The Little Book of Reddit AMAs

About the book

What is Reddit ?

Reddit is a hugely popular online news and entertainment website. It is visited by millions of people daily, who create content on the site by submitting links. People can vote up content they like and participate in the discussion in online forums.

What are Reddit AMAs ?

One of the most popular subsections(or subreddits as they are called) is IAmA ("I Am A") where a user may post "AMAs" (for "Ask Me Anything").These are basically online interviews where a user prompts for others to ask questions about any topic. AMAs are open to all Reddit users, and use the site's comment system for both questions and answers.

Why should I read this book ?

This book contains more than 90 AMAs by people from all walks of life. The first chapter is an AMA by President Obama (which is the highest rated AMA as of compiling this book.)

A lot of celebrities have used Reddit to reach out to people and voice their opinions. This book contains AMAs by a few television and movie celebrities like  Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul ( from Breaking Bad),Louis C.K. ,John Malkovich, John Cusack and Gerard Butler.

There are a few very interesting AMAs from the people working in the field of science and technology. 
Neil deGrasse Tyson, the famous American astrophysicist appears twice in this book, answering some very interesting questions from Redditors.
Astronaut Chris Hadfield did an AMA while he was orbiting the Earth in the International Space Station.

You could also read about some very inspiring stories by common people like a World War II veteran,  a women who survived bear attack and  a guy who was hostage in Iraq for more than two years.

For the tennis fans, Roger Federer has also done an amazing AMA.


Published using Papyrus

Barack Obama, President of the United States

Hi, I’m Barack Obama, President of the United States. Ask me anything. I’ll be taking your questions for half an hour starting at about 4:30 ET.

Proof it's me:

We're running early and will get started soon.

UPDATE: Hey everybody - this is barack. Just finished a great rally in Charlottesville, and am looking forward to your questions. At the top, I do want to say that our thoughts and prayers are with folks who are dealing with Hurricane Isaac in the Gulf, and to let them know that we are going to be coordinating with state and local officials to make sure that we give families everything they need to recover.

Verification photo:

LAST UPDATE: I need to get going so I'm back in DC in time for dinner. But I want to thank everybody at reddit for participating - this is an example of how technology and the internet can empower the sorts of conversations that strengthen our democracy over the long run. AND REMEMBER TO VOTE IN NOVEMBER - if you need to know how to register, go to By the way, if you want to know what I think about this whole reddit experience - NOT BAD!

[edit: link fixed by staff]

What are you going to do to end the corrupting influence of money in politics during your second term?

asked by suzmerk

Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress - to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who. We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists. Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.

What was the most difficult decision that you had to make during this term?

asked by FifthSurprise

The decision to surge our forces in Afghanistan. Any time you send our brave men and women into battle, you know that not everyone will come home safely, and that necessarily weighs heavily on you. The decision did help us blunt the Taliban's momentum, and is allowing us to transition to afghan lead - so we will have recovered that surge at the end of this month, and will end the war at the end of 2014. But knowing of the heroes that have fallen is something you never forget.

[We know how Republicans feel about protecting Internet Freedom]( Is Internet Freedom an issue you'd push to add to the Democratic Party's 2012 platform?

asked by SharkGirl

Internet freedom is something I know you all care passionately about; I do too. We will fight hard to make sure that the internet remains the open forum for everybody - from those who are expressing an idea to those to want to start a business. And although there will be occasional disagreements on the details of various legislative proposals, I won't stray from that principle - and it will be reflected in the platform.

What is the first thing you'll do on November 7th, win or lose?

asked by daveforamerica

Win or lose, I'll be thanking everybody who is working so hard - especially all the volunteers in field offices all across the country, and the amazing young people in our campaign offices.

Are you considering increasing funds to the space program?

Edit: grammar

asked by ormirian

Making sure we stay at the forefront of space exploration is a big priority for my administration. The passing of Neil Armstrong this week is a reminder of the inspiration and wonder that our space program has provided in the past; the curiosity probe on mars is a reminder of what remains to be discovered. The key is to make sure that we invest in cutting edge research that can take us to the next level - so even as we continue work with the international space station, we are focused on a potential mission to a asteroid as a prelude to a manned Mars flight.

How do you balance family life and hobbies with, well, being the POTUS?

asked by gobearss

It's hard - truthfully the main thing other than work is just making sure that I'm spending enough time with michelle and the girls. The big advantage I have is that I live above the store - so I have no commute! So we make sure that when I'm in DC I never miss dinner with them at 6:30 pm - even if I have to go back down to the Oval for work later in the evening. I do work out every morning as well, and try to get a basketball or golf game in on the weekends just to get out of the bubble. Speaking of balance, though, I need to get going so I'm back in DC in time for dinner. But I want to thank everybody at reddit for participating - this is an example of how technology and the internet can empower the sorts of conversations that strengthen our democracy over the long run. AND REMEMBER TO VOTE IN NOVEMBER - if you need to know how to register, go to By the way, if you want to know what I think about this whole reddit experience - NOT BAD!

Who's your favourite Basketball player?

asked by karlfranks

Jordan - I'm a Bulls guy.

What's the recipe for the White House's beer?

asked by silent1mezzo

It will be out soon! I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty.

EDIT (by staff): As promised

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Hi, I’m Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Ask me anything.

Many of you know me from my Microsoft days. The company remains very important to me and I’m still chairman. But today my full time work is with the foundation. Melinda and I believe that everyone deserves the chance for a healthy and productive life – and so with the help of our amazing partners, we are working to find innovative ways to help people in need all over the world.

I’ve just finished writing my 2013 Annual Letter This year I wrote about how there is a great opportunity to apply goals and measures to make global improvements in health, development and even education in the U.S.


I’ll be answering your questions live, starting at 10:45 am PST. I’m looking forward to my first AMA.

UPDATE: Here’s a video where I’ve answered a few popular Reddit questions -

UPDATE: Thanks for the great AMA, Reddit! I hope you’ll read my annual letter and visit my website, The Gates Notes, to see what I’m working on. I’d just like to leave you with the thought that helping others can be very gratifying.

What is something that needs to be changed in the world, but money wont help?

asked by p8ntballnxj

It would be nice if all governments were as rational as the Nordic governments - reaching compromise and providing services broadly. The Economist had a nice special section on this last week. Africa governments have often been weak but you can't write a check to change that. Fortunately the average quality is going up. Mo Ibrahim tracks this in a great way. (

What is the greatest achievement of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in your opinion and how do you choose which causes to support?

asked by tiger_rider

So far our biggest impact has been getting vaccines for things like diarrhea and pneumonia out which has saved millions of lives. Polio will be a great achievement along with key partners when that gets done.

How did you feel about your portrayal in [Pirates of Silicon Valley](, and who do you want to play you next in a movie?

asked by loucatelli

That portrayal was reasonably accurate....

What emerging technology today do you think will cause another big stir for the average consumer in the same way that the home computer did years ago?

asked by Zexyterrestrial

Robots, pervasive screens, speech interaction will all change the way we look at "computers". Once seeing, hearing, and reading (including handwriting) work very well you will interact in new ways..

What do you do for fun? I find it hard to fathom how someone like you can just disconnect. Disconnect from the emails, calls ,the media. All of it. What would be your definition of a chill and fun day?

asked by dylanstalker

I love playing tennis. I am an avid bridge player (a card game if you have not heard of it - it was more popular in the past!). I like to tour interesting things with my kids like power plants, garbage dumps, the Large Hadron Collider, Antarctica, missile Silos (Arizona),... I read a lot and watch courses (online or the Learning Company)..

Which world-wide health cause are we perfectly capable of easily solving and on the cusp of achieving but just need to put it over the top with a little more attention or resources to actually solve?

asked by parkerjh

Polio is the first thing to get done since we are close. Within 6 years we will have the last case. After that we will go after malaria and measles. Malaria kills over 500,000 kids every year mostly in Africa and did not get enough attention until the last decade. We also need vaccines to prevent HIV and TB which are making progress...

Anything left on your bucket list?

asked by doublething1

Don't die...

What is your view on the world's reliance on crude oil, and will you be investing into researching other sources of energy?

asked by kkthnxbye

I did a TED talk about the climate crisis. Over time we have to dramatically reduce CO2 emissions so using fossil fuels will require us to do carbon capture and sequestration. There has been far too little work on this. (

Windows 7 or Windows 8?

Be honest Bill.

asked by juturn4

Higher is better.

Since becoming wealthy, what's the cheapest thing that gives you the most pleasure?

asked by falter

Kids. Cheap cheeseburgers. Open Course Ware courses...

Hi Mr. Gates,

The anti-vaccine movement does not only exist in developing countries, such as Pakistan, but is quite popular here in the United States as well. As a result, the number of flu and whooping cough cases are bigger than ever.

Are you planning on working domestically as well?

edit for related question: Which countries do you think serve as models for their initiatives towards an overall healthier society? ie. who's doing the best?

asked by Shellin

Vaccines are very important in all countries. Some of the bad rumors have lead to kids dying of measles and pertussis. We have backed some information campaigns on the importance of vaccination even in the US.

The Nordic countries do a good job on health like they do on many things...

How do you measure the success of the foundation?

How does the foundation differ from other large philanthropic organizations?

Thanks for all that you and Melinda have done and continue to do!

asked by killfirejack

Our goals are focused on helping the poorest (globally) and improving education (in the US). We spend half of our money on global health. One metric to look at is reducing the number of children (under 5) who die. My annual letter talks about the amazing progress that has been made on this. Amazingly as health improves families choose to have less kids so paradoxically population growth goes DOWN as you improve health helping with almost every issue - from stability to the environment..

The Rosling video I posted on Sunday talks about this:

What type of computer are you using right now?

asked by sletica

I just got my Surface Pro a week ago and it is very nice.

I am using a Perceptive Pixel display right now - huge Windows 8 touch whiteboard. These will come down in price over time and be pervasive... 


What's your worst fear for the future of the world? (**edit:** I terms of policy/politics/etc -- e.g. SOPA/ITU)

asked by indrora

Hopefully we won't have terrorists using nuclear weapons or biological weapons. We should make sure that stays hard.

I am disappointed more isn't being done to reduce carbon emissions. Governments need to spend more on basic energy R&D to make sure we get cheap non-CO2 emitting sources as soon as possible.

Overall I am pretty optimistic. Things are a lot better than they were 200 years ago..

Is Weezer still your favorite band?

asked by Sindi182

Weezer.... Actually U2 is a favorite.. I keep waiting for Spinal Tap to go back on tour...

First of all, thanks Mr. Gates for doing this. I’ve been a fan of you since I was a little kid, taking solace in your success as a professional nerd and philanthropist.

If Microsoft didn’t take off, what would you have done and be doing instead?

You are a leader in the ultra-wealthy philanthropists, but what do you think that people of median income can do to help improve the world the most?

asked by grimguitar

If the microprocessor had NOT come along I am not sure what I would have done. Maybe medicine or theoretical math but it is hard to say.

Most giving is done by the middle class so it is the backbone of generosity particularly in the United States. A key thing is to support government aid which is only 1% of the budget but helps poor countries in incredible ways.

Do you still code?. If so which language? :)

asked by cyberbemon

Not as much as I would like to. I write some C, C# and some Basic. I am surprised new languages have not made more progress in simplifying programming. It would be great if most high school kids were exposed to programming...

What one Microsoft program or product that was never fully developed or released do you wish had made it to market?

asked by Salacious-

We had a rich database as the client/cloud store that was part of a Windows release that was before its time. This is an idea that will remerge since your cloud store will be rich with schema rather than just a bunch of files and the client will be a partial replica of it with rich schema understanding.

Possibly WinFS? I always wanted to see what happened to that.

asked by Mibly



asked by NotThatBatman

Vista was what eventually shipped but Winfs had been dropped by then.

Did you ever own a Macintosh?

asked by Sindi182

Microsoft does a lot of software for the Mac. I mostly use Windows machines but from time to time I have tried all of Apple products.

First of all: **Thank you** for all you've given and all you've done to make the world a better place.

Given the recent targeting of health professionals in Pakistan and Nigeria, do you think eradication of polio is attainable in the next decade?

How is the Gates Foundation going to get over this barrier to eradication?

Also, what is your opinion on the anti-vaccination movement in general?

asked by samaritan_lee

The violence against the vaccinators in both Pakistan and Nigeria is a terrible thing. However both countries are committed to finishing the eradication. This is the project I spent most of my time on. We should be able to finish by 2018 although that will require raising funds and some great execution. We have some innovations like the way we use satellite maps to find all the villages and GPS tracking to make sure the teams go to every hut that are helping out. Polio is a harder disease than smallpox was but it is doable. (I discuss this more at and you can learn more about the progress against polio with this infographic:

How have other extremely wealthy people reacted to your excessively generous philanthropy?

asked by Salacious-

I have enjoyed meeting other philanthropists and talking about what they work on. I think there is a movement to do more, start sooner and be smarter about giving. Philanthropy is mostly about a broad set of people giving but it helps if the most wealthy set a strong example...

I'm not Bill Gates, but he has made a huge positive influence. Many wealthy people I know point to Bill Gates as their idol. Not for his Microsoft days, but for his philanthropy. He also simultaneously killed many of my friend's hundred million dollar trust funds after their parents discovered that Bill was only leaving $10 million for his children.

asked by [deleted]

I definitely think leaving kids massive amounts of money is not a favor to them. Warren Buffett was part of an article in Fortune talking about this in 1986 before I met him and it made me think about it and decide he was right. Some people disagree with this but Melinda and I feel good about it.

How was your relationship with Steve jobs? I always hoped that y'all were really good friends and competitors.

asked by U_Cant_Touch_This

He and I respected each other. Our biggest joint project was the Mac where Microsoft had more people on the project than Apple did as we wrote a lot of applications. I saw Steve regularly over the years including spending an afternoon with him a few months before he tragically passed away...

Can you still jump over chairs?

asked by DirtyDutchPoser

Less than I used to. It was part of exercise for snow skiing. I still ski but I am not as hard core...

I just wanted to say thanks for responding to my letter that I wrote to you in the second grade. I still have your autograph. Out of all the celebrities that were written to in my class you were the only to to respond. Thanks for making me the coolest second grader for a little while.


asked by boodhabelly

I am glad you kept it!

Mr. Gates I was happy to see you last year at the Math Strategy Group at Sunnylands.

My question is how do you see technology enhancing Mathematics education without actually replacing it?

asked by DaimyoNoNeko

The ability to test your knowledge and get refreshed on a topic you are making mistakes on will personalize a lot of the learning experience. People like Sal Khan are out in front figuring out how to do this well. My foundation has funded a lot of MOOCs focused on community college kids or kids who have to take remedial math. I am optimistic these will make a big difference.

What do people give you for your birthday, given that you can buy anything you want?

asked by Salacious-

Free software. Just kidding.

Books actually.

Oh! What's your favorite book?

asked by Mcdoofus

My favorite of the last decade in Pinker's Better Angels of our Nature. It is long but profound look at the reduction in violence and discrimination over time. I review a lot of the books I read at (is that too self-promotional?

Hi Bill, I have a few questions for you:

1) I'm from India. What do you think are some of the biggest challenges India currently faces that's hindering its progress?

2) At what point did you decide that it was time to retire and put the Microsoft part of your life behind you and focus completely on philanthropy?

3) Lastly, have you been involved at all with Microsoft after your retirement? Maybe helped them out a bit?

P.S. I've been a huge fan of you since I was a kid. Maybe I'll get a chance to meet you one day!

asked by Mutinix

India is making progress but there is still a lot to do particularly up in the North. They still need to add some of the vaccines that poorer countries are already using and saving lots of lives. India did a great job on polio and is increasing the health budget. We work closely with the federal and state governments to help out...

Hi, welcome to reddit!

What are your thoughts on the push against the open and free Internet that we have been seeing in the recent past and present (such as sopa, etc)?

asked by squatly

There are two things this could reference. One is the free/pay for software mix. The Internet has benefited from having lots of free stuff and lots of commercial software. It has been interesting see people inventing hybrid models. Even stuff that is pretty commercial often has free versions for some audiences. Even the most open stuff often have services people choose to pay for.

The second thing is the anonymous versus identified tension. This is another one where both will probably thrive since you want anonymity for some things and full identity for others. I am surprised how little progress has been made in the identity space but it will improve.

Do you guys really use Bing? I mean seriously...

asked by Fozzy420

Seriously Bing is the better product at this point. Try the challenge. I am biased but the work to make Bing better has been amazing.

Hi Bill,

I am just wondering what your thoughts are on Windows 8. Do you think in general it has failed?

I am not saying it has, but there are people saying it is not good, and I wanted to hear your thoughts on it.

asked by Gooflactus

It is a huge advance for Windows which people will see even more as the great applications and hardware come out..

Neil deGrasse Tyson 

For a few hours I will answer any question you have. And I will tweet this fact within ten minutes  after this post, to confirm my identity.

What do you think will be the biggest scientific breakthrough upcoming in the next 50 years?

asked by agoody117

Life elsewhere in the solar system. Mars, most likely.

You've always been an inherently funny guy. Will that transfer to your take on Cosmos, or will you seek to emulate Sagan's more sober wonder?

asked by dahud

Excellent question. Sagan's "sober wonder" was a fundamental dimension of Cosmos's gravitas. Something that we all in this new production deeply respect. But I can't be something I'm not. Nor should I be. So right now we are exploring the best mix of sober wonder, charming humor, and intellectual depth. I think we'll land in a new place, respectful of Carl's legacy, but allowing me room to express my pedagogical enthusiasm for the subject.

Who are the unknown scientists of the 20th Century that people should know?

asked by antaresiv

M. Burbidge, G. Burbidge, W. Fowler, & F. Hoyle. Google them.

If you could add one course to a student's curriculum, what would it be?

asked by [deleted]

Course title every university should offer: "How to tell when someone else is full of shit"

If you could impress one thing on young people today, what would it be?

asked by izibo

That adults are not all they're cracked up to be. And most of them are wrong most of the time. This can be quite revelatory for a kid - often launching them on a personal quest of exploration, rather than of Q&A sessions with their parents.

What never fails to blow your mind in physics?

asked by guitard00d123

1) The fact that an electron has no known size -- it's smaller than the smallest measurement we have ever made of anything.

2) That Quarks come only in pairs: If you try to separate two of them, the energy you sink into the system to accomplish this feat is exactly the energy to spontaneously create two more quarks - one to partner with each of those you pulled apart.

3) That the space-time structure inside a rotating black hole does not preclude the existence of an entire other universe.

MindBlown x 3

What is your favorite sci-fi movie?

asked by pneumo

Three-way tie:

The Matrix - The first one, of course.


Deep Impact.

And classical have: 2001 A Space Odyssey.

What is your favorite short science fact you like to tell people to really make them think?

asked by Redwater

That our bodies atoms are traceable to supernova stars that scattered their chemical enrichment across the cosmos, spawning the birth of star systems that contain planets, at least one of them containing life.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment scientifically? In life as a whole?

asked by climberslacker

Made a prediction some years ago that there were 10x as many galaxies in the universe than had then been catalogued. based on a careful review of observation bias in how people obtained data on the universe. The actual number turned out to be about 5x as many galaxies. I got the wrong answer but for the right reasons, and it stimulated much further work on the subject.

What is your opinion of the Symphony of Science videos?

asked by aggieastronaut

Only when creative people take ownership of cosmic discovery will society accept science as the cultural activity that it is.

And so I applaud all such efforts of artists.

What are your thoughts on the reports of neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light?

asked by bluengreen7

Three options:

1) Mistake in the data

VERY DISTANT 2) New particle traveling backwards through time. No need to modify relativity.

EVEN MORE DISTANT 3) Need to modify Relativity.

Can we inspire more kids to pursue space-related science and research? If so, how?

asked by h3h

Kids are never the problem. They are born scientists. The problem is always the adults. The beat the curiosity out of the kids. They out-number kids. They vote. They wield resources. That's why my public focus is primarily adults.

If you could change one thing about how the sciences are taught to American children, what would it be?

asked by Malfi

Create a goal state for educational pipeline to see in broad daylight - some ambitious mission - like a voyage to mars - that is so compelling that the quality of your science teacher is irrelevant. Your consequent ambitions trump all other forces.

Do you believe that we will see civilian trips into space during our life time that aren't millions of dollars to book?

How about a manned trip to Mars?

asked by torchestogether

No. But millions of dollars is a good start. I'd buy a lottery ticket for that.

Do you think that Humans in our lifetime will achieve the technology to be able to live forever?

If so, what is your greatest dream that you may someday be able to do that we don't yet have the technology to do?

asked by BonzTM

Yes, I think it's inevitable. But that would eventually make for a very crowded Earth. So perhaps that's what we need to jumpstart the space program.

Would love to live long enough to know what dark matter and dark energy actually are.

What do you think about the state of science reporting? Is there more of a burden on the scientific community to articulate their findings to the media, or on the media to be more informed before they report? Or should one side just step up?

asked by therosetta

It's much better than a few decades ago - in quality and especially quality. Documentarians have raise the bar on the depth of science that gets talked about on television. And there's no end of science on line. In the 1970s you could go months before you saw any news or treatment of scientific discoveries. Now you're treated to them weekly, if not daily.

If you think 5 and 10 years from now, what are you most looking forward to in science? Any expectations?

asked by [deleted]

Cure for Cancer. Fully funded space exploration. Physics recognized as the foundation of chemistry. Chemistry recognized as the foundation of biology. And free market structured in a way that brings these discoveries to market efficiently and effectively.

Since time slows relative to the speed of light, does this mean that photons are essentially not moving through time at all?

asked by epohs

yes. Precisely. Which means ----- are you seated?

Photons have no ticking time at all, which means, as far as they are concerned, they are absorbed the instant they are emitted, even if the distance traveled is across the universe itself.

Hi Neil, I'm a massive fan! I'm currently a junior in college studying physics and want to pursue a PhD. Do you have any advice for the next generation of scientists like me?

asked by lionbologna

There are street artists. Street musicians. Street actors. But there are no street physicists. A little known secret is that a physicist is one of the most employable people in the marketplace - a physicist is a trained problem solver. How many times have you heard a person in a workplace say, "I wasn't trained for this!" That's an impossible reaction from a physicist, who would say, instead, "Cool. A problem I've never seen before. Let's see how I can figure out how to solve it!". Oh, and, have fun along the way.

What do you think it will take for the US to seriously reinvest in the space program?

asked by epicjackson

A foreign threat. That seems to be the only thing around that motivates bickering political parties to act in harmony.

Will our minds ever be able to truly comprehend the vastness of the universe?

asked by lordatlas

I lose sleep worrying that we, as a species, are indeed simply too stupid to figure out the universe. There's even some YouTubes of me offering this lament. I other words, we are not as candid as we should be about our neuro-biological limitations.

What one improvement would you make to the way our society as a whole approaches science if it were within your power?

asked by iamseb

Society needs to see science not as a luxury of funding but as a fundamental activity that drives enlightenment, economics, and security. Science agencies should never have to go hat in hand to congress.

One idea would be for the USA (or any other country for that matter) to earmark 10% of its budget to R&D. Like a good startup company might do. That way everyone knows what to expect annually. And long term research projects will have some hope of funding stability.

What do you prefer NASA to explore more of?

asked by [deleted]

Asteroids that might one day hit us.

What is the simplest thing in your life that makes you happy?

asked by bearsfan043

Watching a person learn something new - not simply a new fact (those are cheap and easy) -- but achieve a new understanding for how the world works. That's the only reward a (true) educator ever seeks.

What is one of the most common misconceptions about space/time/astrophysics that you encounter, and how would you clear up that subject?

asked by [deleted]

That the north star is the brightest in the night sky. I'd guess about 9 out of 10 people think this. But it does not require a grant from the National Science Foundation to learn the answer. The North Star is not even in the top 40 in the night sky. It's the 49th brightest star. Rather dull and boring by most measures.

Neil- As a new social studies high school teacher, how can I best impart a love and respect for science and the importance of learning to my students who see school as a waste of their time? I struggle with this aspect of teaching more than any other.

asked by Boneman22

I thrive on exploring all the ways science impacts life, society, and culture. It's the founding principle of StarTalk radio:

So a goal as teacher, perhaps ought to include knowing as much as you possibly can about pop culture and referencing it at every turn as you teach the syllabus. I am there with my Tweets:!/neiltyson Takes a while to build up that utility belt of songs, TV shows, harry potter, etc. But it pays great dividends.

What is your favorite fact about the Universe?

asked by imnottouchingyou

That is will never end. That it's on a one way trip of expansion. Something that many find to be philosophically unsettling. My view is that if your philosophy is not unsettled daily then you are blind to all the universe has to offer.

What are some very interesting DIY science experiments that a person can do as hobby?

asked by fluterecorderdecool

There's no substitute for Oobleck. Easy to concoct in the kitchen. Weeks of amazing experiments on the counter. Google it.

When do you think we would be able to explore Europa, given the current pace and funding of space exploration?

asked by nortab

Europa is not on the planetary scientist's priority list, for an obscure combination of reasons that relate to cost and whether we are technologically prepared to undertake such mission versus missions to other tasty targets in the solar system.

Do you agree with the idea (Carl Sagan was a proponent) that humans should prepare to, one day, forever leave the surly confines of Earth? In other words, should we plan to colonize other planets?

asked by themantis5000

Because it would be fun. And because we will probably learn something new about ourselves and our own planet. But not as a place to escape from an incoming asteroid. For that I'd rather stay on Earth and deflect the damn thing.

When will Cosmos series 2 air, and will it air in the UK?

asked by DuckFeetPro

Thanks for asking. Spring 2012. On FOX network. Likely primetime. UK will likely follow shortly thereafter.

What seemingly far-fetched aspect of science fiction do you think humans will reach first? (For example: Time Travel, lightsabers, invisibility, etc.)

asked by jesusismoney

None of it. Not even the costumes.

Your thoughts on the upcoming Cosmos series? And thanks for all you do, you are like a rockstar in our household!

asked by scurvydog00

Loooong overdue. Last one was 31 years ago. A generation, that it.

What are you most proud of at the Hayden Planetarium? What current exhibit should a visitor absolutely not miss?

asked by mrrobinson

Birthing a scientific research department of Astrophysics. You don't see them but it's a thriving department with faculty, postdocs, graduate students, research publications etc. In this world administrative victories are always the greatest.

If there is one single accomplishment you'd like to see in space exploration or discovery within your lifetime, what would it be?

asked by FoxHarem

Search for aquatic life in the oceans of Jupiter's moon Europa.

I just want to say that I can't wait for your new Cosmos series. And I also love it whenever you appear on The Daily Show.

That is all.

asked by tppatterson123

Thanks. We're all working hard on it right now. Except, at this moment, me.

How does it feel to be voted 'Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive'?

asked by Ihsahn_

I always wanted to be respected for my mind...

But seriously, it turned out to be much more harmless than I had feared. More a fun novelty than either a curse or a burden to carry

Do ever feel pressured into being the figure-head for promoting people into supporting astronomy? That's how I view you. :D

asked by CheatingCheetos

No pressure at all. Instead, I feel compelled to get people to support science for their own survival.

What is your opinion on the whole idea of the technological Singularity and do you think such a monumental leap in science and technology is ever likely to happen to the degree that Moore's Law supposedly dictates (according to Kurzweil)?

asked by sat0pi

I find the entire movement to be entertaining, in spite of my skepticism that the singularity will have the meaning ascribed to it. I'm primarily pissed off that they stole a perfectly good word from black-hole physics.

Not a question, just a thank you for inspiring thousands of teenagers like me to pursue science.

asked by Seigge

Keep it going. Thanks.

What is your opinion about science/math education in high school? It seems to me like we emphasize far to much on facts that most people will never need, rather than encouraging people to think creatively and logically.

asked by Jyan

Agree 100%. Any time we are answer-driven rather than idea driven, we have lost the true meaning of education.

Have you fixed your time machine yet?

asked by The_Seeker

Yup. Stewie was meddling with it. But he's gone now.

Have you fixed your time machine yet?

asked by The_Seeker

Yup. That's what happens when I let Stewie touch my stuff.

How was it being a guest star on The Big Bang Theory? Do you think the show hurts or helps the perception of physicists?

asked by LoveBy137

The funnest 24 hours I ever spent in my life. Flew to LA from NYC in the AM. Returned on the RedEye. It's mainstreaming the culture of science. Note to those who criticize it: Where were you when scientists were always portrayed as lab-coat donning crazy people hell bent on destroying the world?

If you appeared on the game show Jeopardy, how do you think you would do?

asked by darkerside

I've appeared on the Jeopardy board (a video clue) about three or four times. I think one was even a daily double. If I were a contestant, I'm sure I would make the first few rounds, but would surely lose in any tournament. The people who win these things have a different brain wiring than I have. Part of me echoes Einstein's edict: never memorize what you can look up in a book.

What are you feelings on religion and the afterlife, and are you scared to die?

asked by Reasonable_Roger

I remain unconvinced that anything other than rapid decomposition is the fate of my body and mind after death. I've accomplished enough in life so that I do not fear death. In fact, I've left instructions for my Epitaph - a quote from the educator, Horace Mann: "Be Ashamed to Die, Until You Have Scored Some Victory for Humanity". That's the creed I live by. And will die by.

What are your views on Mars? I read that a few volunteers in Moscow took part in a year-long experiment to replicate the time it would take to get to Mars.

Would it be worth it? Can it become a 'second' home of sorts in the foreseeable future? Or is it unfeasable? (Can America do the same would be secondary, after all the Cold War has ended, but that too would be cool)

asked by KrapBag

Gotta love Mars. But it's colder and dryer than Antarctica. And I don't see people lining up to build condo's at the South Pole. So until we perfect Terraforming, I see colonizing Mars with civilization as a fun fantasy.

If a taco and a burrito are traveling near the speed of light and collide, will the result be delicious?

asked by detaer

The result would be an explosion large enough to destroy a small village. high speed collisions do that, whether or not they are made of Mexican food.

What issues or ideas keep you up at night? Also, are you a Queen fan?

asked by pillon

That America has lost its technological and scientific compass.

Gotta love Brian May and his PhD in astrophysics.

First heard Bohemian Rhapsody on the radio when I was only half asleep. An incident like that can accidentally alter your brain wiring.

Hello! What inspired you to be an astronomer? How old were you when you decided to do this career path?


That's why I wrote this book: :"The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist"

it all started at age Nine. And it was the universe that called me.

1. What exactly do you do these days?

2. Are you a fan of cats?

3. What do you think of the current space-travel situation?

asked by psyced

1) My life is not especially private of late. So everything you see me do it what I do.

2) cats can be cute, and all. But in the end, I think there's no substitute for a dog. I walked dogs for money as a kid to pay for a telescope and my first SLR camera.

3) Current space travel situation is fine, if you are not American.

What are you scared of?

asked by radioscott

I'm too rational to be deeply scare of anything. But I'm deeply worried for America.

What do you think of the current downfall of the History channel and it's onslaught of psuedo-scientific programming on ancient aliens, monsters, ghosts and other ridiculousness?

asked by projectFT

Do we blame them or the viewers who watch it?

what is the key to rooting out the anti-science view in America, especially in regards to things like evolution and climate change?

asked by asiatownusa

I don't mind anti-science views. We've all bought into America being free - which means, above all else, freedom of speech. What concerns me is when those who are anti science, try to prevent others from doing science. When that happens, that's the beginning of the end.

What do you think about Ancient Aliens?

asked by starcadia

It's what people say when they can't figure out how ancient humans accomplished something.

Rather than say, "I'm too stupid to figure this one out on my own", they say, "I am smarter than these ancient humans, and since I can't figure out what's going on here, they must have had help from aliens."

We need more hubris in this world.

Just checking in today me and the wife adore you and we are thankful for all you're doing for a better understanding of science.

Cheers from Brazil.

asked by daigorobr

Gotta love Brazil: Soccer. Mardi Gras. Thong bikinis.

And the third largest aerospace industry in the world.

Who do you look up to?

asked by VirtualProtector

My parents. Still alive and married 59 years.

What was your most memorable moment with Carl Sagan?

asked by latsmycas

See link earlier.

No question, I just want to say thank you for sharing your breadth of knowledge with us and the rest of the world while being generally cool about it.

asked by utore

it's really a two-way street. If people didn't enjoy it I wouldn't do it. I'd just stay home and work.

Favourite Star Trek character?

asked by antaresiv

I'm old-school: Kirk. Then Spock a distant second. Then the tribbles.

I just want to thank you for inspiring me to love science and the stars. Thank you for being part of my childhood.

asked by SmallLady

Happy to have been there -- and made a difference. Although I still think of myself as a child.

Does the future scare or excite you? Why?

asked by Braineater2448

I love the future. Or rather, I love the future we might invent for ourselves that I have not yet dreamt of.

What is the best way, in your opinion, to have the whole world realize that we are just a blip on the radar of the universe?

Do you think that the world would benefit from being able to experience the "overview effect" or "space euphoria" that astronauts have claimed to experience?

asked by jimjones3d

This should cure that problem:

What do you think about companies sponsoring private space missions in return for getting their logo on the craft? Could that be a new way of funding private space missions? There is enormous publicity surrounding each launch and so the sponsoring company would automatically get enormous publicity.

asked by marstravel

We are a capitalist nation, of which ads on the side of space craft are an inevitable consequence of free-market exploitations.

Hey Neil! Saw your post on Twitter (Il_Cattivo_666 on there)

Following the massive downsizing of our space program here in America, who do you think is going to fill the gap that we've left, over the next 10 to 20 years? Will we see Russia re-emerge as the major space-goer? Or do you think the ESA will expand it's role in operating the ISS?

asked by peanutsfan1995

Forgive the cheap plug, but I just wrote a whole book on this, to appear in Feb 2012, titles "Space Chronicles".

I originally called it "Failure to Launch" but the publishers nixed the title, citing it was too depressing.

Here's the listing for a pre-order, if interested.

If the idea of a minimum amount of energy in space is true, how can that cause the acceleration of the universe?

If the space was already at minimum energy then how can it impart that energy on to the universe? Wouldn't that imply a lesser state of energy?


You have made a profound influence on my life.

Thank you for your dedication to the public understanding of science.

asked by [deleted]

A state of negative energy means that you are essentially getting something for nothing. Confounds common sense, but so does most of 20th century physics. Modern science is under no obligation to satisfy the expectations of your five senses.

When I start feeling overwhelmed with school I watch your lectures and to put things in perspective. Thank you.

asked by smithie11

All good. If you are unfamiliar, The Teaching Company has 12 of my lectures, titled collectively "My Favorite Universe". They're on DVD, but I think they might also have an audio version for commuting.

Don't really have much of a question, just wanted to say that you visited my undergraduate university (Western Kentucky University) and gave an electrifying discussion about how religion holds back scientific progress, while not making religion out to be the problem.


asked by mortalum

Just to be clear...

It's not that Religion holds back science, it's that dogma-in-charge holds back science. And since Religion is a form of dogma (almost by definition of the word), then if religion is ever in charge of a political state, it will most assuredly hold back science.

You know what reddit is and are doing an AMA?

Watch out guys, we're dealing with a badass over here.

asked by LOLOLOLno

I've always admired the intensity of arguments that unfold on these pages. Happy to partake, even if only briefly. In fact it is here that I must resume my day and part ways with the Redditverse. Farewell to all. Maybe we can do this once a month. In the meantime, my tweets are live:!/neiltyson

As always, keep looking up.

-Neil deGrasse Tyson

first off, you are awesome man!

what do you think of ronald mallett and his search for time travel?

thanks for your time!

asked by kwikade

In physics, opinions don't matter, only demonstrated experiments. The day the fellow succeeds, if ever, he won't need anybody else's opinion.

What is your favorite celestial body? Why? (BTW just have to say I <3 the vest)

asked by Xianeia

Saturn. Without a doubt. Just one peek at it through a backyard telescope and you might just agree with me.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to go into a STEM field but is discouraged by the limited job prospects and America's lack of commitment to science?

asked by dustbin3

Study STEM, but then do anything else -- and when you do, you'll be scientifically literate. A form of brain wiring that improves the depth and strength of every decision you will ever make in life.

Would you run for president?

asked by senador


Do you think Pluto not "clearing its neighborhood" is reason enough to declassify it as a classical planet? Or is it that we have to pick somewhere to stop at in case we discover more "planets"?

asked by hrtattx

Clearing the 'hood turns out to be a quantifiable statement that I detail in "The Pluto Files"

I think the argument is sensible, cogent, and not likely o require further adjustments.

What food do you never get tired of eating?

asked by [deleted]

Strawberry Malt.

What do you think is the single most important thing for people to understand about space?

asked by worldsbestuser

Space wants to kill you every opportunity it can get.

Thank you for being here, Sir. Your tweets are one of the highlights of my day.

I'm really looking forward to your upcoming Cosmo show. Sagan's is one of my favorite television broadcasts ever. Can you tell us what we can look forward to in yours?

asked by frankdozier

Still baking the episodes. Trust that the "franchise" is in good hands and that we want to have the same impact on a next generation as the original Cosmos had on its generation.

Thank you. Just... thank you. You're one of my personal heroes. pressure. ^_^

asked by Proserpina

You should chose your heroes a-la carte. Picking and choosing from one and then another, thereby assembling a kind of composite hero. That way when you discover something reprehensible about any one of them it matters nothing to you because that's not the part of them that piqued your interest.

What would you say the greatest inspiration that keeps driving you to continue educating the world in science is?

Oh much has Sagan's work influenced you in your career decision?

Thanks for being badass!

asked by Ophie

I remain daily inspired by the depth of appetite the public expresses of the cosmos. That keeps me going. And it grants me the confidence that success is within reach.

Carl Sagan had no influence on my career choice. I was already formed when he went public. But he influenced me in important other ways:

Where are the aliens?

asked by WhatHadHappenedWas

We are too stupid to interest them. So they go elsewhere.

How do you think we can encourage people to study science, when many college classes at the introductory level are considered to be "weed-out" classes?

asked by ritz37

The consequence of professors who would in a perfect world have no students at all.

Some colleges are changing that. And they know who they are.

What aspect of the universe do you find most exciting? and which part is the most mundane?

asked by [deleted]

Mundane? Any place devoid of cosmic collisions. How dull is that.

Exciting? See earlier post.

What are some of the best research opportunities for undergraduate students in physics?

asked by ngold5

None. They are all in astrophysics.

Is it possible for humans to ever discover the "edge" of the universe? Is there really any "end" to it?

asked by beastbass

No edge. Any more than the horizon at sea is an edge to the earth.

Just wanted to say hello! Also, what books are you reading at the moment?

asked by Monty_Brogan

"Burgundy", by Robert Parker and "the Myth of Science Literacy" by Morris Shamos and back issues of Skeptical Inquirer magazine:

Bill Nye the Science Guy

I'll start with the few questions sent in a few days ago. Looking forward to reading what might be on your mind.

I vaguely remember reading an interview a long while back when your show was still on where you said you liked model trains? Was that why most episodes of the show had train stuff in them (like the model trains carrying the planets in the solar system one)?

asked by Zeether

I do love model trains. They carry memories from childhood. But for me, there's more. If we had more and better trains in the U.S., I'm pretty sure we'd be better off. Trains are more efficient than just about any other form of transportation: They roll with much less friction than rubber tires. They do not have to carry surplus motive power (energy/unit of time). And, they run on schedules that can be optimized for energy use and level of service. What's not to love?...

Bill, You are what made me fall in love with science at a young age! Thank you for inspiring me!

As for a question, What are you concentrating on most right now?

asked by CullenDM

The landing on Mars! It's next Sunday night or Monday morning, depending on your time zone. The Curiosity rover will be lowered onto the surface of Mars by a "sky crane." It's like science fiction; only it's real. The Planetary Society is hosting "Planetfest" events around the world. The central event is at the Pasadena Convention Center. It's goes on all weekend. It's going to be wild! Hope you'll join us! We may make a discovery about martian living things that changes the world(s)!!

It seems like teachers (myself included) sometimes try to make science more relevant by saying that it's a great career option, and science outreach programs try to get more people interested in the STEM fields. I've recently started wondering if this is the wrong emphasis. It might make students think that if they DON'T want to be in a science career, they are somehow exempt from understanding it. How can we make people realize that science really is just something you should understand, respect, and appreciate?

asked by [deleted]

Show then tell. Show them your passion. Science is the best ideas humans have had (so far). Let your people see it for themselves. Science Rules.... the universe, and that includes us.

Ages ago, in the mid 90s, I sat in front of you at an M's game (M's vs. Orioles, 3rd base side and 4 or 5 rows up, if I recall correctly). I knew you were behind me and I was terribly excited that I was sitting so close to someone I respected very much (for the *science* and *Almost Live!*)! I didn't want to bug you AT ALL, but I did keep sneaking peeks behind me to make sure I wasn't seeing things.

At one point, you offered me a peanut, which I passed on (I was so nervous!!).

After the game ended, I mustered up the courage to have you sign my ticket stub: "Brandie: Stay in school! Bill Nye" - I still have it. I can honestly say that was one of the biggest highlights of my youth!

That all being said, I have *ALWAYS* felt guilty for asking you for the autograph. Why? Because I honestly think you were very incognito and low-key, and by me asking, it brought you some unwanted attention. You didn't vocalize your displeasure, but I felt like I could see it in your body language that you were a tad bit miffed. Please accept my apologies, but know that you absolutely made my decade.

So my question: *In light of everything you've seen and done in your life, what personal experience truly made you pause and maybe say to yourself "that was amazing!"?*

asked by br4nd13

Stories like yours. No kidding, that's lovely. Thank you, and thank you all for your wonderful words. It's after 16:30 here in the Pacific Time Zone. I've got to fly. I'll be back my O my, Bill Nye the Science Guy.

Bill, you're awesome.

What's the best way to articulate that someone needs more information about a subject without sounding like a 'know-it-all'?

You're a great spokesperson for science and I'd love to get a glimpse of your thought process before you respond to someone who doesn't know what they're talking about.


asked by Saym

Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't. I respect that especially. I think I know to whom you refer, certain newscasters (?). When they ask odd questions, it generally means they're asking from their own experience. They have something on their mind(s). I work to respond to that.

Do you understand that you are one of the biggest motivating factors for me, and a lot of kids who watched you as kids, to continue doing science all the way through middle and highschool?

You're so respected by kids and their parents alike. So thank you!

I suppose my question would be, do you ever run into people that don't realise just how accomplished you are, and just see you as a TV host? How do you react to that?


First of all, thank you. I often stop and try to get it. I try to grasp the popularity and influence of the Science Guy show, but I'm not sure I do. If I may, I love you guys...

If I go into Starbucks, and the people don't know about my show, or my Planetary Society job, or my recent recognition from the Am. Society of Mech. Engineers, the coffee seems to be about the same price. These are all things I feel good about. How else should or would I feel? Hmm...

Do you and Neil deGrasse Tyson hang out regularly? If so, what do you talk about?

asked by moomooguy2

Astrophysics, the business of television, baseball, wine, and women.

Would you ever consider doing it independently, on YouTube or on its own site?

asked by CullenDM

Stay tuned ;-)

Third. I'm sure that a significant majority of us here are inquisitive in part to people like you, who showed us that there is virtue in the pursuit of knowledge.

asked by [deleted]

That's just cool everyone. Thank you.

What was so unfavorable about the contract?

On a more personal note, thank you for doing what you have done to further science. You made me start loving it as a child and I have kept my love of it till today. I would not be half the person I am today without your great program to pique my interest.

So again, thank you.

asked by Bryygy

That's very nice. It is I, who must thank you for the kind words and support. Let's change the world.

But what was so unfavorable about the contract? Sorry for being redundant, but I would like to know.

asked by acethebear

In 20 years Jim & Erren, and I (the producers) have still not "earned out." This is to say, according to the accountant at the legal entity involved, we still haven't shown a profit. I am of course open-minded, but skeptical. It's the way of the world.

So much money that he will build his own super collider.

asked by CullenDM

That's not easy. The liquid helium alone is hard to keep around ;-)

My sons are 9, 6, and 5. What's a great experiment I can do with them this weekend?

asked by FairlyGoodGuy

Share in Planetfest, the Curiosity rover landing on Mars. Make your own sky crane. Look at jarosite with a hand lens. Imagine what it would be to find it on Mars. Check out

This mission may change the world.

If you could do anything else as a profession that doesn't involve science (not that you should), what would it be?

asked by DunnDorr

You stumped me. What profession doesn't involve science? Lumberjack? Plenty of science. Bus driving? Hope you have a sense of momentum, torque, traction, and the passage of time. For me, science rules.

That's how I found out that inertia was a property of matter. I still don't understand it, but I do know it.

asked by ShapeShiftnTrick

Inertia is word embraced by Isaac Newton himself. It's whatever is about matter, about stuff, that gives it mass. Next time you're in space with a bathroom scale, look down... wait, look in the direction of the scale. It will read zero, yet you know that you still have a feature or property that makes you harder to push around than the scale itself, but easier to push around than your Millennium Falcon. That's inertia. Give it some mull, hmmm...

Hey Bill! - What do you do in your free time these days?

asked by jsauce2

Ride my bike

Swing dance

Devise ways to grow more food in my garden and save energy in my house.

Life's pretty gooood.

Where do you get your bow ties from?

asked by xeridoo

When you see one you like, just buy it. If it's good lookin', someone is right behind you ready to snap it up. I find them at Nordstrom (the store and Rack). I have a couple dozen that Beau Ties of Vermont made into bows from straight ties with intriguing patterns. Astronomy2Go is a good source thereof. Right now, I'm diggin' the slimline with arrow points. Ahh...

Are you going to be a part of the Carl Sagan's Cosmos sequel, 'Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey' at all?

asked by OneTesticleNoPenis

Not so far as I know (that would be big fun). That's Neil's Deil... Deal. It's going to be great.

What do you think are the biggest thing's that we can do to improve education in public schools?

asked by acehunter

Vote for improving schools every chance you get. If you're a parent, get as involved in your kids' education as you can...without troubling the teachers ;-).

The longest journey begins with a single step. In my view, we have to support schools, which might be written $upport $chool$$$. That takes taxes, and that takes a majority of us believing in public education.

Why do you think there are so few scientists in government?

asked by Trilobyte15

Governments, especially the U.S. government, is system of laws. Those are written and developed by people drawn to that business. Many scientists are drawn to other intellectual pursuits. As an engineer, I might rather be making things instead of talking about directing people's behavior. One of the things that makes the U.S. so attractive to immigrants is the sophistication and quality of our laws. Much as people like to complain. Our laws in the U.S. are better than than they are in much of the rest of the world.

I think the interview was as you said, something stirred up to generate controversy on television. That's all most television is about anymore. Do I think it was done in the appropriate manner?- No, but I have a ton of respect for you for keeping your cool and presenting the facts as they are.

I want to thank you for being a huge inspiration to me as a kid, and through today. Also, as a side note, do you have all of your Bill Nye the Science Guy episodes available for download legally somewhere? I'd love to have copies to show my kids when I eventually have some on a format that's going to last.

asked by colonelpan1c

You can download 33 of them from iTunes. "They" are working on setting up the remaining 67 episodes. A couple days ago, I hoped to download Space Exploration, but it's not there yet. It's coming along with the others... Stay tuned.

Hey Mr. Bill Nye! I grew up with your show as a kid and I just wanted to thank you for being one of the factors that instilled curiosity in me as a child. That curiosity eventually led me onto the path I am today(3 years into my Biochemistry B.S. degree). So basically this is just a personal thank you for being Bill Nye the Science Guy!

asked by DannyZzz

Right on! Change the world.


I was really sorry to hear about your death,288/

How did this effect your career?

asked by major_lugo

I thanked them for killing me. I mean come on, C2H4O2 + NaHCO3 produces CO2. It's heavier than air. It was a joke people. O my, that's some nerd comedy right there.

I guess it was ultimately good for my career... at least so far ;-)

What changes would you make towards teaching science, math and technology curriculum?

asked by techwithbill

We'd start earlier with algebra. Let's have symbols for numbers early, early in school. That will enhance everyone's appreciation of science. It should be an inexpensive thing to pull off. Stay tuned.

Hey Bill, big fan! I saw you speak years ago. Two questions:

Were you a Stargate fan before your cameo?

What are your opinions of the Ancient Astronaut Theory?

asked by diffference

I always liked the occasional Stargate. I have approximately No Time for theories about ancient astronauts coming here and building pyramids and runways. What does that say about our ancestors? That they weren't smart enough to make a right angle? That they couldn't draw a straight line, even with a perfect beam of light? Cheer up. Humans are okay.

Do you ever miss Almost Live? Do you have any funny stories from the show?

asked by ashelia

The Almost Live guys are still good friends. Ross and I stay in touch. I spoke with Steve Wilson this morning. Bob Nelson may be the funniest writer in history. Sensors indicate that Pat Cashman is the funniest announcer, who has ever lived. I remember the floor director starting to laugh when I played Og Brockaw on the Hunter Gatherer Report. I could barely deliver the lines. Bo Arg ran off a cliff to escape a swarm of bees, "The god of gravity sucked him down and made him flat," for example.

Nancy Guppy's housewife character said to Pat Cashman's J.T. Plumber that she "couldn't help but notice is caulk." I can't even type; it was so funny...

Hello!! Oh my god, I am so excited you're doing an IAmA. I was a huge fan of your show in my childhood, and I great respect all of your contributions to science over the years. My questions:

1. Would you ever consider doing guest speaking at various universities? I would personally love it if you could at UC Santa Cruz. I'm planning to major in astrophysics, so I'd love to know if you had any information to present at a lecture! And I know a ton of others who would love it, too!

2. What do you feel has been the most revolutionary discovery in the past 20 years *other* than the internet? And, in the same vein, what do you feel may be that next big technology?

3. Favorite Sci-Fi series? I'm hoping Doctor who.

4. What do you feel is the future for NASA? Positive? Negative?

5. What was your favorite personal discovery that you made?

Again, thank you so much for everything you have done. You were amazing in my childhood and continue to be an inspiration in my college career.

asked by rockerode

I speak at universities all the time. My agent is Betsy Berg. Find her on

The accelerating expanding universe still gets my vote.

A smart electric power grid could save us from ourselves.

Star Trek, the original (I am of that age).

NASA is the best investment we make for less than $18 billion. No one else can do what we'll witness Sunday next when we land on Mars. Check out

When I first saw craters on the Moon through a telescope... that was something...

Bill! I don't have a question, I just want you to know you were the one who inspired me to always be curious. I grew up watching your show and you should forever be proud of the young minds you've changed!

asked by Mattyman01

Thank you indeed. Let's change the world.

Bill, I just wanted to say that I heard your speech at Cornell University almost...a year ago now. I thought it was really inspiring and I love the username. Anyway, my question is about the politics of science and is in two parts. Primarily, why do you think there is so much of a "culture of ignorance" in America, and how do you think we can combat that on a national scale, i.e. Moon landing. I know you've said renewable resources but is there perhaps something more visceral. The moon landing had a very defined beginning and foreseeable end, renewable resource energy has neither since we don't know what a really good source of energy will become or what it will look like. That kind of time commitment has, historically, been lost on the electorate.

Secondly, science is in and of itself political in nature, who gets grants (or contracts...ha) depends on whose pockets are the deepest and thereby research comes to the surface not as a result of ability or desire but of financial support. For example Exxon and Shell fund research to mitigate claims of damage done to the environment by oil, etc. The government funds (or funded) research into corn-ethanol that captivated the national attention for thirty seconds. Are you concerned that if a political shift in power takes, say a fiscal conservative swing, and decides to downsize the NIH and the NSF that it would have a profound effect by increasing private influence (loaded question) and is there anything we can do to limit the influence of "politics" in research.

Lastly, on an interview with fox you said you were glad we were done with the shuttle. Why? and what are your unadulterated feelings about Fox/Bill O'Reilly?

I know I added a question, but I just wanted to say that my going into biology and then medical school is in part because of you. Cheers.

asked by mccartneyoverlenin

We have to chip away. Adults are hard to influence once their brains have formed a belief. I hope to foster a generation of people, who embrace the process of science. We'll see. Science is political, because it's done by humans. We all have to be part of the process in the public debates. Vote.

The space shuttle cost around $1.5 billion a flight. It had to be retired before those resources could be redirected to more productive programs. We're at a cross roads in space exploration. Stay tuned, and of course. Try Planetfest next weekend!

Why do you think the United States lags so far behind in the field of Science? What would you recommend (if anything) to get more people interested in Science?

asked by harangueatang

We need a national common purpose, a goal we can achieve together analogous to landing people on the Moon (and returning him safely to Earth). I'd like us to have a completely renewable energy system conceived, designed, built, and used by every one of us in the U.S. We could lead the world in doing more with less. That effort would trickle up into every aspect of our lives, schools included.

What was up with Activeion?

asked by epieikeia

It is a cool product. It cleans well enough. But, what it really does is kill germs. It's remarkable. The company seems to have been undercapitalized. The units were coming out at $150 a pop. People were reluctant to invest. It's the same technology used in the most popular brand of industrial floor scrubbers. There, the units are big, so the price per is not a hard sell. We'll see what the future holds. I use mine every day.

As a young woman pursuing a degree in STEM (Two, actually - physics and astrophysics), I definitely wonder this, too. Sally Ride was my hero growing up, and now that we've lost her, I'm really wondering who's going to be the hero for the next generation of science-minded young women. In my school's entire college of science, we have only a single female professor (and not a single female professor in the college of engineering), and I'd really, REALLY like to see that change. The cost and time you have to put it to get anywhere in STEM in the US is ENORMOUS, so there has to be some kind of real motivation for today's youth to get into it.

asked by SevenStarSonata

If you become an engineer, you use science to solve problems and make things. Everything you see around you, your computer especially, came out of someone's head. And generally, that person was an engineer. Not bad...

Is/was science a part of your everyday life? Also, I love you.

asked by Tigerbanger115

Science is part of everyone's everyday life. Hard to find anything lovelier than a tree. They grow at right angles to a tangent of the nominal sphere of the Earth. They take water from the ground toward the sky. They are made mostly of carbon... which they take in right out of the air. How cool is that... and so on and on and on and on and on and on and on....

Just wanted to say thanks for coming to NewSpace Bill. What is your favorite space event ever?

asked by rack88

My favorite space event is yet to come. Next weekend, when we land on Mars. Did I mention Planetfest? ;-)

Do you have your theme song as your ring tone? You should.

[The theme song](

asked by mdignen

Love that song: Science Rules

How do we preprare for a "mass extinction" event coming from Mt. St. Helens? Would humans survive?

asked by maddogjones

Mt St Helens isn't going to kill many more people in the near future. If you like to worry about things, consider a 150 meter asteroid with our name on it. Yikes! It's the reason the Planetary Society is working with the B612 Foundation to assay and deflect an asteroid some day.

Do you have any advice for aspiring science communicators who try to explain science with humor?

asked by [deleted]

Be funny as well as funny looking...

I was mauled by a bear, fought it off, and drove 4 miles down a mountain with my face hanging off. AMA

Hello, my name is Allena Hansen. In 2008 while I was working on my isolated mountain property, I was mauled by a predatory black bear. Saved by my thumbnail and my two faithful ranch dogs, I hiked out of a box canyon and drove myself four miles down a rutted logging road to our little rural fire station from which I was airlifted to UCLA Medical Center. There I underwent eight hours of emergency surgery and survived the subsequent onslaught of LA reality television's media hounds.

Five years and a dozen surgeries later, I'm back to some semblance of my original self.

Here's a book I wrote about it:

Here's a Facebook devoted to it:

The Thread that inspired this AMA:

Me with my beloved hounds:

The disquieting meatlump they airlifted into UCLA medical center: (Warning: NSFW/gore)

And here I am, ask me anything!


I'm back, and my you've been busy all night. Thank you again for all the support! Lots of you have asked about donating to help my medical bills. Honestly the best thing you could do is drop 5 bucks on the book and give it a good review:


Next day:

Okay, I think my work here is done. I've tried to answer every question at least once, and worked my way through the whole thread in doing so. But I'm sure there are plenty I've missed, so if I didn't get to yours somewhere along the line and you're still curious, please go here: and check it out. The chances are I've already answered your question in depth.

If you enjoyed this AMA, please considering liking the book's Facebook page?

Please feel free to link to where ever; I'd love it if you guys could help me get this story out to people who might find it useful in their own lives. Remember, if a little old lady can pull it off, SO CAN YOU!

Thanks so much for reading and commenting; this has been a total hoot!

Cheers all,


What was going through your mind as you drove back down the mountain?

asked by hicketre2006

For one thing, I didn't expect to MAKE it down the mountain, so there was an air of the surreal about it; sort of like a crazed Disney ride. But mostly when I realized that I might indeed make it to the fire station, there was this enormous sense of elation.

The pain must've been excruciating though, wasn't it? Or were you in shock or something?

asked by ILL_Show_Myself_Out

Mercifully, one forgets the actual sensation, but I wrote about it at the time, knowing I wouldn't remember what it was like if I didn't get it down in the near term. The desire to survive overrides everything else, so the pain became superfluous to keeping myself alive. Curiously, many of the nerves in my face were severed in the attack, so there wasn't a specific pain, just an overweening one. And a whole lot of blood. The horror was the hard part. Numbing, in fact.


asked by [deleted]

After it had gnawed my head awhile, I decided to open my eyes and look at what was killing me. It's expression was so bland and businesslike it enraged me, so I managed to jab my thumb into its piggy little eye and it let go of my face long enough for me to yell for my dogs. Once the dogs came running, it was diverted long enough for me to get up and try to escape down the creekbed.

Edit: punctuation

Did the dogs get out ok?

asked by d_snizzy

Both my dogs survived! But it's been almost five years and big dogs don't live all that long. Deke's death really hit me hard. I miss him.

I'm so happy all three of you survived!

asked by JaneRenee

Me too, thanks.

I'm sorry for your loss :( My dog died a few years ago, as well. I love dogs because they're so blissfully simple, yet so personal and powerful in one's life. They don't fight wars for power, they don't savagely throw off real people for their own cause. They love and they play, and they bring immeasurable joy into a person's life. They're oblivious to politics, global conflict, and world crises, and there's something beautiful about that.

**EDIT**: Thank you for the Gold. I'm awed daily by the graciousness of strangers on the Internet.

asked by rmsy

Would that we all could have their sense of equanimity. I love that old saying, "The more I know of men, the more I like my dog."

holy cow you are good at words

asked by mustardsteve

Thank you kindly.

dogs are so cool and its badass that they went after it for u my dog probably would have tried to play with it

asked by Afeland

I think mine did too, actually, until they smelled all the blood. Then things got serious.

I'm curious how did you get your dogs back? Did they initially follow you back to your vehicle once you were safe or did you have to go back looking for them once you had left the hospital, hoping they were okay?

asked by 3030tron

The mastiff was waiting at the car when I got back to it, but the wolfhound made his way down the mountain and a neighbor recognized him and brought him back to the ranch.

Did they get injured? How did they distract the bear?

asked by [deleted]

Their injuries were surprisingly minor. They're so big, I suspect the bear was momentarily stunned at the sight of them. All I remember was a huge snarling pile of fur and teeth-- and I got the hell out of there.

You need to marry Ron Swanson.

asked by rmsy

I'd probably scare the poor boy to death....

How did you deal with the whole ordeal after your first operation? Emotionally, and physically.

asked by sirpooperscooper

Well, I wrote a book... Surprisingly, I didn't have the expected nightmares, flashbacks, panic attacks et al one might have expected. Mostly, I was so stoked at the incredible job Dr. Lee had done on my reconstruction, I felt I'd be letting everyone down if I didn't do my damndest to heal and recover.

Physically, I had to relearn how to speak, eat, even breathe properly. But through it all, I was motivated by wanting to let people know that if a little old lady could survive something like this, so could they.

That's amazing. And by the picture that i've seen your doctor did an amazing job with reconstruction. That last little paragraph really hit me. It helped me put my own problems into perspective and how i they may be bad but people have certainly been in worse situations. So thank you. This made my day.

asked by sirpooperscooper

You're welcome. Hang in there.

Is there anything you can compare that kind of pain to?

asked by towlieee

No. Having a baby was a piece of cake in comparison. Maybe like being smacked in the head by an anvil?

If I ever found myself being attacked by a bear, what advice would you give me?

asked by Cocky_All_Day

If it's a Grizzly Bear, play dead. If you're in California, it's a Black Bear. Fight back with everything you've got because it's trying to kill you. If it's a Polar Bear, you're fucked.

If it's brown, stay down. If it's black, attack. Now confirmed to be true.

asked by ExBoop

Except that black bears can be black, red, brown, black and white, golden, tan, rust or mottled. Best to go by the State you're being attacked in. California has black bears, so if you're in California and a bear is eating you, you'd best fight back. If you're in the PNW or Montana where they also have grizzlies, things may become a bit more problematic.

What that's not true about the polar bear thing, climb a tree they can't climb. As a Manitoban I know this.

asked by lickslips

Cool info, thanks for this. I'll remember that then next time I'm being mauled by a polar bear!

Any advice for Sun Bear or Panda encounters?

asked by foresttravestys

Commie talk! We only endorse being mauled by red-blooded Amurkin bears!

So did I read correct that you have met Hunter S Thompson? If so What was your impression of him?

asked by iamaredditer

That the human body can survive more pharmaceutical assault than you ever thought possible.

Thanks so much for doing this I actually heard about you before. What breed are your dogs?

asked by muhammadm

Deke was a masiff and RK is an Irish wolfhound. As it turns out, the two very best breeds I could have had in this situation, as the mastiff instinctively goes for ground (they were bred to bait bears) and the wolfhound keeps it at bay.

Irish wolfhounds should be classified as horses

asked by carrot_the_spy

Too bad they don't eat hay instead of roast beef.

I'm morbidly curious-- could you see out of the eye that was hanging down your face?

asked by curlymike

My eyeball was not hanging down onto my face, but it was bitten and the other eye lid torn off. I only allowed myself a brief look into the rearview mirror, but it was so awful, I just laughed and kept driving.

>I just laughed and kept driving.




asked by Beatleboy62

It beat the alternative.

Goddam you're awesome

asked by Dracomister7

Goddam, you're sweet. Thanks.

I would imagine that people driving next to you would see the blood coming from your face. Did anyone try and stop and help?

asked by apapoban

The "road" was more of a dirt trail than an actual road. I've never seen another vehicle up there in all the years I've lived here, so the chances I'd run into anyone were slim indeed.

The adrenaline was going crazy. She probably drove like a god damn maniac.

asked by iceburgh29

Yep. Also, I couldn't see anything, which made for a rollicking good time.

I would be horrified in that situation, adrenaline does crazy things to people.

asked by TheReasonableCamel

I very nearly was, but found the alternative more appealing.

Thanks for doing the AMA! I was curious how did the bear attack you? Did you spot it, then it chased you down as you tried to run or did it just come out of nowhere and there was no time to react to it?

asked by ImminentDecay

Sorry for that mix-up. I'm new to this format.

It had been waiting for me in a willow copse, and when I paused from my work for a moment, it rushed me and took me down. One moment we made eye contact, and in the next I was in the fetal position in the sandy creek bed with this nightmare gnawing on my face.

That sounds absolutely terrifying! It's remarkable that you had the instincts to fight back! I'd probably be lying there thinking HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT A BEAR IS EATING ME

asked by ImminentDecay

That was my first inclination, but then I thought, "Damnit, I used to hang out at Playboy Mansion you miserable little creep. You can't do this to ME!" And I decided to live.

Did you have that moment of seeing your life flash before your eyes?

asked by FrenchBraidsAndSemen

No. Nor did I see Jesus. But I knew that this was the moment of my death, and it pissed me off enormously. So much in fact, that it inspired me to fight back -- which turned out to be the right decision. I think.

You have so much grit! You seem like such a wonderful, tough woman, and I am so thankful that you decided to share your story. Thank you!

asked by l-eos

And thanks so much for your kind words!

I can imagine your inside the bear's jaw

"'m going to die. I'm actually going to...wait, WHAT THE FUCK! THIS IS HOW I'M GOING TO DIE!? FUCK THIS SHIT. HADOKEN!!!!!!!!"

asked by PaperJamDipper7


I would like to just say that you look fantastic in your after photos, and thank you for doing this AMA.

asked by thorrising

Thank you so much! I owe it all to my fabulous surgeon, Dr. Kimberly Lee, and some very good lighting.

How did it feel to have half your face hanging off. I woke up during surgery with part of my scalp/face peeled back and it was a very strange experience but I was sedated - how was it for you? I mean, obviously it was painful, but anything else?

asked by Crankenterran

It felt alien, cold, like it belonged to somebody else and I was just inside watching.

How much were you medical bills?

asked by iamaredditer

My crappy insurance company only covered about 20% of what I needed done (Google: Mauled by a bear then mauled by Blue Cross), so I'll be paying these bills off for the rest of my life. So far expenses have been about 300K and counting.

We need to get you on Ellen. She'd take care of the bills.

asked by roastedbagel

I'd love to meet her. I think she's adorable!

You should have put your thumb in blue cross lil piggy eye socket too.

asked by iamaredditer

I've been trying to. And when we get a public option, I will have succeeded.

That's horrible! Wtf?? Is living near bears considered a pre-existing condition or something??

asked by TreeOfMadrigal

My policy doesn't cover dental, optical, or cosmetic -- the major injuries I suffered. "Health" insurance is the biggest scam on the planet. The company makes their money by denying their policyholders service.

Oh God... I deal with insurance every day at work... this made me laugh for real.

asked by motorcityvicki

I used to work for a medical malpractice insurer. Talk about a double whammy.....

What was the drive to the fire station like for you? What was going through your head? And this may sound strange... but did you listen to music?

asked by Ziss0u

It was like the whackiest Disney ride ever. I alternated between elation and despair, but figured what the heck, I'm not likely to live through this anyway, so here's my one chance to drive like a total dickhead with impunity. Fortunately, the dirt track was so remote, that the likelihood of running into anyone else was approaching nil. Frankly, I expected to go careening over the cliffside, so I just spun the wheel and stomped on the brakes as the spirit moved me. No music, just my maniacal laughter echoing off the canyon walls.... :-)

That's so great to hear, I couldn't help but imagine that it would be a bloody, sepia toned heavy breathing ride with you constantly checking the review mirror. I guess I probably shouldn't make assumptions based on horror movies I've seen. It sounds like you are on the optimistic side. Has that optimism stuck with you in the years since?

asked by Ziss0u

More just a niggling sense of wtf. Life can go seriously weird on you sometimes, you know? But it helps if you don't take it too seriously.

