tv The Late Show With Stephen Colbert CBS March 19, 2021 11:35pm-12:37am PDT
>> just wear a mask! >> announcer: it's "a late show with stephen colbert!" tonight: oh, the places youlces: neil degrasse tyson and a special performance by jon batiste. and now, live on tape from the ed sullivan theater office building in new york city, it's stephen colbert! >> stephen: good lord! welcome to "a late show." i am your host, stephen colbert. and how lucky i am to be your host. what a show, the show we have tonight. we've got our old friend, neil degrasse tyson, plus golden globe winner jon batiste is going to perform. how did we get that guy? unbelievable. i'm in a good mood tonight, because after a long hard year of covid, things are finally starting to look up, in that cases are going down. and this afternoon, president biden announced that, after the f.d.a. approved the johnson & johnson vaccine, there will
now "be enough vaccine available for the entire adult population in the united states by the end of may." may! yes! i could kiss that man! by the end of may. some states have decided that it's all over. for instance, just a few hours ago, texas governor greg abbott seceded from reality, tweeting, "i just announced texas is open 100%. everything." you hear that, immigrants on the border? the governor said it's open! come on in! he went on to tweet, "i also ended the statewide mask mandate." that's right, no more masks in texas! so, if they see you with a bandana over your face, you had better be robbing a stagecoach, mister! the order increased the permitted capacity of all businesses to 100%. but abbott later tweeted, "today's announcement doesn't abandon safe practices that texans have mastered over the past year. instead, it's a reminder that
each person has a role to play in their own personal safety and the safety of others." sure, just like removing all the stop signs from a four-way intersection is a reminder that each person has a role in not plowing into each other. it's not just texas. yesterday, massa-choo-choo announced the reopening of restaurants, movie theaters, and roller skating rinks. roller skating rinks? are they re-opening the state in 1956? ( as old man ) "say, youngsters! come on back to the malt shoppes, the drive-ins, and the garage where you fixed greased lightning. see you all at the sock hop! be home by 10:00, or the russkies win!" new york state is now allowing the reopening of large-event venues and amusement parks. so, have some fun at coney island, new yorkers! if you step on a syringe, remember to try to find a second one to step on in 28 days! but all these states may need to slow their roll, according to c.d.c. director and guidance counselor telling you s.a.t.
scores aren't everything, dr. rochelle walensky. yesterday, dr. walensky issued this warning: >> now is not the time to relax the critical safeguards. >> stephen: okay, but can we at least relax our sphincters? because mine's clamped shut so hard, it's started grinding! my doctor says i need a night guard! i'm pumping out diamonds. ( evie laughing ) what, that's too far? that's too far? in the rough. ( evie laughing ) in another buzz-shackling interview, dr. walensky said that she gets it. >> together, we have the capacity to avoid another surge in our nation. i know people are tired, they want to get back to life, to normal, but we're not there yet. >> stephen: okay, counter-point: how about now? are we there now? because our scientists are starting to sound like parents on a long road trip. "i know you kids want to get home, but it's just a few more miles, okay? and... you've jumped out of the
car. tuck and roll! tuck and roll!" ( evie laughing ) but here's the thing: it looks like the director of the centers for disease control might know a thing or two about controlling diseases, because while the numbers are looking good, they're about the same as they were last summer. and last summer was no picnic-- in that i did not go on any picnics. but normal life is out there somewhere, waiting for us. for instance, in israel, royal caribbean has become the first company to offer "fully vaccinated" cruises. hell, yeah! cruising's back, baby! and thanks to the new vaccinations, you don't have to worry about the coronavirus. just kick back, relax, and enjoy diarrhea and a hypnotist show on a floating shopping mall that you can't escape. like royalty. ( evie laughing ) vaccinated or no, sharing a buffet with hundreds of strangers in close quarters right now is pretty much the least-appealing cruise i can imagine.
okay, i stand corrected! sorry. plenty of people are very interested in hitting the open seas because apparently, around- the-world cruises are selling out more than a year in advance. though, it could just be people are willing to pay for anything that means they won't be stuck inside in a year. "hey, 12 months from now, how'd you like to roll down a steep hill in a garbage can?" "take my money!" that was two different characters, by the way. now that we know the vaccines are working, they've become extremely valuable. in fact, interpol is warning of a dramatic increase in armed robberies of vaccine shipments. you can learn all about it in the new video game, "grand theft auto: vial city." you can understand why these vials are a crime target. on the dark web, covid-19 vaccines are already selling for $200 per dose. now, before you try to score some pure uncut 'vid 'vac on the street, it might be hustled by a different name: pfize-ball.
