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(Huffington Post)   Neil deGrasse Tyson knows exactly how to make science interesting for more people. It's, well...science   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 90
    More: Cool, Neil deGrasse, American Astronomical Society, astronomy, kryptons  
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3733 clicks; posted to Geek » on 10 Jan 2014 at 12:35 PM (33 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-10 03:59:29 PM
scontent-a-pao.xx.fbcdn.net
 
2014-01-10 04:04:04 PM

Flappyhead: I know this thread is about to get flooded with NDT hate but the guy does make science interesting.  He's engaging, funny and plays a crowd very well.  It's hard getting peoples attention for long these days and any way we can get kids interested in science is good IMHO.


I like NDT, but the internet's obsession with the guy (particularly among people who think they are nerds because they play GTA) bugs me
 
2014-01-10 04:33:36 PM

machoprogrammer: Flappyhead: I know this thread is about to get flooded with NDT hate but the guy does make science interesting.  He's engaging, funny and plays a crowd very well.  It's hard getting peoples attention for long these days and any way we can get kids interested in science is good IMHO.

I like NDT, but the internet's obsession with the guy (particularly among people who think they are nerds because they play GTA) bugs me


Like it or not, if we think it's important to attract people to scientific careers... it isn't going to be the paycheck that does it.  It's going to be NDT, Mythbusters, and Bill Nye the Science Guy.  His personal work may not be that important, but don't be surprised if some punk 30 years from now has a major breakthrough and credits NDT as what got him thinking about doing what he does for a living.
 
2014-01-10 04:47:16 PM

Mercutio74: It's going to be NDT, Mythbusters, and Bill Nye the Science Guy. His personal work may not be that important, but don't be surprised if some punk 30 years from now has a major breakthrough and credits NDT as what got him thinking about doing what he does for a living.


Just like Sagan inspired NdGT (Sagan even tried to recruit NdGT to his grad program).

// and Sagan was inspired by Muller, Urey, Kuiper...
 
2014-01-10 05:08:41 PM

Ishkur: SewerSquirrels: (what is outside of the universe for example)

Malformed question. It presumes there is something outside the Universe and it presumes that it is something we can know.

You are arguing from a position of transcendentalism, which is scientifically and logically invalid.


Malformed because there was no question mark? Maybe that's because it wasn't a question. At any rate, that example is one that I was borrowing from Hawking. As far as I am aware, there is no "outside" of the universe, but if there was, we wouldn't be able to know about it.

There is a certain amount of finality to the statement " we do understand the world now, sucker." and yet the LHC spins on. Ghosts are more likely related to the amount of mercury in the viewers diet than quantum effects, granted, but we have no idea how much we don't know about our world.

Unless we do, of course...Is there a way to determine how far the model is from completion?
 
2014-01-10 05:31:18 PM

Ishkur: Peki: I think "paranormal phenomena" (ghosts, psychics, auras, telelpathy, so on. .) are quantum phenomena.

How?


Well, let's take telepathy because it will be the easy to start with. E=mc^2, right? Since c is a constant, essentially you're looking at the relationship between mass (density of matter) and energy. So all matter is energy, just in a particular state of vibration. In solids, you have small vibrations, in gases you have larger ones. Thoughts are simply patterns of firings in your brain, or brain waves, or vibrations/frequencies. Everyone's pattern is just a little bit different. But, if you can tune in to their patterns (via entangled particles or some other mechanism on a quantum level that we haven't yet discovered), then you might be able to read their thoughts--but not necessarily translate as everyone has their own mental shorthand. An example would be if you received me thinking about bleeding out. I might be thinking of this in terms of my pocketbook, while you're on the phone to 911 thinking I'm having a medical emergency.

Auras would simply be a visible manifestation of the energy links between you and the rest of the world. Ghosts would require the idea that there is some cognitive process that remains as energy after we die (the universe's brain waves, if you will). If you exist as an energy state instead of physical form, then yeah, all you need is a receiver. Psychic phenomena would be the ability to tap into and receive information from alternate timelines/universes. . .
 