That gave me goosebumps. You write as well as you wrestle bears.

asked by globlet

Plenty more where that came from. Check out my book, link in the OP.

If you were to do something to prevent this from happening to you again, what would you do?

asked by crimpingainteasy

When I'm outside now, I watch my six! It was something of a fluke, as black bears rarely attack human beings. But my tomboy girlfriends who like to run and bike in the backcountry learned a valuable lesson from this. We ALL make sure we go out with a dog or two now, and STAY ALERT! Personally, I spend a lot of time looking up into the trees for lions....

I also live on a ranch and my mom always takes bear spray and bells when she goes hiking or running. Shits cash.

asked by A-Quiet-Life

Very wise, but I worry it just alerts them that dinner is coming -- and with its own seasoning.

What have you learned most from this experience?

Do you have a different outlook on life because of this happening?

asked by itsmig

To persist. As to the second part of your question, I'm still trying to figure that out. I a bit more wary in the wild places -- which ruins some of the sanctity I used to find there, and I resent that. But mostly I'm the same person I've always been, just a bit lumpier.

Hi Allena, thanks for doing an AMA.

Did you quit your job at the ranch?

Has this changed your perspective of animals?

Did you provoke the animal, or have any idea why it would attack you?

asked by TheReasonableCamel

1: My ranch IS my job. I can't quit it.

2:I have to admit, the whole misadventure has made me a lot more wary of animals with big teeth. We tend to take for granted that they're not going to kill us. Sometimes that's just not true....

3:I think it was a predatory attack by a desperate creature. It was probably hungry, disoriented from the recent wildfire, and taking a territorial stand. It certainly knew I was there, and it had been stalking me. Probably figured I was an easier dinner than a deer -- which has hooves and antlers and can outrun it. Little old ladies aren't supposed to fight back....

How have you recovered physically? Sorry to ask this but what specific injuries or damages did you actually suffer?

BTW - you are awesome and spectacular!

asked by lugasamom

Thanks! If you didn't know about the attack and saw me on the street, you probably wouldn't even look twice. Kimberly Lee is one HELL of a good plastic surgeon! But I suffered some pretty gruesome injuries to my face and head. In fact, in the ER pics, you can't even tell I'm a human being. I've had doctors look at the picture and turn it around trying to figure out where the face is in it.

Basically what happened is that the bear charged, grabbed me by the ears and bit into my face. In doing so, it destroyed the bridge of my nose, tore off my ears, chewed out fourteen teeth and much of my upper gums and palate. It also ripped off my lips and tore apart my face and scalp. Kimberly Lee estimated that she put over a thousand stitches into my head and face during the first surgery.

Me right after surgery:

Me today:

Dr.Lee is at

Edit: removed redundancy

You look better than most people who *haven't* been mauled by a bear.

asked by mrcydonia

Aww. Shucks. It was a hell of a way to get a facelift

Your plastic surgeon did a wonderful job. Can we see a pic of you before the attack to put along with the current photo of you?

asked by iamaredditer

This was taken a month before the attack:

You look great!


I FEEL great. Thanks so much!

Did it seem to go in slow motion or was it more like a quick motion of you sticking its eye with your thumb and getting away?

asked by Dracomister7

Everything happened in real time. No distortions at all. I knew that should I survive this, I'd have one hell of a story to tell, so I made a conscious decision to note and remember every possible detail so I could write it all down if I made it out of there. And I did.

I worked in the ER at ucla back in 2008. I remember you. I'm glad you're doing well. That makes me happy

asked by hopalongsunday

Thank you thank you thank you for the incredible job you guys did on me! The most humbling thing about this whole escapade is knowing that 100 brilliant and dedicated people came together as a team to save a literally faceless stranger. I am indebted to you all every time I look in a mirror -- or look, period.

That UCLA is my alma mater (my father was in in the first graduating class at UCLA Med and my sister was in the class of 85) makes it all the sweeter. GO BRUINS!

If someone were to make a movie about your experience, ala 127 hrs. Who would you pick to play you?

asked by unfulfilledsoul

Me. I'm sui generis.

When you got to the fire station what did you say/do?

What did your dog's do once you called them over? And did they survive?

Thanks for doing this, and you look gorgeous! Your surgeon must of been great!

asked by lexxxgrace25

When I got to the fire station, my big concern was that when they saw me, they'd faint, so I decided to try for levity. So I walked into the garage bay and yelled "Honey I'm home!" Then proceeded to give them every bit of personal informatin I could remember: name, blood type, shoe size...

First off, they both lived, not that much worse for wear. Once I called them, they came running, I don't remember much after that, but there was a lot of fur and blood, and growling and yelping. They diverted the bear long enough for me to get up and escape.

Thank you! My surgeon, Kimberly Lee, M.D. is a genius, so if anyone out there need a face lift, give her office a call and tell them I sent you. She's in Beverly Hills.

Thanks for the AMA. How has your perspective of wildlife and protecting endagered dangerous animals changed? Do you still enjoy the outdoors?

asked by MrAnonymous825

I still love the outdoors, but I'm a lot more cautious about my surroundings. Some of the sanctity has been destroyed for me, and for that, I grieve. I'm still an avid advocate for wild things, but until they start paying property tax I'm going to assert my dominance.

So alpha!

asked by erogbass

That's Ms. Alpha to you, dear. :-)

What was the reaction of the people that helped you? Could you talk at all to explain what happened?

asked by dollyhepatie

The guys at the fire station were champs. We all kept it as professional as possible and even managed a laugh or two out of it. I figured that if I kept them busy writing down my personal information they'd:

A.) Not faint

B.) Be able to indentify the body

So I gave them name, age, blood type, UCLA patient number, next of kin, size of shoe, anything I could think of to keep conscious until the heli-evac arrived from Mojave about twenty minutes later.

How did you manage to speak coherently with no lips, about 6 teeth and half your palette?

asked by gentled

I didn't, but you'd be amazed at what you can communicate with frantic finger gestures and spreading pools of blood. Actually, this was just one more instance when I was grateful I'd learned ventriloquism as a kid.

Do bears mark their territory? I've seen a few places where the bark is rubbed raw... could this be an indication of a bear's habitat nearby?

asked by nalebunny

Yes, bears do scratch bark as a marker, but mostly they just leave their scat. If you see piles of bear plop in the middle of a trail, there's a good reason, and you should probably watch your six.

Have you ever thought of going back for him and getting revenge?

asked by killymays

No. In fact I rather identified with the beast inasmuch as it struck me that it was a refugee seeking a safe haven -- just as I was. It was tracked for several days, but the hunters were unable to catch it.

I always appreciate this mindset. Yes, the animal **totally** tried to murder you. ...but that's **totally** what animals do. They murder shit!

I can understand getting upset with a watermelon if **it** tried to bite your face off - that's one asshole of a watermelon; but a bear? That's just kind of what they do. Kill. Eat. Sleep.

asked by Cikedo

There are arsehole humans, too. But I don't hold that against humanity.

Don't kid yourself, Joe. You are a true American Patriot. I salute you, sir.

asked by PounderMcNasty

You guys, so funny.

Do you carry a gun or at least pepper spray now?

asked by iamaredditer

Nope. Just a big dog, or horse,

Wow, as someone who has lead outdoor trips for a living and now works in emergency medicine, this is my worst nightmare. I am so amazed at you keeping your wits together like that. I've been stalked by mountain lions before and definitely had that "raised hackle" feeling before.

Did you have any sensation at all that something was watching you?

How long was your recovery total?

What was the most difficult part of your recovery?

Do you have a partner and were they supportive?

Thank you for participating in this AMA!

asked by tasty_unicorn_bacon

I had no inkling that I was being watched, and was totally oblivious to the danger. Even my dogs were sound asleep in the creek bed about twenty feet from me. The total recovery is ongoing, and it's been about 4.5 years now.

I've lived alone for the last twenty years, but my son, who'd just graduated from College of William and Mary and was looking forward to his real life, kindly moved back in with me for several months to babysit and drive me back and forth across the state for medical treatment. "Supportive" doesn't even come close. Child is my angel.

This sounds familiar, i think it was on TIL not too long ago, if I'm not mistaken. The story I mean

asked by Burdenofbruce

Yeah, my son saw and told me about it, and dared me to do this AMA.

What was going through your mind as it was gnawing at your head?! Were you accepting, horrified, strangely calm??

asked by Jfrogz

I was more pissed off than you can possible imagine thinking of all the pleasure my grizzly death would give the rednecks back in town.

I once spoke to a man who survived a grizzly attack. He spent hours walking/waiting for help. He said he felt no pain, until the moment the EMTs arrived. The moment of him giving himself over to someone else opened him up to the pain and agony. Did you experience anything similar or were you just a badass all the way through?

asked by isisis

It hurt like hell throughout, but you're right. Once I was safe in the helicopter, the pain became overwhelming. It took all my will to remain conscious and upright so I didn't aspirate and drown in my blood.

Perhaps THE most surreal experience in a lifetime of whackiness.

Do you carry a gun with you? Should you?

asked by TheHappyZebra

No, guns just get in my way. I carry a large wolfhound instead. Seriously, if you're going to be in known bear country, it's probably a good idea to carry bear spray. Unless you're an extremely good shot and super cool under pressure, chances are a gun won't do you much good at all in the midst of all that adrenalin.

You're seriously inspirational. I have two questions. How do people react when they found out you survived a bear attack? What was the firemen's reaction when you walked in?

asked by kablammm

Most don't believe me until I show them the picture (it's buried deep in my book so you don't barf, btw). Then the very next thing they usually do is ask for my plastic surgeon's card (which always I carry along with the pic.)

The firemen were just as pro as I'd hoped they'd be -- which is to say, totally. Shout out to Captain Kurt Merrill and the boyz. You guys rock!

What do you find the hardest to overcome on your path back to recovery?

asked by LurkMoarMcCluer

Blue Cross. Hands down.

How did the fire fighters react when they saw you? How did you feel after seeing yourself for the first time after surgery?

asked by yourfaceisamess

My first reaction on seeing my sewn-up face was, quite honestly, "Oh my gods you did SUCH a GOOD JOB!" The grief counsellor they had standing by was flabbergasted.

Black bears are typically pretty docile and afraid of people. What put the bee in this one's bonnet?

asked by [deleted]

I have reason to believe it was not a local bear, but one that had been relocated by game authorities. It was likely traumatized, disoriented and territorial when it settled on my property -- a refugee, if you will. (We'd had a huge month-long wildfire just previous to the attack).

How is the motion in your face post-op? Your smile in the 'after' pic looked great!

Also, now that I have your attention: I have to let you know that you are fucking AWESOME. Total badass, and I wish that we were related. I'm happy you made it :)

asked by UlicQelDrea

I've been doing "face yoga" for four years to slowly get the muscle control back. When I could finally whistle again, I knew I had it licked. The nerve regeneration has been an anatomy lesson in and of itself. Fascinating stuff.

I'm sorry for what happened to you but am amazed at your story.

What advice do you have for someone who will be living in bear country in a tent for 3 months? I'm planting in B.C. for the summer and will be living in my tent.

asked by son1of1callan

First, I would contact the ranger for the park where you will be staying and follow their advice to the letter. Bear spray is a must (and be sure to practice using it at home beforehand), but awareness of your surroundings is absolutely critical. That said, I've backpacked all over the Sierras in my lifetime, and have NEVER before had the slightest problem with any bears. Not even a pilfered food stash.

This sounds like a wonderful adventure! Please don't let any paranoia sully the experience.

You don't know how much this post has helped me. I have phobias of things like this happening to me. But you persevered. And kept on living. Just wanted to say thank you.

asked by yologurt

My pleasure, yolo. Hang tough.

Did you suffer any permanent vision or hearing loss after the attack?

asked by WAFFLES264

My vision is impaired, but my hearing is still hyper-acute.

Question; how long did the actual attack last? Was it a matter of a few minutes-10 minutes (considering you got messed up quite a bit) or was it longer?

Also, were you ever at any point close to dying from an infection of being bitten by a wild bear?

If the bear was male, please tell me you took the chance to hit it's balls before you left. If you did it would be one of the only things that could make thus story more awesome.

But im glad that you survived the attack and I really am sorry for the loss of one of your dogs.

asked by hervethegnome

The actual attack was probably less than three or four minutes, but it took me an addition hour or so to hike out the canyon to my car then drive it down the mountain to the fire station.

I didn't notice the bear's gender, but have this horrible suspicion it was a female. Traitor!

While in the ICU I received every antibiotic and antiviral medication known to mankind, including the full rabies series, but I was so expertly reassembled by Dr. Lee's team that infection wasn't much of an issue in the aftermath.

Best of all, both of my hero dogs survived relatively unscathed and lived full and happy lives for the next four years. Deke, the mastiff died in my arms last autumn, and RK the wolfhound is still with us. Love those doggies.

I realise you got attacked, and that this question may seem insensitive, but what happened to the bear afterwords? I know a lot of times park rangers will hunt the bear down and kill them because they had a 'taste for human flesh.' So I am just curious if you know the fate of the bear.

asked by bored2death97

They tracked it for three days, but gave up after it killed one of their dogs. In some perverse chamber of my heart, I'd like to think it's still out there -- only now it's four years older and 200 pound heavier -- and it's waiting....


What kind of dogs do you have?

asked by iamaredditer

Deke was a mastiff (a rescue dog ironically, who ended up rescuing me) and RK who is still an Irish wolfhound. Fine dogs both.

Were you on a trail, or were you just wandering?

asked by supermav27

I was working on my property digging out an irrigation spring box, and the bear was waiting for me just around the bend from it in the creek bed.

Do you feel nervous about being anywhere remote now? And if/when you go anywhere do you carry protection with you now?

asked by VerenaDot

I'm a bit more circumspect when I'm out alone in the wild now, but no, I don't carry anything with me because I'm either on horseback or with a very large dog.

Just bought the book!

asked by tuckerbaby

HUZZAH! Bless you bless you bless you! I hope you enjoy it!

Your story is very inspiring. Would you fight one bear sized duck or 10 duck sized bears?

asked by ShitsAndGigglesSake

I'd stew them all with some shallots and beer and call it dinner.

Be my grandma, please.

asked by myintrotrack

Wait until you try my cookies.

I'm just saying... Ya know how people are always "if that bear woulda touched me I woulda went all beastmode on it"? OP is that person. Without all the punkassedness. Cheers, op

asked by Parzival1123

I think we all have a little punkass in us; we just need the right arsehole to bring it on.

That sounds delicious.

asked by creaturefear

There's a recipe (and photo) for bear stew on my book's Facebook page:

Have you seen a bear since the attack? and if yes, how was it?

asked by muhcow

Yes. There was one in my kitchen garden last year that kept coming back despite my repeated stern warnings. Unfortunately I had to train it -- a fact which still haunts me.

Did you feel like giving up at some point? How did you get past that feeling?

asked by hesaidmynamedoesntfi

No, I didn't ever feel like giving up during the ursadent itself. But there were a couple of times during my recovery when Blue Cross denied service that brought me to the brink of despair. I was saved from my existential angst by the kindness of strangers. Very literally.

How has your life changed since the accident?

asked by bapolex

Not as much as you might imagine. I'm constantly amazed at this gift that's been dropped in my lap and by the support of all my readers. THANKS EVERYONE!

I saw your book summary mentioned earlier trauma(s?) that made the bear attack "no biggie". What else happened to you?

asked by YepThatsRight

Well, for one thing, I lived in Kern Kounty for fifteen years....

Have you always been this badass?

asked by ALLCAPSON

Yes. I HATE bullies and always have.

What were your thoughts when the bear first attacked? Did you know that is was a bear, or even an animal, at the time?

asked by Gunther_da_penguin

I saw it for a split second before it charged me and took me down, and my first thought was just what you'd expect it might be. (Only that's not what I said.)

Have you every considered owning your traumatic experience and becoming Bear-Woman, protector of the innocent?

asked by Samtember9

Damn. Busted.

What advice -just general life counsel - have you distilled for yourself, and are willing to share with the world, from this and surrounding events?

I ask because I'm about to make a major life change, and I'm scared, and hope you will speak to my situation.

asked by zebrake2010

For you:

It's always harder DECIDING to make a change than actually making it. Good luck!

Do you take preventative measures when in the wilderness now, such as a gun, pepper spray, etc.?

asked by LitAFartOnce

I know I probably should, but I don't take any protection with me other than my dogs. I had a side arm on me at the time of the attack, and it all happened so fast that I wouldn't have had time to pull the trigger even if I'd had it unholstered, the safety off, and was aiming.

Pepper spray might be useful on a hike, but it's kind of a pain in the butt to carry, and you have to be ready at the trigger -- which kind of ruins the ambience of being out in the beauty of nature.

Hey, the dogs still have a better track record than your sidearm.

asked by PCsNBaseball

But I still had to register them....

You and Dan Bigley ever compare notes?

asked by thorstad

Yes. Dan has just published his book and you can buy it on Amazon or at One of the most inspirational people I know of.

Are you Russian?

asked by ficarra1002

Fourth generation Californian. Planet Earth.

Wow, what an amazing story. So, have you been near bears, in the wild, since the attack? Also, did the bear smell bad? I have alway heard that they smell bad... Thanks so much!!

asked by OpenShade

Funny. Now that you mention it, scent is the ONLY sense I have no recollection of in all of this. Good question.

As an Australian, people talk about how dangerous it is here in terms of wildlife, but at least we don't have things that can literally eat you alive on land.

asked by Draculas_teabag

But you have MAMBAS! And all those Ozzies.... ;-)

I'm an acquaintance from another blog you frequent and met you in Vegas several years ago. I still see you every day on the other blog but I'm so glad to see you doing an AMA. I'm thankful we didn't lose you like we lost Oly.

For those of you who haven't had a chance to talk to Allena before, she's one of a kind and so much more special than to simply be known as a "victim" of a bear attack.

As for my questions:

*) Worse Fed Chair: Bernanke or Greenspan?

*) Have you ever tasted bear?

*) What made you want to live alone in the wilderness for so long and do you plan on staying there into old age?

asked by OhmsSlaw

LL? Howdy boy!

a) Greenspan, by far

b) Yep

c) People

I AM old aged ;-) Depends on where my next chapter takes me.

Reddit, can we help this amazing woman out with her medical bills?

Edit: Buy her book! [Link!]( It's only $5 for the Kindle version, and you get something out of it too!

asked by l-eos

Based on the phenomenal response on Amazon, you already are. THANKS!

I run a new book notification service called [Any New Books]( It has tens of thousands of subscribers (by Google Chrome, Email, Feed, etc). Your book wasn't released recently, so it doesn't qualify to be included, but I'll include it this week as a sponsored book for the Biographies and Kindle categories. I hope this will help a little.

asked by acangiano

Wow! THANK YOU acangiano. I didn't write the thing for the money (obviously,) but a little publicity never hurts and I am utterly clueless about marketing. I really appreciate your support.

Set something up. I've donated for stupider shit on Reddit.

asked by auxientius

"I'd rather you bought my book", she suggested coyly.

I'm Snoop Lion! Ask me anything!!

watup. here comes the king live on the ggn set. takn some time out to answer your questions. ask me anything jacc!!

Thanks 4 puffin wit me today reddit. Ill b bacc real soon. C u in /r/trees ubitchu!!

Hey Snoop, why do you carry an umbrella?

asked by untouchable_face

fo drizzle

What is your musical guilty pleasure?

asked by ken27238


I know lots about horticulture... can you give me a job?

asked by blockheadminer

send me ur res

Are you always high before concerts/recordings?

asked by martzzz


wanna burn one?

asked by mweezy


If you weren't a rapper, what would you be?

asked by ourabouros


Hey Snoop! Big Fan. What do you think your greatest achievement has been so far?

asked by biscuitking92

Helping get kids off tha street wit tha SYFL football league!!

Craziest concert you've performed at?

asked by sniper6336


How did your collab with the Gorillaz come about?

asked by MidniteFistfite

my guy damon hit me up n we got n tha studio n london. it was a wrap!!!


you once said that bbq flavored frito twists were your favorite munchie food. is it still that? or has it changed?

asked by Debo9

still love those. n some skittles n starbursts

Who's better at smoking weed, Dave Chapelle or Dr. Dre?

asked by Shalom86

Dave chappelle !

Did you really get Katt Williams as high as he says you did?

asked by ManualTurdRemover


What's your favorite type of dog?

What was it like working with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in *Starsky & Hutch*?

asked by avenx

Those cats can smoke uhearme

Why not 82 blunts a day?

asked by The__Afterman

ON a good day

How high are you right now, Snoop?

asked by ShadowZant


How high are you right now, Snoop?

asked by ShadowZant


yo snoop

asked by omywingle

sup neff

Do you roll your own blunts or are they rolled for you ?

Cause 81 sure is a lot of rollin errday...

asked by shagadelik


Biggest lessons that you've learned in life?

asked by BedSideCabinet

Stay original be true

How did you become successful with your career and or how did you start with your career?

asked by itcantbehazard

Warren G passed my demo to DRe n that was it!

what's the longest you've gone without smoking?

asked by [deleted]

164 days


Im live jacc!

When did that happen?

asked by Brett_Favre_4

About 5 years ago! my uncle Charlie Wilson got me to take a quic break

Snoop Lion, what's your favorite movie of all time?

asked by BobaPaul

Kung Fu Fliccs All of em

I've heard that you've said Willie Nelson is the only person who has outsmoked you. Is this true?

Do you like Willie's music/ other country stuff?

asked by March1989

Willie is 1 of tha greatest to do it !! Smokn n music

Snoop, what's your favourite position?

asked by instagigated

what do u think

Snoop, who was your greatest inspiration growing up in your teenage years? Also who's your favorite soccer player?

asked by allhailsanta

D.Becks, Drogba, All tha brazlian legends

Will you play me in Fifa?

Edit: Snoop and I didn't play. It's still mad chill that Snoop Lion said "say word" to me, plus he saved himself from an ass-beating ;). Thanks for the fucking dope AMA Snoop Lion!

asked by Cubicle_Surrealist

Whats ur gamer tag!!

I sent you a pm with my gamer tag!

Edit: No message from Snoop Lion yet. Here's a link to the message with my gamer tag: , hope you see this Snoop!

asked by Cubicle_Surrealist

Say word

What was it like working with pac? why did you 2 fall out before his death? whats your fave pac album?

asked by tejmuk

It was a beautiful thing! Miss him

craziest think you've done high

asked by ewilliams11


Hiya Snoop, how's the whole new reggae direction going for you?

asked by LLBee

FEels good! Tha Spirit go me

Do you believe in the taxation of Mary Jane with legalization, or would you prefer to see it have little to no taxes ?

asked by spookyjack123

Legalize it n if that means tax it then do it

What was working with Major Lazer like on the new track? Are you all going to collab more in the future?

asked by derrrek

It was classic!! My guys!! they tha crew.

Damn I am sad I missed this.

asked by EndCatRape

im still here jacc

where the best weed at?

asked by [deleted]

Cali !

When are you gonna throw a bigass show here in Long Beach? There needs to be one for the 2oth anniversary for Doggystyle.

asked by basedmatik

Gon make that happen

When you were on Weeds did you smoke real weed?

asked by eganblogin

Milf weed was the strain of choice on set

Will you adopt me?

asked by jennybearyay


When do you plan on releasing your reggae album?

asked by [deleted]

here comes the king just droppd!!! tha recrd drops n april

What do you appreciate the most now that you have fame and fortune that you didn't have when you started out in the streets?

asked by IsThatTheJoke

my kids n bein able to be there for them

Thank you for coming here to answer questions, Snoop :)

Your music contains samples from many different styles and genres. Outside of rap/hip-hop, which artists do you enjoy listening to the most?

asked by DaminDrexil

Curtis Mayfield P Funk Old Skool hip hop

How does it feel to have more comment karma than President Obama?


asked by eatglasswithyou

keep tha karma comn!!!

is your rolling papers book ever going to be on sale?

asked by Captain_Thrus

Comin out this Holiday 500 books limmited being made

On average, how much do you smoke in a week?

asked by dr3paceman

81 blunts a day x 7

Who's your favourite artist to record with?

asked by TheReasonableCamel

My cousn DAz

Yo snoop! I own a hydroponic & agricultural supply company. Was just reading about your Mind Gardens Project this morning trying to figure out how in the world to find you. We have major resources and would love to get involved!!!.. We have been doing similar projects but with your exposure and our knowledge we could really do something huge in this world. You find a way to get a hold of me and give me 5 minutes of your time. If you're on board im 100% positive we can feed a million people fresh vegetables in the next 5 years who would have otherwise gone without. Either way, I salute you. What you're doing is an incredible thing!

asked by healthyharvest

JAH!! shoot me ya info!

What's your favorite video game? Wish I could have met you at E3 2011.

asked by myscientificbest


Can I get high with you?

asked by threedowg

Come 2 tha show n ask for me

How has working with Diplo been?

asked by zimm3rmann

Fire ! run da tracc

What inspires you to keep doing music.

asked by SwigglesBacon

my passion my family n my fans

Just how many Hos in '94 *were* you banging?

asked by hughi94

A lotta of em!

would you accept an invite to party with charlie sheen?

asked by derilictmyballs

Been there n done that

If you could smoke with anyone in history ever, who would it be?

asked by deadmemories1

Bob Marley ya digg

What is the best memory you have whilst recording your songs? Huge fan here!

asked by talentlessstickmen

workn n tha studio wit Nate Dogg!! Fav performance was on Arsenio Hall

How frequently would you recommend that people partake in the consumption of marijuana?

asked by hughi94

Every DAy Neffew

What is the best advice you can give to a white 19 year old girl in college?

asked by froo2

make sure u graduate

I had the pleasure of seeing you perform at Osheaga this summer. I believe it was your second or third time performing as Snoop Lion.

You had two strippers give you a lap dance simultaneously on stage, while wearing track pants. How did you avoid the inevitable public boner on big screen??!?!?!

asked by unicornlounge

Im a pro ! 20 years in tha game that dont phase me!!

How much money do you spend on weed in a week?

asked by gldmartin

Most cme 4 free but average bout 81 blunts a day!

can i blaze with you?

asked by [deleted]

roll up

Hey Snoop,

I'm a big fan. Anyways, weed will be officially legalized in Washington state starting tomorrow. If you're free, you should come up and celebrate with us. Just sayin

asked by captain0

I need to charter tha jet

Snoop lion, you were my hero as snoop dog, and are still awesome as snoop lion, my one question to you is, i don't have a question. You're the man. [8]

asked by TheMasterCharles

smoke some. get urself to a [10]

Would you ever become an owner of the Lakers?

asked by interrupting_candy

nudoknowthat !!!

Is it difficult to be so awesome?

asked by OblivionsMemories

Gotta stay workn at it!!

TIL: Snoop does the greatest AMA ever.

asked by mypenisdoeswork


Do you like trains?

asked by matttrim1

i like cadillacs

What's is your favorite strain of that good

asked by ScubaSeth

OG Kush

This is for sure gonna be reddit history

asked by Dexter_of_Trees


Who da only person that has evr smoked me out?

asked by Here_Comes_The_King

ANSWER: willie nelson, wiz khalifa n b-real!!! my guys!!!

You gonna move to Colorado now that they legalized MJ?

asked by blumpkinpatch


Why did you pick Lion?

asked by gusllywiggum

i didnt choose it, it was givn to me

What do you think of reddit? Can you answer in freestyle?

asked by ENTP

I luv it!! New 2 this isshh

This is quite possibly the greatest AMA ever snoop.

asked by stinkmeaner92


What do you think of the new younger generation of hip-hop that's coming up? Kendrick Lamar, Odd Future, A$AP Rocky to name a few.

asked by rusharz

I love tha new sound comn out tha Westcoast!

Hey Snoop, love your music. What would you say is your favorite album or song to listen to while you're sparking up.


asked by Chambars

Curtis Mayfield !! SUPERFLY

First off, thanks for the music because you're a legend. secondly, I'm sitting here with a fat blunt, but also 2 joints and a bong... What do I blaze?

asked by theFaceCat

100 joint-sized blunts.

What is your opinion on Odd Future?

asked by thatniggasnoop

those r my neffews

What are your favorite munchies?

asked by kapattack

Pistachios n Frito bbq twists!! Red Vines

What is your favorite garden vegetable?

asked by IAmNotYourBoss

the Rutabega

Snoop, what you've done with little league football in your community is really very inspiring. I guess i don't really have a question. I just think its freaking awesome you doing that.

asked by samwichz


Snoop, how does it feel to have more Karma than Obama?

PS Thanks for sticking around for so long.

asked by NIUJager

Im tha hood Obama

Yo, mister Snoop Lion, would you rather fight one hundo dizzle sized hizzles, or one hizzle sized dizzle?

asked by sMSneakyPete

gonna get bacc 2 u on that neff

When is Detox coming out?

asked by AnIrishgEnt52

U know bout as much as me digg

Oprah, Hilary Clinton, Rosie O'Donnell. Fuck one, marry one, kill one. Go!

asked by R-Kelly96

Oh wow !

Mr. Lion:

May I please be granted a one day pass to speak like you without looking like a fool?

asked by imhereforthetacos


Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris?

asked by smallpau1

Bruce lee!!!11 I fuxx wit kung fu

snooooop, awesome ama. loving the new sound too.

asked by identity04

u heard the latest?

Have you ever been to the UK? Where's you're favourite place you've visited and where would you like to visit?

asked by dyl10

Every year A couple times a year!! #Herecomestheking

How do you feel about the legalization of all drugs in the United States?

asked by furbs13

Make it happen ASAP

Are you sad there are no more Twinkies?

asked by zim42zim

im tryin to Buy Hostess

What kind of blunts do you like? Game/phillies/dutchmaster/ect.

asked by TeazleDiesel



asked by assplunderer

droppn in April wit tha movie

Snoop Dogg who is your favorite visual artist?

I heard you were a big collector of artwork?

Is that true?

asked by wideawakke

David choe

Snoop Lion thank you sir you are too kind.

I have a question for you...

We've watched you reincarnate into many forms from dogg to lion,When you smoke Weed and are high and then you smile , this is when your eyes are the most Chinese , in asia the brothers call you snoop dragon , is there any chance you will take on and embrace your next level form of snoop dragon ?

asked by davidchoe_ama

Thank u Sirr!!! I need that 4 my wall at tha Doggy Den!!

How high is your weed tolerance? What does it take to get you lifted?

EDIT: More importantly, what advice do you have for young artists trying to make something of themselves?

asked by mikemikemotorbike

Real high

SNOOOOOPPPP, Do you watch the NFL? If so, what is your favorite team?

asked by Chibears85

Uknowit!! STEELERS!

Have you ever been to /r/trees?

asked by starktor


How long is your dick?

asked by fail_flo

9 inch Dixx!! Goget that album

What's the complete story to your name, Snoop Lion.

asked by carolinekhatch

ull have to watch the reincarnated film. explains everything

Yo snoop, is the rumours true that you are planning on buying a stake in the mighty glasgow celtic football club?

asked by whynotzoidberg88


Cool ranch or origional nacho?

asked by summerlover4369

Cool Ranch All DAY

Do you prefer Diamond Bar or Long Beach?

asked by joshinamoshpit

LBC til i D-I-E

Did you ever smoke with anyone on the cast or staff of Weeds?

asked by Kreegrr

yesszir That MILF WEED


asked by [deleted]

Bring it!! upload a vid Neff

What r u smokin today snoop?

asked by manafest222

puffn on that executive branch

Am I too late to get some karma?

Edit: Happy?!

asked by Allstar97


Snoop, what is your favorite joke?

asked by nlck12

Who would win in a fight: a hundred duck sized elephants, or one elephant sized duck?

how are doing Lion?

asked by polat-kgt


What's it like chillin with wiz khalifa and Taylor gang?

asked by Fusmc4202012

pretty smokey

Why the name change?

asked by lukeh15

Good a new story to tell


asked by [deleted]

Not a beer but maybe we can smoke 1

are you high right now?

asked by TGODkhalifa


I'm 20 years old and I've never had any desire to smoke. Convince me?

asked by Officer_Squarepants

u dont need no convincing!! Stay str8

any specific drink of choice?

asked by snaggedbeef

Fiji Water

Hey Snoop, name my new dog!

asked by atawnygypsygirl


What was it like being in India, and working with (what is big over) Indian actor for "Singh is King"?

Also were you able to find any dankk in india? everytime I go its turrible

asked by idontbangnomore

i aint been yet. bout to be there next month!!

How much Mary Jane do you think you have smoked in your lifetime?

asked by andrewtico


Engineers and Scientists on the Mars Curiosity Rover Mission

We're a group of engineers from landing night, plus team members (scientists and engineers) working on surface operations.

Here's the list of participants:

Bobak Ferdowsi aka “Mohawk Guy” - Flight Director

Steve Collins aka “Hippy NASA Guy” - Cruise Attitude Control/System engineer

Aaron Stehura - EDL Systems Engineer

Jonny Grinblat aka “Pre-celebration Guy” - Avionics System Engineer

Brian Schratz - EDL telecommunications lead

Keri Bean - Mastcam uplink lead/environmental science theme group lead

Rob Zimmerman - Power/Pyro Systems Engineer

Steve Sell - Deputy Operations Lead for EDL

Scott McCloskey -­ Turret Rover Planner

Magdy Bareh - Fault Protection

Eric Blood - Surface systems

Beth Dewell - Surface tactical uplinking

@MarsCuriosity Twitter Team

How long have you guys been working on this specific mission?

asked by jacobrude

It varies for each person 1-to-10 years. Some of us have been on this project for 10 years. Most have been approximately approximately over 5 years.


How many people are required to run the rover at any given time?

And how did you celebrate the landing?

asked by phliuy

250 scientists and about 160 engineers -- remember this is a 24.6/7 operation! We're working in shifts.

And how did we celebrate? To each his own... Tasty beverages, missed high-fives, well-deserved naps after shifts were over. :D - SLS

Will you guys take a nice "Earthrise" picture from Mars, similar to one taken on The Moon? I like how it puts things in perspective.

Edit: For those who haven't seen it, this is the one I meant:

asked by Incongruity7

We will eventually take pictures of Earth with Mastcam, along with other constellations.

[To tide you over, this is one from Spirit.]



Whats one cool trivia fact about curiosity that everybody should know?

asked by kingbinji

Its got a friggin' laser on its head, that can VAPORIZE rocks!


Since the Martian Day is 24 hours, 40 minutes, 40 minutes longer than an Earth day, do the JPL scientists and engineers live their lives on Martian days to stay in sync?

asked by Indeed

Yes. All of the operators (engineers, scientists, drivers, planners) live on Mars time, by shifting the schedule +40 minutes each day. This is order to maximize the efficiency of each sol. MB

Is that difficult to get accustomed to? Do you have to reprogram your alarm clock every day or do you have a special alarm clock that runs on Mars time?

asked by biznatch11

It is a bit painful....we re-program our alarm clocks every day.

Is a sample return mission possible with today's technology?

asked by Plaisantin

Yes. A sample return is possible, but it requires intense concentration. We will do it eventually, but we need to work our way up to it.

@ Brian Schratz - you still have my linear algebra book from like 8 years ago, I'm assuming this mission would have been largely unsuccessful if you never learned linear algebra so I'm taking some of the credit for it.

Nice job though, I thought I recognized you when I was watching the stream.

asked by amajlaton

Well this is awkward. Now that you mention it, it's very likely that I do. I'm sure I still have it somewhere around here if you want it back. Indeed, some of the credit goes to you. Sorry about that. :(


Do you consider that earth-born bacteria could survive on Curiosity and then spread on Mars? Was it ever considered to take bacteria or other life and see if it could survive in the soil/environment (even if isolated within Curiosity)? You guys rock!

asked by windward_life

We take great care to not take Earth-borne microbes to other planets. We don't want to go looking for building blocks of life only to find we brought it with us. This is why we work in a clean room wearing full-body "bunny suits" while assembling and testing the rover, and that all parts of the spacecraft are cleaned before launch. Those that can be baked are baked; others are swabbed with cleaning solution. For more details on planetary protection, see this site: - SLS

@Rob Zimmerman.

It seems there was a **lot** of pyro devices on curiosity, is that now a mature technology enough so you can pile it without adding too much risks ?

Just curious, actually I cannot remember ever having heard of a pyro device with malfunction.

asked by KilroyIShere

These devices are considered very reliable and are used on many spacecraft (NASA and commercial). Curiosity did have a lot of devices, but there was also a lot of redundancy built into the firing system. Many of the devices used on Curiosity had been used successfully on Sprit and Opportunity and Pathfinder, so there was a lot of previous experience here at JPL.

Not all of the pyros were for EDL - we actually had to fire off a set several hours after landing to deploy some of our surface hardware.

Testing the pyro system was a pretty big task - if any of them had been mismapped it could have been a bad day for the mission. Getting the timing right was also a challenging task for the EDL team. So in addition to the reliability of the device itself, we had to make sure we were firing the right device at the right time.

Thanks for the question! - RMZ

Does Curiosity have any increased capacity for operating during the Martian night due to it's lack of reliance on solar power? Did you put lights on it?

asked by MilkTheFrog

There are no lights on the Rover. It utilizes the night time to recharge the batteries to drive and explore during the day to take advantage of the day time.

Ever play the game Kerbal Space Program?

asked by ky1e

A few team members yes, and those who do love it. Adorable. - SLS

Please explain the story behind the peanuts and are they salted or unsalted?

Also who decided on the name Curiosity? How did it come about?

Thank you, congratulations and may you all live long and prosper.

asked by deadfermata

Peanuts is a long tradition from the early mission Ranger missions:

Curiosity was selected through a competition from around the country.

Thanks, MB.

If the RTG can generate power for about 14 years, what were the limiting factors driving the 2 year mission estimate? What components might fail first?

asked by FogleMonster

The length of the mission is currently set for 23 months to achieve mission success, but it could be extended just like the Mars Exploration Rovers. They had a prime mission of 90 days but Opportunity is still operating over 8 years later. -VM

> A couple more years or can we expect its last images to be human explorers picking it up?

I always like to think about Spirit and Opportunity sitting in a Martian Museum in couple of hundreds of years and little kids seeing them behind glass walls on Mars. It would be a nice end to that sad XKCD comic.

asked by RatherDashing

This isn't too far-fetched! Astronauts from Apollo 12 brought back a camera from the robotic Surveyor 3 lunar lander, which is now in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Let's hope we can bring some pieces of Spirit and Opportunity back home for everyone to see!


Congratulations on yet another successful landing!

* In your opinion, is the sky crane an efficient method of payload delivery on Mars, or are there better ideas being invented that are more economically and environmentally benign than the sky crane?

* How much unspent fuel was on board when the sky crane crash-landed?

This isn't a question, but I also want to mention how impressed I am about the amount of publicity Curiosity has generated, and how well publicized its landing was. I think the key to increasing NASA's funding is through public education about the missions and experiments NASA performs. Among other things, the general public needs to be interested and involved in space exploration for NASA to be successful.

Thank you for your assistance in such a wonderful accomplishment for the human species!

asked by anunknind


The Sky Crane is a really good way to land and accommodate varied terrain. It's not a question of efficiency - although it seems really complicated, it actually illuminates a lot of problems with previous landers like having to get out/off of the lander or having the engines operating really close to the ground.

There were over 100kg of hydrazine still remaining - this is because we designed the Curiosity mission to be able to land a lot of different places and let the scientists decide where to go. So the final landing site wasn't chosen until after the spacecraft had already shipped to the launch site!


Any chance Curiosity could drive over to the sky crane crash site?

How far away did it land?

asked by someguyx0

The skycrane impact site is ~600 meters away from the rover landing site, which met our requirement of at least 500m flyaway distance. It's unlikely that we'll drive over to the skycrane impact site since there are so many interesting science targets in other directions!


oh, Steve Collins, what do you think about the comparisons that people have made between you and the [scientist from independence day](


asked by Fenetre

The comparison is very flattering. Brent Spiner is a great actor. Perhaps I can to play him in the movie they are making about the making of Independence Day. (smc)

The comparison is very flattering. Brent Spiner is a great actor. Perhaps I can to play him in the movie they are making about the making of Independence Day. (smc)

asked by CuriosityMarsRover

Also, I am always very very careful in the cleanroom, especially around any "alien technology".

The processor you guys used feels ancient to me. How did you guys program on it? Is it only "CPU-instructions" or was there some higher level programming for it?

asked by davidhero

You are right that the processor does feel acient. Our current smarthphones are more powerful. The reasoning for this is three-fold. First of all, the computer was selected about 8 years ago, so we have the latest and greated space certified parts that existed then. Second of all, it was the most rubost and proven space grade processor at that time. Thirdly, in order to make a processor radiation hardened it requires lots of tricks on the silicon that is not conducive to making it fast. Given that, it does not run any GUIs and can just focus on raw programming, and actually gets a lot done. All of the programming is done in C, and our toolchain is very similar to programming on any platform.


Congratulations on landing the rover! I just have one question -- are there any plans for taking pictures of the night sky as seen from Mars? If not, why not? I know it won't be very different from our own view, but it would still be interesting to see.

asked by nebulahuntress

Yes! We actually took a [lot of pictures of the night sky with MER]( (this is my field of research, actually). We're planning on continuing thee observations with Curiosity once we've checked out all our instruments and are ready to do our nominal science mission.


Can you comment on the bandwidth available:

* Direct from Rover to Earth

* Rover relayed via MRO

* Rover relayed via Odyssey

And also average/max megabytes per sol you expect to transfer?

asked by wyrednc

Yes, Curiosity has a few ways to communicate with Earth. She can communicate directly with Earth with an X-band link. Through the high gain antenna, which we can point directly at Earth, we can achieve ~10 kbps from Mars to Earth. Most of our data is returned through the UHF relay links with MRO and ODY. Currently MSL can top out at 2 megabits/second to MRO, but that is only at specific conditions.

We are designed to return ~250 megabits per sol (~31 megabytes). Some days are better than this, while others are worse. It depends on the range and angles between MSL and the orbiters. But so far data return has been excellent!


Are there any protocols if you find alien life / bacteria / fossils?

asked by teleluke

Every science hypothesis is vetted among the team, and we would want to make sure we were absolutely certain it was life/fossils/etc. before releasing it to the public. But we absolutely would release this information, once we had sufficient evidence and it was agreed upon among the science teams! We follow this procedure for all of our interesting finds.


The question that I have is what kind of temperature readings are you receiving from Curiosity? Hottest, Coldest, Average.

asked by talmajar

We don't have temperature readings yet, because we're still checking out instruments.

[You'll be able to keep track of the temperatures at this website.]( Right now it's fake data for testing the website, but real data will start appearing once we start taking it!


Are we close to being able to explore the oceans of Europa? What major challenges must be overcome?

asked by kuhlmanngj

Getting into into the ocean is one tricky part. I think some folks have done some experiments with ROV's that melt their way down through ice, but we've got some work to do. Jupiter also has a pretty challenging radiation environment and we'll have to come up with some way to relay information from the Earth to the ROV. None of these issues seems to be insurmountable. smc

This question is for Jonny Grinblat - what exactly did you see that made you realize things had gone perfectly?

By the way, when you got excited, my heart skipped a beat because I knew things had gone well. Thanks for being so enthusiastic!!

asked by petruchi41

Hi there! As the rover was landing, we were getting tons of telemetry down. I saw the telemetry that indicated that all of the EDL autonomous actions had completed, so that meant we were down. The biggest clue was that we were still getting radio from the rover for quite a few seconds after it claimed it had finished. That combined with the chatter that was happening on our voice net provided extra confirmation to me. There were a few of us that realized that we had landed safely at the same time (as I learned later), but I just could not hold it in.

I'm glad you were able to watch this live along with all of us. Thank you for supporting us!


What preventative measure have you implemented in the event someone gets Curiosity stuck in a ~~crater~~ crevasse while showing off for a girl?

Edit: got the word wrong in my head, oops

asked by usna2k

Howard cannot get to the controls of the Rover

My 5 year old, Faith, wants you to see this. I hope you do, she'd love a hello from you guys. She wants to be the first person to go to mars :D [Space puzzle](

asked by carly14

Hi Faith! You are AWESOME and we support you in your quest. Come visit us at JPL. We give free tours. :D - SLS

I was basically wondering how I could become one of you? What did you all go to school for, and how did you get jobs at NASA?

asked by ikma

Most of us are engineering graduates of one discipline or another (Computer, Electrical, Aerospace). NASA/JPL recruits in these fields at various schools with the expertise in the fields.

I actually started here as an intern during college and continued after graduation.

How many of you have PhDs?

asked by [deleted]

None of us in the room (14 of us) have a PhD. (Though there are lots of them running around just outside!) smc

Congratulations on shooting a small car to a rock millions of miles from here and succeeding!

My question for you is, since the rover has touched down, is there anything you've seen or encountered that you weren't prepared for or weren't expecting?

asked by Brostrodamus

The rover has been very happy and healthy so far! One thing we didn't expect was the size of the pebbles on the deck of the rover. You can see them in this picture:

This isn't a problem, we just predicted that only smaller dust particles would be deposited on the deck. Once we get more of the high-resolution MARDI (descent imager) images down, we'll be able to understand more about the dust dynamics during landing.


Thanks for doing this AMA I have been following the curiosity mission since it launched. I even hosted a landing party and had people show up!

* With the success of the "Sky Crane" Landing system and guided entry. Will this technology possibly be used to land equipment and supplies in advance of a human mission. As a follow up is there room to shrink the landing ellipse even further?

* What do you guys think about the LMAO NASA Video that has recently gone viral. Have you thought about doing something similar? [Link](

asked by wartornhero

To answer your second question, we love the video! We played in in the control room this morning. Bobak was embarrassed.

@Rob Zimmerman - you probably get this a lot, but are you parents Bob Dylan fans?

asked by 401vs401

Yes :) They were definitely aware of the "coincidence" when they named me.

I'm a big fan, too!

How many sleepless night were there? :-)

asked by tiger2380

Too many to keep track of.


Does Curiosity get wake-up songs every morning like the other Mars rovers got? If so, what have some of the songs been so far?

i.e. [Rover Soundtracks](

asked by potato_near_my_anus

Yup! She tends to be less cranky with a good wakeup song.

Sol 2: "Good Morning Good Morning" Beatles, Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club

Sol 3: "Good morning, good morning" from Singing in the Rain.

Sol 5: Wagner "The ride of the valkyries"

R10 Victory Song: Theme from "Mission Impossible"

Sol 6: "Got the Time" by Anthrax, and "Echelon" by 30 Seconds to Mars

Sol 7: The Doors - "Break on Through", and George Harrison - "Got My Mind Set on You"

Sol 8: Theme from Star Wars by John Williams

Sol 9: Wake Up Little Susie by Simon and Garfunkel

Sol 10: Frank Sinatra "Come Fly with me"


I personally feel there needs to be a larger push for children to get excited about science. There seems to be a void in this area; this generation doesn’t have *Mr. Wizard, Beakman’s World and Bill Nye* etc.

It seems that all of the science-based channels like Discovery, Science Channel, TLC (and though not ‘science-y’ the History Channel) have basically become nothing more than “reality” TV shows that put the science on the backburner over the ridiculous pseudo-drama that’s inherently part of “reality TV.” For every awesome documentary, there are a dozen shows that are based on some niche job/lifestyle (*Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers*, stuff like that) and there’s been a paradigm shift from education/learning to [faux?] drama.

Since you guys are badass scientists that just landed a mobile science lab on Mars via a freakin’ skycrane, I’d like to hear your opinion(s) on the state of “science TV” shows and channels and what you feel is missing, or even what you feel is positive – especially for kids – but everyone in general?

Additionally, were there any educational/science TV shows that influenced you when you were growing up, and if so, which one(s)?

Thank you for your time!

asked by SicDigital

Hands down favorite shows as kids for most in the room was Bill Nye the Science Guy A few watched Star Trek TNG. As for current state of science/education programming people are looking forward to the reboot of Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson. On the other hand, many documentaries on cable TV channels are filled with hype and factual inaccuracies. Caveat emptor.

* Was there ever a "Plan B" location for Curiosity?

* What is your favorite experiment aboard Curiosity?

* are you guys getting tired of the "did Curiosity kill the cat" jokes yet?

asked by ken27238

Once we launched, our landing site was set. It was selected from many many sites that were submitted by scientists from around the world. We picked the final site a few months before launch.

My favorite experiment is ChemCam because it's a laser that vaporizes rock - and that's cool. Plus we can zap rocks we couldn't reach with the arm.

And, no, we like seeing all the parodies! It's great that people are having fun with it!

This question is to anyone who feels like answering it:

Bobak's meme got me thinking about appearances and stereotypes. What do you all do outside of (and I'm obviously simplifying) driving a robot on Mars? Not that, you know, that isn't enough, but I'm curious about hobbies. Are you all in some fantasy football league together? Anybody really good at keg stands? Any embarrassing collections of tchotchkes?

asked by ballofpopculture

Well actually Rob Z and I sometimes make meme's about things on the project. -bf @tweetsoutloud

Thanks so much for doing this AMA!

I've read that in order to try and avoid crashing, complex programming techniques like recursion were discouraged. Are there any other common techniques that were discouraged?

I've also read that the various components on Curiosity are fairly isolated from each other for stability as well. Can you tell us more about how Curiosity's components talk to each other?

asked by dawnwastaken

We only use the C language for all of our programming to keep things simple. So no object oriented programming either.

The components on Curiosity are isolated from each other. The Cruise, Descent, and Rover stages all had their own power zones to keep them isolated from each other, with communication paths in between. We use a military grade communications bus that is tolerant to radiation and large amounts of noise for communication between most of the core components. We have built in redundancy that allows autonomous fail over to backup components if a fault is detected.


Does Rob Zimmerman, the Pyro guy, ever dreamed, as Tom Kelly for the LM Descent/Ascent stage separation back in Apollo days, that the bride cut will not work and that the skycrane will bring the rover and crash with him ?

asked by romiglups

I've definitely had that nightmare... We did a lot of testing before we launched to make sure the right pyros fired at the right time, so deep down I knew it was all OK.

Luke Dubord (who did most of the pyro design) and I had an early high five when we saw that the cruise stage separated successfully.

First thing I thought of when seeing your group pic

asked by TraderHoes

Ok, I just showed this to the room and we laughed for about 5 minutes. AWESOME. -bf @tweetsoutloud

Have any of you ever been in an argument with someone that you ended by declaring that you were literally a rocket scientist?

asked by Fuqwon

Only arguments with brain surgeons. - SLS

1. Does the EDL team have an updated backshell separation time or does 05:17:00 still stand? Playing back the [MARDI]( thumbnails at 3.88fps (sol 0, files 1-821), the heatshield separation and touchdown times sync up *perfectly* with the preliminary EDL timeline, but the backshell separation looks to be late by around 3 seconds (very obvious puff of engine exhaust that should happen ~1 second after BSS). My guess would be BSS actually happened at 05:17:03.1 as I can see the engines for the first time one second later and the craft stops swinging from parachute wrist modes from then on.

2. What was the actual "constant velocity accordion" event time and duration? It appears to be called out by an EDL controller much sooner than it should have by approximately 8 seconds.

3. What was the exact time (Mars/spacecraft time) the [MRO]( took the picture of [MSL during EDL with the parachute open?](

4. Why does it sometimes take many days for the [RAW images]( to show up on the rover website? I remember this happening often in the months after landing with the [MER rovers]( as well.

5. Is it possible to get high quality geometric image correction maps for each unique lens on the MSL's cameras?

6. Can appropriate information on the [color reference targets]( mounted on the corners of the MSL sundial used for color calibration/reconstruction be made available? Is this the same sundial as the MER rovers?

6. What software is used to process the raw images into panoramas? What is the licence on this software? Is public release possible if it's custom in-house?

Jaw dropping work, again! I really hope the teams stay together and get funded for many more missions. It's clear the team has something really special going on from the quality of engineering and science coming out. Quick, someone fund this team with getting humans to Mars!

**Edit: I've done my best to translate the questions into simpler terms.**

1. During landing, the rover separating from the parachute and back shell doesn't seem to happen exactly when NASA's stated post-landing preliminary timeline says it does. Is my guess of 05:17:03.1 correct or am I doing something wrong in my processing?

2. During entry descent and landing a team member calls out on the comm the "constant velocity accordion" event, but it's 8 seconds early according to the timeline. What time did it actually happen?

3. What time during entry descent and landing did the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter take the picture with the parachute open?

4. Why does it take the website long to update sometimes?

5. I would like to correct the geometric distortion ( from the RAW images posted on the mission website myself. Can the information I need be made available somehow?

6. I would like to correct the color from the RAW images posted on the mission website myself. Can the information I need be made available somehow?

7. What software do you use to make those HUGE multi-hundreds of megapixel images from a tiny 2 megapixel camera?

asked by rossitron

#1 Checking on those exact times, stand by. #2 Not all of the event comes in in the same order it is sent according to priorities. The duration was about 3 seconds. For #3, that was mentioned in news briefing by a member of the MRO team who isn't with us today. We'll get you the link to watch the briefing. #4 In the first few days of the mission, and once they hit the ground, raws were being pushed manually to the Web while the pipelines were being tested. It will become more automated as we go forward. #5 We don't know. We'll check. #6 Yes, it is the same sundial as the MER rovers. We'll look into getting the color reference targets posted on the mission website. #7 It's a mix of different software suites depending on the cameras. For navcams and hazcams it's proprietary software built inhouse.

[Just helping for format]

1. Checking on those exact times, stand by.

2. Not all of the event comes in in the same order it is sent according to priorities. The duration was about 3 seconds.

3. That was mentioned in news briefing by a member of the MRO team who isn't with us today. We'll get you the link to watch the briefing.

4. In the first few days of the mission, and once they hit the ground, raws were being pushed manually to the Web while the pipelines were being tested. It will become more automated as we go forward.

5. We don't know. We'll check.

6. Yes, it is the same sundial as the MER rovers. We'll look into getting the color reference targets posted on the mission website.

7. It's a mix of different software suites depending on the cameras. For navcams and hazcams it's proprietary software built inhouse.

asked by dariusj18

Thanks for the formatting. We're trying to work quickly here! I also wanted to mention that all our past news briefings are posted on The one with HiRise scientist Sarah Mikovich (who discusses the parachute shot) is (Aug. 7) - VM

To this I would like to add:

8 . What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen Swallow?

asked by mistermarsbars

African or European? (smc)

Well done on sticking that landing!

I am curious about how the guidance worked during the heatshield portion of the flight. Mars doesn't have GPS (yet...) Is it inertial or is there something else going on?

asked by bunabhucan

The entry was guided by an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) which includes gyros and accelerometers. The IMU was initialized with the attitude (orientation), the position and velocity of the spacecraft just prior to entry. We control the trajectory by rolling the spacecraft to point the direction of the lift vector to go deeper or shallower in the atmosphere. SMC

Are there any things on the rover to protect itself from, you know, things?

asked by AirsoftUrban

I have a laser on my head. 'Nuff said. -vm


asked by KazamaSmokers

We took a microphone on the Phoenix Mars Lander, and we turned it on but essentially heard nothing (white noise) so it was never released. We don't really need it for any experiments.

[We do have the landing signal sound as it sounded from one of the orbiters.](


Here's a little more info on the Phoenix microphone. It was essentially a hitch-hiker. It was built into another instrument taken off the shelf for the the lander, but it was never intended for the mission. There was no science team or budget connected to it. Since it was not intended for use it was never tested before launch and never entered into the power budget for the lander. Only after Phoenix successfully completed it's mission, 5 months after landing in the polar region, was the mission somewhat willing to test it. They couldn't do it earlier because they couldn't risk the prime goals of the mission if anything went wrong. The project manager was fairly certain it wouldn't work and was against trying it because he didn't want to raise expectations. His mind changed when we got a tweet to the @MarsPhoenix account from a man who said he was blind and how much he wished he could hear Mars because he couldn't see the pictures. A couple days later, they sent the signal to Phoenix to turn it on but we got.. well.. nothing. Empty files. If we had received anything, it would have been released. The team figured the mic was frozen solid and decided to give it a second try by leaving it on longer to warm up. Unfortunately, the Phoenix mission lost its last bit of power (as expected) before it got the second instruction. -vm

Did anybody make a list of how many things could have gone wrong during the 'seven minutes of terror'? I always wondered if someone was required to know that kind of list for meetings and such... thanks and congratulations! It was an achievement I think all of humanity can appreciate.

edit; Not the obvious infinity, but major malfunctions of the craft.

asked by Mobius01010

During the early phases of the design we performed failure analysis for the system. Most of the EDL sequence was not single fault tolerant, meaning that there were many single faults that could have killed the mission, that is one of reasons we call it the 7 mins of terror.


Are there any FPGAs in use on Curiosity? If so, what type are they and what are they used for?

asked by iTroll

There is an FPGA on almost every one of our electronics boards. They give a given board the logic to perform its specific task such as telecom, fault detection, etc. They are special "burn once" FPGAs that are programmed on Earth before they are soldered onto the boards, so there is no way to update them. We have a multi-year test program to verify that they work correctly before launch.

I've read that right now the missions main way of transmitting data to Earth is via the MRO and Odyssey satellites at a rate of 100 to 250 megabits per (Mars?) day, mainly because the satellites are only in range for about 8 minutes per day.

As Curiosity could be active on Mars for quite a long time (up to 17 years) are there maybe any plans on putting dedicated communications satellites around Mars to boost the data rate/ease communications?

I imagine that it also would come in quite handy in future missions to Mars.

asked by damn_chlorophyll

You're correct, Curiosity is designed to return *on average* 250 mbits/sol (sol = Martian day). Upcoming Mars orbiters include two science missions: NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission and the European Space Agency's Trace Gas Orbiter. These are scheduled for 2013 (stay tuned!) and 2016, respectively.

We plan to have each Mars Orbiter equipped to support surface relay communications, as MRO and Odyssey are doing for Curiosity now.

There was a NASA mission called the Mars Telecom Orbiter a couple of years ago, but it was cancelled.



A hundred+ people signed an inflatable Mars beach ball during the landing. We'd like to send it to the team. Is that OK? What address should i use?

asked by audreyfischer

Sure! Send it to Jet Propulsion Lab, Mail Stop 186-120, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109-8099

In the teleconference 14 August, Jim Donaldson talked about the avionics system. Very interesting. Problem was i didn't understand some acronyms he used.


So what is avionics?

The term avionics as used in jpl is a somewhat squishy or nebulous term

in the past its refered to the conglameration of cnbh (?), gnc (?) and flight software functionality

I didn't find anything meaningful by doing a web search for those terms. Maybe i misheard, but i also tried some variations on letters and couldn't figure it out. Could you clarify what the abriviation cnbh (not sure if i heard correctly) means? He used is several times during his talk.

asked by stratetgyst

Avionics is portmanteau of "Aviation" and "Electronics" and is commonly used in the aviation industry. All of the electronics on the rover that controls all of the basic functions is refferred to as Avionics.

C&DH stands for "command and data handling," which covers the main computer and its peripheral devices.

GNC stands for "guidance navigation and control" which is a combination of electronics and software that handles every we need to be able to control the spaceraft on its way to Mars, duing Entry, Descent, and Landing, and moving around on the surface.

Lastly, flight software refers to the main software we have on board to control of the actions that the rover can do.


Do any of you know my Uncle, Sandy Krasner? He apparently had some involvement in the engineering of the rover. I know he does stuff like this.

asked by Batman_Backflip

Yes! He was responsible for doing the time correlations and the worked on flight ground interface (making sure the spacecraft's clock was set right). -vm

You're not going to see this, but my entire apartment stayed up all night to watch the landings. We were - everyone is - so proud of you all. The live footage of all of you crying out loud in happiness and shaking each other's hands made me tear up a bit. You've made history happen, congratulations.

asked by tapedeckgh0st

Thank you for all of your support. Comments like this make the long hours and stress over many years all worth it.


@Rob Zimmerman - why have you given up an illustrious career as a music legend to return to your old name?

also, contingency plan for space mutants?

asked by boblordofevil

You caught me! I'm doing research for my next album, "Mars, Revisited"

We have the laser for space mutants. And analyzing rocks.

what was the most complicated math equation you guys used when programming/creating/calculating stuff?

asked by krisavage

It's a combination of F=ma, V=IR, w x r, and not crossing the streams.

what was the most complicated math equation you guys used when programming/creating/calculating stuff?

asked by krisavage

We use lots of calculus and linear algebra. The aerodynamics modeling requires vector calculus. I use my physics every day. smc

Ok, which one of you is doing the McKayla Maroney "Not Impressed" face in the photo.

asked by dbfish

Rob Zimmerman

Is it true that you guys hid a 'JPL' dot matrix in the tires of Curiosity and didn't tell anyone until it was unveiled?

asked by Morrowfury

Yes, JPL is in morse code in the wheels!

Bobak Ferdowsi, we totally knew you were a redditor.

Do any of you have regular accounts here?

asked by andrewsmith1986

A lot of us bacon at midnight, I'll tell you that. ;)


Hello curiosity! Thanks for doing a AMA!

I have a question about your nuclear reactor. From what I understand. Nuclear power is created by causing a nuclear reation that creates heat, that turns water into steam, steam spins a magnetic turbine, bam you have power.

I can't imagine you took up enough water to create steam for two years, let alone fourteen years.

How do you covert the heat energy into electricity?

asked by OneSchott

Curiosity actually uses a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) which does not have any moving parts or use steam. The heat generated from the radioactive decay is converted directly into electric power. It is very reliable and has been used in the past on missions like Voyager (which have been operating for over 30 years). Here's a [link]( to some more information. Thanks for the question!


To any of the engineers that can answer this: Was there any contingency plan if the rover had landed on its side, upside-down, or otherwise not on its wheels?

asked by robodale

It would have been game over. That's why we call landing "seven minutes of terror." Each component and stage of landing was tested and retested repeatedly, but we had one chance of doing it on Mars.


asked by thesepigswillplay

We love you too.

Thanks for doing this!

I could not find much information about the rover's drive system.

Could you give some specs for the motors? What kind of motor control and position feedback is used? Are there additional brakes at the wheels to prevent the rover from rolling away on a slope? Is there any power management in place (like shutting down unneeded equipment) to conserve power while driving?

asked by [deleted]

The rover uses electric motors of a variety of sizes for its various mechanisms. Most of the motors (including the drive motors) have brakes to prevent the motors from turning when they are not being run. The drive motors use encoders for position feedback. Some parts of the rover will automatically get turned off if not used for a while. (SM)

Does Curiosity have any way to measure seismic activity?

asked by RaymondLuxury-Yacht

Unfortunately not. But another proposed mission to mars from JPL called InSight will.


As a high school senior, what should I focus on in college and what degree should I aim for in order to get into the field of space exploration? You are a huge inspiration to me and I am constantly in awe of everything you guys do.

asked by bennihana123

Start here :) - SLS

Why are you so awesome?

asked by gamligaur

Cause we're NASA and we know it


What has been the scariest/most worrying thing that has happened since the rover landed?

asked by physicalred

Since landing, we have had nominal operations but each commissioning operation has had it's own risks. We have been planning those operations for a long time and have been testing repeatedly. Some of the milestones include the pyro firing to release the mechanisms, unstowning the RSM, establishing communication. The flight software update was probably the most complicated of the early operations, but it completed without a hitch.


What's the hierarchy in driving the rover? Can anyone get behind the wheel? Additionally, how far ahead are your missions planned? If there is downtime, will you carry out any activities for "fun" or just to check something out?

asked by mwhyes

The team is hard at work coming up with a long term plan for where we will drive. Scientists and engineers work together to find the best driving routes. Every drive is carefully planned and serves some science or engineering purpose. Here's an article about the people on the team who drive the rover:,0,6888171.story

What is your favorite image—so far—from the Rover?

asked by videonerd



I cried like a baby watching the landing - thank you all for reigniting my enthusiasm for space and exploration :)

Can Curiosity hunker down low to minimize the impact of a dust storm (or worse)? I've been watching way to much Storm Chasers :/

Also, soda vs. pop: who wins?

Thanks again, guys and gals! <3

asked by br4nd13

The density of the atmosphere on Mars is about 1/100 of what it is on Earth. So even in gale force winds, the force of the wind on the rover would be much less. For the earlier solar powered missions (e.g. Spirit and Opportunity), some of the concerns were that the wind would blow dust onto the solar panels or that the wind would blow dust into the air and reduce the intensity of the sun's energy.

Both of these cases would reduce the rovers' ability to generate solar power.

However, little "dust devils" would routinely clean off Spirit and Opportunity's solar panels--enabling more power generation. So the wind can be good and bad!

And speaking just for myself, it's soda. But others on my team may disagree.


What parts (if any) of the 7 minute landing procedure had not been fully tested outside of computer simulations?

asked by n_lehane

In some ways - none of it was "fully" tested because the difference between gravity on Earth and Mars makes it hard to do full testing. So we test things individually and rely on computer simulation and analysis to do the rest.

Mac or PC?

asked by gary88

In this room: 12 Mac, 3 PCs


The image found [here(warning 50mb)]( there's a ton of stuff blacked out. Why are the images being censored or is it a technical issue? and is there anything interesting back there behind the black blocks?

asked by [deleted]

No comment.

Just kidding. That panorma is actually made up of many pictures. We just don't have all of the pictures down yet. Also, we sometimes get intermittent dropouts, so a given picture may have parts missing. Rest assured, the public will see the full panorma within days of geting all of the pictures down and stitched together.


How do you manage family time and mars time ?

