[video] ‘StarTalk’ debuts with Charles Liu, George Takei providing ‘warp drive’ lesson

STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE — StarTalk, a late-night talk show about all things geeky with host Neil deGrasse Tyson made its debut with a look at the legacy of “Star Trek.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bf3tgIBrw8I[/youtube]College of Staten Island professor Charles Liu, a guest on the show, comfortably held his own discussing the finer points of warp drive with Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History where the show takes place.

As a sci-fi space adventure, “Star Trek” is the ultimate blend of science and pop culture, that “StarTalk” aims to combine, along with some humor, every Monday at 11 on the National Geographic Channel. The combination is a first for a talk show, but Tyson has become a master at bringing science to the masses through television and radio.

In a pre-recorded interview, he chats with George Takei about his role as Mr. Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise.

Tyson then turns to fellow astrophysicist Liu and comedian Leighann Lord. He admits he has bungled his description of warp drive in the past, which he demonstrates using his tie. The two respond with disbelief and Liu provides an explanation of what is a “complete fabrication.”

Bronx-born Tyson has another strong tie to Staten Island. Noted borough artist Sarah Yuster painted his portrait which hangs in the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum. When her Staten Island Museum retrospective opened, he traveled to St. George for the opening by public transportation.

This article was written by Kathryn Carse and was originally published by the Staten Island Advance and SI Live on April 21, 2015. It is reprinted here with permission.