2014-01-10 05:44:14 PM

nekom: Awesome!  My 6 year old daughter got a telescope (she actually asked, wasn't my idea) and some solar experiment things.  I was hoping Radio Shack still made those little electronic kits with the components hooked up to springs that you wire together easily but apparently they became a cell phone store.


Try these guys instead

https://www.sparkfun.com/
https://solarbotics.com/
http://www.adafruit.com/
 
2014-01-10 05:56:38 PM

Flappyhead: the guy does make science interesting


No, no he doesn't.

Neil is a neutral party. He does nothing, like a good educator should. The science makes itself interesting.

He just doesn't have the raging math boner and poor social skills of the average scientist.
 
2014-01-10 06:09:48 PM

Smelly McUgly: This may sound terrible, but I love to get my science through narrative. I have such a hard time with traditional textbook or non-fiction science (though not all the time, such as reading about the biological systems of animals).

Reading Jurassic Park helped me understand DNA on a basic level when I was about ten or eleven. I wish I knew some awesome novels that use the periodic table as a conceit.


I had my "got it" moment with the periodic table while playing with tiny magnetic balls of all things.

You could chain them into strings, makes them into sheets, layer them into cubes, make hexagons that could be pieced together into a honeycomb sheet or pentagonal dishes that could be connected into an easily assembled/disassembled ball.

Some structures were hard to break apart, some were sturdy along one axis and collapsed when pushed lightly along another. Some we're rearrangeable pieces and others were solid masses that couldn't easily be broken into component parts.

And while playing with them it suddenly hit me that this was how matter worked. All of the various properties of different substances were the result of the way the stuff making them up was structured and different elements lent themselves to different structures based on their electron configuration, sort of like, to mix metaphors a bit, LEGOs with differently arranged pegs fitting better in some ways than in others.

Completely changed my outlook on chemistry.
 
2014-01-10 06:21:56 PM

Peki: Ishkur: Peki: I think "paranormal phenomena" (ghosts, psychics, auras, telelpathy, so on. .) are quantum phenomena.

How?

Well, let's take telepathy because it will be the easy to start with. E=mc^2, right? Since c is a constant, essentially you're looking at the relationship between mass (density of matter) and energy. So all matter is energy, just in a particular state of vibration. In solids, you have small vibrations, in gases you have larger ones. Thoughts are simply patterns of firings in your brain, or brain waves, or vibrations/frequencies. Everyone's pattern is just a little bit different. But, if you can tune in to their patterns (via entangled particles or some other mechanism on a quantum level that we haven't yet discovered), then you might be able to read their thoughts--but not necessarily translate as everyone has their own mental shorthand. An example would be if you received me thinking about bleeding out. I might be thinking of this in terms of my pocketbook, while you're on the phone to 911 thinking I'm having a medical emergency.

Auras would simply be a visible manifestation of the energy links between you and the rest of the world. Ghosts would require the idea that there is some cognitive process that remains as energy after we die (the universe's brain waves, if you will). If you exist as an energy state instead of physical form, then yeah, all you need is a receiver. Psychic phenomena would be the ability to tap into and receive information from alternate timelines/universes. . .


Well sure it's easy if you just make shiat up.
 
2014-01-10 06:24:45 PM
I didn't know Deepak Chopra was a TotalFarker.
 
2014-01-10 06:26:27 PM
I also think you're putting the cart before the horse. Convince me that telepathy, auras, ghosts, etc. exist first, then try to convince me that your explanation of those phenomena is the correct one. If they don't exist then no explanation is necessary, and any explanation that presumes their existence is wrong.

If people see ghosts (e.g.), convince me that it's not just some equivalent to a visual hallucination, because that's the explanation that requires the least amount of additional theoretical baggage.
 
2014-01-10 06:26:45 PM

HighZoolander: Well sure it's easy if you just make shiat up.


Star Trek made shiat up. Now we have antimatter.
 
2014-01-10 06:27:12 PM

SewerSquirrels: Malformed because there was no question mark?


Malformed because its premises are invalid.
 
2014-01-10 06:28:00 PM

The Crepes of Wrath: Tiberius Gracchus: Archaeologists don't dig up dinosaur bones; you'd better let her explain to you why not :)

She's miss it, too, because even the box (sold by the Smithsonian, who should also know better) says "archaeology dig" on it.

