Posts Tagged ‘Luke Skywalker’

Bad Science in Star Wars

FORA.tv has a short video of me per­form­ing at the recent Won­der­fest sci­ence fes­ti­val in Berke­ley.  I’m talk­ing about bad sci­ence in sci­ence fic­tion movies, and the exam­ple in the clip is a clas­sic moment from Star Wars…

Link to video on YouTube

Link to video on FORA.tv

Mike Brotherton and the Science Comedian

Mike Broth­er­ton has a real­ly nice blog post about me.  Mike is a sci­ence fic­tion writer who also hap­pens to be an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wyoming in the depart­ment of Physics and Astron­o­my.  Quasars are his spe­cial­ty!  And there’s a lot of great con­tent in his blog.  Check it out.

I’m ecsta­t­ic that, of the two jokes he sin­gled out for men­tion, one is an anal­o­gy that rarely gets the laugh I wish for it.  It’s about the abil­i­ty of a virus to take down a human.  We must out­weigh them by a fac­tor of a bil­lion or more.  It’s the ulti­mate David and Goliath…  “It’s like Luke Sky­walk­er tak­ing out the Death Star in a lit­tle X-Wing Fight­er.”

Well, it is, isn’t it?

He also says this about the embed­ded video:

Next time I teach an intro­duc­to­ry sci­ence class, I’m going to show some of the­se. I might be able to deliv­er a cou­ple of the sim­pler jokes and fit them into lec­tures. I’m a good lec­tur­er, but not great, and wak­ing peo­ple up with a smart joke that has some real sci­ence in it isn’t pan­der­ing, it’s edu­cat­ing.

Too often I think thatI just get depressed about the nev­er end­ing bat­tle with igno­rance and sci­ence illit­er­a­cy, with the folks who reject our best knowl­edge because it con­tra­dicts their polit­i­cal or reli­gious beliefs.  Get­ting peo­ple to laugh and want in on the joke is prob­a­bly a bet­ter method of doing some­thing oth­er than preach­ing to the choir and bring­ing in some peo­ple who want to chuck­le, too.

Thanks, Mike!

I haven’t read his two nov­els yet – Star Drag­on and Spi­der Star – but they’ve been praised by David Brin and Paul Di Fil­ip­po.  They are hard SF and have been com­pared to the books of Lar­ry Niven and Robert L. For­ward.  Sounds good to me!