For the one with children, did they got a you a special name as 'Dad/Mom is a martian ?


asked by KilroyIShere

One of our families is documenting their experience:

-bf @tweetsoutloud

"Damn, are you from Mars? Cuz your ass is out of this world. Oh, wait no you're not from Mars I would know because I put a fucking rover on it."

if any of you want to use this pickup line I'd be honored.

thanks and congratulations for all of your work.

asked by j_lane

Challenge Accepted!

I was watching the landing on NASA TV (which is awesome, thank you NASA), and after the thumbnails were displayed someone was telling you guys to look at something, but it appeared that nobody was listening (I believe you were all busy celebrating).

I *think* they were telling you to look at the last "frame" of the landing simulation - was there an easter egg or something?

asked by I_make_things

We had a map with our best estimate of the landing location, but it was hard to compete with the first pictures!

1. Can you describe in detail what the various FPGAs Jim Donaldson described are used for? During the ground software last weekend, were the FPGA's also reprogrammed, or just the EEPROM?

2. I'm interested in how you communicate with Curiosity. Can you describe in detail what the sequence/protocol is for uploading instructions and downloading data? I'm assuming there's a passphrase in there somewhere to keep the spacecraft from just diving into safe mode. Even better, is there a place where I can go to read/digest more info about it?

3. Is there a separate processor from the RAD750 to manage wake/sleep/dream mode? What is that processor?

asked by daveklingler

1. There is a FPGA on almost every one of our electronics boards. They give a given board the logic to perform its specific task such as telecom, fault detection, etc. They are special "burn once" FPGAs that are programmed on Earth before they are soldered onto the boards, so there is no way to update them. We have a multi-year test program to verify that they work correctly before launch.

2. We use standard "space" protocols that are used by all NASA spacecraft. Everything goes through NASA's Deep Space Network. Here is some information on how that works:

3. Yes, we have a homegrown processor built into an FPGA to handle all of sleep cycle operations.


Did you stir the tanks?

asked by amphodale

When Bobak says, "Stir the tanks", we stir the tanks

In [this press conference](, Ben Cichy says that there is less processing power and storage in Curiosity than there is in most cell phones today. Why is that the case?

asked by Snookerman

It's because we have to use processors that can survive high radiation environments and extreme temperatures. It takes a lot of time to design, build, and test that kind of system. Also, space missions take many years to develop and you have to choose the processor at the beginning to start the design - then by the time you fly, it seems really outdated


asked by MagicallyVermicious


Is there a tradition after succesfull missions? like round of drinks after work ect.

asked by eli613

Yes, there was landing party. How much more do you want to know about that? (wink)

How does it feel to have something that's on FUCKING MARS ? seriously, I don't understand the feeling, it must be out of this world.

asked by Thergal

Yeah, it feels pretty amazing. One of the mechanical engineers posted this video about how it felt for him:

Congratulation to Curiosity team! You guys have done a great job. I have two questions for you

1. How do you navigate in space and how do you maintain your orientation towards the target? Navigation in Earth is easy because of compass and more recently the GPS technology but in outer space, I can't see a thing that will guide the space craft to target. Its not only about going to Mars but overall navigation in space. How do you guys locate Jupiter or any other planet in this freakishly huge Space.

2. There is obviously some form of radiation in Mars. Are you guys planning to study the radiation level in Mars so that it would be helpful if we plan for a Human mission.


asked by mpo101

1) We use a sun sensor and and a star scanner to determine the spacecraft orientation in space so we can keep the solar panels pointed toward the Sun (and the antennas toward the Earth)

We figure out where the spacecraft is during cruise by listening to the radio signals from the spacecraft. We can determine the range to spacecraft by looking at the time a signal takes to go up and back and the velocity along the earth-line by listening to the doppler shift. There is also a trick we can do using quasars to determine the the direction to the spacecraft from Earth very accurately (Delta-DOR).

There is a group of folks at JPL that are responsible for keeping track of where all the planets are to very high precision (the planetary ephemeris) For Mars, we can also use tracking data we get from the orbiters to figure out where Mars is.

2) there is an instrument on the rover called RAD that is specifically designed to study the radiation environment.


Is Curiosity installed with a microphone? Can we hear the sounds of Mars as well as see pictures?

asked by chikasawrose

There is no microphone. It was considered many years ago during the design phase, but was descoped.

Reposting this question from Nagumi, posted on /r/curiosityrover :

Curiosity, I have a question: Assuming no catastrophic failures and that you get mission extensions through end-of-life, how long are you expected to survive? I know your mission length is 700+ Sols, but as Sojourner, Spirit and Opportunity all taught us, JPL builds you guys to last! Of course, you're powered by a radioactive thermogenerator, not some dusty old solar panels, so assuming no craziness, your maximum lifespan should be known already. Also, I know you charge your battery at night, so does that have a maximum known lifespan? If the battery were to stop holding a charge, would that be a mission ending situation, or would you just tire out more easily?

So Curiosity, how long can we poor landlubbers expect to look up at the sky in wonder, knowing that our ambassador is up there, alert and awake?

Thanks, Naomi in Israel

PS: Tell Viking 2 I said "HI!"

[I wrote it for the AMA and then realized that I'd be fast asleep when it started, being in Israel as I am, so I'm posting here :)]

asked by splepage

While we are designed to accomplish our mission goals in 1 Mars year, we do hope to last a lot longer if everything goes well. You hit the nail right on the head - the RTG will continue to provide power for many years. The batteries do degrade slowly, but we don't have a specific cut off. As the ability to hold charge decreases, so does the amount of activities we can perform in a sol.

Thanks for the question!

This is AWESOME!!

What was the time frame from "Let's put something to Mars" until the touch down?

I'm curious to see how long it actually takes from an idea to completion

asked by [deleted]

Curiosity was over 10 years in development. But the idea of using a "crane style" system was around even longer than that. A lot of times there are concepts for missions and we just have to wait for technology/interest/money to come along.

Wow this is so exciting!!! You guys rock. I watched all your press conferences and am anxious to see what is to come. Thank you for making the whole world interested in space and science again.

My question is, how did you all agree on the name Curiosity for the Mars rover? Was it a vote you guys had, or did it just come naturally?

asked by lilacbear

This was a public contest put out. Here is a link to the winning essay.

The Excited Biologist

Hi guys, I have some time off today after teaching, so after getting a whole mess of requests that I do one of these, here we are!

I'm a field biologist, technically an ecosystem ecologist, who primarily works with wild bird populations!

I do other work in wetlands and urban ecosystems, and have spent a good amount of time in the jungles of Costa Rica, where I fought off some of the deadliest snakes in the world while working to restore the native tropical forests with the aid of the Costa Rican government.

Aside from the biology, I used to perform comedy shows and was a cook for years!

Ask me anything at all, and I'd be glad to respond!

I've messaged some proof to the mods, so hopefully this gets verified!

You can check out some of my biology-related posts on my Redditor-inspired blog [here!](

I've also got [a whole mess of videos up here](, relating to various biological and ecological topics!

Obligatory penguin question.

If you had a penguin for a pet, what kind of penguin would you choose and what would you name it?

asked by lilyth88

If I had a penguin as a pet, I'd probably choose a Magellanic penguin. I love the little guys. [Here's a photo I took of one!]


I'd name him Slippy.

Pretty sure that penguin is calling you out bro.

asked by getya

Bring it.

In my mind, you sound exactly like Professor Oak in Pokèmon Snap. Just FYI.

asked by LorienDark

I *gladly* accept that.

Now we need to get a tree named unidan so this can become canon...

**Wait**, you're a biologist that does field work. Quick! find a new species of tree and name it after your (internet) self!

asked by Jigokuro


Oh wow you're still answering these? You just never cease being awesome.

Since You're here, could you explain why I have you tagged as 'Sad in metric'? you certainly don't seem sad...

asked by Jigokuro

Haha, I'm not sure! Maybe I was fighting for using the metric system?

This guy is fucking awesome. But more importantly...what is another ridiculously awesome fact other than that unbelievable Sahara Desert to Amazon thing?

asked by BlackGuyOne

Thank you very much, that's very kind!

A fun fact? Hmm. The slow loris is pretty amazing! It's a poisonous primate! It produces a toxin from its elbows which it then licks off and spreads all over its body.

Its "fighting stance" is essentially an [arms-behind-the-head posture, like so!](

Are there any other posionous true primates?

Thank you for your help in saving the exclamation point from internet extinction and also making me feel happy again tonight as you have countless other nights. It's been a rough one!

asked by CaryGrantLives

Nope! All of them are lorises, I believe.

And you're quite welcome!

Is that pronounced "loris-is" or "loris-sees"?

asked by purpy_skurpies

The first one.

You started this AMA 9 hours ago and you're still going??!! you're awesome dude!

Btw, love your enthusiasm and wealth of knowledge - I really hope some of it rubs off on some of the younger folk here and decide to pursue something similar

asked by bloomcnd

I am bleeding from me fingas.

"I've got blistas on me fingas!"

asked by 1stCovert


Ey man, you made me laugh a year ago with a funny fact. I don't remember what it was, but it was quite funny. I've had you tagged as Excited Biologist! since then. Thanks, I always look forward to your posts. I also read your entire AMA. You're a great guy. I'm may not be religious, but God speed.

asked by that-freakin-guy


What other passions in life do you have?

asked by neropow

I used to do improv and sketch comedy for a number of years and I still occasionally perform! I did a show not too long ago in NYC with a few friends from the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre.

I also used to be a professional cook, so I enjoy cooking quite a bit, too!

Where did you grow up, if I may ask...?

asked by neropow

Long Island, New York.


I worked in Bellmore, LI for 4 years. LI is a really different place when you compare it to the rest of NY.

asked by pavs

Very much so!

So you study birds? Could you tell me how a 5 ounce bird carries a 1 pound coconut?

asked by Cozmo23

Are you suggesting that coconuts migrate?

You are the expert. What have your studies shown?

asked by Cozmo23

Coconuts *do* migrate, but swallows are not involved. They actually migrate through buoyancy and water currents.

A better term would be "disperse," as we don't quite expect that the coconuts will return home anytime soon.

So that means that Patsy's coconuts fell off a coconut tree somewhere where coconuts grow, rolled into the ocean, and floated to England? Awesome!

asked by choixpeau


Now I am a newt. Can you explain this away?

asked by simboisland

Probably a witch, or you were born into a pond.

Of all the things you could ask this man and you went Monty Python with it. Internet brofist.

asked by krazeegerbil

Gotta do what a man's gotta do.

Other ornithologist here:

How excited are you about some of the new conservation work looking to bring extinct species back to life?

How great would it be to get the Passenger Pigeon, Dodo, Carolina Parakeet, and many other back?!

asked by birdguy

It'd be pretty neat, that's for sure. Whether we could *reintroduce* them without restoring their habitat is what concerns me!

You might find this of interest, I recently got to go behind the scenes at Cornell's Lab of Ornithology and put together this little album of some of their extinct birds:

Will the newly un-extinctified passenger pigeon ride on carrier pigeons?

asked by SexyEyebrowMan

I have to admit, I chuckled at this.

I've recently become a fan / slight (slight!) stalker.

Now, I need to think of a biology unrelated question to ask...

If you had the opportunity to travel to a new life supporting planet (in cold storage, or however it'd work...), with all the materials you needed to set up a lab and work there, would you? Even if it involved not coming back to earth?

asked by pencil_pusher

I'm okay with that, I am always welcoming to some new stalkers!

Hmm, I probably wouldn't, if it meant never coming back to Earth! As much as I'd love to be world famous for being the first person to live on Mars or something like that, that fame means nothing to me in comparison to being with friends and loved ones.

That said, there's *probably* some crazy fuck out there who would *gladly* do this.

I thought so! I mean, there is just so much about this plant that we don't know or understand. Like oceans.

It seems like we've developed an almost symbiotic relationship with cries, are there any other animals we've done this with? (Outside of domestic pets)

asked by pencil_pusher

Humans have a symbiotic relationship with a particular type of bird called the Honeyguide!

[Here's an awesome video about them!](

Amazing! I'm glad to hear that we can coexist with nature, and not simply harm it which I hear too much about.

I've thought up another question if you don't mind, this one is about my dog. He is a special fellow, a border collie/German Shepard. He refuses to go after any animals that entire the yard, and will very much so leave them alone. However, when we are on a walk he will lunge after almost anything that moves (today it was marmots). Did I accidentally do something to condition him out of removing small pest animals at home? Or is this common dog behaviour? (Pest animals as in mice, chickens, and other guys).

Even a random guess at this point would be great, thanks!

asked by pencil_pusher


He may just be uneasy with a new environment, so feels more aggressive outside of his usual territory.

Similarly, he might assume you as the leader of the "house" territory, thus waiting for you to make the first move on your homestead.

That'd be my random guess!

Thank you! I'll have to get out there and chase those chickens around with a stick... Hopefully he'll follow my lead, and not just because he wants to play fetch...

asked by pencil_pusher

Haha, good luck!

Yeesh, you're quick at this! Now if only I'd stop ending up at /r/195 because of you...

I've got to ask a random question about a different field I remember you mentioning (nitrogen based from a geochemist perspective). I was in a class about a month ago, and a student was presenting on nitrogen based fertilizers, and nitrogen saturation. One bit of data she presented made it appear that techniques used to decrease the nitrogen content in a certain area changed the N-14 to N-15 ratio, and I couldn't get a satisfactory response as to "why". I know reactions tend to react preferentially with certain isotopes, vs. others. Is that the reasoning behind this? Also, is monitoring the nitrogen ratio a viable method to determine the sources of nitrogen in an "overabundant" area (as in there is excessive amounts of nitrogen due to fertilizer vs another source).

To me this seems a little dodgy because of how the ratio of isoptopes differs depending on where you are in the world, as well as different nitrogen sources mixing together to yield some bizarre ratio (I could see that first problem being taken care of by comparing it to a local "untouched" sample, but I'm not sure how the second could be resolved).

Thanks for your time!

asked by pencil_pusher

He may have been talking about a spiking experiment. N-15 is a very rare isotope, and makes up well less than 1% of the nitrogen in the natural world.

N-14 is the common type, which makes up something like 99.6% of nitrogen atoms.

Sometimes you can measure natural versus non-natural fertilizers via their isotope ratios, as fertilizer produced from animals should be higher in N-15 isotopes, as they've bioaccumulated as the animal moves up the food chain while artificially produced fertilizers would not have these trophic bioaccumulations.

Some experimenters will "spike" an area with N-15 isotopes (we do it for our research) to trace where that nitrogen is going. If it is transferred to gaseous N2O, for example, you'll pick up that isotope in your gas samples, where if it's moving out of the soil towards the water table, you may find an abundance of your spike in the bottom layer of soil samples.

Not a question, but every time you comment and start with, "Biologist here!" it makes me wish you had a pop up graphic to accompany you, somewhere between [this]( and [this](

asked by prairiebean

Haha, I do like the idea of Spongebob talking at length about biology, I have to admit.

You know, I came to know about reddir because of that weird guy with the horrid subs and he was very popular on the interwebs for a bit of time for being creepy. I think you may be his complete antithesis. Thanks for hanging out here, you actually contribute to the community and your positivity is super charming.

asked by CharSiuBao9A

No problem, glad to be of service!

I'm curious about how birds adapt to urban environments. I live in DC, which is densely-built but has a fair number of trees (mostly ornamental). Just wondering how the birds have adapted as the city's grown, where there are trees but no underbrush, lots of odd food and tons of noise?

asked by ZMild

Great question!

Dr. Marzluff and his colleagues have, [quite literally, written the book]( on this topic.

Some birds are known as "urban exploiters," for example: the pigeon. They contain a huge amount of pre-adaptations that made the movement to cities a no-brainer for the species. Their natural habitat involved laying eggs on cliff faces. This quickly translated to laying eggs on building ledges and the like, with very little modification to their behavior being necessary.

Additionally, pigeons can utilize a wide variety of foods found in the urban environment to feed their young. Many young birds require specific food which may not be available in an urban environment. Pigeons, on the other hand, eat the food and convert it to a weird, sludgey material called "crop milk," which they can feed to their young!

As for the noise, there was a slew of recent studies showing that urban birds will increase the pitch of their calls to compete with traffic sounds! It's really quite fascinating!

Crows too!

If you haven't already (and I suspect you have) you should look up some of the crazy shenanigans that crows have pulled in urban environments.

Some will drop a nut in the middle of a crosswalk and wait for a car to run over it, wait for the "walk" signal to turn on, and retrieve their meal.

You can also look up the "decoy nests" that they have made. Tricky little bastards.

asked by FarmParty

Yup, they're ridiculous. My main research is on American crows (*Corvus brachyrhynchos*), so most of their shenanigans, I've seen first hand!

Hey, thanks. I'm told we get migrating birds passing through, is a city more disruptive to them than other parts of their route?

Is it useful at all to wildlife to have small, busy parks in a city -- think Dupont Circle in DC, or Bryant Park in NYC - or does it make much difference?

We also have foxes pretty close in -- what other 'unexpected' animals adapt well to big urban areas?

asked by ZMild

It depends on their needs. The Prairie Pothole region of the US, for example, houses a huge amount of wetlands required for migrating ducks, where a city might be able to be just fine for some small passerine birds!

Yes, those little parks can be quite a refuge *if they're managed properly!* There is a park near me that is very vibrant and nice looking, but because it has very little plant diversity, it houses almost *no* species of birds. We found less species there than we did along a derelict railroad track running through the worst neighborhood in our city.

As for unexpected animals, hmm, not quite sure, a lot of the ones I can name would be ones you *would* expect! There's a good variety of predatory birds in your cities! Peregrine falcons, bald eagles, ospreys, merlins, all kinds of neat stuff that prey on the abundance of "vermin" species that cities have. Eagles will be in cities along waterways, like my own!

Hell yeah peregrine falcons! We've had a pair nesting in the cathedral of my hometown for about seven years now, and even just that one pair has made a noticeable difference to the number of pigeons in the area. Once on my way to work I happened to look up to see how cloudy it was and I saw one of them come out of *nowhere* after a pigeon. It missed, but it was still awesome.

For anybody who wants to look at them, our city council maintains three webcam streams of them. You can find out more [here]( They don't do much, to be honest, mostly you'll just see one sitting in the nest incubating the eggs at the moment, but it's still cool to be walking around town knowing they're busy going about their falcony business.

asked by satanspanties

They are neat little buggers!

Hey so I live in Seattle, and I very often see pigeons with a mangled appendage, missing some part of the foot or leg. They generally dont seem to give a shit, and have no problem hobbling around on the stump, and flying when they need to.

My question is, do you know how this typically happens to city pigeons? Is it fights with other birds, some sort of environmental hazard, or humans being dicks somehow?

Also, do pigeons have any weird tricks up their sleeve that let them survive a partial dismemberment like that and heal, or am I just seeing the lucky ones?

asked by GrinningPariah

I'd guess a little of all three, and yes, you're probably seeing the lucky ones. People think there's a lot of pigeons in their city, but they probably only see 1/20th of what is actually out there.

What do you suggest for parents who want to get their kids excited or interested in biology and or ecology?

asked by 4a4a

A pair of binoculars is a good start. A lot of things we don't get a chance to see up close because they flee from people, but binoculars can close the gap pretty quickly.

If they're old enough to not smash the thing, that is.

Zoo tickets are always a winner. Sierra Club membership, I believe, has some cool stuff for kids. I got a little backpack for being a member pretty recently, and you can always take them out for a hike. A little handlens (probably less than 10 bucks) is also excellent for getting a close-up look at things without having to go crazy with high-powered optics.

I have the little backpack from the Sierra Club! I also got the hookup of some sweet shirts....but that's because I was working on a campaign.

Seriously, that thing is awesome.

asked by kiraella

Seriously, that little pack is awesome. It makes an awesome little side-pack for field research because I don't give a shit if it breaks, but the thing has kept up!

Have you ever been to Australia? Too many birds over there. I'm scared of them because kookaburras stole my pork bun :(

asked by iNeedchocolate

I haven't, but [I made a video not too long ago about kookaburras!](

Hit me with the coolest biology fact you got. GO!

asked by jscottfoshizzle

There are so many!

Alright, here's one: some bees will defend their colonies by swarming an invader and buzzing loudly. They buzz so much that they actually heat up the intruder to the point where it actually burns to death.

Are these bees in England? If not I am happy knowing I am safe from someone having to read "Burned alive by bees" at my funeral

asked by KarlC6


All this time I thought wasps were the bad ones :(

asked by KarlC6

Well, they're only doing it to defend themselves!

How dangerous is a cassowary?

Can I actually survive on water from cacti in the desert?

Do peacocks actually shit as much as they breathe?

If you were a bird, what kind of bird would you be?

How easy is it to train half a dozen stray dogs, a house of mice (side question: what is the name for a group of mice?), about a dozen or so songbirds native to America and a tiger?

What the fuck is up with seahorses?


> How dangerous is a cassowary

*Very.* They have a ridiculously sharp talon that could easily disembowel a person powered by an extremely muscular leg. Many ratites are equally dangerous.

Big shoutout to my friends over at /r/cassowary!

> Can I actually survive on water from cacti in the desert?

Probably not to definitely not, depending on the cactus that you're trying! Cacti certainly have water, but they *defend it* heavily!

If you were to cut open a barrel cactus, you'd be very disappointed with the "water" that was inside of it. It would be in the form of a viscous slime that you would not want to drink, or even chew.

Other desert plants contain milky sap or latex, that can be quite painful to ingest. Some will burn you on contact. I actually [just made this video]( showing the latex that comes out of an African milk tree, for example. The latex contains inflammatory agents, while others can contain things like tannins (which cause the dry feeling in your mouth when you drink red wine) which will bind up protein and make it indigestible, so you'd actually make yourself thirstier *and* hungrier.

> If you were a bird, what kind of bird would you be?

Southern Screamer. I just like the name. Maybe a [lyrebird](, so I could mess with people more often.

> How easy is it to train half a dozen stray dogs, a house of mice (side question: what is the name for a group of mice?), about a dozen or so songbirds native to America and a tiger?

Easy at first with the dogs, and then exponentially harder.

The collective term for a group of mice is a "mischief of mice."

> What the fuck is up with seahorses?

They're weird guys. The usual fact is, of course, that the males "have the babies," but in all honesty, males are the ones doing the majority of the parenting in fish.

Why is that? Because they're the last ones with the babies! Fish are externally fertilized, so once the females lay the eggs, the males have to fertilize them, making them the last ones to have them in their care. This has led to selection for them to become the main "caretakers."

Seahorses simply have an extremely intense version of this!

With something like a lyrebird, if they make the sounds of so many other species and other things found in the forest, how do their mates actually find them?

Or are those other songs and noises interspersed into their actual song?

asked by whisperingsage

The whole repertoire is how they find their mates, so a female will evaluate the male based on a whole bunch of different songs, the more varied and interesting, the better.

I believe the bird has its own "base" call, too, but it gets modified with all the other sounds it incorporates.

Have you ever encountered one in the wild?

I did once while bush walking. I couldn't see it, but we were taking a breather and it copied the noises we make. We would whistle a tune and it would do it back to us. It was pretty awesome!

asked by CrossyFTW

Nope, I wish! That's awesome!

>Do peacocks actually shit as much as they breathe?

Since he didn't answer that one I'll help you out with it, yes. I used to live in an area with a lot of peacocks, there was always shit on the roof and driveway. And they like to lay their eggs in places where I will accidentally knock them over so my dog will eat it.

asked by fabulous_frolicker

Oh wow, I completely skipped over that. My bad!

Yes, they poop quite a bit. The white is actually uric acid, as birds have high water conservation aimed kidneys, so it comes out as a dry mass. The colored part is the feces.

I worked at a zoo for a while as a groundskeeper. One night at closing the nigh staff was lazy and didn't' check the bathrooms as she locked up, just locked them and left. I arrived in the morning to a bathroom containing a trapped and panicked peacock, along with all the shit such a creature would produce. Much of it had dried overnight, and I'm sure you're aware how difficult it is to clean that up. Not a fun day.

I also had to repaint the kookaburra enclosure which had a LOT of built up shit on the walls, as well as clean the glass which was covered in butchered chicks. Someone needs to teach this birds some manners.

And then there was Peter the African grey! That damned thing learned the sound of a tractor backing up. All I'd hear as I cleaned up the education building was, "BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP" incessantly.

At least the one greater rhea was nice. She always came up to me and let me pet her first thing in the morning. I liked her.

I have a lot of zoo stories.

asked by trilobot

That's awesome!

Florida, they roamed the streets in packs, and watched you while you bathe.

asked by fabulous_frolicker


It's really weird when it's night time and you can see the faint outline of one sitting there.

asked by fabulous_frolicker

That *would* be weird.

Why is the only time you ever sound unenthusiastic when you grudgingly agree to random internet strangers becoming your friends?

asked by purple_platypus_bear

I like the contrast!

Well shit... I'll rephrase it.

"Do you know how awesome you are and are you planning on staying this way forever and ever?"

Well I guess a serious q to: Do you have any new projects you're planning to do in the future? I assume it would have something to do with nutrients and birds. :)

asked by StellaMaroo

> Do you know how awesome you are

I own my own machete, so yes.

> Are you planning on staying this way forever and ever?

Until I accidentally kill myself with my own machete.

As for new projects, yes! I'm doing a joint venture that's about to start this summer involving greenhouse gas research in wetlands. We're going to be working with cattle and seeing how grazing can influence greenhouse gas emissions under specific circumstances to try to put more research behind a very new theory in biogeochemistry!

Is it a kukri machete? 'cause kukri machetes are the best machete.

asked by retneftw

Unfortunately no, [but it is pretty big!]


Did you get that machete in Honduras?

asked by Seriouslysoftpillow

Costa Rica.

Hi Biologist, Geologist here!!! How does a biologist collect the greenhouse gas from cattle? (I don't know why but i picture a butt funnel...)

asked by dick_in_CORN

We built a little gas collection chamber out of PVC that samples the soil it's over, then I draw the air out with a syringe after a set amount of time and before we start to compare what's accumulated.

What do you see the role of scientists as within the policy-making process? Does taking a specific and vocal political stance detract from being an objective scientist?

Follow-up: What do you see as the greatest threats/priorities for society in the near future?

asked by dickparrot

I wish they had a bigger role, unfortunately, politics often gets in the way. It's difficult to face the influence of money, and yes, I'd say getting *too* involved can be detrimental. That said, if you're not skewing your results or setting up your experiments to get the results you *want* to get, then it should be fine.

Disconnect with nature worries me a lot. Most people have no idea how their food is grown, or when foods *are* grown. To the average person, it's completely normal to get strawberries year round, or to have mangoes in the winter. There's very little thought into what that entails.

Similarly, people are very short-termed in their thinking. I actually believe that has to do with our evolutionary past. You don't evolve a species easily that takes into account something fifteen years down the line, and things like climate change are, essentially, right in our blind spot.

I have you tagged as "Thinks rocks are people" after your post the piure that was on WTF. What is the one biology fact you know that is hardest to get people to believe?

asked by Reavers_Go4HrdBrn

That evolution isn't a directional process and that human intelligence isn't the pinnacle of it.

What's the scariest thing that's happened to you out in the field? Funniest?

Also you manage to actually make me grin and laugh you day-brightener, you.

asked by sassychupacabra


I was in Costa Rica, working in a former banana plantation when a Tico worker in front of me called out that he found a terciopelo. That's a fer-de-lance, for those that may know it as that. *Bothrops asper.* [Here's a picture of what their bite can do to a person (NSFL)]( That's *after* a two-week treatment with antibiotics, but no antivenom.

So the guys yells that he found one. I cut down a banana tree to get to him, but as I lift the trunk, there's *my own* viper right under the tree. I had my machete out so I cut it to pieces.

I want to say I cut it up like a badass (not that you should ever, *ever* try to kill a snake, in fact, as someone commented below, stepping backwards is a much better way to avoid a strike), but it was more like I hacked at it like a chimpanzee while trying not to shit my pants. I felt bad for killing the guy, but when the nearest hospital is four hours away by dirt road, I don't take chances.

The funniest?

Last summer my lab mate and I were working in a wetland with cows. They get in the way a lot, so we chase them off. We went to chase one off, until we realized it was a bull. We had to run through a wetland to escape and jumped into an experimental plot to hide. It was funny in retrospect.

**EDIT**: I hope in no way that I'm coming off as advocating for killing snakes, so I apologize if people got that impression!

I can't wait to check out your videos, but I sort of fell into this thread by accident and I'm so damn tired.... but I have a burning question.

As I understand it, *Varroa destructor* mites typically enter honeybee colonies on drones. The female scurries toward drone cells, favorable because of the extra room. She hides at the bottom of the cell, snacking on the prepupa. Sixty hours after the cell is capped, the female mite lays an egg which will be male. She will then lay a clutch of other eggs, one every 30 hours, which will all hatch as female. The females all mate with the male. When the bee emerges, the mated females leave and are transferred through the colony, while the male and any immature females remain in the cell.

How the hell are these inbred devilspawn able to evolve? A virgin queen bee might mate with her "half brother," but she also mates with as great a number of drones as possible so there's some genetic diversity. It seems less of an issue if her half-brother is only 1/16th of her available genetic bank. Where does mutation/genetic diversity come in on the Varroa life cycle?

When I asked this question years ago at bee school, they just said "because" a few times. I get the same answer now. What am I missing?

asked by OmnibusPrime

Good question!

The mites are haplodiploid, which allows the single female to produce offspring without mating, however, this is actually somewhat irrelevant.

Don't forget that its not always just a single mite that may infect a colony! There may be mites from different areas converging on a single bee colony, so you could have gene flow occurring there.

Even if they *don't* cross with other mites, that's not the only mechanism for evolution, there's also genetic drift and mutation, too!

It's possible that genetic mutations can arise that quickly sweep the population (because almost all offspring are guaranteed to have that mutated allele, as you say), so fluctuations may be quick and sweep completely in this species. There could also be methylation and epigenetic effects on these guys, too!

That said, even if they *don't* get new genetic combinations, is that necessarily a bad thing? Their strategy works and they may be under no pressure to evolve any differently!

I understood some words!

asked by PoWn3d_0704

Let me know what you need defined!

If you were the host of a science show a la Bill Nye the Science Guy, what would you name said show?

asked by blueshirt21

I feel like I'd be *forced* to call it Unidan the Biology Man.

Are fractals a common occurrence throughout nature? What, in your opinion, is their relevance if any?

asked by yabadass

Yes, they are, actually!

A lot of papers will refer to Mandelbrot sets and "self-design" when talking about restoration practices.

The goal is to make a pattern at some local level and hopefully let the natural community replicate that pattern as it expands outwards. I've seen this done in wetlands and it seems to hold true pretty nicely. So if you're looking at a ten by ten meter plot of land, you'll see a certain composition of plant species and if you zoom out to the hectare level, you'll see a similar composition.

Thanks for the quick answer! But why are fractals relevant? What if anything do they prove?

asked by yabadass

They show that if you design a particular ecosystem at a small scale, it will eventually be represented at a larger scale as it grows.

If it didn't, then you might make something that's 10% one thing, 20% another, 70% something super rare, but when you see it grow past a few acres, it turns out the something rare only makes up 1% of the whole thing.

Does that make more sense?

I read an article in Scientific American today about Asian Ants and Argentinian Ants. Apparently there's a massive ant war going on between the two. Just how dangerous are Asian ants? It was a short article but I did read that they are a huge danger to North American ecosystems

asked by hinduguru

The main danger to Western ecosystems from the East has nothing to do with their inherent biology in most cases, but, rather, their context.

These are organisms that evolved under completely separate circumstances, so when they come to a new context, they are ecologically "freed" from things like predators and disease until things can adapt to them.

So while native ants struggle against diseases at home, these ants can easily invade, disease and predator free and compete against them directly.

Also, in general, Asian species tend to do better as exotic invaders as many of the species are tropical, which usually have *much* more competition involved in their evolution than those in North America. This is reflected in plants very readily, where many of our invading plants are Asiatic in origin, for example.

Okay question: Is there any animal you are actually afraid of? (snakes, lizards, spiders?)

asked by MooJersey

I am probably most afraid of flying insects, especially when they're not predictable fliers. Things like houseflies drive me *nuts* when they're in my house.

So, I gather there is a thing as predictable fliers? How does that work?

asked by EauRouge86

Things like dragonflies, that have really good control over themselves, as opposed to say, ladybugs, which are basically taxi-cabs with rocketpacks.

I love that description. Now every time I'll see a lady bug (which is quite a lot, recently, what's up with that?) I'll have to think they have a rocketpack strapped on.

When I was a kid, someone told me that black ladybugs [like this one]( are poisonous, as opposed to [the orange ones]( That's bullshit told by kids, I presume?

asked by EauRouge86

Yup, no worries.

Please justify your existence.

asked by Warlizard

Sure thing!

I help to make policy decisions involving water quality that affects people's drinking water and air quality. I also make recommendations for general health and safety!

Most recently, I helped to re-do plans for a business park that had planned to put a children's nursery on top of a former chemical spill site [contaminated with PERC.](

Additionally, I've done comedy shows to raise money for Veterans and Animal Shelters.

I worked in the jungle to re-establish tropical rainforests, preserving native biodiversity and habitat for rare species, and am currently a college instructor, educating many of tomorrow's doctors and medical professionals!

Hey Unidan! I think you are fantastic, and I'm always excited to see your posts. I'm an anthropology grad student with a biological focus (who used to major in wildlife bio) so as you can probably tell, I'm a bio fan. I might get the chance to go to Costa Rica and see some primates myself next year!

As for my question...elephants and gorillas are my favorite animals, what are yours? :)

asked by bikeswithkites

Awesome, good luck with your degree! Go to Costa Rica, it's truly amazing. You might hate monkeys when you come out though, they are *malicious creatures.*

As for my favorites, I'm quite partial to quetzals and pangolins!

Tell me something interesting about Canadian Geese. We get them all over Wisconsin and I don't know a ton about them.

asked by lilyth88

They're extremely numerous because people accidentally recreate their natural habitats, which are basically big flats of grass.

Were you already passionate by birds as a child ?

asked by AhnQiraj

I think birds are pretty captivating, for sure, though I certainly am more interested in birds *now* than I was *then.*

That said, I was certainly enthralled with dinosaurs, which are intrinsically related, so you could make that claim!

How is your work like? What do you do?

Asking because I want to do exactly what you do! (As you can see I'm practising with putting exclamations points!)

P.S. You're awesome dude!

asked by Mastyx

It's good!

I do environmental research, taking soil, gas and water samples to trace nutrients through ecosystems, but also do behavioral observations on wild animals. Then, I usually combine the two data sets to try to see if they influence one another, or even potentially cause one another!

A good amount of my time is spent outside, in the field, but there's always analysis to be done once those field observations and samples have been taken, so I run chemical analyses like gas chromatography and flow-injection analysis.

Thanks for the kind words and good luck in your goal!

Another question: Have you read Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine's "Last chance to see"? And if you have how old were you and did it influence your academic career?

asked by Diaper_cocktail

I haven't read that book, but I've read the Hitchhiker series, of course. I'd argue he sees the world with an environmental viewpoint. I also identify strongly with his bizarre humor, it's great!

What's that book about?

Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine, a zoologist, embark on a trip around the world trying to encounter potentially extinct fauna, hence the name of the book: Last Chance to see. They focus on the White African Rhinoceros (not sure if there's an Asian one), the Yangtze River dolphin, a believe they also discuss the Mountain Gorilla and, I believe, an Amazonian dolphin as well. But my favourite animal they describe is the New Zealand Kakapo, the world's largest, flightless parrot.

As expected Douglas Adams is hilarious. I read this back in 1992 (it was published that year I guess) and recently Stephen Fry retraced Douglas Adam's steps along with Mark Carwardine with the intent of updating the perilous situations of those animals on the verge of extinction. You have to read it!!!

asked by Diaper_cocktail

That's excellent, I'll check it out!

Unidan, you're freaking awesome and I love reading your posts.

With that said, my roommate is currently finishing his masters and wants to get into a field similar to yours. Do you have any advice that I can stream along to him?

asked by SirDinhDang

Get experience. Like...right now.

Try to get as much field experience as he possibly can. Did he do a Masters with research, or a non-research Masters?

He's doing a Masters with research and his thesis is due by the end of this month I believe. I don't remember what it was about really, but it had to do with bees. Lots and lots of bees.

asked by SirDinhDang

Ah gotcha, so he's got some experience going, that's good!

Padding out your CV can be well worth the effort, in my opinion.

erratically_sporadic here!

Would you rather fight a *Equus ferus caballus*-sized *Anas platyrhynchos* or 20 *Anas platyrhynchos*-sized *Equus ferus caballus*?

Edit: I just saw my question phrased differently somewhere else :( and Fixed!

asked by erratically_sporadic

Next time, *italicize* those species names, my friend! **EDIT**: Atta-boy!

Also, I'll copy and paste the answer I just gave elsewhere:

100 duck-sized horses, for sure.

Have you ever fought a duck? Just a regular duck? Or, failing that, a swan? I have. It's awful.

Trying to fight one the size of a horse would be a nightmare! Just imagine a duck the size of a horse. Huge keel for flapping its 20 foot wingspan, probably enough to break your bones if it hit you.

Plus, the honking.

Take the loudest duck you've ever heard and scale it up until its honking is like an airhorn with the depth of Barry White.

That sounds quacky!

How do you feel about bird puns? Whats your favorite bird joke?

asked by erratically_sporadic

Some yolks about birds are pretty fowl, but owl give it a shot! I'd just hate to come off as a raven loon-atic if I miss the opportunity to make a pheasant joke.

Your tern.

I don't know feather or not I can compete against you in a joke cont-nest! I bet you know a hen-dred!

asked by erratically_sporadic

Go for it, you shouldn't live life with any egrets!

I ju-swan to advise you guys not to get stork in a rut. Even though they're friends, if Chandler couldn't quit punning, albatross would slap him.

asked by mentula_excelsi

Damn, you're good.

Forgive me, but I'm currently studying for an exam for one of my anthropology classes, and seeing how you're working in ecology/environmental thingies...

Do you work with conservation groups, or conservation projects in general? If so, how do you feel about the current set up of these groups and the work they're doing (as in the people vs. "nature" mentality, or that people are inherently bad for "nature")?

Sorry if that didn't make sense or doesn't apply!

P.S. I think you're probably the coolest guy ever. I have you tagged as Sloth King and am always super excited to read your posts :)

asked by dingobaby92

Yup, I am a member of the Sierra Club, and I'm a member of several local groups for my own area.

I think they're great! The work they do is usually for the public good and takes people into consideration, though won't completely cave to their needs over the natural world. I think the major view is to try to integrate people with nature without nature always getting screwed.

Minimal impact, I believe, is the goal for most of the conservation groups. They understand people want to use and see natural resources, versus, say, a preservationist view that may literally keep people away.

Thanks for finally doing the ama!

What was the most miserable situation you've been in on a biology related trip, and if it's different what was your most memorable experience?

If you could have any one scientific mystery answered by some kind of lab geenie, what would it be?

What's the weirdest critter, plant or animal, you've ever seen?

Does your username mean anything?

asked by Fliffs

Most miserable? Replanting trees in Costa Rica. When you think replanting trees, you're imagining an area with *nothing* around you. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The areas we replanted were *dense* with vines, poisonous snakes (terciopelos and eyelash vipers, and I ended up killing a terciopelo) and on a 45-degree incline of mud.

It was probably 95 degrees with 95% humidity at its *coolest.* That sucked.

My scientific mystery, for myself, at least, would to be able to know the exact position of every bird I was interested in. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to locate a radio tagged bird. It can take hours to find *one.*

Weirdest critter? [A caecilian.]( They are amphibians that have gone a *very* strange evolutionary route and currently resemble something more like a worm than what you may think when you think "amphibian."

Yes, it does! It was the name my father read off of our "Uniden" phone when we first got the internet.

Uh oh! Are those snakes really poisonous, or are they venomous?

asked by ElMangosto


Venom is injected, while poison needs to be ingested.

Have you ever been to the Georgia Aquarium?

asked by elithunder


But I was seven at the time, so all I really remember was the cool tube thingy.

Wait. Now I'm confused. How old are you now?

asked by elithunder

Haha, why was that confusing?

The aquarium's only 7. So... You'd be 14. :P

Either way. If you wanna go again, and happen to be in atlanta, PM me. I like giving smart people tours! I'd be interested to hear your opinions.

asked by elithunder

Must've been a different aquarium, then! Haha, I went to Florida and drove through Georgia on the way. I looked up the aquarium and saw the tube I vaguely remembered, so I assumed it was the same one!

Then I realized I was probably dumb just now.

If I come through Atlanta, I'd be glad to meet up!

You've got to be thinking of the, imo, superior [Tennessee Aquarium]( in Chattanooga (it's like an hour and a bit north of ATL). GA is bigger, but it's got a poor layout, a bunch of blank wall space (at least in the whale shark area, the FW rivers section is pretty damn excellent), and lovely (/s) backdrop of downtown ATL. That said, you can totally dive with the whale sharks, which...fuck yes!

asked by tasteofflames

Plausibly! I'll have to ask my mother where the hell we were when I talk to her next.

I wrote that sentence as if she's going to remember.

Well, the aquarium opened in 2005. Perhaps you mean the Tennesee aquarium with the cool tube thingy?

Speaking of the ocean, have you done any marine research? If so, what was the most interesting thing you worked on? If not, what are your top 3 coolest ocean facts?

asked by thoroughbredofsin6


I haven't done any marine research, though I'd love to!

* There are gigantic tube worms that live near hot vents. They're an amazingly weird ecosystem. The worms have hemoglobin, just like us, in their blood and look *bright red!*

* The ocean is the biggest carbon sink on the planet.

* Much of the plant life in the Southern Ocean is actually stimulated by sperm whale feces, which release much needed iron back into the photic zone!

Follow-up for anyone who's interested since we covered this a lot in my Marine Science class this semester:

* Since these hot vents are at the ocean floor, way below where any light can reach, the ecosystem isn't based around photosynthetic plankton like the surface waters but chemosynthetic bacteria that make glucose and sulfuric acid from hydrogen sulfide that seeps out of the vents. So basically they're the ocean floor's version of plants, except instead of making oxygen from sunlight, they make sulfuric acid from chemicals in the earth's crust.

* The gigantic tube worms don't have a mouth, stomach, anus, or any digestive system. Instead, they get their nutrients entirely by the chemosynthetic bacteria that live in the tube worm's insides.

asked by GangsterJawa

Thanks for the added detail!

Do you have ADHD? Your high energy makes me wonder! It can have it's benefits.

Also, biology being my first love, I have a BS in biology and am interested in fisheries science and wildlife conservation. Do you have any advice on how to get work in this field abroad?

asked by charina91

Haha, nope, I'm actually quite a low-key, relaxed guy.

Write into the universities you may want to work in association with. A lot of them will have graduate students who require field workers who I'm sure would love the opportunity to have some extra help.

Thanks for the input! I'm excited to be heading back to where my natural talents lie.

asked by charina91

Good luck!

I'll probably get buried, but I've always wondered: What's the deal with sloths?

asked by better-off-ted

I'll dig you out, no worries!

They're cool little guys! They move super slow because they subsist on such low-grade plant matter! They also come down to the ground to poop and move *so* slowly that their fur is covered in algae!

I saw a couple in Costa Rica, they're great because once you spot them, they just *stay* there.

Would you rather fight 100 snake-sized Costa Ricas or 1 Costa Rica sized snake?

asked by mileylols

I'll pick the 100 snake-sized Costa Ricas, as Costa Rica has no standing military.


I propose a new project for you: how about daily "Crow Facts?" Way cooler than "Cat Facts" I know you have nothing better to do and, well, is there such a thing as too many crow facts?

Thanks, I always enjoy reading your comments.

asked by BedtimeforBonzos

No, no there is *not* a thing as too many crow facts!

Here's one: they have blue eyes until they get older. Some of them are quite striking.

What is your current project?

Do you have a favourite species of bird?

Will you tell me a joke?

asked by sephera

I have a few, one is working on urban pollutants, another is working with American crows and another is in a wetland.

I'm quite fond of the [Resplendent Quetzal!](


How many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Holy shit that bird is interesting. Until as late as 1992, they would kill themselves soon after being captured or caged. I can't imagine zoo protocol was completely inept during the 80's and early 90's, so is there any particular reason the zoo in Mexico was able to nullify these suicidal tendencies? Awesome looking birds.

asked by Dr_Cares

They require a huge amount of space, as the article says, sometimes up to ten hectares! A hectare being 10,000 square meters!

Birds in captivity will tear their feathers out if distressed, rip at their own skin, pace, refuse to eat, etc., so this isn't *too* surprising, though I will admit, I didn't realize quetzals did that until I re-read that tidbit!

I'm assuming the Mexican zoo has tried to enrich the bird and keep it happy as possible with lots of space!

How do you take your bourbon?

asked by Dr_Cares

With a single ice cube, usually.

I'm currently sitting on a bottle of Willett's Pot Still Reserve and Wild Turkey's Rare Breed. I shared a bottle of Willett's Rye with a friend a few weeks ago, and *highly* recommend it!

Hey! I'm looking into Marine Ecology, and I've been wondering, is ecology a field that you feel will become larger/more popular, as time goes on? I know that with all of the pollution/waste going into the ocean that there must be a lot of spots open for new ecologists. Thanks!

asked by kingpugster

Yes, absolutely, more and more people are becoming concerned with the environment and ecologists will be needed to assess how policy should be directed!

What do you think of those chemists?

asked by LWthrow

I date one!

As a biologist, do you believe in creationism or evolution?

asked by neropow

They're not necessarily mutually exclusive!

Evolution is simply a process of changing gene frequency in a population over time, and doesn't necessarily imply anything about the creation of life, or why it was created.

That said, I certainly don't believe in creationism, so I'll pick evolution all the way!

Great AMA! My question is a two-fer. 1) Marine biologist and underwater photographer here, so naturally I have to ask if you have considered doing an episode on marine conservation/biology? I'd be open and stoked to collaborate. 2) Also, have you ever had the chance to visit the incredible avian fauna on remote islands (Palmyra, northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Galapagos, etc)? I HIGHLY recommend it.

asked by Smellzlikefish

I haven't, and haven't done much at all with marine systems!

And no, I haven't seen those! It's every biologists dream to trace Darwin's journey, so, of course, I'd love the opportunity if it arises!

Do you have any photos that you're particularly proud of? I'd love to check it out!

That was quick! Thanks for the response.

Remote islands are a birders paradise and inspired even me to take an interest in the fascinating and abundant birdlife.

Underwater I am probably best known for my depictions of big sharks and "blackwater" (pelagios at night). The blue shark gallery was actually shot just off Montauk Point, LI last year.

asked by Smellzlikefish

Any honeycreepers still around?

I'm from Long Island! Those shark sightings are great. You can see some seals getting nailed by them from time to time.

I'm originally from SE Connecticut, but never got to see a seal get nailed!

Honeycreepers-spoken like a true ornithologist! We've eaten/plucked/trampled most of the more spectacular endemic flying fauna, but a few shining examples remain. Here on the Big Island, a quick trip along Saddle Road will take you past many apapane and if you are lucky, a Hawaiian owl or two. I've been fortunate enough to witness wild Laysan finches and Laysan ducks at Midway, Laysan and Pearl and Hermes atolls. Next to these remarkable animals, the Hawaiian version of the Canada goose (aka nene) is rather dull.

asked by Smellzlikefish

That is *awesome!* Gotta love those owls.

If overfishing would wipe out msot species of fish as we know it/severly reduce most known fish populations, what would the world look like and what are your predictions on it's devopment.

P.S.: I study Biology, any particular research you feel I should check out?

asked by 97222

I feel like it would be difficult to truly remove *all* fish from the ocean, but even removing the fish we *eat* would be extremely disastrous.

The fish that we typically like to eat are large predatory fish, things like salmon or swordfish, for example. These are top-down controllers for other fish, so removing them from the water allows other populations to boom.

With that, you *lose* things that those little fish eat, like phytoplankton and zooplankton or other fish, or other nekton that you rarely hear about.

With that, you could potentially throw off the oceanic primary production, which could have interesting climate effects! Within the oceans, things like whales, which rely on fish and zooplankton, would also suffer quite a bit.

Confronted with news about [Ecuador's auctioning off the Amazon](, what do you think are practical steps for governments to preserve ecosystems without staying impoverished?

asked by urquanlord88

I actually thought their idea was pretty clever in a way!

They literally blackmailed the world, which, to be honest, is one of the few ways to get people to *listen.*

These countries want to industrialize and improve their quality of life, but without utilizing their resources and selling them to first world countries for profit, it won't happen. This is a way of selling quality of environment, essentially viewed as a luxury good, to first world countries to skip the middleman and *force* a win-win situation.

The Costa Rican government had a good system, which was to try to eliminate erosion from cattle ranching by essentially subsidizing it. They paid ranchers *not* to farm those lands, and to preserve them. Costa Rica's biggest incomes is from ecotourism, so by protecting those assets, they essentially monetized them in a different way other than ranching.

What is the most incredible fact you know?

asked by wallflower151

We've evolved millions and millions of years to agree to hate on Justin Bieber.

*Indisputable fact.*

I recently suggested that, due to your awesomeness, we Reddit needed more of you. I said "we need Multidans."

Is there any possibility of this happening in the near future? Are you capable of replicating yourself in whole or part? Why or why not?

asked by [deleted]


I'm a diploid organism. I have an SO. If in the future, we decide to do some homologous recombination with our gametes, every one of our zygotes will be half me.

I was wondering, you've got a bunch of degrees in a bunch of different fields (bunch!!). How long did it take you to acquire all of this knowledge? How much schooling did you endure?

asked by joey123mo

In terms of college education? It takes roughly a decade.

Though many can do it in much, much less!

As an ecologist if you could choose a single type of ecology, or location, to study with essentially endless time and funding, what would you choose and why?

(New fan, here, so glad you did this.)

asked by KoreyYrvaI

I'd love to study the tropics more. There's just *so much* to see.

Not sure if I'd want to sweat my ass off all the time, though, so I might have to choose somewhere a bit drier, or cooler. I'd love to see Colorado sometime and see the alpine forests there.

So here is my question. I'm currently considering grad school and I have a big mental block understanding how I could make a living just doing research. Maybe it just stems from my unlikely chances of getting accepted somewhere. Anyway, should I try for a PhD? Even if I just crap out for a masters?

asked by qpdbag

You don't want to get pigeon-holed in something you hate. There's plenty of money in research, depending on what you research. There's more money in drug development than there is in bird biology, that's for sure.

I notice you said you were a comedian and a cook for a long-ass (my words) time, among other things. At what point in your life did you go back to school to become a biologist or did you already have that degree before you ventured into soup-making and joke-making?

asked by NonY450

I worked as a cook to pay for college, so once I had full-funding for my PhD, I stopped that.

The comedy stuff I ran during my undergrad and Masters, and now I do it for fun when I can!

How much can the average ant lift, in standard weight/mass units and not a proportion of it's own body?

asked by t0met0dance012

On the low end, about 0.006 grams, on the high end, about 0.015 grams, or the weight of about ten mosquitoes.

Do you need an intern this summer? Seriously though

asked by pleasepickme

Yes. Seriously though.

If you're in upstate New York, let me know, we could legitimately use you for labor.

/u/unidan , I've only saved one of your [comments](, but I read it probably one every week or two. It brings me comfort and and a fierce appetite. It's not just a best friend story of giving a priceless gift, but its a story of the marvels that a hungry man can create. In what ways, if any, do you think that sandwich has affected the way you live your life?

asked by dirtybillclinton

It's shown me that there is a ceiling to human achievement. It's taught me to be a better lover, and now that I've had a taste of the unattainable, for many, it's given me relief. It's illustrated that we have to be the person in charge of our own fate, and we have to be the best meat we can be in our own life sandwich.

I don't know if you're still here, but what would your advice be for people who want to make educational videos about biology for the Youtube? Particularly on making sure the videos are interesting.

asked by AbedTheArab

I'm still here!

Here's my attempt:

I try to include the scientific names, and try to keep them somewhat consistent. If I had more time, I'd like to do narrations for some of them, especially if I set out to actually do a specific topic.

The videos I have up are mainly cool things that I made short clips of.

Would it make sense the believe in micro-evolution without believing in macro-evolution?

asked by mrpirate23

In my opinion, no, the two are intrinsically linked.

I've never heard someone use those terms within the scientific community unless they are talking about someone's defense of intelligent design, or something along those lines.

David Attenborough or David Suzuki?

Or both?

asked by Diaper_cocktail

Attenborough. By a *landslide.*

The guy is such a legend, I don't even need to mention it. But I am. Because he's *that much of a fucking legend.*

What about if you could meet anyone? is attenborough still in the running?

asked by meliorist

Oh heck yes. I'd love to meet him, the guy has surveyed nearly every phyla on Earth. That's nuts.

I'm almost sure you have the personality to succeed in hosting your own Nature Documentary.

By the way, I grew up in the 70s and I would always sit beside my dad watching the Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins. I'm guessing you're a bit younger than me, does that bring back any memories?

asked by Diaper_cocktail

Yes, it does!

I used to watch all those documentaries, in fact, I just had to YouTube this one to see if I remembered it right, as you jogged my memory of a guy lassoing an anteater!

**EDIT**: [Here it is!](

So what are you personal views on pythons in the Everglades? I have never been down there myself but i know people who have specifically went down there for a week to look for them and found none. And yet news sources say they are being over run. I may be biased but i am extremely pro-snake ownership (within reason of course) and would like to hear your opinion if you have one. It may not change my views but i am still interested. Thanks for your time.

asked by [deleted]

I assume you're talking about the Burmese python outbreak there? I haven't been to the Everglades, though I may get the opportunity soon!

I'm all for the culling, as much as I love snakes! I've handled many pythons, but the main reason I'd support the cull is due to the loss of species, especially birds, in the Everglades. It's a huge habitat spot down there and it's a major refuge for many wetland-nesting birds.

What did you do, look at his post history? I think we all know Unidan.

asked by OdoyleStillRules

Haha, that's flattering, I think!

But I sent in some actual proof of my biologist-ness!

would that be a massive list of all the places you have been with pictures by any chance? I think we would all love some pretty pictures

asked by KarlC6

Haha, no, it was a photo of me doing some research with my business card.

If you'd like to see some photos, I'd be glad to share some! Just let me know of what.

EVERYTHING, all the pictures of all the animals and ecosystems you have seen would keep me and other people entertained for many hours. Having grown up with some really amazing narrator called David, I love all these things to do with nature and biology so as much stuff as possible :D

asked by KarlC6

Haha, it may take me a bit to upload *everything* but for a little sampling of how I view things, here's a little stock footage video I put together:

What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

On a biology topic I just love that when you feed a ruminant you are not feeding them (unless with "bypass" feeds), you are feeding the "bugs" that live in the rumen - I love and work with cattle.

For the benefit of others, the flora that lives in the rumen breaks down the feed the ruminant eats and supplies the ruminant with the resulting nutrients. "Bypass" feeds are ones that are protected from the rumen and are digested by the rest of tract similar to humans.

So, oh excitable one, what other seemingly weird and wonderful relationships exist between animals/organisms?

In return, here is a picture of one of "the boys" being bribed with an apple.

asked by CowsWithGuns304

About 11 meters per second. *Seriously.*

Also, I love that you work with cows! They're fun, dumb little guys. I work with some in one of my wetland projects, here's a photo of one of the cuter ones last summer:

There's all kinds of weird relationships! There's a good one with gobies and shrimp. The shrimp is nearly blind, and the goby protects it in exchange for little morsels of food the shrimp farms nearby! They actually "hold hands" when they walk, it's quite adorable.

David Attenborough to the rescue!

I uploaded this for my wife when she was in Portugal, just to hear her laugh over the phone!

asked by Diaper_cocktail

Thanks for the link, I had no idea there was a video! Haha, I love these little guys.

Do you know anything about mushrooms?

asked by retneftw

A bit, but more about their biology and ecology, I'm not very good at identification aside from some common ones.

Wow you answered two of my questions within a minute! Thank you so much!

asked by retneftw

When I say I'm going to answer everyone in the thread, I *fucking mean it.*

when i wake up tomorrow dude i will read everything here and watch all of your videos and read all your your blog. you are so fantastic.

asked by retneftw

Haha, sounds good!

I like you. :)

asked by outfoxthefox

I like you, too.

Aw, shucks! :3

asked by outfoxthefox


what's something cool and biological that we can't learn from google today?

asked by meliorist

In honor of Ella Fitzgerald's birthday:

If Ella was left to naturally decompose in a forest when she died, she would have long since skeletonized. It's probable that a good portion of her protein (e.g. muscle) would have been converted to ammonium in the soil and been readily absorbed by plants by now.

Given the long amount of time that's passed since she died, it's more probably that Ella's former musculature is now tied up as nitrate within the soil matrix. If she died near somewhere moist, most of it would have been transferred to the atmosphere via denitrification processes.

Why do animals and plants (other lifeforms??? like molds) create more of themseleves? Say for example... a Dandilion (your average run of the mill flower or... weed to some)... Springtime: sprouts and grows up, gets polinated, it dries out dies (in winter)... and seeds blown away creating more Dandilions... next Spring. In the Animal Kingdom... are born, mature, have critters themseleves, of which depending on spieces take off from the cave/nest/tree; the older (original) animals dies... WHY? do lifeforms recreate themseleves (or at least offspring that are similar to themseleves?)... What is the point of creating "others"?

asked by CAN_ZIGZAG

So what's the meaning of life, essentially?

That's up for debate!

What we do know is that most every life form we find tends to try to replicate itself, or part of itself to the next generation.

So, as best we can explain, the meaning of life is to propagate, well, life!

What's your favorite question that's been asked thus far?

asked by cycloptiko

[I enjoyed this one a bunch!](

There was also one where someone asked how much an ant could *actually lift*, not as a measure of "x times its body weight."

Do you know /u/WarLizard?

asked by Il_Nessuno

Yup, why?

Do you have any sexual fetishes? If so, what's your favorite one/one you're most open about?

asked by qaera

I knew it would come to this one day!

I'm a fan of being in water, so I suppose being amorous in those kinds of places is nice?

Do you eat Big Macs?

asked by idonteatbigmacs


Good guy /u/unidan keeps answering questions until the thread gets locked! Just stopping by to say thanks for the IAmA :P

asked by Hybralia

No problem!

Why do cats like to ride Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners?

asked by butwhycats

I imagine we'd do it if we could fit.

Never forget a rubber ducky when walking through a forest. It can come in handy!!!

Like [so](

On a serious note, what are your views on cryptozoology? I guess that real life is exciting enough.

asked by Diaper_cocktail

Haha, there is *some* legitimate cryptozoology that I can support, but we've made calls on endangered species that we now say are "extinct" with *so much less* investigation than what has gone into finding Bigfoot.

Some people just can't give it a rest and will make evidence fit their views.

Hello Unidan. I love Biology. Its hard not be passionate about it.

What do you think about Ecological Simulations?

asked by POMB

You mean modeling out ecosystems mathematically?

What's your opinion of competitive birders, like life-listers, big year competitors, and chasers?

asked by birdguy

Of all the hobbies out there, I'm glad people still do this. Some of it gets a little crazily competitive, but I think the love for nature is pretty great. The pictures that these people come back with is *nuts*.

Christmas Bird Counts also help out the scientific community a *lot!*

I went with my whole bird lab group to see The Big Year when it came out :D

What is the most interesting tidbit of knowledge you have, and what are your hobbies?

asked by oddball42

Hmm, dunno if I can pick just one!

As for hobbies, the usual: hiking, cooking, using machetes.

Whats the most interesting thing that you feel like you don't understand?

asked by Ken_Wood

Decision making for some of my bird populations. There's a few individuals that every now and again will just decide, "hey, I'm going to fly a hundred miles over here and hang out." I want to know what the hell inspires that!

What's the largest organism ever eaten by a carnivorous plant?

asked by Schlaap

Haha, I'm not sure! Looks like someone else had a great anecdote, though, that's pretty interesting!

You are the first sciency type person to answer that question without calling me a retard.

Also, if I have an 8 am exam tomorrow and I'm at a .098 now, will I likely still be drunk in the morning? You seem like someone that might take a hazard at answering that.

asked by HorseHeadMaskMan

Since BAC drops approximately 0.015% per hour, no, you'll actually be *exactly* sober by the time your exam rolls around.

Thank you kind sir!

On a serious note, what is the most interesting biological/ecological breakthrough/discovery made this year (or in recent years), in your opinion?

asked by HorseHeadMaskMan

I read a very cool Science paper recently that showed that mycorrhizal (fungal) connections among trees might actually *raise* the risk of global climate change.

It's very counter intuitive to our current understanding of how forests work, and an astoundingly good piece of science!

How did you get into your field of work?

asked by fabulous_frolicker

Mainly from networking with professors in college.

Maybe what they said about talking to your professors in college was true. I'll get on that next semester.

asked by fabulous_frolicker

Do it!

Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost

Hello reddit, we're finally here and ready to take your questions. You probably know us from Shaun of the Dead, or Hot Fuzz, or [The World's End]( in theatres this Friday. We're here with Victoria from reddit for this AMA. Come get some!


update: Thank you so much for your support and your questions. Sorry we didn't get to answer more questions but we love you all. Thanks to everyone who goes to see the film and who joined in the gift exchange. We hope to be back!

Have any of you tried to jump over a fence that collapsed on you in real life?

asked by filmbuff101

No but I feel like I have because I've had to do it three times over the past 10 years for the films. I'm naturally quite wary of fences as a result.

What is each of your favourite bands?.

asked by ImNoSuperman45

I like The London Boys. I don't listen to anything else.

What are your weapons of choice in a zombie apocalypse?

asked by Yo_mumma

You have to go with blunt objects. Guns are very well but you have to reload them, and they are going to run out of ammo, so blunt objects - always always always.

Have you flushed any cakes down a toilet lately?

asked by jscottd

We haven't flushed any cakes since 2007 because it led to a lot of wild cakes growing in the sewers, which led to a lot of problems in New York.

At the end of Shaun of the Dead, do you think Shaun ever got around to taking Liz out to Fulci's?

asked by tfu09

Absolutely. Yes he did, and they had a lovely meal. Shaun had some linguine and some chianti. She had a starter but not more than that since she was trying to lose weight.

Simon & Nick, [are you aware that you made it on a crowd-shot on a Fatboy Slim concert DVD] ?


 How was that night?

asked by themadnooch

Yea, of course we're aware of it! We went as guests of Norman Cook and had a thoroughly great night. They had to ask us if we didn't mind being in the film. Sometimes if things crop up on the internet it doesn't mean we haven't seen them before.

Last month you all were in Dallas, Texas doing some promotional work for "The World's End" and signed an amazing poster for me while I was in the hospital recovering from a brain operation. Here is a picture of me smiling for the first time [operation]Thank you all so much, really helped me get through recovery and I can't wait till this weekend to see "The World's End". You all are a class act!

Quick quesiton: Where did you all come up with the idea for the "shortcut" bit with the fences? I about died when I saw that it during the trailer for "The World's End".

asked by alexbgoode84

You're very welcome and we're glad you're better.

Simon: What is your favorite type of tree?

Nick: If you were a dinosaur, what kind would you be?

Edgar: Who is the most influential author in your life and how has he/she impacted your work?

asked by Dazzledust33

My favorite kind of tree? It's probably a cedar.

A bit of a stupid question, did you guys actually play timesplitters?(the game that shows up in Shaun Of The Dead) Because knowing my favorite filmmakers played my favorite video game of all time would be really amazing to know. And what's y'alls favorite Pokemon?

asked by MannOfDiversity


In your honest opinions, which one of you is the sexiest?

asked by AFConfidential

Edgar thinks it's him.

Have you ever fired two guns whilst jumping through the air?

asked by manav94

Yes. Have you seen Hot Fuzz?

Thanks for the AMA, guys! I have two (point five) quick questions.

- **The World's End has quite a bit of beer in it. What are your favourites?**

- **Are you football/soccer fans? And if so, who do you support?**

Can't wait to see the movie! Hope it does well for you all!

asked by rokuthirteen

I don't drink so that's my answer.

I would rather drink bleach than watch soccer.

Your show SPACED was very fun and clever and all that, but one thing about it that stands out for me is the portrayal of the woman lead, Jessica Hynes. Her character is a bit of an anomaly in television – she isn’t merely a “strong female character” or a pair of tits or any of that. Just like Tim Bisley, Daisy Steiner was a three dimensional PERSON and as a woman myself, I adore it when I get to see that in television or film.

My question – when writing films or television, do you find yourself striving to not delve into tired tropes with your characters? (Not just women ones, of course. Any of them.) You seem to be so successful at it thus far.

asked by keeblerlorien

Yea, we try to be truthful. That's our main desire. I personally think that Jessica Hynes' contribution to Daisy was what made that character so 3-D. She was like the ancestor of Hannah from GIRLS. She was the proto-Hannah. It's hard for guys to write good girls, I think, and I don't think me and Edgar have perfected our technique yet. We have amazing actresses that bring these characters to life, but it's hard to write a woman when you're a man.

Ever since I drooled over my first screening of *Hot Fuzz*, **"YARP"** has permanently replaced **"Yup"** in my social circle. It's not even consciously said anymore. It's just something I notice from time to time. Sometimes my friends even forget why they're even saying it, text or vocally.

Anyways, which one of you came up with that? Do any of you catch yourselves replying in that manner on a daily basis? I just hope it got equally stuck in your heads as it did ours.

asked by jarrettbraun

Yea, I do, I use it all the time in emails. Someone sends me an answer asking for a yes or no question, I will usually respond with Yarp. Or no, if it's no.

Hey! I have a question for Simon. I loved your portrayal of Scotty in Star Trek XI and XII. How did James Doohan's portrayal influence your version of Scotty? I noticed some similarities and differences between the portrayals. Also, can you share any details on Star Trek XIII? Thanks! :)

asked by Maddie_N

I have seen Doohan's portrayal of Scotty and he's obviously wonderful, so it's a very authentic Scotty. I love Chris and he's a great guy and I'm very pleased to have that connection with the Doohan family.

As for the new Star Trek - are you effing kidding me??!

