June 6, 2019 9:26 pm

Friday, Uncover Jack Black’s Cosmic Curiosity

On this week’s episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson sits down with one half of Tenacious D and one of the most versatile comedic showman working today – Jack Black. Best known for his roles on screen and his music blasting from your speakers, Jack also has a deep interest in the universe.

Brandon Royal’s photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Jack Black.

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Jack Black. Photo Credit: Brandon Royal.

Joining Neil in-studio are the two Chucks – comic co-host Chuck Nice and astrophysicist and StarTalk geek-in-chief Charles Liu –  to break down Jack’s cosmic musings and help us explore the mysteries of the universe. You’ll learn about Jack’s early exposure to rocket science, and why his parents became a little concerned when he was straying away from a career in aerospace engineering. However, Jack tells us how he meditates by pondering the enormity of the universe.

Jack also came prepared. Throughout the episode, he fires numerous Cosmic Queries Neil’s way. We discuss black holes at the center of galaxies. You’ll hear about “quantum weirdness.” You’ll also learn about the “Observer Effect” and how it works in quantum mechanics. Chuck leads us in a game to try and see how many mind-blowing facts Neil can think of off the top of his head.

Jack and Neil bond over their shared experience of having roles in the Ice Age films, which leads Jack to ponder humanity’s own path to non-existence. Climate scientist Kate Marvel, PhD, stops by to help us understand the science of our own extinction, and we answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about all things climate change.

Jack also takes us down memory lane as we discuss the famous short film Powers of Ten. Bill Nye patches in to give us a follow up lesson on size and scale. All that, plus, you’ll hear the story of how Tenacious D came up with the name of their band.

Please join us tomorrow night for Jack Black’s Cosmic Curiosity at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
-Ian Mullen