Neil deGrasse Tyson’s testimony for space exploration (Senate hearing videos and documents)

Astrophysicist superstar Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (Wikipedia bio), addressed the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on Wednesday; only three of the committee’s 25 members were present. Below is a copy of Dr. Tyson’s submitted testimony, slightly modified from his speech at the hearing; anyone care to transcribe the entire hearing? I’ve also embedded other videos and links relevant to the hearing since I haven’t been able to find everything in one place on other websites.

Tyson at March 7th Senate hearing

Takeaway quote:

At what cost? The spending portfolio of the United States currently allocates fifty times as much money to social programs and education than it does to NASA. The 2008 bank bailout of $750 billion was greater than all the money NASA had received in its half-century history; two years’ U.S. military spending exceeds it as well. Right now, NASA’s annual budget is half a penny on your tax dollar. For twice that—a penny on a dollar—we can transform the country from a sullen, dispirited nation, weary of economic struggle, to one where it has reclaimed its 20th century birthright to dream of tomorrow.

Read more Neil deGrasse Tyson’s testimony for space exploration (Senate hearing videos and documents)

A primer to the universe

This week will be the Tuesday (Evening) Zep… Basically, I’d like to expand on yesterday’s post, but I spent all my time transcribing it that I didn’t get a chance to write the commentary that I’d hoped for today. So here’s to hoping for an update tonight! Let’s just call this an incremental post. I’ll add to it over time, mainly throughout this week. Of course, I should say right off that I’m no expert in this field, so hopefully we can make this a group learning experience. It’ll be a bumpy ride. Expect a little of my own critique as well as links to similar material and an explanation of why I chose the quote below.

In the meantime, block out 15 minutes of your day to watch the video or read the transcript. (YouTube original.) I dare you to tell me that it was a waste of your time.

Read more A primer to the universe

Science Saved My Soul transcript

I ran across a new video on YouTube this week entitled Science Saved My Soul. It is such a compelling multimedia experience that I decided to take the time to transcribe it. In short, it is one part galactic, scientific, poetic “mindgasm”; one part exposition on religion; and one part Arcade Fire music video. (Note that, while educational, there are two uses of profanity.) I will save any other analysis of the video for a different blog post. I don’t know the proper formatting for transcription, and I’ve made at least one guess during a part that I couldn’t understand (it’s underlined)—now corrected; see UPDATE at end.

This is the first time I’ve come across a video from YouTube user philhellenes and he does not include any information about himself (that I could find). His channel page reads, “ANYONE can download, copy or mirror ANY of my stuff without asking for permission,” so I’ve included my own copy of the Flash file here, as well; sorry, I didn’t feel like finding conversion software to make it into an AVI.

Science Saved My Soul, YouTube image

Read more Science Saved My Soul transcript