Top Ten Science Songs of Pop Culture

10 02 2007

A little reward for living the Girl-Nerd Life of the Mind!

I just found “For Those About to Hypothesize: We Salute You”, browsing Snook’s newest blogroll link to girl geeks.
Hope you find some very unschoolish ways to use and abuse the songs on this fun top ten list but note: as always, Thinking Parents will want to pick and choose carefully using their own best judgment.

“. . . Like the wave-particle duality of light, sometimes these beats behave like science, sometimes like music. . . at least they get us through the day in an entertaining way.”

Here are the first and last two honorees just so you can get the flavor.

A top-ten list to brighten the day of the most oppressed Petri-dish slave.
by Kate Fink, 24 January 2007

10. What We Need More of Is Science by MC HAWKING . . . pro-science, anti-fundamentalist lyrics on his album “A Brief History of Rhyme” in computerized voice – as though from physicist Stephen Hawking himself. The song “What We Need More of Is Science” rails against “the pseudo-science of quacks, morons and fools” and acts as a rallying cry for science education and reason over creationism:

“But maybe there is still hope for the young / if they reject the dung being slung from the tongues / of the ignorant fools who call themselves preachers / and listen instead to their science teachers.” The song manages to parody a scientist while delivering a passionate message. Clever work, MC.

“Creationists always try to use the second law [of thermodynamics] to disprove evolution, but their theory has a flaw: the second law is quite precise about where it applies, only in a closed system must the entropy count rise” . . .
9. The Planets by GUSTAV HOLST

This 1916 orchestral suite by Gustav Holst contains seven movements, each an ode to a different planet. We learn that Jupiter is jolly and Mars, with rapid staccato beats evoking a marching army, wants to go to war. The piece is more about astrology than astronomy, with the attitude of each planet recalling the Roman god for which it was named. But even this literary interpretation of space exploration will attract science enthusiasts. . . .


2. Mammal by THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS They Might Be Giants – Apollo 18

. . .playful yet informative song not only manages to name obscure mammals (echidna, monotremes), but also ventures deeper into scientific territory with detailed mention of the mammals’, “four chambered heart” and “very high metabolic rate.” Even while educating, They Might Be Giants maintains cuteness (“they raise a paw.”) Maybe it’s narcissism, but I’m in love.

1. Sounds of Science by BEASTIE BOYS Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique – A true classic and class act, the Beastie Boys’ seamless rhyming and eclectic subject matter find fertile ground in the field of science. The scientist-luminary name-dropping ranges from Isaac Newton to Ben Franklin, and explorer Ponce de León and his search for the fountain of youth even get in on the action. Beyond that, their scientific method wanes, but they do add “I got science for any occasion / postulating theorems formulating equations” . . .