bill nye essentials lead

Bill Nye isn’t exactly a doomsday prepper, but that doesn’t mean he’s not greatly worried about climate change and what that means for the future of our planet.

The science educator, who actually started his career as a mechanical engineer for Boeing in Seattle (where he invented a hydraulic suppressor tube still used on 747s), first turned his attention to the importance of teaching science to kids when he pitched the show “Bill Nye the Science Guy” to a public access TV station in Seattle in the early ’90s. It ended up running in syndication across the country for five years and won Nye a total of 19 Emmys.

His latest show, The End is Nye (now streaming on Peacock), walks viewers through both natural and unnatural disasters, such as volcanic eruptions and solar flares, and how to prevent, navigate and survive them.

“We present six major problems that we need to prepare for,” Nye explains of the series. “We’re doing our best to make people aware of what could go wrong on a huge scale, and what we as a society can do about these potential disasters. Our hope is for viewers to recognize that our complex society is fragile and that things could go very wrong.”

But there is hope at the end of each show. “With planning and application of our intellect, we can avoid or mitigate these disasters,” he says. In other words, pay attention to what’s going on, and don’t despair. “We want viewers to embrace an optimistic view of the future through science,” he says.

In the meantime, Nye walks us through the everyday products that bring him joy.

“I buy six bottles at a time from Sur La Table, which is another OG business in Seattle,” Nye says of the extra-virgin olive oil, which is cold-pressed from both Spanish and Italian olives and has a hint of spice to it. “I use it all the time because it’s versatile and reasonably priced. We have a couple tablespoons a night in our salad dressing. And, it’s just the thing for popping a batch of popcorn, or on top of my spinach pizza.”
It turns out, the Science Guy runs on caffeine. “This is another item that I buy six of at a time. I always, always have it on hand,” Nye says of the coffee grind, noting that he honestly doesn’t leave home without it. “I often put a bag in my suitcase just to make sure it’s available when I ‘need’ it.”
He may be worried about natural disasters, but Nye has no fear of carbs. “This is a Seattle area product that goes with every breakfast,” he says of his favorite morning baked good. “You just add water and bake away. At our place, we make these four times a week at least.”
“If you like salmon, this is it,” says Nye of the rub, which is made with paprika, thyme and brown sugar, and is used on what’s been called the “best salmon in Seattle” at Douglas’ Etta’s restaurant. Nye adds, “This is another product that’s a product of my living in Seattle for so many years. I buy these three at a time, because I don’t ever want to run out.” (Bonus: A portion of every tin sold is donated to the Alaska Wild Salmon Fund.)
If Nye’s a guy who likes his coffee, he equally likes it with frothed milk. “Every morning, and I mean every morning, we froth up milk for our coffee,” he says, noting that he adores the Aeroccino3 from Nespresso, which makes hot milk foam, hot milk or cold froth. On weekends, he even gets a little wild! “Once a week, I sprinkle on a bit of cinnamon,” he says. “Hence the term in our house, Cinnamon Sunday.”
Nye likes to be prepared for disasters, no matter how small — and this waterproof tape (often used by camerapeople on TV and movie sets) has proven to be a simple solution to plenty of them. “When you’re traveling, this is the versatile material that solves so many problems in short and medium terms,” he says of the sticky stuff, which is strong enough to adhere to any material indefinitely, even fabric — but is also easy to remove. “I usually buy the inch-wide from Hollywood Expendables in Burbank,” he says. “It’s always in my suitcase, and always at hand in a kitchen drawer or in my workshop.”

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