‘60 Minutes’ talks to Neil deGrasse Tyson

Charlie Rose interviews Neil deGrasse Tyson on "60 Minutes"
I didn’t know it was going to be on, but I was lucky enough to watch “60 Minutes” this evening and catch a segment on Neil deGrasse Tyson, my favorite astrophysicist and teddy bear. (Yes, yes, I know he’s married.)

Pure enjoyment for this big Tyson fan. Among the anecdotes was one I hadn’t heard before: When Tyson saw the movie Titanic, he noticed immediately that the sky above the ship was wrong. Not only were the stars completely wrong for the date and latitude, they were fake and employed a mirror image. He mentioned it (complained?) to producer James Cameron, who made certain the correct sky appeared in all subsequent releases of the movie.

I can’t embed the “60 Minutes” video, but you can go to the CBS website to watch “Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s one-man mission.” (And don’t miss the related videos listed on the right.) Charlie Rose does the interview, and it’s very worthwhile. As always, Tyson put a tear in my eye, a lump in my throat, and a smile on my face.



Categories: Sci/Tech, space

17 replies

  1. It took me a while to climb on the Tyson bandwagon. In fact, it wasn’t until I saw his remake of “Cosmos” that I finally took the stick out of my butt and admitted that he deserves the praise he gets.

    And I was NOT jealous. The fact that I’m an astrophysicist that never got the publicity I deserved has nothing to do with my earlier pout…er…concern. I just don’t like to see physics trivialized, that’s all.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…

    • You’re an astrophysicist? Impressive. I think I can appreciate your concern that Tyson is trivializing your field, turning it into pop science or something. In my humble opinion, however, he’s just making it understandable and accessible to the masses. And reigniting the public’s interest in science and space means igniting our children’s interest. I think that’s critically important for the future and I don’t care who does it or how.

      • I agree with you about kids and science. I taught classes at A&M (as a grad assistant) after getting my degrees in Physics and Journalism before deciding I preferred to work with words rather than numbers…plus, after three years, I burnt out dealing with grown children who didn’t want to be there but wouldn’t leave school because they’d have to go to work.

        • Well, that shatters my idea that if I ever taught, it would have to be at the college level because those students want to be there, vs. high school where they have to be there.

          How did preferring words to numbers pull you into astrophysics? Isn’t that a field drenched in numbers?

          • I was an electronics repairman in the Air Force (computers, radios, etc.), and somewhere I got the idea that I’d be good at Physics. However, I’ve always been fond of writing, so when I went to college, I laid out my degree plan for a double major: Physics and Journalism. My first year I took a course in Astronomy and I was hooked.

            So you could say that I started out in Astrophysics and later decided I’d rather write about science than do it. While my diploma looked good on the wall, it wasn’t worth much in the real world. (I thought: surely Physics Today would be impressed! They weren’t.) I freelanced for a local paper while still an undergrad, and went full time afterwards. I worked my way up to editor. Later I moved to technical writing — more money in it.

            As for the teaching bit, I started out working towards a teaching certificate, but quickly discovered that I don’t have the patience for little children. So I also thought: I’ll teach on the college level — they want to be here! Then I discovered that the only thing the grown-up kids wanted was that money from home. Since I taught Beginning Astronomy (among other courses), I saw a lot of really lazy minds. Fortunately I also taught a couple of graduate courses, so I did manage to keep from screaming and running down the hall most days. But the sad fact is: most college students are not there for the learning. It was a big let down…
            (sigh)

            • I’ve been wanting to ask about your backstory since last night. Especially after hearing Tyson talk about how he’d gotten in astrophysics. In fact, I think it would be interesting to hear from all my readers about how/why they got into the field they’re in. Personally, I’d think everyone would be inspired by astronomy, whether or not they choose to study it. The sheer vastness of space is enough to inspire awe in anything with eyes and a brain.

              You burst my idealistic bubble about college kids being there because they want to learn. … sigh … And here I’ve been telling my son what a great adjunct professor he’d make … Guess I’ll stop that.

            • Hey — just because I was a lousy teacher doesn’t man your kid would be. My wife, for example, would be a wonderful teacher, and has been, just not in school. She’s got the constitution to put up with the little brats, unlike me.

              Heck, she puts up with me and zorbear at the same time — and that’s something that I can’t do!
              😛

            • Oh, I think my son would be a great teacher (anything computer-related). But apparently we’ve both been wrong in assuming college-level students are there because they want to learn. Neither of us has any patience with kids who occupy a classroom for any other reason. And I just have no patience, period.

  2. I missed the beginning of that segment PT, but what I saw was captivating – as Tyson always is. The bit about Titanic was epic, as was the “Book of Carl” quote! 😀

    BTW, speaking of embeds. I noticed that all my gigya embeds stopped working awhile back. Was all set to do a curses filled post about WordPress and their craziness when I realized that it was Firefox that was actually at fault. Apparently, Firefox sees the gigya embed as “insecure content” that I must press a little button on beside my URL bar to allow. I haven’t a clue as to what I should do for the 103 posts with gigya embedded content. Even if I felt like adding a note to all of them, “please allow my insecure content” doesn’t quite feel right somehow! O_o

    You use Chrome don’t you? Can you open https://iwanticewater.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/hail-and-farewell-to-those-we-lost-in-2014/ and see what happens?

    • I never went to the trouble of figuring out gigya embeds. I lost a bunch of content when VodPod or whatever it was went down and just didn’t have the heart to keep trying. It’s bad enough that so many YouTube videos go poof because of copyright claims.

      Yes, I use Chrome on a Mac. Your link opens, but there’s just a big white space where the video should be.

      • I wrote that comment based on what I encountered the last time I tried one of those posts (the one I gave you the link for). I went back through some of them just now to double check, and I found that most of them fail in one way or another even after I “allow” them now. I’m not sure what’s going on there. About the only thing that does work okay when allowed is my RevolverMaps widget – which, because it’s intended to be seen regardless of post, is the only one I really care about.

    • I use Chrome and I (I think) see everything… movies and all.

      I have all (again, I think) the available browsers and almost always get the best results with Chrome.

      • So do you see the video on IzaakMak’s website? I just see white space where the video should be and assumed it was the problem Mak described.

        The only problem I’ve ever encountered with Chrome is or was not being able to play the videos on Weather.com. But my son suggested whitelisting the site in my AdBlock and that fixed it. (All the videos begin with ads.)

"Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance." ~ Plato

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