Bill Nye is something of a childhood hero of mine. Not because of his “Science Guy” persona, though that’s completely awesome. Nye, and his subsequent scientist guise, got his start on a late-night Seattle-based sketch comedy show called Almost Live. They did wacky things like make fun different neighborhoods and suburbs of Seattle, ensuring that no one outside of the Pacific Northwest would ever give a crap about the show. Before Nye’s experiment-performing alter ego took off, his highest profile skit was “Speed Walker,” about a mild-mannered reporter who has a secret identity as a superhero who, you know, speed walks from crime to crime, catching latte thieves and foiling similar heinous acts. It wasn’t particularly good, but I loved it anyway.
But now Bill Nye needs your help. He wants to you to write to the President of the United States, urging him to preserve the budget for planetary exploration. But don’t take my word for it; let Nye tell you about it himself.
Proposed budgets for the upcoming fiscal year find a 21% cut in funding for continuing missions to explore space. Though NASA has scored recent successes with the likes of Cassini, the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, and, of course, Curiosity, this decrease represents a serious blow to their ability to launch major missions.
The Planetary Society, of which Nye serves as CEO, is campaigning to reverse these budgetary reductions, thus preserving the future of interplanetary investigation. In their FAQ section, they take special care to point out that the NASA budget is “a little bit less than Americans spend on dog toys.” Check them out to see how you can help by donating your time or money to the cause.
And here’s a video of Nye saving the day as “Speed Walker.”