Tuesday, October 28

The Debunker: Did Mozart Write "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"?

by Ken Jennings

Human ignorance, sadly, isn't limited to planet Earth. Even today, over 400 years after the Age of Enlightenment began, plenty of people are still getting plenty of stuff wrong--not just about our home planet, but about the whole universe. Luckily, Jeopardy!s Ken Jennings is the author of a new book about the mysteries of the cosmos, the Junior Genius Guide to Outer Space. In this month's Debunker columns, he'll set us straight on a whole sky full of starry slip-ups. These are some misconceptions of truly astronomical proportion.

The Debunker: Star Myth #4: Did Mozart Write "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"?

The little-known fact that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote the melody for the children's song "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" is not so little-known as the wiseacre typically volunteering the "fact" would have you believe. I've seen the claim in Frommer's travel guides, children's books about Mozart, and even (ironically) a book about scientific misconceptions by Phil Plait, who blogs at Bad Astronomy. It's plausible enough, I guess. Who else would compose one of the world's most famous kids' songs but the world's most famous kid composer?

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Monday, October 27

Music Monday: Epic Hip-Hop

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! Are you one of those people who hate rap and hip hop as a genre? Yeah? Well, you’re as wrong as those people who hate all country or hate all classic rock. Today Scott’s challenging every one of you to join in with some epic rap songs. Because if you hate 100% of an entire genre, it’s not the genre’s fault. It’s yours.

Doug E. Fresh - The Show

 

Famously uncleared samples, beat boxing, funny accents, the “Six Minutes” stage reminder and banter between the MC’s. This is the Bohemian Rhapsody of hip hop, moving you from a backstage gathering to the big moment onstage, and perfect to sing in a car with your pals. Simply glorious and amazingly epic.

See you after the jump, everyone with taste! And the rest of you listen to this over and over until you catch on. Also here’s a heads up: after the jump some of the lyrics might be NSFW, okay? Okay.

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Tuesday, October 21

The Debunker: Are There Twelve Constellations in the Zodiac?

by Ken Jennings

Human ignorance, sadly, isn't limited to planet Earth. Even today, over 400 years after the Age of Enlightenment began, plenty of people are still getting plenty of stuff wrong--not just about our home planet, but about the whole universe. Luckily, Jeopardy!s Ken Jennings is the author of a new book about the mysteries of the cosmos, the Junior Genius Guide to Outer Space. In this month's Debunker columns, he'll set us straight on a whole sky full of starry slip-ups. These are some misconceptions of truly astronomical proportion.

The Debunker: Star Myth #3: Are There Twelve Constellations in the Zodiac?

Little-known fact: the relative positions of celestial bodies millions or hundreds of millions of miles from Earth do not, in fact, affect your mood, character, and luck on a day-to-day basis, despite what syndicated newspaper columns would have you believe. But the signs of the Zodiac are not just accidental, arbitrary superstitions. Astronomy and astrology are very different fields, but they share the same roots: man's earliest observations of the stars.

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Monday, October 20

Music Monday: Songs About You

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! Today’s all about you. Without you, where are we? We’re here, but alone. So lonely. Because without a you, there can’t be an us. :(

Alice Cooper - You And Me

 

There’s a lot you and me aren’t. But we’ve got all this, don’t we? And haven’t we developed a relationship over the years? Don’t we matter to each other? SAY YES, PLEASE! WE NEED THE COMMENTS!

There’s more to come inside, and it’s all for you. See you after the jump!

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Tuesday, October 14

The Debunker: Do Black Holes Suck?

by Ken Jennings

Human ignorance, sadly, isn't limited to planet Earth. Even today, over 400 years after the Age of Enlightenment began, plenty of people are still getting plenty of stuff wrong--not just about our home planet, but about the whole universe. Luckily, Jeopardy!s Ken Jennings is the author of a new book about the mysteries of the cosmos, the Junior Genius Guide to Outer Space. In this month's Debunker columns, he'll set us straight on a whole sky full of starry slip-ups. These are some misconceptions of truly astronomical proportion.

