Posts Tagged ‘Neil DeGrasse Tyson’

UP Alumni In The News 8.10.11

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Happy Wednesday UP blog readers! We took a great end of summer vacation last week but are back with lots of UP alumni news today! This past week:

UP 08 speaker Craig Kielburger took to The Huffington Post’s Canadian website to discuss the importance of long term action over one time aid in solving the problems of East Africa.

image courtesy of Flickr/Blyzz (

Blogs buzzed this week as it was announced that UP 09 speaker and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is joining with Seth MacFarlane to produce a new version of Carl Sagan’s popular mini-series “Cosmos.” MacFarlane might be more easily recognized as the man behind the hit Fox television series, “Family Guy.”

Meanwhile The Independent spent time examining the question, “Is David Eagleman the cleverest man in America?

UP 09 speaker Robert Ballard, best known for his discovery of the wreck of the RMS Titanic, will be returning to the site of the shipwreck to photograph the ship’s stern for a new attraction dedicated to the Titanic in Belfast.

And, as everyone wraps up the summer travel season, UP 10 speaker David Pogue shares, “Five (and Then Some) Tech Tips For Travel.”

Have a great rest of the week!

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UP Alumni In The News 7.19.11

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

This week UP 08 speaker, Craig Kielburger and his brother Marc wrote about a group with an interesting plan for peace in the Middle East. Friends of the Earth Middle East is working to save deteriorating and polluted water resources in the region, including The Dead Sea, while setting the framework for a plan for long term peace.

Sal Khan, a speaker joining us in October for UP 2011, and his Khan Academy are featured in the latest issue of Wired, in “How Khan Academy Is Changing the Rules of Education.” Do you think his method of teaching can change education in third world countries as we know it?

UP 08 speaker, Ray Kurzweil, who is well known for his quest to stop aging and merge humans with machines was recently featured in an article on “Biotrackers,” a movement whose participants track what once where thought to be qualitative characteristics of the body.

Manhattanhenge image courtesy of Tim Burke Photography

Meanwhile, UP 09 speaker and astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson was included in a BBC article on “Manhattanhenge” a term he has coined to describe a unique phenomenon that allows New Yorkers to experience Stonehenge without leaving home.

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UP Alumni In The News 7.13.11

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

This past week, UP 10 speaker, David Pogue featured a guest post on his blog from Nasahn Sheppard, director of industrial design at Smart Design, the company that designed the Flip cam. As many of you know, Cisco discontinued the Flip cam a few months back and many, including Pogue, were quite upset about it. In Sheppard’s post he examines the elements of a “hot product” and makes a compelling case for “single-purpose” gadgets in our lives.

image courtesy of Flickr/AJC1

Many of you probably saw the four-page ad in the New York Times this past week commemorating IBM’s 100th birthday. The ad generated sharp commentary from UP 10 speaker Kevin Kelly on “long-termism” , which then drew additional comments from Steve Denning at Forbes. There’s no doubt “short-termism” is a dominant force in many companies, but what are the lessons to be learned from “long-termism?”

The press continues to be filled with stories on the end of Nasa’s space shuttle program. UP 09 speaker and astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson spoke with NPR on the end of the shuttle program and its achievements including, “the largest global collaboration outside of waging war.”

Sir Ken Robinson, one of the speakers during the first UP Experience in 2008, is in the press again for the release of a new edition of his book, Out of Our Minds: Learning To Be Creative. He spoke with Fast Company recently to share his thoughts on the changing climate of business and the expanding value of creativity.

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UP Alumni In The News! 5.18.11

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Another Wednesday and another great installment of UP alumni in the news!

“Math needs better marketing,” says UP 09 speaker Neil deGrasse Tyson in an interview with Soledad O’Brien on CNN on the drivers of tomorrow’s economy. A hint – math and science literacy today is the key to a successful tomorrow.

UP 09 speaker Peter Diamandis‘ X-Prize Foundation has partnered with Qualcomm Incorporated to launch the Tricorder X-Prize, “a $10 million prize to develop a mobile solution capable of diagnosing patients better than or equal to a panel of board certified physicians.”

UP 10 speaker and Blue Zones author Dan Buettner was cited in the an article detail the influence we have on our social networks and our network’s effect on us. “The ripples of our health behaviors travel much farther than anyone might expect,” says Aditi Nerurkar in The Huffington Post echoing the sentiments of several great speakers from The UP Experience.

David Pogue who spoke to us in 2010 took on the controversy surrounding Microsoft’s purchase of Skype on his blog this week.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on these stories! Are you a Skype user? What do you expect the impact of Microsoft’s purchase to be? Do you believe math and science literacy is the way forward? How is your social network impacting you or vice versa? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

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It’s everyone’s favorite time – UP alumni in the news!