dr. fauci's mask loosener. crack-strozenica. ( evie laughing ) johnson & john-smack. and riding the white ribonucleic acid-based immuno-technology. to protect the precious cargo, vaccine trucks are now unmarked, and have truck drivers with a panic button on the dashboard to alert headquarters of any danger, and a kill switch that can shut off the engine if the truck is hijacked. and if all that fails, the trucker can always pelt the thieves with a gatorade bottle full of pee. of course, armed robbery is not the biggest threat to getting everybody vaccinated. misinformation is. that's why, today, twitter launched a five-strike system to ban users who spread covid-19 lies. five strikes? is that a thing now? please tell me baseball isn't getting longer! ( evie laughing ) here's how she works: every time you lie about covid on twitter, you get one strike.
one strike, no account-level action. they just remember you did it. two strikes: 12-hour account lock. three strikes: 12-hour account lock. four strikes: seven-day account lock. and, finally, five strikes gets you a permanent suspension. so, they've settled on the "tired parent" punishment method: "billy! billy! you spray-painted the cat? you do that four more times, mister, and you're in big trouble. okay, keep spraying. it's only your second time. daddy's taking a nap. keep spraying, buddy." speaking of consequences, there could be some on the way for new york governor andrew cuomo, seen here with his right-hand man who might destroy his administration. ( evie laughing ) cuomo is facing calls to resign from members of his own party after two women accused him of sexual harassment in the workplace. but it turns out, that wasn't exactly accurate, because he was also doing it outside the workplace.
yesterday, a third person, anna ruch, accused the governor of making an unwanted advance at her in 2019 at a crowded new york city wedding reception. according to ruch, while speaking with cuomo at the wedding, he put his hand on her bare lower back, and when she removed his hand with her own, he placed his hands on her cheeks and remarked that she seemed "aggressive." okay, so if he thinks protecting yourself is an act of aggression, that does explain the safety signs in cuomo's office. "in case of fire, just let it happen, or you'll look like a pushy dame." but it gets worse because, reportedly, cuomo then asked if he could kiss her, loudly enough for a friend standing nearby to hear, and loud enough for the friend to photograph it. okay, she looks creeped out, and he looks creep. it doesn't help that he's the color of hellboy. he looks like, on the r.s.v.p. card, he skipped "chicken" and "fish," and selected "flesh of the innocent." oh, there's big news from the literary world.
dr. seuss enterprises, the company that's charged with protecting dr. seuss' legacy, announced this morning that six dr. seuss books will stop being published because of their racist and insensitive imagery. the books in question are "and to think that i saw it on mulberry street," "if i ran the zoo," "scrambled eggs super!" "mcelligot's pool," "on beyond zebra!" "the cat's quizzer," and "green eggs and matt lauer." ( evie laughing ) after reviewing the contents of the dr. seuss catalog, dr. seuss enterprises made the decision to cut out certain books, saying in a statement that "ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment to ensure dr. seuss enterprise's catalog represents and supports all communities and families." it's a responsible move on their part. there hadn't been an earth- shattering outcry, but they recognized the impact that these images might have on readers, especially kids, and they're trying to fix it, because dr. seuss books should be fun
for all people: black, white, straight, gay, sneetches-- both star-bellied and plain-- loraxes, barbaloots, all the whos down in whoville, and the strange angry creature named foo-foo the snoo. and it's especially important to be responsive like this, because dr. seuss has also so many books that are lovely and teach vital lessons that resonate to this day. "horton hears a who!" is about listening to underrepresented voices. "the butter battle book" teaches tolerance. "the lorax" teaches environmental ethics. and "hop on pop" warns against the dangers of pop-hopping. the next thing that pops might be his aorta! and i can understand why they're pulling a small number of his books. "if i ran the zoo" shows racist depictions of asian characters, saying they're "from countries no one can spell." so, "china," too difficult to spell. but "solla sollew"? spelled like it sounds. the dr. seuss folks listened to criticism, thought it was reasonable, and made what's called "a change"-- or as it's known on fox news,
"cancel culture." >> dr. seuss essentially has been canceled. >> they want to cancel dr. seuss. >> dr. seuss should not be canceled in your home. >> there's no place that they won't go. they're canceling dr. seuss from reading programs. i mean, these are books-- i literally know "the cat in the hat" by heart without the book there. >> stephen: i'm not surprised don junior loves "cat in the hat." i've always believed he can read at a second-grade level. also, i think his dad calls him and eric "thing one" and "thing two." ( evie laughing ) but if you're worried about these children's books being removed from the shelves, we here at "a late show" have just the book for you: it's "oh, the books you can read." ( clears throat ) "so, the book news you heard today just got your goose and now you're defensive for ol' dr. seuss. if you find that your bookshelf just got a little bit duller, consider these kids' books from people of color. there's lots of new stories you might find quite good. like "eemani's moon" by janay brown wood.