The Debunker: Star Myth #2: Do Black Holes Suck?

Let's get this out of the way up front: falling into a black hole is no picnic. Get too close to one of these collapsed stars, and you'll never get out. Weird time effects will start to boggle your brain: thousands of years will pass by in, from your point of view, minutes. You'll see images from the past lined up in front of you, and images from the future behind you. Light will bend so much that might be able to see the back of your own head. And that's before you even start to undergo "spaghettification"--the gravitational stretching of your body into a new, pasta-shaped you.

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Monday, October 13

Music Monday: Me &…

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! The character of “me” is one of the most popular in all of music. It’s easy to understand why, right? A singer up there can speak for themselves better than for someone else. Today Scott’s gathered five songs that start with “Me &” and thrown down the gauntlet. Can you do better? HE DOESN’T THINK YOU CAN!!!! But we’ll see.

Billy Paul - Me & Mrs Jones

 

It might be grounds for divorce, but it’s so smooth. In this one the “Me” is leading a secret double life with Mrs. Jones each and every day. It sounds filthy… but is it? Because if you listen to the lyrics, they seem to be just be sitting and talking. Is this a relationship or just implications and daydreams? Who can say? Only the unreliable me. And, maybe, the Mrs. Jones. Too bad she never recorded a song.

Be the me you want us to see. And we’ll see that me after the jump!

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Tuesday, October 07

The Debunker: Is the Big Dipper a Constellation?

by Ken Jennings

Human ignorance, sadly, isn't limited to planet Earth. Even today, over 400 years after the Age of Enlightenment began, plenty of people are still getting plenty of stuff wrong--not just about our home planet, but about the whole universe. Luckily, Jeopardy!s Ken Jennings is the author of a new book about the mysteries of the cosmos, the Junior Genius Guide to Outer Space. In this month's Debunker columns, he'll set us straight on a whole sky full of starry slip-ups. These are some misconceptions of truly astronomical proportion.

The Debunker: Star Myth #1: Is the Big Dipper a Constellation?

Ask someone to name a constellation in the night sky, and odds are most of them will first think of the Big Dipper, the seven bright stars that gleam overhead on summer nights in an unmistakable sickle-shaped pattern. The Big Dipper has helped humans navigate for millennia by pointing the way to Polaris, the North Star. Virtually every culture had its own name for the Dipper, from the "Drinking Gourd" of West Africa to the "Seven Gods" of Mongolia to the "Charles' Wagon" of the Vikings. It's iconic enough to have been borrowed for the corporate logo of Iridium Communications and on the state flag of Alaska. But the world's most famous constellation isn't actually a constellation at all. It's an asterism.

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Monday, October 06

Music Monday: Sports Songs

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! Some people love sports. Some people love sports so much, they write songs about sports! Scott’s gathered those songs here today for your amusement. Also we need 50 million dollars in public money to build a Music Monday stadium or we’re taking this post to Oklahoma.

Operator Please - Just A Song About Ping Pong

 

This is so catchy and simple that it’s hard to believe Malcolm McLaren wasn’t involved somehow. And don’t start looking for metaphor here. This is JUST a song about ping pong.

See you after the jump!

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Monday, September 29

Music Monday: Guess The Theme!

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! Hey, wanna play guess the theme? Well… tough, you’ve got no choice. Scott’s kept today’s theme secret from everyone. See how many videos it takes you to guess it. No cheating!

THE HINT: Poe - Hey Pretty

 

This song doesn’t quite fit the theme, but it’s close. So consider this a hint. If you guess it correctly right now, award yourself ten imaginary points! Everyone else? Head on inside!

Remember: play fair. Imaginary points you don’t earn honestly turn into poison in your hand. See you after the jump!

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