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Friday, July 26, 2013


The StarTalker
Issue 40, July 26, 2013
This Week's New Podcast
The Science of Hip Hop with GZA (Part 2)
July 28, 2013, 7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT

The Genius at MIT The role of science in hip hop culture is the theme that runs through Part 2 of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s interview with rapper GZA. There’s a spirited discussion between Prof. Chris Emdin, Neil, and Chuck Nice about the distinction between real science and pseudo-science, the importance of a creative approach to learning, and the drawbacks of the “banking model” of education. GZA raps about his early days, and schools Neil about the formation of the Wu-Tang Clan, the golden age of MCs, and the lack of lyrical creativity among current rap artists. The Science of Hip Hop with GZA concludes on our website and iTunes this Sunday, July 28th at 7:00pm ET. (Note: Portions of this podcast appeared previously in a StarTalk Radio video on The Nerdist.)
Photo Courtesy of RapGenius.com.

Catch Up on Last Week's Podcast
The Science of Hip Hop with GZA (Part 1)
July 21, 2013

Neil deGrasse Tyson and GZA If you think rap music is just about violence, then you’re about to have your expectations shattered. Columbia Asst. Professor of Science Education and hip hop culture expert Dr. Christopher Emdin joins Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice to explain how he uses rap to teach inner city youth about science. But the soul of the episode comes from Neil’s interview with rapper GZA from the Wu-Tang Clan. They explore science as a creative muse, and GZA talks about the difference between how he thinks of his music and how fans relate to albums like Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). GZA talks about growing up in the hood and how violence is sometimes a choice. Part 1 ends with Neil and GZA spitting a cosmic verse together, leaving us hanging for Part 2 next week. Listen now.
(Note: Portions of this podcast appeared previously in a StarTalk Radio video on The Nerdist.)
Photo Credit: © 2012 David Gamble.

Best of the Blog
Ever Dream of Going into Space? Jim Clash Has a Ticket on SpaceShipTwo
Posted July 24, 2013

Jim Clash weightless Most everyone has dreamed of going to space at least once, wondering what it would be like to blast through Earth’s atmosphere, weightlessly peering at our planet from above. I know I have… The company closest to liftoff is Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Airways (Galactic tickets sell for $250,000). A few months ago, Galactic completed its first rocket-powered test flight of SpaceShipTwo. Rumor has it that the first commercial flight may go as early as Dec. 25, 2013, with Sir Richard as one of its passengers. I recently sat down with my friend Jim Clash, Galactic ticket holder #610, to chat about his upcoming trip. Clash, a fellow and director at The Explorers Club, is a seasoned adventurer who began his undergraduate studies as a physics major. Read more.
Photo Credit: Space Adventures.

Have You Seen Our New "Behind the Scenes" Video?

Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains Rogue Stars

Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains Rogue Stars Could solar systems form in the intergalactic medium, and could they have planets with intelligent life? To answer this Cosmic Query, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explains how rogue stars form to comic co-host Chuck Nice. Learn all about “homeless, galactic stars” and why it’s so hard for us to discover them. Watch now.
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