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Before we dive into this weeks links we want to say thank you to everyone who joined us for last night’s Mini UP. Ankit Fadia and Matthew Knowles each brought a unique perspective to the stage. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Photos and highlights will be posted here and on our Facebook page soon.

And, very importantly, we announced our very first speaker for UP 2011 last night, drumroll please . . . . Dan Pink! Pink is the highly acclaimed author of several books, the most recent of which is Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Pink focuses on businesses, technology and helping us make the most of ourselves in our day-to-day lives. We are so excited to bring him to UP this year.

Here are this week’s UP alumni making headlines:

Two big announcements for all of our Houston readers!

David Eagleman has won a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. The Houston Chronicle says this is the first time a professor at Baylor College of Medicine has received the award.

And TONIGHT UP 09 speaker Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson will be giving a free lecture at the University of Houston. Let us know if you attend.

UP 08 speaker Ray Kurzweil is in the news again. The much talked about futurist is nominated for the 2011 TIME magazine TIME 100 list. Voting closes April 14 so vote now!

Another inaugural UP Experience speaker, Steve Wozniak, was in the news this week when he said he would consider returning to a larger role at Apple if they asked him.

For the social media users out there, are you suffering from FOMO? That is “Fear of Missing Out?” The New York Times detailed the phenomenon in an article referring to UP 09 Dan Ariely’s work.

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The Sexy Astrophysicist:
Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Sunday, March 8th, 2009
Dr. {{w|Neil deGrasse Tyson}} at the November ...

Image via Wikipedia

Neil DeGrasse Tyson is probably rolling his eyes, again.  He was named “Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive” by People Magazine in 2000, and even now, folks  just won’t let it go.  There are about 17,200 other articles with this title listed on Google, a mere three percent of the total articles mentioning him (556,000). With numerous books, articles, television programs, speaking engagements, and appearances on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and The Tonight Show to his credit,  Neil DeGrasse Tyson has plenty of professional accomplishments to showcase. And yet, it’s the idea of the Sexiest Astrophysicist that keeps coming back, like a Shoemaker-Levy comet.

As far as I could find in my research, Neil DeGrasse Tyson remains unchallenged in holding this title.  Are there up-and-comers in this sexiness category, being watched and judged by People staffers?  Will this be breaking news? Who was the previous title-holder, now presumably departed?

The green room, backstage at the Sexiest Astrophysicist Pageant

The green room, backstage at the "Sexiest Astrophysicist" Pageant

The Physics Department at Texas A&M University-Commerce has compiled a list of famous physicists and astrophysicists, with their photographs, so you can have a look for yourself.

I felt strangely conflicted, viewing these images, looking into these brilliant and interesting faces and judging them for their relative hotness.  My vote goes to Enrico Fermi.  Very, very sexy.

You won’t find many photos of women in this gallery.  Maybe they’re all slaving away at the telescope, with no time for photo-ops.  Maria Goeppert-Mayer is the only woman pictured on the TAMU-Commerce site.  Google images turned up the very attractive and brilliant Beth Brown from NASA.  Most of the other images are of the swirling cosmos.  Sexy?  Not sexy?

The people whom I find most attractive, exciting, and interesting, are those who have that intangible attribute called “It.”  You know “It” when you see “It.”

Clara Bow, the original It Girl

Clara Bow, the original "It" Girl

“It” goes far beyond the shallowness of physical attractiveness, and has nothing to do with lust or the biological imperative.  “It” is a life-force, an inner brilliance, an energy, magnetism, and ease with oneself.  “It” manifests itself in passion, in excellence, and in an urge to share with others.  People who have “It” are dynamic.  They attract and inspire.

If you watch any YouTube videos of Neil DeGrasse Tyson, you’ll see and feel his total commitment to share the wonders of the cosmos, to advocate for  science education, and to prepare the next generation for the challenges that lie ahead.  His Unique Perspective, sometimes controversial, will surely be a catalyst to expand your thinking beyond your habitual limits.  Neil DeGrasse Tyson has “It.”

“It” is the very best inside each one of us. “It” is that spark, the key to your own brilliance, creativity, effectiveness, and sense of mission to make the world — YOUR world — better.  You can never lose “It,” but it must be fed, nurtured, and used, stretched, let out to run and express itself, recharged, re-booted!  You nurture “It” by putting yourself in the presence of “It.”

Each of the speakers coming to Houston, Texas on October 15, 2009 for The UP Experience has “It.”  Don’t miss it!

Posted by MaryBeth Smith

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