want more suggestions? no need to keep hopin'. just pick up "firebird" by the misty copeland. and this one right here is the real "real mccoy." it's thomeesha booker's great book, "brown boy joy." there's a whole range of books that will make you feel merry, like this one, called "hair love" by mathew a. cherry. there are so many stories. a whole great assorty! it's fun to read books written after the '40s. so don't be so cancell-y- culture-y-whiney. read these books, after pulling your head from your heinie." we've got a great show for you tonight. i'll be talking to astrophysicist neil degrasse tyson. and later, a special performance by our friend, jon batiste. but when we come back, "meanwhile!" i'm going to check-- i'm going to check this one out. ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ >> stephen: hey, everybody, welcome back to "a late show." let's say hello to mr. jon batiste. jon-- >> jon: hello, hello! >> stephen: --are you as excited as i am about tonight's musical guest? i'm a big fan. >> jon: i like that guy. he's good. ( laughs ) >> stephen: he's a comer. he's the coming man, is what he is. what song are you doing us tonight from your new album, "we are"? >> jon: i'm going to do "i need you." i want to do that because we need the joy. we need each other, baby. >> stephen: sure, and it's packed with it. it's packed with joy like peanuts in a snicker's bar. can you give us a little taste-- give us a little tease-- give the audience a little tease of what's coming? >> jon: just a little bit. ♪ ♪ ♪
♪ ♪ ♪ >> stephen: stick around for more of that, everybody. >> jon: got to wait for the rest. >> stephen: jon batiste. >> jon: got to wait for the rest. yes! >> stephen: you know, folks, every night, i scour the diamond market for the shiniest, most topical gems of stories, then i lovingly arrange and set them into a hand-cast, solid, 24-carat gold necklace to create for you the cartier masterpiece that is my monologue. but sometimes, just sometimes, folks, i get arrested for illegally trading bootleg endangered meat and get sent up for a five-spot where me and spider, who got pinched for his goat-fighting ring, scrape together some bottle caps, busted pretzels, and discarded lifesavers candies we found in the infirmary after a jump-off, string 'em onto some greasy hair we stole from crusher's ponytail while he was knocked out on his meds, all to create for you the prison craft room choker of news that is my segment: >> "quarantine-while!"
