Filed underMan Up
It’s been true for some time, so let’s not beat around the bush: The geeks are in charge. Whether you’re against it or part of the revolution, it’s all over. Programming whiz? Say goodbye to wedgies and hello to six figures. Pretending you’re an elf and hunching over a computer screen for hours on end? Apparently Mr. T and Ozzy do it all the time.
But don’t think that we’re throwing machismo or the ability to talk to girls out the window—this week’s man is a powerful public speaker, has his own TV show, and was named Time’s Sexiest…Astrophysicist. Still: if you haven’t met Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, trust us—we’re dealing with a badass here.
Even if you don’t follow this “science” fad, there’s a number of ways you might have heard of Mr. Tyson. For starters, he’s starring in an update of the classic Carl Sagan educational program, Cosmos. A natural choice, considering Sagan personally tried to recruit the lecture-giving teenager to Cornell, but lost him to Harvard because it’s Harvard. Aw, Cornell…one of the best colleges in the country, but all it gets are Andy Bernard and safety school jokes. When will America’s brightest realize it was you, Cornell, YOU, all along, who truly loved them?
Anyway, opting for Crimson over Big Red, the native New Yorker occupied his non-cracking-the-mysteries-of-the-universe time with crew and wrestling, so we know he’s also gained complete mastery over the need for sleep and food. Neil deGrasse Tyson is a mustachioed Doc Savage.
For those who spend more time on internet message boards, you might recognize the meme based on him talking about Isaac Newton’s genius. But really, we assume that you’re most familiar with the time that Tyson singlehandedly killeda planet.
More specifically, he downgraded Pluto to a dwarf planet, but still—when’s the last time you told a celestial being that it was kicked out of the Solar System?
Not only did Tyson change something that people held as fact for most of their lives, but he also excluded the only planet discovered by an American. No wonder there were people taking it to the streets. Still, the man sticks by the science that got him there, which you’ve got to respect.
Tyson’s cool disposition doesn’t just come out when he’s nuking cherished cosmology. His born-and-raised Manhattan ability to remain completely unfazed has been turned into its own meme:
At the same time, his infectious excitement for his field has made enthusiasts of even ignorant doofs like us.
NASA gave him their highest civilian honor, the Distinguished Public Service Medal. (Their highest overall honor, if you were wondering, is meeting the Zeta Reticulan aliens, but you need Majestic clearance for that.)
Last, but not least? This tweet from the man himself: “In my NCAA wrestling days I dreamt of a hold I called the “Double Tidal Lock” inspired by Earth-Moon physics.” Bringing nerdiness to the wrestling mat? Check. Gold medaling in ballroom dance to impress the ladies? Check. Showing humanity the beauty of the spheres and the vacuum? Check. Neil deGrasse Tyson, you’re breaking down geek stereotypes and not givin’ a damn about it. For pursuing your interests and sharing them unabashedly with the world, you da man.