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    Bridge Ladies Sometimes I think a meteor could strike the earth and wipe out mankind with the exception of my mother’s Bridge club — Roz, Bea, Bette, Rhoda, and Jackie — five Jewish octogenarians who continue to gather for lunch and Bridge on Mondays as they have for over fifty years. When I set out to learn about the women behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, and most of all the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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Let Me Swing Among the Stars

Congratulations Neil! Tonight was the publication party for The Space Chronicles, which conveniently coincided with the book hitting the NYT bestseller list AND Neil testifying before the Senate on the future of NASA. Dear Friends and Readers of this blog, if you don’t know Neil de Grasse Tyson or his work, do not delay; he is a brilliant scientist and passionate public intellectual. Whether talking about Isaac Newton or flying to Mars, he is an amazing communicator with an abundance of wit, charm, and passion, not to mention that People Magazine named him one of the sexiest men of the year (I know, I’m so transparent).  I spent most of the party talking to his 84 year old dad, the tree from which this most shiny apple fell. And if you don’t believe me, check him out on twitter, on Jon Stewart, on in conversation with Colbert,

47 Responses

  1. I adore him. He can grab me in the street any day any time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rr-jyg0MyI (1.18)

  2. Just saw Neil on Bill Maher. Love him. Congrats!

  3. I want so badly to care. Is that as good as caring? When the Challenger blew up, I was nursing and when I heard about it, all my milk came out and my baby was hungry. I’m kind of off outer space. It’s a matter of personal perspective.

    • I’m hoping you were drunk when you left this comment, because that’s the most charitable thing I have to say about it.

    • Wow, dude, really? And re: your rhetorical question? Not even fucking close, but you knew that. Way to shit on someone’s happiness for no reason, rock star.

    • I have a rhetorical question. Are you two the pitbulls of Betsy Lerner? I bet virginiallorca didn’t mean to hurt anybody but you two sound vicious.

      • Yeah, post in haste, repent at leisure. My snarling language often obscures my point, which is this: Coming to this (or any) blog and posting that you “want so badly to care” on a joyful post celebrating a triumph is just really ugly.I don’t know Neil, or Betsy, or Virginia, for that matter. Maybe she’s just having a bad day. But it was shitty and it stung my heart and I reacted. Also, do you think Neil DeGrasse Tyson doesn’t read his agent’s blog? Ouch.

      • Yeah. I’m a pit bull. I eat assholes for breakfast.

      • I don’t even want to care.

      • He can be the nicest guy in the world and I wish him the greatest success, which he apparently is achieving and deserves. I would gladly delete my comment that caused you all such pain. No one should have to feel such pain over my few misbegotten words.

        Yes, Words can cause pain. And hearts can be stung.

    • Well, that’s just lovely. Thanks for passing that along. My day is off to a beautiful start.

    • Simply beautiful. Thank you.

    • I was annoyed that my dog got me up at 4 in the morning because he had to…er…go…but watching this Raving Mad Scientist video transformed my sleepy crankiness into amazingly alive wonder. Really took the sting out of early morning explosive canine diarrhea. Thank you so much for sharing it.

    • It made me cry for how wonderfully amazing we all are, right down to our littllest bits.

    • It’s very cool to find a scientist who says he feels big when he looks up at the night sky. I’ve always felt that draw, but could never explain it so simply or eloquently. Or, of course, give proof.

      Congratulations Neil and Betsy.

    • Wow. If I were more disciplined, I’d watch this video every morning! Thanks for it. And thanks, Betsy for reminding me how much I adore this man…

    • We are stardust,
      We are golden.

      And not to start competitions among most astounding facts in this mind-blowingly astonishing universe, but it’s downright remarkable that there’s something rather than nothing.

      Sometimes when I contemplate this something that is the universe, its existence seems no less than the most exuberant act of joy. Imagine, if you were going to make something, and you could make anything–imagine, making a universe. With supernovas! And multi-dimensional branes! And platypuses!

  4. Science for the masses. I love this guy.

  5. “Honey, have you heard of Neil DeGrasse Tyson?”

