Neil deGrasse Tyson came to Medford and it was Awesome!

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Tyson in 2017 receiving Stephen Hawking’s Science Award

Last week I took my teenagers to an amazing talk by Neil deGrasse Tyson, famed astrophysicist and climate science (and all science) proponent.  We didn’t actually know the topic for the talk, but when someone like him comes to your home town theater and you can get tickets, you just go.

He was engaging from the start, teasing the audience that we had all chosen to come to an astrophysicist’s talk willingly.  Throughout he made numerous jokes that the geek in me and many others enjoyed.  The part of his talk that sticks with me and that I am going to share was about TRUTH.

Neil deGrasse Tyson explained that there were three kinds of truths:

  • Objective truths are established by evidence.
  • Personal truths by faith.
  • Political truths by incessant repetition.

He was very clear that personal and political truths are real and that everyone is entitled to them, but he did have a big point about them.  Legislation and policy should NEVER be made based on personal or political truths, they should only be based on objective truths.  Unfortunately, the current administration is anti-objective truth and only seems to operate from personal and political truths.  He called for us to speak up and challenge untruths and require objective truths from our elected officials.  

While climate change was brought up several times during the talk, it wasn’t the focus.  He also very briefly pitched his newest book, Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military, as well as his best selling and much easier and shorter read, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.  He wrapped up the talk with a bit of hope, by looking at the number of twitter followers of top pundits from the conservative and progressive perspectives, and surprisingly to me, the progressives dwarf the conservatives in this respect.  

Neil deGrasse Tyson ended the talk with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. that is as important now, if not more important than when he first said it:

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Happy Greening!

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887 miles on first tank of gas in our minivan

We recently purchased a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan and we drove over 25 days and 887 miles before our first fill up at the pump. Over that time we only used 13.3 gallons of gasoline, which works out to 66.7 MPG for a 7 passenger minivan.  We have been charging the batteries whenever we can at home, at work and even at my in-laws.

image of trip info for Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Our first time putting gas in the Pacifica Hybrid

We hoped to make it to 1,000 miles before filling up, but we had a long road trip to New York for our daughter’s synchronized swimming meet and it wasn’t feasible to re-charge during the drive.

We had to buy gas for it for the first time during this trip so we learned a few things about our new car: I discovered that like our Ford C-Max Hybrid, the Pacifica does not have a gas cap, but a self closing valve.  We also learned that it has a 16.5 gallon tank (no good story here, we just looked it up!)

graph of electric vs hybrid miles driven

One of the features we’re enjoying is looking at the past 2 weeks driving history.  This particular snapshot is from March.  The 135 miles on Saturday was to drop our son off at a Boy Scout event in New Hampshire and pick him up in the evening.  The blank space on Tuesday was when we had one of the many blizzards this winter and stayed home in our warm insulated home

During our trip to NY we did try to  charge at one of the rest areas that advertised fast EV chargers, but it was rated for Tesla and higher than Level 2 DC charging. 

We’re really interested in taking a look at how much electricity we’re using versus how far we’re driving, and we’ve installed a ChargePoint home charger that tracks kW so we will have future posts with more numbers!

Stay tuned for more experiences with our plug-in Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Happy Greening!

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fuel gauge showing 7/8th of a tank of gas

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Blue Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivan

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hummingbird collecting pollen

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