Where did the "Come On, Eileen" scene with Brian in Spaced come from? Based on a true experience? It introduced me to the song, and my life is infinitely better for it.

asked by alxf

No it was based on the idea that back in the '80s the bars and clubs were more dangerous than before Ecstasy appeared. After which, there was a cessation in violence in nightclubs. Not saying that's a good thing but that's what it was.

I come prepared. Hello to my 3 current favourite filmmakers! I have some generic questions (that my mum actually asked for) and then specific ones.

1.) What was the last present you bought and who for?

2.) What was the last present you received?

3.) Who did you last dance with?

4.) What was the last film you watched (that wasn’t one of your own as I know you three have been doing appearances at trilogy showings)

5.) What older film did you recently discover and think everyone should see?

Now for Simon and Nick:

You’re on screen double act is irreproachably awesome, what do you think makes it work so well on screen? Also what is the most embarrassing thing you ever did together?

For Edgar:

You’ve done a handful of films now, all of which are comedic and have action scenes in them. Would you like to be able to do a more calculate Kubrick style of film, and do you have any stories in mind at the moment that might fit this direction?

Also, who are your top 3 directors?

Thank you so much for answering any of these and for being top chums!

Sorry for the wall of text.

asked by Thisisyoureading

1) It was for my daughter and it was a My Little Pony. I think it was Twilight Sparkles.

2) This morning I received a spa weekend from Wheels & Cake because I bought the Royal Baby a diaper bucket. A diaper genie actually.

3) Edgar Wright's assistant Leo Thompson at the Kickass 2 Party at Comic-Con.

4) I watched Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers and I thought it was excellent.

5) Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon.

Because we are friends in real life, I guess. We've known each other for 20 years and what you see on screen is underpinned by genuine friendship, and that can only be an aide to the working environment.

**Simon and Nick:**

1) When did you know it was love?

2) How has life changed now that you are both married and “settled down”

**Simon, Nick and Edgar**

3) What was the funniest moment you have had filming a movie together?

4) How did you come up with the idea of “conformity” being a part of all of your movies?


Sorry to hear about your split with Anna, she seems like a nice woman.

I think you guys are awesome. I love your humor and the realness you bring to your movies even though they are about zombies, robots, aliens etc! Thanks for doing this AMA!

asked by drocks27

1) Almost immediately I think when we met. When we met we became good friends very quickly and I think it was immediately apparent to us that there was chemistry.

2) Lot better.

3) We work very hard, we don't do it to mess around and we enjoy what we do, but we have to focus. Too much messing about on set can be detrimental to the process. So yes, it's huge fun but to have to pick a single moment, we loved it all.

4) With the film it's about an idea of something being forced on someone - maybe it's part of being British, or on the fringes of the filmmaking process, but it's something that appeals to us as a storytelling device.

Hey Lads! Mostly just wanted to come here and say I absolutely love all your work, and am so looking forward to seeing The World's End when it opens here.

Actually since I have you, it happens to be my birthday (need proof?) so my question is can I get a happy birthday?

Also, Mr. Wright, you have no idea how much joy it brings me to see my friend Christine as the demon hipster girl in Scott Pilgrim and know that I helped make it happen. Well, at least in my eyes... Yay Craigslist postings! We're birthday buddies too!

ps. Batman Soundtrack or Sade?

asked by adamschoales

Happy Birthday you! from all of us.

Arnold  Schwarzenegger.

Former Mr. Olympia, Conan, Terminator, and Governor of California. I killed the Predator.

I have a movie, The Last Stand, coming out this Friday. Let's just say I'm very excited to be back. Here is the trailer:

I also wrote an autobiography last year ( and have a website where I share fitness tips (

Here is proof it's me:

And photographic proof:


Thank you everyone. Here is a little something special (I bet you didn't know I draw): 


Is there any director or actor you wanted to work with but didn’t/haven’t yet?

asked by marthagetsit

I would like to work with Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg. Also Sam Raimi would be great to work with.

What is the best piece of advice you've ever recieved in your life?

asked by Pyrao


How often do you still speak german? After all the years in the USA, do you feel more comfortable to speak english?

asked by Azirion

Not much, I am definitely more comfortable in English. Which should tell you how bad my German has gotten.

My daughter Chloe who is 9 is a big fan of yours. She would like to ask which role is more fun to prepare for action or comedic roles?

asked by jlarue


How has the shift back to Hollywood from the Governor's office been?

asked by Codaflow


What are your thoughts on the current state of the Republican party?

asked by y0nkers

The most important thing is that we need to be a party that is inclusive and tolerant. We can be those things and be the party we always have been. We need to think about the environment - Teddy Roosevelt was a great environmentalist and people forget Reagan was the one who dealt with the ozone layer with the Montreal protocol. We also need to talk about healthcare honestly - Nixon almost passed universal healthcare. We need to have an talk about immigration and realize you can't just deport people. We need a comprehensive answer. We also need to stay out of people's bedrooms. The party that is for small government shouldn't be over-reaching into people's private lives.

Mainly, we need to be a party where people know what we are for, not just what we are against.

Arnold, you were an inspiration to my father who died 9 years ago. He framed your cover of Vanity Fair magazine, signed it himself, put it on his desk, and told everyone that you signed it for the entirety of his career as a trainer. I just wanted to let you know that you were a very personal hero for my father and if he were alive today, he'd be first in line to see every one of your movies.

asked by Baron_Brouhaha


Politicians are wildly unpopular these days - if you had to pick one current American politician who best embodies what is *good* about politics, who would you pick, and why? I've always appreciated your perspective on American politics and admired your optimistic spirit, so I'd love to hear your answer to this.


asked by rycla

Great question. And this has to be my last one.

Even though Congress has an approval rating of 9% (and loses to cockroaches and colonoscopies in polling), there are still some leaders who are doing the people's work instead of the partys' work. That's political courage to me, being willing to risk your job to choose what's good for the public instead of getting stuck in your ideology.

One of my favorites is Mayor Chuck Reed from San Jose. He's a Democratic who took on pension reform, he has always put the people first. You should look him up.

In your films are all the "Ayyaagh's" in the script or do you improvise them?

asked by dev729

All improvised. Every single one.

Arnold, you've lived three lives in one. You were the reason I started working out when I was a kid, you're an inspiration to all.

A bodybuilder, actor then Governor.

Which has been the most challenging role in your life?

asked by lokochileno

Going to answer some on my ipad: 


Dear Mr Schwarzenneger i am a huge fan of yours, my question is merely this:

Was, "GET TO THE CHOPPER" in the script or did you adlib that? Also you are famous for the classic one liners like, "stick around" etc, did you ever write any of these or are these all in the script?

Much love from the Uk!

asked by Omnishambles_1

Get to Choppa was in the script. Stick around was ad lib, as are some of the more wild one-liners.

If you had to pick your favorite line from any movie, what would it be?

asked by Dr_Medic345

From someone else's movie: "Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"

From my movies... I'll be back.

In the **Pumping Iron** documentary you mentioned that you once deliberately trained a "fellow" bodybuilder wrong just before a competition in Austria. You told him that the latest thing in posing over in America was to scream for every pose you took on stage. In the story the man did this during the competition and then got escorted of the stage by security since they thought he was insane. What was the repercussions of this? Was the man in question mad at you afterwards? Do you regret doing this?

asked by BoingBoingPantsu

I had to come back to answer this one. First of all, it was in Munich. I have always loved a good prank, and this one was one of my favorites. The guy was a little wild. We mostly pranked the guys who showed up huffing and puffing and acting tough. So this guy was already saying he was going to win the competition. I told him that the new trend in posing was sound effects. The higher your arms are, the higher the pitch of the scream. As you get lower, you drop your voice. I told him not to worry about the reaction, this was the big thing in America and England and Germany would catch up. By maybe the fourth scream, he was dragged off stage and thrown out the back door. There were no repercussions for him, except some embarrassment.

Another great one was the time we oiled up a tough guy who wanted to squat with us. He literally waited for me by the squat rack for 12 hours on two days until I came to squat. He knew I would be there at some point because I squatted that frequently. When I put on 135 to warm up, he called it chicken weight. Then as I gradually moved the weight up, to 225, 315, etc. he said we were doing it wrong and we were going to get worn out. When we got to 405, he finally said, now you're at my weight. I told him we planned to take photos and asked if he wanted to join us. Of course there was no camera. So he took off his shirt and we really oiled up his traps. Then we said we should keep working out until it was time for the photo. He only did a half rep (he was one of those guys who did twice the weight he should have and didn't do full reps), but when he came up, because of the oil, the weight was 2 inches lower. On his second rep, the weight slid completely off and we caught it so he wouldn't get hurt. I said, "You should really warm up next time." After that, he never made fun of us for our warm-up, and he even joined in.

I also pulled pranks on my best friends, like the time Franco had just arrived in America and I greeted him with a marijuana cookie. He was fresh off the plane and I wanted to be a little cautious so I only gave him half. I took him to my friends' apartment and they couldn't figure out why we spent an hour lying on their floor laughing. They only knew Franco's reputation as the strongest man in the world, so they were shocked. Franco had a great time but didn't know why. I finally told him a few days later.

So there's a short history of my bodybuilding pranks. Thanks again. I really had a great time. I will have to pop in from time to time to chat with you guys some more. Who said we had to limit it to one hour?

Will you be making "Twins 2"?

asked by mistakes_were_made


1. What role do you most regret turning down?

2. If you could give one piece of advice to President Obama, and then one piece of advice to Speaker Boehner, what would you tell each of them?

3. What was the most difficult choice you made as governor of California?

4. What one thing do most people **not** know about you that you think is interesting?

5. What do you consider to be your finest performance so far?

6. A lot of actors eventually get into writing, directing, and producing. Have you done any of that, or do you plan to?

7. Do you still keep in close contact with friends and family in Austria?

Edit: please stop replying to me with your questions. If you have a question, leave it as a top-level comment so it will go to his inbox, not mine.

asked by Salacious-

I most regret not doing The Rock. I love the movie, and it turned out well. When it was offered to me there was only an 80 page script with a lot of handwriting and scribbles and it didn't seem fully baked. But they obviously did a fantastic job.

Would you rather fight 100 duck sized Predators or 1 Predator sized duck?

asked by Synanon

I would choose the 1 Predator sized duck instead of dealing with 100 duck-sized Predators. I've already fought a Predator-sized Predator so I am confident I could handle the duck.

Nick Offerman - Ron Swanson on Parks and Rec

Howdy Reddit. Nick Offerman here. I play Ron Swanson on NBC's Parks and Recreation. I also like to use a shovel, a broom, and craft things out of wood.

Last week I read a slam poem to bacon as a part of Malarious, a charity project to help end malaria, which you can watch at [](

I'll be here starting at about 2:30pm EST, so give me all the questions you have.

[Here's a verification pic of my mug.]


EDIT: For those of you who are asking, my wood shop's internet locale is [](

Ok, Reddit, that was some good, clean fun. Thanks for having me, now I must partake of some savoury meatstuffs. Adios.

I'm back. One more thing - my friend Jim Slonina just sent me this, he is the funniest thing I ever....


How'd you get started with "Nick Offerman reads tweets from young female celebraties"?

asked by BonJarber

I am a very big fan of Conan, so I am tickled anytime I get to go play with him and his gang. An incredibly funny chap named Brian Stack, who has been writing for Conan for about 15 years, thought up the idea, and he makes it happen. Just happy to do my part.

What exactly are you building in the "Nick Offerman reads tweets from young female celebrities" sketch?

asked by JakeLunn

I'm building character, young man. Watch it in slo-mo, you can see my hit points accumulate. And yes, that Forstner bit on the drill press is vorpal. Carbon Steel plus one, my bitches.

How much can your mustache bench press?

asked by Tyler182

114 lbs. of wife.

What is the hardest part of acting as Ron Swanson

asked by alvinsinge

Keeping a straight face in the onslaught of hilarity from all of our cast, except Jerry.

What is the hardest part of acting as Ron Swanson

asked by alvinsinge

Stopping at the end of the day.

What's your favorite thing about each of the cast members of Parks and Rec?

Do you worry that you're going to be defined by this role for some time?

asked by retinarow

Amy - Her ability to combine mischief with leadership and generosity of spirit.

Adam - His sweet, gumdrop caboose.

Pratt - Best personality ever, like a golden lab meets Don Knotts. Also a fine backside.

Rashida - Incredibly well-adjusted and lovely for having been bitten by Michael Jackson's monkey as a child. Not a euphemism.

Aziz - He can say anything in the most hilarious way - also keepin' them buns tight.

Aubrey - She is beautiful and wonderful - not evil, don't be ridiculous.

Rob - A champion in every way, super funny - wouldn't mind a tad more junk in his trunk.

Retta - Could rule the world if she so chose. DISCERNING. Beautiful.

As far as typecasting, I honestly don't really give a shit. I feel pretty damn lucky to have landed in the role of Ron, and if I am defined that way, well, I can think of worse problems. If no one will hire me after Ron then I'll have to suffer through making things in my shop, performing live theater, and paddling my canoe with my wife. Yes, that was a euphemism.

What's your favorite thing about each of the cast members of Parks and Rec?

Do you worry that you're going to be defined by this role for some time?

asked by retinarow

Ahem. I'm given to understand that Mr. Knight did not like to be portrayed as an angry, screaming basketball coach, especially in an Indiana sweater. One might ask, "What else do you think you are known for, Mr. Knight?", but then one might get a knuckle sandwich across the chops, so maybe one should just keep such notions to oneself. It was sad for a moment, as he so encapsulated Ron's attitude towards his govt. job, but Mike Schur, P&R creator and captain, made some delicious lemonade when he replaced Bobby K with a brunette holding (boner commencing) a plate of breakfast.

Ahem. I'm given to understand that Mr. Knight did not like to be portrayed as an angry, screaming basketball coach, especially in an Indiana sweater. One might ask, "What else do you think you are known for, Mr. Knight?", but then one might get a knuckle sandwich across the chops, so maybe one should just keep such notions to oneself. It was sad for a moment, as he so encapsulated Ron's attitude towards his govt. job, but Mike Schur, P&R creator and captain, made some delicious lemonade when he replaced Bobby K with a brunette holding (boner commencing) a plate of breakfast.

asked by NickOfferman

I swear to Christ there was a question about "what happened to that picture of Bobby Knight in Ron's office?".

Where did it go?!?!?

What the fuck are you trying to do to me, Reddit?!?!

You're not the one. Can you see me right now?

On a one on one fight you against Theodore Roosevelt at your age, who would win and why?

asked by pietya

Ted Roosevelt would hand me my ass in moments.

He was a goddamn man and soldier who could kill with his hands.

Let's remember, I am an actor who is handy with a sopkeshave.

Ted Roosevelt would hand me my ass in moments.

He was a goddamn man and soldier who could kill with his hands.

Let's remember, I am an actor who is handy with a sopkeshave.

asked by NickOfferman

Spokeshave. Apologies, Shakers.

Fight against 100 Lil' Sebastian-sized ducks, or 100 duck-sized Lil' Sebastians?

edit: I fucked up my one good question! But The Swanson answered it anyway. I'm so [ecstatic]( right now.

asked by anonymous123421

Hm. I would slay, dress and serve the large ducks, then hug and giggle with all the tiny, tiny horses! We miss you, Buddy!

I sincerely got teared up at that notion. Thinking about L'il Sebastian actually makes me cry, which I think means I'm crying at Mike Schur's ability to tug at my heart strings with his charismatic, quality television program.

Have you ever eaten a turf 'n turf?

asked by sterlingarcher0069

Have you ever eaten a fatal amount of beef? I have not.

I know you and your character have a lot things in common, in what ways are you drastically different from Ron? (if any)

asked by cokobunner

I wouldn't call it drastic, but my penis is 5/8" larger than Ron's, in both length AND breadth, but it is held that he wields his with greater aplomb.

I've heard Ron Swanson described as a PG version of Nick Offerman. However, I'm not sure how accurate that can be if RS's moustache rubbed off "from friction."

asked by The_Flabbergaster

I think it's accurate, relatively speaking, for I once rubbed my own moustache off from sidling up to a Tom Sizemore lit fart. While urinating on an Amy Grant cassette.

Living in Chicago during the mid-90s; did you ever feel like joining the then-popular improv scene?

asked by [deleted]

No, I did not. The comedy world and the "straight theatre" were very self-contained, very autonomous groups, and I was in 100% ignorance to that fecund chuckle-field. I was working on plays, mostly with my company, The Defiant Theatre, 24/7, so it was all I could do to see another play that a friend was in, let alone go see comedy.

How do you keep a happy relationship with Megan for so many years? How should a lady be treated?

asked by sloaney

We keep a happy relationship by respecting it. We make it the top priority in our lives.

A lady should be treated like any person, man or woman, with respect and good manners. If you're a fellow, it doesn't hurt to open a door for a lady, or help her with her parcels. We're all in this together.

Nick, I watched in awe your web video in which you built a canoe and must say that it's quite impressive. My question is simple, whats your favorite type of wood to work with, and why?

asked by bigwillFTW

It's difficult to name a favorite wood. They are all so noble, each with its own special characteristics.

Oak is mighty and dense, for the hull of your square-rigged sailing ship, but also, when quarter-sawn, its medullary rays can make your library table sing with erudition.

Maple and Birch are creamy and many colored, like a delicious bowl of only Lucky Charms marshmallows.

Cedar and Redwood are lightweight but extremely high in tensile strength, rendering them perfect for boatbuilding in the smaller classes of watercraft.

Bamboo (a grass) makes nature's bong.

Walnut (esp. California Claro) is my gold standard for depth of figure, strength, beauty, and workability.

Ash and Hickory, straight-grained and true, make excellent bludgeons, dandy for the cudgeling of vegetarians.

Maple or Ash for baseball bats?

asked by liquidcloud9


What about Poplar?

asked by BobMajerle

Poplar ia fine secondary wood, ideal for drawer boxes and internal structure. It's also got a lovely green heartwood, if you can get your spouse to go for that.

What's your favorite brand of scotch?

asked by jzand219


The Balvenie

How about Laphroaig? The cask strength version is excellent.

asked by Syncharmony

I will sample this cask strength and, no doubt, add it to my list. I do so enjoy the normal Laphroaig, especially getting my Dad to pronounce it after a couple of snorts. He's a lot of fun with Cabernet Sauvingon as well.

When you play monopoly, which piece do you choose to represent you on the board, and why?

asked by ambrosius23

I choose the thimble because no matter where I roam, you can't prick my motherfuckin' thumb with your bitch-ass Scottie Dog. Can I cuss on here?

To me your character is honestly the funniest on the show. Being so deadpan, how often do you crack or cause others to crack while delivering lines? I'd like to see you and Aubrey face off in a "who can get the other to smile first" contest. That's gotta be a fun set to be on. Also, thanks for all the laughs!

asked by OuchWhatDoYouDo

I will never defeat Aubrey in any contest, because, quite simply, she employs black magicks in her combat, which some would call unfair or "morally bankrupt", but I would never cast such a aspersion, for fear of her macabre retribution. Aubrey is kin to the Black Goat Mother of a Thousand Young, yea, she has known the spoor of Shub-Niggurath, and upon the black midnight of her birth, every blossom of the pretty little Gilly flowers perished all across Trafalgar Square. Up jumped the Devil, and off they crept. In short, she is League with Lucifer, but I really respect her work.

Greetings, Mr. Offerman!

* How much of *Parks and Recreation* is improvised?

* When did you first meet Amy Poehler, and how *awesome* is she in real life?

Also, sharing [this awesome photograph]( A friend spotted this and took a photo while walking around the *Coachella* 2012 campgrounds (this was taken on the first morning of the second weekend of the festival; we were just a few cars away from this camp)!

asked by wheredidjp

Too many questions. That looks like a fine camp at Coachella, one in which I would like to consume intoxicants.

A small portion of P&R is improvised, although we have a lot freedom to spout off as we see fit. The thing is, the writing is so sublime, there is seldom any need to improve upon it. We do love to play, so we always start having extra improv fun in the later takes.

I met Amy in the early 90's and she is like a superhero mixed with both Coach and Tammie Taylor from FNL, as well as Tim Riggins and a little Landry.

Best way to cook Bacon & Eggs? Thanks for doing this!

asked by TripSmick

In an iron skillet, over a fire of oak at your cabin.

What about woodworking appeals most to you? Do you woodwork with friends?

asked by bugzzzz

The moments of truth in woodworking:

1) When you flood your finished wood with oil, and the grain, color and figure jump out like a visual lung-full of opium smoke (so I've read).

2) When the piece you have wrought comes into use. The canoe, the table, the canoe paddle, the pipe, the cribbage board.... when you rest your steak and your whiskey upon the table you have made, you feel pretty goddamn tall for keeping those treats off the ground..

Do you have any advice for someone who is just getting started in woodworking? Especially one who can't seem to cut a straight line even with a table saw with a fence?

asked by JMWTech

Maybe check out pottery?

Totally just joshing, JMWTech. Take your time and keep practicing, as with any discipline. I recommend FineWoodWorking magazine, where you can read about how to tune up your table saw. Maybe it's the fence and not you. Once you get started, it's all pretty simple, it just takes practice. Finding a local class is a good idea, or a local geezer, or even kid, who knows his/her way around a shop.

There's a person here in the UK who represents manliness, stoicism and simple pleasures. His name is [Des Lynham]( After using devious means to watch P&R I came to the conclusion that both you and he should put your heads together to make a collection of manly fragrances.

Cut Grass, Woodsmoke, Black Coffee and Garden Shed would all give the florid notes of Givenchy, Channel and CK the fear of god

asked by Rossymagic

Funny, I pitched a story to Parks and Rec in which Ron turned out to be old pals with fragrance king Dennis Feinstein (Dante Fiero), played by my hilarious pal, Jason Mantzoukas, and my fave part was pitching fragrances like Gravel, Tool Steel, Flank, etc. I won't list my best couple, in case it becomes an episode some day...No Spoilers!

What about woodworking appeals most to you? Do you woodwork with friends?

asked by bugzzzz

Woodworking is a largely isolated pursuit, but it's very gratifying to do it communally, whilst AROUND other woodworkers, so you can all put your heads together when one person has a puzzle to solve. I love puzzles. I love my community of woodworkers, both in my shop in LA, in NY, and all of my new pals from the world of Fine Woodworking Magazine across the country and AROUND THE WORLD.

Nick, I'm a great admirer of your moustache. Since I assume it's all natural, what do you do in episodes where part of it needs to be burned off (Lil' Sebastian's funeral is on TV now) or removed for some reason? Do you actually have to mangle it and wait for it to grow back before you shoot another episode, or is there some kind of makeup trick to get that effect while still preserving the moustache's integrity?

asked by Son_of_Kong

My moustache grows with such rampant, perpetual virility, that we need to trim it 3 or 4 times a day during filming. It was cool at first (grade school), but to be honest, it's getting old.

Do you and Aziz do anything weird together?

asked by TaxPeel

Hm. Sometimes we pretend we're on a CSI program and examine each other's underpants under a huge Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass....we like to go around the lot where we shoot and see whose pet's heads we can fit in our mouths (I always win with Jim Belushi's (miniature) Corgi), but no, nothing weird comes to mind. Oh, we both really love to enact Rush Limbaugh radio vomit with hand-puppets made from pig intestines, which is hilarious good fun, but I think a lot of people do that. On the coasts, anyway. So, no.

Hi from a fellow carpenter! I know you're into carpentry and woodworking, and I've always wondered if you actually built the cedar-strip canoe that was in season 2 of Parks and Rec? That was some beautiful work.

PS-your wife is awesome, just heard her on Comedy Bang Bang today and I really enjoyed the episode.

asked by rivetcityransom

There are 2 canoes in that episode, both built by me. See them at

I love your character on Childrens Hospital. I noticed that you did a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo on last week’s show. How did you get involved with those guys, and how easy is it for you to accommodate dropping by that set to shoot a scene/episode at any given time?

asked by GrumpyHour

CH is my favorite show for envelope-pushing on the air right now. Rob Corddry is so delightfully, wickedly funny, and his writers and cast are unstoppable. He contacted me to play Briggs after we had worked in a film together, now called Taking Chances, and we enjoyed placing our fingers inside each other's mouths.

How hard is it to keep such a straight face when filming Parks and Rec? The delivery of some of your lines has me laughing so hard. I loved drunk Ron and your tiny hat!

asked by cutiepatootieadipose

It is very hard to keep a straight face because my castmates are literally the funniest collection of people working today. Amy and Pratt and Aubrey and Aziz and Adam and Rob and Rashida and Retta. Every single cast member. Devastatingly funny.

What's your favorite beer?

asked by sheeshSGL

Cold. Closely followed by, you guessed it, warm.

Hiya Nick, love Parks & Rec! "You had me at meat tornado." is one of my favorite lines of Ron's.

I know you are a master woodworker, and I was just wondering what is your favorite piece you have ever made? And what is the most intricate?

Thanks for the AMA!

asked by zroy33

So far, the answer to both questions is the same:

My first canoe, Huckleberry. In case anyone wants to grow quickly bored by tables and boats, please avail yourself of:

On second inspection the flask may just turn out to be an iphone.

.... :(

asked by EricArtr

My iPhone is kept full of The Balvenie Doublewood at all times, except for when I pour it down my gullet.

You, Clint Eastwood, and Teddy Roosevelt have a bacon eating contest. Who wins?

asked by lazythinker

Teddy is no longer with us, so a moment of silence for #26. You had a hell of a run, Theodore.

Then, I handily defeat Clint, since he is an old - oh, wait, he pulls out a gun and shoots me, drooling something about Commies and pinko faggots and his cold, dead fingers, before falling out of his chair and soiling himself. Thanks a lot, lazythinker.

What's your favorite firearm?

asked by elementofsurprise

The Trebouchet?

You are one of the manliest men of whom I have ever heard. What is your morning routine that begins a day of badassery?

Also, what is your favorite outdoor activity?

asked by sloaney

I awaken. I consume oxygen, then bacon, eggs and black coffee, then my wife, then bacon.

I love to paddle my own canoe, and also wife. Best while staring at the leaves of the maple or sycamore.

favorite scene to be a part of on parks and rec?

asked by shoeler

Any scene. If I am on the call sheet, it is my favoritest.

Also: Any scene with Amy or Pratt or Aubrey or Adam or Aziz or Rashida or Rob or Retta. Or in my canoe. Or as Duke Silver.

What's a typical evening at home like with Megan?

asked by CalamityJane1852

Oh, gosh. Well, we get dressed up as Marx Brothers (she's always Groucho or Harpo, and I'm Chico...whatever, she made the outfits.) and we get sauced on Gin and goofballs and run around the yard, sometimes with a lot of horn-honking, and then I set up the target rings at which Megan fires ping-pong balls and sometimes racquet balls from her vagina, often racking up an impressive tally of points (she got a 420 last night!), while I assemble my black powder muzzle-loader collection and fire lead balls at our neighbor, Charlie Sheen's secret wife's mom's jungle cats (I miss on purpose, I'm not a dick.) Normal Hollywood shit.

Whats going on here? 


Thanks for the AMA!

PS: This is a little NSFW... Just a tad...

asked by Par_Avion

My wife is just apeshit for grapes. We had just done a 3 week tour of Vienna, Bruges, and Prague, over Christmastime, and every day in these venerated European cities, in a picturesque town square, centuries old, I would purchase a 12-inch pork sausage, some variety of Bratwurst, and wolf it down, muttering my adoration of Europe all the while. If your math is sound, that's about 21 linear feet of pork sausage, 1 1/4" in diameter on average. Then I was reminded that I had a naked photo shoot in NY upon the day of our return. I laughed from deep in my pork-lined belly, long and loud. It was worth it.

I saw you while I was eating last week at Veggie Grill in Hollywood. Should I have come over and said hi?

asked by kennethreitz

That's a goddamn lie.

You must be mistaken. In no way, shape or form would he patronize a business so poorly named.

asked by poktanju

I concur. "The Veggie Grill" is like "The Eunuch Whorehouse"

How much action does your mustache see? Is it more than you actually see yourself?

Love you on parks and rec.

asked by M374llic4

If by "action", you mean "the puss", I'd say that is not for public consumption, either literally or figuratively. The rumors that my moustache has a burgeoning career in Japanese porn are almost entirely unfounded. As far as I know.

I want pencil holders from OWS! When will they be back in stock? :)

Also, which line/set of lines from Parks and Rec are your favorite?

asked by firstinthesea

Pencil-holders coming soon, plus other goodies for Christmas time.

"When I eat, it is the food that is scared."

I used to work in a library and always loved the portrayal of libraries on Parks and Rec. I was wondering why Parks and Recreation chose to hate such an institution

asked by Sir_Walter_Dibs

Libraries are horrible and the people who work in them, with the exception of Shirley Jones, are the scum of the earth. Book-peddling, cum-belching street whores. Is, I think, the reason.

That's it - I'm quitting my library job on Tuesday.

asked by CubbyRed

If my AMA can get just ONE library (p-tooey!) employee to quit, then I have done my job.

I work with your sister (literally, my username should confirm this for you). Is there any truth to the stories about you at family dinners, refusing to eat your tuna casserole, which always ended in you "crying like a little bitch"? Her words not mine.

asked by LibRAWRian

I have no sister. After that bit of whistle-blowing.


Can you please suggest to the writers to write-in an episode of Parks and Rec where you have a pet swan named "Swan Ronson" that has your hair and a mustache? Link to picture of said pet swan below.

Also, bacon.

asked by twoclose

You are thinking of an entirely different show, and that show is called: "Monkey Doctor".

The way you talk about your wife is very romantic (in a classic way) and very manly- a real admirable and attractive trait. Without being insulting to my husband, is there anyway to introduce him to this kind of behavior?

edit: my husband is a wonderful, loving, hilarious and awesome guy...but the way you speak of your wife..swoon.

asked by sarahcasarah

Introduce him to my Dad.

You did FANTASTIC in 21 Jump Street, as unfortunately small as the role was.. Do you plan on doing more films, or sticking to TV?

Edit: niceness; I had no intention in insulting the role, I loved it and hoped there was more

asked by SimplyPoet

So that I can have my role size insulted by you on Reddit!?

No thank you, SimplyPoet!

I am lucky to work often in film, television and theater. I hope to continue.

Thanks for the AMA Nick!

What's the deal with the beefcake shot of Rainn Wilson/Dwight Schrute on

asked by redditizio

I made an incredibly sturdy oak table for Rainn's kitchen/dining area, and upon delivery, he disrobed and laid himself across it. I snapped a photo before making sweaty, grappling love to him.

Hey Nick, what's it like working on Parks and Rec with your real life wife?

asked by TheAtomicPlayboy

Why, TheAtomicPlayboy, it's "the shit".

i know im late, but i take off my work boots, put down my salt lined hat and toast a cold beer to you.

asked by budgray18

Cheers, Budgray 18. To comedy.

Can you make me a pipe? I think my Scottish beard with match up nicely to it

asked by ARMdavyjones

You're welcome to put in a request at

We have been toying with the idea of offering a pipe.

Can you help settle a long standing debate between me and my friends?

Who would win: A chainsaw pooping pterodactyl or a bear with machine guns for feet?

asked by Tarpit_Carnivore


You need new friends.

What do you prefer wood working or Parks and recreation. I would try make a joke but you know it's not easy to make a joke when Ron Swanson's moustache is staring at this question

asked by mrwazsx

There is no choosing between these 2 vocations of fortune and glory.

Since you quoted Will & Grace, I've got a question related to that. Your wife is one of my favorite sitcom actresses, and I believe you guys met when Will and Grace was only a season or two in (correct me if I'm wrong). What was it like watching her show take off and seeing her become a well known TV personality in the early years of your relationship?

asked by nsaucdiv151

I met Megan right after season 2 of W&G, doing a play at The Evidence Room Theater in LA. It was immediately apparent that I was countenancing the premiere comic talent of our age. My wife is so funny and beautiful and sings like a goddamn angel bird pixie queen, that watching her career take off, and standing by her side as she received accolades all made a lot of sense to me, and has just continually served to remind me what a lucky bastard I am. I look forward to many more years of reminders.

Would you consider a moustache combover if yours starts to thin out?

asked by peepholecircus

It won't.

Ken Jennings - 74-time Jeopardy! champion

Hey Redditors!

I'll be here on and off today in case anyone wants to Ask Me Anything. Someone told me the questions here can be on any subject, within reason. Well, to me, "within reason" are the two lamest words in the English language, even worse than "miniature golf" or "Corbin Bernsen." So no such caveats apply here. Ask Me ANYTHING.

I've posted some proof of my identity on my blog:

and on "Twitter," which I hear is very popular with the young people.

I have nothing to say but your "What Be Ebonics?" answer was my favorite Jeopardy moment of all time.

asked by mopsled

Some say funny, some say know, tomato tomahto.

What is the most outrageous thing that happened during the filming of the shows? Did Trebek ever snap at anybody?

asked by krillnasty

I have told this story before, but the security on the show is pretty intense. I totally caused a CTU-like "shutdown" one time by changing my necktie using the wrong mirror--the same one Trebek uses. No contestants allowed back there!

I thought it was pretty funny at the time, except for all the crew members who probably got fired over it.

What is Alex Trebek like off camera?

asked by rdfiii

Trebek takes a lot of heat for being sort of smug and starchy on camera, but that's just for TV. In person he is sort of a nut, always doing goofy jokes and accents and little bits of soft-shoe and stuff. He's like your good-natured, slightly-losing-it grandpa.

Have you spent any time with Trebek outside the confines of the Jeopardy studio? Do you send him Christmas cards? Does he come over for dinner?

asked by austinhannah

Alex and I don't get to hang out much due to the convoluted Jeopardy security requirements. I saw him at last year's National Geographic Bee in DC (he hosts, I was doing research for my next book, Maphead, about geography geeks).

So I don't know the guy real well. He's a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a Perry Ellis suit.

What category would be a nightmare for you?

asked by soupaman

I remember COUNTRY MUSIC kept showing up. That or HOCKEY. Least favorite categories. Basically anything with a mullet is my Jeopardy kryptonite.

There once was a host named Trebek...

I forget how it ends but YOUR MOTHER'S A WHORE!

asked by WatsonsBitch

Wait, I got it.

There once was a host named Trebek,

Whose mustache was sexy as heck.

It would have been weird

If he'd grown a big beard,

Like Conan, or Riker on Trek.

What has been the single biggest change in you life since your epic winning streak, besides the money?

asked by btrostelsc

Old people can't keep their dry, lilac-scented hands off me. Man, do old people ever love Jeopardy. I can't go anywhere in public where there might be old people, like Hallmark stores or cemeteries.

How much of your success on the show would you contribute to knowing the answers the other contestants did not versus just being able to time the buzzer clicks better than them?

asked by watupmane

Yeah, Jeopardy is not Price Is can't get on just for wearing a military uniform or an "I Love Alex" t-shirt. Every night, all three contestants passed a very hard test to be there. Ergo, nearly all the contestants know nearly all the answers nearly all the time. So it just comes down to buzzer mojo. Which is why Watson won so handily...pretty hard to have better response time than a circuit board.

How did you prepare for Jeopardy before your first appearance?

Whats your favorite band/album?

asked by [deleted]

I watched the show obsessively. This is pretty nerdy but I even watched it standing up behind my recliner at home, using one of my son's toddler toys as a makeshift "buzzer." (Insert dirty joke here.) My wife kept score for me. We made flash cards of presidents and "potent potables" and crap like that.

Favorite record: man that is tough. I'm listening to the new Destroyer record as I type this. When the laws are changed I want to marry Dan Bejar.

Can you elaborate on this? Are you saying the three contestants have a practice round before the show is filmed?

asked by tommyrxc

Well, yes, but I just meant there is a tough audition process, so most of the people who get on the show are very, very good at Jeopardy.

I hear you had an awesome roommate when you lived in Utah who went on to write books and stuff. Why don't you tell us about how awesome he was?

I kid. (Only a little.) Okay, a serious question. How did it feel to beat Brad? I always felt you got the raw end of things during your previous meeting, coming in cold as you had to. In some ways, that free pass to the final round was a backhanded compliment.

asked by mistborn

Hey Brandon! I hope I'm allowed to out this comment as coming from bajillion-seller-of-nerd-fantasy books Brandon Sanderson.

Yeah, I felt like the buzzer gods were not smiling on me last time Brad kicked my butt. This would have been sweet, sweet revenge, if a supercomputer hadn't been raping me the entire time.

Sanderson and Jennings were roommates... Nerdgasm. Ken, do you read WoT?

asked by SpaceOverlordOfSpace

> Sanderson and Jennings were roommates... Nerdgasm.

Our other roommates were Brent Spiner, "Weird Al," Kevin Smith, Stan Lee, 5/6 of Monty Python, and the lightsaber kid from that one video.


asked by [deleted]

This is a like a job interview. "Well sir sometimes I just WORK TOO HARD!"

I can't sing. I've never beaten my wife at bowling. I have the same $8 haircut I had when I was five.

You're a little too funny, did you hire writers with your winnings?

asked by TheCrimsonKing

Bruce Vilanch is hiding under my desk right now. Unfortunately he's not writing jokes for me, if you know what I mean.

What is your educational background?

Do you really drive a 1999 Toyota Corolla still?

Who cooks the most, you or your wife?

Do you often get recognized in public?

Can you tell me a joke, please? A dirty one.

How do you feel about the strike in Wisconsin?

What would you give a Ted talk on?

In your next Jeopardy appearance, would you consider just drawing a giant penis where your name would be? Do they check for that?

Thank you for the IamA.

asked by Kemintiri

Went to high school in Seoul, Korea. Went to U of Washington and BYU. Bachelor's in English and Computer Science.

Yes to the black 1999 Corolla: straight-up gangsta.

My wife is an excellent cook and I can only make breakfast food.

Yes, it's like the first scene in A Hard Day's Night every time I leave the house, except all the girls are all in their eighties.

I am standing up on my desk right now holding a piece of paper that says UNION! just like Norma Rae, in support of organized labor in Wisconsin (I take bathroom breaks twice a day).

My TED talk is entitled "How to Make Love Like a Jeopardy Champion."

Jeopardy has made me re-write my name in the past (once when I wrote it backwards, another time when I wrote it in Cyrillic) so I don't think a giant penis would make the cut, plus it would make Alex feel inferior. But I did put [a giant scrotum]( on the title page of my book Brainiac.

Holy crap! I drive a black 1999 corolla. I'm going to be a Jeopardy champion!

asked by [Anonymous]

Plus think of the chicks.

Can you give us an abriged version of how you ended up taking HS in Seoul? How's your Korean?

asked by masonvd

My dad served an LDS mission in Korea in the 1960s and always wanted to go back...we moved there in 1982 when he got a job at a law firm in Seoul.

My Korean sucks, sadly. I've forgotten a lot. Even without subtitles, I could usually understand Jin and Sun on Lost. Mostly.

When growing up in Korea, did you bedroom have a ceiling fan?

asked by KonaEarth

Obviously not, since I survived.

What did you think of the "conclusion" to LOST?

asked by fake_again

No Mr. Eko return = NO SALE!

How do you feel they handled Jin and Sun's deaths? Should they have died speaking Korean or English?

asked by ReaverXai

Yeah, what was up with that? Total copout. Sun's "Tiger Mom" would have burned all her stuffed animals if she'd seen her speaking her last words in English.

>But I did put a giant scrotum on the title page of my book Brainiac.

I knew it!

asked by makemeking706

They're calipers. (screams at sky) CALIPERS!!!!

If you can only cook breakfast does that mean you are not the one who BBQs?

asked by Captin_Obvious

Wait, you're right. I grill too. Jeez, you guys are tough.

Since you mentioned breakfast food, may I ask what you would put in your ideal omelette? I like knowing one random, harmless thing about awesome people.

And even though you weren't wondering, I like green peppers, tomatos and feta cheese.

asked by Borimi

Bacon, tomato, avocado, Monterey Jack. Wow, that sounds grossly middle-America-Denny's for an elite left-coast Seattle guy like me.

Will you be the leader of the Resistance against Watson once he starts to control Skynet? Please, and thank you.

asked by yamminonem

Once we are all working in the slave-pits together, I will try to put in a good word for you all. I will be like the old Barnard Hughes character in Tron, who remembers the Master Control Program when it was just accounting software.

What do the contestants talk about when you stand next to Alex while they roll the credits? Just pretending to look suave for the cameras?

asked by LxRogue

It's normally a pretty awkward social scenario. Two of you are shell-shocked and pissed, one of you has just realized he's going to have to come back and do it all again after a 10-minute tape break, and one of you is slightly drunk and wants to get out of there before the Lakers game starts.

You're generally known as a Mormon, but you seem far more loose than the stereotype (using terms like "bitch," for example). It seems like you'd violate the prohibition on gambling with every daily double and final Jeopardy answer.

Do you ever feel pressure from your religion to act in a certain way in public? Or am I just misinformed about how strict the religion is?

asked by splinecraft

I feel more like the pressure is the OTHER way. People have this idea that Mormons are monolithically boring and/or creepily Stepford-y. But in my experience, that's bull, and Mormons are as diverse in most ways as anybody else. I think it would be cool if people figured that out.

So I just try to be myself.

In the sixth season episode "See You in September" of the TV show "Perfect Strangers", it is revealed that Balki is a licensed nupitiki doctoruthiki, a Myposian marriage counselor. He administers the Myposian marriage test to Larry and Jennifer, to help them get over their fear of getting married. However, no mention was made of this in the second season episode "Since I Lost my Baby", when Balki and Larry attempt to save the Twinkacettis' marriage.

Was this a continuity error? Or did Balki receive this certification through some sort of correspondence course from Mypos at a later date?

asked by crlove

I've thought a lot about this over the years, and have decided that Balki didn't feel right using his Myposian certification in his adopted country, due to the licensing issues, both legal and ethical, that even he would recognized.

And now we do the dance of joy!

You're in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden you look down and see a tortoise. It's crawling toward you. You reach down and you flip the tortoise over on its back. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can't. Not without your help. But you're not helping.

Why is that, Ken?

asked by puredemo

Nice try! You can't win 74 straight Jeopardy games without also learning how to pass the Voight-Kampff. Nexus-6 babeeee.

What is your favorite Celebrity Jeopardy episode (from SNL)?

asked by woongjin

Let's just say I tried to register on Reddit today as TurdFerguson. Shockingly, it was taken.

Nice username.

asked by ducttapetricorn

Lots of people think it's a Jeopardy reference, but actually I was thinking of that time Watson and I were cellmates in prison, and it kept raping me.

"That what they teach you at school in Utah?" --Alex Trebek

asked by myfirstreddit

GET OFF MY BACK TREBEK! Or "Chaim Trebekovitz," which is his real name. Just sayin.

Holy shit. Jennings no offense but I honestly never thought of you to be this funny.

You're ridiculously smart, in tune with the internet, and you can draw-- I can safely say I'd be intimidated if I ever met you in person. Hell, even if you replied to this comment I'd be giddy like a schoolgirl telling all my friends.

Anyways, cheers from Canada :)

PS: Me being a Canadian and all, I have to ask... what are your views on cannabis? Have you ever tried it?

asked by RationalArgumentMan

Never been high--except on a drug called Ken Jennings!

(Warning, Ken Jennings may cause drowsiness, nausea, "housemaid's knee," night blindness, paralysis, or death. Ask your doctor if Ken Jennings is right for you.)

> Never been high--**except on a drug called Ken Jennings!**

what does this drug feel like?

asked by [deleted]


(On Jeopardy.)

(Unless you're playing a computer.)

Please tell me you typed that in Charlie Sheen's voice.


asked by kurosagi

Oh yeah. It was hard to tell because I'm typing with fire-breathing fists. WINNING!

You're mormon? from Utah? really?

asked by Lyrad1002

No. I am a devout Mormon, but I'm a native Seattleite. We were living in Utah at the time I was first on Jeopardy though, but then I decided to move to a state where most people don't think water fluoridation is part of a global United Nations conspiracy. Just kidding Utah! Love you man.

I moved to utah from california, and most people here can't take that type of humor here. If you even say the word "rape" it will stun most people into silence.

Anyways, here's a question:

How do reconcile all the logical inconsistencies in Mormonism given the highly rational mind you must have?

asked by Lyrad1002

I thought this might come up. Normally I would think you were a jackass for telling a stranger "Hey, your religion sucks!" but luckily this is an AMA, so all courtesy bets are off.

It's true that, from a rationalistic point of view, Mormonism has plenty that is crazy-seeming about it, but then again, so do all religions. To me--even me, a guy who tends toward sensible, naturalistic explanations for things!--that is what gives religion its charm. All I know is that my faith makes me happy and makes me a much better person.

That doesn't mean I agree with everything all Mormons do (for example: the "Soldier of Love" video by Donny Osmond) or even everything the institutional church has done. People are flawed. But in general, Mormons are salt-of-the-earth when the chips are down. They have your back. Even the South Park guys know that.

>But in general, Mormons are salt-of-the-earth when the chips are down. They have your back. Even the South Park guys know that.

Unless you're gay.

asked by puredemo

Fair point; see "I don't agree with everything all Mormons do" above. Personally, I am all about the gays.

Wow. On the Too Beautiful to Live podcast the other day, you revealed that Watson also raped your wife as part of his spoils as the victor of the Jeopardy! IBM challenge. Somebody get Watson on the national sex offender registry already before more lives are destroyed!

asked by myfirstreddit

Uh, that was host Luke Burbank's joke. I don't want people to think I am an endless well of supercomputer-rape jokes.

Has there been any talk of a rematch with Watson (and Brad Rutter)?

asked by myfirstreddit

Only by Brad, once you get a few drinks in him.

I think both Jeopardy and IBM think they have gone to the promotional well about as much as they could with the Watson thing, and it will retire undefeated, like Rocky Marciano.

Rush Holt!

asked by btdubs

Laughing pretty hard at this, btw. Rush Holt!

When you were a software engineer, what language(s) did you program in? Do you still program for fun?

asked by puredemo

Mostly Java. "Programming for fun" was always a foreign concept to me...I was not a great programmer. I pity the fools who are maintaining my old code right now.

Obviously you are something of a Renaissance man when it comes to trivia - your knowledge has a fair amount of depth but an unequaled breadth. I think it's fair to say that our culture is moving away from that kind of knowledge and towards intense specialization - people tend to define themselves as experts in increasingly small and specific areas.

Do you agree that that is a trend? If so, is it a good or bad thing for us as a thinking species? As a culture?

asked by redorkulated

Yeah, I wrote about this in Brainiac. The problem with specialization is that cultural literacy is starting to disappear...there are fewer facts and references that you know everyone will know. Even something like TV--there are 175 channels instead of 3. This means it's harder to communicate. It's harder to get to know people.

You should be building colossal marble statues of your Jeopardy champions, people! We are your last hope in a world in which you have outsourced all your stuff-remembering to Google.

Say I was going to be competing on Jeopardy in two months from now. What books/resources would you suggest I look over to prepare?

asked by snatchyowallet

Congrats! You will be joining an elite club of virgins.

Preparation: my book Brainiac is okay for that, but Bob Harris's book Prisoner of Trebekistan is better. (Mine is less Jeopardy-centric.) Mike Dupee's out of print How To Get on Jeopardy...and Win is best of all. But I think the title might be a little on-the-nose, don't you?

Read The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. Know world capitals. Know US presidents and their dates. Remember: by the odds, most first-timers lose, so be determined to have fun no matter what. You will also play better that way.

Don't wear a sweater, you will look like a tool.

Were you always interested in trivia or did it happen later in life? Do you use the [memory palace technique]( to memorize trivia?

asked by puredemo

Hey, I just read Josh Foer's new book about memory palace techniques. No, most trivia people I know don't cram. They are just natural sponges for information. Something weird and genetic in the way their associative memory works, I guess. They are just curious about everything. And when you are curious about a subject, facts just stick. I did do some mnemonic stuff on Jeopardy to remember stubborn stuff that was too boring EVEN FOR ME to remember. Like: John Quincy Adams was elected in 1824. So I'd picture Quincy, M.E. working a 24-hour shift or something.

Could you make me a mnemonic story about the moon and what year we first landed?

asked by privatejoker86

Let's put it this way: it involves you, between the moon and New York City.

Anything? OK. You state you are a devout Mormon. Create a Jeopardy category of "odd" things most non-Mormons would not know about the Mormon belief system. The more odd the better!

asked by pytechd

Mormon trivia:

1. Christian Aguilera was born Mormon. Not our finest effort.

2. The original proposed name for Utah, "Deseret," isn't related to "desert." It's a Book of Mormon word (and therefore etymologically iffy to nonbelievers) meaning "honeybee."

3. Mormon congregations are called "wards," and dioceses are called "stakes." Some of our houses of worship used to therefore be called "stake houses," but this turned out to be too confusing. (Especially because there was no salad bar.)

4. Mormon scripture strongly implies that the apostle John, as well as three Book of Mormon disciples, never actually died but are still kicking around someplace. Awesomely, this leads some Mormons to repeat urban legends about "the three Nephites" miraculously appearing to help little old ladies, repair the cars of stranded travelers, etc.

5. My Sunday school teacher, when I was a Mormon teen, once memorably advised us that "There's nothing more overrated than sex, and nothing more underrated than a good bowel movement." It totally worked...I don't remember a single other sermon from when I was a kid, but I think about this guy exactly once a day, and then again once a week.

Do you have any advice for a computer science student?

asked by CoughSyrup

Learn Hindi and Mandarin.

Thank you, I'll be here all week.

Learn Hindi and Mandarin.

Thank you, I'll be here all week.

asked by WatsonsBitch

Dear Lord please don't REALLY let me be here all week...

Have you bathed in a huge pile of cash yet?

asked by climbinkid

I have a big vault full of coins like Scrooge McDuck.

What kind of fiction do you like to read in your spare time?

asked by sadiewren

I just finished the new Jonathan Franzen book (it's good! Not as good as Corrections) and am working my way through the Library of America's complete Raymond Carver volume.

Turns out Carver actually wrote in a pretty conventional prose style but he had this overpowering editor that edited all his stuff into that almost self-parodic laconic style. Weird.


asked by [deleted]

Lawyer. If you have that kind of mind, you can be a doctor, but if you have that kind of mind AND ARE ALSO A HUGE SMART-ASS then it's law school for sure.

Hi Ken, thanks for hosting an AMA.

Question: Are there ever times when you're in public and people try to call you out for a duel of random knowledge? Do you carry your own buzzer in case of such an event?

asked by tresser

Sometime radio DJs try to do a "stump Ken" thing* and people will call in, who, I swear, have no idea how trivia works.

"So Ken, my mom used to buy shoes at this place on 125th Street? It's gone now. WHAT WAS IT CALLED?"

*because they are idiots

Why no love for Corbin Bernsen? He collects snow globes and plays a character on one of my favorite shows, "Psych".

asked by Iamsqueegee

I guess I am unfairly conflating Mr. Bernsen with his sleazy "Arnie Becker" character on L.A. Law. Sometimes I assume Charlie Sheen is a crazy, dissipated party animal like his sitcom character too.

Be honest.

Did you actually lose the day you broke your streak, or did you throw the game?

asked by xrm4

People keep asking me this. WORST CONSPIRACY THEORY EVER. Have you ever quit a job where you were making like $75K an hour?

But I think that lady who beat me was probably born in Indonesia, or Kenya, or something. Disqualified!

* Do most people in the audience get your awesome sense of humour? Or do they politely laugh and give you confused looks?

* Do you find that people you've known before your fame have tried to be more closer to you than they were before? Has this strained any relationships?

* What is one epiphany/something that was said to you that made you realize "I can maintain my fame and not be remembered as just the guy who once won big at Jeopardy!"?

* Was money/financial security a big motivator when choosing to do books/talks/promotions for products?

* Most importantly, next time you're at the studio, could you please request that Sean Connery's voice be used for Watson?

Thanks for your time!

asked by unfriendlyfire

"Do most people in the audience get your awesome sense of humour? Or do they politely laugh and give you confused looks?" I think you are projecting here.

"Do you find that people you've known before your fame have tried to be more closer to you than they were before?" Actually, no. People came out of the woodwork, but only in a good way. Like "Hey, I was in your kindergarten class, good job on Jeopardy." Keep in mind this was before Facebook.

"What is one epiphany/something that was said to you that made you realize "I can maintain my fame and not be remembered as just the guy who once won big at Jeopardy!"?" Screw that, I don't want to be famous. I keep getting asked who my publicist is. Why would I have a publicist?!? I'm just a guy on a game show. I got mine. I need a privacist.

I've heard that IBM really did consider using Darrell Hammond for the voice, no lie. That would have been the awesomest thing in the history of awesome.

Not really a question, but you came to my school (Escalante Elementary in Utah) I think in 2004-05 ( I was in 6th grade) and talked to us all about your winning Jeopardy! I

just wanted to let you know that a bunch of us wanted to sit up front because we thought you'd throw out money since you won so much! Haha...only in the minds of 6th graders...

EDIT: year was probably 2004-05. I have a hard time counting real years when it's regarding what grade I was in and what years correspond to it.

asked by TokioHotel333

Sorry! Last time I tried to throw hundred dollar bills at a sixth-grader I spent the night in jail.

Specifically, what kind of wheelbarrow do you carry your balls in?

asked by mnelawar

My balls are carried for me at all times by the thirteen contestants who lost to me on Jeopardy back in 2004 with a negative score, meaning they didn't get to compete in Final Jeopardy.

They take turns.

What's your favorite form of knowledge absorption? Books? Internet? Documentaries?

asked by moodchanging


Did you have a "Duh!" moment when you missed the final jeopardy question with your answer of FedEx or did it truly stump you?

asked by MikeinPittsburgh

I always did my own taxes. I could have thought about that question for 30 minutes, not just 30 seconds, and still blanked it.

Constructive note to all the people who like to come up to me on the street and tell me how "easy" that one was and "even they" knew it: go to hell.

What's your favourite algorithm?

asked by goalieca

Bubble sort.

Did winning at Jeopardy get you hella laid?

asked by puredemo

Again, devout Mormon, happily married family man, etc. But luckily my wife has a weird "game show contestant" role-playing fantasy, so yes. Yes it did.

Many educated people do not believe their holy books to the letter, so you being a devout Mormon throws off my stereotype. Can you elaborate on how much of the book you believe is factually based?

asked by b0tfly

Luckily, Mormons are not biblical literalists. So you can choose to keep all the crazy stuff you like (Moses just turned his rod into a snake! badass!) and choose to ignore the crazy stuff you don't like (wait, God just sent bears to kill those kids because they made fun of Elisha's male pattern baldness?)

I'm not saying no Mormons are young-earthers...but let's just say you're not likely to see those ones on Jeopardy.

Actually, it was Aaron that had his rod turned into a snake, not Moses. I just corrected Ken Jennings. My life is complete.

asked by frothewin

Being corrected by you has turned my rod into a snake.

What happened to the game show that you were developping with Comedy Central? Is it just stalled or completely scrapped?

asked by myfirstreddit

Effectively scrapped...they wanted something "smart" to pair with the Daily Show back in '05. Freaking Colbert...

That said, if you know any network execs, I have some time free.

Ken, you have a way with the written word. Brainiac was an excellent read and I'm looking forward to your new geography geek book, Mapheads. Are there any works of fiction kicking around in the mind of Ken Jennings?

asked by myfirstreddit

I'm thinking of writing a bildungsroman in which a star-struck young quiz show contestant from a small town arrives in Hollywood, and the dark forces that try to corrupt him on his way to fame.

I also have a volume of game show erotica coming out in the fall.

By the way, if you are a nerd of any kind, especially a trivia nerd, I hope you check out my first book Brainiac. It's still in print at Amazon and finer bookstores everywhere. Or you can order a [signed copy]( from my website. Or, if you like the smell of homeless people looking at pornography, you can check out from a local library. Plug over.

Suppose one of your hands was amputated and the only option for a replacement was either a lobster claw or an octopus tentacle. Which do you choose?

asked by jarotar

Why do all the options have to be sushi? I foresee problems if your graft looked a little TOO delicious.

Back when you were in the middle of your winning streak, I faintly remember Alex asking you to tell something about yourself, and you replied that you had killed someone. Can you expand on that?

asked by happytobake

It was just to watch him die.

Do you think you'll be asked to take over for Trebek when he retires? Would you do it?

asked by puredemo

I doubt I would be asked...wouldn't they be more likely to go with someone with, you know, actually hosting experience?

That said, I would do it in a heartbeat. Talk about a dream job. That dude works like five days a month reading trivia questions (okay, "answers," YEESH) and makes millions. Plus millions of middle-aged cat ladies have sexy fantasies about him.

What is your favorite Bond film?

Do you speak any languages other than English?

How old were you when you got your first girlfriend?

Do the contestants and Trebek practice the "get to know the contestants" banter?

What are the accommodations like backstage?

Edit: for a moment, though in popular usage it has come to mean "in a moment."

asked by cmarrs85

Goldfinger and Casino Royale. I have a weird fondness for the Timothy Dalton Bonds though. Even the Joe Don Baker one! I KNOW!

Fluent in Spanish, some Korean.

Nine, but it was Heather Thomas on The Fall Guy, which probably doesn't count.

Obviously not.

Because of the scandals of the 50s, it's still a felony to rig a game show. So the contestants are all sequestered like a jury and trooped around together like a chain gang. If one person needs to pee, it becomes a mass bathroom break. The whole scenario is a little awkward, like if all the teams in the NCAA tourney had to share a locker room.

Gotta say, as a big Jeopardy/trivia nerd, I have a huge crush on you. Your adorable wit does not help quell my infatuation.

Anyway! I know you have a young son. What was your parenting like when it came to teaching him things as he grew up? Do you try to instill knowledge into him? Make him memorize almanacs? Just read a lot? Does he exhibit a strong want to learn things?

asked by Dannerzz

I interviewed a LOT of trivia nerds for my book Brainiac, and they all seemed to come by it from birth. Like how you can't coach height, I guess. My son definitely has the gene, he is the kid always annoying you with his latest fact from the Guinness Book of World Records.

I wish I knew how to turn normal kids into trivia nerds, because then I could write a bestselling book with the secret. Also, the teen pregnancy rate would plummet.

If you could be on any other game show, whether educational or physical, what would it be? Family Feud? American Gladiators? Legends of the Hidden Temple?

asked by hourouheki

If I just had one more kid, there would be five of us Jenningses and we could go on Family Feud. (My favorite quiz show ever that didn't pay for my house. I used to run home from school every day to watch Family Feud, true story.)

But I don't know if we're having one more kid. And you can't really leave the fifth spot vacant. I'm picturing an empty spot with a little floating nametag that says "VASECTOMY."

What was your SAT score?

asked by [deleted]

My verbal was better than my math.

What do you think of BYU suspending its star player right before the NCAA tournament just for having consensual sex with a major?

asked by gerihatrick

I think that is going to cost the program millions. You can't say their convictions are hypocritical, at any rate. They really believe students shouldn't be having sex outside of marriage, and there are plenty of non-crazy reasons to go along with that, obviously.

K-Jeezy, thanks for the AMA.

There's a bar in a small town in India that did a little 'Western Trivia Night' which I dominated for about 2 months. I signed up for every game under the name Ken Jennings. So there's a small town in India in which you're very famous, fyi.

As for a question, what's the deal with highschool in Korea? Sorry if that's been answered before, but how was that? Have you done much traveling beside that?

asked by Jesstron

> K-Jeezy

My street name is actually "Special K."

Yeah, we travel a lot. Thailand and Cambodia last year, and then London for our anniversary. Growing up overseas was awesome. I can think of plenty of Americans who would benefit from having seen from a young age that (a) holy crap this country is totally different from us and (b) holy crap this country is like centuries older than us and despite those differences doing just fine!

Screw American "exceptionalism." I'm here to promote Earth exceptionalism. Our planet should be a city on the hill to the (loser) rest of the solar system. I mean, did you see that Planet Earth thing? We have glaciers and llamas and fruit bats and shit.

Did you ever think that the 'answer in question form' thing was unnecessary bullcrap?

I mean who says 'To marry Elizabeth, Prince Philip had to renounce claims to this southern European country's crown.' when you say 'What is Greece?'

asked by [deleted]

You know who complains about this? Europeans!!! You aren't one of those Europeans, are you?

(Actually, in my experience, it's usually the British who profess to be the most baffled by it.)

Yes, the show's little syntactic conceit makes no sense whatsoever. But you have to understand that US audiences have grown up on this format. We don't even hear the "What is..." anymore. It's like "like" or "you know." It's background noise.

Do you have any desire to go try to cure cancer or anything like that?

asked by frodaddy

I was going to this afternoon, but then I got sort of busy...

Stupid Reddit.

1) How long did it take to film each episode with Watson? I heard the machine would crash several times and so it was not a normal game.

2) You were putting on a good show for humanity during that second game. Why didn't you bet it all on the final jeopardy question? I was anticipating a big bet in classic Jennings style.

asked by Zeabos

"Why didn't you bet it all on the final jeopardy question?"

It was a two-day total-point final, and Watson couldn't be passed. I had second place locked up over Brad, so I couldn't wager much.

Huh. You didn't answer his first question. Did you sign some kind of NDA preventing you from publicly talking about the ways Watson's actual performance differed from the final Jeopardy edit?

or a more general question: Did you sign *any* kind of NDA with IBM before the competition?

and an even more general question: Did the NDA contain some kind of recursive clause that prevents you from talking about the NDA? Don't answer this question once for "yes", and don't answer it twice for "no".

asked by chipbuddy

> Did you sign some kind of NDA preventing you from publicly talking about the ways Watson's actual performance differed from the final Jeopardy edit?

No, his question was just boring. Yeah, between Jeopardy taking the show on the road (Watson doesn't travel so we taped at an IBM lab in Westchester County) and the complications of connecting a computer to the game, there were lots more glitches than normal. Did it affect Brad's or my buzzer mojo? We will never know.

My wife's two favorite people are you and Anderson Cooper. No question, just letting you know.

asked by daybreaker

I have some bad news for her.

Uh, about Anderson Cooper that is. *I'm* as straight as the Utah-Arizona border. (But without all the polygamy.)

What are your plans for the future? Will you ride the Jeopardy wave into the sunset, or do you have other plans independent of your game show fame?

asked by lechero

I like writing. As long as people buy my books, I get to keep writing. Jeopardy only calls once ever seven years, and my DVD habit doesn't pay for itself!

You get sick of people assuming you know everything? I used to elaborate on topics that interest me (there are many) in sufficient detail that people thought I was a know-it-all, and would give me a hard time about it, all the time. Whenever I DIDN'T know something, they'd make a big deal about it. It's gotten to the point where I rarely comment at all anymore.

asked by Thurilok

I have this habit of pulling out my phone to double-check stuff in conversations that nobody is sure about, so people tend to realize very quickly that (a) I don't know everything and (b) that thing you do with you iPhone is pretty annoying honey,

(b) is usually my wife.

Just want to say thanks for your support of public television and radio.

asked by allothernamestaken

Sesame Street and Electric Company taught me to read; it's the least I could do.

But the "Fresh Air with Terry Gross" coffee mug at my elbow right now is pure affectation.

Um, Ken, GOD I'm an IDIOT, I never know how to start these questions.. You.. you.. remember that time you were, uh, you were on Jeopardy?

That was awesome!

asked by AsItIs

Speaking of 90s-era SNL: people do whistle the Jeopardy theme to me in elevators.

I always think of "Rooooox-anne..."

Let's say you're at home with friends and people want to play a board game. What do you go for? Settlers of Catan? Risk? Monopoly? Who's In My Mouth?

asked by itswithane

I love this trivia-lite game called Wits and Wagers so much that I just wrote some questions for it. Oh, and we are currently obsessed with this little-known 90s word game called Inklings that I bought at a yard sale.

Another shameless plug: I'm sure University Games would love to sell their warehouse full of unsold "Can You Beat Ken" board games I tricked them into printing up back in 2005. BUY BUY BUY.


asked by [deleted]

People thought I look like a douche for shaking my head in faux-disbelief every time they showed my money total.

In hindsight, this is only because I looked like a total douche every time I shook my head in faux-disbelief every time they showed my money total.

Have you ever had your IQ tested? What is it?

asked by Valendr0s

I think my parents did a test when I was a kid but they would never tell me what it was. I can't decide if that means it was good or not.

Anyway, IQ is bullshit. Except for the IQ movie where Walter Matthau plays Albert Einstein as an adorable yenta. That IQ is awesome.

Do you feel overwhelmed with questions yet?

asked by Mattagascar

Yeah, where is the STOP ASKING SHIT button again?

Random question maybe, but there was is reference to your high school days on Wikipedia. Is it true that you were a graduate of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program?

Also, what advice would you give to aspiring knowledge whores like yourself to get on and succeed on Jeopardy?

asked by bizarretranger

> Is it true that you were a graduate of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program?

Yes, but so was Kim Jong-Il. (This is my version of "Hitler was a vegetarian" for IB Eurotrash.)

Why do you welcome your new robot overlords?

Is it because their logic is undeniable?

asked by deanerific

No, it's not robot-specific. I'm just a welcoming guy. Gays, immigrants, the Chinese...I welcome all onslaughts.


asked by [deleted]

Nobody likes to hear rich people say that money isn't everything. Nobody likes to hear celebrities talk about how GRUELING it is to be famous, sigh.

That said, winning a lot of money is sort of scary. Half of all lottery winners have lost it all in five years. How embarrassing would it be to win for being all smart-like on Jeopardy and then lose it all on a dumb investment? Or blow and hookers?

So it's pretty boringly invested in boring stuff, not Jeopar-bling. (New word!) Some went to charity. A lot more will once the kids' college is paid for. The main thing I bought is more free time: I work from home now, so I can see more of my family, play Legos with my kids, etc. See? MORMONS ARE F#$%ING ADORABLE!

I don't even watch Jeopardy, and have never seen the recent Watson ones, but this fucking rocks. You're a pretty awesome dude, Ken Jennings. I can't believe you're a Mormon too - one of my best friends is Mormon... and so I must ask, WHY ARE YOU PEOPLE SO GENEROUS AND WARM AND FRIENDLY??? Seriously. Mormons are the nicest people ever.

asked by ooppee

It's just because we all love you so much.