/paleontology


How do you know the box isn't supposed to be an ancient dinosaur museum?
 
2014-01-10 06:34:03 PM

Peki: Well, let's take telepathy because it will be the easy to start with. E=mc^2, right? Since c is a constant, essentially you're looking at the relationship between mass (density of matter) and energy. So all matter is energy, just in a particular state of vibration. In solids, you have small vibrations, in gases you have larger ones. Thoughts are simply patterns of firings in your brain, or brain waves, or vibrations/frequencies. Everyone's pattern is just a little bit different. But, if you can tune in to their patterns (via entangled particles or some other mechanism on a quantum level that we haven't yet discovered), then you might be able to read their thoughts--but not necessarily translate as everyone has their own mental shorthand. An example would be if you received me thinking about bleeding out. I might be thinking of this in terms of my pocketbook, while you're on the phone to 911 thinking I'm having a medical emergency.


Your understanding and application of quantum physics is severely deficient.
 
2014-01-10 06:39:06 PM

Peki: Star Trek made shiat up. Now we have antimatter.


Antimatter predates Star Trek.
 
2014-01-10 06:53:13 PM

Ishkur: Peki: Well, let's take telepathy because it will be the easy to start with. E=mc^2, right? Since c is a constant, essentially you're looking at the relationship between mass (density of matter) and energy. So all matter is energy, just in a particular state of vibration. In solids, you have small vibrations, in gases you have larger ones. Thoughts are simply patterns of firings in your brain, or brain waves, or vibrations/frequencies. Everyone's pattern is just a little bit different. But, if you can tune in to their patterns (via entangled particles or some other mechanism on a quantum level that we haven't yet discovered), then you might be able to read their thoughts--but not necessarily translate as everyone has their own mental shorthand. An example would be if you received me thinking about bleeding out. I might be thinking of this in terms of my pocketbook, while you're on the phone to 911 thinking I'm having a medical emergency.

Your understanding and application of quantum physics

and neuroscience is severely deficient.
 
2014-01-10 07:08:25 PM

Tyrosine: Peki: Going way out there: I think "paranormal phenomena" (ghosts, psychics, auras, telelpathy, so on. .) are quantum phenomena

Or mental illness.


Mental illness doesn't cover all cases. There are lots of cases that are easily false. There are some that are just too odd to be fake, and can't be explained by saying a single person is I'll or lying. I like the idea that there's just some weird shiat we don't understand yet, but we can later.
 
2014-01-10 07:18:47 PM

Peki: HighZoolander: Well sure it's easy if you just make shiat up.

Star Trek made shiat up. Now we have antimatter.


Yes, Star Trek made up antimatter. It totally wasn't already a thing.

Up next: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea made up submarines.
 
2014-01-10 07:34:38 PM

Delta1212: Peki: HighZoolander: Well sure it's easy if you just make shiat up.

Star Trek made shiat up. Now we have antimatter.

Yes, Star Trek made up antimatter. It totally wasn't already a thing.

Up next: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea made up submarines.


I read that book. It was nothing but lists of fish and a few monologues.
 
2014-01-10 07:41:25 PM
 
2014-01-10 07:46:25 PM
The dude is an attention whore. Instead of promoting science, he has fallen into the holier than thou internet fulfillment routine. I site his Gravity Movie tweets. Instead of educating people on orbital physics, he jut pooed on everything and got some things significantly wrong.

He is no Mr Wizard nor Carl Sagen.
 
2014-01-10 08:11:01 PM

jonny_q: Tyrosine: Peki: Going way out there: I think "paranormal phenomena" (ghosts, psychics, auras, telelpathy, so on. .) are quantum phenomena

Or mental illness.

Mental illness doesn't cover all cases. There are lots of cases that are easily false. There are some that are just too odd to be fake, and can't be explained by saying a single person is I'll or lying. I like the idea that there's just some weird shiat we don't understand yet, but we can later.


I agree there's stuff we probably don't fully understand yet and some "weird phenomena" are probably things that just don't happen frequently enough to have been properly documented and studied yet (See: ball lightning).

