All The Times Neil DeGrasse Tyson Conquered The Internet With Science

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Neil deGrasse Tyson is a man of many hats — astrophysicist, planetarium director, Twitter master, podcaster, movie ruiner, meme… the guy does it all. Tyson’s done what few scientists before him have done: He’s made it cool to be a geek, and he’s been fully embraced by pop culture. Whether it’s explaining why Pluto isn’t a planet, breaking down the science of the most popular blockbusters, or simply telling a 6-year-old kid the meaning of life, Tyson’s done it all with an incredibly entertaining flair.

The man’s influence on the entertainment industry can’t be overstated enough. Just last week, Tyson had praise for the new version of The Daily Show‘s opening credits that showed the correct rotation of the Earth, after he had previously called Jon Stewart out on the mistake. Nothing slips by the man.

With today being NDT’s birthday, there’s never been a better time to look to the web cosmos and reminisce about all those times he blinded the internet with science.

Neil deGrasse Tyson breaks down the Batman vs. Superman argument.

Comic book fans have been arguing about Superman vs. Batman since the dawn of time (1939, realistically). And like many people, Jon Stewart is having a bit of a tough time wrapping his head around the idea of “just a guy with a nice belt” not immediately being pulverized by an alien with super strength.

Tyson broke the argument down into a simple matter of PR. Batman reports to the mayor of Gotham, Superman reports to some mysterious figure in the ice castle. Tyson pretty much said that when it comes down to it, it’s all about who gives the people what they want.

“So, at the end of the day, what might matter is the public reception of the superhero’s conduct. If Batman executes our wishes in the city and Superman does what the hell he wants, that’s a conflict.”

Throwing some kryptonite on that Batarang might help, too, but that’s just a minor detail. It’s really all about politics and leotards.

Neil deGrasse Tyson shut down the moon landing conspiracy theories.

The wormhole of conspiracy theories swirling around the moon landing is a black void, devoid of logic that will suck one in if they venture too far in. For Tyson, it happens to be a sore spot that has plagued him since 1969. He’s heard all the arguments about the direction of the flag, the lack of stars, the shadows, and he’s had enough of it.

Tyson gets noticeably a little aggravated when having to debunk the theory for probably the 500th time, and explains that theory was dead at liftoff because of the Saturn V rocket.

And that windy flag theory you read about on the internet at 2 a.m.? Tyson has an answer for that, too:

“In that particular case, since there’s no air on the moon, anything set into motion, because he’s holding it and lets go. The flag flips back and forth and it doesn’t slow down because there’s no air to slow it down.”

*drops mic*

Neil deGrasse Tyson ruins Pi Day for all.

Pi Day is a much-loved day for mathletes to revisit their old mathematical constant friend, and a reason for every diner in America to sell a slice of pie at the price of $3.14. However, enjoyable Pi Day may be, in the eyes of NDT, we’re all a little silly for celebrating it. Mostly because of the way people in the United States and a few areas of Canada choose to write the date — month/day/year.

Damn you, Neil deGrasse Tyson. Must you find a way to ruin my dessert with logic?

The damage had been done and Pi Day had been exposed as a sham, but Tyson went on to troll math nerds even more with these tweets.

The guy regularly calls out Hollywood on the science of its science fiction.

‎Alfonso Cuarón, Christopher Nolan, and Ridley Scott are all super talented directors who have put out some of the best sci-fi movies in recent years, but they’re all pretty “meh” in the eyes of Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Listen, I have no doubt that sitting down with Tyson for a half-hour would probably be a mind-expanding experience, I just wouldn’t want to watch a movie with the guy. You’d probably be safe watching something like Blazing Saddles, but if you invite him over to watch Interstellar, get ready for interruptions like this:

Tyson’s movie criticisms have an incredible impact on Hollywood directors, and even resulted in James Cameron altering the night sky in Titanic after Tyson took issue with the stars.

Just to be on the safe side, Hollywood should probably consult with Tyson before filming a movie to avoid these sorts of guffaws in the future.

He has his own meme.

So, Tyson’s “Watch out, guys. We’re dealing with a badass over here” meme might not have anything to do with science, but it would be a misstep not to include it among his internet milestones. Since its origin in 2011, the meme has swept through sites like Reddit and Tumblr where it’s regularly used as an easy go-to for mocking somebody’s rebellious comments or photo.

The meme’s inspiration actually does have some scientific origin, though — as pretty much all things related to NDT do. The meme’s image came from a specific reaction from Tyson while discussing how Sir Isaac Newton invented calculus at age 25.

Consider this your trivial meme history for the day.