Also, we all saw Marlo Thomas's "Free To Be...You and Me" as kids and it really made us warm and sensitive. Especially the Rosey Grier song.

What do you think of the Southpark critique of Mormonism? How do you feel about atheists and atheism in general?

asked by puredemo

The South Park approach to Mormonism (wacky doctrine, nice people) is so dead-on I have nothing to add.

I like atheists, but prefer agnostics. I know this isn't a new critique, but plenty of atheists have an unquestioning zeal you'd be hard-pressed not to call...religious.

You probably don't remember this but.... you were the reader for a UW High School Quizbowl tournament in 2009 or 2010. You were reading a newspaper, while my team was questioning whether you were actually Ken or not. Just wondering what you thought of that incident haha, I've always wondered what you thought at that moment. We were the team that ended up winning that tournament also.

asked by Nixis

I didn't notice, I was trying to work the Jumble. Congrats on your win!

Greetings from possibly one of the most devoted Jeopardy fans on the planet!

Is Trebek as much of a tool in person as he seems on the show? I've heard from some people who have met him in person that the whole "tactless witless asshole" thing is just an act he does.

Also, how do they decide what to ask contestants about for the interview portion? Why are they always SO unremarkable, when that's likely the only moment these people will ever have to tell the public something interesting about themselves?

asked by oliverisyourdaddy

"how do they decide what to ask contestants about for the interview portion? Why are they always SO unremarkable, when that's likely the only moment these people will ever have to tell the public something interesting about themselves?"

It turns out that being able to pass a very hard trivia test does not exactly self-select for telegenic-ness.

What's your job right now?

What are some interesting jobs offers that you have gotten since your Jeopardy fame?

asked by internetaffairs

Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Harry Reid (D-NV) both called me back personally in 2004 to try to get me to run for Orrin Hatch's Senate seat.

I am not making this up. Win on a game show and you can apparently run for the US Senate. That was when I realized the Democratic Party was f@#$ed in '04.

Are you a democrat?

asked by tooshybutt

Registered and everything. Small d and large.

What's your job right now?

What are some interesting jobs offers that you have gotten since your Jeopardy fame?

asked by internetaffairs

> What's your job right now?

Mindy is always trying to get me to put "OCCUPATION: Gentleman of leisure" on tax forms, etc. I usually go with "Millionaire playboy" like Bruce Wayne instead.

What is the best thing you've gotten to experience because of the Jeopardy run?

What do you think of Seattle?

asked by Avertr

I got to read the Top Ten list on Letterman, which would have made my high school self pretty much explode with happiness.

Love love love Seattle. There's nowhere else to live.

Astronaut Chris Hadfield  while orbiting planet Earth.

Hello Reddit!

My name is Chris Hadfield. I am an astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency who has been living aboard the International Space Station since December, orbiting the Earth 16 times per day.

You can view a pre-flight AMA I did [here]( If I don't get to your question now, please check to make sure it wasn't answered there already.

The purpose of all of this is to connect with you and allow you to experience a bit more directly what life is like living aboard an orbiting research vessel.

You can continue to support manned space exploration by following daily updates on [Twitter](, [Facebook]( or [Google+]( It is your support that makes it possible to further our understanding of the universe, one small step at a time.

To provide proof of where I am, [here's a picture of the first confirmed alien sighting in space](

Ask away!

If you discover intelligent life, who should play you in the movie?

asked by bigdubsy

Someone with a good moustache.

I'm wondering how often do you hit your head off things on daily basis?

Also I watch you guys fly over every chance I get, thanks for being awesome.

asked by Wishbiscuit

I hit my head about once per day :)

* What time zone do you live by? Do you switch off the lights at "night"?

asked by chiefbos

We live on Greenwich time, UTC, same as London England. We shut of most lights at bedtime - it feels right to do it.

Which part of the world looks the coolest from space?

asked by unfortunatelyhuman

Australia looks coolest - the colours and textures of the Outback are severly artistic. The most beautiful to me are the Bahamas, the vast glowing reefs of every shade of blue that exists.

You mentioned on Twitter that the ISS is peppered with meteors but has armour. Do you hear them hit? What about things like the solar panels? They look delicate.

asked by SilverSeven

Sometimes we hear pings as tiny rocks hit our spaceship, and also the creaks and snaps of expanding metal as we go in and out of sunlight. The solar panels are full of tiny holes from the micro-meteorites.

How much privacy do you and the rest of the astronauts get while aboard the ISS? It doesn't seem like there are many places you can go to be alone other than the bathroom.

asked by jczik

I'm typing now in my 'Sleep Station', a small padded room with a door, completely private, like a bedroom without the bed, and phone booth sized.

In your opinion, what space exploration missions should be given priority?

asked by Stue3112

The ones that the taxpayers want. My job is to perform them as efficiently and creatively as I can, like what I'm doing today, and during these 5 months.

And the most embarrassing?

asked by DetlefKroeze

During my 2nd spaceflight, while doing a live National TV News broadcast, I forgot the name of the Space Shuttle Commander. He always went by his nickname of Rommel, and to come up with Kent Rominger somehow escaped me. Instead, I said Ken Cameron, the CDR of my 1st flight. Oops.

I absolutely love you and your gorgeous photos and have followed you on FB since your first AMA.

1. What is the temperature on ISS? Can you change it to your comfort or is it permanently set?

2. What do you shave with? If an electric razor, how do you keep the bits of hair from floating all over the place and getting breathed in?

3. Any chance you'll put together a coffee table book when you get back? I would love a permanent, hard copy of your stunning photos to keep for life.

4. How is your family doing? Nervous still, or relaxed at this point?

5. You're awesome! Thank you SO much for this amazing glimpse into our world, from your world.

asked by ShesGotSauce

We can adjust the temp, but we keep it comfortable room temp, good for working out and living, sleeping.

No coffee table book planned, but you never know :)

I shave with cream and a standard multi-blade, just wipe it on a cloth every time, works fine

My family is fine - in fact my son Evan is helping support my social media, and taught me how to use Reddit. My other son is in China and turns 30 tomorrow (Happy Birthday Kyle!) and my daughter is in Ireland. I talked with my wife today, she's fine too - all were at launch in Kazakhstan.

Thanks for your ongoing communications on Reddit, Twitter, and elsewhere. It's almost unbelievable that we live in an age where wireless communication between me on my couch and you in orbit are possible.

My question: what does space smell like? Is your sense of smell altered at all being up there?

asked by SucculentFriend

The vacuum of space has no smell, but when we come in from a spacewalk the airlock smells like ozone, or gunpowder. It likely comes from the gentle offgassing of the outer metal and fabric of our suits.

What is the scariest thing you have seen whilst in space?

asked by mcsgwigga

I watched a large meteorite burn up between me and Australia, and to think of that hypersonic dumb lump of rock randomly hurtling into us instead sent a shiver up my back.

Hey Commander, thanks for taking the time to do the coolest AMA in history.

* What is your opinion on the privatization of space?

* What is your favorite experiment that you're working on right now?

Also, thanks for taking all the pictures of Earth and putting them on Twitter.

asked by swordbladepirate

Privatization is the right and natural way to go, and we are on the cusp of it now. We have a Space X Dragon coming to ISS in 2 weeks, we'll grab it with Canadarm2.

My favorite experiment is [BCAT] looking at the behaviour of nanoparticles and structures and how they form without the weight of gravity.

I know everyone is wondering the same things I am:

* What is the process of using the internet on the ISS? Is it a direct connection to a station on the ground or does it bounce off of NASA/Russian/ESA satellites?

* What are the connection speeds like? Ping time?

* Can you use Skype or other "mainstream" sites/applications?

And a random question:

* what part of Earth are you over right now?

On a side note, BEST AMA PROOF EVER!!!!!

asked by ken27238

My laptop here onboard communicates to a server in Houston via satellite relay, and that server on the ground is hooked through a computer to the internet. The data rate is very slow, not fast enough to watch video, but perfect for things like Reddit and Twitter. We have the data link about half the time.

No Skype, but when we have the right communications links I can directly access the internet in Mission Control, Houston, and Tweet and do this AMA real-time. We have that link many times, every day. It's a great capability to have, really lets the crew keep in touch.

Currently just off the Western coast of Australia in the Indian Ocean.

Have you done any space walks? If so, what was it like?

asked by okcnyyfan

I was Canada's first spacewalker, doing 2 to help build the mighty Canadarm2 robot onto ISS. It was the most magnificent experience of my life. Alone in a 1-person spaceship (my suit), just holding on with my 1 hand, with the bottomless black universe on my left and the World pouring by in technicolor on my right. I highly recommend it.

Hi Col Hadfield.

Do you ever feel like you lack privacy up there? How do you deal with that?

(My kids are loving going outside and watching you guys/gals fly over of an evening)

Thanks for inspiring a new generation with your photos, videos and Q&As.

asked by popeydc

Privacy here is about the same as how I grew up - one of five kids in a farmhouse. It's never a problem.

Howdy sir. I just wanted to first of all say thank you for doing this, easily the coolest AMA in Reddit's history. My question:

What's your favorite thing to do in zero G that you can't do on earth?

asked by johnkeenan218

Simply fly - to push off and glide magically to the other end of the Station. It makes me smile to myself, every time.

My 10yo son asks:

"Do you need special computers to work up there?"

also, he was very impressed with the night photo of Calgary you posted - we could see our house :-)

asked by fracking-awesome

We have special computers that run the spaceship, yes, but they are based on normal Earth computers. To AMA I am just using a regular laptop. It's the connection that is like magic.

Thanks Commander. I enjoy a lot your pictures from space. My question is: How hard is to sleep out there in space?

What would happen if any of you get appendicities or tooth pain or any other pain?

Thanks from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

asked by Idrialis

I love sleeping weightless. No mattress, no pillow, no sore shoulder, no hot spots. Just relax every muscle in your body and drift off to sleep.

I'm trained as an EMT, and Tom is a doctor, plus we have a basic pharmacy onboard. If it were really bad, we'd get in our Soyuz and return to Earth.

Hi Chris,

Greetings from Toronto. I have a couple questions:

1) Do you conduct science on the ISS every day? Or are there rest days?

2) What is the biggest danger you face while living in space?

3) Do you think vacationing in space will become a reality for the average person? If so, when?



asked by ahrenbrunow

We conduct science every day, but are lighter-loaded on Sat/Sun.

The biggest danger is launch - all that power and acceleration. Once we survive that, it's just a steady threat of radiation, meteorite impacts, and vehicle system failure like fire or ammonia breakthrough.

We need better engines for spaceflight to be safer and simpler, and thus cheaper. Like the difference to cross the Atlantic in a prop vs a jet airplane.

What do you think the next step for space exploration should be? Do you think sending a manned mission back to the moon to establish a moon base is feasible at this point?

asked by consumeradvocacy

As a species, we have always taken the very best of our technology and used it to take us to the furthest reaches of our knowledge - the horse, the wheel, the sailing ship, steamship, propellor, jet, rocket, Space Station. Yes, we will establish a permanent base on the Moon and beyond, but when depends on inventions not yet made.

My guess is that power generation is the primary obstacle, and fossil fuels and even solar power won't be enough. Meanwhile, the Space Station is the crucible where space exploration technology is designed and tested. When we go further out, it will be heavily indebted to the pedigree of space hardware proven on ISS.

What's your favourite space food?

asked by victoriabuzz

I have a new one - lemon curd cake. A sin to eat, but we're short on sin up here, so I think it's OK.

What is your favorite picture of earth (or anything you've captured)?

Also, what is your favorite thing you've ever witnessed first hand (be it captured on camera or not)?

asked by Zsnakejake

My favourite picture is of noctilucent cloud - to me it is both beautiful and scientific. I never thought I'd even see those rare phenomena, let alone get a top-notch photo of them.

You can see the photo [here](

So, sleeping in space weightless, what is dreaming like?

asked by hostergaard

My dreams are the same, I think - the idle ramble of my recharging brain, organizing my perceptions into fancy and drama. It's when I'm awake that things are very different :)

Do you ever get the urge to point and shout out "Look! I can see my house from here!"?

(Side question: Do you actually do it?

asked by samjuan

At first, yes, but after a few days, you start to see the whole world as one place. An awesome perspective to be given.

Commander Hadfield,

For some time now I've been searching for pictures of what the sky looks like outside of the atmosphere to the naked eyes. I am curious what the equivalent of what of [this picture]( is from space without the atmosphere. I have not had much luck with it.

There's been tons of pictures of Earth from ISS and of distance galaxies from Hubble. I find all those pictures fascinating, but what the space looks like to you still eludes me. Can you, or your colleagues, correct that short coming for me?

asked by econleech

It looks like a carpet of countless tiny perfect unblinking lights in endless velvet, with the Milky Way as a glowing area of paler texture.

How long did it take you to learn how to maneuver in zero gravity? Are you much better at it now than when you originally came aboard the ISS?

asked by schlitzer90

I'm still learning! But sometimes now, I am graceful. I feel like an adapted ape swinging through the jungle canopy ... until I miss a handrail and crash into the wall.

Following you on Twitter is both mind-boggling and fantastic. Thank you from Dublin!

If I was going into space tomorrow as a tourist, what would you recommend I try first?

asked by LeopardKhan

Try to look out the window as often and as long as possible. Truly see our world.

Commander, you are single handedly resurrecting people's interest and curiosity about space with your social media presence and passion for what you do. Unfortunately, it seems with the scrapping of the Space Shuttle program, people's interest in spacial exploration has been largely dwindling. What do you think NASA, other space agencies and astronauts need to do to keep people informed and interested in the science of space exploration? Thank you.

asked by ytalmazan

There's always positive and negative. We lost a crew early in Apollo, and the last 2 Moon landings were cancelled even though the rockets were built. Skylab decayed and fell from the sky before the Shuttle could be made ready to fly.

We've endured accidents, budget cycles, and many naysayers. But meanwhile we have accomplished countless acts of magnificence, from walking on the Moon to Hubble teaching us about the universe, to international cooperation, to Curiosity drilling on Mars, to permanently leaving Earth on ISS.

I'm working as hard as I can to help that all happen, and have been for 20 years. It's hard to leave home, but we're managing to do it as a species, regardless. Pretty amazing.

Ever listen to Space Oddity while you are up there?

asked by sehrguht

Yes, I love Bowie, and I've been singing and playing that song. Changed the words a bit, though, so Major Tom has a happier ending.

Any advice to a young person who wants to get into this field?

asked by amitch95

Decide in your heart of hearts what really excites and challenges you, and start moving your life in that direction. Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow, and the day after that. Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into that person. You may not get exactly where you thought you'd be, but you will be doing things that suit you in a profession you believe in. Don't let life randomly kick you into the adult you don't want to become.

Quit throwing rocks at Russia. Assuming that wasn't actually you did you notice any activity from your vantage point?

Edit: Just composed, sent and then received a reply via my phone (Galaxy Nexus) from the comfort of my home in Canada to an astronaut orbiting the Earth somewhere over Australia, so very 21st century, haha. Thanks for utilizing technology in such an interactive fashion Commander, keep safe and enjoy the mission.

asked by sinsyder-

We didn't see the meteorite that did all the damage in Russia, as we were on the other side of the Earth. But I see small ones burn up between ISS and the earth every day.

How long does it take to readjust from living in 0G?

asked by [deleted]

About 1 day back on Earth for every day weightless. Some things come back quicker, but bones and muscles take time to truly recover.

Hello Commander Hadfield! I am Flight Sargent Ball from 386 Komox RCAC Squadron. You were our Reviewing Officer for our annual parade back in 2006 (Or 2007). Unfortunately, I was not in cadets at that time, but I've been told it was an amazing experience to have a successful cadet come back and be our RO. Thank you for your service and dedication!

Being a cadet, I was wondering about your experiences in the program. What would you say was your greatest achievement in the Air Cadet program? We're you apart of any other activities (Biathlon, Range, Band, etc.) in cadets aside from the regular training night? I'm teaching the Level 1's at my squadron soon, is there anything you would to tell them about the program and your experiences in it? A few follow you on Twitter, so I'm sure anything I can relay to them would be a huge boost for them.

Thanks for your time!

asked by minimoose1441

Air Cadets in Canada is a superb program for people between 13 and 18. It taught me self disipline, leadership and how to fly, and directly laid the groundwork for where I am floating today. Per Ardua Ad Astra.

Have you ever considered organising a mutiny, deorbiting the ISS and sailing the infinite void of space?

asked by Captain_Username

Those are several bad ideas :) We're here for a pretty pure purpose, on behalf of everyone else. Keeps mutinies to a minimum.

Hello Col Chris Hadfield, this is my first time ever writing on an AMA, I am happy you gave us this opportunity to talk to you from space :)

my question is, have you ever got across a historical space waste (like the thrusters from Apollo 11)

and if you have bumped into the tons of space waste orbiting earth, is it possible to bring it back to earth?

(BTW, I chuckled when I saw your video of [how to wash your hands in space] (, the liquid soap was called Pouch Assy :P)

thank you so much for your time I hope that your mission in space is successful!

asked by Redditinstrike

The Earth is hit by 100 tons of debris a day, most of it natural, a small fraction man-made. We maneuver the Space Station out of the way when NORAD tells us debris may come too close to us.

What sort of camera do you use? Thanks for doing this!

asked by hypodermia

we use Nikon D2 and D3 SLR cameras with lenses from 400mm to fish-eye.

Hi Chris, tell us a bit about the song you recorded with Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies, ISS Is Somebody Singing? Which lines did you write? And is there a place for us to download the song?

Edit: song/video is here:

asked by wildmanners

I wrote the 1st version of the song, Ed used a bunch of my ideas for the main lyric and came up with that awesome melody, I wrote the 2nd verse, Ed chose the bridge. We worked together, and Ed is just a wonderful Canadian guy. I really like what we did, and the Coalition for Music Education is doing a lot of good for young Canadians with it.

Hi Chris.

I was wondering about electrical on board the ISS. I'm an electrician so I was wondering do you have an astronaut that is an electrician as well or just highly trained? Do you guys have breaker panels or fuses?

What about the power generation, how often do you change the batteries? What happens if 1 panel in an array goes out?

Thanks, it's been awesome following you on twitter and reddit.

asked by RickyRatchet

We are trained to be able to do everything onboard - we have to be. It takes many years.

Station has many levels of current protection, circuit breakers inside and out, most that can be reset remotely.

Our solar panels are big and powerful, and we have enough taht we can lose some and still power everything.

oh gosh! it's started, i'm late!

[My daughter Rhegan asks 'When are we going back to the moon?']

also, in anticipation of your AMA she has been talking about astronauts all morning and told her 3 year old sister, that you have to have a suit, and be in a rocket, and go up into space, before you can be an astronaut. what are your thoughts on her prerequisites?

edit: she's 7, and so far, space exploration is the only interest she has remained consistent on. drumming and golf apparently don't compare.

asked by overexcitedangrymom

We have robot ships at the Moon, on Mars, and by every planet in the Solar System. We'll go to the Moon in person again as soon as we've learned all we can on ISS, and have solid, reliable engines to take us there and back.

Can you invent those engines? You have an entire life to do it in. Then you could ride them, and stand on another world.

To be an astronaut you have to be healthy (eat your greens and exercise), smart (do your homework), and trustworthy (do your jobs well). Then you get the suit and rocket.

What is the prettiest thing to look at from space?

asked by nothingtoseehere28

The aurora - Northern and Southern lights. A fantastic continuous light show as we swing north and south, just shimmering and dancing there, demanding to be stared at.

Good afternoon Colonel Hadfield (or whatever afternoon it is on the ISS). My name is Connor Childerhose and I'm a student at Carleton University in Ottawa Ontario. I have a question for you that does not directly relate to the experience of being on the ISS but is still important to me anyway. I represent the Canadian Engineering Competition which is being held in March and we were wondering if it would be at all possible to contact you aboard the station during the competition? It runs from March 8th-March 10th and would mean the world to the engineering competitors if you are able to do this for us.

asked by Shamble355

Please contact the Cdn Space Agency to set it up, at their website. They will try and fit it into the existing plans if they can. It would be good if we could!

I haven't seen any other astronaut do as much as you are on social media channels for showing people how amazing space travel and research is. Why is that? And can we expect this to be the norm going forward? I sure hope so!

asked by garg

Each astronaut has personal goals as part of their career. One of mine has been education and public awareness of what we are doing in space exploration. This current 5-month mission combined with the advent of social media has made this possible like never before. I think it is important that people see the world from this new perspective that technology has given us, and I do my utmost to make that happen.

Hi, I am 8 years old. How long did it take you to not get lost inside the space station? What is one experiment you are helping with that you really like?

asked by quinleigh

I never get lost in the Space Station, but I often have to look around to decide which way I want to use as 'up' right now. Maybe this is how fish and spiders feel.

I did a Japanese art experiment to view the world in floating drops of water, and make HD video of it. It was fun and beautiful.

On Valentine's Day, you were sent a video valentine from the people of Victoria, BC. ~~Can you access Youtube from the ISS?~~ Have you heard anything about the video? Didn't you go to military college in Victoria? Have you ever visited the Herzburg Institute of Astrophysics where they store data from the Hubble Space Telescope?

EDIT: he has already said he can't watch video

asked by [Anonymous]

I haven't seen the video yet, but I will, and I look forward to it - thanks!

Yes, I attended Royal Roads Military College near Victoria for the 1st 2 years of my undergraduate degree. My Mother-In-Law lives in Victoria!

I've never been to that Institute, yet.


My entire family are such big fans of you! My daughter and I were wondering about your musical background, how long have you been playing the guitar and do you play any other instruments?

We've really enjoyed all your pictures and seeing you interact with the entire world from space.

thanks for doing another ama!

asked by kirastorm

I bought my first guitar with my big brother when I was about 11, and we taught ourselves how to play. I learned formal music and played trombone at school, right through university. I play and sing in 2 bands in Houston, and played with the Chieftains at the Houston Symphony this past Friday night by video. Today I recorded a song my brother and I wrote, like an aural snapshot of life up here. I've always loved playing music.


Easy question, hard question:

1) Will NASA be publishing a book of all of your photos from space? Or an app? I'd love to see all of the images in one place.

2) You've received a bit of criticism in Canada for not using your lofty position to educate about big global issues - most specifically climate change. Is there a reason you don't tweet about/talk about these clearly important things?

Thanks for doing this.


asked by blprnt_ocr

All the pictures I take are for everyone, and available here:

If seeing the world with our own eyes as one place, vivdly, daily, doesn't educate people on global issues, what will?

Good afternoon, commander! You're missing some great hockey down here on Earth, but I digress...

Firstly, I'd like to say thanks for all the amazing pictures you upload on Twitter. You're one of my favorite people to follow on there.

Secondly, I'm a 28 year old male who loves adventure. Going to outer space must be one of the coolest (and most humbling) experiences of your life. I know you've said you wanted to be an astronaut from a young age, but how would an adult go about getting becoming an astronaut without spending $200,000 to fly with Virgin Galactic?

Thanks and keep up the incredible work!

asked by puckplayer

To be an astronaut who orbits earth and stays for a while, it needs to become your main life's work. It takes: physical fitness to the highest standard, an advanced technical degree, and a proven ability to make good decisions when consequences matter. Then apply to the Space Agency of your country, and compete with the thousands who also want to fly in space. [Jeremy Hansen]( and [David Saint-Jacques]( were the 2 most recent Canadians to get hired - check them out online.

A few questions:

-Is power an issue on the ISS? (The use of it, and conserving it)

-I read about the resistance workout machines aboard the ISS, how often do you use them?

-What type of science activities/responsibilities do you do on a day-to-day basis?

Thanks for the (second) AMA

asked by wnau

The Space Station is solar powered, with lots of reserve in the batteries while we're behind the Earth in the shade, so no real need to conserve it.

We work out 2 hours per day, every day, just to stay at a constant level of fitness to be ready to do a spacewalk, and to have strong bones and muscles when we come home.

We have ~130 experiments running on ISS. I help fix them, recharge them, conduct them, and keep the Station healthy to support them. The ultimate lab tech.

If you would like to research more into what is being done on station, you can check any number of the websites provided by the [Canadian Space Agency]( or [NASA]( for [Expedition 34/35](

Hi Commander Hadfield! Can we here at the UBC Astronomy Club get a shoutout from space? That would be SO cool!

asked by choopacabra

Hello UBC! Hello UBC Astronomy Club!

Hi Chris Hadfield.Thank you for taking time to answer questions.

I'm an interested layperson. My questions are:

- Are you planning to attend future space-missions? If yes, which ones/what kind of?

- What do you respect most (or impresses you most) in space?

- Which changes of physical functions in space, did surprise you most?

- Which habit is hard to get used to again back on earth?

- Are you working on any experiment with plants on board of ISS?

- Do you have a foto/video of the "dart-game" you mentioned in the earlier ama, that one with the handkerchief-parachute?

Thx for answer.

asked by Doris0G

A long list of questions, I choose ... plants: we have grown plants as experiments for many years on space stations, but have none right now. This close to Earth it is simpler to bring food here than to count on growing and processing it. But to leave Earth and go to Mars, we may have to have a relaible small farm onboard. We think we have learned how, through previous testing.

PSY - South Korean Singer, Rapper, Composer, Dancer and Creator of Gangnam Style 

I will be answering questions at 5pm EST for 1 hour TODAY. Send your questions now and I will try to answer as many as possible. I tweeted my verification (psy_oppa)

Psy, what's something that people don't know about you that you wish they did?

asked by drodenbach

I compose all my music myself

What is your favourite song you've made, besides Gangnam Style?

asked by GregorJLS

Find the song called "it's art" at youtube

Can I come and hang out with you in Seoul?

asked by jreacher

Call me maybe

How many people are in those huge concerts you do in Korea? The concerts look crazy massive!

asked by tekdemon

Seoul city hall was 100,000 people!

How do you always manage to keep such a straight face when dancing?

asked by ao6238

Because i'm serious about my dancing

How do you keep your hair so perfect?

asked by housut

It only looks perfect on TV!

Did you ever get bored doing the gangnam-style dance?

asked by faithful_sta11ion

There's no time to be bored. I'm so busy doing the horse dance...

What is the weirdest thing you've ever seen a fan do?

asked by rey3100

I feel weird about all the fans because they are so worldwide. I cannot really believe it yet.

Did you dream of being a famous singer when you were a kid, or did you have other careers in mind?

asked by YoungWhiteMaleAMA

I just wanted to be in front of people. I always enjoyed that when i was a kid.

My Korean friend introduced me to the TV show Infinity Challenge, and we spent our weekends watching it in college! Loved your duet with Noh Hong-chul.

My question: when did you start learning clarinet, and what is your favorite clarinet solo to play?

asked by neurosciencey

I started learning at 8 yr old.

Favorite solo is main theme of movie called "dying young" by Kenny G.

Why are you such a nice guy?

asked by hurdur1

I am nicer than you think!

What are your current plans for your next album/single release and when can we hope to expect it?

asked by MaoLuvo

Very soon

Your international fame blew up really quickly. How did your family and friends react to your sudden popularity?

Edit: Grammar

asked by mellodymaker250

They are normal people so they are freaked out because it's way too fast and way too far. even i myself get freaked out a little bit about it. we were not ready for this

Are you planing to come to Europe anytime soon?

asked by Fivaldo

In november

Are you planing to come to Europe anytime soon?

asked by Fivaldo


Who is your inspiration ?

asked by andrewleetzor

Freddie mercury

What's your favourite thing to eat for breakfast?

asked by almestra

Korean food

Who is one celebrity you want to meet that you haven't already?

asked by Kreamcheez

Tom cruise

How many times did it take to do the elevator portion of your video in Gangnam Style?

asked by terets

That was ad libbed. Nong Chul is the name of the elevator guy and he is very famous comedian in Korea. That is a very popular dirty move he has been doing for 6 years and I asked him to do it in my video. If I am underneath, it would be dirtier!

We only did 2-3 takes and everyone on the video set was crying from laughing. definitely my favorite scene in the video.

[How was meeting Ban Ki-Moon?](

asked by Salacious-

It showed momentum of my life. Much higher excitement than being #2 at billboard!!

Are you looking forward to playing more shows in the USA? How has the fanbase treated you here so far?

asked by esposimi

In korea I've been really famous for my concert. Coming soon to USA...

What's your favorite brand of Soju?

asked by ImpulseControl

Chamisul. I'm a model for Chamisul

Many Koreans are huge gamers, are you? What are your favorites?

asked by WTFOutOfUsernames

I don't play games at all. I only play physical games but i cannot tell you any details...

The lady who owns the pizza place next door is Korean and she doesn't believe me when I tell her you're suddenly super popular in the states. That being said... Will you sign my tits?

asked by [deleted]

Where are you?

How did you come up with the name PSY?

asked by TheCSEC

Short for Psycho

How many asses have you screamed at since the start of your singing?

asked by Deadly_Lust

Lots of ass questions. It is embarrassing to admit but this was my very first time

You say you produce music, which is incredibly rare in pop music. Does this mean you created the instrumental track in Gangnam style? If so what programs/hardware are you using. Also if you made this track I believe you could transition into being an electronic dance music producer quite easily.

Side note: you come across as a funny but humble guy. I'm happy for your success.

asked by pokepal

I'm doing the tracks with other guys together using Logic

Did you just sit down and say to yourself, "I'm going to make the catchiest fucking song of all time"?

asked by dckunited

I thought so but only for Korea.

How many instruments can you play?

asked by Thrietyl

2. Clarinet and Drums

Hello PSY. My question is, what part of the "American Lifestyle" seemed the most strange to you when you first came here? BTW my mom is South Korean.

asked by EointheGUY

Not taking off shoes indoors

Who do you interact with the most in YG Family?

asked by yumina06

YG himself

What has been the best part of your new international fame?

asked by Chippoke

Achieving a larger fame than before

Psy you fucking rock! Thought you were hilarious in Hyuna's latest video. I have a few questions:

1. As wonderful as she is, was there any reason you picked Hyuna as your front girl for Gangnam Style? I'm sure you had lots of choices in the Kpop world!

2. When's your international album coming out? I think *Right Now* would be a great way to follow up outside of Korea, since I heard that you were looking to use a previous song. Would you be going in a similar direction for your next release, or would you be trying something like *Champion* instead?

shoutout to /r/kpop!

EDIT: [Just saw that you actually intend to write your next song in English.]( Great! Any idea which direction you'd take it?

asked by kei-clone

1. I think hyuna is the best person for gangnam style because she has both aspects, sexy and cute

2. Coming very soon

I recently read you went to Berklee college of music up here in Boston. I've always had the impression that pop music isn't typically what Berklee students are interested in producing. I imagine this might just be misconception that I have, however. Still, with this in mind:

* How do you think Berklee prepared you for a career in K-Pop? What things that you learned translated well (or didn't translate) to that style?

* Were you interested in producing K-Pop style music while you were at Berklee, or did your interests change?

asked by Mattyi

1. Unfortunately i didn't attend class that much. sorry!

2. When i was in college i was young and stupid so i thought i cannot learn creative things from other people like professors. i taught myself. but nowadays sometimes i regret but things worked out ok.

At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to make music? Was there a specific moment?

asked by TheReaperLives

I wanted some beats so I could dance on my own. that was the beginning...

What types of music do you like to listen to, both Korean and foreign?

asked by Dylvern

I love to listen to everything

Is Gangnam style intended to be a social critique, or is it just supposed to be fun?

asked by OrlandoFurioso

GS is not a critique, just FUN!

Do you have a favorite Gangnam Style "spoof" video?

asked by [deleted]

Ohio university marching band

What are you dressing up as for halloween? Does South Korea have halloween?

asked by Axxcess

I heard my costume is costume of the year so this halloween I gotta dress more classy, as classy as possible.

Ryan Seacrest suggested I dress up as Taylor Swift for halloween!

There is no Halloween in south Korea.

I am doing a report on Korean for a linguistics class. Do you find Korean to be difficult to rap in?

asked by [deleted]

Not at all because I'm korean!

In the same way, It's kind of hard to eat scrambled eggs for breakfast.

What is your favorite place in the world and why?

Also, do you crumple or fold your toilet paper?

asked by meatb4ll

Seoul, Korea. It is my home.

I fold first

If you ever do live performances in America, will you do them all in Korean? I think you should.

asked by FrolfinManpris

I think so?

Would you consider the greatest achievement in your life, waving the chequered flag at the Korean grand prix. If not what is it?

asked by topgearboy

I consider Gangnam Style to be greatest achievement in my life so far...

What were the best and worst things about living in Boston as a student.

asked by [deleted]

Best thing - so many beautiful college girls

Worst thing - too much snow

Does it bother you that everyone only wants to talk about that one song?

asked by andrewsmith1986

It's ok because most people only know the one song. I can fix that later!!

Adam Savage. Co-host of Mythbusters

Special Effects artist, maker, sculptor, public speaker, movie prop collector, writer, father and husband.

What's your least favorite part of testing a myth?

asked by dwightschrute518

The blueprints that open and close the show. Those stilted conversations are hard to keep fresh. If you watch a lot of them, you'll notice we try lots of things to keep them from being stale, but they take a lot out of me. I'd much rather do my camera stuff in the moment.

I can feel your pain thru the screen (Jamie's too) when you have to do these ridiculous scripts for those...also my least favorite part...jump right in!

asked by jwoodsutk

It's the convention that's tough, we do the best we can. For the record, I write most of those scripts.

What is the funniest thing Jamie has ever said?

asked by jcarter147

I can't repeat it here. Jamie has a dark dark sense of humor.


asked by tiii


What is the one of the crazy experinces you had off camera?

asked by Pnestor

Once almost got shot by an entire SWAT team in NYC in Times Square in '87. That's a good story. I may tell it someday.

Has there ever been a moment (on Mythbusters) where everything went out of control and you feared for your safety?

asked by chriss1111

We've feared for our safety a lot. We are sensitive to when we start to feel spooked and seek to resolve the issue before it becomes an issue. I've been scared a bunch on the show. Underwater Car. Mythtanic. Hell, the first time we swam with sharks I thought I was going to have a heart attack.

If you were stranded on an island i the middle of the ocean, what three items would you want to have?

asked by Midnightfire123


Duct tape.

A tarp.

Baling wire.

A spoon.

Some rope.

Oh, and a trailer and some food.

First off I love your show! Second, did you ever think Mythbusters would ever blow up like it did? When did you realize this?

asked by Gundly

Not at all. Our fame and the show's popularity grew really gradually. Which is nice because it's heady stuff sometimes.

What were the most difficult myths to pitch to Discovery that did/didn't end up on the show?

asked by WallopyJoe

They love almost everything we bring them. They shut down very few stories. But they hate the Hi-Fidelity myths that I want to do: Vinyl vs. CD vs. MP3. We'll wear them down eventually.

What made you do an AMA now?(Your account is three years old already :)

asked by Singer13

I did one AMA (on video) a few years back. I've been wanting to do one for awhile. Also: we have a season Premiere on the 7th of this month. New time- 8pm on Discovery. Now if you don't mind I'd like to get back to answering only questions about Woody Harrelson's movies.

What is the one hilarious thing we didn't get to see in the show?

asked by narwhalsare_unicorns

Seriously, if it's funny, it makes it in. Unless it's an off-color joke (my specialty).

You did the show on curiosity about living forever. Is that something you would want?

asked by silverius


What do you think is the largest hurdle for Humanity right now? And how can we overcome it?

asked by KStreetFighter2

The corrupting influence of money in politics. It's getting worse. Publicly funded elections is one solution. It's not an easy problem to solve but it needs solving. That's what's on my mind lately. Bill Gates is taking care of the rest.

He said he had been lurking, so he may not know how to reply :)

asked by jangbi

I feel seriously so dumb about the reply thing. I'm used to the format on Metafilter.

What myth requested by a fan was so far-fetched and absurd that it was practically laughable? And if you ever find the opportunity to test out the myth, how would you go about busting it?

asked by TheDuskDragon

Several times we've gotten suggestions that we thought were like that but eventually figured out a way to do them: like punching sharks. The first guy to suggest that (was totally drunk btw) sounded full crazy to me. A year later we were in the Bahamas punching sharks.

Mr. Savage, what is your best/worst fan experience in real life? Huge fan of the show. You guys blow my mind!

asked by durandaI

Having people yell my name really loud in airports is a low point (why people need to yell about meeting me is beyond me- it feels super aggressive). Meeting any kids is always a high point.

Whenever people yell "Jamie" I don't respond. It feels weird correcting them and at the worst they're going to think that Jamie's a jerk.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you love Duct Tape?

asked by Slathbog

7. It can do anything, but it leaves a damn residue on stuff when left for too long. Aesthetically it's hideous, but that's sort of it's appeal. I love Baling wire too.

I just wanted to say thank you for all the years of entertainment and education you and Jamie have provided with Mythbusters.

I have seen a couple of your movie prop videos and I wanted to know of all your props, which was the hardest to acquire?

asked by bluntman37

You're welcome. That's a hard question to answer. I'm going to have to think about it.

What does your wife think of the show?

Also, we know your name and your quest, so what is your favorite color?

asked by kittersplat

Favorite color is Orange.

Wife loves the show. She watches it when I'm gone on a shoot (so do my kids).

How have you grown artistically as a result of the show?

Huge fan, thanks for the AMA!

asked by inferior-raven

Totally. The pressure of making something cool and visually that tells a story has radically improved my aesthetic sense.

What myth did you think was totally going to get busted but it did not?

asked by reconditereference

Killer Cable snap. The myth that a cable under tension can slice through you when it snaps and whips around. . Not a fisherman alive who doesn't KNOW that this is true. Except that it isn't. We busted it wide open. I was very surprised. But our research bore that out: we found not a singe first person account of it happening. Everything was circumstantial.

Your point is completely correct. A lot of their myths are marked as busted, when they should have been marked plausible. I understand though, that for the sake of the show, if they can't replicate it then they shouldn't mark it as plausible. Maybe they should scrap myths like that though, I don't know. I doubt people watching these videos are going to take them as fact and relax their safety procedures causing something like this.

In this episode, their attempt at replicating it actually was pretty weak though. I'm not sure how big the cables on your ships are, but I imagine they are larger than the ones on the show which were 3/8" and 5/8". More importantly though, they didn't actually load the cables to their max causing them to snap. They simply loaded them to 30,000lb and cut it. When cables snap, it's because they are **over**loaded, which means there had to be at *least* the rated strength which in the 5/8" wire used on the show was 40,000lbs. Had they loaded it to that and beyond it's very possible it wouldn't have broken until 50,000lbs or higher, which would have probably had different results.

I can only imagine that those cables on an aircraft carrier are much bigger and rated for much more of a load. If one of those cables failed I am certain it would be disastrous for anyone near it. Hell, [here is a story of a girl who had her feet severed by a cable at an amusement park](, so we know it can happen.

I always wish the Mythbusters could get into more detail and test further, but I understand it's a show for entertainment, and there is a budget. The important thing is that everyone continues to be cautious when working with stuff like that because even if it doesn't cut someone in half, it is likely to kill them. Also important is that people don't take Mythbuster test, or anything they see on TV, as fact. There are always more variables and many more test that could have been done.

asked by autobots

A point:

We're talking about cables that WHIP. Aircraft carrier cables are so large it's like getting hit with a steel girder. And cables can sever any part of you if they're under tension and you're between them and something hard. The myth is that a cable under tension can whip around at such a speed that it can slice flesh. I dispute that we didn't fully test it. We tested it with every grade of cable (up to 1" IIRC) that could be found on a regular boat and tensioned them up to 85% of their breaking strength and sliced them. Dented pigs was all we got. There's plenty of first hand accounts of people getting things severed by ropes, cables etc. That's not what we were testing. We were testing the whipping action. Myth busted.

As a fisherman I've never been worried abut being "sliced in half." Hit in the head and having my skull crumble like a cheap soda can is what worries me.

asked by D-Aton

And that is what would happen.

Adam, what do you think about discovery channel as a whole? I mean, it seems like there's a lot of reality shows being added to it, and not a lot of good content besides Mythbusters…

On another note, what has been your best "fan" moment, and where can I go to be invited to some of these Mythbuster "fan contributing" episodes?

edit: sorry if the Discovery question was a little much.

asked by greenlep

Best fan moments have been getting emails from people in grad school who tell us that they got interested in their field from watching us. That's crazy amazing.

The other great thing is meeting fans who I admire. Like Simon Pegg, Guillermo Del Toro, Jamie Lee Curtis, Vince Gilligan, Matthew Weiner, Sophia Bush, Seth Rogen, Michael Chabon, Craig Ferguson, David Letterman, James Cameron. It's a long list.

Have you ever seen Jamie Hyneman without a beard?

asked by superkissel

I have. It's an old old pic from when he was in high school. He wont' make it public, he's a private guy. Amazing to see a young Jamie though.

It's been like a week since this has been posted. You won't see this, and I don't even care.

You guys on mythbusters are the reason why I want to pursue a career in science and change the world with it someday. Thank you and everyone at MB for inspiring me. You've made this girl know what she wants to someday do with her life and I can't express how much you guys mean to me.

asked by pixelat0ry

I did see it. You can't even guess how much messages like this warm my heart. Cheers to you and I hope for every success for you.


I saw the Bourne safety deposit box you made up for your collection. Was awesome. Is that your favourite prop you've made?

asked by MrZao

No, but it's up there. I love that movie. All of them.

Hi Adam!

1. Is there a myth you would love to test, but can't because of budget or other reasons?

2. How large is the Mythbusters behind-the-camera team (i.e. people helping you test the myths by researching etc., not including the TV recording/production crew)?

asked by deki

Jamie and I shoot with Camera, Sound, Second camera (for high speeds etc) and director. We're supported by 3 Associate producers (location booking, permits, expert finding, esoteric item ordering, signage and everything else). We have a production manager (of course) and her team. Runners, Production assistants. K, G &T also have the same. Entire San Francisco crew is about 25-26 people total for both teams. It's a terrific crew. Many have been with us for 6-7 years. Turnover is very low.

What do you have in your pockets right now?

asked by JamieSackville

Wallet. Iphone. AA Flashlight (I use it multiple times per day). Keys to house, shop and car. Leatherman (on the belt).

Does Jamie show ANY other emotion even off set? We see him act like a school girl sometimes, but is his persona the same off set?

asked by slynn695

With Jamie, what you see is what you get.

Why did you quit WWE wrestling?

asked by raaaaaaaalphie

The 'roids.

Adam, what gun have you had the most fun shooting for the show?

asked by SACEUR

I love the HK Mp5. Feels like shooting with a sewing machine. So light. We used them to try and start an avalanche in Telluride. Didn't work.

Hey Adam,

I love that you're a strong advocate for allowing people to make mistakes when they're learning anything new. It's a sentiment that really hits home, especially as I get older.

That said, have there been any skills or hobbies you've taken an interest in that immediately shut you down in terms of their difficulty? Or simply not being as fun as you'd first imagined? I so, are there any that with hindsight you'd now wish you'd stuck with?

Finally - is it weird that people ask you to come to events, stand up and talk about stuff you like?


asked by moonjam

I'm so happy that we've become the poster children for failure as a mode of exploration. Thank you. I tackle things all the time that are beyond me. Sometimes I try again, sometimes I let it go.

It's a great and (temporary) thing that people want to ask me about what I do. I will miss it when they stop. I'm grateful and humbled that us farting around in the shop has had such long lasting resonance. It's humbling.

What's the worst suggestion for a myth to bust the show has ever gotten?

asked by userusernotaloser

Old (often drunk) dudes who ask me myths about them dating Kari. I know she's lovely, and I know creepers gotta creep, but don't do it around me. I feel like her dad sometimes with how protective I feel about this.

What's your favorite food/restaurant?

asked by [deleted]

Desert island food: eggs.

One of my favorite restaurants right now is Namu in San Francisco. 18th and Dolores. They're killing it right now.

Hey Adam,

I have attempted to contact you before. But I just want to let you know you're a hero of mine. The quirkiness yet blissful intelligence has always been a trait of mine and something I can relate too. You probably will not see this, but just know this; you're a special person to me, my self-esteem, and you give me hope for what I can become. A goal for about two years now has been to just have a conversation with you. If thats ever possible, please let me know.

Thanks, from a 17 year old growing up in a small town of nowhere.

asked by [deleted]

That made my day. Thanks.

What skill are you yet to learn but would like to try next?

asked by mattwhitby

Juggling 5 balls. I can juggle 3 quite well, and 4 passably, but 5 is a goal I've never hit.

What's your single greatest achievement in life?

asked by scoutu

Raising my kids and meeting my wife.

Why don't you guys use the Metric System on Mythbusters? as it is the standard for scientific experimentation

asked by [deleted]

We try, we do both sometimes. But we're both fully inculcated with the english system, sad to say. That's how we think.

Can you talk about some memorable experiences in your film fx career?

asked by secretvictory

I had been called in by my supervisor to build, paint and light a Jawa Hangar for the Episode II trailer. They needed it done in a day, and I was fast. I was in the paint booth later that afternoon, putting some rust washes on the roof and Steve Gawley ( came in and said that it looked great, and how was I doing it? I explained that I was copying the paint job from the Sand Crawlers (which Steve had freaking painted back in '76!) and he said that mine was great, could I show this other painter how I was getting the effect.

Working with guys as generous and cool as Steve, Lorne Peterson, Larry Tan, and everyone else at ILM was dreamy. I loved every day there.

When you famously lost an eyebrow and singed your hair, what was your dates reaction? What was your explanation?

And did she become the future Mrs. Savage?

asked by Lazer310

The date, at the time, went just fine thank you.

She did not become the future Mrs. Savage. She is still, however, a good friend. She prefers that I not tell her name.

Of all the crazy myths you have busted what was the best thing to set fire too?

asked by rainaChAoS

Hmmm. That's a good one. I liked dousing the car with gasoline and lighting it. That flame moved FAST. Totally scary. Good thing i was wearing a fire suit.

What do you have to say to anyone out there that is struggling through college and can't find their niche in life?

asked by CollegeRadioGuy

You don't want to ask me. I dropped out. There's no control to compare against with my experience. But one thing I do know: there's always time. I spent my 20's thinking I was running out of time, now I realize that there's a lot of it. Try something different. Try everything. Jeez, now I sound like an advice columnist.

Could you do a Mythbusters episode where you de-bunk the "scientific" equipment and methods used by people who claim to be Ghost Hunters? Either that--or could you build a Proton Pack? Please?

asked by printisdead

They do that themselves by never coming up with a positive (non subjective) result. We don't need to complicate things by starting to try and prove negatives on the show. That's not our business.

Can you guys please do a Breaking Bad episode?

asked by DrewChambersDC

Yes we can. I love that show.

Quick question about the grease fire explosion... It's bothered me for years...

Okay, the grease fire explosion was something along the lines of "Pouring a cup of water into a grease fire will cause a 30 foot fireball". And you guys busted that because it didn't reach 30 feet... It only reached 25 feet.

*But* there was that exploding pants myth that *didn't* cause an explosion, and you guys said "Well, most people would consider that to be an explosion!" and then confirmed the myth.

So, I guess to sum it up, isn't 25 feet *close enough*? It still was a big-ass fire ball that most people would say "Yeah, that's probably 30 feet".

Other than that, I love your work! Especially the stuff with Tested. I love seeing all your props and stuff, pretty cool shit.

asked by jooes

It might seem pedantic, but we were following the rules according to the parameters we'd set. I agree with you however.

Hey, do you remember that huge baseball-glove-shaped chair that used to be in the kids section of the Tarrytown Library?

asked by earbox

I loved that chair at the Warner Library. Is my dad's mural in the kid's section still there?

I'm probably late to the party, but I'm still gonna try to post my rather insignificant question here. Adam, you're probably one of the coolest, most loved guys in the history of the Internet, and as such, you've been immortalized in an infinite number of ways (gifs, memes, fan videos, etc etc). What is the funniest thing you've seen about yourself on the web? And the creepiest?

asked by Arachnid92

Ahh criminy. I've seen some amazing caricatures on Deviant. I love the walrus dancing gif. Weirdest: once I explored Rule 34 (look it up) and read some Jamie/Adam slashfic. To be clear I read about a paragraph. I will never erase what I read from my mind as mind bleach doesn't exist, but there you have it. That's the low point. I'm sure that there's worse than the 300 some-odd words, but I'll never know.

Hey, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'd never know 'cause I wouldn't eat the filthy motherfucker.

When I found out you were friends with Jon Coulton, I flipped out! How did you guys meet?

asked by FandagoDingo

We met through the inimitable Paul and Storm.

Hey Adam, I know you've got experience with movie props and special effects, and I've had a question that I've been dying to ask somebody in the industry.

**Who makes the signage for movies, and how can I get a job doing it?**

I started working in a sign shop last year and I've fallen in love with signmaking. It was only after I knew how much work went into something as simple as a suite sign that I realized that signage plays an extremely important role in film.

Room signs set a location or function as a plot point, i.e. "Electrical Room" on the door a bad guy is sneaking through. Vehicle lettering on prop [news station vans]( or prop [police cars]( keep the continuity and the immersion of a film going. Even in locations that are only briefly shown like the inside of a bank or grocery store, all have custom-made signage.

Somebody has to design, fabricate, and install *all* of that, right? Do prop houses fabricate their own, or outsource to the work to sign shops in the area? Would a background in signmaking help me get a job in a prop house?

asked by Hadynosaurus_Rex

Eric Haven does the blueprint signage. He's one of our Associate Producers and an accomplished comic book artist. The main signage in the episodes is usually done by my cameraman Scott Sorensen or me.

In most scientific tests and studies, there has to be multiple tests and retest done before stating any sort of conclusions. I know that being a tv show really prohibits that sort of set up and the show really seems to be more about seeing what results are possible, but has there ever been a myth that you wished you could take the time to test more thoroughly?

asked by the1omnipotent

Criminy, lots of them. I'll say this, because we are forced to do very few iterations for each test, we work hard to build good methodologies. We don't necessarily stand by our results, but I'll stand by our methodologies.

What system do you use to decide wether or not to test a myth?

asked by [deleted]

We call it arguing. Seriously, sometimes it's super obvious what to test. Sometimes we need to plot it out to see if there's a good show in a story. Sometimes we'll start with one idea, and then INSIDE that idea is a better one.

How much does the honorary doctorate mean to you which you received last year from the University of Twente for your contributions in popularizing science?

asked by juggler0

Tons in terms of accolades from people I admire. Now THAT was humbling.

Do you forsee a moment in which myths to be busted will become less and less? Or do you believe that the amount of myths will keep flowing or even increasing as time keeps going on?

asked by Fenetre

We still have about 200 good stories on the master list. And it grows every week. I'm dying to replicate a study I read recently that men get stupider when women are around.

What's your favorite hair/beard ensemble you've sported through the seasons?

asked by PLOVAPODA

I'm most pleased with how it all looks now. I'm very happy in my 40s. My wife likes this look to. And I like looking good for her.

Hey Adam, I'm a huge fan of both you individually (love those Man Cave videos!!) and Mythbusters too. I've been watching the show for yeeeeeaaaarrrrsss now. I'm in college now and I just want to say how much your show made science a lot more fun when I was in middle/high school.

* Where do you think you will be in about 5 years?

* Do you think that the show will still be going strong?

* Do you plan on going back to just special effects?

Thanks for answering, again huge fan.

asked by ScottiesaG

5 years- still doing MB and also producing other tv. Good tv.

Hard to say with MB and it's longevity. Our ratings are still great after all these years. Crazy. No idea when this train will stop.

As for getting back into fx? No idea. Could happen. I miss it sometimes that is for sure.

Would you every retry the rocket car myth where the rockets exploded upon ignition? Also did you ever get your $10,000 back for those rockets?

asked by citsilaermi

Yes we will retry the rocket car myth. That's all I'll say for now.

Tell us what you *really* think of Jamie.

asked by HonoraryMancunian

I seriously am glad for the partnership with Jamie. He may drive me nuts but nothing in my life has been as fruitful as our collaboration. The best partnerships thrive on being able to resolve conflict, and we have that. And also, like I said, we never disagree about the money. Given that half of all humanity is totally insane about money, I'm truly grateful that neither of us are. We've agreed to turn down several very lucrative offers over the years because we didn't like some aspect of what we were being asked to do. We don't get residual payments for Mythbusters. What we're being paid is pretty much what we're gonna get. So all we end up with at the end of all this is the legacy of what we made, and our integrity. We're both committed to the same ends regarding both.

First I would like to say thank you for being a huge inspiration throughout my life. The show helped reinforce the idea that unsatisfied curiosity is experience and knowledge lost.

My question is have any of the experiments done on the show been used as evidence for an accredited scientific study?

asked by SolarStun

Yes indeed. Our episodes have been part of published papers about 6 times. The most recent one is the one in which we made a sewer and used a methane explosion to make manhole covers fly 150 feet into the air.

Just wanted to say I love you guys and Mythbusters. I wish you guys could make more shows!

asked by i_am_stellar

We make 23 some-odd per year, often 24. That's the most we can do and keep the quality (and our sanity). New ones start airing next week though!

It was great running into you at LAX a couple years back, thanks for being nice and taking a picture!

asked by Nakulb

Of course. Part of my job.

I've got a big question, who's voice narrates the show? His voice is amazing.

asked by nudgeishere

His name is Rob Lee.

He's a Canadian living in Australia narrating an American tv show.

Mr. Savage, I would just like to say thank you for hosting mythbusters and kindling my interest engineering and making stuff. If it wasn't for you and mythbusters I probably never would have [gotten involved in battlebots]( or decided to peruse a degree in engineering.

Thank you


asked by Alex__H

You're welcome! A thousand times welcome. Good luck!

Hey there Adam! Can we see your ZF-1!?

asked by NxNmatrix

When it's done you can.

I am a student in Orlando and am excited to see that you are coming to the UCF arena. Being in college you would be amazed that cash is short on hand. I'd like to know some things you plan on discussing so I can get an idea if its worth what little cash I have.

asked by MonroeMoose

Okay MonroeMoose ,

For you only, and you alone, if you don't think it's worth it, I will personally refund your tickets. Deal? You can email me, my email address isn't hard to find.

What were you guys doing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this week?

asked by straighttothemoon

I can't tell you THAT. I drove an Indy car though. That was cool. Our two drivers, Ryan Briscoe and Logan Gomez were both awesome drivers and excellent guys. I hope we meet again.

First of all, I'm pretty sure you know what you're doing here, so I find it very entertaining that you are not using the reply button. Also Mythbusters came to my university once, and I want to thank you for all the things you guys do for the fans (like this).

As for a question... Would you ever want to do an episode in space? I'm in computer science, but it's actually one of my secret dreams to be an astronaut. You guys should come up with some cool experiments/myths that can only be done in space, and see if you can convince NASA and one of the private space agencies to send you up to the ISS.

asked by rxb

I would TOTALLY do an episode in space. I would LOVE to do that.

I want some of those awesome glasses you wear! What brand and style do you wear?

asked by Nefarious_Lobster

They're designed by Gillian Kaplan from Specs in the City in London. Model Doron BK in gloss (they make a matte too).

A few questions: How do you guys plan your myths each season? Is there a large planning session before each season?

The water tank myth: Most beautiful explosion on myth busters. When you guys where removing the safety features did you guys think " Okay, this is going to explode, we just don't know how"

Keep up the great work! You Malteese Falcon story was great!

asked by bubblegumnex

We plan about 3 months out. 4 times a year we spend a week plotting stories (they never end up following our original plot, but we get close enough).

I agree about the water heater. We did know how. What we didn't know was WHEN.

Hey Adam, I just wanted to say I think getting together with the Tested guys was an awesome thing. Those videos from inside The Cave are consistently fascinating and inspirational. Any videos or features you'd like to do for the site that you haven't had a chance to do yet? Side question, what does Norman Chan smell like? Hopefully Lilacs.

asked by Knale

We have a lot of plans for Tested. Keep an eye out (though our best stuff ends up here regularly. I'm always chuffed when it happens.

Adam just doesn't understand reply... Or he's trolling us hard

asked by bgladx64

Holy crap you're totally right. I didn't understand Reply. Sorry for being an idiot.

Can you ever grow a better beard than Jamie? For science.

asked by kawesomebro

That's a subjective question. My beard IS better than Jamie's.

How do you feel working with jamie, is he as amazingly strange as he is perceived

asked by MrMarshallmac

Yes. They broke the mold when they made him. One of the universe's own prototypes.

Why do you do so many accents on the show myth busters?

asked by danjr

Because I'm a ham.

Mr.Savage I have seen many videos where you go on stage and tell people about your obsession with the maltese falcon and things of that nature, so here's my questions.

**1:** How is the Falcon project going? in the last video i saw (if i remember correctly) you got to spend some time in a room with a real maltese falcon, have you made any progress?

**2:** Do you have any new and interesting projects of the same nature that you can share with us?

asked by Skabunkel

The falcon is stalled. Some of my projects lie dormant for years before I take them up again. You never know.

Anything I'm working on will eventually find it's way to I'm working on an animatronic alien head.

Mythbusters is awesome!,I watch it all the time,your show is funny and also very interesting.

How long does it take for you to film one episode?

asked by Koolkat9

We film an ep in about 9 days. The other team also takes just about that amount of time.

What's your favorite Jamie Hyneman quote?

asked by PhysicsSaysNo

"Whirlpools and whirlpools and whirlpools..."

What's your favorite book?

asked by Glaeal

I've just been reading a ton of Michael Chabon and I love LOVE the Yiddish Policemen's Union. Raymond Chandler is my favorite author. I read all of his books about every 5 years. Seriously . I love Hundred Years of Solitude.

Do ya like comics man? You should check out BPRD and Ex Machina if ya havent

asked by RezzCondor

I have all the BPRD comics. They're awesome. I also read everything by Alan Moore, Frank Miller.

I'm a mustache and beard enthusiast. How do you and Jamie keep your facial hair so shiny?

asked by JPree

No idea what Jamie's routine is. I shave and trim every other day or so.

is there a story behind Jamies Beret?

asked by JimmyCumbs

The Sombrero was too cumbersome.

The day i start to go back to the gym a mythbuster does an AMA... i knew i should just stay in my room all the time.

asked by alexanderlmg

It's OK, I'm still here.

Hi Adam!

What advice do you have for someone who wants to start building/modding/bashing together technology to make cool new things?

I didn't grow up learning things like soldering or basic construction/electronics, so I'm trying to teach myself now because I want to be creative and fix different annoying problems in my life/make cool things

asked by yoman786

Instructibles. Make Magazine. Web based instruction is great nowadays. And get into theater. Theater is the greatest training ground ever. Theater is the first art form to re-emerge intact following an apocalypse.

What is your favourite hobby?

asked by [Anonymous]

Depends on the day. I have so many to choose from.

I am tired of watching ancient aliens proclaiming humans could never have built the pyramids. Do you guys have any plans to test this and prove it forever that the pyramids was indeed built by humans?

asked by satanicluju

We have several stories on our roster that touch on this:

Moving Easter Island heads, moving stonehenge, and pyramid blocks. They're intense, but we'll eventually do that as an ep.

Are there any myths (that don't involve explosions) that you want to test but are not allowed to because of network intervention.

asked by caitlinreid

Not really.

I would like to share this photo of me with you guys on the exploding bumper myth. This was one of the best days of my life and I will never forget it. Thank you

asked by RobertF23

That's awesome. Thanks for sharing that.

what would be the sci fi invention that in real life would completly change the way we live (ftl something, AI....)?

asked by dvallej

Oh faster than light travel to be sure!


asked by [deleted]

I can't possibly pick one. Though having Hellboy's coat comes close...

Coca-Cola or Pepsi?

asked by chaklong

Is that even a question? Coca-Cola!

Is savage really your last name? If so, cool.

asked by Jakubbucko

It is. It's a good Irish name.

Bryan Cranston

Hey Reddit, I'm in the Breaking Bad's writer’s room answering any questions you can throw at me from 5-6 pm.

I'm also helping raise money for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) - they're an incredible organization that has helped recover more than 183,000 missing children.

To thank you for your help, I'm offering anyone who donates the chance to fly to LA with a friend and be my guest at the final season premiere. And we're not just going to watch together, we're also going to ride up together in an RV, where we may set some sort of record for being the first people ever to show up to a premiere in a Winnebago.

Check it out here:




Edit: I'm having a ton of fun. Thanks for all the questions so far. I've decided to send a blue ice to 5 most upvoted comments before 9 am PST tomorrow. Good luck and don't suck with your questions.

2nd edit: You guys are great and I had a great time. But I have to run and watch someone get crushed by a crane.

Update: you guys were so great that I decided to film a thank you video with my 5 favorite experiences from this AMA. [Check it out.](

Who would win a bar fight: Frankie Muniz or Aaron Paul?

asked by pixelbits

Hahaha. The woman who would throw them both out of the bar.

Have you ever pranked Aaron Paul on set? For some reason I think that he'd be super gullible.

asked by flava_dave_81

Oh yeah, many times. There was one episode when where someone was giving us a problem and I told him to take care of it and he didn't know specifically what I meant by it. I said "I need you to take care of it" and I reached into my waistband and pulled out a gun and put it on the counter. He understood the message. Then during the scene where I said "I need you to take care of it" I reached into my waistband and pulled out a dildo.

What's the funniest thing that's happened on set in your career?

asked by DarkSkyz

There was a guy who was hit by a crane and killed instantly. I couldn't stop laughing.

That might be the darkest answer I've ever seen on an AMA. I love it.

asked by PSUProud


What is your all time favorite movie, TV show, and food?

Thanks for doing this, huge fan!

asked by Rodrigo_Loco

All-time favorite tv show is Breaking Bad, I don't know if you guys have heard of it before. When you say the Godfather, everybody says "oh the Godfather", but it was really remarkable. I loved the Andy Griffith show for its simplicity and warmth, but I also love Louis for its sardonic humor. My favorite food is typically what I am eating at the time. But if I had to chose one, I'd have to go Italian. How can you not love pasta?

What are you most proud of during your career as an actor?

asked by ohitsmika

That I was able to make a living as an actor nearly my entire adult life.

How could Hammond Druthers not see that the majestic skyscraper looked like a giant penis?

asked by skibum607

Anything tall and thick looks like a penis to him.

What brand of razor do you use to shave your head?

asked by cheesteak

I use a straight razor. Every man should shave his head at some point and walk around.

At certain parts in your life/career, has it ever been difficult to maintain being humble and not egotistical in certain situations?

asked by frones

I think if you were born without promises or come from a middle class or lower middle class environment like I was, you have a benefit of not being entitled. Therefore humility goes along with it. I realize I am very lucky to be doing what I do.

Hi, Mr. Cranston! Like everyone here I am a big fan of yours, and Breaking Bad is astoundingly good.

My question is, To what degree was the show mapped out beforehand? Everything fits together so perfectly it's hard to believe any of it was decided after the very first episode, almost. Were there any characters (ie Saul, or Mike) that were originally supposed to have smaller roles, but were expanded upon?

Thanks for doing this AMA!

asked by PPbarker

Yeah, Jesse was not supposed to survive after the first year. He was a character that was need to introduce me into that world and then he was going to die. But Aaron Paul captured something in him that was so necessary to the fabric of the show that it was a no brainer to keep him. They knew in broad strokes where the character was going to go, but they kept resetting after each season.

How did it feel to get that pizza throw perfect on the first try?

asked by jimmyeppley

Well, I would have patted myself on the back but I was holding a pizza. Yeah, I did it in one try. It was a real pizza (a super xtra large) and very heavy. I just got lucky and it landed in the right place on the very first try so we let it be that way.

Do you have any recommendations for tighty whitey/button down combos? My Hanes don't match my Nordstrom's dress shirts. And don't even get me started on when I wear them with my Timberlands.

asked by TuckerMcG

Haha! I wish I could comment but I'm in negotiations to represent those brands. See them in a JC Penney's catalogue soon.

My coworker Bob claims he is dating your niece. We live in northern California. Can you confirm or deny this?

asked by Lawlish

Bob is a fucking liar. I have a job opening for him.

Mr. Cranston, have you seen Samuel L Jackson's video where he does your "I am the danger" monologue?

What is it like finishing Breaking Bad? Are you sad to see it go, or excited to move on and do other projects?

Thank you for doing this!

asked by Thestigsfatcousin

How is the Stig, I wonder? I did see Sammy's monologue and I'm going to be making one of my own from one of his monologues at some point to help with the Alzheimer's research and finding the cure. I sympathize with him because my mother also had Alzheimer's and it's a horrible disease but he found a very interesting way to bring attention to it.

In a way I'm sad to see it go but in another way I'm so proud of it. To me it's like retiring after winning the Super Bowl.

How involved are you with NCMEC? I've heard of it but didn't realize how many children they had recovered, I was floored by the number.

asked by SubaRex

John Walsh introduced me to the charity many years ago and I just gravitated to it because my daughter was 6-years-old at the time and I felt compelled to actively get involved.

John Walsh introduced me to the charity many years ago and I just gravitated to it because my daughter was 6-years-old at the time and I felt compelled to actively get involved.

asked by thebryancranston

Just wanted to say, again thanks for considering making a donation to help NCMEC. Just today the FBI Most Wanted list included a former professor at USC who was making regular trips to the Orient and having sex with little boys. This is how expansive this problem is because it's not just the guy in the dirty overcoat you need to be worried about. They're very well organized and many are very well-educated. It's a huge problem not just internationally but also domestically.

They have some child pornography cases that includes not even year old children, month old children. It's sickening so every dollar that's donated really goes to help the pedophilia problem on the internet.

Was this whole thing just an elaborate plot by Walt to get Jesse to learn chemistry?

asked by Sirspen

Ha! You know there are many ways to teach people and you just have to find your own way end to stimulate the minds of young people. This was a ruse Walt designed way back when... "someday I'll pretend to be making Crystal method, get him to be my partner. Yessss, that's it."

Hello Bryan, I just want to first off say I am a huge fan and you are a truly talented individual, and I read somewhere that you were a villain on the Power Rangers. If true please tell what it was like.

asked by that_cool_nigga

I'm doing action chops write now to depict that. I did voice work for the Power Rangers years and years ago. Someone once told me they named the blue Power Ranger after me, his last name was Cranston. I found out years later that was true.