>> stephen: quarantine-while, "cats are just as disloyal as you suspected, a new study suggests." which means we have breaking news: ♪ ♪ ♪ cats are ( bleep ). ( evie laughing ) in 2015, researchers "had dogs see a situation in which a third party would either help their owner or turn their back on them." "when the third party spurned the owner's plea for help, the dogs seemingly took it personally and tended to avoid taking a treat from them." whereas, in the exact same test, "cats showed no preference for people who treat their owners positively over those who behave negatively towards them." confirmed: your cat does not have your back. "hey, i notice you've been stabbed in the neck, master. you mind showing your assailant where the pantry is before you pass out? that tuna is not going to open itself." also, bad news for bond villains. that cat may turn on you. that's why q always gives james bond a pen that also works as a laser pointer. and it brings me to more
breaking news: ♪ ♪ ♪ breaking news: "dogs give a rat's ass if you live or die." who spurns my nemesis? you do! you got a vendetta! you do! good boy! quarantine-while, the medical director of england's national health service has warned against taking gwyneth paltrow's covid advice. now, wait just a... vagina candle minute! ( evie laughing ) if we can't trust the actor lady who sells yoni rocks and va-jay-jay steamers for medical advice, who can we trust? reese witherspoon? she doesn't sell anything to jam up my orifices! i guess draper james sells sunglasses, but why would i jam them where the sun don't shine? it seems paltrow has been&-pclad effects with dubious treatments, like a "keto and plant-based" diet, "lots of coconut aminos" and sugar-free kombucha and
kimchi, and "intuitive fasting." and if you're wondering what "intuitive fasting" means, think of it as "consciously uncoupling" from nutrients. quarantine-while, in meat news, authorities seized nearly 300 pounds of contraband bologna at the southern border. no word on the identity of the bologna cartel's leader. so far, all they know is he does have a first name, and it's "o-s-c-a-r." now, it's illegal to bring foreign bologna into the u.s., in part due to the risk of transmitting foreign diseases. because if there's one thing people who eat bologna are known for, it's being health conscious. now, longtime viewers of the "quarantine-while" super-segment "meanwhile" might be experiencing a strong sense of deja vu because, in november of 2019, i noted a similar story: meanwhile, in meat news, customs and border protection seized 154 pounds of prohibited bologna this week at the u.s.-mexico border crossing in el paso,
texas. border patrol agents seized the meat, but the criminal fled the scene. so authorities are asking the public to be on the lookout for this vehicle. ( laughter ) which brings me to my newest "quarantine-while" sub-subsegment: "told ya so." tonight on "told ya so": told ya so. i warned america about the growing bologna threat, and yet, america did nothing. and now it's grown from 154 pounds of "prohibited bologna" to nearly 300 pounds of "contraband bologna." you know what's next-- 600 pounds of "forbidden bologna." and you don't want to know where they're hiding it. let me put it this way: you wouldn't want to put a pair of draper james sunglasses there. take action, america, because we can either do something now, or see this all play out later in the upcoming series, "narcos: deli counter." we'll be right back with neil degrasse tyson. ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stephen: hey, everybody, welcome back to "a late show." my guest tonight is the director of the hayden planetarium at the american museum of natural history, the host of "star talk" and "cosmos," and the author of the new book, "cosmic queries." please welcome back to "a late show," neil degrasse tyson! neil, how are you? >> doing good. doing good. dude. >> stephen: now, because you're an educator, you are eligible to get the covid vaccine here in new york. and i understand this morning you got the second shot. now, i've heard-- >> i got the second shot 11 hours ago, yes. >> stephen: okay, and i heard that they can-- it can feel a little rough after the second shot. how are you doing? >> yeah, i'm a little loopy now, so--
( laughs ) >> stephen: loopy? like... >> just a little loopy. but, no, i feel fine. i was never much of a side effects guy my whole life, so i don't expect to-- to put a check in all the boxes that they list. but, otherwise, yeah, if i'm otherwise incoherent, that could be why. i got it up at harlem hospital. >> stephen: here you are getting the first dose 28 days ago. and i didn't know that one possible side effect of the shot was of the gun show. ( laughter ) sun's not even out, but guns are out. now, i'm glad-- i'm glad-- >> imagine what's left over-- >> stephen: what? >> that's just what's left over from 40 years and 40 pounds ago, when i used to be in shape. >> stephen: you look good, man. you look really good. >> thank you. >> stephen: i wouldn't-- i wouldn't face you in the wrestling ring. ( laughs ) >> okay. >> stephen: you're a man of science. what is-- what is the significance of you getting the
shot? >> well, it's important. first of all, consider who we think of normally as heroes in society. often it's someone who saves a life or several lives. and putting their own life at risk, sometimes. and when i think of the covid vaccine, developed by lab researchers, what that tells me is that there's a group of scientists whose names you will never know. there will be no statues to them. yet, they will have saved millions of lives by developing vaccines in record time. and so, so, i think that is the appropriate use of the term "superhero." if you said-- ( laughing ) so, scientists may be the only authentic, legitimate superheroes in society, and i tip my hat to them, even though we cannot recite their names because we don't know them, and nobody is building statues.
