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Neil deGrasse Tyson

Science Fiction on TV, with Bill Nye

In this StarTalk episode, Bill Nye the Science Guy is back as host with “world wide citizen of the wide world” co-host Chuck Nice to answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about science fiction on TV. As a Trekkie himself, Bill warps right into discussions about phasers, teleportation, Nichelle Nichols, Mr. Spock, warp drives, Star Trek’s optimistic depiction of the future, and why the show was, and still is, vital to the women’s empowerment movement. Don’t worry though; it’s not all Star Trek shoptalk. You’ll discover whether the key to astronauts using hypersleep involves studying bears and squirrels. Next, find out if there are serious possibilities of using science fiction technology in the real world such as force fields, inertial dampers, and sub-space radio. Chuck and Bill share critical thoughts on stormtrooper armor from Star Wars and Bill reveals his true feelings about Lost and The Blair Witch Project. Bill also sets the record straight on time travel when a fan asks what Back To The Future’s “flux capacitor” would be like in reality. You’ll hear whether seawater and coconuts could be used to power gadgets like the Professor did on Gilligan’s Island, and Bill reflects on how underutilized Dr. Maureen Robinson’s skills as a biochemist were on Lost in Space. All this, plus a conversation on climate change that weaves its way throughout the episode, and the one item Bill would show an intelligent species from another planet to sum up the human race. (Warning: Adult Language.)

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