The Science Guy Returns

Bill NyeI once dreamed of being an astronomer.

This was many years before I discovered that I had absolutely no aptitude for the math and logical reasoning that such a field would require; indeed, many years before the joy of space left me so cold that I switched from sci-fi to fantasy just, like, in general life philosophy.

But I really did love science, once upon a time, and therefore I also love Bill Nye. I watched his show all the time. In fact, if you kicked open the door right now and sang, “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” in that iconic tune, I’d have to start yelling “BILL BILL BILL BILL” because … that’s just what you do.

The other night, as my sister was grumbling about her meteorology class, I had the bright idea that we should watch some Bill Nye the Science Guy on Netflix. She could review basic weather concepts, and I could relive some childhood nostalgia.

(She was much more reluctant to stop our Brooklyn Nine-Nine spree for … well, science, but as she was born in 1997 and therefore missed Nye’s heyday, I can forgive her not quite understanding his charm.)

I wondered for a moment if Nye would hold up today, or if I was amused and enthralled by him in the past simply because I was 8 years old.

But let me tell you — Bill Nye was a man ahead of his time.

Bill Nye the Science Guy is an attention-deficit explosion of random skits, musical numbers, inexplicable shouting, meme precursors and inside jokes.

No segment lasted longer than three minutes, I’m sure of it. The layers of the atmosphere as superheroes! Skydiving! Bill Nye flying a plane! Air pressure experiments! Random rap segment! Back to the airplane! Nye spits a fact out, and then we’re off to another cutaway for a very intense 23-minute episode. It’s all family friendly, but it still has the frenetic pace of modern Internet comedy.

And I’ve also re f re s h e d my knowledge of the five layers of the atmosphere and how we have something like two tons of air pressure pushing down on us at any given moment. So, it still works!

It’s as if Bill Nye looked into the future and knew that one day six-second Vines and irrelevant Family Guy cutaways would be what speaks to the American youth …

Paige’s Pick of the Week: Dr. Nerdlove

Need romantic advice tailored (kind of) for nerds, gamers and geeks? Dr. Nerdlove probably gives the best, soundest advice to deal with all your fears of dying alone, scaring off potential mates and navigating the perilous game of love. Also, my boyfriend and I recently discovered we’ve both been consulting the site for tips, so that was funny. (