October 14, 2015 8:02 pm

There’s more before we get the hook! Preview StarTalk Live! at the Apollo (Part 2)

StarTalk photographer took this photo of Dr. Ainissa Robinson making Senator Cory Booker and Neil deGrasse Tyson laugh at StarTalk Live! at the Apollo.

One of the funnier moments onstage at StarTalk Live!, with Senator Cory Booker, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Dr. Ainissa Robinson. Not shown: Eugene Mirman, Phoebe Robinson and Maeve Higgins. Credit: Elliot Severn.

This Friday, our trip to the Apollo Theater in Harlem NY concludes with a couple of things you probably never expected to hear at a StarTalk Live!

The first is when Neil deGrasse Tyson invites his nephew, Stephen J. Tyson Jr. onstage to perform an exclusive new StarTalk-inspired rap. Stephen, who raps simply as “Tyson”, is getting his doctorate in Educational Leadership, using hip hop as a medium for inspiring youth to get involved in science, technology, social justice and more.

And the second is a surprisingly in-depth, and not nearly as boring as it sounds, discussion of the Oxford Comma between Neil, Senator Cory Booker and science evangelist Dr. Ainissa Ramirez.

The comma talk comes as part of the onstage discussion about the impact social media and technology has on the way we communicate with each other, from the good (crowdfunding projects that used to be ignored by banks), to the bad (trolls), to the truly horrific (ISIS).

That conversation provides the framework for Part 2 of “StarTalk Live! at the Apollo”, which is mostly about hope, and how we can avoid what Senator Booker calls a state of “sedentary agitation” that has become so commonplace today.

Even the comedians share their hope for America’s future, that is when Phoebe Robinson’s not too busy dropping another Dick joke (Dick Cheney, that is), or Maeve Higgins isn’t calling Eugene Mirman a “Fearsome Teddy Bear.”

Also, those of you have written that you’ve been missing the audience “Q&A” which takes place at most of our StarTalk Live! performances will be happy to know that we’ve included it in this week’s episode. Subjects include moving from STEM to STEAM, shifting funding priorities from the military to education, freedom of speech, hotels on the Moon, and even a question from a 10-year-old fan about role models and what inspired Neil to become an astrophysicist.

You can hear StarTalk Live! at the Apollo (Part 2) on Friday, October 16th at 7:00 pm EDT, right here on the website, or via iTunesPodcasts, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn.

One more thing. In last week’s episode, Senator Booker discussed the “prison industrial complex” and the failed war on drugs. He’s actually just released a video that explains the issue in more detail than he was able to do onstage at the Apollo. You can watch that video here:

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Jeffrey Simons

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