#25: Attend an Educational Lecture
Tonight was this starry-eyed space-nut's dream! Mix superstar astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson with astronaut Scott Kelly (the guy with most time logged in space) and toss them onto a stage at the Hayden Planetarium to discuss, ya know, space...my little science-loving brain was about to explode!
I wasn't a great student. Focusing, memorizing, internalizing, regurgitating...NOPE. I was a dreamer. And algebra wasn't dreamy. But science was! Not the cut-into-frogs type of science. The imagining-the-vastness science. I even took Physics (ugh, math) because it defined and explained The Vastness. I'd often stare up at the stars and wonder how it all worked; how it must feel, smell, and sound in space.
Well, tonight I found out.
Scott Kelly's new book "Endurance" is hailed as the closest we mortals will ever get to Space. But that's not quite true. The closest I'll ever get is listening to Kelly - in person. "Space smells like a burning 4th of July sparkler" he said. "The stars don't twinkle - only we on Earth see a twinkle due to atmosphere and debris."
Meteors dent the ship.
In distance, the International Space Station is roughly the same distance from earth as New York is from Washington, DC.
So many interesting tidbits and many more, including his moving stories and insights, in the book.
Scott also explained, in great detail and by heavy prompting by Neil deGrasse Tyson, how he - also not a great student - found his passion one day in a college bookstore, picking up "The Right Stuff" by Tom Wolfe, a decision that he considers the beginning.
"Did you ever get to speak to Tom Wolfe and tell him what his book meant to you?" asked Neil.
Scott offered a wry smile. "Yes," he said, "I called him...from space."