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Neil deGrasse Tyson at 85% the Speed of Light

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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This video made me laugh harder than anything I’ve seen in a long time. Okay, except for some Louis CK videos. But for a non-comedian (allegedly)… this is hard to beat. Not that the humor is entirely intentional by the speaker.

I had previously seen the original video – of Neil deGrasse Tyson talking about Isaac Newton – but someone took this talking-head video by Big Think and turned it into comedy gold with one simple alteration: they slowed it down.

Neil Tyson himself shared the video on Twitter, calling it “simultaneously disturbing & hilarious.” Sit back and enjoy…

Tyson also tweeted that his “geek daughter calculated that my slow motion interview is what the original looks like moving at 85% the speed of light” (due to relativistic time dilation).

See how much fun we can have with science?

Here’s the original, normal speed, not-nearly-as-humorous video by Big Think:

And here’s Neil playing the video for a crowd at one of his talks in Toronto:

Brian Malow About the Author: Science comedian Brian Malow engages in lively conversation with scientists and writers for his own amusement and yours. Follow on Twitter @sciencecomedian.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. M Tucker 5:24 pm 04/2/2014

    Neil, damn it, I told you to pass the bong…no more for you.

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  2. 2. BoonToTheGenePool 11:57 pm 04/2/2014

    So, like, Neil, was this filmed in Denver? On someone’s back porch? With, like, nachos and, uh, stuff? This is cool enuff that I’m almost ready to forgive you for killing Pluto. Almost.

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  3. 3. jtdwyer 10:50 am 04/3/2014

    I think Neil deGrasse Tyson, the millionaire celebrity science dramatist, is always pretty funny! <%)

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  4. 4. captainred 1:01 pm 04/3/2014

    Well I’m pretty sure he was once a member of Bone thugs n’ harmony, so I guess it makes sense: http://monstersofgrok.com/design/neildegrassetyson/

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