Betabeat had just settled in for a hot Friday night date with the Internet when a friend sent us an email with the subject line, “!!!”. Enclosed in the body was a link to a Reddit Ask me Anything featuring none other than our childhood idol Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Mr. Nye is somewhat of a Reddit folk hero, a noted target of nostalgic awe whose esteem on Reddit may be eclipsed only by the swag-as-hell physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. An AMA from Bill Nye has been a long awaited Reddit event. The fact that it’s happening on a Friday night is also probably of no consequence to the majority of Redditors (this reporter included).
So what did we discover from the illustrious Mr. Nye that Betabeat didn’t get around to asking him in our Bryant Park interview? A lot about bowties, obviously.
The AMA is still currently taking place, and Redditors are falling all over themselves for a chance to express how much influence Mr. Nye exerted on their childhoods. “I would just like to say on my behalf and I’m sure many other Redditors, that you played a very important role in shaping our minds and helping us grow and learn as children,” wrote a user named “ratajewie” (oh-ho!), who literally ended their sentiment with a heart emoticon.
For his part, Mr. Nye talked about a lot of the same stuff he did when we interviewed him: the Curiosity Rover landing on Mars, the importance of discussing climate change and that “Science is the best idea humans have had.” He also hinted at the idea of launching a revamped Science Guy series produced only for the web, coyly teasing, “Stay tuned .”
As for the bowties, Mr. Nye is quite the collector. “When you see one you like, just buy it,” he wrote of his affair with neck accouterments. “If it’s good lookin’, someone is right behind you ready to snap it up. I find them at Nordstrom (the store and Rack)….Right now, I’m diggin’ the slimline with arrow points. Ahh….”
Our favorite answer, however, had to be when Mr. Nye exploded Reddit’s collective mind by answering a question about what he talks about when hanging out with Mr. Tyson.
“Astrophysics, the business of television, baseball, wine, and women,” Mr. Nye quipped.
“This is the best answer possible,” replied one user, while rubbing the stars from his eyes.