Bill Nye

Almost Live!: Still Alive - Bill Nye |
Almost Live!: Still Alive - Bill Nye |

First of all, this episode must begin with a shocking revelation: Bill Nye believes in crazy conspiracy stuff. Nutty things like Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation. Kooky notions like electromagnetism, thermodynamics, relativity. And even, yes, dare he say it: Climate change. Nye ridiculously thinks that ideas not supported by observation and real data, or science if you will, have more rigor than ideas based on pure opinion, somebody’s gut, or religious faith alone. What a whack job, this Bill Nye. Yet, in these days when the science deniers and fabulists are lined up like the supervillains in a Batman comic… William Sanford Nye stands as a stalwart exemplar of the power of intellect, reason and honest, provable fact. What a radical!

So how did a kid from the tiny hamlet of Washington, D.C. become such a big deal? It’s quite an unlikely story. Nonetheless, he’s become a full-fledged American icon, a genuine institution, and a major brand. Beyond his time on Almost Live! – and we’ll get into that, of course, because that’s what this podcast is supposed to be about, the Nye guy has compiled a resume’ longer than Benjamin Franklin’s. For one thing, Franklin was never on Dancing With the Stars.

Beginning in 1993, Bill’s wildly successful Bill Nye the Science Guy show aired simultaneously on both commercial and public TV – the first show ever to do that. It ran for five years… and 19 Emmy awards. That alone might make for a landmark career. But the Science Guy was just getting started.

Today, Bill is a continuous TV presence, a best-selling author, comedian, mechanical engineer, actor and indefatigable science advocate. An entire Nye documentary has been produced. What’s it about? An hour and 40 minutes.

Bill is also the C.E.O. of The Planetary Society, he’s developed a sundial that is riding on the Mars Exploration Rover right now, and he’s received a number of U.S. patents, including a design for a digital abacus. Yes, even the abacus has gone digital.

Currently, among all his other activities, he hosts a terrific podcast called Science Rules! It’s one you can listen to when you’re exercising, to get away either from the travails of daily life, or from the law. Bill’s also a fellow, or perhaps ‘guy’, on the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Among other things, the committee investigates extraordinary claims…such as the one Pat Cashman started about how the Almost Live Still Alive podcast is the top-rated one in the world.

Bill Nye is a guy who puts his science where his mouth is. He’s passionate, sincere, dedicated and about 5 foot 11 and-a-half.

He has residences in both L.A. and New York, and this episode catches up with him in one of them.