Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Bill Nye blinded me with Science.

On Sunday June 4th, I went to BookCon2017. I will write another post lamenting the overall experience but this post is about the Benevolent Bill Nye the Science Guy.

There are a bunch of celebrity panels that occur on the Main Stage and the first was Bill Nye and Greg Mone discussing their series "Jack and the Geniuses". All I knew was that I needed to get into the same room as Bill Nye. I'm from the 80s where he was the science king for little girls and little boys. If you ask anyone who remembers the earliest part of the 90s, they will have a strong opinion about how he made science cool and approachable. So this is a life long dream people, and he didn't disappoint.
Me at nerd level 99

But let me start from the beginning of the day. The first thing I noticed when I ended the room the panel was being held in was how empty the room itself was. This led me to two conclusions either:

1. Everyone was upstairs in the main hall trying to grab a stack of free books that they would never read.

2. I am a huge nerd who prioritized Bill Nye speaking about children's books over everything else.

Both are correct.

The book actually sounds pretty fascinating and like a lot of fun. It is about a ragtag* crew of kids who have been orphaned and spend their time going on Science-y adventures. I would totally have read something like that growing up and will most likely read them all at some point.
* (The asterisk in this paragraph denotes that I will use the word Ragtag to describe a group of people as often as humanly possible because, ragtag)

The pièce de résistance for me however was the general conversation with Mr. Nye. The way that no part of science was left off limits. I learned that he's the CEO of the planetary society and, like my other idol NDT, was mentored by the OG Carl Sagan. He loves Outer Space and the unknown just as much as me! I actually started the applause when he casually mentioned that in our lifetime, we will discover that there is life on my favorite moon of Jupiter's Europa (Ganymede is a close second). There's a huge ice cap that will eventually melt down and we will discover the possible (well, entirely probable) aquatic life living there, CURRENTLY. ALIENS 2017! Or like you know, whenever. 

Speaking of the life aquatic, Mr. Nye mentioned that when asked where in the entire Universe he could go if intergalactic travel was possible, he'd go to Hawaii.

This got a really big laugh because it was Former President Obama who asked him this. But also got a laugh because it seemed completely ridiculous because, come on, wouldn't you want to go to I don't know, Saturn?

But his brilliant reasoning was that we can travel to space but we can't as readily travel to the depths of sea here on earth. We have a pretty good idea about many things in space but what do we even know about the Deepest parts of the Sea? And in Hawaii, the water is warm enough to get a traveling device down there. Note: I am majorly paraphrasing from memory here. He didn't say "traveling device". He probably said something like "Snarfblat Refribulator".

Then we talked about Tectonic plates and the theory of relativity and dark matter and dark energy. And then physics and science experiments to do in the classroom (one of which was adding a drop of vanilla to a deflated balloon before blowing it up. The molecules of the vanilla extract would permeate that of the rubber in the balloon giving the balloon a vanilla scent). And omg he said algebra was important. ALGEBRA IS MY FAVORITE.

I'm just saying guys, I'm a smart girl but I haven't taken a science class since I was 17 years old and he went right on and cleared those cobwebs in the most casual and actual genius way.

Thanks Bill Nye.