Does Breaking Bad end the way that *you* wanted it to?

asked by thedancingmilk

Breaking Bad ended the way Vince Gilligan wanted it to... which is exactly what I wanted.

I just have one question: Where can I buy official Bryan Cranston Dick Grapes™?

asked by iwillkeepthatinmind

Oh my god. They're not "dick grapes," they're "crotch grapes." Keep your mind out of the gutter. That was a Conan experience so you'll have to Google that.

Thanks for taking the time to do an AMA!

Do you happen to be a Steely Dan fan? I've noticed two of your characters referenced them.

Hal's old DJ name was Kid Charlemagne on Malcolm in the Middle, while Walt lectures Walt Jr. about how they're better than today's musicians on Breaking Bad.

asked by risnuff

Yeah, I am. It was my era and I would try to get tickets to see their latest tour but I'm not going to be in the city so I'll have to catch them next time.

If you could do a whole new season for either Breaking Bad (a season 6) *or* Malcolm in the Middle (a season 8), which would you chose, and why?

By the way, thank you for giving me my two favorite shows of all time.

asked by uberkevinn

Wow. How about breaking in the middle? Season 15.

What is the most inspirational thing that has ever happened to you?

asked by Lechubbybunny

Well the first thing that comes to mind is the birth of my child. If nothing inspires you to be a better person than to be a father, I don't know what would. And then I'd kill her with a crane... I'm on a crane kick right now. I like to see things (mostly people) get killed by cranes.

Did working on Breaking Bad inspire you to become a drug kingpin, like it did with me?

asked by FiremanMills

As long as you stay of my territory, well be fine.

Do you think, given the proper equipment, you could produce crystal meth?

asked by Ashley_Tee

That presumes I haven't already.

How was it like to direct an episode of the Office?

asked by Jessexo

Grueling. It was fun but tough because I thought I was going to spend 5 days in an air-conditioned building. Instead the episode had us on the road in the San Fernando Valley heat during the summer. But still damn fun.

How do you feel Walter White would have ended up had John Cusack or Matthew Broderick gotten the role instead of you?

asked by opened_mind20

It would have been cuter. We would had a cuter Walter White.

What's it like working with Aaron Paul?

asked by Caolan_

It's in the past now but that was one of the saddest things, to realize that was coming to the end. He's a great actor but an even better person.

I live in Albuquerque and I love to see our city showcased as a “main character” on such a monumental show like Breaking Bad. I’m curious how you feel about our city overall? Also what were some of your favorite places to frequent while in town? Thanks for the AMA.

asked by go_lobos

Albuquerque became a very important part of the show and I really enjoyed my time there. I look forward to going back at some point. You know, strolling central in Nob Hill, Church St. Cafe in Old Town, El Pinto is another place I go. And I ride for miles along the Bosque.

Wow, THE Mr. Bryan Cranston! Im sure you remember but in the season 4 bonus footage and the director(s), you, Giancarlo talked about the... grand fanale of season 4, and how it took 19 takes to finally get the scene. I was wondering if you have ever had similar experiences with a scene taking large number of takes?

On a side note, Giancarlo Esposito seems like such a peaceful and kind person in real life and I was wondering what it was like working with him?

Lastly all I can say is that I used to watch Malcome in the Middle every day when I came home from school and Breaking Bad is the best show I have watched. Thanks for being you!

asked by cyclicpitch11

Giancarlo is such the antithesis of his character Gus. Gus was calculating and always had an agenda to advance himself personally. And Giancarlo is an open warm loving caring man.

Have you ever turned down a role then later thought..... mabey I should have done that.

asked by Fibreoptix

No. Not yet anyway. But there have been plenty the other way.

I'm a huge fan of Breaking Bad and I think Walter White is one of the most interesting characters on television today, so thank you for doing an AMA!

Us fans on /r/breakingbad were discussing when in the series we think Walter White officially "broke bad." My question for you is: At what point in the series do you believe Walter White officially broke bad?

asked by TheDuskDragon

My feeling is that Walt broke bad in the very first episode. It was very subtle but he did because that's when he decided to become someone that he's not in order to gain financially. He made the Faustian deal at that point and everything else was a slippery slope.

Welcome to reddit!

What would you be if you weren't an actor at first?

asked by RVPisManU

Now? I don't know. But I thought about being a police man when I was younger. I was pretty close to becoming one too but in college I took some acting classes and I found that the girls were much prettier there than in police science.

Have you watched all of the series??? A lot of actors never watch their own work.

asked by bjclements

I have seen every episode at least once. But I am able to watch it with some detachment. I am not one of those actors can't watch myself or highly criticize myself. But I don't heap on praise either.

Is Gosling's skin as soft as it looks?!

asked by middlemanmark

As supple as a babies ass.

Hi! I'm your biggest fan from Afghanistan! I loved you in Malcolm and certainly love you in Breaking Bad (alongside your other works). I think if I see you in real life you'd also be my favorite person ever! Thanks for all the laughs, fear, and suspense!

asked by greenleaf187

You are the man from Afghanistan. And I am the turd they call Heisenberg.

I have a child due in a month - what should I name him?

Edit: And the winner is Tuco. Tuco Bitch (in case it's a girl).

asked by EvrydayImAmpersandin

Heisenberg. Call him "Little Berg."

Edit: If you can't go that far, then Walter sounds nice. And if it's a boy...

You may not remember, but late last summer you went to a popular restaurant in Culver City (the one with the outside seating that’s first-come, first-serve). You pleasantly asked if you could sit at our table since there were no other seats left, and we happily obliged. After glancing at you about five times, I realized who you were. Having just completed a marathon of Breaking Bad’s entire run, I awkwardly asked if I could shake your hand, and you did!

Then my husband told you that he’s been trying to get his big brother (also sitting with us) to watch your show for months, and that he still hadn’t.

Then you said, in a menacing, methodical voice (aka Heisenberg), “Your brother’s a pussy.”

We were giddy for the next week straight. Actually, we’ve been giddy ever since and have renamed the restaurant The Bryan Cranston Experience. Aside from our wedding, I believe it stands as the greatest moment of our married life. To this day, we tell the story to anyone who will hear it. We should probably stop.

So no question, just wanted you to know how much you rock!

asked by MyEvilDucky

Did your brother finally start watching the show or does he still have a vagina?

Edit: not that having a vagina is a bad thing. It just needs to be with the appropriate person.

Why wasn't Frankie Muniz casted as Jessie?

asked by conbel

Because he was on the road drumming for his band King's Foil.

Thanks for doing an AMA, Bryan! Very quick 2 questions. Are you still in Albuquerque? If so, can I buy you a beer?

asked by salathiel

No and yes. Donate the beer money to the cause! I'll take a rain check.

What are your thoughts on those two infamous Cousins pulling off the Explosion in one take? (I never get tired of hearing from a 3 time Emmy winner ;)

asked by LuisMoncada

Hi Luis, good to talk to you man. Miss you. And I'm happy to be the first person to direct you on the show. You and your brother really contributed greatly.

OH MY GOSH I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE FINALLY DOING AN AMA! I've always dreamed of it. Thank you for taking your time to do such a great thing.

You seem to be such a funny person on and off set - what's it like for you to switch from doing something so funny like Malcolm in the Middle to something so deadly and serious like Breaking Bad?

(From my boyfriend) Do you think you will every top your performance in this:

asked by artiology

Oh no, they can post those videos... wow. What I discovered is that everyone has a dark side. It might be unrealized, untapped, but if the right buttons are pushed anyone can become dangerous and I just opened up to it. Now I don't want to say that I killed people in preparation for the role... but I can't deny it either.

Dear Bryan, you're the reason I started doing meth. Thanks!

asked by sadam79

It was either that or bury yourself in a hole in Iraq somewhere. Are you writing from the after life?

Finally! Bryan, it is an honor to talk to you (hopefully) I have been a fan of your work since I was watching Malcom in the Middle after The Simpsons on BBC 2 whilst still in primary school.

Anyway... Question question question... Shit... Erm...

What is *your* personal opinion on Walt, both as a character and a person. Do ever read the script and think to yourself "i'm playing a real scumbag"?

Also, *please*... Does Hank flush?

asked by Drew-Pickles

First of all Mr. Pickles. Thanks for pointing out our age difference... you little shit. Speaking of that, no he doesn't flush. And further more I think Walt is just misunderstood. He's a lovely person.

My girlfriend and I are HUGE fans of Breaking Bad, and of you. If you received an honorary invitation to a wedding in some time, would you come?

asked by Mariobro7

What do the bridesmaids look like?

1. How did you become involved with NCMEC and what can we, the general public, do to help?

2. Can you walk us through your process of directing an episode of Breaking Bad?

asked by hfc

1. You can start by looking at and if you have children, take lots of pictures of them because if god forbid anything happens, the picture is the most important tool to retrieving any child. Thanks for your help and support.

2. Oy, the most important period in directing for me is the pre-production. The more work I get accomplished, the smoother the shoot is. There's no shortage of hard work. You gotta be willing to put in the time and effort.

Bryan! Huge fan and today is my birthday. Would you give us YOUR best look in to WW's mind with a line or scene that maybe most people maybe dont give enough attention to?

asked by Cromesett

First of all, happy birthday. Walt says today you be the danger. There was a moment nobody ever really wrote about in the first or second season...when he was in remission from his cancer and he decided even though his hair was growing back, he decided to shave his head some more. And that was big thing for me because it made a statement that he was truly accepting this new life of his.

Hey Bryan, you've been a hero of mine for years now, so I was wondering who you're heroes are/were throughout your life.

asked by Jinglish02

Um... gosh. Sandy Koufax, Vin Scully, my grandfather. As far as acting heroes, Dick Van Dyke, Jack Lemmon, Rod Steiger, and Spencer Tracy.

as a recovering meth addict, i found Breaking Bad to be incredible, and it reminded me of the craziness i resorted to to get what i wanted. (for the record Mr. NSA, i didnt cook meth or kill anyone so fuck off)

Bryan, what was your favorite moment during Breaking Bad and why?

Gosh i just want to hug you.

asked by fishmaster5k

My favorite moment? I'll say my favorite meth moment was the teaser in season 3 where Windy was the song and they had the meth whore, Wendy, trying to score and she would give head to anyone who would drive by in order to get her fix. Juxtaposed with that bubbly song were these horrible acts where she's squatting in the alley, taking a pee. It was just nasty, nasty visuals and I thought it was brilliant.

Dear Bryan Cranston, I "acquired" shin splints from a hike last week and have been forced to stay inactive but this gave me the opportunity to catch up on what I heard was a great show. 9 days later and I have watched the first 4 seasons and am VERY impressed with your dramatic acting! After driving cross country from New Jersey to San Diego I came up with an idea to live in an RV. If I win your contest will I get to keep the RV?

asked by NJNeal17

Yes. For an hour. And you can live it an hour.

Have any of you guys received any negative backlash from real cartel members?

asked by Diacrus

Negative backlash from a cartel would be death. If I had I wouldn't be here answering this question. They don't reprimand or send out a cease and desist order!

Bryan, I have heard you are coming to Boston to do a play at the A.R.T. Are you excited to make the transition from film to live theatre?

asked by joereynolds15

Very excited. It's the perfect opportunity to venture into a different character and kind of get lost in it. Please come see it, starting in mid-September in Boston. It's called "All The Way."

My other questions must have sucked but I've got to keep trying. Given that Google is trying to eradicate child porn from the internet (, the new season of The Killing focuses on child prostitutes, and you are sure to bring in gobs of money for the NCMEC, do you think there will be a sea change in these issues?

asked by Satisfiend

Hopefully, it takes a society to protect its own, not just those paid to do so. So we all have to be vigilant and look after every child.

What traits of Walter White do you see in yourself?

asked by wundaii

The things that I think are common in Walt in Bryan are his villainy, his avarice, his hubris, and his love for seeing people crushed by a crane.

Hey Bryan,

I got to meet you at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival. I worked on a video for YouTube, and had you "wink" for a very famous YouTuber (he goes by "wheezy waiter").

You asked me where on YouTube it would be. It's here, and it got over 150,000 views. It's in the last 15 seconds of this:

I just wanted to thank you for giving us the best wink we've ever seen.

asked by CoreyVidal

Thanks... my eye stayed that way.

Bryan is it because my name is poo_smudge that you won't answer any of my questions? I can explain...

asked by poo_smudge

Ask your stinking question!

Welcome to reddit!!

asked by Shitty_Watercolour

Thank you!

asked by donskis

I'm thrilled that Ron Paul is so excited. I like him because the good thing about Ron Paul is that regardless of your politics, he'll tell you what he really thinks. He's not a bullshitter and it's so refreshing to have someone like that in politics.

I've never seen Breaking Bad. Am I a bad person?

asked by FullSexWithAWoman

No, just uninformed.

Louis C.K.

Hello. I have zero idea what is about to happen. I'll answer as many questions as I can. I'm sure I don't have to mention that if you go to You can buy my latest standup special "Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon Theater for 5 dollars via paypal. You don't have to join paypal. The movie is DRM free and is available worldwide. It's all new material that has not been in a special or on my show and will never be performed again and it's not available anywhere else. I'm sure I don't need to mention any of that so I won't bother. Oops. Hi.

The music in "Louis" is amazing. Are you a big jazz fan? Any current favorites?

asked by velocitygirl77

Producing the music is maybe my favorite part of the whole thing. I go into a studio with Matt Kelmer and a handful of great musicians that work under the title "Sweet pro" and we just fuck around. I get to cheat and make music without the training. I ask them for different moods and sounds and they try it. or we'll say let's go with cello and piano for a while and try a few things there. The cello player, wish i fucking knew his name, is tremendous. he creates whole pieces by himself and I use them ALL.

I worked as a PA at a show of yours in Toronto. You were doing two shows that night and during the break a girl came to the stage door and when you came out she said (in front of half a dozen other fans, and myself who was holding the door for you) that she lived nearby and wanted to have sex with you before the next show started. You laughed and said thank you, and when you came back inside you told me this never happens.

That was a few years ago. Does it happen a lot now?

asked by ryeandginger

Haha. I remember that. Are you female? Because the funny thing is I remember there was a young working woman standing there with a walkie on her hip as this kind of desperate (not uncute) young girls is openly offering to fuck me. I remember the juxtoposition. When you're a dad, you see every grown female, especially young ones, as possible models for your daughter's future. I remember thinking that I would never let this working woman down by fucking this chick between shows. Plus I don't do that.

Anyway maybe it wasn't you. Are you sure you're not the woman who offered to blow me?

How has it changed?

I don't really hang around after shows. I bolt.

I think the idea of fucking someone who just watched you perform is... It's just not me. I mean, keep trying ladies. You never know!

Maybe next time there won't be a well adjusted and bright young woman acting as my concious and ruining what may have been a terrificly depressing blowjob!

Is the content of your comedy purely for the stage or do you continue to express the same insights and opinions in social settings as well? If so, how does it go down with your friends and also the people who don't know you?

asked by timthemanager

I don't talk in person the way I do on stage because it's a performance and it's disstilled and the language is more deliberate. I make the same kind of jokes with my friends and family for sure and I have safe relationships where I can float a crazy or wrong idea and find out where it goes just as a life excercize and some times those things end up on stage.

You started doing a joke about a baby being born with a big dick, but you got side tracked. Where were you going with that?

asked by funnynickname

That was a whole bit that i cut, but i kept the Chinese baby part. It was the funnest part anyway. Then later when I say during the airplane bit "I'm flying first class because i talk about babies with big dicks" it kind of makes no sense.

From watching your show and seeing some interviews, I've noticed that you're self-taught and hands-on in many facets of production (cameras, self-editing, etc.)

In general, it seems you like to learn. What are you currently learning, or what else would you like to master in the future?

asked by bluthru

Jesus, what a good question. Oh my god. Someone needs to give you a dollar for that.

Okay. I do love to learn. It's all I feel like I'm ever doing. It's really the best you can do in life, is learn. You can't really do anything right. You can just learn.

Right now, I am learning to be a dad. I am learning how to take better care of myself and my kids. I"m learning how to communicate with people in my life.

Professionally, I'm learning right this minute, a HUGE amount with this web experiment. this live at the beacon thing (available at httlp:// for 5 bucks) is like that thing in the movie "Twisiter" where they send a bunch of little data collecting balls up into a tornado and just download the lovely results. The whole things has been like that. From the moment it went online and I saw the result of every decision I made. the last question the web guys asked me before we posted was if I wanted the mail list button defaulted to "opt in" or "opt out" and i said start it at opt out. It's such a tiny thing but I keep hearing about it from people. So so interesting to watch this grow.

First of all, thank you for the hours of fantastic entertainment. My question: Please relate to us your most horrible fan story. One that was downright creepy or even illegal. Tell us how that made you feel, and whether it caused you to regret your celebrity.

asked by rockychunk

I was on the subway once and this old lady came up to me. she pointed right in my face and screamed and diarreah started just gushing out of her onto the floor. I'm not sure she was a fan but it was pretty awful. Also it never happened. But it will...

You wrote and directed Pootie Tang, as I'm sure you are aware. Do you plan on Writing and Directing anymore more films in the near future? Because that would be fantastic.

asked by Rpkenny3690

I would love yo make more movies. That is a FUCKING HARD JOB though, dude. Just to get it made. You can't even do anything else while you're tyring to get it made and then you probably won't. It's heart breaking. Then it takes a good 2 years to make and finish the movie then it maybe won't come out and then maybe it gets changed and worse than the movie not getting made, you made it, then it got changed into something you hated and then came out.

Yeah. that's hard.

If I can get a deal to make a movie the way I do my show, i'll do it. Otherwise... no.

I have a dream, though. You want to hear it? Yeah? Well, okay.

I thought about what if I make another special like this one and i put it up for 5 bucks again and it goes gangbusters. It makes, say, 8 million bucks. I don't know that that is even possible. I'm trying to find out what the potential is with this one.

But so if I make 8 million, which all goes through paypal right into Pig Newton, my company that makes my show and made the special. Well I would leave the money in there and make a fucking movie.

This special, if it explosed, cause really it's only been up for 2 days, more like a pre-sale. If it really tears an asshole into the money monster who then shits dollars into my mouth (oh my god what's wrong with me) then I will use that money to buy a home and get some security which i NEVER have had in my life and have certainly not gotten from my low budget show.

So it would have to be special number 2 that would keep the money in the company and make a movie. I have always put cash back into the work. The profit I made on last years season of louie went to buying a new RED EPIC camera which now sits here next to me and a modest but impressive collection of lenses from germany and england, which now belong to Pig Newton and will be used to shoot said 8 million dollar movie.

I wrote way too much here that I should keep to myself but fuck it i'm pressing send.

How on earth were you able to gain the incredible amount of authorial control that you have over Louie? Have you had to battle with FX over any particular jokes/concepts/creative choices?

asked by mrsbaltar

I dont know if it's okay that I'm starting before 1230 but here goes.

I got it by demanding it and refusing to do the show any other way at all and by having the leverage that I was completely willing to walk away without doing the show and by agreeing to an extremely low budget so that they could offset the risk of giving me this freedom becuase they are risking less money.

I have had conversations with them about very few moments in the show but zero battles.

Do you really edit the whole thing yourself? I heard Joe Rogan talk about your process on his podcast and wasn't sure his description was accurate. He basically stated you just sit there on a macbook and do the whole show start to finish? If this is the case, good job!

asked by Rollingsound514

Yeah I do the whole thign. On season 1 I had an editor and we shared it about half. But Season Two I edited without any help. It was fucking hard. and Yes, I sit at the Macbook and just put it together from start frame to finish.

In your moving tribute to George Carlin, you credit him with inspiring you to periodically start from scratch with your material. do you believe that that would benefit most comics? Would a Mitch Hedberg or a Steven Wright -- that is, a comic that does tight one-liners -- be able to do the same? Do you think it would benefit a new comic to start such a practice early?

asked by sexual_creditor

Everybody is different. some comedy is more "musical" like steven. he is a pillar of comedy to me. He invented a whole form and all his jokes are poems. so it's different. I wanted to do it like george. now i do it like me.

I saw [Talking Funny]( and I really enjoyed that talk show. I think it's something a lot of people here will be interested in.

My questions are about things mentioned in this show, so here goes:

* Ricky Gervais said that in comedy, you are supposed to be the underdog, and Jerry retorted saying that "You're the only one in the room talking. Obviously you're better than them!" Chris Rock also seemed to be on Ricky's side. How do you feel about this? What's your stance? How does that play into your relationship with the audience?

* Some people think that Ricky Gervais was being too academic about comedy, while I think he just had a hard time correctly expressing his feelings. Do you think he was just being academic? Do you think his background have an impact on the way he sees comedy?

* Will there be another Talking Funny?

asked by nobic

I don't know about "Supposed to" I think there's a million ways to do things. there was a pitcher for the Yankees once named Orlando Hernandez or "el Duque" he was a cuban exile. A thing they said about him was he was hard to hit cause he had so many arm angles and release points. a hitter studies a pitcher and watches for the ball so he can time it, but with el duque, you don't even know where the fucker is coming from. Nine o clock? Eleven? And does he let go of it up top or out front? Impossible. I sometimes think of comedy in those terms.

I saw [Talking Funny]( and I really enjoyed that talk show. I think it's something a lot of people here will be interested in.

My questions are about things mentioned in this show, so here goes:

* Ricky Gervais said that in comedy, you are supposed to be the underdog, and Jerry retorted saying that "You're the only one in the room talking. Obviously you're better than them!" Chris Rock also seemed to be on Ricky's side. How do you feel about this? What's your stance? How does that play into your relationship with the audience?

* Some people think that Ricky Gervais was being too academic about comedy, while I think he just had a hard time correctly expressing his feelings. Do you think he was just being academic? Do you think his background have an impact on the way he sees comedy?

* Will there be another Talking Funny?

asked by nobic

I think that with The Office, Ricky created somethign that the world will never forget. It was so human. It was somethign that would have made Dickens beat his ugly wife in anger.

I love Ricky.

We fucking love you in Mexico, will you ever come over and do a show here? I promise it will fucking sell.

asked by ikhos

I would love to do a show there and go see my abuelita. I wish I could do a show in spanish. I can't pull it off. But i have had offers to go and do a show there in English. I will try to do it next year.

First a comment. I’ve heard (mostly from Ron Bennington and ‘lil Jimmy Norton) that you make almost no money off Louie so that you can have complete creative control. That rules, thanks!

1) You wrote at the end of ‘Duckling’ that the story was inspired by your daughter. Can you expand on that?

2) How uncomfortable was it to do the scene with Dane Cook? Had you guys `made up’ before filming, or not?

Thanks for making me laugh and cry. RIP Patrice. “Wave to me Louie!”

asked by Pedro471


My daughter said "you should do a episode where you go to afghanistan and bring a duckling to keep you company." so i did it.

It was fun working with Dane. we hadn't made up or even really fought. It was kind of intense. he's basically a good guy and we had a lot of work to do that day. So it was just work and fun and weird.

Patrice. Big loss. Big man.

The afghanistan episode was beautifully done are there any plans for more like that one? any chance your daughter could be a full time writer on Louie?

asked by Nothingman003

Well she has an imdb credit. So we'll see. I feel like there is a bar set that I have to do one episode at least per season that is way above the level of the others in terms of production and scope. So we'll see. I haven't written season 3 yet, which is really bad.

This shit I'm doing right now, by the way, is confusing as fucking a three cunted cow in the dark.

>is confusing as fucking a three cunted cow in the dark.

Bad experience, care to explain?

asked by achievable_chode44

I really mean it's confusing for the cow. they're not used to being "In the dark" LIke a totally dark room. even at night, there's the moon.... moo!


Also, how difficult was it to arrange that duckling episode? Was it really filmed in Afghanistan?

asked by anonymous123421

it as filmed in Santa Clarita California which is not technically in afghanistan. it was really hard. IT took months to pull it together. we shot it two weeks after we wrapped the rest of the season. It was brutal and stressful and scary and unforgettably fun.

What's your opinion of Dave Chappelle?

asked by SolidDexter

Hilarious. he has a bit about a baby selling crack that drove me crazy when i heard it.

* If you were starting comedy as a young stand-up today what would you do differently?

* How much more or less freedom do you have with your writing now that you are famous compared to when you were an unknown?

* How many black t-shirts do you own?

asked by poker_face

Some things don't change. You need to get on stage as much as possible and vary your stage experience as much as possible and not quit and take care of yourself and always question why you say the things you say and enjoy yourself. The context of history and technology just is what it is.

I still have the same freedom because i don't care, when I'm writing, that I"m famous. It doesn't help or hurt.

I have oh my god so many black tshirts.

1. Are parts of Louie ever improvised? If so, can you give us an example?

Thanks for doing this.

asked by kingoftrex

The poker scene in season 1 was very written but then I let the guys go off and fuck around. I used some of that. I don't generally let people improvise though. That works for shows where you have two cameras that are just sort of following the action. I shoot my show like a movie and it would be all fucked up if folks just said things.

I had another question that I deleted, but then I forgot to delete the number off the first one.

asked by kingoftrex

You're an asshole.


Who were your biggest comedic influences growing up and why?

asked by Skote07

Bill Cosby, George Carlin, Steve Martin. The rest is a long answer. they made me want to be a comedian.

You've been listed as a video editor on most of your projects. What program do you use to edit and why have you decided to take on this role?

Thanks for all the entertainment.

asked by dnovi

I love editing. I have used Avid in the past but I exclusively use Final Cut Pro now, though I am concerned about the future... You always have to put three dots after the future...

Editing is part of the process. It's how you form everything. In some ways not editing yourself would be like a sculptor dropping some clay off at a guys house and saying "Make a naked lady chasing a bull. and do it nice."


asked by enektyk

It's worked well so far. It's far from over, so I don't know everything yet. I haven't even started promoting it. I'm doing a lot of press in the next few weeks. so we'll see what impact that has if any.

* What effect did your ex-wife have on your comedy?

* If you couldn't be a comedian, what career would you choose?

* What's the longest you've spent writing/refining a joke?

* What joke from your career are you most proud of?

* If you could legally kill a celebrity, who would it be? Or, if you could end a celebrities career, who would you pick?

* You are often quoted on this website on the Atheism page, how do you feel about that?

Thank you for doing this AMA. I bought your new special last night and it was fantastic.

asked by drumcowski

I really liked the duck vaginas joke. I really liked the being white is great stuff.

If I could legally kill a celebrity it would be your mother. FIrst I would invest a lot of time and money getting her a marketable entertainment skill and promoting her till she's famous, then I would hit her in the face with a pan that kills people when you hit them with it. SOrry. You asked. It just happened to be the truth.

I'm not an athiest. I think god is there and that he is watching and he made us. I just don't give a shit.

>I'm not an atheist.

This will come as a surprise to many.

asked by Brenner14

Well I don't "Believe in god" I have zero idea how everything got here. I would personally say that, if i had to make a list of possibles, god would be pretty far down. But if I were to make a list of people that know what the fuck they are talking about, I would be REALLY far down.


When I saw your catholic church skit I thought you were definitely atheist or agnostic.

asked by [Anonymous]

Wow you people really take shit seriously.

What would you be doing if you weren't a professional comedian?

asked by oldzealand

The last jobs I had were fixing cars and covering football games for a local access TV station. As in driving the mobile van to the field, setting up 3 cameras, teaching depressed grownups and interns how to use them and directing the game from the van and then wanting to kill myself.

Love your stuff Louie...I've been a longtime fan!

Many of your routines push the envelope. What is the craziest reaction someone has had to one of your more over the top jokes?

asked by tatjr13

Hmmm. Craziest reaction. I can't think of one! Such a good question and I'm blowing it. Sorry.

Hey Louis CK! I bought your latest special!

What is a topic that you as a comedian would never touch?

asked by ibitmytongue

There ain't one.

I know you might be reluctant to share this information, but how has the response to the Beacon Theater experiment been?

1) Has it sold as well as you hoped / Have you covered all of your expenses?

2) Have you seen the conversation at [The Pirate Bay]( (link to imgur, so as not to promote more piracy) about torrenting your performance? What are your thoughts?

3) What have you learned from this experience? What will you take away from it?

4) Would you consider trying something like this again?

Thanks for taking the internet community seriously.

asked by atcaskstrength

Im not going to say yet what it's making. It's so damn interesting though to be doing this. I feel like I have a front seat to a really cool... thing. I don't even know what it is.

I think it's really interesting that I brought the price so close to stealing and made the movie so easy to get and made it so clear that it's a human offering it that it sparked a debate about pirating.

To steal from someone and not feel bad, you either have to be a sociopath or view the act differently. One way is to remove "Someone" from the equation. You're not stealing from a person. Big companies do a lot to help people view them as less than human. I heard a speach by Noam Chomsky who said that corporations are like super humans. They cannot be hurt like a human can and they never die. They are not succeptible to scrutiny or accountability. This makes them more profitable. If companies want to enjoy these benifits to some degree they have to live with what else comes with being not human. You miss out on compassion, forgiveness, comraderie, empathy, trust all kinds of shit.

The other thing is I can only do this because I'm an individual and I can decide what my risks are that are acceptable and i can make my own goals for what is success. So I forwent (is that a word?) a lot of conventional routes and tried this. I am risking and there may be a celing to the success, but for me it's okay. I feel like as of this year, I make enough money as a standup my goal now is to bring the cost down for those who buy my stuff. i really mean that. It makes me much happier. Also I did see that there might be a tremendous upswing to this. I was really excited about this material and I though it would be really cool to just put it out there myself witha little electronic hat that only takes fives and just see what happens.

I don't know yet if I'll do it again. It hasn't run it's course. But I AM SO HAPPY I DID IT. Just so fun and it has been massively gratifying to share the positive of it with so many people who have written and expressed their feelings.

The day before I posted the video I went on pirate bay, which I had never visited and I read the guy's thign where he posts letters from media co's and artists and then his nasty and kind of hilariously chest beating responses. I thought "Jesus. This guy is a piece of work. I would NEVER tangle assholes with this guy." and then I thought about it. What do I say to these people? To hope they don't make me regret putting it out there naked like this? So I wrote that little "to torrent" letter, just being a guy saying "Dude. Please?" It's the best I can do. If it doesn't work, well.

So anyway, seeing the people who have fought about it on pirate bay and that there is a crisis of concious and everythign that's been written and to see that i've gotten paid. Just so interesting and hope-giving an dcool .

Do you have plans to release a physical DVD/Blu-ray copy? Many of us would be willing to pay a little bit extra to have it on our shelves.

asked by MirrorLake

I think I will do that, yes. But it will be totally self produced. For now, We are going to post a "cover" and DVD label that you can download and print. this will be available to everyone who has bought it, not just new buyers.

I might do a dvd and an audio cd down the line.

My first ever exposure to Louis C.K. was a friend's torrented copy of Chewed Up. I quickly followed up watching it with scouring youtube for clips.

I always check Louis' website for tour destinations before I travel anywhere.

I dropped $5 on the Beacon performance with zero hesitation.

I'm so very conflicted by the act of torrenting. It's taking control away from the legitimate right holder, but I genuinely believe the net effect *can* be positive. This isn't always the case though. If I had a crappy product or work of art, I'd be really worried about having it pirated.

asked by SparQy

it's an interesting question. I don't have a formed opinion. For me it's just something I'm trying to navigate in the present.

I'd be really curious to hear your final consensus on torrenting after this whole affair, especially because you have such a strong conflict of interest.

asked by iSmokeTheXS

Oh one other thing before I go. I did read what that uploader wrote and I will say it was funny to me because he seems or is acting like he's in terrible pain when he does it. He's having a crisis of concious and just... Oh man I'm so sorry but I have to do this!" but the crazy thing is, if it's at all bothering him, why is he doing it?? He's sharing it, not taking it.

Well, if you look at the page, it's because he's promoting his own stuff and using my project as an attractor. That's happening on youtube also. So I'm learning that SOME pirating is caused by people piggybacking their own product on another. Interesting.

As a Brit there's always been a bit of a culture gap between British and US comedy. What do you think of British comedy as opposed to US and which do you prefer?

asked by Azranas

It's been a while since I've seen any british standup. The difference as I've seen it in the past, is so intangible. It's really hard to describe. There's just a different set of cues, of moods and tones that are familiar to people in different countries.

One thing I have noticed, though is that some standups in other countries are influenced by what venues they are used to playing. Festivals are big over there. and galas, that kind of thing. So some times they get kind of loud. That's a generalization. because then theres guys like Dan Kitson, who just puts his soul out there. Goddamn that guys' funny. Hey thanks for reminding me. I have to put him on my show this year.

Also, an average memory?

asked by westonm2

I bought a stuffed elephant and then took the subway home.

Also, what was your least favorite memory?

asked by Vdra

Oh my god. You just ruined my life.

Probably pissing my pants at school, everyone pointing at the giant stain in the front of my pants and laughing. I mean EVERYONE. Jimmy Carter, Liza Minelli, Butros Butros Gali, the Pope before he was Pope AND the kids he fucked. They all laughed at me. then I had to walk home in the cold with pissed on pants and legs and I had red rashes all over the front of my lower body when I got home. The bath I took, though? mmmmm. that was good. I pissed in there too.


I relate so much to the character you play in Louie - how much of that is you?

asked by justincrazyeyes

Well it's me with poor judgement and worse luck.

Hi Louis, wanted to say thanks for making the world a funnier place. Been following your comedy for damn near 10 years now.

**I was wondering if you have any thoughts about your distant future as a comedian/person.** Do you think you'll be on stage til the day you die (a la Carlin), or have you imagined other paths for yourself? Best case scenario for the trajectory of your career? Worst-case?

Thanks for taking time to chat with us!

asked by yellowfish04

Well I hope I'm on stage for the rest of my life ala George Burns instead of Carlin, but yeah I'll never stop doing standup. Even if it's in little clubs . The rest of it, I'll take what I can get.

Just so you all know, I'm getting a "status 504 error code with some of these answers. some of them say 'Submitting" for a long time. So i dont' know...

What is your weirdest sexual fantasy

asked by Diablo_

Licking your mom on the back of her head. Like all her hair and shit on my tongue. Oh man. I just bummed myself out so badly.

What is your favorite stand up performance of all time?

asked by humblerodent

Richard Pryor live in concert. George Carlin (the one at the beacon that he did where he opened with an abortion joke)

Eddie Murphy delirious. Bill Cosby HImself.

Hey Louie, I love your show and all your comedy. I remember this time last year I was sitting at home playing a random snowboarding video game and listening to youtube clips of your comedy Every single day of xmas break. Thanks for all the laughs man.

**Question:** How do you view your relationship with the audience? You see them almost more than you see your friends or family. Are they like coworkers to you or short-term friends or what?

asked by iSmokeTheXS

I'm really grateful that they come to the show and I want to far, far exceed their expectation of a good time.

When I'm on stage though, Im just doing my thing. and they are there and we're together. It's fun.

What is the most aggressive a fan has gotten after a show? Do you get many complaints after your shows?

Also what percentage of your time do you spend doing stand-up and what percentage do you go on tv, movies etc?

Who is your favourite modern day comedian?

Do you have a joke ready when people on the street ask you to say something funny?

Can you write something funny? JK

Cheers, I love you. (are you planning any trips to New Zealand?)

asked by akacheese

I have been told that people walked out of my show in a huff or somber disgust, but I never witnessed it much or had anyone come up to me. I get emails sometimes from people offended by stuff. An interesting pattern is that when I did the video about the catholic church fucking boys I got a lot of Christians writing me angry emails. They all would follow the same pattern. "How can you say such things about the lord" and then "You are a fucking sick disgusting piece of shit" and then "If i ever see you in person I'm going to bash your fucking scull in" and then something else violet that is like a weird physical threat that I never heard before. So... there's that.

Has any black person ever took offence to your use of the word ''nigger''?

asked by RZARECTOR

Not that I have been told or seen but a whole lot of white people get mad.

It seems like the rise of your success coincides with the deterioration of your private life. Do you fear that a relationship would jinx your career at this point?

asked by Toberoni

I don't know how to break this to you but "jinx" isn't a real thing. You don't owe that kid a coke. You'll be fine.

It seems like the rise of your success coincides with the deterioration of your private life. Do you fear that a relationship would jinx your career at this point?

asked by Toberoni

I don't know how to break this to you but "jinx" isn't a real thing. You don't owe that kid a coke. You'll be fine.

How much have you pulled in so far from the $5 sale?

asked by IHaveScrollLockOn

5 dollars. Seriously. Only one guy bought it. Pretty suprising, right?

What, would you say, is your most offensive joke?

asked by netdude12

Um.... tryin'a think. I'll come back later. What do you think?

I mean, if my dad was Louis C.K., he'd get a pass.

asked by bradyroberts

I spend a lot of time with my kids and I raise them for half their lives and I love them very much. I am a pretty patient dad. They have seena few family friendly bits and they laughed like hell because they know i'm not like that. they get the humor in heightened anger over little things.

If I were a distant or awful dad, then my act would be their nightmare.

I was wondering the same thing about the kid from his daughter's class that he expressed his hatred for. Parent teacher conferences must be so fun for you Louie!

Edit: Damn, it was fictional. Picturing him grabbing that child while shaking with rage was my favorite part of the bit. Unless he just thinks I'm that kid's dad looking to whoop some ass.

asked by KennyFuckingPowers

That kid is very fictional. We have a pretty great community at the school... yeah.

Was the DRM-free something that you thought of yourself or was it pushed on you by managers/producers/fans?

asked by baykid27

I thought of it on my own. My initial idea was to offer it to an existing service online. I told them that it would be cool if the special was totally exclusive to them instead of the usual thing where it gets wheeled like a racehorse. You see every special on itunes, netflix, hulu, vimvam whatever. So i said let's put this special on just one service like when there used to be "HBO specials"

Anyway then I thought, fuck it. I'm doing it. and as long as I'm doing it, I'm going to make it dirt cheap and really easy to use. I'll pay for it out of the ticket money from the show (was a little more) and just try this. It'll be fun.

And it is.

Can you tell us about some of your breakout moments as a comic, particularly early in your career? I know you've talked about how much being hired on Conan helped turn your career around. What were some of your earlier successes that helped boost your confidence in your career?

asked by solisj

When I first got into the Sundance Film Festival. i had a short film and it got accepted. That phonecall was... they can't take that one away from me.. that shit was good.

In *your* mind what does a bag of dicks look like: A paper bag of baguettes or mushed together like chicken parts?

asked by LastInitial

It's actually more of a conceptual "bag" like "what's your bag" or maybe it's like a duffel bag, like the one david banner slings over his shoulder after his hulk self makes him leave town yet again. Poor guy. has to carry around that smelly, rotting bag full of dicks, that the hulk rips off of people's bodies.

Astronaut Chris Hadfield - Before flying to the ISS

Hello Reddit!

[Here]( is an introductory video to what I hope will be a great AMA.

My name is [Chris Hadfield](, and I am an astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency and Commander of the upcoming mission to the International Space Station. We will be launching at 6:12 p.m. Kazakh time on December 19th. You can watch it online [here]( if you're so inclined.

I'm looking forward to all the questions. I will be in class doing launch prep. for the next hour, but thought I would start the thread early so people can get their questions in before the official 11:00 EST launch.

Here are links to [more information about Expedition 35](, my [twitter]( and my [facebook]( I try to keep up to date with all comments and questions that go through the social media sites, so if I can't get to your question here, please don't hesitate to post it there.

Ask away!

What are you bringing with you?

asked by ColChrisHadfield

The Soyuz is very small and the weight balance affects how it flies, so we are very restricted in what we can bring. I thus chose small items for my family and close friends: a new wedding ring for my wife, commemorative jewellery, a watch for my daughter (I flew a watch each for my sons on previous flights), a full family photo for my Mom and Dad, and some mission emblem guitar picks.

What language do you speak?

I grew up speaking English, learned some German in high school which I unfortunately mostly forgotten, and since studied and learned French and Russian. On station English and Russian are the standard languages, and all astronauts are trained in both.

What does launch feel like?

Launch is immensely powerful, and you can truly feel yourself in the centre of it, like riding an enormous wave, or being pushed and lifted by a huge hand, or shaken in the jaws of a gigantic dog. The vehicle shakes and vibrates, and you are pinned hard down into your seat by the acceleration. As one set of engines finishes and the next starts, you are thrown forward and then shoved back. The weight of over 4 Gs for many minutes is oppressive, like an enormous fat person lying on you, until suddenly, after 9 minutes, the engine shut off and you are instantly weightless. Magic. Like a gorilla was squishing you and then threw you off a cliff. Quite a ride :)

Has any astronaut ever passed out during take off? Did someone have to wake them up or did they wake up on their own?

asked by perezidentt

No. The reason is that the blood doesn't drain to your feet. You're lying on your back so you don't black out.

That's awesome. Is there a sudden change from light to darkness or does it happen gradually?

asked by TottenhamHotspur

It takes about 15 seconds from being in the sun to being in complete dark. It is like sunset happening completely in 15 seconds.

Has anone ever shit themselves?

asked by lethargicwalrus

Ha! No. We're not beginners, and we're not unprepared. We train for years so that we're ready to do our job properly.

Won't you be lonely?

In the centre of every big city in the world, surrounded by noise and teeming millions of people, are lonely people. Loneliness is not so much where you are, but instead is your state of mind. On Station with the world in our window, people on the radio, family just a phone call away, and other crew members to chat with, plus a full plate of experiments and work to do, loneliness is no more of a problem than it is everywhere else.


Our Space Station toilet looks like a camping toilet, and uses airflow in place of gravity. When waste comes out of the body, either solid or liquid, it is pulled into the toilet by airflow. The urine is mixed with other waste water (humidity, water samples, etc) and purified back into drinking water. The solid waste is collected in a small sewage tank and put into an unmanned resupply ship, that is then jettisoned and burns up in the upper atmosphere. For a good summary, watch

How's the food?

Space food is fine, tasty, and of good variety. It's limited to food that has a long shelf life, with no refrigeration and no microwave, so it's a lot like camping food or Army rations. The majority of it is dehydrated, so we add cold or hot water to it, like Ramen noodles or instant soup or powdered drinks. But we have a mixture of Russian and American foods, plus specialty items from Canada, Europe and Japan, so we eat well, and also use dinner as a good time to get together and talk, relax, and be human.

Tell us about some of your favorite space foods!

asked by douring

Shrimp cocktail. Because the horseradish sauce has a really strong, sharp flavour that survives rehydration.

What country has the best all around food in your opinion?

asked by perezidentt

I think I like Russian space food the best. It has the most natural flavour and it is more like the comfort food that I grew up with.

Do you have poutine or some substitute?

asked by ironappleseed


I wish we could! I love poutine, especially on a cold day. But it doesn't keep nor travel well, and definitely isn't suitable for freeze-drying :)

What's one of the Canadian specialty items? Kraft Dinner?

asked by the5nowman

Maple syrup, maple cookies, buffalo cranberry jerky, blueberry bars, chocolate, Holy Crap cereal, specialty honey ... lots!

Sex in space

People have sex on Earth all the time. It is a normal, basic human function and fundamental desire, necessary for the propagation of our species. It is also steeped in cultural and personal significance, and thus gets extra attention. There will, of course, be sex in space, just like everywhere else, but for a small crew, the subdividing emotional attachment that goes along with it could be very harmful. We also have had very limited hygiene and privacy to this point. With bigger and bigger crews and spaceships, however, it will become a natural part of human existence in space, just like on Earth.

What do you miss the most?

I miss a hot shower, fresh food, the smells and variety of Earth, and direct human contact.

What do you have to do to become an astronaut?

Astronaut selection requires 3 fundamental tenets: health, brains, and experience. You have to be able to pass the toughest medical in the world to be a Space Station astronaut, so stay in shape and eat right. You have to demonstrate the ability to learn complex things, so an advanced technical university degree is needed. And you have to demonstrate good decision-making when the consequences really matter, so important to have work experience such as a medical doctor, or test pilot, or saturation diver. That will whittle the selection group down to several hundred - after that other skills matter: languages, flying experience, diving experience, personality, attitude, how you present yourself. And above all, a driving, fundamental desire to be an astronaut is required, to successfully endure the life demands of the job.

Why spend money in space when people are hungry on Earth?

In all societies, we need to balance how we spend our money. The vast majority needs to be on human health and services. A portion also needs to go to education. In addition, some needs to be for research and exploration. It is vital that we take care of our people, educate our young, and develop opportunities for the future. If we don't challenge our citizens with demanding ideas and possibilities, they will either go elsewhere which is a loss, or not realize their potential, which is a tragedy. The key is to decide what is the right balance of budget, and when you look at the actual figures, I think the Space Agencies of the world get it about right. I know in Canada we work very hard with the money we are given to do as well for our country as we can - developing useful products, better understanding the world and human health, and inspiring our next generation.

Are you scared?

Fear comes from being unprepared when facing the unknown. Being thrust into an unexpected situation and not knowing what to do makes everyone uncomfortable, and thus we fear it, especially if it can embarrass or kill us. As astronauts, we avoid this by working for years to understand the unknown, and decide in advance what we will do. That's why we study so much, and why we live and work in simulators. Often the 1st time you try something hard you are nervous, but the 50th time it feels normal. We try and make everything that might happen during a spaceflight feel just like that. So it's not that we're extra-brave - we're just extra-prepared.


No astronaut has ever seen an alien, despite what popular media would like you to believe, though we are, of course actively looking; it's one of the basic purposes of exploration. As we speak, the Mars rovers are hunting for signs of life on our nearest neighbour. I'd love to help discover life somewhere besides Earth, but it's important to keep perspective and reason: while everyone often sees things they don't understand, to immediately label them 'UFOs' and conclude that they have to be alien life is just wishful thinking and a bit silly. Don't confuse entertainment and lack of understanding with fact.

Did spaceflight change religious view?

No one gets to be an astronaut without a strong personal conviction that gives them strength and confidence. No matter what religion or creed they believe in, all astronauts have something fundamental within themselves that they can draw upon. The actual experience of space travel in fact deepens this, reinforces it, and accentuates the awe and wonder that are at the base of it.

I think what you're saying is that the sheer experience and beauty of seeing Earth from a rare viewpoint reaffirms whatever you believe in. An atheist or theist alike would still have newfound the wonder of nature and the universe, just getting a scale of how large it all is and how insignificant all of our petty day to day problems are. If you associate that with a god, then your convictions and faith to that god would understandably be reinforced.

asked by megacookie

Precisely. Regardless of what they believe beforehand, I find spaceflight enhances a person's views, as opposed to greatly changing them.

Can you misplace stuff on the ISS, or does the fact that nothing can be dropped minimize that?

I imagine astronauts tend not to be absent minded, but I lose guitar picks all the time. There would a filter somewhere covered in guitar picks if i went to space...

asked by insubordin8nchurlish

When things don't stay on the table or fall to the floor, you lose them ALL the time! So we use Velcro a lot, on almost everything.

How bright are the lights on Earth when you are in orbit at night? How does it compare to the stars we see on the surface of Earth?

asked by rv49er

Yes, It looks like stars from the surface of the earth, but not nearly as bright as the moon. The brightest things are lightning storms. You can see lightning storms at night for thousands of kilometers. Regular lights just look like stars from the earth. Big cities stand out as one big local glow.

This is an excellent question. Nobody ever asks this.

How do you properly trim your mustache on a mission?

asked by [deleted]

I'll trim my mustache with scissors and a vacuum cleaner.

Do you consider yourself a science fiction fan? If yes, what material in particular?

asked by blub__blub

Yes, I am a science fiction fan. I grew up as a science fiction fan. I like Arthur C. Clarke, Issac Asimov, Robert Heinlein. I like Edgar Rice Burroughs, Star Trek.

That said, nowadays I prefer science fact.

What is it like to sleep in a weightless environment?

I know you are essentially strapped in but does it still feel like you are floating?

Does that make it easier or more difficult to sleep?

asked by HitByShortbus

Sleeping with no gravity is wonderful - you can relax EVERY muscle, you don't need to roll over, you don't need a pillow - VERY comfortable!

What does it feel like to go from being weightless for months, back to your normal weight on earth? Must seem incredibly weird...

asked by dibshi

It feels so ... unfair! Even your ARM is heavy. It takes about 1 day on Earth for every day in space to readapt.

Can you reddit from space? How? If so, what are the speeds like?

asked by newmexico

I'm not sure, our connection is intermittent and slow, but if I can do an in-space AMA, I will!

How is preparing for a Soyuz flight different to the preparations you had to go through for Space Shuttle missions?

Also, how can you best describe the feeling of looking down on Earth from orbit for the first time?

asked by totheredditmobile

> How is preparing for a Soyuz flight different to the preparations you had to go through for Space Shuttle missions?

A shuttle mission is an end in itself. It is limited by the amount of time a shuttle can stay up (about 2 1/2 weeks). A Soyuz flight is going somewhere, and staying there for half a year. A Soyuz flight is part of a long mission. A shuttle flight is a mission to itself.

To further that, the Shuttle is far more complicated than the Soyuz. As well, as a Canadian I can be a Soyuz pilot, but could not be a Shuttle pilot. Soyuz parallel parks better, too.

Commander Hadfield,

My question does not involve space, but your history as a test pilot.

I heard when you were a military test pilot you were the one who invented the maneuver to get out of a death spiral/spin in a fighter jet. I have a few questions about this.

* Was it all done in a simulator? did you ever get a chance to try it in a real jet?

* Has anyone ever had to use your maneuver in real life? And if so did you ever get a chance to speak to those pilots?

In closing Id just like to say you are a true Canadian hero and an inspirational bad ass.

asked by brazilliandanny

>Was it all done in a simulator? did you ever get a chance to try it in a real jet?

Yes, I did. Simulators all have serious limitations. Our test program was initially approved in a simulator, but all the real testing was done in flight in f-18's. We rewrote the procedures for out of control flight recovery. In the test program, we put the jet out of control around 120 times. However, I have only accidentally had an F-18 in an out of control spin once, and the recovery procedures worked (during a practice dog fight).

Col. Hadfield, thanks for doing this IAMA. I wish you the best of luck in your upcoming launch.

As for my question -- I have heard that space has an odd scent/"taste", very similar to a type of metallic. Is this true? If so, is it a nauseating scent?

Again, thank you and best of luck!

asked by [Anonymous]

When we come in from a spacewalk the airlock has a distinct smell, like gunpowder or ozone - that is the smell of space.

Hello Mr.Hadfield,

We are a grade 6 class from Saskatchewan Canada and we are studying space. Our class was excited to hear that you were going to be answering questions about anything! Our class got together and thought of some questions that we would really like to know.

How does your body feel after being in space for 6 months?

Are you excited to meet the ISS robot: Humanoid Kino Bot in 2013?

What did your family and friends think about your dream of becoming an astronaut?

What does space foot taste like? Is it good?

How does your family feel about you going back into space?

How did it feel when your saw earth from space for the first time?

What does zero gravity feel like?

How long do you have to go to school to become an astronaut?

Were you nervous for the first time you went to space?

Thank you for your time,

We really hope that your flight on Wednesday December 19th, 2012 is both safe and successful. We are very excited for you, a Canadian, to run the international space station. Good luck, we will be watching 

asked by room6b

>How does your body feel after being in space for 6 months?

Adapted. You feel like a spaceling. You feel completely normal, and don't even remember that you're flying. There is no up or down. You are really no longer an earthling, but a spaceling.

>Are you excited to meet the ISS robot: Humanoid Kino Bot in 2013?

I know of Robonaut on board, but I'm more excited to see Canadarm 2 again. It is a much more capable robot.

>How did it feel when your saw earth from space for the first time?

It feels like someone's revealing a secret to you. Like you're getting to see something magic for the first time. It feels like an honour. Like a huge privilege.

How does the humanoid robot move around the station i can find any information on that.

asked by [deleted]

Robonaut works in a fixed location inside ISS. We put it in place. There are plans to bring up legs for it, and eventually it will be able to move on it own, but it's still in early testing and certification.

Hey Commander Hadfield! Awefully great of you, taking time to answer questions and everything!

I was wondering, what place on earth reminds you the most of space?

asked by LunarLobster

Being underwater, especially when I lived on the ocean's floor for a few weeks.

Okay so that sounds awesome. What were you doing that for?

asked by kelsifer

[NEEMO 14](, in an underwater lab.

Hello Commander! thank you for doing this!

- On a high level, how does what you experience with the Canadian Space program differ from what most astronauts experience with the US one?

- What should Canada be doing with its space program going forward?

- Any good restaurants in Kazakhstan that you can recommend?

- Favourite place to travel to that doesn't start with an "S" and end with "pace"?

- Being from Sarnia do you cheer for the Leafs, the Red Wings, or someone else?

- I see in your past you have been a test pilot - Favourite aircraft to fly?

EDIT: spelling

asked by SoHoNoVo

The big difference is that the US has launched vehicles. Americans fly in their own space ships. Canada has never had human launch vehicles, and we have always flown in other countries' vehicles. It is sort of a space between ownership and being a guest.

Doing what it is doing. I think we're doing the right thing right now. We are looking at Canada's needs and cooperation internationally, making sure that Canada is involved in everything from the Hubble telescope to studying pollution in the atmosphere to being on Mars to commanding the space station.

The Leafs.

I imagine that your job is pretty high-stress, what do you do at home to relax and unwind? Hobbies?

asked by pizzak

I try and manage my stress at work, not at home. I think that's an important thing to note. Stress normally occurs when you can't solve a perpetual problem or you can't get comfortable with a certain idea. When you can't control your own destiny. I try not to let myself be that way. I try to truly accept the things I cannot change.

I like to show up at home not stressed. But to answer more directly, I run, I play guitar, I go for walks.

What does zero gravity feel like?

asked by Onikouzou

Like magic, like a genie touched your head and said "Fly!"

what do you tell people who believe that the moon landings are all faked? Thanks for doing this by the way!

asked by NDN_perspective

They should look at the photos of the tracks and Lunar Landers sitting on the Moon :)

Hey Chris! Congrats on becoming the first Canadian to command the ISS. As a fellow Canadian I gotta know, what's in store for the future of the Canadian space program? Is there any point hoping for a Canadian shuttle or moon landing in my lifetime, or should we just keep on bragging about the Arm? Thanks for doing the AMA and good luck on your mission!

asked by VolatileChemical

Building your own human launch vehicle is extremely expensive. It makes more economic sense to cooperate internationally with people who've already developed that capacity.

When you're talking to other astronauts on the space station, do you all orient yourselves so that your heads are all "upright" respective to each other, or do you all grow so comfortable with the lack of gravity that you're able to talk at odds to each other's perspective?

EDIT: Canadian from Toronto, wanted to add we're all proud of you. We might not have a manned-launch under our belts as you mentioned earlier, but we contribute enormously to international efforts in near-Earth orbit and beyond. Thank you!

asked by Ferr37

Having a conversation in weightlessness is like chatting in a swimming pool. Your sort of drift around, and don't always look at each other. But when you want to say something important, or be clearly understood, you need to get your heads lined up and make eye contact.

Maybe also like a conversation in bed.

Hello Commander Hadfield! First off thanks for doing this AMA and if possible the AMA from **space**, just 2 questions for you:

1. what is the best part of being/living on the International Space Station?

2. When you come back form prolonged stays in space what is the first thing you want to eat?

(Also if your space AMA does happen I think all of Reddit is expecting a super awesome verification photo.)

asked by ken27238

The best part is being weightless forever. It is like magic. It is like having a superpower where you can fly. You can fly forever.

Thank you for being an envoy of all mankind (UN Outer Space Treaty). What's the strangest thing you've seen up there?

asked by workacct20910

A huge meteorite burn up between me and Australia.

How big a threat are micrometeorites to the ISS and how do you deal with them?

asked by exitpursuedbybear

We get peppered by micrometeorites all the time, but the Station has armour. It won't stop a big one, but we have emergency response prodecedures if we get a puncture.

Hi Commander! Thanks for answering our ridiculous questions! Just a real simple question for you...

What does the space station smell like to you? Does it smell like a wet laundry room with a strong copper overtone, or an automobile shop?


asked by doozerpm

The Station has no distinctive smell - it is clean and well-maintained, like being inside an airliner, maybe.

Hows your day been so far?

asked by MrGeck0

My day has been fine. We did a media tour of Quarantine here in Baikonur (they were all wearing masks so we wouldn't catch their colds), I exercised, I studied, I did emails, and now I'm doing an AMA. I also ate well - the food in Quarantine is good!

What is your educational background?

asked by Mitrix

I have an BEng, an Masters in Aviation Systems, and graduated from Test Pilot School.

What do you actually do? It seems like whenever people picture astronaughts, they just picture a bunch of people hanging out in space.

asked by whatsamathinkyjig

The Space Station has 130 experiments running simo, from studying the human heart to collecting dark matter from the universe to measuring the health of Earth's atmosphere. We run the experiments, and the building, and fix everything that breaks.

What do you *hate* about being in space? What's the worst part?

asked by Salacious-

I don't hate anything about it. The worst part at first is motion sickness, then later that you can never have a good shower. You can't properly clean your body like you can on earth. You can only just have a sponge bath.

Follow up: has being in space made you hate anything about Earth?

asked by pecamash

No. But being in space makes me feel like I need to take batter care of the Earth. To be a good steward and advocate. To pick up trash when I see it, to notice the beauty that surrounds me, to recognize what's precious.

I try not to hate anything - it's rarely a motivator to do something good.

What kinds of new space technology are you most excited about, either stuff that's been made, or stuff that is in the works?

asked by whidzee

What excites me most in space technology is ... propulsion. We are very limited in what we have now, and to go to Mars or further we will likely need something better. The VASIMIR engine, the ion drive engines, much more efficient solar power, these all help point the way to the future.

Ever see anything weird up there? Aurora Borealis from space? Glowing atmosphere? The tops of lightning storms? Space debris, etc?

asked by Patches67

During my first spacewalk I was riding on Canadarm2 as the Space Station was coming across the Indian Ocean in the dark, at 8 km/sec. I shut off my spacesuit lights to let my eyes adjust, so I could see the lights of Australia.

But instead, I saw ... the Southern Lights. Thousands of miles of greens and reds, yellow and orange curtains billowing and flowing with light, pouring up out of the Earth under my feet. I couldn't believe it.

Could this really be the Earth I knew? How could this always be happening and I had never known it?

It gave be a new-found wonder at our ignorance, and really showed me our planet as a ball going around a star, just another planet, but an immensely beautiful one. Made me love our Earth even more.

How well does the giant swimming pool (NBL) simulate weighlessness? Can I just skip Zero G?

asked by rv49er

Pretty well. The advantages are full-size, tools and equipment being just right. The disadvantages are that there is drag in the water, and your blood rushes to your head when you're upside down.

Is there available exercise opportunity on the space station? The effect of long-duration time periods in microgravity must have an impact on your body when you return to Earth. I once saw a picture of a treadmill that straps you into it with resistance bands, does that still exist on the space station? Do you or other astronauts suffer from orthostatic intolerance, muscle wasting, bone mineral density loss once returning to earth? Is there a specific amount of pre-flight exercise training to boost your fitness to combat any potential loss of muscle? Thanks, and good luck!

asked by Cinnamon_J_Scudworth

We have the ARED - Advanced Resistive Exercise Device - like a big squat machine, and work out 2 hours per day. With that, we have largely beaten osteoporosis.

What games do you play while in space?

I suppose playing poker doesnt require a table

asked by drcuetogomez

I invented a form of darts - with a heavy metal knob that had a velcro sticker on it, a long zip-tie as the haft, and a handkerchief parachute to slow it down, all duct-taped together. I aimed at Vecro on the walls, threw it slow and straight - worked great!

White Oaks Secondary School represent! Thanks for doing this!

asked by dasMBull

Go WOSS! I am a proud graduate.

Commander, how would you feel Hollywood has portrayed space travel? Specifically along the lines of "Apollo 13" and "Armageddon".....?

asked by Turdbol

Apollo 13 was a great film. I thought it was well told and was quite accurate.

Armageddon on the other hand...

I am an aeronautics engineering student and I am on my last year before getting my degree. Going to space has been a gear dream of mine for as since I can remember and that is how I aim to make that dream come true. I hope I can get in the ESA (Since I'm European) and make that dream come true.

People like you and those who went in the space before you inspired me. People who are pushing the limits of the human race. People who make the human race better as a whole. The contribution of s the effort to explore space has been immeasurable and I hope to be part of it.

My question has to do with the dangers of such an operation. The way I see it going to space can be the most dangerous thing a man can do. But at the same time the most rewarding. So what in your opinion is greatest danger out there and what ways are there in your opinion to avoid them.

Good luck and be safe out there.

asked by Stojas

Worthwhile things often involve risk. The secret is to balance risk vs reward. I am NOT a thrill-seeker. I take calculated risks to do things that I deem worthwhile. Like being strapped into a Soyuz rocket in 6 days.

What's it like playing Guitar in space?

asked by Armonasch

The Space Station is noisy, as the fans and pumps have to move the air to keep us alive. So it sounds like playing in the back of a bus.

The best part is that the guitar floats in front of you. You don't need a strap!

You have to relearn how to bar chord, as without weight, your arm goes too far, and you overshoot.

What would you say to a young woman in high school that loves science? Any words of advice/wisdom?

asked by Florida_ICU_RN

Study what you love, and learn it as well as you possibly can - pursue your passions.

I was just thinking, once you have been to space... What else can you do in life that can even come close to such an achievement or be so fulfilling?

asked by Dibzy

Interesting question, one of perspective. I find every day fulfilling. I work hard at what I'm doing, I do it as well as I can, and I find satisfaction in every small thing.

It is not like my life is compromised so that I can fly in space. I love each part of each day, AND I fly in space.

I think it's largely how you look at it.

Did you have to undergo severe G force training?

asked by it_takes_one

Yes - I flew the world's largest centrifuge in Star City, Russia, to practice manually flying the Soyuz home through the atmosphere. It can get to >20G, but we only go up to 8.

What watch do you wear in space? I know the Omega Speedmaster has popularity because it's been worn in space, on the moon, etc.

Curious what astronauts are wearing these days.

asked by [deleted]

I bought an Omega Speedmaster, very useful for spaceflight.

How hard was calculus for you in the university?

asked by GullibleBee

I find theoretical math hard, but also useful. It's like using a complex machine to do something you couldn't do any other way, like a backhoe or a fly rod. Once you see the purpose of it and learn how it works, though, it gets easier. It just takes dogged work and repetition to figure it out. Also true for spaceships.

If you could bring one famous person into space with you, who would it be?

One non-famous person?

asked by Afraid_of_Heights

Assuming I already had a competent crew, so that I wasn't counting on this person to operate the vehicle and keep us alive, I would bring an extremely talented artist. One who could capture the experience in a way it had never been captured before.

That may be a songwriter (such as Stan Rogers, if he were still alive) who could put a profession -- a way of life -- into perspective.

How do you scratch your nose when you're wearing one of those space-suits?

asked by Capitan_Amazing

We have a squishy thing inside we jam our nose into while we clear our ears - we scratch our nose on that.

Have you ever gone into the shadow of the ISS or another space ship while on a space walk? If so what was it like? Is it total darkness?

Edit: Thanks for the response! And good luck up there! I'll watch you every night you pass over Chicago!

asked by chrherr

When in space, if you look away from the Sun, it is total darkness. It's because there is no air to reflect and refract the light around you.

You can even take a picture looking at the Sun. The bright Sun will be blown out in the image, but space around it will be black.

The only light becomes the glow of the Earth and starlight. Very cool.

What was your favorite subject in school and why?

asked by labtec901

My favorite subject in school was English. I love the exquisite power of language, especially when well-used. It can sometimes turn our random thoughts and mental images into poetry and lyrics and speeches that truly communicate and inspire.


asked by [deleted]

I am bringing books, mostly as gifts for my crewmates. Ebooks are nice, but it's also nice to hold a book in your hands. I brought humour books (Dave Barry) and classics (Conan Doyle), and my wife has packed books for me as a surprise. I hope :)

Do you think we will go to Mars (manned missions) anytime in your lifetime?

asked by obiegeo

I sure hope we go to Mars in my lifetime. We have satellites orbiting it, rovers driving around and sampling it, and are learning on the Space Station how to build spaceships that we could trust to go that far.

One small step at a time, it's amazing how far you can go.

30 years ago, who'd have thought I'd been commanding a spaceship?

Two questions.

What does "space" sound like?

Have you had any unexplainable happenings while in space? Eg- UFO

asked by SuperProducer

Space is absolutely silent. With no air to transmit sound waves, there can be no noise.

So when you're out on a spacewalk, all you hear are radio transmissions and your own breathing.

Hello Commander Hadfield.

Would you ever consider putting a Geocache on the space station for the next astronauts to pick up and sign?

What is your favourite song, or is there one that inspires you in what you do?

What is your greatest acheivement?

What is your favourite film? I know questions like this are generally frowned upon but I'd like to know a bit about Commander Hadfield on a personal level.

What's the coolest gadget on the ISS?

Thank you for taking the time to do this AMA and good luck on your endeavours.

I'm really looking forward to pointing at the ISS with my nieces and nephew and saying I've had contact with one of the people on there. I am very keen to get them into science and you could just be the man that gets the curiosity started. Thank you

asked by matthewbowers88

The coolest gadget on ISS the the AMS - collecting dark matter and high-energy particles to try and figure out what the universe is made of.

If you were President, what would your plan for NASA be?

Do you think NASA will ever be able to accomplish a long term space plan when the Presidency changes hands every 4/8 years with each new President trying to put their touch on NASA's accomplishments?

What recommendations do you have for someone trying to get a job at NASA? (not necessarily as an astronaut)

asked by Lthingtor

Yes. It is easy to despair, but it is better to look at history. It has never been easy to organize a major project. But we've done it anyway, and there are lots of examples. The Space Station *is* a long term space project, the Mars rovers, Voyager, Messenger orbiting Mercury. All of those, plus the hundreds of satellites orbiting Earth -- those are all part of the long-term space plan. It's not perfect, but we're making it work anyway.