That said, anytime I see people attributing the supernatural or other weirdness to "quantum phenomena" I'm reminded of all those "electricity will cure your cold" "radioactivity causes superpowers" etc stuff from past decades. Quantum mechanics is the "science-y thing I don't understand and could therefore cause ANYTHING" for the current age.

Yes, quantum physics is weird and often counter-intuitive at first glance. No, that doesn't mean it's the explanation for every weird thing someone believes is real against all evidence.
 
2014-01-10 08:16:32 PM
I still blame him for what happened to Pluto...
 
2014-01-10 09:41:01 PM
Speaking of science, the best case for science is that you don't maintain our standard of living if you don't invest in basic research and what not. Yet nope, America has decidedly become anti-science. After all computers, cell phones, satellites, all that stuff just happens. Idiots. To be fair though, it isn't just Americans. The majority of human race doesn't seem to understand the value of science. Even though the fruits of our understanding of science have made us rich, happy, and and improved our standard of living more than ever before.

Yet lets credit the skygod instead. Idiots. Sometimes I'm embarrassed to be part of the human species. >.>

Or as Carl Sagan put it: We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology
 
2014-01-10 09:49:29 PM
Look, it's the first fellating of this guy on Fark in 2014. I'm guessing we'll have close to 20 threads exactly like this one before the end of the year.
 
2014-01-10 10:20:43 PM

bbfreak: Yet lets credit the skygod instead. Idiots.


It's exactly that kind of ironic vitriol that prevents most scientist from achieving financial success.

Why do we like Neil? He doesn't spew ignorant bile like some other Science Guys do.

Look at Kevin Smith. He's a fat stoner who hates nobody and makes dick jokes. He managed to scrounge up $5,000,000 to make a movie about a guy in a walrus suit in about two months. Why? Because he's infinitely likable and is just trying to make you laugh. People dig it.

All we need is a few more people in NASA who know how to play a room like that. Find a PR guy who was a preacher. Hit the mega church circuit. Talk about how god has left us the bounty of Luna, Mars, Europa, and Titan while the First Day gives us the power of Sol to create free energy with which to take The Lord's great word to every inch of this cosmos. They'll donate. Get another PR guy who does military stuff. I'm not sure what gets them to bite, but I know once you've got mass in orbit and trajectory calculation software perfected, you can do a lot of damage to the ground if you so choose. They'll cough up some dough. Get a third PR guy who's a cantankerous old twat spewing hatred for the sky god. Publicly fire him and distance yourself from that line of thinking. The great middle of the bell curve will shift towards you in nickles and dimes.

NASA's problem is they sucked the wrong cocks. Back in the day we went to the moon. We didn't do it for science. We didn't do it because we could. We did it because we wanted to show up the Russians. Once the Soviet Union fell, so too did our space programs. Now all we have is very remote control cars and remnants of the funded era, like Voyager and Hubble. Instead of trying to win over people with hate for everyone who doesn't want to pay you to play with rocks in space by being mean and spiteful, you have to find a new angle that makes science into entertainment, competition, and accepts everyone. Then we'll get the funding, advance the knowledge, and hopefully discover warp and cures for viral infections.
 
2014-01-10 10:28:56 PM

doglover: bbfreak: Yet lets credit the skygod instead. Idiots.

It's exactly that kind of ironic vitriol that prevents most scientist from achieving financial success.

Why do we like Neil? He doesn't spew ignorant bile like some other Science Guys do.

Look at Kevin Smith. He's a fat stoner who hates nobody and makes dick jokes. He managed to scrounge up $5,000,000 to make a movie about a guy in a walrus suit in about two months. Why? Because he's infinitely likable and is just trying to make you laugh. People dig it.

All we need is a few more people in NASA who know how to play a room like that. Find a PR guy who was a preacher. Hit the mega church circuit. Talk about how god has left us the bounty of Luna, Mars, Europa, and Titan while the First Day gives us the power of Sol to create free energy with which to take The Lord's great word to every inch of this cosmos. They'll donate. Get another PR guy who does military stuff. I'm not sure what gets them to bite, but I know once you've got mass in orbit and trajectory calculation software perfected, you can do a lot of damage to the ground if you so choose. They'll cough up some dough. Get a third PR guy who's a cantankerous old twat spewing hatred for the sky god. Publicly fire him and distance yourself from that line of thinking. The great middle of the bell curve will shift towards you in nickles and dimes.

