Creativity, Science

Mix Tape #5: Your mama took the ugly ones

Tom Lehrer — There is a delta for every epsilon (19??)

For me, one of the best discoveries I made while collecting science-themed songs is singer-songwriter, satirist, pianist, and mathematician Tom Lehrer. You may have encountered his song The Elements in an earlier mixtape. And this one obviously reminds me of the shortest mathematician joke: “Let epsilon be negative.”

“If an epsilon is a hero,\
Just because it is greater than zero,\
It must be mighty discouragin’\
To lie to the left of the origin.”

Landscape — Einstein A Go-Go (1981)

“‘God does not play dice with the world’/
But things aren’t right in the outside world/
But still there’s vice in the world/
I’ll put things right”

Einstein vs Hawking (2011)

“There are ten million million … particles in the universe that we can observe/
Your mama took the ugly ones and put them into one nerd”

They Might Be Giants – Why Does the Sun Shine? (2009)

“The sun is a mass of incandescent gas\
A gigantic nuclear furnace\
Where hydrogen is built into helium\
At a temperature of millions of degrees”

Bush — Science of Things: The chemicals between us (1999)

“The chemicals between us\
The walls that lie between us\
Lying in this bed\
The chemicals displaced\
There is no lonelier place”

Look up the tag mixed tape for a list of all science-themed music collections at Scientific B-sides.



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