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14 Things We Can All Appreciate About Neil Degrasse Tyson

When you declare that everyone’s favorite underdog planet is no longer a planet, you become a pretty polarizing figure. But Neil Degrasse Tyson really has a lot going for him.

1. He’s not afraid to call people on their bad science:

When he was a guest on The Daily Show, his first order of business was to call Jon Stewart on the fact that the computer generated globe in the show’s intro spins the wrong direction.

2. Even when it’s 3rd graders defending Pluto’s planethood:

3. He’s so quotable, he’s even got his own prayer candles:

NDT is an outspoken religious non-believer, but he puts a lot of faith in science and the universe. He once said:

“Not only are we in the universe, the universe is in us. I don’t know of any deeper spiritual feeling than what that brings upon me.”

4. He was a total bad ass when he was younger:

5. In 1985, he won a gold medal at a national Latin Ballroom tournament with the University of Texas dance team.

6. He’s also pretty good at moon-walking:

7. He makes for good nail art:

8. He met Superman one time:

I mean, Superman isn’t real, but NDT did appeared in issue #14 of Action Comics, where he helped Superman find his home planet of Krypton. That’s about as close as most people will ever come to meeting Superman.

9. He also helped put the weight of Thor’s hammer into perspective:

Even though he was incorrect:


“The critical mistake Tyson makes is thinking that Mjolnir was forged of the core of a dying star, when it was actually forged in the core of a dying star,” says Suveen Mathaudhu, a program manager in the materials science division of the U.S. Army Research Office, adjunct materials science professor at NC State and die-hard comics enthusiast. “It’s well documented that the hammer is made out of ‘Uru,’ a fictional metal from Thor’s native realm of Asgard.”

“…Mjolnir is made of Uru and weighs precisely 42.3 pounds. “

10. This is what he looked like when he was a baby!

11. He collaborated with GZA from the Wu Tang Clan to release an album about space:

It’s going to be called Dark matter, and it’s expected to come out later this year.

12. He appreciates Beyoncé… for science:

13. He just wants you to be yourself:

“You don’t think about Michael Jordan the basketball player and say, “Oh, he was just like this other player.” No, you don’t even say, “He was like this player plus that player divided by two plus this.” No. He’s Michael Jordan.”

14. His most astounding fact about the universe is pretty damn astounding:

Video available at: http://vimeo.com/38101676.

“When I look up at the night sky, and I know that – yes, we are part of this universe, we are in this universe – but, perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us.”

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