NASA's problem is they sucked the wrong cocks. Back in the day we went to the moon. We didn't do it for science. We didn't do it because we could. We did it because we wanted to show up the Russians. Once the Soviet Union fell, so too did our space programs. Now all we have is very remote control cars and remnants of the funded era, like Voyager and Hubble. Instead of trying to win over people with hate for everyone who doesn't want to pay you to play with rocks in space by being mean and spiteful, you have to find a new angle that makes science into entertainment, competition, and accepts everyone. Then we'll get th ...


img.fark.net

I think you might be on to something, but it's going to take a LOT of effort. There seems to be an equally vicious anti-science thread in America right now, and I'm not sure what it would take to entirely counteract it.

/the human/animal hybrid thing is true though
 
2014-01-10 10:36:11 PM
because I care:/the human/animal hybrid thing is true though

Chimeras are awesome.
 
2014-01-10 11:00:37 PM

because I care: There seems to be an equally vicious anti-science thread in America right now, and I'm not sure what it would take to entirely counteract it.


Public Relations.

People don't like scientists as people, they don't like geology, and they don't like being called stupid and wrong (especially when that's true). They absolutely love science when it benefits them, however. I don't know too many Luddites who will put down the smart phone after they've got one.

All NASA has to do is stop being lame and start being exciting again. No more acoustic guitar solos in low earth orbit and mars landers designed to play with rocks. Find missions that people can get excited about. Make a reality TV show about them. Sex, drugs, and manned space flight. Canaveral Shore.

Whatever it takes to get the money. Once you've got the profit making missions up and running, you'll have enough to use on the boring hard science stuff it takes to actually achieve the showy mission.

I still want to see an Ocean probe for Europa. There might be life there. We should be checking back in the 90's.
 
2014-01-10 11:41:38 PM

SewerSquirrels: ikanreed: barefoot in the head: There are more things in heaven and earth, Neil
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Yeah, all those actual ghosts we've seen like in hamlet that force us to question naturalistic approaches.  Shakespeare's views are dated, we do understand the world now, sucker.

Finally!! The person who can explain dark matter/energy to me...perhaps fill in that gap between quantum & cosmological physics. Not entirely disagreeing with you, but I'd hardly claim that physics is any where near done cookin' yet.

That which we know is a subset of that which we can know, which is a subset of reality which includes a subset of things that we simply can't know (what is outside of the universe for example). Whether we understand our world significantly better than Bill did remains to be seen. I'd love to see a physics book that says "The End" and means it.


I won't lie. That last paragraph gave me a small case of goose-pimples.

It's a thing.

/study it out
 
2014-01-11 12:10:17 AM

Wellon Dowd: Science!

[img.thesun.co.uk image 682x400]


As a laboratory coordinator, I would have to order her out of the lab, immediately. However, I would be happy to instruct her, at detail, with as much review as is necessary, in appropriate and inappropriate attire and behavior for a laboratory setting.
 
2014-01-11 01:13:38 AM

Ishkur: SewerSquirrels: (what is outside of the universe for example)

Malformed question. It presumes there is something outside the Universe and it presumes that it is something we can know.

You are arguing from a position of transcendentalism, which is scientifically and logically invalid.


That statement hurts my brane.
 
2014-01-11 01:35:05 AM

rogue49: I am excited by science.
I am doing science.
I am a scientist.


Woot!

But you'd be surprised how many don't want to talk about science...including some scientists.
It's not good science if you're only listening to yourself.


By its very nature, scientific fields of study attract intellectuals, and most intellectuals have a very hard time simplifying their thoughts for non-intellectuals. Couple that with arcane, field-specific terminology, a narrow career focus, and you lay the foundation for the inability of many scientists to communicate with the lay public. Most scientists I've met could use some Toastmaster training, at least.  Some of them need training on reading body language cues.
 
