1 June 2016

Brian Greene and the Galilean Cannon

Posted by Dan Satterfield

You might guess that I’m a bit geeky, but I long ago made peace with myself over being a nerd, and I am a big believer that the only thing new in the world is the history or science you do not know. I honestly have no idea what Game of Thrones is about (other than my wife’s insistence that “You won’t like it, trust me”), and if it’s not related to Dr. Who or Star Trek, I’ve probably not watched it. I will however drop a book to watch Rocky and Bullwinkle, but they almost never air it anymore, and I can tell you word for word an entire episode of Green Acres (the one where Arnold the Pig out-forecasts the weather bureau and successfully predicts a July blizzard in Chicago). I’m just not that up to date on pop culture since The Bay City Rollers went off the pop charts.
(My autistic son and I have been known to get into trouble dancing to “I only wanna be with you” at top volume on Saturday afternoons..

Let’s just say, if you are a big Hollywood star, and have to fly with the little people, you want to sit by me, because I’ve probably never heard of you, and will leave you alone.

A little story though: At the end of the newscast every night our anchor announces the guests coming up next on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Now, after we are off air, we check to see if we’ve ever heard of the guests. It invariably turns out that they have heard of the famous movie star, or sports figure, and I know none of them. I’m always relieved when none of us know, but perhaps the CBS producers should not be!¬†

But  last week. I won! I knew the guest, and no one else did!

Our anchor Paul Butler announced that Stephen Colbert’s guest was Brian Greene, and when the mic is off I said “I know who tonight’s guest is!”

“You do??”

“Yes! He’s a famous physicist at Columbia Univ. He’s big into string theory.”

Just this one time, I knew the guest, and no one else did, and no it will probably never happen again unless he books Boris and Natasha!

Below is the clip of Brian Greene setting a world record while explaining the physics behind a hyper-nova explosion, in a way that everyone “gets it”.