CLOSE
Getty Images
Getty Images

6 Amazing Plots from Bill Nye Fan Fiction

Getty Images
Getty Images

Today is Bill Nye’s birthday—and to commemorate the occasion, we delved into the sometimes steamy (let's just say Doc Brown is involved), always wacky world of fan fiction based on everyone's favorite science guy. (We tried to keep it clean, but you might want to avoid sharing these stories with younger readers anyway.) In the immortal words of Samuel L. Jackson's character in Jurassic Park, hold on to your butts—it's about to get weird.

1. The Thing With the Soda Bottles

In this Bill Nye/Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog mash-up, Bill—who is Dr. Horrible’s uncle—somehow manages to stop a rogue tornado, no thanks to Captain Hammer.

"Bill Nye?" Captain hammer laughed, putting his (strong) hands on his (slim, manly) hips. "That geezer? I didn't know he was still around. Does he still do the thing with the soda bottles?"

That was the last damned straw. "Bill Nye is a genius," Dr. Horrible snapped, getting into Captain Hammer's face and absolutely not wondering why Captain Hammer smelled like lilacs. "That man is a ninja of science and you will show some respect."

2. Bill Nye’s Disastrous Wedding

Bill is all set to marry the lady of his dreams—Jill Hurl, the science girl—with his best friends by his side. And all is going according to plan … until Jill asks Bill to take her last name, and Harry Potter shows up.

He made his way down the aisle, with several of his friends in the seats. There was his favorite poster of Albert Einstein on the left; on his right, the color spectrum; and of course, ahead of him was his best man, the glass beaker. He whispered to the beaker, "I never could have gotten this far without you, buddy." The beaker stood motionless, a tie with blue bubbles on it wrapped around its neck.

3. Bill Nye Disobeys the Laws of Gravity

In this short cautionary tale, Bill learns about the perils of ignoring gravity by leaning his chair back too far.

Bill didn't want to obey the script for once. He wanted to tip his chair back really far, and at the same time not have it fall. Bill tried to tip his chair back, and he was putting his hands behind his head. He was just about to fall backwards and get a concussion! Bill stopped himself and grabbed the table in front of him, but he pulled the table into the air…

4. Bill Nye And Dance Dance Revolution

Kids are starting to lose interest in science, so Bill tries to get them into it again by writing songs and forcing one of his band members to play Dance Dance Revolution.

"And you guys like sound, right? Y'all listenin' to ya iPods and EmPeeFree playas... listening to music and radio plays! Hey, I like music too! In fact... WE like music! That's right! We're so hip, we even have a camrecorder showing live footage from one of our backstage arcades and using it as a background! Hit it, Jerald!"

Just then, Bill whipped out a microphone, Amy jumped behind a piano, Moe got out his snare drum, and that one other girl we can't remember played a shark. They jammed out to a classical piece they made up called "We're still cool" and as they sang and played that tune, the last band member had to start his part.

5. Bill Nye: The Episodes Not Released To Children

This three-chapter epic features Bill screwing up experiments—and scarring his young audience members in the process. So much so that his assistants are replaced by a narwhal and the audience becomes a sea of Harry Potter cardboard cutouts. Also, Michael Jackson makes an appearance.

"Now any volunteers for our next experiment?" said Bill into the audience.

Silence.

"How about you Daniel Radcliff?" suggest Nye pointing to one of the cut outs in the audience.

"No? It's okay- don't be shy-" said Bill dragging the cut out on set.

He placed it in a chair.

"Now just act natural as I demonstrate." said Nye, "Now- as I was saying the second law: is that there is an opposite but equal reaction for every action, so as I drop THIS anchor onto Daniel Radcliff's head, observe the reaction!"

BANG. The anchor hit the cardboard Harry square on his forehead as the cutout snapped in half and the anchor created an indent on the floor.

6. Bill Nye the Not So Science Guy

Bill is retired, and enjoying it—until he gets a mysterious phone call.

In the dingy living room, by the old stone fireplace, Bill Nye (the science guy) was roasting marshmallows and bacon on a wrought-iron poker, and sipping on a cup of hot chocolate. He grinned and sighed, his wrinkles stretching, "Ah… This is the life! Bacon, marshmallows and a delicious, non-alcoholic beverage! No more slime, dead bugs, fecal matter…basically no more work-" his splendid thoughts were rudely interrupted by the ringing of his ancient telephone.

BRIIING! BRIIING! BRINNG-

Bill pouted sadly and dragged himself to the phone, smattering angrily like an elderly lady. "Hello? Bill Nye here." He was a little impatient; the caller didn't say anything right away. "I said, hello!" He was now angry. His right eye twitched; a vein grew on his temple.

"Seven days…" said the raspy voice on the other end.

Happy 57th birthday, Bill!

