weekinama

Neil deGrasse Tyson's science education tops the week in Reddit Q&As

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Want to know what it’s like to live in a Russian airport for 10 months? To do makeup for pornstars? To win a million dollars from a scratch off ticket?

If you spent the week hanging out on Reddit’s r/IAmA section, you already know. The collective curiosity of the half million-strong section is a powerful thing, bubbling up some pretty fascinating stories and people every week.

In addition to the stories mentioned above, the section also saw the return of superstar scientist and educator Neil deGrasse Tyson, who appears to be making good his promise to return to the section every month.

Below, we’ve compiled the top seven posts (seven being our lucky number) from Reddit’s r/IAmA this week, as voted by redditors themselves. We’ve also included a sample question and answer from each. For the complete list, check here.

A note on terminology: AMA stands for “ask me anything,” while “IAmA” is simply “I am a;” AMAA means “ask me almost anything.”

1. I am Neil deGrasse Tyson -- AMA

Q: If you were given free reign to affect the curriculum of schools, what would you change in science education? (Rochallor)

A: I would teach how science works as much as I would teach what science knows. I would assert (given that essentially, everyone will learn to read) that science literacy is the most important kind of literacy they can take into the 21st century. I would undervalue grades based on knowing things and find ways to reward curiosity. In the end, it's the people who are curious who change the world.

2. I am at the SOPA House Judiciary Committee hearing. AMA

Q: What sort of vibe would you say you're getting? Do you think it will pass? And how do you think people will react if it's passed, or if it's not passed? (nunoyo)

A: Well it is only in committee. If it passes here it would go to the floor. Many objections are being raised on how quickly it is being pushed through. Right now several representatives are trying to amend it.

3. IAM the kid who lived in the airport for almost a year. AMAA

Q: How badly did personal hygiene decline? If it was anything like how I'm picturing it, that must have been rough. (hapns)

A: it was terrible, we kept our selfs clean all the time but the process was just humiliating. we had to take coke bottles in the middle of the night in the public washroom and wash in the bathroom stall. i remember that when i showered, all i could think of was when it was going to end

4. I am the composer and sound designer of Minecraft. AMA

Q: Any advice for someone wanting to get into the industry? (sudorossy)

A: The most important part: be so persistent that you make music at least half an hour, every day. Even if nothing works. At least do something. If you start, nobody will like you. You don't have to care about this, and again, be persistent. Do it for yourself, not anyone else. Do not take anything for granted. Even if you think you might have a stable life with the earnings of your musician job, it could fade away quickly. Be persistent.

5. I’m a Guild Wars 2 Developer: AMA about professions.

Q:I want your job. How can I get it? (Geikamir)

A:

  1. Take a degree in Philosophy and Religion, minor in psychology,

  2. Play wayyyyyy too much Starcraft in college,

  3. Become a designer,

  4. Profit.


6. I am a makeup artist on a porn set. AMA

Q: How has working in this industry impacted your personal life? (kittymeeeeow)

A: I've learned how to understand people that have had a hard life, and people are more desperate in life. And it helps me to understand where they are coming from when they choose to do it. It makes it hard to watch porn myself as well. Some of the girls are a little business like before they do it, and can separate the sex from their emotions. But some girls cry before they do it. :(

7. By Request: Won a million dollars on a scratch-off lottery ticket AMA

Q: How much of it did you get to keep after taxes? (on_holiday)

A: That was the big kick to the gut. I took the lump sum and after taxes and the lump sum amount I got about 400K. Also, people don't realize that your win counts as income and you are in a much higher brackett so when April rolls around you still owe another 80-100K. That's why you see people go broke within 5 years. (His answer is explained more thoroughly here.)