For the 278th time this month, Twitter declared Bill Nye as dead as the dinosaurs (science!) last night because some jerk linked to that Onion article from 12 years ago about a vinegar explosion and…long story short, he’s still alive. Yay!
The world would be a much grayer place without Bill Nye, who’s of the one few childhood icons from the 1990s worth feeling nostalgic for (sorry, Binyah Binyah Pollywog). He taught us about science, yo, and in a world where you never know when you’ll need to wipe the contents of a laptop clean with a magnet, it’s an important topic to be knowledgeable in. Especially when it’s coming from a man with a deep passion for the topic, not a 75-year-old half-deaf war veteran who doubles as the middle school gym teacher.
So, in honor of the Science Guy being alive (and his amazing video directed toward evolution deniers), here are 10 clever ways Bill Nye tricked us into learning about science as kids.
He explained momentum by parodying Morrissey’s “The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get.”
Related: he explained air pressure by parodying Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit.” (And Green Day and Snoop Dogg and the Beach Boys and Megadeth and Queen and the Jackson 5 and, most importantly, the Spin Doctors.)
He perfected the art of quick cuts to funny clips to keep our ADD Generation from drifting off.
He wasn’t afraid to explain to kids that, yeah, humans have a tendency to f*ck things up. He also loved showing fake movie trailers long before every TV series showed fake movie trailers.
He staged sketches using characters (dirty cowboys) and situations (playing poker) that he knew grade-school kids would find amusing. This was also an effective way of spreading the lessons around; it wasn’t just him rambling for 22 minutes about science and stuff.
He loved dumb sound effects. SPROING AWOOGA BA-DUMP BA-DUMP
He defined the undefinable, like atoms, without pandering to his audience. You didn’t feel like you were an idiot for not knowing something while watching Bill Nye — you wanted to know what he was talking about, and his lessons were often a step-by-step guide to KNOWLEDGE.
He got grunge icons Mudhoney to cover his theme song. That’s just cool.
He always seemed legitimately excited to be talking about science, like Walter White before he turned into a psychopath. That’s something kids pick up on — if their teacher is bored by what he’s saying, his students are going to be bored, too.
He blew sh*t up. Kids love blowing sh*t up.