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Neil DeGrasse Tyson Discusses “Asbestos Jockstraps” and His Exotic Dance Career That Wasn’t

I was recently on NPR looking at some stuff about the recent “planet bonanza,” in which NASA’s Kepler mission identified 715 new planets orbiting 305 new stars. Four of the planets are in the “habitable zone” and may be suitable for liquid water. Pretty cool, can’t wait to move to one of them! But even cooler is this longĀ audio Q&A with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who discusses a period in graduate school where he considered exotic dance as a side hustle. “I was flexible from having danced and I was pretty cut from having wrestled, and I also rowed and so on the dance team,” he says.

So I went just to observe it [to see] if it was something I could do and they came out with jockstraps having been soaked in lighter fluid, asbestos jockstraps, ignited, coming out dancing to Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire.”

I said, “Nope. Not for me.” I’m embarrassed to say that it wasn’t until that moment when I said to myself, “Maybe I should be a math tutor.” I don’t know why I didn’t think of that first.



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