2014-01-11 01:45:10 AM
I'd love to see NDT out here on my island sometime for any of our annual events... Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Science Day (for which we at least get a NASA astronaut), Journey Through The Universe (for which we at least get Derrick Pitts from the Franklin Institute, and "Gravity" science advisor Kevin Grazier) or AstroDay.

/doing Journey again this year, my 3rd or 4th time, I forget
//can't make AstroDay due to work, and probably can't make Onizuka Day either
 
2014-01-11 02:19:03 AM

doglover: you have to find a new angle that makes science into entertainment, competition, and accepts everyone


That angle will never fly in conservative religious circles. They will never accept everyone, and they don't relish competition for the ideas that they peddle to their people.

It may work though for the newly non-specific new-agey types (those who are religious but basically unaffiliated with a particular denomination - I forget the term for it right now), and hopefully those are in the majority these days...
 
2014-01-11 02:42:04 AM

HighZoolander: doglover: you have to find a new angle that makes science into entertainment, competition, and accepts everyone

That angle will never fly in conservative religious circles. They will never accept everyone, and they don't relish competition for the ideas that they peddle to their people.

It may work though for the newly non-specific new-agey types (those who are religious but basically unaffiliated with a particular denomination - I forget the term for it right now), and hopefully those are in the majority these days...


Nobody of any denomination has ever, even for a minute, doubted the efficacy of the physics of the knife. Why? Because every single cut they ever made was with a knife. The steel knife cuts longer than the bronze? Now we're in Chemistry. The switchblade fouls when the buck knife still cuts deer skin? Welcome to engineering. People lose fingers and die of sepsis when they don't wash out their cuts? Welcome to microbiology.

Not even in the darkest of ages in this modern world will people doubt what they can see. If it works, it works. All you have to do is show people it works, and they'll come around to your way of thinking on their own. You can't force them with that undertone of negativity you've got goin' on there, however. That just makes people adamantly oppose you. You have to fight ignorance with feigned ignorance of your own and let your students lead themselves. That's the bloody Socratic method; Plato's Cave. Education 101 stuff.

Just shouting "I'm right, you're stupid!" is for internet forums and Time Cubes.
 
2014-01-11 02:54:57 AM

doglover: HighZoolander: doglover: you have to find a new angle that makes science into entertainment, competition, and accepts everyone

That angle will never fly in conservative religious circles. They will never accept everyone, and they don't relish competition for the ideas that they peddle to their people.

It may work though for the newly non-specific new-agey types (those who are religious but basically unaffiliated with a particular denomination - I forget the term for it right now), and hopefully those are in the majority these days...

Nobody of any denomination has ever, even for a minute, doubted the efficacy of the physics of the knife. Why? Because every single cut they ever made was with a knife. The steel knife cuts longer than the bronze? Now we're in Chemistry. The switchblade fouls when the buck knife still cuts deer skin? Welcome to engineering. People lose fingers and die of sepsis when they don't wash out their cuts? Welcome to microbiology.

Not even in the darkest of ages in this modern world will people doubt what they can see. If it works, it works. All you have to do is show people it works, and they'll come around to your way of thinking on their own. You can't force them with that undertone of negativity you've got goin' on there, however. That just makes people adamantly oppose you. You have to fight ignorance with feigned ignorance of your own and let your students lead themselves. That's the bloody Socratic method; Plato's Cave. Education 101 stuff.

Just shouting "I'm right, you're stupid!" is for internet forums and Time Cubes.


And yet they've been fighting against evolution for over 100 years. I don't see that any amount of evidence (there is massive amounts) will ever change their minds, no matter how gently they are brought to it.

There are many things that are true that can't be seen directly - what do you suggest for those cases?

What do you say to someone who believes that fossils were planted 6000 years ago by Satan to trick us?
 
2014-01-11 07:09:29 AM

Khellendros: Empty H: Voiceofreason01: Empty H: Wellon Dowd: Science!

No. Open toed shoes are not allowed in the lab.

she's also not wearing safety glasses

Good point. She is wearing none of the essential PPE.

She's a bad, bad girl.


Great, I just contaminated the sample, thanks guys.
 
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