StarTalk Live! Water World (Part 1)

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About This Episode

Join StarTalk Live! as we explore the world of water: from Earth, to the ancient subsurface sea of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, to the comets that first brought water to our planet. Recorded live at New York’s Beacon Theater, host Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-host Eugene Mirman dive into science, humanitarian issues, economics, politics, and of course comedy, with the help of Waterkeeper Alliance founder Robert F. Kennedy Jr.; His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, “Guardian of the Himalayas”; hydrogeologist Dr. Tess Russo and actor Jason Sudeikis. In Part 1, we investigate the physical properties of water, one of the most common 3-atom molecules in the universe. Discover how we know which comets have “our” kind of water (it’s all about the Deuterium) and how on Mars, water can exist side-by-side as a gas, a liquid and a solid (water’s “triple point”). Listen to RFK Jr. attack the “energy incumbents… and the big polluters: the Koch Brothers and their indentured servants in our political process.” You’ll learn about The Gyalwang Drukpa’s efforts to protect the water supply for half the world’s population, and find out what Kung Fu Nuns have to do with the fight for gender equality. And that’s just Part 1.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: StarTalk Live! Water World (Part 1).



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  • Princess Leia

    Thoroughly enjoyed this StarTalk Live’s variety of guests. Surprised by many of the subjects talked about, because I was unknowledgable about them. So YAY for gaining knowledge.

  • Addam Miller

    Eugene’s Back!

  • wayne

    eugene is so annoying and his attitude comes across so sexist what’s funny about blowing europe up terrorists are trying to do this everyday thats not funny how small minded

    • KD

      I’d argue to not make light of terrible situations gives fear greater power over our minds. Fighting tragedy with comedy has and will always occur

      • Taxil Necrobane

        I have to agree with you KD. That and I would point out that NDT was laughing at Eugene’s jokes quite well.

        • wayne

          Neil was all so laughing at the destroying europe comments. I found this very disappointing as i would have expected more from him. people who don’t see this is a problem become part of the problem. eugene should have been told that that was too far on the show. I strongly believe that an apology is required as startalk is global and people are upset. thank you

          • Wayne sucks

            Dont like the podcats, then dont listen to them man. Quit pushing your life on everyone else.

          • wayne

            Your attitude stinks i am sure your employer love you. A pinch of humility my serve you well young man. Why are you so angry its o.k to express how you feel we dont live under a dictatorship if this up sets you i suggest psychological help.

          • J

            Wayne it is funny you say it is ok to express how you feel and that we do not live under a dictatorship when you are defending your point, but fail to realize the same applies to Eugene when he uses comedy. Terrorists are trying to blow up everything, calm down and stop living in fear. An apology is not required at all. He made a joke, that in no way was connected to what happened in Europe recently. Then you tell Wayne Sucks “a pinch of humility “may” serve you well”, yet you assume a vast majority of the people listening agree with you when you say. “people are upset”, how humble of you. All the while the general aura of narcissism that exists in your posts really dissuades from your argument.

          • wayne

            any joke that has a punchline which is the destruction of a country is unacceptable. whats going on in europe and the middle east is not a laughing matter i have seen children blown up due to terrorism so your audacious comments only strengthen my perception of what comedy should be. but look pal if you care so much for eugene may be you should get a room. furthermore only 60 percent of people vote in a election in the USA which leaves the remaining 40 percent some people choose to remain silent because of sceptics such as yourself also a few of my frends strongly agree but never mind censuses myself and others do not find this funny if you do thats fine

          • wayne

            the moment change is suggested the sceptics come out of the woodwork. old systems and attitudes hardly ever get challenged. do you think abraham lincoln would have freed the slaves if he gave into sceptic. i would hope the lesson we take away from this is that it’s ok to have a voice and voice your opinion no matter what people say don’t be pushed into the shadows if you have a point of view make your self heard. you pushed me mr quote i enjoyed it thank you

          • Tommy of Sweden

            Well I am from Europe and i found that joke hilarious, ofc if someone said “we must destroy Europe” without context THAT would have been serious. But this was nothing short of hilarious. I dont think there is anything you cant joke about or near enough anything.

          • wayne

            Haha they didn’t post my replie I wonder why neil

          • wayne

            also mr quote i didet rail to realize anythink. it was your self who failed to grasp my concept. so please allow me to elaborate, startalk is fast becoming a global success this means more diversity of listeners more thoughts feelings and cultures to take into consideration to show compassion is all i ask. neil said in cosmos if the evidence doesn’t add up reserved judgement. i would suggest you to do the same when making comments such as stop living in fear. quite the opposite sir i am living a full life and have a voice. also to use the would people does not insinuate the vast majority were do you get this stuff from? nevertheless i feel what was said was wrong and in my eye at least. maybe an apology isn’t required however empathy would be the word i leave eugene with. the days of the gunslinger are over

          • Alex Smith

            I really hope you are kidding. You think an apology is needed for a JOKE? If you think that joke was even the slightest bit serious, you need to develop a sense of humor. Come on dude.. You are being ridiculious.. Calm down..

            If someone is offended by a joke, that is THEIR problem not the person making the joke..

