Two videos from a couple of respected men of science -- well, sort of -- have gone viral on the Internet. One is exactly as it seems, actor Morgan Freeman in explanation mode while sucking on helium. The other video is of a faux Neil DeGrasse Tyson on weed explaining how everything is "star stuff." Both are hilarious and worth viewing.
Huffington Post revealed May 23 a spoof of the "Cosmos" reboot, "Cosmos On Weed," starring a comedian who bears a striking resemblance to the famed astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson. The video portrays a scenario wherein the scientist gets high while explaining the "f***ing rad" workings of the universe. He becomes fascinated with the word "Andromeda," pronouncing it again and again in various ways. In between puffs, the faux Tyson gets the munchies and begins contemplating how everything is made of "star stuff." In wide-eyed wonder, he seems to have a hard time wrapping his head around the idea that the drooping slice of pizza he's biting into is also made of stardust. In fact, he makes the amazed comment, "I think that's basil," as if deconstructing the General Theory of Relativity via some kind of gastronomical observation.
And since everyone knows the real Neil DeGrasse Tyson has a sense of humor (he's been on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report" numerous times), it only seems fitting that he get to critique his faux weed-smoking self.
"When science serves as a muse for artists and comedians," Tyson told The Huffington Post in an email, "you know it's trending in our culture."
A good thing, that last bit. There are people who actually believe they can erect a dinosaur skeleton exhibit in a museum and claim it is proof of the biblical flood that occurred about 4,300 years ago (their estimation) when scientific studies have placed the particular dinosaur, an Allosaurus, as having last walked the Earth over 140 million years ago.
A funny video of Morgan Freeman (the actual Morgan Freeman) is also making the rounds on the Internet. The Oscar-winning actor has introduced us to some pretty strange things on the Science Channel's "Through The Wormhole," but most of the topics are serious science stuff. Well, not this video dropped on us via Huffington Post.
The video displays science as a bit less intimidating when Morgan's own iconic voice gets transformed by sucking on a balloon full of helium. Explaining things sounding like Donald Duck is not only amusing, it's magnetic. (And the mechanics of the funny voice? Helium is lighter than air and as it is pushed through the vocal tract by the resonance of the vocal chords, it produces a higher-pitched sound.)
With these videos, science seems a bit less stuffy and calculating, entering an entirely alternate universe of entertainment outside that of the purely educational. And making science fun can't be a bad thing, now can it?