When: Tue., Nov. 13, 7 p.m. 2012
“A corresponding fall to a schoolroom globe begins 1 millimeter above its surface,” tweeted astrophysicist and Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson in response to Felix Baumgartner’s record-setting high-altitude freefall. “I’m just saying.” If you’re a knowledge junkie with a penchant for looking to the heavens, beware Tyson’s Twitter page — sure, you might come away knowing the diameter of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot or the temperature of Venus’ surface, but you also might be sucked into a trans-dimensional wormhole of information that causes you to forget to feed your cat or show up to work on time. Following in the footsteps of his mentor, the brilliant Carl Sagan, Tyson is a mouthpiece for the scientific community, an advocate of space exploration, and one of those one-in-a-million eggheads who can show us how the most complex and befuddling scientific concepts apply to our daily lives. Also, he’s largely responsible for the International Astronomical Union’s reclassification of Pluto as a dwarf planet rather than a planet. (Pluto apologists, boo him all you want, but he’s still right and you’re still wrong.) Tonight, NDT will discuss “the 10 things everyone should know about the universe” and answer questions. Come prepared or not. You can basically ask the guy, “Hey, so, what’s the deal with everything?” and he’d have an enrapturing answer for you. The lecture is open to the public, and $10 will get you in.
D. Patrick Rodgers