    “Of course. He’s awesome. I keep trying to catch him being pompous but I never do. He’s the Carl Sagan of our time.”

  6. Jon Stewart had it right: Niel deGrasse Tyson in 2012!

    He said, “God is the word we use to let us think we know what’s going on.”

  7. Congrats to Neil and to you, Betsy. He rocked Bill Maher. And those tweets makes me laugh out loud at least twice a day.

  8. My kid told me on the way home from school yesterday that one of her teachers had told her the US space program was over and they weren’t going to send people into space any more.

    I knew this couldn’t possibly be right—or not completely so—but suddenly felt so claustrophobic I couldn’t speak. Ridiculous, maybe, but it hurt.

    Neil de Grasse Tyson gives me such hope.

  9. Oh, Betsy, how did I not know about him? My kids and I are late for our day because we just watched the videos, and I have to say…yow.

    Inspired? Yes, but I’ve also got that pep in my step that only a new crush can provide…

    And just in time. This English teacher has gone back to math class in order to get over my math anxiety, and NdGT is just what I needed before second period Algebra I. To the stars, baby.

  10. Did his dad get lucky?

  11. Congratulations, Neil!

  12. When I was a young girl, we barely had a space program. My uncle, so enamored by the heavens and our quest to understand, built a model of Sputnik. Once the ‘to-scale’ satellite hit the front page my uncle, a self-taught space expert became a lecturer at Hayden Planetarium. As a kid he told us he used a Zeiss Optical multiple stereopticon Planetarium projector.

    It was with great pride we would rattle off the name of the device, as if we were experts, because our uncle was. Neil is amazing and so was the special self-taught man, Dr. Walter Munn, who showed me the heavens so many years ago.

    Neil communicates that the vastness and wonder of space lives within us as well. Neil is a wonderful guy. If only my uncle, gone many years now, could sit down with Neil and talk. What a conversation that would be.

    Thanks Betsy, for bringing the universe to me this morning.

  13. When I look at the stars, as I do often, I am quietly amazed, and taken with my smallness in the vastness. My problems seem small, and I smile.

    Sixty miles or so offshore, there is no light except the stars, who seem more and brighter, and somehow closer. If the sea is calm, it smiles back, and you are surrounded by stars, above and below. The odd wave applauds, but the sound is that of a softly creaking boat.

  14. How appropriate that today, as the media hype stokes disaster-themed reports about the large solar flares speeding towards earth, we comment on Neil’s book and outer space. Perfect timing, Betsy! (as always).

  15. Big fan of his …

  16. Is his a lone voice crying in the wilderness? I hope not. But what hope can I cherish for a nation whose favorite spectator sports are the witch burning, the lynch mob, and the auto-da-fe, whose only known investment model is the Ponzi scheme, and whose schools are urged to coddle with myths and superstitions rather than challenge with the rigors of science and mathematics?

    Someone please tell me I’m wrong. I yearn this morning to be wrong.

  17. I love him. Congratulations to both of you and the star-blasted atoms you rode in on.

  18. Congratulations on the publication of another fine book that adds to the public discourse in the best possible way (who can resist a smart sexy man!)

  19. I’ve followed N D Tyson’s work forever. Lucky you, getting to talk to his father (and, I presume, to him).

  20. Congratulations to Neil and his publishing crew!

    I suppose I should share my Neil story. I haven’t met him in person, but one warm summer evening I was sitting in my car, waiting for a loved one and listening to NPR. Neil was giving a detailed description of what would happen if a human being were to be pulled into a black hole. I had the windows open and the radio turned up loud as he described the infinite stretching, etc., and that’s when the support group for severe anxiety let out.

    Sorry, Neil. I had to turn down the volume.

  21. Sounds like an award nominee in the making… congrats to both of you.

  22. He so shines. Congratulations all around.

  23. I adore this guy. You have the most amazing clients.

  24. I love meeting the parents of really cool people. That other window, the parental eye, imagining them as naughty little kids.

  25. Okay. I did my homework. Time interview: ten questions with NDTyson. He would not have taken umbrage at my remark. Reason? He is a real person.

  26. A real person as opposed to…?

  27. I have such a crush on him…sigh.

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