>> stephen: okay, let's get to some other hard science here. there are a whole lot of mars missions going on right now. we got-- who do we got up there right now? besides nasa with "perseverance," who else is up there? >> yeah, we got china, china is up there. and the united arab emirates, the first time an arab state has reached mars. and so, yeah, it's all very exciting. >> stephen: are they-- are they in orbit around mars, or has anybody gone down, besides us? >> yeah, so china has an orbiter, a lander, and a rover. okay, the united arab emirates has an orbiter that's specifically tuned to look at and sample the atmosphere. because something bad happened-- i don't want to value-judge it. something happened on mars, where mars used to have liquid- running water on its surface, and now it's bone-dry. so they're going to study the outer atmosphere of mars just to see if there are clues there as to what might have happened to mars in the past. we sent a rover, "perseverance" rover, which my favorite part of i? it's got a helicopter. ( laughs ) it's-- it's bad-ass.
it's got a helicopter, and engineers thought this through because the martian atmosphere is much thinner than on earth. so if you're going to lift a payload, you need, like, wider rotor blades, and you have to spin them faster. but, gravity on mars is less, so that helps you out a litbi so it's mostly an engineering demonstration, because if that works, you're no longer limited to slow-moving rovers on the surface of mars. you can go in, drop inside of craters, back out. so, i'm ready for this. >> stephen: how does it get back to the rover itself? is there g.p.s. on mars? like, what's-- how does it orient itself? >> there are ways to communicate when you're not on earth, and sometimes you use stars, okay, to triangulate your position, just like the olden days here on earth. stellar navigation used to be the only way to find your way to grandma's house, okay. and, but on mars, the coordinates of where you are, it knows how far it goes in any direction, up or down.
that whole coordinate system is established on landing. so that's not-- that's not a problem. we've got that. we got that. >> stephen: okay, good, good, you don't have to yell, man. >> i've got to say, we have three missions to mars and it's not an accident that they all kind of landed together, because the orientation of earth and mars in orbit is favorable for a low-energy trip between earth and mars once every 26 months. so everybody launches at around the same time, and, of course, they'll get there at around the same time. so that's why. >> stephen: what was your reaction-- i love the video, the actual-- the rover capsule, as it came in, shot of its-- of its entry into the martian atmosphere, and especially when those parachutes deployed! i just about burst into tears. it was so beautiful. >> oh, it's so-- it's so beautiful. and it's about time nasa put more cameras up there, rather than just the scientific ones that are at base camp.
let us experience, you know, those moments of terror in the aerobreaking coming into mars. let us participate in that. we have the power to do it. the weight of those cameras are small, compared to the s.u.v.- weight of the thing getting plunked down on mars. so, yeah, yeah. plus, we can have sounds from mars! >> stephen: i know. >> it's just extending our senses so that the robot becomes more of an emissary of humans, rather than some distant, separated, scientific instrument. and it becomes way cooler. >> stephen: i've got a-- >> way more important for nasa to-- to-- to get recognized as a-- as something that we all participate in as collective explorers on the surface of another planet. >> stephen: everybody's going up there. why are people going to mars now? and i don't mean just like because it's closest to earth and its orbit around the sun. i mean, why are these countries all eager to go up there? is it because we know there's
going to be signs of life up there? because here's my theory: okay, first, people into orbit. that's a big prize. first man on the moon, that's a big prize. what's the next big prize? is it putting a man on mars? okay. but we put another man-- we put a man or an astronaut on another celestial body. it's finding evidence of life. isn't that the next big brass ring here? doesn't every country want to be the ones to say they found it? >> i'm not authorized to answer that. next question. >> stephen: because i'm right! i'm right! ( laughter ) and here's my theory-- here's my theory. my theory is that y'all know it's up there. y'all know there's evidence. you don't have sufficient evidence to present to the public, or you don't want to freak us out. but the chinese know, the u.a.e. people know, the indians know. we know. as we're racing up there to be the people to bring back the rock, and go, look, we found it, but you won't tell us rubes. >> or... the rest of the world is figuring out how and why they should embrace the exploration
