January 24, 2015 9:22 am

Water, Water Everywhere… StarTalk Live! Gets Wet this Sunday

Photo of participants in StarTalk Live! Water World taken by Elliot Severn, showing Jason Sudeikis, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Neil deGrasse Tyson, His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa.

On stage at The Beacon Theater for Water World: (L to R): Jason Sudeikis, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Neil deGrasse Tyson, His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa. (Not Shown: Eugene Mirman, Dr. Tess Russo.) Credit: Elliot Severn.

The last thing anybody expected to hear about at our first StarTalk Live! at The Beacon Theater in NYC was probably Kung Fu Nuns, or, as comedian Jason Sudeikis quickly replied, “Isn’t that where we get nunchuks?”

But it turns out that the entire show was about as fluid as its subject, flowing from science to chemistry to the environment to politics and polluters and back again to science like a babbling, giggling brook.

In Part 1, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Eugene Mirman start off talking about the physical properties of water with Dr. Tess Russo, a hydrogeologist from Penn State, with a little help from comedian and returning StarTalk Live! alumnus Jason Sudeikis. They cover the various states of water, one of the most common three-atom molecules in the universe. Neil explains the triple point of water and how there are places on Mars where water could exist simultaneously side-be-side as steam, ice and water. There’s a discussion of comets and where Earth’s water comes from in the first place, and what makes “heavy water” heavy.

Then Neil introduces his other two guests for the evening: Robert F. Kennedy Jr., founder of the Waterkeeper Alliance, and His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, Guardian of the Himalayas, and the conversation turns to the humanitarian dimension of water. Who has it? Who needs it? And what are we willing to do to preserve it?

You’ll learn about the shrinking Colorado River, wars fought over water in Bolivia and Belize and drought’s role in the Civil War in Syria. You’ll journey to a village dying of disease sitting astride a beautiful mountain lake filled with the dead bodies of humans and cattle. You’ll hear RFK Jr. warn us about the “Koch Brothers and their indentured servants in the political process.” And you’ll listen to The Gyalwang Drukpa tell the story of ten thousand people planting a seemingly instant forest of 100,000 trees.

And then there are those Kung Fu Nuns.

Join us for Part 1 this Sunday, January 25 at 7:00 PM ET on our website, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn and SoundCloud. And be sure to come back next Sunday for the conclusion.

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