The Music Corner: Sending Science Into Space!


I’d been considering a science music showcase for a while, but haven’t found enough songs. However NASA recently used science to fire a robot car with a nuclear-powered laser at Mars, and manage to hit it just in time for their already present satellite to snap pictures of the landing.

So here is a mix of three science songs, followed by two space songs.

I will start with a song recommended to me by my friend Benjamin: She Blinded Me With Science by Thomas Dolby. I don’t really know who he is, nor have I heard the song before he recommended it, but I did do a little research. Thomas Dolby is a musician from London in Ye Olde England, and had a hit with this song back in 1982. It’s not a bad song, and the word science appears a lot, so I say it qualifies.

The second song was introduced to me by Yahtzee Croshaw (another Benjamin, come to think of it) and it is none other than The Dandy Warhols and their song I Am A Scientist. Ever since I heard it, I knew this was going on the list if I ever made a mix including science. The first song of theirs I heard was Bohemian Like You, which I’m sure is the case for many people.

For the third track we return once again to Jonathan Coulton and a song about math! I’m talking about Mandelbrot Set, a rather rocking tune about ground-breaking mathematician Benoît Mandelbrot and his famous (in science circles at least) set: zn+1 = zn2 + c

There is a line in the song that goes: ♫ Mandelbrot’s in heaven ♫ At least he will be when he’s dead ♫ but he’s still alive and teaching math at Yale ♫, which Coulton wrote while Mandelbrot was still alive. Mandelbrot passed on 2010 however, so in all his performances since then JoCo has ended the line at ♫ Mandelbrot’s in heaven ♫.

And now that we have covered math, let us move on into space with a very appropriate orchestral piece: Mars. Bringer of war from Symphony of the Planets, Op. 32, here performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. 

And to round things off we have the more light-hearted song from Monty Python: The highly educational Galaxy Song performed by the wonderful Eric Idle. Despite not having a chorus I still find this song to be very catchy. It’s one of the ones I regularly sing as part of my personal playlist while at work. It’s witty, educational, uplifting and even has an insertion of British humour.

And with that I close off another Music Corner. If my brain is feeling less bleh tomorrow, I’ll see about more gaming stuff. I hope you found something you liked, and that you consider just what an amazing feat NASA pulled off.



Posted on August 14, 2012, in Music and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’m glad my suggestion of the Symphony of the Planets inspired you. I love those works.

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