of the solar system, turning it into our back yard. >> stephen: pffft! >> one of those two is true. >> stephen: life! there's life up there! >> or... the rest of the world is getting technological. >> stephen: boo. >> we are no longer the sole owners of space. >> stephen: boo. >> i'm just saying. >> stephen: okay. >> get over it. >> stephen: i won't. i won't. you know i'm right. ( laughter ) i accept your apology in the future when i come back on and say, "i knew there was life, but i couldn't say anything because i was sworn to secrecy." >> future apologies. i don't do future apologies. >> stephen: yeah, yeah, you will, in the future. okay, it used to be, governments did the exploration. now, a lot of private industry-- for instance, it was just announced today, in 2025, they're going to start building a space hotel. are you ready to book a room? >> sure, but i have to tell you, it would have to have restaurants and stuff and other sort of trappings-- >> stephen: oh, it's going to have basketballs that you can dunk. it's going to be great. ( laughter ) >> the problem is, the
restaurants might not have much of an atmosphere, i think. >> stephen: they're going to spin it, baby. oh, i see. ( laughter ) i see. you got me! you got me! ( laughter ) >> i-- i thought you were quicker than that, stephen. >> stephen: i'm not. not tonight, man. not tonight. >> wait, just to be clear. a hotel is not the same thing as space exploration. the exploration will likely still occur by governments. >> stephen: okay. >> but when you start turning it into tourism, and hotels and theme parks-- yeah, i'm all for it. let's do it. >> stephen: what about-- what about-- what about guys like, you know, bezos or branson or musk? you know, spacex-- what do you think of private industry being sort of the frontier of rocket development right now? >> that's fine, but my read of history tells me, he's not sending the rocket anywhere first, because that's expensive, and it's a very short venture capitalist meeting. "elon, what do you want to do?" "send humans to mars." "how much does it cost?"
"trillions, maybe. i don't know." "is it dangerous?" "yes." "will people die?" "probably." that's a five-minute meeting, all right? if you want to make a business case for it, there's no r.o.i. to do it first, okay? so what happens is, governments do it first because they have geopolitical reasons for wanting to do these kinds of things. >> stephen: right, because they want to get there first to find out there's already life there. right. >> you'll get over it. >> stephen: i won't. i won't. i can't wait-- oh, i cannot wait until you come back here and admit that i was right! >> so what will happen is-- so, here's what could happen. we decide as a country, we want to send astronauts to mars. but we don't have a spaceship. so elon says, "i've got a space ship!" and then he sells the space ship to nasa. that could happen. that's a business case. that's fine. that could happen. >> stephen: we have to take a quick break. but when we come back, we'll talk about neil's new book, "cosmic queries," and how the universe ends. it will be fun. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ small decisions make a world of difference. ikea. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stephen: hey, everybody. we're back with the author of "cosmic queries," neil degrasse tyson. okay, you got a new book here. it's out today. it's called "cosmic queries." okay, addressing questions like, "what is life?" "how did it all begin?"
what is your favorite big question to ponder, neil tyson? >> yeah, so... i have many big questions to ponder. what i like about big questions is that they don't-- you can't seal them up in a tidy answer. they're these dangling edges that force you to keep thinking and adding pieces and parts to it. so, for example, how will it all end? all right, so there's, like, how earth ends, but that's boring. all right? we already know that. but how will the universe-- >> stephen: wait, how will earth end? >> we got this one. let me-- i want to get to-- okay. ( laughs ) >> stephen: one sentence. come on, whatever. ( laughter ) the sun expands? >> okay. >> stephen: the sun expands? >> yeah, the sun expands. >> stephen: fine, move on. was that so hard? ( laughs ) >> it's deadly. so the sun expands, earth gets hot, oceans enter a rolling boil, evaporate into the atmosphere. the atmosphere evaporates into space. and earth becomes this charred ember, as we descend into the cauldron that is the surface of
the sun. and it is there that we vaporize. >> stephen: that's all, folks. okay, now what's the big ending you're talking about? >> the big ending-- no, the universe is accelerating in its expansion. which sounds peaceful enough, okay? i don't-- i don't have a problem with that. until you realize that that acceleration will not only outstrip all gravitational forces currently holding things together... if that acceleration continues-- and there's no real reason to doubt it at this point-- that it will eventually overcome molecular bonds that are holding your flesh together. >> stephen: wait a second-- >> i'm not done! >> stephen: are you saying i'm expanding, too? >> not yet, because the molecular forces remain stronger than the accelerating forces in the universe. but the accelerating forces will continue to gain strength as we expand. because it's a property of the vacuum. and the bigger the universe is, the more vacuum we have. and this will continue, rip your molecules apart, then it will rip your atoms apart.
