By Phil Plait | February 15, 2008 12:30 pm

Shaquille O’Neal is becoming an astrophysicist? I guess Colbert was on to something.

Money quote:

“I have been involved in many hotly contested battles in my playing career and have come out an even stronger warrior, but 100 billion Kelvins is a lot even for the Diesel,” O’Neal said, showing the various media present a slide of the Crab Nebula, which he called a “frightening” example of what could be left of him after a supernova occurs. “If I were still in my 20s, maybe I could sustain a burst of energy more powerful than the sun could emit over a 10-billion-year time period. But Steve Nash has to understand that I have a bad hip.”

Though I must take exception to this line (emphasis added):

“Not even electron degeneracy pressure is enough to stop a supernova when that happens to a Sun,” O’Neal added. “I don’t even know what that means, and I am the Big Astronomer. But it scares me.”

He’s skirting dangerously close to stepping on my trademark, and I may have to throw an elbow.

But now it looks like I have a new candidate to blurb my book.

Tip o’ the sweatband to Professor Astronomy.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, DeathfromtheSkies!, Humor

Comments (12)

  1. Hoonser

    It’s troubling to see athletes start losing it as they get older. How many blows to the head does one need to start referencing astronomy in everyday conversation?

  2. “It’s troubling to see athletes start losing it as they get older. How many blows to the head does one need to start referencing astronomy in everyday conversation?”

    This will be fun to watch …

  3. Michael Lonergan

    Ummm, guys? Check the source. It’s The Onion. It had me for a second because I didn’t see the top of the page. Awesome.

  4. firemancarl

    And zzzzzziiiiing!!!!

  5. DaveR

    I love The Onion. It is my favourite news site.

  6. Murff

    This is shaq, he always comes up with odd analogies. It’s what makes him Shaq!

  7. Bah….

    You had me for a full 5 seconds wonderining if I had missed something akin to not knowing of Brian May from Queen. I should have noticed the Onion right away…

  8. but it's the onion

    shaq is usually full of good quotes… but lonergan was right… it’s the onion… i.e. totally fake news…

  9. C’mon guys … you have to have more fun with Hoonser before just giving away the answer. These comments were fun to watch for about 33 minutes.

  10. I think Shaq would be a more appropriate “Bad Astronomer” — no offense. It’s just that he’s really bad at astronomy.

    Reminds me of something he said about 5 years ago (I still have the newspaper clipping). When asked if he visited the Parthenon while he was in Athens training for the Olympics, Big Aristotle astutely replied:

    “I really can’t remember the names of the clubs we went to.”

    Good times.

  11. I’m going to be an optimist and assume that the B.A. knew it was The Onion all along and just decided to pull our collective legs. Certainly he wouldn’t have fallen for it…..

  12. autumn

    Well, remember that Shaq decided after his graduation (not downplaying that at all, kudos to him) that he should be known as the “Big Aristotle” rather than the “Big diesel”, even though Diesel was an engineering genius and Aristotle was woefully ignorant of the basic science of his day.


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