Monday, April 15, 2013
Bill Nye, the Science Guy, embraces the Internet
Story originally appeared on USA Today.
LOS ANGELES — Bill Nye, aka "The Science Guy," spent years teaching kids the wonders of science on TV. Now he's all about the Internet. He has more than 700,000 followers on Twitter and 1.1 million likes on his Facebook page.
We met up with Nye to talk science and tech at his home here.
"The goal is to provide information. Not just who I'm meeting or what I had for breakfast today. Then I'm always asking questions. Does it matter that the head of the Science committee in the U.S. Congress doesn't believe that the earth is 4.5 billion years old? Is that good or bad?"
SCIENCE AND TECH
"Keep in mind that science is how you get technology. Understanding physics is how you get electronics. Understanding chemistry is how you manufacture electronics. If humans are going to manufacture it, you better understand some life science and biology, especially farming."
WHO HE FOLLOWS ON TWITTER
The Planetary Society (he's CEO of the non-profit), NASA, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and environmental activist Ed Begley Jr.
Macbook Air computer, iPod classic, iPhone 5 with a case featuring a painting of the Space Shuttle 134 launch and iPad. He passed on the magnetic case, because "it isn't very good. I can't be the only one who complains. The magnets don't stay on." He also has an old LaserDisc player, DVR, Blu-ray and a turntable that plays vinyl discs.
A NYE IPOD PLAYLIST
Contains: Dean Martin, The Ink Spots, Katy Perry, Indigo Swing, The Martini Bros., Martha Tilton and Marvin Gaye.
Nye turned to the crowdfunding platform to raise $100,000 online for an educational video game, but it didn't work out. Only $31,000 came in. "We wanted to see if people thought it was worthy to have an educational video game." Didn't happen. Despite Kickstarter's success with movies and products — the recent Pebble smartwatch raised $10 million and received rave reviews, Nye says most Kickstarter projects don't click.
"As a giver of money, the Kickstarter campaigns I've gotten involved in seldom work out. The example everybody holds up is the watch, but that's a product."
"The Internet is changing the world in a way that I don't think my father might have envisioned ... to be able instantly at the speed of light share images with people all over the world. When i was young, if you looked things up in textbooks, you could pretty much count on it being right. Now the Internet provides you much more information, but of lower quality. So you have to learn to sift through that and find what's the reasonable answer. When it comes to what's Bill Nye's favorite color, that may not be right. I suggest you keep looking and get a second opinion, try the information on my site."