and then there's a point where it rips-- i shouldn't say rip. it separates them. then, the very fabric of space and time itself will fall victim to this expansion. and we call that "the big rip." and i am terrified what that would look like and what would feel like. and i lay awake at night looking up at the ceiling, wondering. >> stephen: would there be-- wouldn't there be some tremendous release of energy on each of these bonds being torn? >> so, what happens is, you get the-- so, there are other scenarios in the universe where you have tremendous releases of energy,and you make basically other big bangs. this is how you get the multiverse. by the way, there are layers of multiverses that are currently-- >> stephen: did i just-- did i just reason my way to understanding the multiverse, neil? >> a little bit. you were-- i'll give you a b-plus on where you were headed. >> stephen: a bitty verse, i got a little bitty verse. >> a b-plus-a-verse. >> stephen: why are these expansions accelerating?
>> well, we don't know, but it is. we measure it. and we call the thing that's making that happen, "dark energy." we could call it "fred." it is dark, and we don't know what it's made of. it's called dark energy, but we don't really know-- but we can measure it, and so we know it's real. and it is happening, and it is currently outstripping gravity in the largest of scales. so, yeah-- so, so-- ( laughs ) if we don't have the big rip and we just expand into what we call the heat death, where we approach absolute zero and nothing happens, then the-- how will the world end? not with a bang, but with a whimper. not in fire, but in ice. >> stephen: well, neil, on that poetic note, thank you so much for being here. "cosmic queries: startalk's guide to who we are, how we got here, and where we're going" is available now. ponder the biggies with neil
degrasse tyson. >> if i can leave you with one thought? >> stephen: yes? >> learn to love the questions themselves. because therein are the seeds of all curiosity and wonder. >> stephen: why should i? ( laughs ) we'll be right back with a special performance by jon batiste. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ at panera, when we make a pizza... we don't just “make a pizza.” we use fresh, clean ingredients... to make a masterpiece. order our new pepperoni and four cheese flatbread pizzas for delivery or pickup today. panera. ♪ ♪ now here we go ♪ ♪ i can't help it if i'm poppin' see them watch like ♪ ♪ who that girl ♪ ♪ it's outrageous how this flavour got em shook like ♪ ♪ hold up ♪ ♪ work work work it out ♪ ♪ ah ha ♪ ♪ i hit it back with a brand new style ♪ ♪ like woah ♪ ♪ bring it up into the fold get wild ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stephen: and now, performing "i need you" from his forthcoming album, "we are," ladies and gentlemen, jon batiste. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ we done a lot of living we working overtime ♪ don't need another million you got that gold mine ♪ i love the way you're livin' 'cause you so genuine ♪ you got that something special didn't you know? ♪ i just need you, you, aw yeah met you when i was ♪ a lil' country boy and i never put down my ♪ alto saxophone, yeah buckjumpin' down on ♪ the boulevard i couldn't wait to ♪ blow my own horn, it ain't wrong for you ♪ to play along playing this song ♪ 'til you die, come on in this world with ♪ a lot of problems all we need is
♪ a little loving thank you, thank you ♪ oh, you make me thank you, thank you ♪ for your love we done a lot of living ♪ we working overtime don't need another million ♪ you got that gold mine i love the way you're livin' ♪ 'cause you're so genuine, genuine ♪ you got that something special didn't you know? ♪ i just need you, you, aw yeah come on, now ♪ met you when i was a lil' nappy headed boy ♪ and i never put down that pork chop and salt ♪ then we jump up and down on the boulevard ♪ if you was jenny i guess i was forrest, ♪ nah, it ain't wrong for you to sing along ♪ singing this song 'til you die ♪ in this world with a lot of problems ♪ all we need is a little bit of loving ♪ thank you, thank you oh, you make me >> come on, y'all, come on! i want to hear you all! ♪ thank you, thank you for your love ♪ we done a lot of living whole lotta ♪ we working overtime overtime ♪ don't need another million
you got that gold mine ♪ i love the way you're livin' 'cause you're so genuine ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ yeah, yeah i need you, yeah, yeah ♪ i need you yeah, yeah ♪ we done a lot of living we working overtime ♪ don't need another million you got that god mine ♪ you, you, you you, you, you, you ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stephen: jon batiste, everybody. we'll be right back. ( applause ) ♪ ♪ ♪