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'Science Rules' in Manhattan Beach as Nye Visits

Sep 14, 2017 09:53AM ● Published by Jeanne Fratello

When Bill Nye the Science Guy and his co-author Greg Mone came to Manhattan Beach to talk about their new book, they didn't just attract a crowd - they filled the Mira Costa High School auditorium to capacity.

Thursday night's event, sponsored by pages: a bookstore and the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation (MBEF), excited young and almost-young attendees, with waves of cheers for Nye as soon as the lights dimmed, and more upon his appearance on stage.

Sensing the crowd's thrill, Manhattan Beach Unified School District superintendent Mike Matthews proudly announced, "We do so many things well, but we do science really well. Here in Manhattan Beach, science rules!"

Matthews said that more than 1,500 tickets to the event had been snapped up within hours of the announcement of the event.

Nye and Mone discussed their work together, "Jack and the Geniuses," describing their collaborative process for writing "realistic" science fiction - no jet packs, no teleportation, just stuff that could conceivably happen. Nye and Mone also said they like to pepper their stories with a diverse cast of young people who are problem-solvers by nature - especially girls.

Mone recounted his first chance meeting with Nye, where they discussed surfing and Nye volunteered to join Mone the next morning. To Mone's surprise, Nye did join him in the ocean the next day. Both agreed, however, that Nye seemed to spend more time talking about the physics of waves, his "amazing" waterproof watch and other science-y topics than actually, say, hanging ten.

Nye wrapped up with questions from the audience. Would humans eventually land on Mars? (Yes.) How was it being on "Dancing with the Stars?" ("The coolest thing," except when he blew out his knee.) What about "string theory?" (Great!)

And he offered advice to any young person thinking about doing something new and innovative: "Try it! Whatever it is, try it!"

Mone and Nye signed copies of their book and chatted with fans long after the formal event ended, sending home plenty of fans with extra-big smiles.

Wednesday night's event marked the second big science-themed event in Manhattan Beach in less than a week, after Manhattan Beach students had a chance to speak to scientists on board the Space Station last Friday.

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