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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Billions and Billions...

Tonight we saw astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson speak as part of the Seattle Science Lectures Series at Town Hall. He was in town to talk about his new book Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution, which is a companion piece to the PBS Nova series of the same name. The lecture was a lot of fun as Dr. Tyson mixed his great knowledge of the subject with a keen sense of humor. For instance, while teaching us about 'dark matter', 'sun spots', 'black holes' and other astronomical terms that sound like what they actually are, he paused to poke fun at the geologist and biologist who rely on 10-syllable Latin words to explain their concepts.

My favorite part of the lecture was when he talked about Titan and our recent explorations there with the Huygens space probe. Titan is one of Saturn's moons and is one of only four objects in our solar system that has its own atmosphere (Venus, Earth, and Mars being the other three). After Mars and Venus, it is the most likely place in our solar system for us to find any evidence of life. The probe has already photographed what appear to be methane lakes on the moon's surface, which is of particular interest as it is believed that a fluid liquid such as water is one of the basic requirements for life to exist. If you're interested in checking out more about Dr. Tyson, PBS has a good interview with him on their site.


Photo from PBS


3 Comments:

Blogger J.R. Hughson said...

Dude how do I get on the mailing list for this stuff?

JR

6:35 AM

 
Blogger Jamie said...

I found out about it through two different mailing lists:

1) The town hall mailing list which you can join by sending mail to info@townhallseattle.org

2) The University Bookstore mailing list which you can join here: https://www2.bookstore.washington.edu/_mail/emailresponse2.taf?ActionArg=form&page=mail

11:51 AM

 
Blogger Rubicon said...

wow, I'd never thought I'd find another intelligent person on Blogger :) anyways, great blog! I hope you keep it going.

1:04 AM

 

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