Scientific Proof that You Are As Powerful as the Stars
We’ve always loved (and hi guys! We know we're not the only ones!) going to live events in big cities. Be it concerts, plays, lectures, the works…there is just something so *~spectacularly~* special about witnessing it all live in action. For me, last night was all of that and more. As my host for the night reminded the crowd as he emerged (barefoot) onto stage…“this is a meaningful, irreplaceable moment in time together.”
Have you seen every episode of Cosmos? Because we have….multiple times. And hearing host Neil deGrasse Tyson speak live at the King’s Theatre in Brooklyn last night was more exhilarating, not to mention humbling, than the first watch of any episode of Cosmos can be. He took us on a journey through time + space - literally. And it was radical.
A little background for the cosmically adolescent: Neil deGrasse Tyson is not just the host of a popular Netflix show about the universe. He is an astrophysicist, cosmologist, very successful author, podcast host and overall master science communicator. He holds the spot as Director of the Hayden Planetarium here in NYC, where he founded the department of Astrophysics back in '97.
Hearing him speak in the flesh had me all giddy like a teenager One Direction fan. And the best part of the night? I realized that Neil deGrasse Tyson is comical. Like seriously hilarious and open minded. Two qualities that aren't so easy to come by in a scientist. He speaks openly and unbiasedly about cultural theories on God and how all that we see (and have yet to see) came to be. He posts pictures of cute hamsters on twitter, and has 140 character-long conversations with aliens (in which he conveys how embarrassed of humanity they would be). His messages lol with ironic jokes about mathematics…but then again, his real writing and lectures all highlight the irony of mathematics and space, alongside the most mind boggling facts you'll come across. My biggest Neil take away? EVERYTHING DOESN'T HAVE TO BE SO SERIOUS. And it's okay to - firmly - stand tall for what you believe.
I have always admired this man much like one would Isaac Newton, Einstein, or of course, Carl Sagan. But after hearing him lecture on a dark stage - backdrop: pictures of the cosmos - I walked away in more awe of the brave role he plays in our society than that of any scientist that’s ever lived. Does this make him a hero? Maybe. I certainly think so. Again, he also wasn’t wearing shoes…so there’s that.
So what exactly did he touch on you ask?
- You guys, there’s a rover on freaking Mars right now that’s the size of a busy mama's SUV (or Kylie Jenner's 16th bday present). And he showed us a GIF of it's recent photographs of Martian terrain. Yes, scientists are now making GIFs. Of MARS
- He thinks that our culture’s obsession with the Saturn IV rocket borders on necrophilia. And he said this in front of Buzz Aldrin. Buzz agreed.
- PLUTO IS NOT A PLANET. It is a “distant dirty ice ball. Get over it." Also Pluto related, if you really look at that white spot on the southern region of it's front side, you'll see a resemblance of Micky Mouse's dog, named Pluto. Weird.
- Mother Earth loves you, but she also wants to kill you. Proof: earthquakes. The Universe loves you, but wants to kill you. Proof: Supernovas, black holes and asteroids. No reason to live in fear, but...
- Humans can, and do, defy gravity. There’s a little something called Escape Velocity, meaning if something (i.e. crazy rockets) go something like 7.2 miles per second, then they will never fall back down to earth. Yet anything slower than that eventually will. When your grandma told you what goes up must come down, she was wrong. Sorry.
And going back to my biggest take away of all...
We don’t have to be so damn serious and calculative about life. At least not all the time. Even if you are a scientist, mathematician, or define yourself with a serious career path / personality, there's no reason to live in fear of letting go, because, just look up at the night sky. And we are all in this together. We all live on the Pale Blue Dot. “We are part of this Universe, we are in this Universe, but more importantly, the Universe is in us. Don’t feel small - feel BIG, because your atoms came from those stars. There’s a level of connectivity - that’s really what you want in life…you want to feel connected. You want to feel relevant. You want to feel you’re a participant in the activities and the goings on around you.” Neil said that.
Look up, Sakaralite! You are home.