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Bill Nye talks life and science during lecture at UNT Week

Bill Nye talks life and science during lecture at UNT Week

April 07
02:55 2016

Julia Falcon | Staff Writer


Bill Nye talked about his childhood, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pearl Harbor and of course, science, as part of the sold out distinguished lecture series in the Super Pit Wednesday night.

His cheesy and humorous introduction to students and community members in the audience brought a light-hearted feel to the room.

Kristen Watson | Visuals Editor

During his speech, Bill Nye spoke about how his electric bill is $10 every 60 days with the help of a mostly solar-powered home.  Kristen Watson | Visuals Editor

Nye discussed his family and how they experienced major events in history. His father, who called himself Ned Nye, Boy Scientist, fought in World War II and his mother was part of the Navy Cryptographers in 1943. Nye credits his parents for shaping him into the scientist he is today.

“I obviously want to talk about Mars, and obviously you’re with me here,” Nye said, pointing to a projected photo of mars. “Keep in mind, if you’re planning a trip to mars, it’s a camping trip. Bring water, there’s not much, and air. Bring water, there’s not much, and air. There’s hardly any. You’ll notice automatically.”

A graduate of Cornell University in 1977, Nye studied under Carl Sagan, who he referenced many times during the lecture.

“I got into Cornell, there was a mistake in admissions,” Nye joked. “I took astronomy [with] Carl Sagan. I took one class and he talked all the time about Mars. It turned out that later in life, his kids watched the ‘Science Guy’ show.”

Bill Nye Kristen Watson | Visuals Editor

Students pack the Super Pit as they wait for Bill Nye to begin his speech. Kristen Watson | Visuals Editor

Nye said he started the “Science Guy” show for fun but it went on to air on Disney from 1993 to 1998.

One of the controversial topics Nye spoke about was climate change.

“The thing I am most concerned about this year is climate change. It is my opinion, which you know is correct, that this year is pivotal,” Nye said. “Really think about the environment when you think about voting for your president. The U.S. president is the most influential person in the world, and if that person is in denial about climate change, the next few decades will be difficult.”

Nye pointed to a slide with photos of John Kasich, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, claiming that they were not for fixing the environment, again saying to think about who you vote for in the upcoming election.

Nye showed graphs of how the climate change was like a rollercoaster, with temperatures rising and falling, but more recently having an extreme rise.

As photo of Nye’s house was projected, he spoke about how it is mostly solar powered. He said his electric bill is $10 every 60 days.

“You folks get 10 percent of your electricity from the wind. Wind resources here are enormous. You cannot outsource the putting up of wind turbines, someone here has to do that work,” Nye said. “These are local jobs, what is there not to love.”

History major Ryan Blakey said he loved the lecture, and it was everything he expected it to be.

“When he talked about the true scope of things, about how we are all little specs in the universe, was really deep,” Blakey said. “I did expect a lot of talk about space, but not so much about the sundials his dad invented. It was a pretty neat discussion.”

Bill Nye Kristen Watson | Visuals Editor

Bill Nye speaks to reporters before giving his speech to a sold out crowd. Kristen Watson | Visuals Editor

A student who is less familiar with Bill Nye the Science Guy, media arts major Brenna Castro, said she did not know what to expect.

“I didn’t think he would talk about the history of his parents and stuff,” Castro said. “I just heard the name Bill Nye and wanted to know what it was about so I came to the lecture.”

Nye went on to talk about alternative energy sources, another highly discussed topic relevant in Denton today.   

“The earth’s atmosphere is really thin… People take it for granted, that’s all we got,” Nye said. “We’ve got a thin atmosphere, and seven billion people trying to breathe here. What I want you all to do, is be the next great generation. I want you all to change the world.”

Featured Image: Bill Nye speaks to a sold out audience as a part of the distinguished lecture series. Kristen Watson | Visuals Editor

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