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Department Of Classics, University Of Cincinnati
arrow
Stones, Bones, and Wrecks
Ancient Poop Contains First Evidence of Parasites Described by Hippocrates
Department Of Classics, University Of Cincinnati
Department Of Classics, University Of Cincinnati

The long-held mystery of Hippocrates and the parasitic worms has finally been solved, and it’s all thanks to a few samples of ancient poop.

Researchers don’t know much about the parasites that plagued the Greeks thousands of years ago, and what they do know is largely from the Hippocratic Corpus, the medical texts that the father of medicine and his students put together between the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE. Modern historians have spent years trying to figure out which diseases and parasites Hippocrates and his followers were referring to in their writing, relying solely on their descriptions to guess at what ailments the ancient Greeks might have suffered from. Now, they finally have concrete evidence of the existence of some of the intestinal worms Hippocrates mentioned, Helmins strongyle and Ascaris.

As part of a study in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, an international group of researchers analyzed the ancient remains of feces in 25 prehistoric burials on the Greek island of Kea to determine what parasites the people were carrying when they died. Using microscopes, they looked at the soil (formed by the decomposed poop) found on the pelvic bones of skeletons dating back to the Neolithic, Bronze, and Roman periods.

A roundworm egg under the microscope
A roundworm egg
Elsevier

Around 16 percent of the burials they studied contained evidence of parasites. In these ancient fecal samples, they found the eggs of two different parasitic species. In the soil taken from the skeletons dating back to the Neolithic period, they found whipworm eggs, and in the soil taken from the Bronze Age skeletons, roundworm.

With this information, researchers deduced that what Hippocrates called the Helmins strongyle worm was probably what modern doctors would call roundworm. The Ascaris worm probably referred to two different parasites, they conclude, known today as pinworm (which was not found in this analysis) and whipworm (pictured below).

Whipworm under a microscope
A whipworm egg
Elsevier

Though historians already hypothesized that Hippocrates's patients on Kea had roundworm, the Ascaris finding comes as a particular surprise. Previous research based solely on Hippocrates’s writing rather than physical evidence suggested that what he called Ascaris was probably a pinworm, and another worm he mentioned, Helmins plateia, was probably a tapeworm. But the current research didn’t turn up any evidence of either of those two worms. Instead of pinworm eggs, the researchers found whipworm, another worm that’s similarly small and round. (Pinworms may very well have existed in ancient Greece, the researchers caution, since evidence of their fragile eggs could easily have been lost to time.) The soil analysis has already changed what we know about the intestinal woes of the ancient Greeks of Kea.

More importantly, this study provides the earliest evidence of ancient Greece’s parasitic worm population, proving yet again that ancient poop is one of the world’s most important scientific resources.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
science
Arctic Temperatures are Rising So Fast, They're Confusing the Hell Out of Computers
iStock
iStock

This past year was a brutal one for northern Alaska, which saw temperatures that soared above what was normal month after month. But you wouldn't know that by looking at the numbers from the weather station at Utqiaġvik, Alaska. That's because the recent heat was so unusual for the area that computers marked the data as incorrect and failed to report it for the entirety of 2017, leaving a hole in the records of the Climate Monitoring group at the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), according to the Huffington Post.

The weather station in the northernmost tip of Alaska has been measuring temperatures for nearly a century. A computer system there is programed to recognize if the data has been influenced by artificial forces: Perhaps one of the instruments isn't working correctly, or something is making the immediate area unnaturally hot or cold. In these cases, the computer edits out the anomalies so they don't affect the rest of the data.

But climate change has complicated this failsafe. Temperatures have been so abnormally high that the Utqiaġvik station erroneously removed all its data for 2017 and part of 2016. A look at the region's weather history explains why the computers might have sensed a mistake: The average yearly temperature for the era between 2000 and 2017 has gone up by 1.9°F from that of the era between 1979 and 1999. Break it down by month and the numbers are even more alarming: The average temperature increase is 7.8°F for October, 6.9°F for November, and 4.7°F for December.

"In the context of a changing climate, the Arctic is changing more rapidly than the rest of the planet," Deke Arndt, chief of NOAA's Climate Monitoring Branch, wrote for climate.gov. The higher temperatures rise, the faster Arctic sea ice melts. Arctic sea ice acts as a mirror that reflects the Sun's rays back into space, and without that barrier, the sea absorbs more heat from the Sun and speeds up the warming process. “Utqiaġvik, as one of a precious few fairly long-term observing sites in the American Arctic, is often referenced as an embodiment of rapid Arctic change,” Arndt wrote.

As temperatures continue to grow faster than computers are used to, scientists will have to adjust their algorithms in response. The team at NCEI plans to have the Utqiaġvik station ready to record our changing climate once again within the next few months.

[h/t Huffington Post]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios