "twelve plus one" rearrange to give you "eleven plus two"
posted by filthy light thief at 8:52 AM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've seen the "King of the Cosmos" before and that doesn't look like him.
posted by VTX at 8:53 AM on January 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

VTX, all I can say to that is: Naaaaa na na na na na na na.....

This is a great post, though. I like deGrasse Tyson.
posted by byanyothername at 9:05 AM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Great, now anytime I see Neil deGrasse Tyson I'm going to have the Katamari theme stuck in my head.
posted by VTX at 9:15 AM on January 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

Dr. Tyson! We built a shrine to him at my old library. Glad to see he's getting the attention he deserves.
posted by orrnyereg at 10:08 AM on January 3, 2012

Zarq, thanks for the wonderful post! I spent my lunch hour perusing; made my day!
posted by pointystick at 10:54 AM on January 3, 2012

In the first article, he's described as wowing his outdoor audience with a green laser pointer. I don't understand how you use a laser pointer outside at night, pointing it at the sky, unless there's at least a hint of fog, which in turn would ruin the stargazing. Laser beams are completely invisible in clear air.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:00 PM on January 3, 2012

re: green laser pointers
posted by elizardbits at 12:09 PM on January 3, 2012

Neat. Thank you.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:17 PM on January 3, 2012

We are moved to tears by the size of this thing.
posted by ardgedee at 3:57 PM on January 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

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