Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We Are Star Stuff!

I couldn’t pass on this blog post and, if you're a regular reader, you’ll likely understand why!
by Charlie Leck

I send you to a lot of places – to read something, to listen to something or to view something – and I hope you enjoy that stuff. Today, something different...

The extremely famous scientist – astrophysicist – Neil deGrasse Tyson was recently interviewed by Stephen Colbert. Mind you, this is not a comedic interview, but there are some funny moments.

It’s a video that lasts nearly an hour and a half (84 minutes), so most of you won’t go there. Okay! If you don’t, however, how about starting the video and moving the little thing-a-ma-jig up to the 23 minute mark and listen to just a minute or two from that point; that is the point where Colbert asks this magnificently verbal and instructive scientist this question: “What is the most beautiful thing in science?”

Then listen, at least, for the next six minutes – though, at that point, you probably won’t stop listening and watching this remarkable video. If you don’t have 84 minutes for something this wonderful, I’m sorry for you. If you don’t have the 6 minutes to watch this little bit of it, oh, my god, I don’t know what to say.

Once again I must thank, as I often do here, the Open Culture web site for leading me to this remarkable video.

“We are star stuff… we knew we are star dust at the middle of the 20th century… that connects us to the universe like no other fact. That is beautiful!”

Tyson is a beautiful man – a beautiful human being – and he will make you glad to know there are scientists like this man. And, as I do, you will want to get to know him and about him very eagerly. He can handle Colbert all right and he can keep up with the comedian’s banter like no one you’ve ever heard.

I loved his answer to the very last question from the audience. That answer was, basically, don’t get in the way of your children’s experimentation in science – like when they pull all the pots and pans from the cupboards and start banging on them; for it is an experiment in acoustics. Allow your children to be creative and to investigate. You’ll love the way he explains it.

I sat back in a very comfortable chair and watched the complete video. It was terrific. If you watch, you’ll thank me. And, oh yes, Tyson received a standing ovation from his audience.


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