    • Alex Smith

      I love listening to the science obviously. But I could not disagree with you more. The jokes are what keep the episodes extremely entertaining, and why you can listen to them multipule times.
      If you really think that the europe joke was even the slightest bit serious, I think I figured out why you don’t like the jokes. You don’t have a sense of humor. IT’S A JOKE,

      • wayne

        read all the posts in date order this will rest your mind

  • Cedric

    OMG Eugene is so annoying. I have to agree with Wayne. He went overboard and tried to make jokes on everything. It wasn’t necessary and I would have like to hear less of him and more conversation between Neil and the various guest. Please have less of him and invite some other comedian that doesn’t feel the need to comment on everything. Thanks!!

    • Alex Smith

      Eugene is by FAR the best comedian on this show, its not even a contest. You Really need to calm down. There are PLENTY of shows that are almost exclusively a straight interview. This is a Startal LIVE! episode… Its ment to be more entertaining then the normal ones. Stop complaining.

      • wayne

        WHAT! who do you think you are speaking in this fascist manor. cedric does not find eugene entertaining so should he have asked if this was ok before he posted his view. alex or should i say supreme commander. maybe you should calm down

      • Cedric

        I will state my opinion of the show or rather Eugene and if you think that’s complaining that’s your problem.

  • Richard57

    Water is responsive to life and vica versa. It is ‘an exception’ to the law of physics. Still, hey, then there is the ringwoodite 400 miles beneath us which holds 5 times more water than all the surface water/oceans combined. There’s somethin fishy goin on here and it ain’t intelligent design-no way!!haha

  • Richard57

    It amazes me that most people don’t realize that water expands when frozen as opposed to all other substances…well, 99.999999999999999.

    • BenJ

      You’re so smart

  • Mike Lucido

    It has been found that the water content of several comets is extremely small, even at the micro-level, in comparison. Therefore it is obvious that water doesn’t come directly from space and especially not from comets. And that since oxygen boils up from all parts of the Ring-Of-Fire, around the earth, as well as hydrogen coming from the same source, as well as hydrogen coming directly from the sun, which becomes water every time a lightning bolt strikes, there is no wondering about where the earth’s water is coming from. And as the earth continues to grow, water seem to maintain some stable levels between the spreading continental plates. (spreading away from the rifts of the Ring-Of-Fire, of course) Why should there remain any questions about where water comes from? Neil should know this.

    Of course, oxygen comes from the ocean green life and the trees. That is even better.

  • Taxil Necrobane

    Why did NDT bring RFK jr. on? He’s not a scientist, He’s an attorney and it seems to be a political hack as well. “attack the “energy incumbents… and the big polluters: the Koch Brothers
    and their indentured servants in our political process.”” Really now? What good would it do to insult others that could have been persuaded to help your side if you could rein in your bias and/or political bigotry? I found Gyalwang Drukpa to be far better speaker and much more persuasive speaker as well. I just wish Dr. Russo had more to say in this episode, she was rather quiet compared to everyone else.

    Also, I for one do not find Eugene to be a problem.

    • Santos L. Halper

      Also R.F.K.’s record on other scientific issues is pretty spotty. He is an outspoken opponent of vaccinations.

    • Carl Sagan

      I thought RFK was pretty on-point. I don’t think he was advocating verbal assaults on those parties, but rather pointing out that they present a barrier to progress because of their vested interests and attachment to extant (corrupt/unjust) paradigms.
      Feel free to try to persuade them yourself though.

      • Taxil Necrobane

        RFK never explained why or how the Koch Brothers are big polluters, so why bother name them? I know they are the lighting rod of Leftist complaints and ranting for years. But why single them out? If you want to persuade the industrial/economic sector to become more green, then present the situation to them in a way that they can perceive it that they can make profit from being green willingly. If the industrial/economic sector is being forced by law, regulation and/or taxes/fees to be ‘green’ then it won’t go so well. They want to make the most profit they can to at least stay above break even. I see our nation has been the greenest of most of the world, and at that we have done a good job. Yet why is everything we have made in China and our industry base in decline?

        Yes some industry is pollutive, but If the systems that are meant to prevent/clean up the mess becomes excessive and oppressive, then it will damage/ruin the critical economic sector that keeps our civilization running. You can not persuade people by insulting them or being openly hostile to them and their interests. RFK fails on that point in my view of it.

        Lastly, RFK’s scientific views are rather questionable. That does not seem to fit in with NGT’s MO of his podcasts unless it is meant to present opposing view point.

  • I have a question for Neil: What are the odds of finding another planet with an atmosphere, pressure and gravity that would allow humans to walk and breathe without a space suit?

  • wayne

    i left a comment and it has not been added can you tell me why

    • startalkradio

      Just slow in getting to all the comments, Wayne. That’s the only reason.

      • wayne

        no worrys thanks

  • Ned

    I’ve learned that nothing can move faster than the speed of light. But suppose you could, and you were aboard a Star-Trec ship traveling in warp drive. Now suppose there was something in your path. Wouldn’t you hit it before you saw it?

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  • Mike

    Did Neil just quote Iron Maiden? “Water water everywhere but not a drop to drink.”

    • Vinayak Suman

      ryme of ancient mariner

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