Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Virgin goes eye to eye with Bill Nye the Science Guy

I'm back! Because of bad decisions, long work hours, and what can only be crappy karma, I was hit with a combination of allergies, a cold, and losing my voice -- the latter through smoke inhalation nonetheless. Needless to say, I did nothing but drink tea and sleep last week. But I'm back with a vengeance with my most memorable DV task so far!

#36 Never Have I Ever: Met Bill Nye the Science Guy

There is no doubt that I am ruled by the right side of my brain. Mathematics and science simply elude me although I admittedly make no attempt to gather them.

However, there's no need for any of that mumbo-jumbo anymore since I learned everything I ever needed to know about science from one my few childhood idols.

Honestly, my list of childhood idols is quite short:
  • Conan O'Brien
  • Adam Corolla
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy
Now, does it makes sense to you why I am the way I am?

The Down and Dirty: A glorious email from my alma mater invited me to come hear Bill Nye the Science Guy speak. There was no question in my mind that I was going to be there bright and early that morning.

Daywalker and her sister saved me a seat in the surprisingly small lecture hall when I arrived 30 minutes before the talk. Although the space wasn't completely full yet, there was no way it was going to be able to house everyone who wanted to see Bill Nye. And I was right. People were sitting in the aisles, crowding around the back, and -- no joke -- climbing over the back hall ledge to peek over the seats. There must have been at least 250 people in there.

The whole room was buzzing in anticipation. I could practically feel the child-like excitement vibrating from every twenty-something year old who had grown up watching the science show.

Finally, Bill Nye ran through the crowded aisles in his pressed suit and bow tie. The dude does not age! It's like he was cryogenically frozen next to Walt Disney, only thawed out to give hilariously enthused speeches in front of starry-eyed students.

Bill Nye's talk, titled " Our Planet Isn't What It Used to Be, So Let's Change the World!", was -- to put it simply -- absofuckinglutely astounding. He was charming, brilliant, and hilarious all the while focusing on astronomy, global warming, and power consumption. There was never a dull moment during his 2-hour presentation and it made my heart sing to see that Bill Nye still possessed the ability to present the most convoluted information in a fun and coherent way. Most of all, he made us feel like kids again -- blindly optimistic that we could actually make a difference.

The Afterglow: After the talk and subsequent Q&A session, a large crowd gathered around the man himself to shake his hands and snap a picture. I was obviously no different.

Daywalker grimaced at the mass of people but I was determined to fight my way up there to get a photo and tell Bill Nye that although he wants us to change the world, he has already done it himself. After staggering around for 10 minutes, I used my newfound assertiveness to force Daywalker and her sister up for a picture before stepping up to the stage myself.

Unfortunately, there was no time to pour my 8-year-old heart out to the man who made me build a make-shift seismograph out of bottle caps and kill a handful of my mother's white roses by tie-dying them. Instead, I gave him a half hug for my picture which he returned and offered a general thank you. I practically skipped out of the lecture hall.

It was an amazing experience to finally meet a figure that so strongly shaped your education and outlook on life. And not just you but probably 1/3 of your peers, too. Although I didn't pursue science in the long run, I still have a love for discovery and global impact.

I think that's why Bill Nye the Science Guy is so beloved by those who grew up watching the kooky bow-tied scientist and his antics: he made us enthusiastic that we could make a difference and change the world. He made me feel like a kid again.


  1. I am so freakin' jealous right now. I wanted to be one of those kids on his show casually doing experiments in the background so bad!

  2. Dude. Me, too! I was always like, "Psh! I could pour a beaker better than that bitch!"

  3. Dude, your childhood idol list is the same as mine. Get out of my head!

  4. I just found your blog via NTKOG. I know the feeling you're describing here - I had my own Bill Nye moment a few months ago. A good friend was having a swing dancing birthday party at a local spot and it came to my attention that Bill Nye frequents said spot AND WAS THERE. I have not felt that crumbly and nervous since I was about 13. But I KNEW I had to ask him to dance or I would forever be disappointed in myself. It took me a good long while, as he was bombarded with new ladies after every song and I was dragging my feet, but I finally sprinted over to him before the ending of a song and waited to propose a dance. And I got my charming turn around the dance floor with Bill Nye the Science Guy, who made small talk about the origins of the song to which we danced and stuck out his hand at the end of it to introduce himself as Bill. *melt* I would have loved to have heard the lecture you attended!