Do you believe in extraterrestrial life? What are some things you have seen or felt in space that you cannot logically explain? What is your biggest fear once your safely out of earths atmosphere (no counting re-entry of course)

asked by scoutfarmer

I believe that in the vastness of space there is a likelihood of alien life. However, there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that any creatures more advanced than man have ever been to earth.

What are your thoughts on potentially every country coming together and making an Earth space program so that we could refine our priorities and hopefully go bigger, better and further in space?

asked by moanymorris

International cooperation is difficult, especially with finance and risk, but the ISS is a shining example of success in that area. I think we are doing what you suggest.

What was the most exciting thing you saw while going out there?

Had you been inclined to being an astronaut prior to going out for training?

Do you enjoy your job?

asked by Aaaidn

I've been working towards being an astronaut since I was a nine year old boy watching man land on the moon.

I love my job, and get a tremendous satisfaction from doing it.

I've been following you for years, been a fan of the space program as long as I can remember. I still remember being at a birthday party and having the movie turned off so the adults could see the news of the Challenger disaster.

As a fellow Canadian I'd like to say I'm proud of you and think you are incredible. Thank you!

asked by kanehbosm


Favorite part about your job, go!

asked by Ballcoozi

The great people I work with, pushing themselves and me to the limits of what we can do with our lives.

Is shaving difficult in orbit?

asked by Anonymous_Mononymous

Shaving is similar, though you can't rinse your razor, so we use them up faster. We use disposables.

Will you be celebrating Christmas up there?

asked by KKN50

Since we are an international crew, we chose which annual holidays to celebrate. We agreed on 25 Dec Christmas, January Orthodox Christmas, and New Years, so we'll celebrate all three!

With the retirement of the shuttle progam, how can NASA (and the space program in general) remain relevant to the US populace?

asked by d-nj

The shuttle program was only one of many NASA programs. It was a way to get to space and back, and the purpose of spaceflight is not to launch and land. It is what you do when you get there. With all of the unmanned vehicles, and with the space station that we've built, the relevance for the populace is huge and permeable. As well, the US is working on building follow on vehicles.

Hello Chris, look like you found a good way to dodge the Canadian winter! Godspeed up there, we're all behind you here at the J.H.C. Space Center.

asked by Beliaal

I've been in Russia and Kazakhstan for months - I dodged nothing :)

Do you ever have the 'John Glenn' feeling when you are sitting on top of a giant rocket built by the lowest bidder?

asked by thegreatgazoo

Part of the job of being an astronaut is trust in others - I have no choice, and it has worked for me so far.

So I see that your username consists of, not only your name, but also "Col"

If I shouldn't be all too wrong, and my gaming ranks are right, "Col" stands for Colonel.

Is there a reason for you to write it in your name? Do astronauts get rankings concerning their order of command? Does the "Col" stand for something else? Or is it simply to fill out some space?

asked by DevaKitty

I served Canada for 25 years in the Air Force, and was eventually promoted to the rank of Colonel.

Are you really Canadian?

asked by Reauboat

I am a true Canadian, yes, born, raised, Leafs fan, Tim Horton's maple dip lover, have lived in 6 provinces and visited them all, Rick Mercer advocate, speak 3 languages including French and English, know all the Stan Rogers tunes by heart and feel great pride in our home and native land. Thanks for asking.

Jón Gnarr, Mayor of Reykjavík

Anarchist, atheist and a clown (according to a comment on a blog site).

I have been mayor for 910 days and 50 minutes.

I have tweeted my verification (@Jon_Gnarr).

Do you want Iceland to join the European Union? Why?

asked by krattr

I have no opinion and I think the importance of it is hugely overrated.

What's the weirdest thing you've ever done in office? Like actually in your office.

asked by FueledByTesla

Undressed after being in drag on Gay Pride. Taking a shower only to find out the shower didn't work. And sometimes I like to go out on the balcony when the pond is frozen and some children are playing on the ice and yell: "This is private property! Go away or I'm calling the police!"


How did you come up with the best party?

asked by bahookie

How could I not have come up with it?

Who is your favourite comedian?

asked by Betsku

Standup: Bill Hicks.

Comedian: Karl Pilkington.

How many languages do you speak?

asked by txurri746

Barely one.

Is it true that a mad man once ran after you with a hammer in a grocery store and everyone thought you were joking ?

Can we get a back story ?

asked by aronatom

Yes, that's true. It really was a sledgehammer.

What advice do you have for other world leaders?

asked by TheJoePilato

Be yourself. Don't be evil. Show a little empathy.

Biggest life regret?

asked by dabbistify

I wish I had been able to finish school and work as a neuroscientist today.

In Austin TX USA we also had Anarchists running for city council. Do you agree that you can still philosophically be an anarchist while working inside the system to try and improve things now?

asked by black-sun-rising

Yes, I still consider myself to be an anarchist. Or libertarian socialist like Chomsky calls it. For me it's first and most a job. I am not an anarchist because it's the perfect political theory. I am an anarchist because there is no such thing as the perfect political theory. What has affected my anarchistic ideas most is the internet. And maybe there will rise a new idea of neo anarchism and I think and I hope that some sort of anarconomy will be the economic system of the future.

Halló minn kæri borgarstjóri :) The Best Party seems to be going to compete for the general Alþingi elections next spring: do you see your future on a larger scale, i.e., would you ever consider to run for Prime Minister? Also, what kind of political platform do you think would work best for the coming elections?

asked by ranmaraffo

I have been thinking a lot about this. I actually think I would be a good prime minister, but of course it all depends on the platform.

Hi Jón!

My Secret santa just sent me a bottle of Ópal. How would you recommend drinking it?

asked by telecastah

I wouldn't.

Hey, What is your average day like? Thanks, you're awesome!

asked by fishchunks

Meetings. Some more meetings. Speech. Concert.

- Favourite place in Iceland that doesn't start with a "Rey" and end with "kjavik"?

asked by SoHoNoVo

Then I would have to say Reykjavík.

Who is your favourite character in The Wire?

asked by leroideschoux


Did you really think your party would win the election, or were you just trying to raise awareness? What advice do you have for those of us who are jaded with politics, but don't have the network/money to run for office (clearly I am in the united states)?

asked by Carmanowar

I knew we would win from the early beginning. How I knew, I don't know. I just kind of felt it. Be creative. Use youtube, facebook, twitter, the lot.

What is the craziest thing you have done while being the Mayor of Reykjavík?

asked by Skallagri

I don't think I have done any crazy things. But there was a lot of crazyness before.

Was reading some of your responses already and noticed your username. What's it mean and why did you choose that one?

asked by seeamanaboutadog

It means the fly of peace. I use it often. It has a strange attachment to Flugufrelsarinn by Sigur Rós.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

asked by leroideschoux


What are your concerns on global warming? Islands are generally more at risk to rising water levels

asked by Ginger_breadman

Global warming is a fact. But I think the effects on Iceland are mainly positive. The weather is improving every year.

Hi Jon! It's really great to see a real human being getting involved in politics for a change! I have a few questions:

1) What is your greatest wish for Reykjavik?

2) What do you think Iceland's greatest (best) export is?

3) Do you believe in Elves?

asked by TheHoneyThief

1. I have a dream that one day Reykjavík can be an internationally declared military free zone and center for peace operations in the world. I have written President Obama a letter emphasizing this.

2. Art.

3. No, sorry. Do you?

Have you ever seen a cow, chasing boots?

asked by Plastpoki


I am growing fond of Sigur Ros and Of Monsters and Men. What are some other Icelandic bands you would recommend?

Because it seems like there is some good music to be discovered from your lovely slice of green beauty on this Earth.

asked by lucidswirl

HAM, Kleópatra and Ghosdigital :)

What do you think of the Pirate Party?

asked by unsilviu

I admire the platform. The hive concept and liquid democracy. I follow it closely.

Are you scared of your daughter? I mean, she is pretty, pretty strong.

EDIT: For those who don't know how - strong - she is -

asked by FHayek

No. She would never beat me up. I think.

Which celebrity would you like to meet?

asked by ken27238

I have dined with kings, I have been offered wings, but I have never been too impressed. I like regular people.

Hey Jón! You're awesome. Is there any chance of getting and english translation of your new book?

Also, do you want to hang out sometime? I live in America, but I can catch a flight over to Iceland and we can watch The Wire or something.

P.S.: What is the best Punk Rock band of ALL TIME?

asked by rikkums

My books will be out in german next year, and hopefully in english soon after. If ever in Reykjavík please drop by. I'm usually in a meeting.

Crass is the best!

I'm visiting Reykjavík in early March, whats is one thing I should make sure to do?

asked by ofthestory

Hang around and blend in.

Hi Jón! Do you like the work of Hugleikur Dagsson?

asked by Letterbocks

Yes, I love him. I'm actually his mother.

Sæll Jón.

Spilarðu nokkuð tölvuleiki? Ef ekki, hvað finnst þér um tölvuleikjaspil sem áhugamál?


Hi Jón.

Do you play any video games? If not, what is your opinion on video gaming as a hobby?

asked by Kwank3r

Já. Call of Duty, Half Life, Fruit Ninja in long meetings.

Why do you think you have been accepted as an atypicial statesman while other politicians (especially American) are so afraid of stepping out of the social norm?

asked by BrowningHighPower

Probably because of the smallness of this country I live in. We are only 320.000 and practically everyone is friends on facebook.

Serious question here;

With increased globalization, do you fear the Icelandic culture/language may come under serious threat in the future? every year, more languages go extinct, and with such a small population, do you think Iceland (and other small European countries) will be able to "hold out" much longer?

asked by krantz17

No, I think with increased globalization Iceland and many other smaller European countries will increasingly become bilingual. In the end I think we will all be speaking english.

Is Bjork considered to be normal in your country?

asked by Cannibalzz


The World/Inferno Friendship Society has a song called [Just The Best Party]( I think you should give it a listen and consider using as a theme. They're a bunch of anarcho-circus-burlesque punks and would probably be pleased to hear from you (not that I dare speak for Jack).

asked by TheJoePilato

Wow, thank you. I'll look into that.

You are one smart cookie. Is there any way you can send me a signed photograph, I'd like to frame it and put it on my wall.

asked by MEGAtron902

Send me an email at

Can you convince Stanhope to tour Europe?

asked by anterab

I don't know. I can try. But he's pretty uncontrollable. I have been trying to get Tig Notaro to come here. I would also like to see Eddie Izzard.

Hello, Jon, thanks for the AmA. Where do you stand on the legalization of Marijuana in Iceland?

asked by Gnarr4President

I've been following Colorade and Washington and I think I'm for medical marijuana.

What is the one best thing about being a mayor, maybe some privilege?

asked by Beepopp

Getting the chance to really have a saying. I try to use it wisely.

You are the best goddamn mayor the city of Reykjavik has ever had!

Can you tell our international audience a bit about the best party's campaign platform of anarcho-surrealism?

asked by Atlantic_Wolffish

Well, it's mostly about nonviolent communication, humanistic values like humor and the opinion that politics are a part of our society and don't necessarily need to be boring. You can be funny and even silly and still be serious.

Hello Mr. Gnarr!

Thanks for doing this AMA, you’re probably my favorite politician ever.

Over the summer, I got the chance to visit Iceland and I absolutely loved it. My boyfriend and I always talk about going to live in a Nordic country, but we’re limited by the fact that we only speak English. Are there people who immigrate to Iceland who don’t speak Icelandic? What do people think about them? Could you make me and my boyfriend honorary citizens? We’ll vote for you!

asked by shaymi

Everybody speaks english here. I cannot make you honorary citizens, sorry (protocol).

do you like sigur ros? sorry if i'm being stereotypical

asked by txurri746

Yes I love Sigurrós. Flugufrelsarinn clings in my head every single day.

What is you favorite [Yule Lad](

asked by Sir_John_Smith_III

I'm a feminist and they are all men. I would really like to see some yule gals. You know, equal rights and all that.

Hullo! I'm an astronomer in the U.S. I see a lot of great pictures coming out of Iceland--I was wondering if you had any experience with or interest in the star-gazing outside of Reykjavik. If so, what is your favorite site that you have seen? If not, what is your favorite constellation?

Ta, thanks for your time :)

asked by astroknots

I have really no knowledge of the sky above me.

Two questions:

1. When you brush your teeth, do you put water on the toothbrush before or after you put toothpaste on?

2. When you get dressed in the morning, do you put on your pants or socks first?



1. Before.

2. Differs.

Hi, I'm a 14 year old from Bucharest, Romania and you are my all-time hero. I wish there were more people like you in the world.

Here are my questions for you:

* **1.** If I ever get to visit Reykjavík, can I get to meet you?

* **2.** Are you proud to be a citizen of Iceland?

* **3.** What do you think is the top reason for which the people of Reykjavík voted for you?

* **4.** Will you be running for a second term?

* **5.** What country do you believe will 'evolve' most within the 21st century?

asked by silvohex

1. Maybe.

2. I am proud to be a human, and a citizen of this world.

3. Guess they like me.

4. Depends, maybe.

5. No idea.

What would you say was your biggest accomplishment as mayor yet?

asked by Obnoxiousness

Surviving. And still having fun.

Hello, what question have you never been asked, but wish you have?

asked by dratsaab

There are so many.

Not a question, but i just wanted to say your country is absolutely gorgeous, flew over iceland towards USA two week ago , and my jaw just dropped when i looked out the windows, such beautiful landscapes!

asked by Paragonbliss

Thank you.

Hi Jón,

What is the scariest situation you have been in as mayor? Also, if you could be anything in the world other than mayor, what profession would you choose?


asked by xp37id

When I'm in meetings with aggressive and rude middle aged men and women who raise their voice and even yell at me. If I got to choose a profession I would like to be a neuroscientist. I am fascinated by the human brain. I think I can say I'm in love with it.

Has becoming a politician changed any of the things you did before? Is there anything you don't do now because you're in the public eye?

asked by nick4444

I can't say whatever I think like before.

What is the biggest responsibility you face as Mayor?

asked by cscmitts

This is a complicated question. But the hardest for me has probably been financial matters. Deciding the amounts of money that go into different services.

How did you feel when you won the election?

You are fantastic! I wish UK had more politicians like you, I suppose we'll have to grow a bit to get there.

PS: For the guys here, is your daughter single?

asked by luages

Happyterrified. I also had the deep sensation that something really important had happened.

As a Star Wars fan, what is your opinion on Episode VII?

asked by [deleted]

No comment.


asked by [deleted]

Grettir-sized Egill any day.

Jón, no question but I think I can speak on behalf of most of us when I say :

Awesome job. Please, go on with everything you've been doing.

asked by lnterceptor

Thank you.

How have your interactions been with other politicians in Iceland/around the world?

asked by ferrett3

I am kind of an alien in the political world. A little like ET of politics and I get treated accordingly. The younger the people, the more they seem to like me and understand me. The older they are, the weirder I become.

World peace?

asked by Stutull

Yes please.

What drives you to be so awesome? Any way you can teach the guys in a Washington a thing or two? Also, how did you get so good at doing what you do?


asked by No11223456

Thanks. I guess I have a passion for life. I don't think the "guys in Washington" are going to waste their time listening to me.

Do feel that people are trying to corrupt you after you went into politics?

asked by captumlux

No, I made it clear from the early beginning that it was not an option. Disappointed many, offended a few.

Hvað er uppáhalds Tvíhöfða sketchinn þinn? En Fóstbræðra?

asked by riosh

Indriði, og Instans.

Jón, many folks in the US think fondly of an 'outside' public figure (Jon Stewart, Colbert) seriously running for office. Some have run and won, like Al Franken, but their work in office is perceived as 'business as usual.' What advice would you have for these sorts of candidates/politicians to maintain their independence?

asked by vince_clortho1

I don't know. Your system is much more brutal than ours. There is just so much a man can take.


I want to be a politician myself in a few years(I´m 17 now and i guess i have to study first (=) and i just wanted to ask you;

-How did you became a politician?

-What did you do and what was necessary to do?(Talking about education and ways to become a politician)

-What advises could you give young boys and girls who want to become politicians or just make a lil change in the world?

Edit; Do you get much criticism for what you are doing/ the way you´re doing it?

asked by crashedpumpkin

I became a politician in an instant. I am good at communicating with people and I think that's my greatest asset. I genuinely like people. Exercise communication. Do talks. Conversation etc.

Hi Mr. Gnarr. I am an American, and I always feel like there is a gap between the citizens and our politicians. My work brings me in close contact with senators and congressmen, and generally I speak to their staffers and rarely to the people I am trying to contact. Do you think politicians in your country operate the same way, with a definite buffer between people in positions of power and their constituents? What can be done to improve the peoples relationships with politicians?

asked by bigwillFTW

A lot can be done but it's very complicated. We can start by introducing nonviolent communication between the people, the politicians, and not least the media. The media is often the most vicious dog in the yard. Watching politics on television is not encouraging young people to go into politics. Often politicians are just like gladiators in an arena. Sometimes they are assholes who deserve it, but most of the time they are not. Eliminate fear. Bring a little more love into politics.

First off, thanks for doing this AMA - Reddit is pretty sure you're the single most badass mayor on the planet.

I'm looking to visit Iceland, so a few questions:

1 - When is the best time of year to come visit Iceland?

2 - In Reykjavik - what are the three things any person MUST do?

asked by PragmaticNewYorker

1. Best time would be July but I would like you to come here in November because we have so few tourists at that time :)

2. You have to enjoy a whole day in one of our outdoor swimming pools.

How do you suggest that an American with no ties to Icelandic culture whatsoever learn Icelandic or become involved in Icelandic affairs?

asked by ofMilwaukee

Through google.

What kind of process would a Canadian under 30 have to take in order to work and live full time in your beautiful country?

asked by BigBear569


What do you do for fun in your free time?

asked by Bilbo_Baggles

I really have no such thing as "free time". Sleep?

How many hot dogs have you eaten in one sitting at that amazing hot dog stand in Reykjavik Center?

I think I had 5 over the course of one night when I was in Iceland for Airwaves (an awesome music festival). Had a great time at Airwaves and in your city! Also, a huge thank you for supporting LGBT rights.

asked by nobodysdiary

I sometimes have two hotdogs in one bun. My record is four hotdogs, two buns.

Hi Jon, I remember that one of your election policies was to install toll gates around the area where rich people live; are you still going to do that?

I love Iceland and cannot wait to return. Wish you well!

asked by techiebabe

I'm still trying to.

Is it true that you have a word for railway-sickness in Iceland without having one?

asked by quillsandsofas

No I don't think so.

Alec Guinness or Ewan McGregor?

asked by Darence

Alec Guinness.

Bob Metcalfe - Inventor of Ethernet  

On May 22, 1973 with David R. Boggs, I used my IBM Selectric with its Orator ball to type up a memo to my bosses at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), outlining our idea for this little invention called “Ethernet”, which we later patented.

I worked with the IEEE Standards Association to develop the IEEE 802.3 standard for Ethernet, which specifies the physical and lower software layers. Today Ethernet and the IEEE 802.3 standard are the foundation for today’s world of high-speed communications used in billions of homes and businesses around the world.

I submitted [this] 


 to the mods awhile back so I could get on the calendar but I figured you’d like to see it, too. Now, ask me anything!

It's been two hours and 179 comments. Have to go now. For more about Ethernet's 40th Birthday, go to

Did you make a lot of money off the invention?

asked by Dailek

Did not make my Ethernet money on patent royalties, but by SELLING Ethernet for a decade to people who didn't know they needed it.

Do you think someone else could have done it at the time?

asked by heredami

Yes, but they didn't. I was lucky to be born to my parents, to accidentally get accepted to MIT, to sneak into Xerox Parc, and lucky to get the completely new problem of having a building full of personal computers, one on every desk, if you can imagine.

What is your preferred color of Ethernet cable? A sweet royal blue? Canary yellow?

asked by AndShabadoo

Yellow is the official Ethernet cable color, in my mind. I wonder if IEEE has a spec on that.

You invented a product which is used extensively around the world and yet many people (me included) had no idea who you were (sorry). Do you find this annoying?

asked by do-the-dinosaur

Am quite famous among my people, networking nerds. That's enough for me. On the other hand, who is Katy Perry?

How do you deal with challenging people or situations? What is the best advice someone told you?

asked by antmandfw

God (or Darwin) gave us one mouth and two ears. Take the hint. Best to listen first. Summarize back with the language you've heard. Then, act!

What do you think the most positive impact the internet has had on society as a whole?

asked by Deathbybunnies

The Internet reduces market frictions and expands freedom of choice. I give the Internet credit for everything good that has happened since 1969.

Do you think the claims that the internet reduces actual communication and devalues some of the things that used to define society are valid?

asked by Deathbybunnies

No. But I think the there's good stuff on TV, more good stuff than before, despite all the crap. Good thing we have search.

Thank you, I hated token ring.

asked by G35

I'm with you on that.

How badass does it make you feel to be able to honestly say "I invented Ethernet"?

You are truly a pioneer, you must be proud.

asked by thedevilsmilkman

For some values of I, invented, and Ethernet, I can honestly say that I invented Ethernet. But so can a lot of other people. Proud, yes. Also, wildly curious about where this monster goes next.

How do you regard multicasting in networks? Any future use you might predict as bandwidth increases or do you think it's doomed to it's current role (discovery etc.)?

asked by fuk_offe

Predict that percentage of Internet traffic that is multicast will increase over time as news, entertainment, and information invade.

Have you ever worked with Sir Tim Berners-Lee?

asked by mutualwra

Sir Tim holds the 3Com Founders Chair at MIT, where I am a Life Trustee, so I bump into Sir Tim now and then, like at SXSW when he came to Austin. He is like Gandhi with ADD.

What are your feelings towards Bill Gates?

asked by mutualwra

Great man. It would be very hard to find someone else better at being the richest man on Earth. Bill may not like me for going after Microsoft for its anti-competitive practices during the 1990s, but I meant no harm.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

asked by Solora

That nobody ever changes their mind.

Hi Bob. I was one of the founding engineers at Archivas, which you decided to fund, when you were a VC in the Boston area. We gave an overview of the technology, and while it apparently went well, you noted the low-key nature of the group, and called me out in particular for being "mopey".

No question here, I just wanted to thank you, both for investing in Archivas, and for giving me a great anecdote, that has now become both a family legend, and a mark of distinction for me in my circle of acquaintances in the local industry.

The father of Ethernet called me mopey!

asked by oldendude

Not anymore. How about snarky?

Thanks for making us so much money with Archivas.

Do you get royalties on your invention?

asked by roaming_bear

I made a play to get a buck per Ethernet node, but had to settle for a penny per packet.

Thank you for doing this AMA!

What are your thoughts on the future of Internet privacy and government control of information?

asked by tdc31698

Trust governments to invade your privacy. We must use tools to keep our stuff a secret. Am not expert on this, but I do mail all my financial secrets to the IRS through the USPS every April 15th trusting that no USPS union member or IRS agent will peek. Oy.

If you are confident you won't have to eat your words, any new predictions?

asked by Googlybearhug4u

Better to eat my words than someone else's. I make 10 predictions per day. My batting average is above .500. Y'all of course remember the big ones I got wrong.

What are your thoughts on Google Fiber (as it's coming to Austin soon)? And what, exactly, sparked your interest in communications?

Also, I'd like to thank you for your speech at my graduation (from UT) last year, it was very inspiring. When I return for grad school I hope to have a chance to work with you.

asked by jamie79512

Google Fiber is great news for everyone, especially as a spur to AT&T and Comcast and Time Warner et al. Competition! We are now gigafying the Internet -- build it and they (new apps) will come, so far anyway.

Got interested in communications because that's what ARPA was funding the year I started grad school in 1969.

When the internet first became a thing, did you think porn would have such a huge part of it?

asked by rebel6784231

What?! Porn on the Internet? Ethernet filters out porn.

About 15 years ago I used to install Ethernet. Did you use an acronym to remember the color code?

asked by jakfischer

Have long ago forgotten any color codes, sorry, except maybe ROY G BIV.

How do you feel about Software Defined Networking? Do you think we will see a trend of moving to centralised control of traditionally distributed algorithms in networking?

asked by theshadowhost

SDN is one of the next big things in the Gigafication of the Internet. Control is moving into the network, but I would not say it is being centralized.

Why didn't you make it so that the packet preamble couldn't be reproduced in the packet payload? More broadly, what were the security considerations you had when designing the protocol?

asked by dfbgwsdf

Our early design of Ethernet assumed that security would be taken care of at higher levels of protocol. Ha!

What do you think of Google?

asked by spcms

Wish I had thought of that. As a professor of innovation, I like Google especially because of its "pivot" from fast search to auctioned targeted advertising. Google unseated Microsoft which unseated IBM. Who will unseat Google? Cannot wait to see how that plays out.

How do you feel knowing that you had such a big impact on the whole world ? Is that fulfilling?

asked by ahirice

Mostly now I want to share the credit with the hundreds of people who have invented Ethernet over the last 40 years.

Is this your first time on Reddit?

asked by Im_Runnin_Thangs

Yes, first time on Reddit. It's exhausting!

What was your protocol review / update process? How did you know which layers would change, especially when considering industrial production lines of different CPUs?

How can we use a similar approach to incorporate future network variables?

Thanks, by the way. I'm a network engineer and I really like looking at the bytes the packets consist of.

asked by metalliska

The layering of Internet protocols is its greatest invention. Layering has allowed me to live a rich full life at layers 1 and 2 while a bunch of other people got to play above me without permission. All that serendipity. Ethernet and TCP/IP were invented in 1973 in Palo Alto, where I am this second, and the World Wide Web was not invented until 1989 and the plumbing still worked. Whoa, dude!

I knew [this picture]( would finally come in handy for lots of karma! But seriously, thank you for all you've done for the world, for technology, and especially what you've done for me personally at UT. I meant to ask you this but I never got the chance, out of all of the careers you've had so far, which has been your favorite and most rewarding?

asked by not_creative_at_all

Five careers, not counting 23 years as a student: engineer-scientist, entrepreneur-executive (when my company grew too big), publisher-pundit, venture capitalist, not professor of innovation. Favorite? All so different, they defy comparison. Just another 7.5 years to next career.

What do you think of darknets/cipherspaces such as tor, freenet, and i2p? From a technology standpont and an ethics standpoint.

asked by Tech_Geek97

The Internet needs less anonymity, because the first step toward savagery is the mask.

Hello Professor Metcalfe! I took a Computer Networks class this semester; one of the slides showed your sketch for the Ethernet :) The whole multiple-access idea and the protocols behind it is fascinating to me, and it's an honor to be able to speak to you. I want to ask you one of our final exam questions: What would happen if all of the Internet was simply an Ethernet with switches, and MAC addresses were used instead of IP addresses? I think I kind of flunked this question (said routing tables would be huge and mobility would be problematic), so I'm curious about your perspective. And one more question: do you think more efficient multiple access protocols can/will be invented in the future?

asked by freezebee

Have heard from those still in the packet plumbing industry that the trend is back from Internet routing toward Ethernet switching. Have no dog in that hunt. Ethernet was first designed to be LAN packet plumbing for the Internet. Have been predicting for years that TCP/IP/Ethernet would be replaced by some version of lambda switching, but that has not happened and I'm not sure what that means anyway. The trend was away from multi-access for a while, with the reemergence of wiring hubs, but then along came WiFi and LTE.

What are your views on American government trying to censor and 'control' the way people use the internet?

asked by itsmig

Governments should leave the Internet alone.

Hi Bob, can you to speak to new markets that Ethernet will be expanding to?

asked by cPalmen

Ethernet is going up, into, over, across, and down into new markets. Up toward terabit LAN. Into the WAN killing SONET. Over the airwaves as WiFi. Across the telechasm, between carrier WANs and customer LANs, as Carrier Ethernet. And won into embedded networking, as ZigBee (IEEE 802.15.4).

What is the craziest thing or product that uses Ethernet?

asked by LadySiren

Everything uses Ethernet, so it's hard to pick one.


Has the Internet exceeded your expectations when you first created it, and if they have, what were your expectations? Did you think that it would reach the level that it has today?

asked by thetrollingstones97

By far, more each year, who would have guessed? We were building our own tools, and they escaped to serve uses unimagined, say like YouTube.

What are some future technologies you are looking forward to?

asked by jaysaldesai

Detecting, deflecting, capturing, and mining asteroids. Actually, anything that Elon Musk is doing.

Was token ring a better technology than Ethernet back in the day when both were in use?

asked by freemarket27

No. Even though our beloved IEEE 802 standardized IBM Token Ring, having sold it myself, I can say it was never really open (had SNA dust all over it), and it was slow and expensive compared to IEEE 802.3 Ethernet. IBM never really got how to be an open standard during the LAN Wars.

Hey Bob my question is looking back on how much the internet has progressed over the years did you have a different purpose for it?

asked by captainfry

The Internet intelligentsia from the 1970s are outraged at the newbies who have dared to use the Internet for purposes completely unintended, like advertising, like YouTube. Tough. I cannot wait to see the next big new applications enabled by the Gigabit Internet. Connectivity is good.

What do you think separates intellectual innovators from the rest of the population, for example, Mark with Facebook? It seems like such a simple website that anyone could've started. What prompts the mind to such great ideas , or new innovations? In other words, what advice would you have for an undergrad that wants to make things that literally change the world?

asked by antmandfw

Innovations depend much on context, and so it helps to be at the right place at the right time, as Zuckerberg is. But then you have to be skilled enough and ambitious enough to act, as Zuckerberg has.

What conivinced you ethernet was possible to create when 10 yrs. before hand it was never even thought of?

asked by Super_sloth32

The terminal on my desk at Xerox Parc was communicating at 300bps the day before we installed an Alto PC and CSMA/CD Ethernet running at 2.94Mbps, which is about 10,000 times faster. We went that fast because we could, and because our new laser printer could consume 20Mbps.

How do I send data into the future?

asked by mymyreally

Just leave data lying around, and it will get to the future automatically.

Where did you get the idea from? What inspired you to create the the Ethernet?

asked by SpoonOfDestiny

Arpanet (Internet 1.0) packet switching and Alohanet multi-access randomized retransmissions.

In movies, hackers often clip a device to Ethernet cable to steal or inject information through the insulation and cable shielding. This is impossible, right?

Thanks for the great invention!

asked by richieio

No, not impossible, just difficult. Security should not be implemented at the hardware level. Higher-level protocols should be relied upon, not cable insulation.

Wish more people understood just how versatile ethernet is. What are your thoughts on FCoE vs iSCSI when transmitting data for storage products?

asked by Valorale

Ethernet vs Ethernot usually ends up Ethernet. The Network Effect (as quantified by Metcalfe's Law) plus all the Ethernet infrastructure that has accumulated over 40 years. Remember, RS232C circa 1962 is still out there.

One of the cool memories I have from my time in the USAF was seeing an IMP being installed. If only I had known then...

Also, was there something used before Thicknet? Running that stuff around a building was challenging. I'm so glad twisted-pair took off!

asked by xampl9

Thick coax was our initial choice because it could be passively tapped.

What is the best/biggest thing you've done or witnessed as a Member of the MIT Corporation?

asked by someaustinite

Attending MIT trustee meetings is the most fun you can have standing up. Recent excitement was the debut of the MOOC edX, which is going to help the Internet disrupt education the way that iTunes disrupted music and Amazon disrupted books, or BOOCs as I call them.

High, im sitting in class browsing reddit thanks to you, how do you feel your invention has impacted the younger generation?

asked by straydrifter

Close your PC and pay attention to the professor. And do not get me started on ageism with this "younger generation" stuff. Anyway, we used to have a lot of electronics in our dorm rooms at college back in the 1960s, but those were stereo systems.

Well done sir. Thanks for your contribution to mankind.

asked by Evil_This

You are welcome.

Xerox PARC made a ton of innovations that shaped the modern world. So did Bell Labs, and DuPont Labs and other corporate research labs. Many of these labs have closed or shrunk drastically. Which corporate research divisions are shaping the future now?

asked by someaustinite

I think the future of research will be at research universities supported by government agencies, especially NSF. Universities graduate students, who have proven the most effective innovation vehicles.

Has Ethernet changed much since its creation?

asked by Im_Runnin_Thangs

Yes, quite a bit. For example, 2.94Mbps on thick coax, to 10Mbps on twisted pairs, to 100Mbps, to 1Gbps, to 10Gbos, to 40Gbps, to 100Gbps, and next to 400Gbpos and finally? 1Tbps. Also, gone wireless to WiFi and onto fiber for long-haul. Quite a bit. Many other inventors involved.

How much are you worth at present?

asked by quezi

Do not believe everything you read on the Internet.

How do you like Reddit? How do you feel about what you've done? (Making this great invention)

asked by NomNomMeatball

Jury is still out on Reddit. And if it's Ethernet you're asking about, I feel happy, grateful, proud, and wary about what you are going to say next. The narwhal bacons at midnight.

I don't have anything to ask - I just want to say thank you!

asked by getmeawayfromreality

You are welcome.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on all of the internet privacy things that have been going around for the past year or so now, such as CISPA and SOPA.

asked by justlikey0u2

Private property is a great invention for innovation and economic growth. The Internet needs to deal with property properly.

Do you think that UT-Austin will ever be a top 10 university overall in the U.S.?

asked by antmandfw

UTAustin is already top 10, depending on how you count. Hook 'e, Horns!

I like to imagine you go out to drink with David Reed, bickering who's laws have the greatest validity and contribution to different forms of networks. Please confirm or deny.

Seriously, though, what is the most exciting way you have seen somebody embellish your own work?

asked by wtstephens

Have not seen Dave Reed in years, but am a big fan of his law, which is even more of a gross exaggeration of the Network Effect than mine. Metcalfe's Law needs refinement, but let's do it with data this time.

What do you think will be the successor to ethernet?

asked by caindaddy

For decades now, when a new networking technology proves out, they call it Ethernet, except for WiFi, which started life as "wireless phy Ethernet." The PARC CSMA/CD coaxial cable Ethernet has already had many successors.

It was recently brought to my attention that some people on the Internet believe that you can increase the speed across Ethernet by twisting more than one cable together, as seen [here]( Can you confirm this is entirely not possible?

asked by autumntheory

Not had time to try it myself, but are you serious? Not possible would be my guess, not having tried it. Actually, I've know this for years, but have been keeping it a secret to make more money.

Look man, I'm on Reddit's IEEE 802.5 network, so like don't ASSume...

Anyway, why did you guys name it Ethernet and not something fancy like GodsBlood or MoreImportantThanAir?

asked by Gonadzilla

You lie. Nobody has IEEE 802.5 networks anymore, even IBM has given up on Token Ring. GodsBlood and MoreImportantThank Air were already taken, so we went with a name that communicated omnipresent passive medium for the propagation of electromagnetic waves, starting with thick coax, but today wireless and on fiber.

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Third in the trilogy of AMAs

If you could have anyone else's job whose would it be and why?

P.S. Just bought Space Chronicles!

asked by josephpalbanese

The astronaut selected to take the first steps on Mars.

And thanks for getting Space Chronicles. It's here if anybody else is interested:

Who do you look up to most?

asked by roflolcopter

My parents. Married 60 years. Rational. Curious. Considerate. Sensible. Moral.


asked by littlesparkvt

Didn't know Feb 29th was cake day.

What grinds your gears?

asked by Baemon

Watching and listening to people in power who believe they know what they are talking about but do not.

In how long, and by what means, will humanity reach Type 1 status?

asked by lyinsteve

You mean a type 1 Civilization, I presume? I'd give us another century. We already control rivers and coastlines. That's a start on our way to a thorough program of geo-engineering, where we tap the thermal energy of volcanoes and exploit the cyclonic energy of hurricanes, and extract the tensile energy of earthquakes.

Of all the talk shows you have been on, which host do you enjoy the most?

asked by ishallsmitethee

In order: Stewart, Colbert, Maher, Fallon, Smiley, Maddow, Leno, O'Brien. Of those, Colbert is by far the hardest interview. Stewart is a distant second. And everyone else is a distant third.

What's the best way to introduce someone to the beauty of science without scaring them too much? Thank you sir and please continue to be awesome!

asked by ParthVader

Take them to a planetarium show.

Hi Neil,

What policy changes would you like to see the Obama administration make right now to help promote science learning in American schools?

asked by Bryan__

Fully funded mission to multiple destinations in space. Which reminds me:

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea..." - Antoine de Saint Exupery

Who is your favorite Street Shark?

asked by chareth_cutestory66

Would have to be Ripster

How is progress on the next Cosmos series coming along, and when do you think it will air?

asked by i_is_squeegee

Scripting is a bit delayed - about 6 months. if that affects everything else in the accordion, then it won't air before the fall of 2013, perhaps as late as early spring, 2014.

Thanks for doing another one of these!

I was wondering, what are your thoughts of your ever growing internet popularity? Your stance on the leap second?

asked by bsparks

With "popularity" comes ever more responsibility and accountability. Sometimes I regret my lost freedom to just act stupid every now and then.

Gotta love leap seconds. Evidence that the rotation rate of Earth is slowing down. They're fun and intriguing, but pointless on that scale. We should just collect an hour's worth of them (every 500 years, or so) and just add the hour. It's simpler and puts less stress on programmers.

We've got one coming this June 30. I'll be tweeting about it. So stay tuned.

Hi Neil! Thanks for doing this again!

Not-so-serious question: Do you need/want an intern?

Serious question: What's the best decision you've ever made?

asked by prezjordan

I am currently internless. What I currently do does not make good use of one.

Best decision I ever made? To be true to my lifelong interests even in the face of naysayers who are always there to tell you what you cannot or will not achieve.

Do you have any advice for someone heading to Graduate school in September?

asked by semiotic

Answers are a luxury enjoyed only every now and then. So early on, learn to love the questions themselves.

If you could live in any sci-fi universe, which would you pick and why?

asked by Breadness

StarTrek. For the warp drives. And the story lines were often deep, and rich in social consciosness and accountability. I was also impressed that Captain Kirk could have sex with aliens.

Anything in biology/life sciences that really impresses you/blows your mind?

asked by quippe

That within one linear centimeter of your lower colon there lives and works more bacteria (about 100 billion) than all humans who have ever been born. Yet many people continue to assert that it is we who are in charge of the world.

How do you think we can encourage politicians to support education and science initiatives?

asked by guitard00d123

Threaten to no re-elect them. That works every time.

Do any political candidates in the US (not just the presidency but as a whole) put enough effort into promoting science and, if so, can you name a few?

asked by Fissioninferno

Rush Holt. Representative from NJ. He's got a PhD in Physics. I have an interview in queue with him for StarTalk radio. Will likely air in march or April. In it we talk about all the Members of Congress who are scientifically literate -- and all those who are not.

What's the status on the James Webb Telescope?

asked by foo1219

Currently funded at its higher (over-run) cost, but that did not happen without casualties in the NASA budget for other projects. A bitter sweet victory for a telescope that was almost cancelled.

Given a nation behind the effort, how soon do you think we as a people could colonize another solar system?

I understand there are a lot of unknowns, not least of which "where", but I'm curious as to your thoughts.

asked by 8gigcheckbook

Without an new understanding of the fabric of the space-time continuum, enabling wormhole travel, the answer is **never**.

What can you tell a young man looking for motivation in life itself?

asked by yourflysopen

The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.

For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And along the way, lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you.

First off, hello! I love your work, you fantastic man!

Second, what advice do you have for highschool students who are aspiring scientists?

asked by ProfGuava

Hang out with others who are also aspiring scientists. That way the huge supply of interstitial time in your life is spent not on watching American Idol, but on geeking out on things like memorizing digits of Pi, or testing each other on obscure science trivia. The most successful people in life are those who recover all those lost hours per day and use them for enlightenment.

Where were you when you heard about the large magellanic cloud supernova in 1987?

asked by criticalhit

University of Maryland, College Park. A lecturer in the Department of Astronomy there. A non memorable moment for people of the Earth since it was visible primarily from the Southern Hemisphere.

You are such an inspiring speaker. I just saw you on the daily show from Monday night.

How did you become such a powerful orator?

asked by ctwombat

Thanks for the compliment. I pay close attention to the body language of who I am communicating with. While I am speaking, are they bored? excited? indifferent? curious? If you don't take notice of all this then you are just lecturing. If and when you do, then you are empowered to discover the conduits of contact that can maximize the value and meaning of what you are saying to others.

What can I do, as a citizen and college student, to help push for a stronger space program?

asked by MeaneBroGreene

Write letters to the editor and OpEds. The easiest way for broad audiences to learn about, and if well-argued, agree with your sentiments on any subject at all.

Do you read sci-fi? If so, who is your favorite author, and what's your favorite series?

asked by scientist_shmientist

No, not generally. But I love expensive SciFi movies. Contact. Deep Impact, 2001: A space Odyssey. I prefer science fiction to science fantasy. Hence my preference of Star Trek over Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

Sir, what do you think of the recent wave of weird legislation Congress has been pushing? See: and

Is our democracy circling the drain?

asked by philosoraptor45

Yes. It's as though we have forgotten fundamental founding principles of the Nation. Every American should read the Constitution at least once per year. it will help us all to keep politicians honest.


First I want to say how much of a great human you are in general.

Now, the question: If the President offered you a position like being the Secretary of Sciences, would you take it? Why/why not?

asked by niftyjack

No such post. Of all the cabinet slots in the US Government, science is not represented. It is, however, in other developed countries. The US has a President's "Science Advisor", though.

I am an educator, not a politician. So I think I am at my best when I compel people to demand science literacy from their elected officials. That would make a much stronger country than me holding one post or another.

Hello, I'm a huge fan of everything you've done and I want to congratulate you on your recent book release- Space Chronicles. I intend to pick it up in the next few days! My only question for you is.. what is the story about how you first met Carl Sagan?

asked by DPZ3D

[90 sec]

If you could say one sentence to the entire world, with everyone guaranteed to listen, what would you say?

asked by Blackbalisong42

Be just to one another, and never forget how to dream.

Who is your celebrity crush?

asked by Sethmanok

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Back when I was in shape, I had the body fitness that he has. And we are about the same size. So perhaps it's a bit narcissistic. Also, I've always been enchanted by Jamie Lee Curtis.

How effective do you think programs like the [FIRST Robotics Competition]( are to spreading STEM to American teenagers?

asked by legoktm

I think they are a bit over-rated. It's certainly fun to do -- for all parties involved: Students, Teachers, Parents. But robotics is such a narrow slice of the totality of STEM that I worry other dimensions of learning might get sidestepped in the process.

What is the airspeed of an unladen swallow?

asked by Artgum

"Dammit Artgum, I'm an astrophysicist, not an ornithologist."

Hello again, sir! My question is, what is the dumbest thing a member of the general public has ever said to you, and how did you respond? (Or how WOULD you have responded, if you could go back and do it again, as many of us have often wished?)

asked by SCVannevar

I'm being called for dinner right now, and so I must end the session. Sorry that this time was only 1/3 the length of my first two, each of which were nearly 3 hours. This was a good set. Thanks for your persistent interest in my work and for your energy to spread the love of science literacy. Signing off. -Neil deGrasse Tyson, New York City

I love space!! Thank you Neil!!

asked by dscn

"I need my space" too!

In the likely event that the Sun will die, how possible is it that by then we would have developed a synthetic Sun?

asked by jimbobble

By then (in 5 billion years) it'd surely be easier to just move to another star system than to solve that problem.

Will you be attending the Reason Rally on March 24th?

asked by yettibeats

No. I am big supporter of reason as a way of life and of thought. But I do not join movements or attend rallys. Often they got bogged down in group-think. Something I assiduously avoid in life.

What's your favorite ice cream flavor?

asked by [deleted]

Strawberry, by far. But so much of it is bad out there. So when I need to play it safe, I order chocolate.

Why do we eat dinner at night?

asked by Geth_Advocate

Nobody said you have to. Personally, about 1/4 of the time I eat dinner food for breakfast -- usually leftovers from a previous dinner. But that being said, I've served breakfast food for dinner.

No question, just wanted to say you're awesome

asked by [deleted]


If I can get verification on that, you've just made my bloody day.

asked by [deleted]

A Brit, I presume. In america, when things get bloody, it's a bad thing.

How much ice do you need to reach absolute zero?

asked by optinet101

If the temperature of the ice is above absolute zero, then never. But even if it's at absolute zero, it's still never. You can approach absolute zero "asymptotically" but never reach it because to reach it requires something colder than it to bring the temperature down to it.

Peter Moore - The longest held hostage in Iraq

In April of 2007 I accepted a three month posting in Iraq working for the American IT consulting firm BearingPoint.

I arrived in Baghdad on the 2nd of April 2007 where my main job was to develop spending reports from the computer system used within the Ministry of Finance.

On the 29th of May, 2007 around one hundred Iraqi police officers from the Ministry of Interior entered the building and took away myself and four British guards.

For six months I was moved around meeting up with the British guards. In December of 2007 I was separated from the other Britons and was held with two Americans. In June of 2007 I was transported back to Baghdad and this was the last time I had contact with any of the other hostages.

In May of 2009 the number two commander of the militia (Laith Al Khazlli) was released from US custody in exchange for the bodies of two of the British guards. In September over one hundred militia were released in exchange for the body of one of the guards.

On the 30th of December 2009, 946 days (or 2 years, 7 months & 1 day) after I was captured, I was released in exchange for the militia leader Qais Al Khazlli. The last of the hostages bodies were eventually handed over in early 2012.

Ask Me Anything

What was the first 24 hours like when you returned?

asked by AlphaNoodle

Well I was handed over to the British embassy in Baghdad, the very first thing I saw on tv was Lady Gaga - I did not know what this was about :-) It was very strange seeing myself on all the news channels

What was your happiest, or at the very least, most tolerable memory of your time in captivity?

asked by xabram

When they took the chains off, after two years, and to,d me I could walk around the room

How has life changed for you after this?

asked by Pac0_Seiei

My work ethic has changed completely. I used to be a workaholic, now I only work a few months each year and holiday the rest

Did your employers set you up for life? Surely you deserve to spend the rest of your days at peace.

asked by YordleBountyHunter

No, my company went bankrupt in 2009, but my division got purchased, so I got my salary nothing additional

Did they backtrack your salary whilst you were kidnapped, or were there any other financial helplines available

asked by Sirducki

I got paid a total of US$270,000 from when I started (March 2007) to when I resigned (May 2010). I obviously paid tax on this as well

Do you hold any contempt or hatred for your captors?

asked by Strangely_Calm

I try not to, sometimes the odd memory comes back against some of them, but if I ever met them again I would be civil to them

How did you stay sane? Were you in constant fear for your life or did you kind of realize somehow that they were going to try and use you to bargain after awhile?

asked by fiver420

In the final year I had a tv and playstation so that helped. Once I was out of the blindfold I used to join dots on the wall pretending they were metro stations and I designed a new computer. I would also try to solve mathematical problems with shapes on the curtain and conduct job interviews with my pillow

Why did the care suddenly improve? Did you connect with the family?

asked by Elliot_SH

Not sure - I think it was because I got very sick and then I was moved to a new location with new Iraqis

Were you abused or simply held?

asked by Standasone

I got beaten - had broken ribs, cracked skull from being hit on the head, glass smashed on my leg. Was kept in chains for 2 years, handcuffed & blindfolded for a year. Mock executions - all good stuff

If it's not too difficult do you mind elaborating on what your living conditions were and what kinds of....physical and mental stresses you were subject to?

asked by ilikethecaps

I was moved around every couple of months. One time they took me outside, knelt me down, put a gun to my head and pulls the trigger. At the same time they fired another gun off behind my back. I thought I was dead.

I can't even fucking imagine that. You're saying everything that happened to you as if it's no big deal like "Yeah I got chained up and wasn't allowed to stand for like a year..." and "there were fake executions and I thought I was dead"...

Truly, I don't even know how to begin thinking about that. It really puts things into perspective.

asked by Hysteriia

I just want to try and answer the questions as honestly as I can

Im not sure if this would freak me out or surprise me that there is life after death. After the gun went off you were still thinking.

asked by GuessWho_O

I wasn't really sure what had happened. You stuff about seeing lights and corridors and all that stuff, so I was surprised when none of that happened.

I feel honored that you responded. How many seconds did it take for you to realize you were still alive? Was it as soon as you heard them talking again and recognized some voices?

asked by GuessWho_O

I think it was when I realised I was still handcuffed behind my back, and then I heard laughing, so I was thinking "ok, get a grip, your not dead, just get with it". With that they just lead me back into the room

Do you know what the point of this fake execution was supposed to be? To remind you that they could totally kill you at any point, or... what? It was obviously for your benefit, but I can't see the reasons behind it.

asked by carlotta4th

Not really sure, but if was to scare me it worked

What made you want to do an AMA? Is it just to get things off your chest or to get your story out there? Massive respect btw

asked by Lewy_H

Just thought it would be an interesting AMA - didn't think it would get this much interest though. I apologies for the time that it is taking for me to respond

What was seeing things for the first time in a year like?

asked by Machine_Dick

It was strange, I was kept in a blacked out room so the sunlight was not a problem at that point. When I got released my eyes just watered all the time and I had major headaches

I assume you never got to see a doctor during your 2 yrs and 7 months of captivity, so did all your wounds get healed up correctly or do you still experience physical problems at the places you were injured?

asked by king-of-nothing

Most of my wounds healed I have a scare on my leg, a dent in my head and one of my back teeth was removed as it got broken when I was hit in the jaw with an ak47

Jesus fucking christ, Mock Executions? Why the fuck would they do that? What would they possibly gain from that? Were they trying to get information from you, or was it just to fuck with you?

I hope this isn't a question that goes too far, that seems like a horrible thing to remember :/

asked by Pinworm45

I dont really know why they did - I think just to scare me - It worked!! What was anoying was that they did not belive that I worked in IT, they tried to make out I was some sort of Intelligence Officer at on point

Did the captors ever reveal why everyone was murdered but you? Did you offer something valuable to them as incentive to keep you around?

asked by koreanz

They told me that they were killed either because they tried to escape or because they were being held in a house that the militia thought was being raided. One of my regrets is not pushing harder for the exact circumstances of each one, but at the time I remember thinking "that they are dead and there is nothing I can do to change that, I just need to concentrate on myself now"

Did you learn the language of your captors? If so, did you try to learn or did it just happen?

asked by GermanPanda

I did try to learn Arabic and I did learn some localised slang, that way I was able to work out which area of Iraq the various captors came from

Was there anything positive you took from this? I'm trying to imagine, but I can't think of anything good being experienced.

I was in Talil in '06 and I was amazed at how horribly they treated each other. I can't imagine what you must have gone through.

asked by GermanPanda

Sure, I live in an Iraq house during those war times, so it was interesting to see how people lived without electricity or running water. Also learnt some of the language and learnt about Islam.

What did you learn about Islam? just wanted to know your view about it?

asked by 1000dreams

I think that it is a good religion if you are a man. We talk about the difference between islam and catholic (another whole story). It seems that if you do not follow the rules of Islam then the implications are very extreme, where as in Christianity you can take it or leave it. To be honest it seemed a bit cult like to me.

I saw you said you had a Playstation and TV your last year.

What did you play? What did you watch? Who gave you these?

What were your living conditions like? How many people were around you?

What was your mindset going into your job initially?

How close were you to your guards?

asked by shittyartist

I played some FIFA football game and couple of shooting games. I used to watch tv with the Iraqis and we spent a lot of time watching ncis, csi and prison break (which annoyed me).

Going into my job I really believed I would make some difference. I have worked in IT for years and I specialise in developing countries.

The guards fell I to three groups:

1. Down right evil, would hit us.

2. Ones that just did their job - didn't talk, but just gave the food etc

3. Ones that actively wanted to improve their English or know more about us

LOL at prison break. Was it translated, or did they understand English?

asked by dejaWoot

It had Arabic subtitles

Did they see the irony of watching that particular show, at all, do you think?

asked by the_seanald

I don't think so

I also live in Lincoln and I remember reading the updates in the Echo about your situation. They were so few and far between but it never occurred to me that the government was trying to keep it out of the media. When you were finally released, how did it transpire?

asked by Kev2878

30th of December 2009. The leader of the militia was handed over to the Iraqi army and they held him until I was handed over to the British embassy

For the third type would you say they where good people, just doing what they had to do to get by? or bad people, but at least trying to make it a bit better.

asked by mokthraka

They believed that what they were doing was right. I understood their cause but I did not agree with it

Besides being released and seeing your family, what did you desire/crave/wish for the most?

asked by biwera

For some reason garlic bread was what I wanted most

I was in Baghdad when you were taken. The rumour was that there were one or more other Bearing Point employees there that day that were hidden and saved by the Iraqis working at MOF. Is this true? Also, the story was that the IPs got you all out of the vehicle by pouring gasoline over it and threatening to light it.

asked by ExpatJundi

Yes there was another British Bearingpoint employee there and apparently he was hidden by his Iraqi coworkers. I don't know about the car bit as I was inside the ministry along with two of the guards

what was something or someone (significant other, family, children etc...) that kept you going every day?

asked by skoobydroo

When I was first taken I told them I had a wife, so I spent my time building on this imaginary wife. I based the person on an ex girlfriend

Have you told her about this?

asked by awildrapistappears

Yes, she is actually in Guyana (south America) which is were I was working before Iraq

How did she react?

asked by lotictrance

Ok. No problem about it

What was the reason for telling them?

asked by athennna

I was trying to demonstrate that I had family values. The four guards all said they were married so I did not want to be first in the head slicing line

Did you meditate while being held hostage?

asked by CowzGoesMoo

Yes, very much. Fortunately my mum taught me yoga as a kid so I was able to use some of that

How much would you say yoga helped you cope?

asked by cuppincayk

It helped me relax and I think that stopped me from trying to fight the Iraqis. I guess it gave me some sort of focus.

Do you suffer from any form of post-traumatic stress disorder after the whole ordeal?

asked by quantum_fireball

I was checked out by a military psych when I got out and I was given the all clear, but I have my moments. I usually only get flashbacks a couple of times a day now, whereas it used to two or three times a minute

Were there any moments when you thought you wouldn't make it out alive?

asked by TelegraphSexOperator

I thought that it would all be over within six months - dead or alive. In 2009 when I was told everyone else was dead, I thought they would kill me also

How close did you ever come to committing suicide - both in terms of the opportunity and the decision to do it?

asked by bstampl1

Opportunity was there in Mid 2009. I was going to use the chain. I thought it was very fitting to hang myself using the chain that they had kept me in for two years. The only reason I did not go through with it is because I would not be able to see the reaction of the Iraqis as they walked in and saw me hanging there.

Did they ever try to make you say negative things about england or the US? I know some people are forced to do that.

asked by bobbybouchier

Yes, I had to say it on video a number of time. I had to say that the coalition was bad band that the militia was good etc

Did they ever torture you into saying something?

asked by bobbybouchier

They just pointed a gun at me and told me to speak into the camera - felt it wasn't worth arguing to much

What was the worst moment of captivity?

And besides being free again what was the best?

asked by txgi355

In 2009, after I knew the others were dead, I was taken out of the chains that I had been kept in for two years. I thought it would be fitting to hang myself using the chain. The best bit was after the first year then they took the handcuffs off and allowed me to stand up

You weren't allowed to stand up? What was that like?

asked by emptyairport

For nearly a year I was handcuffed, chained & blindfolded so I couldn't move much. I got very sick and lost all of my muscles, when they took the handcuffs off my back and shoulders hurt for months

I forget what it's called but did you ever have that thing where you sympathized with your captures

asked by Marylandman101

Stockholm syndrome - this was something I did not suffer from.

How do you feel about your captors?

asked by coggas

I do t have strong feelings about them. They were against the military occupation, which annoyed me as I wasn't military

You sound very calm, considering what you went through. Are you at all angry at them? If you happened to find them on your turf, would you kill them? Torture them? Want them arrested and thrown in jail?

asked by hithisishal

Whats done is done - I cant turn the clock back. I knew that I was going to Iraq, I knew the risks. I never thought I would be held so long or for political purposes. If I ever met them again I would just talk to them, but the meeting would have to take place on netural ground.

Were there any reedemable qualities of your captors? Did you ever share moments that were not tense but maybe relaxed/light with them, or was it always intense/intimidating?

asked by Herr__Doktor

We used to joke about things and play board games. We also watched the tennis on Al Jazeera sport

Did you feel like you had to let them win? What did they do if you won?

asked by petrifiedcattle

Sometimes did win and they were ok, I just did not want to upset them by winning all the time and thus making them look stupid - did not think this would be beneficial to my health

Were these the same guys that had broken your ribs and what not? Were there some that you could be easy going with, but others that were always mean or abusive?

asked by admdelta

No, by now I had been moved back to Baghdad and these were from the Northern Faction (their discription). They were much easier to deal with

Glad you're back.

asked by plentybulletz

Thanks, me to

**Do your joints/muscles still hurt?**

*How's your eyesight?*

asked by ClintonHarvey

I am actually short sighted (always have been) so I wear glasses. My foot and back still have muscle problems. I do see a doc every couple of months or so

Do you have any advice for someone if they were to get into this type of situation?

asked by pmwilkins

Try to get your captors to treat you as a human and try to show then you have some boundaries. Try to get things from them to see how far they will go out of their way. I asked for certain foods and certain types of toothpaste

Do you Want to go back and avenge yourself and others against your hostage takers? Does it make you feel like your government didn't care about you but cared more about the already dead solders being that they were being released for the militia before you?

asked by spunkenhimer

I would be interesting in meeting the group - which is now a political party within the Iraqi government. Not sure i would go to iraq to meet them though, I feel more likely I would meet them at a UN meeting in New York or somewhere similar. For some reason it was policy of the British government to get the oldies out first - they never explained to me why this was policy

>For some reason it was policy of the British government to get the ~~oldies~~ bodies out first

What the *fuck* good is that going to do for anyone? Who's bright idea was it to get the dead sacks of flesh out before the living, breathing human? (Yes, I understand respect of the dead and honoring their memory and all that, but *why should the dead ever take precedence over the living?)*

asked by [deleted]

I think the theory is that once dead bodies are released then the live ones are released very quickly (like the next day), but it my case it dragged on for years. The last body was released in early 2012

Does oldies refer to the bodies? Sorry if that is a stupid question haha. unusual policy regardless

asked by CollectCallFrom

Oops sorry typo, yes I meant bodies. Ipad is not a good device for typing on

You're treading into lawsuit-territory now!

asked by Randomonous

Its ok - I am using a Samsung laptop now

Do you have an opinion about that policy?

PS: I think it is a bad policy because it means that a hostage is worth more once it is dead. It means that when the captors want to speed up the process, they have to kill their hostage. If a hostage was worth more living than dead, the other British guards maybe wouldn't have been killed.

asked by [deleted]

My opinion was that it was wrong, a live hostage can become dead, but dead hostage cannot become alive (if that makes sense)

Were you compensated in any way? Did they roll out the red carpet when you were released?

Also, who from your personal life did you see first and what was the conversation like?

asked by phoenixgames

No compensation - I just got my salary. Bearingpoint (the company i worked for) actually went bankrupt in 2009, but my division was bought out so that company carried on paying my salary. The first people I met were my step-parents in a government house back in the uk

>so that company carried on paying my salary

Just to be clear, you do mean they kept paying you while you a hostage, right? They didn't take you off payroll or anything right?

asked by JackieCam

Correct - they kept paying me while I was a hostage. Interestingly I also got pay rises and promotions

If there was one thing you could have done differently, what would that 1 thing be?

asked by puppyh8er

I think, with hindsight, we should have not stayed as long as I did with the ministry of finance

It's 8 in the UK

asked by FXLust

I am actually in Fort Collins, Wyoming. I am riding a motorcycle around every state in america and I got stuck in the snow. Should be able to cross into Kansas tomorrow

What the everlasting fuck? I am a news junkie. I have never heard anything about this. Tell me more. Does this happen often?

asked by AngerSwines

It wasn't published very much and I haven't done much PR about it, but google "Peter Moore Hostage" and you will fine loads of articles. Also if you search Peter Moore in the reddit search box articles come up

Silly question, but were you aware when your birthday or a significant other's birthday had passed?

That really is the first thing that popped into my head when I saw you were a captive two and half years.

asked by rroach

I manage to keep track of days pretty well. I worked the week Tuesday to Tuesday as that was the day we were abducted. In late 2008 onwards I had a tv so it was easy to keep track of time with that

Anything in particular that you felt on things like birthdays then, or were parts of you locked away in storage until you were home again?

asked by rroach

The only interesting birthday was in 2009 when they got me a birthday cake

Your captors gave you a birthday cake? Seriously?

asked by rroach

Seriously - in 2009 they got me a cake with a candle on it

What were your emotions when you got the birthday cake? Happy? Disturbed?

asked by apocryphite

I was a bit surprised by it to be honest

Did you get candles?

asked by Hinks

Just the one

Well shit. good guy captors O_o

was there anyone specifically amongst your captors that you liked the most?

asked by _Shin_

In 2009 there was this Major (that is how he described himself to me) and he really worked with me to get my fitness levels up. I was allowed to jog 1500 widths of the room everyday. Before he arrived I was always chained to a grill in the wall and could not move more than a meter

Did you get to watch news channels? What were your thoughts on Obama being elected while you were captive. Or were there any other news stories that felt significant to you at the time.

asked by anothercomputer

For two years the news channels were removed from the satellite box, but I still not news items from watching TMZ and Oprah. After June 2009 I would watch arabic news with the Iraqis.

Do you think your captors are bad people or good people on the opposite side of a conflict?

asked by robinacape

No I just think they were in a conflict. What is interesting is that this militia were actually enemies of sadam Husain

Did you ever try to reason with them about their efforts and your role in them?

asked by Rath1on

I tried to, but they never believed I was an IT guy

I'm not sure if you're going to read this, but your story is outstanding. I am left in awe after reading your comments. You are one hell of a person, and an inspiration.

asked by The_Upvote_Judge

I read it - thanks

What were the reasons or the purpose behind taking you as a hostage? What did your captors hope to gain by holding you and keeping you alive?

Did you ever consider or plan escaping, even as a thought exercise rather than as an executable course of action?

Your story is chilling and I'm glad you survived it. I have no relevant experience in my life to empathise with your ordeal and I hope I never do.

asked by Heathenforhire

On the face of it, we were taken to do an exchange for the militia leaders, but my work would have shown misspending within the Iraqi government and there are theories we were taken because of that. We did have a plan for escape, but never had chance to implement it.

What was the plan? Or is that confidential?

asked by OllieDem

Ok, so one of the plans was that when one of the British guards went to the toilet they were going to lock myself and the two Iraqis in the room. Doors to rooms in Iraq all have locks on them and they always left the key in the lock. The British guard would then go and get the gun from the room next door, come back and shoot the Iraqis.

I know it's 12 hours later, and you probably won't even notice this, but, what would you do after that? I mean, you are in iraq, with no way to get help?

asked by KiXpiX

That was one of the concerns we had, sort of out of the frying pan I to the fire

What do you feel is the most important thing you took away from this ordeal?

asked by greywizard77

Just to think about the implications of your actions. I knew my parents would be upset about it, but I had friends of friends who were crying when they met me

I wish you the best in life, enjoy your motorcycle !

asked by Kaelidoz


First meal eaten after your release?

asked by AceT91

Can't remember, but it was nothing special. It was in the canteen of the British embassy

At any point did you think "I'm going to die a hostage. I'm never going to see my family", or were you always hopeful that you would be released?


I thought I was going to die everyday, but once I knew the guards had been killed I really thought that I would never get out

What was the turning point which caused them to stop treating you like a chained dog and actually trust you on your own with a tv/playstation/better food etc?

asked by Professor_Kush

It was after the number 2 commander got released, he came to see me in June 2009 and I pointed out that America did not keep him the same as me. He agreed and conditions improved

Can you elaborate. Do you mean he felt bad because America had better/worse conditions? Or did he just empathize with you on the captive to captive level.

asked by MishkaZ

America kept him in much better conditions and we discussed in length the benefits of being held in a USA prisoner. The food was better, people knew his location and he was able to telephone home once a week. Not to mention that he could walk around and talk to other people

Do you feel like it was a fair trade; 100 militia who could do more damage to allied forces for the bodies of your comrades? I'm sorry if it sounds hard but I would have chosen the live hostages like yourself over the deceased ones.

asked by CPTK

No. It was not a good trade. I would not have done it if I was in charge. I would not have exchanged myself for the militia leader either.

Who makes the final call in these decisions?

asked by ilovemagicmush

In my case this deal was negotiated by MI6

How did you manage to keep yourself sane for such a long period of time?

asked by tommyvyo

Not sure i did, but I used to have conversations with my pillow and designed metro systems on the wall

What brand/model motorcycle do you have?

asked by [deleted]

Honda st 1300 (2007)

About the PlayStation, did you get stuck with the shitty controller?

asked by jimmystale

Lol....ALLLLL the time.

What, besides your family, of course, did you miss most about home? Or, what little things during the time that you were held captive, did you look back and think that you took for granted back home, e.g. air conditioning, beds, baconators, etc.

asked by [deleted]

For some reason I wanted loads of garlic bread, but I missed riding my motorcycle the most & not being able to go to the toilet when I wanted

As a former intelligence Marine in Iraq during 2007 and 2008, I apologize that we did not find you sooner but it's good to know you're home and safe. Thanks for your service and for all you went through.

asked by LagunaGTO


Thanks. I think it took some time before people realised which militia had taken us

I was under the impression the UK didn't "trade" hostages?

Also hate to be this guy but...proof?

asked by LittleWall


Just google "Peter Moore Hostage" and you will see loads of articles. Here is a link fom one of th British newspapers:

Oh I believe it happened, its more along the lines of whether you are "Peter Moore".

asked by LittleWall

Er... What proof do you want?

The usual response is a picture with you saying something about Reddit or the AMA lol.

I'm sorry to do this but it's a weird thing we do.

asked by LittleWall

Ok, think this will work, sorry about using a pizza box.

