Newz For Nerdz

January 3, 2019

Cool science with rock stars, cat poop, and falling to your death


When I was about 13 years old I wrote to places like the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Goddard Space Flight Center, and NASA Headquarters. I asked if they could send me any cool posters or pictures.

A month or so later they showed up. Tons of them. The walls of my bedroom were soon covered, and a true space nerd was born.

This week’s Newz For Nerdz includes a story on how a member of rock-n-roll royalty shares the same love of space I do. Only he’s got the doctorate to back it up. Show-off.

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Also, the cat who prowls around my house (his name is Niles the Weirdo - see photo) could be a real good-luck charm when it comes to my business. Well, not Niles himself, but rather his poop.

I know, gross. But the story is cool. You’ll hear all about it.

And why not close out the episode with something a bit morbid? Specifically, from what height would a fall leave you with a 50-50 chance of dying? How high up do you have to be before it could go either way?

It’s these goofy but fascinating stories that have always driven Newz For Nerdz. And cheers to all my fellow Nerdz who have followed the feature for years. I’m glad it’s finally back.

This is an early edition, so you might encounter some tweaks over the next few weeks. The thing you can do to help me is share the signup page - this page right here - with your friends so they can join the fun.

The podcast is at the top of the page. Cheers (and big thanks) to Charlie Keaton for the Newz For Nerdz theme music.

Below I’ve included a few links to the stories. Now go get your nerd on.


Here’s the story about Brian May, and it includes the official video of his song, New Horizons.

This link will give you the inside poop (ha!) on the cat-turd story.

And this is the video from Hank Green I mentioned in the podcast.

And if you must read the actual scientific details of the Falls From Height - including the phrase “median lethal dose” - you can check it out here.