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Bill Nye!

April 18, 2008

You are reading the lj of a person who shook Bill Nye’s had last night!  :-D:-D:-D
What a hilariously wonderful event.  He was like a rock star: students had signs and t-shirts, girls got hysterical, and people pushed through crowds to get close to him.  He entered (from a side door right near my seat!) running in to some loud music and screaming, wearing a bow tie and dark suit.  The beginning of his speech was punctuated by chanting and cheering, rather like some Obama speeches I’ve seen on Youtube.  During the question and answer session, there were stuttered requests for autographs and pictures, as well as professions of adoration.  After that, he walked around the room – surrounded by UCI staffers playing body guards – to shake hands with most of the room, and luckily enough we were in an aisle row and got to shake his hand.  When he left people raced for the boxes of posters, to have something to remember the event by.  Afterwards at Wendy’s, Allie and I laughed at the semi-hysterical nature of the event, but dude, even dorks get excited about things sometimes.
The real cool thing, though, was his speech.  It was pure Bill Nye, with cool facts and lots of humor, and delivered like an educator, but at the heart of it was the message that you can CHANGE THE WORLD or WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE.  (Two sentences he repeated often, shouting them or getting audience to shout them at the appropriate points).  The speech was supposed to be about ways students can be environmentally friendly, so I figured we’re hear about how fluorescent lights actually save you money and which brand of toilet paper is the greenest, the sort of little changes which can be made easily and on a relatively tight budget.  Instead, he talked about the big picture and ways we can change it with our future careers.  He outlined problems with the way things work, and offered ideas for inventions which would solve them.  He posed challenges – like inventing a system for harvesting mercury from used lightbulbs at the neighborhood level – which would be great for the environment and also make their inventors fantastically rich.  He talked about how we shouldn’t give up just because fixes are hard (doubling the efficiency of our solar panels) or imperfect (the Prius is not wonderfully green to make), but instead we should see these problems as other opportunities for advancements.  He also spoke about anti-intellectualism and scientific cynicism, and how we need to combat that wherever we go, especially at the ballot box every time there’s a vote.  His overall message was to figure out how to to more with less (which even comes with a fun little hand signal), which is a challenge that we’re ready and able to overcome, and will only lead to economic opportunities.  As well as really neat science.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 18, 2008 5:48 pm

    Sweetness!!!
    I think it’s hilarious that there were screaming girls and chanting. He really IS like a rockstar…only even cooler because he’s smart and fighting for the environment ^_^

  2. April 18, 2008 10:25 pm

    Hehe!! Bodyguards for Bill Nye! I mean, who’s going to hurt him? Who hates Bill Nye? Who has a vendetta against him? “Science killed my father and raped my mother”?
    Anyway I’m jealous. *sigh*

  3. April 19, 2008 1:53 am

    Jealous. :) Bill Nye was always my favorite show.

  4. April 19, 2008 4:02 pm

    that’s really awesome – i personally remember the episodes where he would dress in drag
    what is he up to these days?

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