Haha pizza box is perfect! So now that we have that solved, who's your EPL team? I'm a Chelsea guy myself!

asked by LittleWall

I was following Nottingham Forrest - I am from Lincoln and we are a very long way from the premier league

Looks like you're in a hotel

asked by DarkyZX

I am - I am actually in Wyoming

You said you learned about Islam. Has this made you think more along the lines of "this is not a religion of peace and the followers and doctrines are evil" or "it's a peaceful religion, just my captors were horrible"?

asked by blowconfused

I think if you are male Islam is a good religion, it's not for me, the implications of not following Islamic rules are very harsh. It felt more like a cult to me

I am a kurd from Iraq and I would like to apologize for how u were treated in this country

asked by [deleted]

It's ok. You know the militia thought they were doing the right thing.

Do you watch the tv show Homeland?

asked by soundandfury_

I have heard about it, and I saw a 30 second clip where he shoots a dear. It made me feel sick so I have never watched it again

Could you talk to your captors and if so did they sympathize with you? Did you ever have a chance to talk about the situation you all were in?

asked by nittyit

I was able to talk to some of them. They did sympathise with me, but they sympathised with their leaders more

Do you believe your insurance made a difference to how things turned out for you? I work as an IT consultant for a different firm and our insurance specifically covers hostage situations, but I have always wondered what good these really are if there is a political motivation involved. Glad you made it out btw.

asked by ig2r

No. I had hostage insurance but the militia did not want money.

What were the first moments like?

asked by [Anonymous]

I thought at first we were under arrest, it was the Iraqi police that took us. It was only as we were driving along that they started pulling our clothes off and then throwing them out of the window. It was at that point that I thought this was an abduction

Man. I've always felt like that is one of my worst nightmares. Where did they take you at first?

asked by [Anonymous]

It was a market place in Sadr City. We were all stood in a line in our underpants before being bundled into the back of a van

Were you kept in complete solitary confinement most of the time? How did you manage to stay sane (or did you)?

asked by stochastic_forests

I was on my own after the first year, but I used to talk to the guards. I am not sure i did stay sane, but I designed a metro system and used to talk to my pillow about buying a motorcycle and prospective jobs

How were their English skills?

asked by rizzon

They were good enough. English is taught in school across the middle east and some of them had been educated in the USA and UK

Weird question, but thinking of Cast Away, did you develop any sort of "bond" with your pillow of some kind? Did it become something of a companion if you will under that kind of isolation/duress?

asked by Wrath_Of_Aguirre

Its funny, when I had to move to another location they threw it away (it wasn't in good condition) and I was upset over that.

What was the biggest surprise you learned from the news/family/friends that happened while you were gone? What holiday or yearly events did you miss?

asked by Anonymous

I was surprised by how much people knew. I wasn't sure that anyone even knew i was a hostage

What was the first thing the coalition/british forces did when they got you back? did they ask you questions, feed you, let you rest, etc?

asked by abltburger

The very first thing was a medical check, then they did a hot debrief which is we're they try to get location information. I thought that maybe one of the Americans I was held with was still alive, but it turned out not to be so

I wonder if Peter would like to tour the U.S. with the company of reddit. I'm sure 100's of people would love to buy this guy a beer. (and garlic bread)

asked by TravelingChef

Perhaps I will do that :)

Do you ever see someone and for a split second think, that was my captor.

asked by tkim32

All the time

Do you ever see someone and for a split second think, that was my captor.

asked by tkim32

Happens all the time, but look at this recent news article:

You see the guy on the far right, in the tshirt, holding the rocket launcher thing - he was one of my captors in 2009

Did it ever become just a routine for you? I'm not suggesting it wasn't terrifying daily, but did there come a point where you just accepted what each day would bring? I'm really interested in how your perception changes over time when you're in that kind of situation.

Were there days that were much more tense than others? I understand that you were moved more than once - did that come with added levels of stress?

You say that they were just men on one side of a war; do you still hate them for what they did to you or do you condone/ understand it, considering the obvious benefit of leverage it gave them. Would you have killed them to get out if you could have? If so were the some you would not have?

You said earlier that it would have been fitting to hang yourself with the chains they released you from; did you ever seriously consider killing yourself/ would have done if you had had the chance?

I don't know if you have ever heard of [Steven Callahan](, a man who was adrift at sea in an inflatable life raft for 76 days. A rather abstract question, but would you have rather have been through your ordeal or his?

Thank you so much for doing an AMA.

asked by the_monster_consumer

After a few months, it was routine and I just almost treated it like I would a job. I think after the first 6 months & special forces had not rescued us I just accepted the situation. I found the time with the other British guards was harder as they did not deal with the situation very well. Things got better for me once I was n my own. Every time I was moved I was always thinking if this was the point that they were going to execute me. I understand what the militia did, but I did not agree with them as they were against the military occupation and we were not military. I did consider killing myself and I would have done it if I could have seen the reaction of the Iraqis looking at me hanging there. I think the benefit of being in a raft is that there are things that you can choose to do to help your situation

Do you wish a painful death to those who took you captive?

asked by AnubisMe

Not really. What is bad is that they are serving police officers and I would like to get them identified so that they can loose their job

Did you recieve any money or assistance from the government once you returned home?

asked by poop_head

No money, but I did get medical treatment and they flew me back to the UK

I attempted to identify you through DNA remains about a half dozen times in one of the downrange laboratories. During captivity did you ever intentionally leave behind evidence of your stay, whether it be biological or otherwise?

asked by CelleryMan

Yes, I did, I sometime picked the skin from the bottoms of my feet to let people know I was held there.

If you happened to see your captors again, how would you react?

Also, I think you are incredibly courageous and my hat is off to you for your attitude about the whole ordeal. I understand you are driving state to state. If you happen to go through Albany, NY feel free to PM me. I would like to buy you a meal and there is an awesome Spanish food place up here.

asked by unr3a1r00t

I will be on the east in early November. I will be going to Albany.

May sound entirely off base. You were doing what you thought was right, they thought what they were doing was right. What is your view of justice/justice during war?

I am incredibly sorry for what you have endured &wish it on no one, just curious that after that amount of time if someone may change their world view.

asked by ProfessorFishSticks

I did not agree with them keeping me hostage, but USA/UK had done exactly the same to the iraqis. They had captured iraqis and put them in prision without trial, not knowing hen they were going to be released

Laith Al Khazlli was released from custardy? - "A dish consisting of milk, eggs, flavoring, and sometimes sugar, boiled or baked until set."

I'm glad you're back, I'm just trying to make you smile here :-)

asked by bodyglove

I like it - you have to have a bit of humour in these situations

Did they only keep you alive in order to bargain for their militia leader? Or did they try and extract information from you? I watch Homeland so I'm an expert on these kinds of things.

asked by commanderkienan

Not really sure. They told me that if I did not try to escape then they would not kill me. I didn't try to escape

Give me a tour of your day. What was day to day like when you were held hostage? Did you ever communicate to your kidnappers? And lastly, when you were released, what were the first moments like when you first came home?

Have you developed any hatred/apprehension towards the Middle Eastern or Islamic community due to this experience?

asked by Inyaa

My primary aim was to survive the day. In my mind every day I was held was one day nearer to the release date. I did talk to my kidnappers, more so in 2008/9. I have apprehension about travelling to the Middle East, but not towards Islam

Did your family know that you were alive during this time or were you considered officially MIA?

asked by owl_man

I think that the British government always thought I was alive.

1. What were living conditions like while you were held hostage? (how long did you get to sleep, food to eat, any daylight given, etc)

2. When they traded you, was it like you see in the movies? I honestly don't get how they can trust each other to not kill each other in a trade.

3. What was it like re-integrating into society?

4. Did your family / loved ones know you were being held hostage or did they think you were possibly dead?

5. You mentioned that you thought about hanging yourself. At what point did you start to give up hope?

6. Will you ever return to a war zone, or has this shied you away completely?

7. What's your favorite flavour of tea?

asked by mascaron

Ok, here are my answers:

1. I got to sleep at night and food was provided. For the first year I was mainly blindfolded, handcuffed and chained to a grill in the wall. Once the blindfold and handcuffs were taken off things got better.

2. They drove me to a militia house and handed me over to an Iraqi minister who then drove me to the British embassy

3. The uk was int its coldest winter in 20 years, so I went back to Guyana so I am not sure that I really did reintegrate

4. They always knew I was alive

5. I think after May 2009 once I had been told that everyone else was dead

6. I don't want to say never ever, but it is unlikely

7. PG Tips

What clothes did they have you wear were they normal like jeans t shirt or their style of clothing?

asked by grizzlychip

Most of the clothing was track suit based

Other than talking to your pillow and making metro stations on your wall, what memories kept you focused on survival.

asked by chilioc

I tried to keep my mosquito kill rate above five, this is difficult when you are handcuffed. I also used to see how big a ball I could make by using fluff from my clothes

Aaron Paul

What’s up Reddit? I'm here for the next two hours to talk with you guys about whatever you want – so bring it on bitches!

I'm also helping to raise money for an amazing organization called Kind Campaign, started by my wife, Lauren (long before we started dating), that brings awareness and healing to the negative and lasting effects of bullying.

You guys were incredible in supporting NCMEC with Bryan and I had a great time hanging on the RV with Dan, the Redditor who won, so I thought I’d also offer an experience through Omaze to thank you for your support. We’ll watch the finale together, cook in an RV together, roll up in Hazmat suits together, and a lot more - we got to make sure Jesse one-ups Heisenberg!

Here’s the info:




Oh also, thanks to r/breakingbad for the sweet fan art to commemorate this occasion:

Out of everything that's been aired so far, what was your favorite scene? And what was the most important for the character of Jesse do you think? What do you hope to move on to with breaking bad finished?

asked by shane33364

I have so many favorites, but the first thing that comes to mind right now is the infamous dinner scene with Mr. and Mrs. White. I think the glass of water became Jesse's security blanket it in a way and I love that about that scene. But there's been so many fun scenes to shoot. So anytime I as Jesse Pinkman can release my pent up anger told Walt is always a good time. So the time that Jesse shows up to Walt's house and thinks that he found on that he poisoned Brock, and he puts a gun to his head. That was a lot of fun.

What is the funniest prank someone has pulled on set?

asked by gwgrape

Oh wow, the list is really endless to be honest. Bryan Cranston squirted me with a dildo-sbhaped squirt gun in a scene before and that made in laugh a lot.

Were you a fan of Malcolm in the Middle?

asked by todaymyl0ve

Absolutely. And Hal was my favorite character on the show. So when I was auditioning for BB, I knew they were getting the goofy dad from Malcom in the Middle to play Walter White, which confused me. But I was also very excited at the chance to work with Bryan.

Bryan Cranston has had some very memorable lines as Walt (I am the danger, I am the one who knocks... say my name... tread lightly...) what would you say is your most memorable line you've had as Jesse thus far on BrBa?

asked by GTeall

"Roll me further, bitch!"

How do you think the President feels when you tweet at him things like "Time for Breaking Bad, Bitch"

I think it's hilarious

asked by ProdigyDyl

Ha! Let's be honest, anyone that follows Obama or me on Twitter knows that Obama is a huge Breaking Bad fan and he doesn't mind saying the word "bitch" over Twitter, which is very exciting to me and the entire American public.

Are you satisfied with the ending of Breaking Bad? Do you think the fans will be?

asked by abendchain

I gotta be honest. I never wanted Breaking Bad to end, simply because I'm a huge fan of the show and I didn't want to be unemployed. But after reading the final 8 episodes and understanding where the writers are going with it. I'm so happy they ended it the way they did and I think all of you will be happy as well. It's a dark, crazy ride to the final episode but it is a fun one. Yeah, bitch.

Do you think that you would be able to make meth in real life?

asked by TiTbOmB

Absolutely not! I'd kill us all and blow us all up.

AARON! If you could act on any show other than Breaking Bad, which would it be and why? Thanks for doing this AMA, bitch.

asked by jbooboo

hey bitch. anything other than breaking bad...I would say Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, or Game of Thrones, or House of Cards. They are so badass and addicting.

I remember, that Dave Chapelle once told a story about how strangers always came up to him - even when he was with his daughter - and yelled "I'm Rick James, bitch!".

With the popularity of the show and your character, do you fear that years down the road people still come up to you and say "bitch" ?

Right now, it looks like you are embracing it, but do you fear never escaping form the shadow, that is Jesse Pinkman?

I think you are an amazing actor and I'm loving every minute of you in Breaking Bad, but I wish you all the best in the future when you pursue other roles.

asked by EggyJS

Thank you so much. Yes, I get called "bitch" on a daily basis and yes I do think I'll get called "bitch" on a daily basis for years to come. But to be honest, I don't really mind because I like being called "bitch."

AP, why did you get kicked out of that Radiohead concert? Did you dance too hard? Was Thom jeal of your moves?

asked by RachelMcDimples

HA! I love you for asking that. They tried to kick me out because I was standing up and dancing and at the O2 Arena if you're in the stands you have to be seated. The very next day I went to the concert and convinced everyone in my row and the row in front of us to stand and dance during a song and it created a wave like affect. Everyone was dancing and they couldn't stop us all. So fuck you O2 Arena!

You worked with child star Ian Posada for several episodes. How is the heavy and dark content of the show handled in relation to his age? How much (if any) of the plot does he understand? The content is very intense for a six year old.

asked by Petorian343

He's a really smart kid, he actually wrote the finale. In seriousness, I don't think he really understands what's going on. But I love that kid. He's great. And when I was six all I could think about was ding-dongs and yo-yos so even though he's smarter than me, I doubt he gets the complexity of the show.

What was going through your mind during this fashion [show?]


asked by drocks27

Hahahaha! Honestly, I have no idea. The funny thing is that I was actually really enjoying my time but these pictures say the opposite. But maybe I was a bit confused by everything that was going on in front of me.

Hey Aaron, thanks for being a stand-up guy personally and professionally. Every story I've ever read about you has been positive. I'll definitely look into Kind Campaign and contribute however I can.

My question: With all the talk of a Saul Goodman spinoff, will you/Jesse Pinkman have any involvement in it?

asked by EBnJ

Wait, Breaking Bad spin-off?! WHAT?!

Who's the best bowler of the Breaking Bad cast and crew?

asked by ReallyGoodUsername

Ummm...I would like to say I'm a pretty good bowler, but I think Bryan might be the best of all of us. He's really good with balls. He's a professional with balls. All sorts of balls. Well done Cranston, congratulations bitch!

What music have you been listening to lately?

asked by midnightcolour

The Lumineers, if you don't know the band, go and get their music on iTunes because it's brilliant. Alt-J, they've blown my mind lately and actually said they'd play a concert in my living room. And anything Thom Yorke is amazing.

Has playing Jesse affected you psychologically in any way? Insomnia, depression, bad mood? Have you ever caught yourself wandering inside Jesse's mind? How different is Aaron Paul now than before playing Jesse in Breaking Bad?

asked by romcabrera

That's a really good question. I actually have found myself while shooting Breaking Bad, thinking as Jesse. While playing this character I have tried to really get inside his head. And as any Breaking Bad fan knows, it can be difficult to live and breathe as Jesse. But I have enjoyed living and growing through his struggles. And all I want to do is protect him. Did I answer that correctly?

Yo, please just thank your wife for the Kind Campaign. About time someone did something about girl on girl bullying because it's always so overlooked. I'm a massive fan of you two as human beings. Stay great, bitch.

asked by akaplugs

Wow that's so nice of you to say. What's your number? Let me call you and thank you personally.

Also please send it in a private message!

I just have one question.

Can you **please** convince Vince to create [Badger's Star Trek episode](

asked by 10000reasons

I couldn't agree with you more. But I don't know if you've had the opportunity to see this brilliant animation of that episode but watch below, it's incredible.

Hey Mr. Paul. How did you get the role of the kid in KoRns "thoughtless" video?? And were you a fan of them before that? Thanks for doing this bud

asked by Mil_HouseMD

I actually knew the guys from Korn and they were trying to find this kid to play this character for some time. And finally one of my buddies who worked with Korn asked if I'd be willing to do it. I was a huge fan of the Hughes Brothers who directed the video and I said yes. In regards to being a fan of Korn, they're really a hit or miss with me to be honest.

As a chronic former meth user, I relate to the show in a somewhat different way. Did you actually hang around any meth users to prepare for your role as Jesse? Some of the acting was spot on.

asked by cxg_abq

First of all, good for you for stopping. Secondly, yes I spent a lot of time with former addicts and people that were using at that moment. I wanted to try and bring as much honesty to this character as I could and I saw a darker side to people that I've never witnessed before. Meth is a terrible drug, as you know, and has the ability to grab a hold of you tightly. So seriously, good for you.

Out of curiosity, were you anxious to leave Idaho? I'm from Lewiston, myself, and couldn't wait to get out. It's a beautiful place, but I just found a severe lack of opportunity for anything except... well, farming. I do sincerely feel that you're the state's greatest export, though (outside of the one potato I found that looked vaguely like you). Also, if you answer this, can you inform my girlfriend, Anna, that she is a respectable young woman and definitely not a bitch?

asked by cdsk

It was very hard for me to leave Idaho but I honestly had no choice. I was running to something that I was madly in love with. Do I miss Idaho, absolutely - on a daily basis. I'm the only one from my giant family to leave home. And I would love to see the picture of that potato. I like potatoes. Potatoes are good. And most importantly, you're girlfriend is definitely a respectable young woman, and the farthest thing from a bitch.

Who would win in a free for all death match? Mike, Hank, Walt, or the Cartel Twins?

asked by Ndlaxfan

Well the Cartel Twins because they have two people. And they have accents. And they're crazy.

Jesse was originally supposed to be killed off in season 1 of Breaking bad, if that had happened what do you think you would be doing right now with your career?

asked by HazeySynth

My career would be over. And I would be a sobbing mess watching week to week on Breaking Bad.

How has Bryan Cranston made you a better actor and person?

asked by VanceWorley

Wow. Just going to set and working off him every single day was a constant learning experience. I wouldn't be the actor I am today without him. I've learned that its ok to be professional and very immature at the same time because that describes Bryan perfectly.

What’s the biggest similarity between you and Jesse Pinkman?

asked by jabberwocky_

We both love kids. We have a huge soft spot for the young ones and we don't want them to be raised by meth heads... We want to protect them.

I think I first became really emotionally invested in Jessie when he took the rap for his bros joint, and then stamped it out. Was there a moment for you when you first realized that Jessie was going to be really important to the fans of the show, and that people were going to start rooting for him?

asked by Ch0rizo

I agree with you on that moment. That was really a moment where yet another layer was revealed to the audience. The deeper side of Jesse Pinkman. But to me what really changed was when I read the episode of "Peekabo" in Season 2 where Jesse encounters the little boy in the meth house. That episode showed the true heart of the character.

What was the most emotionally difficult scene in breaking bad for you?

asked by wildanimal144

Well bitch, let me see. I honestly think the hardest scene for me to do was when Jesse woke up and found Jane lying next to him dead. Looking at Jane through Jesse's eyes that day was very hard and emotional for all of us. When that day was over, I couldn't be happier that it was over because I really, truly felt I was living those tortured moments with Jesse. So yeah bitch, that's the one.

Why was there a buttplug on the shelf in this scene?

asked by MrSexysPizza

Oh my god! I have no idea. That's the first time I noticed that. But bravo bitch for pointing out the butt plugs. I'm sure that was a joke from our brilliant set decorators. But happy to know that butt plugs were full effect on Breaking Bad.

Hey Aaron, enormous fan. Just a few questions:

1. I heard that you got a concussion and had to go the ER while shooting one of the seasons, what's the story behind that?

2. What has been your all time favorite scene to film thus far?

3. It's very clear that Jesse's character has changed significantly since season one. Would you say that you've changed as well? How has Jesse's character influenced your work as an actor?

4. Are you satisfied with the ending?

asked by imtylerdurden

Yeah Raymond Cruz who played Tuco gave me a concussion during the episode Grilled where Tuco takes Walt and Jesse to his shack in the middle of nowhere where we meet the famous Uncle Tio. Tuco takes Jesse and he throws him through the screen door outside, and if you watch it back you'll notice that my head gets caught inside the wooden screen door and it flips me around and lands me on my stomach and the door splinters into a million pieces. Raymond just thought I was acting so he continued and kicked me in the side and picked me up over his shoulder and threw me against the house, but in reality I was pretty much unconscious the other time. I kept pleading to him saying "stop". The next thing I know I guess I blacked out and I woke up to a flashlight in our eyes and it was our medic. And then I hopped up acting like nothing wrong, but it appeared like I was drunk, and I kept saying "let's finish the scene" but then my eye started swelling shut so they took me to the hospital. Just another fun day on the set of Breaking Bad!

What was it like those few days after you were wrapped?

asked by champ1258

Awful. It was terrible. I went straight from set to the airport where a small little chartered plane was waiting for me, to take me to another job. I landed around 1 in the morning and I stood outside in the pouring rain for two hours, waiting for someone to pick me up, thinking about how the show was over. It was definitely kind of comedic but it definitely fit the mood I was in. It was good that I was able to jump into another job right away so I didn't have to completely mourn 24/7.

My girlfriend wants to do things in the dark with you - how am I supposed to react to this?

asked by wheezymustafa

Haha. I'm sorry buddy. I have no idea. I guess you can just give her my number? And tell her I said hi.


First off I'd like to say that your wife is beautiful!

My question: Where is your favorite vacation spot? OR, where do you really want to take a vacation but haven't yet?

Also, I drew something for you. Sadly, I didn't finish in time. Sorry :(

asked by illdrawyourface

Thank you bitch. I will send my wife your love. Favorite vacation spot is anything music festival related. Me and Lauren are addicted to musical festivals. We met at Coachella. We fell in love at Coachella. We had our first kiss on a ferris wheel at Coachella. So anything that reminds us of that we're very excited to do.

Hi Aaron! It's 5 am here where I'm at. I just wake up for this AMA to tell you that I am a huge fan.

Thank you for doing this AMA and being so fucking awesome to your fans.

It's amazing how you always want to entertain them and always being so humble.

You're such an amazing actor and an awesome man.

I hope I will still see a lot more of you in the future after breaking bad. :(

I need to go back to sleep now. I got final exam in 10 hours. Wish me luck. Bitch.

asked by thereallyn

Good morning bitch! And good luck bitch! Thank you for the kind words. I love you, bitch. When you have time, come over and let's make cookies together.

How's it feel to have everybody like you? You're like the male Jennifer Lawrence...

asked by whistle_tips

Wow, well I'm flattered. I'm happy you like me. It feels pretty good, bitch.

Where do you want to go with your acting career at this point? Any specific actors/directors/powers that be that you want to work with?

asked by benmay2112 I don't know. I just want to continue to do stuff I'm excited about. It's so hard after being spoiled by the Breaking Bad scripts to read anything else. But whoever will have me really. So do any of you have a job for me?

yo, bitch!

just want to say that your fans appreciate you being such a humble, down to earth guy even though you're on the most talked about show in the universe. my friend justin (who is filming you as we speak) went with the cast to the S5.B premiere in the RV (he was filming there too) and you were cool enough to send out a snapchat with him from his phone that i received (and promptly died of jealousy).

my question - what do you consider a bigger accomplishment: acting in breaking bad or getting chosen for the price is right?

asked by diabloargentino

Hahahaha! Yo bitch! Well, I have to be honest, it was an honor to get called and win a desk on The Price is Right. But... you might call me crazy... being a part of Breaking Bad kind of slaughters my appearance on Price Is Right. But good question bitch.

Please advise regarding your facial grooming habits. You seem to have mastered the full-stubble-yet-not-a-beard look.

asked by dtpollitt

Hm, yeah. That's just how my face grows hair. It doesn't grow hair longer than that. I can't explain it and it's a mystery to us all but thank you for noticing.

Hey Aaron, about a year ago I designed  Breaking Bad inspired poster. You came across it on twitter and asked me to send you one! I was just wondering did you do anything with it, I like to think you have it hanging up in your house or something, maybe you even have a room full of Breaking Bad fan art? I know most of the cast have a Rick Fortson portrait which is pretty cool! Also, after about two weeks I got [THIS]


 one you signed for me and sent back, so I'd like to take this opportunity to say thanks for that and for being awesome! Thanks Bitch.

asked by roomiccube

Hey buddy, thanks again for the art. And yes I do have one of the many that you sent to me framed and downstairs in my office. And I shared the others you sent with my family. And they send their thanks as well.

Nerdy actor question, but what kind of training do you have? I'm always really impressed by your moment to moment work.

asked by foedufafa

Thank you so much! The only training I have is really trial and error. I never went to any sort of class. When I came out to LA I was 17 years old and I sat in on two different classes. What I saw during those classes was them doing these strange acting exercises which I didn't understand. I always just thought "hey, pretend like you're being someone else and that's all there is to it." I wasn't a fan of those classes so if I go into an audition and fail miserably, I just think to myself "well, let's not do that again" and "do better." So that's really it. I just force myself to truly believe that I am living the situation through the character.

If Jesse Pinkman and Daenerys Targaryen had a child, what would you name it?

asked by Chuy14


Aaron! You truly are an awesome guy, and it's even more awesome that you're doing an AMA :)

I met you around this time last year when you were in England with your then fiancee, you were both stood out the back of my tea shop in Stratford-upon-Avon. When I approached you you smiled at me and asked if I knew where a certain bike shop (Or rental shop) was. Unfortunately I didn't know, but I asked for a picture with you!

I hope you and your fiancee had a great time in the town (and enjoyed the food at the tea shop) and I'm sorry I didn't know where the shop was!

So my question is this, did you find the bike shop? (The picture I mentioned)

asked by kyak12

Hahaha! Hey buddy, good to hear from you. And no worries, we do not hold that against you for not helping us out. It was really nice to meet you and you were a great guy but to be honest after you failed in helping us, we just gave up on our search entirely. Miss you bitch!

What is your favorite show on TV right now that isn't Breaking Bad?

asked by jpsquill

Right now I'm reliving the Wonder Years from the beginning with my wife and it's so much better in this day and age. It absolutely lives up to what it was back then. So if you haven't seen it, get on Netflix and watch it now... bitch.

Edit: Also there's my girlfriend on American Horror Story... Jessica Lange and I make eyes through the screen.

Aaron, I often hear about help for those who've been bullied, but rarely hear about help for the bullies themselves. As bullying is often a symptom of one's own personal strife, are you doing anything to educate and help those who are known bullies to prevent further bullying and gain insight into their issues?

asked by Bigazzry

That's an amazing question and very personal to me. My wife speaks at schools throughout the year constantly, speaking to the bullies and the kids who have been bullied, about spreading kindness. The thing that people don't realize is that a lot of the time bullies are the ones that are hurting the most. And during every assembly that my wife does, every single time, the bully at the school will stand up in front of their peers and apologize to everyone. It's an incredible thing to witness. Bullies need love too and that's why their bullies. Go to to find out more information.

Good Afternoon Aaron, and thank you for taking the time to do an AMA. 2 questions. 1: In your opinion how much is Mike more like a dad to Jesse than Walt? Walt has called you son numerous time to try to take that role. 2: What's your relationship with kid cudi? In one episode of bb you wore a Steve Aoki shirt and one of his famous remixes is Pursuit of Happiness. and you just did need for speed with him. Did a good relationship form?

asked by MrBeeGD

I think Mike is more like a father to Jesse because Mike actually cares for Jesse and Walt couldn't be more fake. My relationship with Scott is great. We met before we started shooting Need for Speed and we were really excited to work together. He's one of the funniest guys I've met in my life. I love the man. The reason Jesse wore the Aoki shirt in the episode because Aoki is a good friend of mine and he came out to ABQ to play a show and then came out to be an extra on the scene. We put him in the way back so no one would recognize him. And then he took the entire cast and crew out to a show, so I asked him if I could wear a show to thank him for his generosity to the BB family.

Hey love. My Question is, if you could be any character from the Star Wars universe, who would it be and why?

asked by prettyroses

Hey love, it's between R2D2 and Chewbacca. Leaning towards Chewbacca... just because I think it would be fun to be that furry and soft.

Dude, just call me a bitch and I'll be happy..

asked by boomstick420


My cousin Devin is probably in the room with you. Give her a hug and say "This is from your cousin, Bitch"


asked by Grievear

Will do bitch! Wish you were here with us. We're now all hugging, eating Sriracha together, thinking about you.

Hey Aaron,

What is it like hanging out with the Mythbusters team? Did you enjoy the experience?

Also, can we get a good Vince story?

asked by Jman513

Greatest guys on the planet. Love them both. I'm such a huge fan of Mythbusters and it was an absolute honor to be involved with those guys. Vince looked like a giddy little school boy the entire time. It was fun living that with him. And Vince likes the word bitch as much as everyone else.

One last question Aaron! I've heard many places that Bryan Cranston is one of the biggest goofballs on set. Any good stories of him (or any of the other cast) on the set during filming that did not make it onto a blooper reel?

asked by admiralsfan

Well we already talked about the dildo. Another funny fact about Bryan Cranston - we all know that from Malcolm in the Middle to Breaking Bad, his characters tended to wear tidy whities, but what you don't know is that any close-up shot of Bryan on Breaking Bad where you didn't see the lower half of his body, his pants were always off. His pant were always off. True story, I'm not even joking. His pants are always off.

The breaking bad/mythbusters crossover episode that aired monday night was killer. any other things from breaking bad you'd have like to have seen them tackle?

Congratulations on all your success. definitely going to look into Kind Campaign. your work on breaking bad was so good, i'll buy a ticket to any project you're involved in for the foreseeable future. cheers.

asked by mrwelchman

Wow, thank you so much. I love you and I don't even know you. I want to see them tackle a lot of things. I used to want Jesse to find out why Jane really died and that Walt was there. But now I'm not really sure if it would do any sort of benefit for Jesse; I think it would make him even more sad. I also want Walt to get what's coming to him, but to be honest... I don't know if that's going to happen. I mean I do know but it may or may not.

Who would win in a fight, a taco or grilled cheese?

asked by 4TheWolfX

Taco. Come on. There's so much going on with the taco. I love grilled cheese, but I love tacos so much more. I'm now dipping a taco in my bowl of sriracha.

Hey Aaron! You seem like an awesome dude! Did you get a chance to see the Breaking Bad as a romantic comedy trailer?? I helped a friend out on it. I was wondering your thoughts on it?

asked by lsqj

I just watched it. Oh my god, that was awesome. Funny enough that was the direction they were thinking of heading, but they decided against it...sadly.

Hey Aaron! I was wondering when we can start buying tickets to watch the series finale of Breaking Bad at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery!?

asked by LobsterPoop

I'm glad that up. The final episode ever will be played at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Sept. 29 and the tickets will go on sale the day after Labor Day and all of the proceeds will go to benefit Kind Campaign. There will be a Q&A following the finale with myself and a few of the cast members.

But you can go to []( now and enter for the chance to hang with me and the cast at the finale. Every entry supports Kind Campaign.

YEAH BITCH! You're the best!

Question, does Bryan Cranston smell as good as I imagine?

Also, can... can you call me a bitch?

asked by Dyn-O-mite

That's a really good question and I actually get that asked of me a lot. Yes, he smells incredible always.

Also, you're a bitch.

Edit: To be honest, he smells like a freshly bathed unicorn on a summer day in Barcelona.

What do you think if you wouldve happen if you got the part of Francis on Malcolm in the Middle , bitch ??

asked by khasingkables

Eh, well I definitely wouldn't have gotten the role of Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad, that's for sure. I don't know. The funny thing about that is a lot of people thought I auditioned for Francis but in reality they never would see me. I read the pilot of Malcolm in the Middle because it was sent to me and I desperately wanted to audition but they kept passing me.

Aaron, who's your favorite superhero?

asked by star_fuckr

Batman. The Adam West version. But to be honest, I always wanted Q-Bert to be a superhero, because Q-Bert was always a superhero in my eyes.

How can I help donate to Kind Campaign? I live in Pakistan.

asked by Yossma

You can donate through [Omaze]( to Kind Campaign and you might even get the chance to fly to LA to watch the finale with me and my cohorts. I'll even pick you up at the airport.

What is your favorite salad dressing?

asked by flohammed_albroseph

FINALLY. I am so glad someone asked me! Zesty Italian.

Aaron, how pumped were you when you learned you clinched the role of Jesse Pinkman?

Was it anything like the beginning of this?:

Thanks for the AMA man, you seem like a solid dude!

asked by AngryCliffa

Haha. This video always cracks me up. Thanks for sharing it! When I read BB it was the greatest script I had ever read - of any TV show or movie - so I instantly wanted to fight for it. So when I found out I got the show, I honestly shit my pants a little bit. But I also didn't think it would ever get picked up. I thought it would be a fun pilot to shoot, but that was it. But when we all saw the pilot for the first time, we knew we'd be in for a crazy ride.

Which new Lays flavor did you vote for in the recent election?

asked by notoriousBAR

Sriracha of course. Everything with sriracha is good. My god I love so you so much sriracha. I'm actually drinking a bowl of sriracha right now.

Captain Cook?

asked by rmarsack

Yeah, let's use that!

Aaron if you were to make a street name for Jesse Pinkman like Walter White's "Heisenberg", what would you name your character?

asked by InDaNameOfDaLawd

Oh man, I don't know. Jesse would probably go for a really intense name or maybe just a quote like "Yeah, bitch."

Hey Aaron,

Breaking Bad has definitely benefited from your presence!

A former teacher of mine started a traveling ensemble that takes their show [The Bullycide Project]( on the road to raise awareness and I think your efforts area great thing!

Thanks for doing this AMA, bitch!

asked by skananza217

Thank you so much for the kind words! It's all about giving back whenever you can, that's what I believe. We should all support anyone who is going their own emotional torment. Life is tough on all of us and the best way to get through all of that is to be there for one another.

I asked this question during Bryan’s AMA and got a reply, would love to get your take as well.

I live in Albuquerque and love to see our city showcased as a main character on such a monumental show like Breaking Bad. I’m curious how you feel about our city overall? Also what were some of your favorite places to frequent while in town? Thanks for the AMA, Bitch!

asked by go_lobos

Hey bitch! I miss you and ABQ deeply. I loved my experience in New Mexico and I plan on coming back to visit often. I am happily a homeowner in ABQ and I plan on sneaking on to the Breaking Bad bus tour shortly so keep an eye out. Bitch.

How long does it take the make up team to draw on the tattoo on your arm each episode?

asked by zelt000

The tattoo lasts about 2-3 days but first appliance actually only takes about 10 minutes. It's just a transfer so they don't have to draw it. It's like a really nice version of that tattoos you'd get in a Cracker Jack box.

Were you at all freaked out when those random people showed up at your house?

asked by Frajer

I'm always freaked out when random people show up at my house.

Are you going to go to Austin City Limits Fest? Great festival if you haven't been. In my book, second only to Bonnaroo.

asked by figdish

Oh wow. I've always wanted to go to Austin City Limits. Sadly, I've never been to Austin but I hear nothing but incredible things. So hopefully next time I will be there...dancing like an idiot.

Aaron Paul!!

My friend Catherine wanted to ask you two questions, she is a HUGE fan of yours. (but since she's at work, I'm asking on her behalf)

1. Would you ever consider playing a role on Broadway?

2. If so, what would your ideal role be?

and my question is, have you learned anything particularly important from playing Jesse Pinkman?

Thank You!

asked by frackless

Yes. If they'll have me. Annie, would be pretty bad ass, but I'm not sure if anyone would buy me as 8-year old gingerhead. In seriousness, if they ever decided to do the play "The Pillowman" again I would be honored.

Would you rather fight two Holly sized Salamanca cousins, or two Salamanca cousin sized Holly's (with axes)?

asked by SenorPopCocky

Easy! I would love to fight tow Holly-sized Salamanca cousins because I think anything Holly-sized is adorable and fun.

Hello Mr. Paul. Huge, huge fan.

I was wondering if you could shed some light on [this]( It's a 4chan post made on April 1st of someone claiming to be you, and then following up with a [pretty convincing voice recording]( and a piece of leaked information regarding Sunday's premiere.

To me, it looks like a well-played hoax from an extra on set. Either way, wondered if you knew anything about it. Congrats on all your success.

asked by Gyaruson

Wow... um. Well that's the first I've ever heard of that. He sounds a little more "breathy" than Jesse Pinkman. That 100% was not me but I applaud the guy for trying.

What's your favourite Radiohead song?

asked by StefanC__

Fake Plastic Trees.

Benjaman Kyle, An Amnesiac 

I woke up beaten with no memories outside of a burger king in 2004. Any identification was stolen as well. The Amnesia was presumed to have been caused by an injury that knocked me unconscious. The United States government still doesn't have a clue as to who I was. My internet connection is spotty, so I'll be on as long as I can.

Here is proof: 


And here is more (a copy of the only ID card I have with the address covered).

There's a short documentary that explains my predicament on, or

After the documentary, I got a special state ID, and a job in a kitchen, where i still am to this day.

Please sign the petition to get me a new social security number.

Signed your petition, good luck to you. Are you a generally happy person, or does the mystery surrounding your life really weight you down?

asked by plathora

I guess I would say I'm generally happy but I get depressed sometimes.

what would you do if they recovered your previous identity? Would you work at reassembling your pre-accident life or continue life as Benjamin Kyle?

asked by Mr_Rosselli

A little bit of both, I'd have to merge both lives.

Do you ever have nagging feelings about specific places/things that are just on the tip of your memory, but you can't quite place it?

asked by paddirn

Yes all the time.

Were there other things you forgot besides your identity that you had to relearn?

asked by Iratan

I'm not sure I had to re learn anything. It seems like whenever i need to do something, if i've done it before, I remember. When I got in a car I knew how to drive a car.

I'm not sure I had to re learn anything. It seems like whenever i need to do something, if i've done it before, I remember. When I got in a car I knew how to drive a car.

asked by Benjaman1

I had a dream where I repaired a restaurant stove. And remembered how to do it.

Any books or shows you recall after seeing them again?

asked by Iratan

leave it to beaver, ozzy and harriet, bonanza, star trek the original

leave it to beaver, ozzy and harriet, bonanza, star trek the original

asked by Benjaman1

I never saw any of the series with the bald guy until recently

What are your life goals - career, family, etc?

asked by phoenixrising345

Oh long term, I'm planning on dying. Hell, I'm 64. I plan on working until im dying. There will be no retirement or credit.

How do you know how old you are?

asked by Zombiecrusher

I was born ten years before Michael Jackson. I remember that distinctly.

No finger prints,dental records,no old High school friends, or family. That is crazy, Do you have full memory now of your day to day activities? Like can you remember what you just did or do you forget a lot?

asked by CUTIEJUDY

I do forget a lot.

Do you ever see something in particular that feels very familiar or significant? Have you been back to Indianapolis? Maybe just walked around or something?

asked by holyhotdicks

I'd like to go back and just walk around, other than just looking around on the internet. Dr Phil talked about doing it, but they never did

> I remember the best salad bar in Denver was Azar's resturants and them having the worst service.

Wow, that had to be some shitty service. I have this image of you telling the manager ages ago "There is no amount of trauma, that will ever let me forget these empty glasses of water". They should really buck up and send you some rolls. For life.

asked by Msjuneday

They are a defunct chain. Out of business-I think that proves I was right about their service.

Are you a time traveller?

asked by k4m4k4z1

Everyone is a time traveler. They're born, they live, and they die.

What do you know? And how has no one stepped forward to identify you? Has this bothered you at all?

asked by shortyman09

I don't know how nobody has stepped forward and identified me. I suspect the media has overrated themselves in how they think they reach all the people in the united states.

What abilties have you discovered In the last couple of years?Like play the piano or repairing cars.

asked by Blowaway123579

Working in restaurants, and repairing restaurant equipment.

So Benjaman what are you doing now?

Can you finally get some books from the library? If so what are some good books that have helped you pass the time?

asked by TheDonQuixote

I have a library card now, and a state ID card. I like science fiction.

Check out Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles if you haven't already. He's also got another collection book that includes The Illustrated Man.

asked by Just__The__Tip

I've read both of those, don't remember much about them, but I think I've read just about everything Ray Bradbury ever wrote.

1. Did you forget what kinds of food you liked or how things tasted?

2. Do you remember any famous people or people you knew before the accident?

3. Do you think the accident could have changed your personality at all?

asked by Smellyhobo101

Someone asked me the presidents, and I got all of the 20th century ones right. That was one of the tests from the doctors

1) Where in Florida? Was this also where you woke up?

2) Do you remember any other languages?

3) Did you check with the VA? You may have served in the military.

What if you are not supposed to find your true identity? Maybe you are part of a special witness protection program.

asked by pinxi

1) I'm in jacksonville. I woke up in richmond hill, Georgia.

2) no

3) that's been checked

the witness protection program has been checked

Sorry, I should have read the Wikipedia article first. One thing it doesn't mention is drug or alcohol use. Do you have any characteristic of past addictions? Also, the article mentions that you were not in the best of health prior to the accident. How bad was your health? Could you have been homeless?

asked by pinxi

One of the initial reports said that my lab results were surprisingly normal, indicating that I was in good health considering that I was just a homeless bum. No characteristics of past addictions.

Has anyone yet looked through yearbooks in Indianapolis for you? Just a thought

asked by jtb1107

Yes but I understand they could not find a complete set from all the high schools.

Have you ever been contacted by someone claiming to be from your past? How did you handle that.

If not, what precautions will you take when someone does eventually come forward claiming to know you to be sure you are not being taken advantage of?

asked by Fordy_Oz

Three or four people, after long conversations, they decided they were misled.I couldn't remember them either

Did the person or people who did this to you ever get caught?

asked by entirely2fertile



asked by Benjaman1

An investigation wasn't opened until three years later, 2007

Have you ever walked around an area and felt that it was vaguely familiar?

asked by mwishosimba

No, I would like to. That's I'd like to go to indianapolis or denver

Have any neurologists or similar scientists studied you? EDIT: If so, what did they figure?

asked by UDidDis

Dr King, the neurologist hired with the dr phil show, came to the conclusion that it was a disassociative fugue

Best of luck to you Ben. I've never heard your story, so maybe someone who really knows who you are hasn't either. Lets hope we can reach them this time!

asked by ForGoodnessJake

Thank you.

Do you feel that what the government has done (or lack of) is an injustice for someone with a case like yours?

asked by pulpSC

I think the government is worried that if they make an exception in my case, there will be a lot of people who come forward and try to take advantage of it

If you have memories of those two specific cities, why on earth haven't you gone to them to recover your memories by now? I understand money could be difficult when you can't make any and such... but it really seems like the most logical course of action. To go where your memories indicate.

asked by carlotta4th

up until very recently, i wouldn't have been able to go, because I would need to be driven. To fly you need an ID

Do you still have hope that you will find your original identity? Are there any not yet exhausted search strategies? If so, what?

asked by UDidDis

I think if anything's found out now, it'll be a stroke of luck.

Everybody needs to sign the petition to help this man out !

asked by ComputerGuy111

Thank you

Your Welcome :). I posted it on my Facebook as well. I am sorry to hear about your situation. I used to live in Jacksonville myself but now live in NYC. How do you like reddit so far? Is there an address where I can send you something ?

Edit: You're

asked by ComputerGuy111

I have a friend who has taken me by the hand and is showing me how Reddit works. I find that it is interesting but probably would not have done it without his urging.

Have you ever started reading a book a realize that you have read it before?

Also - are you a cat or dog kinda guy?

asked by millre01

Oh sure. I've actually been reading some of the science fiction books I know I've read so that I can remember where I read them at.

Cat. But I like dogs too.

Interesting! Do perfumes/colognes/certain foods do the same for you? Smells can take me back to very specific moments I had forgotten about sometimes.

asked by millre01

I don't seem to have a great sense of smell, but every once in a while, going in the bakery something will hit me. But it doesn't bring back memories, no. But when I do smell something great, it's an awesome thing, because I don't too often smell stuff.

1. has anything come back to you in the past few years?

2. How has your life been up to this point? have you gotten a job? what are you doing now?

3. Are you still actively trying to rediscover your identity or are you accepting your new life as it is?

4. What was it like to wake up and remember nothing from your previous life up to that point?

asked by moraddavid

For memories:

2. I have a job working in a kitchen, but with no SSN its cash only and off the books

3. both


Has anyone doing the investigation tried to focus on Indianapolis and Denver? Because it seems that most of your memories are focused around those areas.

asked by Accidents_Happen

Yes, but nothing positive has come up.

Yes, but nothing positive has come up.

asked by Benjaman1

The focus has been hit and miss

I believe peoples personalities are somewhat shaped by their past experiences. Developing aversions to certain activities or types of people and building a demeanor off of previous encounters and interactions, as well as a moral subset.

To give an example, when I was a kid I had a swarm of Termites fly through my family's apartment, which now causes me to despise flying bugs.

So my question is: If you were to self examine your current personality traits, what elements in specific could be traced back to possible events in your past?

asked by MasterMime

of course, all I am now has got to be based on where I was in the past. I hate talking on telephones. I think that's because when I grew up they were a luxury, and kids weren't allowed to use them. Maybe I was punished for using one.

Its intensely interesting that you still hold those kinds of elements after losing so much. Its like an essence of your past is still with you. From that perspective I would think trying to remember your actual past from details like that is to try and see through thick smoke.

asked by MasterMime

You must be a carpenter- you hit that nail squarely on the head.

What was it like to wake up remembering nothing? Were you panicked or upset when you woke up?

asked by Amoeba_of_Death

No, I was just in a daze.

Has anyone considered -Amish? He could have left or been kicked out. Ya know the show. Breaking Amish. I could be totally wrong though, who knows (I just know that I watch too much TV). It would explain why no one would be able to find him via the media, why he hates the phone, affinity for reading (but not the science fiction kind I suppose). The Amish also do not vaccinate nor do they allow their photos to be taken (for ID). It would also explain why no dental or doctors records could be used to identify him (as seen in Bone's "The Plain in the Prodigy").

Edit: I lied. I just did some quick internet searches and that the Amish do, in fact, have SSNs but I believe it might be a more recent development. However, the sources I am finding are sort of mixed up about it. Perhaps a resourceful redditor can help me out? There really isn't any good information out there. I also know that children born in cults sometimes do not have an SSN but that's just something I picked up from the Castle episode "Swan Song".

Edit 2: Mr. Kyle, while you discounted being able to speak or read other languages, have you tried to read or understand German? This could nip my theory pretty quick.

---scratch my theory. its bogus. he sounds a lot like my ex's father. they were from Indiana.

asked by cottoncandymallow

Thats interesting-there is a huge amish population in Indiana

You seem like a genuinely nice fellow. I bet you were a nice guy before you lost your memory, or an assassin, which would be bad ass. I really hope that you regain your past and find out you have a hot wife and are in fact a billionaire cowboy.

asked by manwiththem9

A police officer in Georgia once suggested, in jest, that since they cannot find me in the records, that I was never a criminal or that I was just so good at it I never was caught.

Your* wiki says your first name really is Benjaman. When did you remember it?

asked by karma1337a

I don't know, I just did when I woke up. I think that's the first thing they asked me

Do you remember it spelled as Benjaman or did you pick the spelling?

asked by karma1337a

No, I remembered it spelled as Benjaman.

No, I remembered it spelled as Benjaman.

asked by Benjaman1

And there are other people with that spelling.

How upset does it make you that you can't connect with your past life at all? Are you upset that no one has tried to look for you?

Thanks for the AMA, your story has always amazed me!

asked by whoblowsthere

I don't know. Puzzled I guess. Mostly I stay so busy that I don't think about it. Because I still have to get on with living.

I still think you look a lot like my uncle Rodney. I haven't seen him since 95, and can't seem to find him. (Lost ties with him when my dad died).

asked by Piscesgurlie4

Where are you located?

When someone figures out who you are, you have to promise to come back and tell us all about it, or post it on :)

asked by nithin1997

considered it promised

Did anyone try to take advantage of you being in this state? Something along the lines of "hey you owed me $50 bucks, I'm your best friend"?

asked by Frajer


I don't know how to ask this tactfully, but I'll try.

The fact that you were homeless and hopeless, but seem not to have resorted to drug use blows my mind. I know that a lot of people who hit rock bottom try to drown their misery and escape reality as much as possible.

* Was there a point when you were homeless that you would spend any money you could find on alcohol or drugs?

* If not, what would you do to pass the time and take your mind off of your situation?

Thank you so much for sharing your story!

asked by RebaRockefeller

Taking hardcore drugs and becoming an addict scares the hell out of me. Because the drugs would be controlling your life. And I would read.

I don't know how to ask this tactfully, but I'll try.

The fact that you were homeless and hopeless, but seem not to have resorted to drug use blows my mind. I know that a lot of people who hit rock bottom try to drown their misery and escape reality as much as possible.

* Was there a point when you were homeless that you would spend any money you could find on alcohol or drugs?

* If not, what would you do to pass the time and take your mind off of your situation?

Thank you so much for sharing your story!

asked by RebaRockefeller

Taking hardcore drugs and becoming an addict scares the hell out of me. Because the drugs would be controlling your life. And I would read.

What would you do if you suddenly remembered your previous life and you found out that you gave yourself amnesia on purpose?

And would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses or one horse sized duck?

asked by DSSCRA

I don't play the what if games. They can drive you crazy.

One horse sized duck.

I don't play the what if games. They can drive you crazy.

One horse sized duck.

asked by Benjaman1

But if I had a horse sized duck I'd sell it.

We should turn this guy into a meme,that way a lot of people could see his face

asked by Lord_pistachio69

What is a Meme?

I remember reading about you some years ago; sorry to hear your case hasn't made much progress. If you found family, how would you feel about being "reunited" with people who are essentially strangers to you?

asked by Copterwaffle

I think that it would be a very confusing time.

It feels a bit unsympathetic asking these personal questions but I am quite intrigued by the story. So I hope it's OK. What do you believe happened in your past? A few people seem to come to the conclusion that you were homeless. What do you say to this assertion? Do you believe you have family somewhere out there?

asked by zugswang

You know, at 64, they may be dead.

This is probably a tough question, but what motivates you more in getting your story out there. Is it mostly to get a new social security number or to find out about your past?

I know obviously if you found out who you were in the past you would get your old social security number back but would you be happy living the rest of your life with a new social security number and still not knowing who you were?

asked by nolanderp

Yes. Maybe not completely happy, but it would get me out of the limbo I'm in now.

How can non-American residents help? I can't sign the petition because I don't live in the US (don't have a ZIP).

asked by cjrutled

talk to your american friends. what if you sent a letter to the us embassy in the country they live in?

I just wanted to inform you that your story reached another continent. I think a few days ago I saw it on local television. I'm located in Austria, Europe. My only question I have: If you have/had a wife, would you still love her, or would the amnesia "erase" feeling aswell? (sorry for this question, but it frightens me to know that this may be possible).

asked by viaGalactica

I don't know the answer to that.

Okay. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I'll spread the word. Good luck, best wishes and hugs go out to you.

asked by viaGalactica


I would like to remind everyone to upvote this post so that more people may see it! Get the word out about the petition that is up, and share the short documentary!

asked by TheDonQuixote


John Wikstrom, director of the doc here. Agreed. He's funny as hell too. SIGN THE PETITION

asked by jtw439

You are making me turn red.

Do you worry at all that you might find out about yourself, and you don't like what you learn? Like, oh, what if there were warrants out for your arrest or some such thing.

asked by dkinmn

If there were warrants out for my arrest, they would have found out through fingerprints.

If there were warrants out for my arrest, they would have found out through fingerprints.

asked by Benjaman1

You know what, there probably would be something I don't like because everyone's done something they don't like. At least if you're old enough. But no, but I'm not a criminal type

I know this is going to sound crazy. In Canada, there is a LEGAL herb/drug called [Salvia]( I don't know if it is legal in the US. They did a lot of experimentation with it with Alzheimer's patients, and it helped them remember things that were lost to them. This may work in your case. I would of course, consult a doctor before using, just in case it exacerbates any condition you may have. I don't care if I get downvoted for this; I am just trying to help.

asked by BarrikadeJT

I thought Salvia was sugar substitute.

Have you considered applying for citizenship in other (english speaking) countries? I can't think of one right off the bat, but there must be countries that are less strict with their citizenship applications?

asked by eikons

No, I'm an American and I'm staying an American.

I know this has been on the internet for quite a while and pops up on reddit every once in a while.

I'm curious, has increased popularity on the internet brought you ANY hunches/clues? is it a matter of not getting anything helpful or not getting anything at all?

asked by gaia12

No, I think that there are a lot of people in my age group who don't have anything to do with the internet or computers.

If you remember, may I ask what happened? Where you in an accident of some sort?

asked by AndreyTheAggressor

Yes. Description now includes it.

Have you had any sort of flashbacks or deja vu about things or events that you feel may have had happened or be connected to prior to the start of your memory loss?

asked by kungfookitten

Yeah, one major one, the dream about how to repair a restaurant stove. and then I put it to good use the next day. And that's the first time I've had a dream that seems to be relevant to anything.

Great work on getting your story out there! I hope all is well and you get your identity back. Keep your spirits high and never get discouraged. To be honest, I find you a great inspiration just seeing you try this hard.

Signed the petition and am passing it on to everyone i know, as well as this thread and your videos. God bless you man!

asked by GrandpaSkitzo


Hi Benjaman,

I really do hope your story has a good ending, you seem like a wonderful person who deserves significantly better.

Has anyone tried contacting local law enforcement in locations like Boulder or Indianapolis? Or tried something more traditional like posting flyers and putting up posters?

asked by sajeevck

My identifying characteristics have been entered into the National Crime Information System so if somebody missing is listed with a scar such as I have the Georgia Bureau of Investigation will get a notice.

I just saw this story on here not too long ago in TIL. Insane, man. Best of luck building a new life.

asked by Madermis

curious What is TIL?

I like cats as much as the next redditor, but I find it sad to see that THEY can get to the front page easier then a man desperately searching for his identity.

asked by The_Pickle_Jar

People trust cats more than they do their fellow humans. I think that says a lot about the human race!

If a family member/friend that you knew before the incident at BK in 2004 recognized you, what would you do? How would you react?

Also, when you get a new SSN, what are your plans for the future?

Do you ever hope to discover who you *were* before, or are you content? Why/why not?

asked by ttaylorr

If someome came forward, and said they recognized me, and i didnt reemeber them, I would really wonder if it would actually be a memory

How did you find out about Reddit?

asked by skullbeats

The documentary producer took me by the hand and taught me how Reddit works. I would never have done it on my own. I am not a Luddite, but I do have to be force fed technology sometime.LOL

Have you ever heard of the malaria medication Lariam? I remember listening to a This American Life episode and a whole act was dedicated to an amnesiac who woke up with no memory of who he was in India.

I recommend trying to get in contact with Ira Glass or someone from This American Life. It could get you more exposure and I think it could make for a very interesting segment.

The best of luck to you. I would sign the petition if I could, but alas I live in Canada.

asked by Kholdstare101

we tried they weren't interested

What was the closest thing to a clue you ever received from an outside source?

asked by gaia12

I don't think I've ever received anything like a clue

Terry Crews 

Hey Guys! I want to thank you for all of your questions and appreciated each and every one of you! Gotta go to work now! Got more great stuff coming! Love you and I'll see you on my next AMA!!!!


Do you think Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho could win an election today?

asked by thewaybaseballgo

Sadly, yes!

How was working on The Longest Yard? There were so many actors/athletes in that film it seemed like it would have been awesome.

Also, my little brothers and I are a huge fans of yours. I feel like they would want me to tell you that.

asked by DroppedTheShovel

Adam Sandler is the BOMB. Originally, the character Cheeseburger Eddie was supposed to be fat. He saw WHITE CHICKS. He got my number from my agent and called my house. Everytime I've worked with him he'll call my house and ask. It's nuts. I'm like "You had me at hello".

Adam Sandler is the BOMB. Originally, the character Cheeseburger Eddie was supposed to be fat. He saw WHITE CHICKS. He got my number from my agent and called my house. Everytime I've worked with him he'll call my house and ask. It's nuts. I'm like "You had me at hello".

asked by TheTerryCrews

I was Cheeseburger Eddie from that moment on.

Three best exercises for putting on overall mass?

asked by Rob10111


Power Cleans

Pull ups

What's a philosophy of yours that you think everyone should take to heart?

asked by sunaharagrandpa

Embrace failure. Never never quit. Get very comfortable with that uneasy feeling of going against the grain and trying something new. It will constantly take you place you never thought you could go. This has been my mantra for years. I always remember I won't do things right on the first try. So failure is mandatory for success!

Terry, if you could fight one person from history, who would it be?

asked by Scraight

My Great great-grandfathers slave-master.

What's your secret, Terry? How do you just REFUSE to be typecasted? Respect.

asked by Grimmy616

I constantly get out of my comfort zone. Looking cool is the easiest way to mediocrity. The coolest guy in my high school ended up working at a car wash. Once you push yourself into something new, and whole new world of opportunities opens up. But you might get hurt. In fact you WILL get hurt. But amazingly when you heal-- you are somewhere youve never been.

Out of all of the things you do/have done (NFL, Body Building, Acting) Which one has been your favorite? Is there any actors or actresses you would want to work with in the future?

asked by greatestbass

Everything was right for me at that certain time in my life. The NFL gave me the body I have now. Without the persistance I learned in the league, I would have never made it in Hollywood. For me all of it led to my ideal future.

Where did you learn to dance so well? your robot in the longest yard while calling adam sandler a baby back bitch has led me to do the same when i beat my friends in basketball.

Edit: Here is a lesser known clip at a warriors game

asked by troublesum

I used to breakdance back in high school. I had no girlfriend, so I would spent hours in my room dancing by myself. The robot was the BEST because it was like an illusion. An you didn't need a partner. Lonely nights make the best robots.

**Terry Crews** in *Forever Alone: A Success Story*

asked by dirtymousepad


Loved you on newsroom. What was your favorite part about working on the show? where you approached for the role or did you audition?

asked by mummymomuggy

I auditioned. Read with Aaron for the part. Unlike most actors- I LOVE too audition. because if they hire you, it means they wanted you. Everybody wants to be wanted. Aaron works so hard on every detail of the show and his words bring out the best in actors. I can hardly believe how good this opportunity is. and I ain't blowing it.

How much can you bench press?

asked by MrTravesty

Don't do maxes any more, but I've ended my sets lately on 420 three times.

How has getting famous changed you and your life? Do you believe that it has changed you much?

asked by paidinboredom

Wow. It's definitely different. I remember shaking every hand and taking every picture, then seeing my wife and kids sad because I was out with them, but spent no time with them. I had to set boundaries. I love being famous and all the fans, but my wife and kids need Terry the husband, Terry the Dad. Terry the Star has no place at home.

Why is it that every time you appear on screen my face instantly lights up no matter what it is I'm watching?

asked by mahleg

It's amazing that my face lights up every time you watch!

How many hours a day do you work out?

asked by Discipline8193

2 hours on lift days

Hello mr. Crews.

My question is about President Camacho, that is definitely my favourite character you've done and I am very curious about how you got the part and how much of it was scripted and how much of the President was your own interpretation.

Keep up the good work!

asked by Dumsnuten

That is one of my favorite experiences. I remember auditioning again and again and I brought 100 percent everytime. Casting agents where always telling me I was too "big" in terms of my technique. Here, it finally working in my favor. I was OVER THE TOP. It was heaven. Kinda like being in a zone. A fun, crazy futuristic idiotic zone. And I got the part.

What are your opinions on steroids, and the people who use them?

asked by haugisen

NEver used them. I empathize with those who want to be strong but there are no shortcuts. People take steroids because they BELIEVE they have no other way. Steroids are about comparing yourself to other people-- but if you just become the best YOU, you'll find you never needed them.

Do you think that your past as an athlete helped you break into Hollywood or did you feel you faced actor/athlete stigma due to your past? Do you think you could have been a household Hollywood name without your history as an athlete and just your hot ass body?

asked by SqueaksBCOD

It's funny. What others think is a hindrance to Hollywood has ALWAYS become someone's calling card. Barbara Streisand nose, Sly's Slur, Arnold's accent -- it's all about how you see yourself. I know there is only one ME. If you hire me- you GET ME. And there's only one. There will never be another.

Which of your Old Spice commercials is your favorite?

asked by tripsex

Wow! that's hard. The first Odor blocker with the talking abs and the fake ending CHANGED THE GAME. But the newest one MUSCLE MUSIC is my FAVORITE! You can actually make music with my muscles! Changed the game yet again!

Wow! that's hard. The first Odor blocker with the talking abs and the fake ending CHANGED THE GAME. But the newest one MUSCLE MUSIC is my FAVORITE! You can actually make music with my muscles! Changed the game yet again!

asked by TheTerryCrews

Follow up question: Did they really attach all those electrodes to you, and did each instrument respond to your muscle flexes?

Thanks for doing this AMA, you are awesome.

asked by CharlesTCheeseman

Yes I really wore the electrodes, but a little Old Spice magic made all the instruments respond.

Hey! I'm a big fan of basically anything you've done. Especially the chris rock sitcom. I'm wondering, when did you start working out 'seriously'?


asked by teflondonz

I was fourteen.

is it true you haven't got any strings?

asked by DattUsername

Hell yeah that's true. Loved that character in GAMER. I have a dark side.

Hale Caesar!

Mr. Crews, what kind of movie role have you not done which you'd really like to do? I think you would be great in a role like a spaceship captain/commander/leader in a sci-fi movie.

asked by tphantom1

I love sci-fi! I'd jump at the chance...

How do you feel about the push for more concussion safety in the NFL?

asked by lightningman26

Definitely needed to happen. I've had several concussions in my life, and the more they can be avoided the better.

How are you so cut up?

asked by Inthematrix

I run 3-4 miles a day. minimum.

Weekends too.

Mr Crews, if there was a "Making Of" movie for The Expendables, where Sylvester Stallone had to go around and get people to be in his movie by beating them at their defining event (e.g. beat Jason Statham in a car race, beat Jean Claude Van Damme in a blood sport tournament), what would your event be?

asked by shockstyle25


Would you ever agree to play Luke Cage in a Marvel movie? Because honestly I can't imagine anyone doing a better job than you.

asked by bug0058

I would if asked. I'd audition. I'd be ready. But if that never happens -- I'd keep creating! I only control the things I can control. I let the rest go.


What kind of music do you listen to on a daily basis?

asked by MSK13

EVERYTHING. I was listening to Rick Ross, John Coltrane, Michael Buble in a megamix the other day. Chris Daughtry, Steve Perry, Tears For Fears, Kanye, all the way to Parliament. I love ALL MUSIC.

what do you think about Skrillex?

asked by Andrewliciouss


Hey Terry, do you ever get worried about being typecast?

asked by itsstevedave

Name anyone else going from Sorkin to Old Spice to Expendables to El Gordo e LaFLaca in one fell swoop. Nah, I ain't worried.

are you worried about being typecast as a guy who can't be typecast?

asked by lilwhitestormy


How fun was it filming the "a thousand miles" scene in White Chicks? XD

asked by SpWRDEn

It was one of the BEST moments of my entire life. The Wayans are geniuses and it was my breakthrough in my acting career. I'll never forget it. That was the moment my life changed.

How many bullets would you say you fired in the first and second Expendables films? Both on and off screen?

asked by ropeyhodges

100,000 bullets minimum.

Terry, what is the worst job you ever took, and what did you learn from it?

asked by Snack_Cake

I was in college and my job was pounding in signs around campus. My boss was lazy and i did all the work. Then HE called ME lazy. I got mad and quit.

You know what I learned? I never should have quit. I should have pounded more signs. I should have been the best sign pounder in the world. But I let one guys wrong opinion of me fake me out of my money. And I needed it. I almost starve. Pride is an ugly thing that must be killed at the very sight of it.

Hi Terry. I'm a big fan of your work and in particular your performance as President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho.

I was 21 when I transferred to my undergrad and began my major in Film Studies. I had long been interested in film making and acting, and although I had a knack for making people laugh I was absolutely paralyzed when it came to performing or creating.

In my new surroundings at a new school, I was feeling more vulnerable but more eager to break through that barrier and get involved with creative projects on campus. I saw a posting for a casting session in the theater department that required a comedic monologue. Not being from a theater background I had no repertoire of recognizable monologues, nor did I want to pretend that I knew anything about those plays...

**Instead I went in and performed President Camacho's State of the Union address and had an absolute blast. Not only did I get into the play, but I ended up getting the part I was hoping for.**

That was my first experience really diving into my creative aspirations as an adult and I will always remember that as a milestone in my self development. Now I have studied acting a great deal and I am in a graduate film school as a director.

No questions, I just wanted to share that and say thank you for giving me such an inspiring gift in your performance and thank you for your extremely important words about embracing failure and stepping outside of your comfort zone. Those concepts have become all important to my life!

**TL;DR: Terry's performance as President Camacho inspired me to audition for my first play using his State of the Union monologue. Terry Crews is the shit.**

asked by AdmiralBeavers

That monologue will set you FREE. You go to another place with that thing!

What was it like working with Sylvester Stallone?

asked by MrTravesty

He is a force of nature. Truly incredible. He told me he was going to make me an action star and right now, I'm among the biggest in the world. Every time I'm with him I always learn more and more. He has reached SAGE status with everyone he's around.

Terry, first of all you are one of the most entertaining parts of the expendables series in my opinion! Just had to get that out there.

My question is, how did it come about that old spice approached you for the new commercials? (Which are my absolute favorite by the way)

asked by SpecOps189

Thank you! It's crazy because I found out later they where looking for a "Terry Crews" type guy for the Odor Blocker spots. Then somebody said "hey lets just ask him". And they did! I loved the concept and the rest is history!

What made you get into acting after the NFL? Were you always interested in it, or was it something you picked up on later?

asked by Anonymous

I was trying to get into WRITING and directing! I did not want to act. Crazy huh? A friend invited me to an audition and I got it! a show called BATTLEDOME. Been acting ever since.

Thanks for doing this!

Do you ever regret any of your roles? Would you like Everybody Hates Chris to start again? How do you feel like going from comedy to action movies changed your acting or you feel comfortable playing in any genre of films?

asked by drunkreaper

No regrets. Every role has a special place in my life. I only do what I love, so that way you have no regrets. If you dont agree with something and do it anyway that sets you up for regret.

[Could you please run for president?](