Friday, May 11, 2012


Boy do I hate when I see those three letters, and I hate them even more when they are spewed from someone's mouth, but that was before.  Before yesterday's talk on campus.  I got to see an hour plus talk by the one and only, Neil deGrasse Tyson.  Now I see why someone would want to type OMG(that was the one and only time I'll ever type that).  :-)

It was a fantastic talk.  Well it should be, I mean he's probably the smartest, coolest astrophysicist on earth.  Maybe the smartest, coolest PERSON on earth.  Now I don't know that for sure, I haven't met everyone on earth.     

The Terrace on Lake Mendota, UW Madison
The talk was part of the Distinguished Lecture Series and he was the Senior Class Speaker.  And to make it even better, it was at The Terrace as the Memorial Union.  We couldn't have asked for better weather.  It was sunny and 70s.  Perfect.

Now if you've made it this far and don't know who I'm talking about, you should be ashamed of yourself.  Okay, I'm overreacting, not everyone's hip to space and physics.  But I recommend learning more about this great man.  He has written a number of books and articles.  You can also find many talks and speeches on YouTube.  He's pretty awesome.

But back to the talk.  I left work extremely early to make sure I got a good seat.  Don't judge me, I'm a scientist, I get to go to talks all the time at work.  It furthers our knowledge.  And technically I just left the lab, not work.  The talk was on campus.  And I had my computer with me.  See, still an awesome employee.

Then I begged J to try and get off of work early to come and join me.  I knew he wouldn't want to miss this.  And really physics is much more related to engineering then biology.  Details.

He talked about the importance of science to our country and economy.  He talked about space exploration.  He talked about how the space program is not just important to physics, but to every line of science and beyond.  He is funny and intelligent and I could have listened to him talk for hours.

His Q&A was fantastic.  He wouldn't let anyone start off their question with "Um." Which I admire a bit, even though I know I'm guilty of it myself. 

It was packed.  I got there around 1:30 and there was no where to sit.  I sat on the ground to eat my lunch.  I was just amazed at how many people showed up.  There were even a couple of grade school age kids there.  The one was so excited he was throwing up rock signs.  Then the one got to ask a question and total froze.  Hell I would have froze too if I got to talk to Neil deGrasse Tyson.  But it's fantastic to see that many people show up to see an astrophysicist talk.

One of my favorite things he said was, “The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”

I leave you with a video of not NdGT speaking, but of his answer to the question "What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the Universe?"

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