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Episode 139

Nerdist Podcast

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Nerdist Podcast #139: Neil deGrasse Tyson

Matt and I ventured to New York to chat up one of our favorite people, Neil deGrasse Tyson, who is always the smartest person in the room. Any room. Dr. Tyson is the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space. He also hosts NOVA scienceNOW on PBS and the ever enthralling StarTalk, which Mira and I were lucky enough to sit in on for the episode posting November 13th. Beyond all that, HE IS FUNNY. Like, actually hilarious.

This ep covers everything from Cosmology to quarks with a side of space sex. We had damn near unhealthy amounts of fun and I hope to con Dr. Tyson to coming on again in the near future.

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101 comments

  • This is in my top 5 favorite episodes I had to keep rewinding it though; I could hear the podcast because my inner monologue was trying to grasp the mindfuck Neil deGrasse Tyson dropped about the 4th dimension.

  • This episode is so good that it finally prompted me to actually type on my multi-key input device to register my approval with a bunch of complete strangers!

    Side note: unless he did more than one show with Provenza while he was there, the podcast Neil was on at TAM was the “The Ardent Atheist”. They did two or three episodes from there, and all are pretty worthwhile listens if you’re of the skeptical bent. Come to think of it – Chris, you should do that podcast!

  • 100 points awarded to Neil for his average day stats joke but this is coming from someone who though it would be hilarious to spend an afternoon thinking up ridiculous statistically themed pickup lines with friends.

    Some of the favorites included…
    “Girl your legs are like a logarithmic distribution, they just keep going.”

    “What’s the probability that I can be the area under your curves?”

    Or perhaps the nicest thing you can say to a stats nerd “You’re average”

  • I learned about Star Talk from an early Hostful when Matt mentioned it, and I have a crush on NDT, so I was bound to love this episode. But! I think I loved it even more than I expected. So glad you guys made this one happen, despite the tricky scheduling.

  • Been listening since the begining and this is my favourite episode thus far. Is it weird that the three guests who have made me tingly in my lady places are Jon Hamm, Neil Gaiman and Neil deGreasse Tyson?

  • I cried when I watched the Endeavor launch back in 2009, and there was totally another shuttle on the next launch pad. It’s really more about the majesty of being able to take 7 people, put them in a giant hunk of metal, and send them off the earth’s surface and potentially onto another planet/moon/something’s surface.

    Science. It makes me weep with joy.

  • Columbus counts because he was more diseased than Vikings- NDT

    This one made me laugh out loud A LOT. I loved it.

    BTW, trans-Pacific ~10,000 BCE tribal migration= totally a public sector endeavor.

  • I listened to the podcast basically blindly. I had no idea who the guest was, but I listened on the way to work and it was fascinating! It honestly was and I will be listening to his Startalk as well. He has a nice way of explaining the extremely, impressive “space stuff”!

  • 1. Get more physicists/astronomers on the show.
    2. Unleash Chris.

    (And don’t censor yourself – the mind-bending issues and questions are the most fascinating. You won’t alienate your listeners :-)

  • Holy shit this is such a good episode. When you guys tweeted that picture a week or so ago I got super pumped for this and the episode has exceeded my expectations. I’m sending this episode to all of my friends. You guys have to have him on again at some point.

  • NERDISTS! I was avoiding studying for tomorrows physics test all day because I hate physics. But after listening to this episode with Neil… I’m not to sure about my hatred for physics. I might even like physics. Hm.

    Btw, you should have a live show in Kenya. You have lots of dedicated listeners at the Swedish boarding school and we would totally pay for that. Just sayin’.

    Go Team Matt.

  • Doctor Who “The Empty Child” (2005)

    Rose Tyler: What’s the emergency?
    The Doctor: It’s mauve.
    Rose Tyler: Mauve?
    The Doctor: Universally recognised colour for danger.
    Rose Tyler: What happened to red?
    The Doctor: That’s just humans. By everyone else’s standards, red’s camp. Oh, the misunderstandings! All those red alerts, all that dancing.

  • This was a really fun and informative episode! However, the best part was the reverese to the ‘reverse earth’ film, since it’s one I’ve occasionally recalled tiny bits of. I hadn’t recalled it ended happily though – I thought the polarity isue had blown the ship up, and at the end the survivor saw a mirror and threw something at it (sicne they should have thought of the reversal thing). I was young when I saw it, so I must have misremembered the ‘sad’ ending all this time!

  • Possibly my favorite Nerdist podcast yet! And speaking about measuring time…I feel like I only recently came to the podcast and that was around podcast #80…and now you’re almost to #140! That’s insane!

  • I can’t even begin to explain how awesome this episode is. NDT is such a great guest on anything I’ve ever seen him do. Perfect fit for nerdist, can’t wait to go check out you two on Startalk !!

  • I loved this episode; it was the perfect combination of fun and science!
    Thank you for metioning Tom Leher’s “New Math”, it’s been a while since I listened to his songs and you gave me a reason to do it again.
    Now I’m off to download all the episode of StarTalk! ^_^

  • Never miss a chance to hear Dr Tyson talk–passion

    _and_ facts are almost never seen in our public discourse now. I love the original “Cosmos”, and can’t wait until his reinterpretation airs.

    When you described the most recent TAM, with him and Bill Nye(who’s no slouch at comedy, himself), et al., all I could picture was the episode of “Stargate Atlantis” they both did(as well as some other science heavyweights), where the audience for a big tech unveiling gets trapped in the hall & has to figure out the science to save the planet.

  • This was my favorite Nerdist episode to date. I’m like totally going to download the episode of StarTalk because I was left with wanting MORE. :-)

    Thank you very much for the delightful podcast!!
    -Di.

  • Chris, I love everything you’re doing with Nerdist lately. *here comes the eh part* But ever since the new layout I can’t download the podcast directly to my phone by just using my phone. Yes, I know I see that the button is there but for some reason the touchscreen on my phone doesn’t register a “click.” And being an Android user the itunes way doesn’t work for me. When clicking on the rss feed button it just brings up a page of weird text. Mind you I’m not very computer savvy and this is only a problem while trying to download while on the go but before the site face lift this never happened. I hope I explained this well and its not a huge deal because I’ll go to any lengths to listen but I hope to help in any way I can and for any other fans that might come across this minor problem. (For the record, now I wait til I get home, download to my pc, then use the usb cable to download to my phone.)