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Art meets science
Posted: 03 August 2010 07:06 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Anyone else hear the interview that Terri Gross did of famous rock star and recent physicist Brian May?  He famously played guitar for rock band Queen, he talked a little about their absence from rock charts in the USA while they spent years making hit song after hit song and touring the world.  He mentioned that the band did a comedy shtick in drag, and since then had no success in the USA, tsk tsk tsk USA for the old anti-gay attitude.  But now-a-days maybe the USA is more open-minded about that sort of thing, for goodness sake.  smile

He wrote a book about old stereoscopic photographs, which Terri Gross focused on.  Sounds like an interesting peek at a point in history, a 3-d one.  smile  But I was so curious about his physics book called Bang!.  Terri Gross didn’t ask May for the title and by the time May said the title of the physics book the interview was over downer, I wanted to know more about it.  I’d like to give the physics book some air time on this forum.

Good rock and roll, and good physics… good for Dr. Brian May, and his co-authors Sir Patrick Moore and Chris Lintott, and band mates John Deacon, Freddie Mercury, and Roger Taylor.  smile

brianmay.jpg

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Posted: 03 August 2010 08:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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If I recall correctly, most of that band have Ph.Ds in hard sciences and maths.

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Posted: 03 August 2010 10:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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big surprise really?

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Posted: 04 August 2010 04:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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asanta - 03 August 2010 08:21 PM

If I recall correctly, most of that band have Ph.Ds in hard sciences and maths.

jump_in_the_pit - 03 August 2010 10:41 PM

big surprise really?

I wouldn’t be surprised considering the quality of the music they put out - they definitely were not air heads.
I heard that interview too.

OT I knew a base player from Oakhurst a Boulder based band who also headed a team that discovered/verified Olivine on Mars.  He wound up having to quite the band as they became more successful and touring more, since his scientific career was getting more successful and demanding too.  Wish I could remember his name.

Anyone out there know about the rest of Queens crew and their science please do share.

Hey, wasn’t that dumb blond on “Friends” also some sort of science real thing too?  Something I heard her talking about with none other than Terry Gross many years ago.

PS.  I love Terry Gross I think she’s one of the best interviewers around.

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Posted: 04 August 2010 05:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I looked it up on Google. Brian May is the only Queen member with an advanced degree. Bassist John Deacon earned an electronics degree with First Class Honors from Chelsea College. Freddie Mercury had an art degree. Drummer Roger Meddows-Taylor was accepted to study dentistry but decided on a music career instead. These qualifications probably make Queen the most intelligent (at least the most educated) Rock band of all time. Their music was pretty darn good too.

The Terri Gross interview was good. I heard about Brian May getting his PhD last fall, but this was the first interview I heard about it. Seeing as how I plan to major in astronomy I found it inspiring.

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Posted: 04 August 2010 06:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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They are certainly educated. I though more of them had graduate degrees, but you are right, they have everyone else beat, and every degree was earned the old fashioned way.

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Posted: 04 August 2010 07:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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In that interview, May practically forced the “Bang!” title into the interview, Terri only responded with dead silence, no questions about it.  She only commented on his research paper to make a laugh over it (not a laugh at it) characterizing herself as confused and laughing that characterization off.  She focused on the sterogram book on purpose, avoiding the physics book.  She has a habit of doing that sort of thing, this is not the first time, just the most demonstrative time… she avoids science topics, and if one comes up she plays dumb and laughs off her play, its a game she does.  Terri Gross, she does a fun art interview, but not more than that.

————————————————————-

There are other famous artists with some credentials.  Greg Graffin, singer of the band Bad Religion got a Ph.D. after becoming famous.  Wiki says his paper was titled, “Monism, Atheism and the Naturalist Worldview: Perspectives from Evolutionary Biology.”.  Peter Garrett singer of the band Midnight Oil ran for government in his native Austrailia (on an environmental platform) and held office, after his fame. 

Lisa Kudrow of “Friends” television fame, I heard her say in an interview that she started to study science in college, but didn’t finish a degree.  I think she pursued microbiology, and later she got hired for “Friends”.

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Posted: 05 August 2010 09:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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jump_in_the_pit - 04 August 2010 07:13 PM

In that interview, May practically forced the “Bang!” title into the interview, Terri only responded with dead silence, no questions about it.  She only commented on his research paper to make a laugh over it (not a laugh at it) characterizing herself as confused and laughing that characterization off.

OK maybe it wasn’t one of her finest interviews - however you are not entirely correct.  She did bring up his study and asked some questions of its topic: the motion of cosmic dust.  Admittedly, during that short section I had a few questions I was hoping she’d ask but she didn’t and ran out of time.

ok perhaps she’s no science hero, but she does get more out of interviewees than most other interviewers around.  And at least she isn’t constantly shoving her “i’m the smartest guy in the room” ego into everyone’s face the way Charlie Rose has gotten to do - used to love him way back, but not anymore.  Back a dozen years or so ago, when I first started listening to Terri I remember getting irritated and I had all sorts of gripes, but she has had so many truly insightful sometimes amazing interviews, that now I enjoy the show and try to figure out how she does it.

~~~~~~~~~
I’m sorry I shouldn’t rag on Charlie so much, but you know for a few years in the early/mid ‘90s I was in a situation where I listened/watched him very regularly and thought he was awesome.  Then, I shot the TV (not because of him).  In the past year or so I’ve watched a few interviews through the web and almost feel betrayed at how much he’s changed… so I bitch.

[ Edited: 06 August 2010 07:43 AM by citizenschallenge ]
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Posted: 15 August 2010 09:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Maths fans join the street entertainers

They are from the Royal Society in London.  They call it Math Busking.

They are the National HE STEM Programme.

From the article:

  “We are about changing people’s thoughts about maths rather than trying to educate them,” says Steve Humble, aka Dr Maths, who specialises in public awareness of maths and is the third founding member of the busking team. He says that maths buskers are principally there to entertain, and it doesn’t matter if for more than half the audience entertainment is enough.

  “Mathematics isn’t always a popular subject,” he admits. “If you can get people interested it helps enormously.”

  “Ireland already holds such an event to which mathematicians from across the UK travel every year.”

[ Edited: 15 August 2010 10:01 AM by jump_in_the_pit ]
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Posted: 16 April 2011 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Anyone ever attend the World Science Festival?  What did you think?

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Posted: 16 April 2011 07:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Well, well this thread comes around again.  Way back when, after all was said and none I relisten to the interview and found myself disagreeing with jumps assessment and irritated at my response.  I even wrote a long reply, but never posted it figuring the time had passed, but I kept the thing for future reference.

jump_in_the_pit - 04 August 2010 07:13 PM

In that interview, May practically forced the “Bang!” title into the interview, Terri only responded with dead silence, no questions about it.  She only commented on his research paper to make a laugh over it (not a laugh at it) characterizing herself as confused and laughing that characterization off.

Right out of the gate…
“Exactly three years ago today he submitted his doctoral thesis in astrophysics: “A survey of radial velocities in the Zodiacal dust cloud.” ... he is now Dr. & Chancellor… ” 
“But, that’s not the only twist, co-writer of A Village Lost and Found, featuring stereoscope images form the 1850s… particularly T.R.Williams ”
~ ~ ~

After this, it is obvious the “plot-point” of this interview is the publication of May’s A “Village Lost and Found”... not May’s astrophysics.

Terry does a nice job of bringing out May’s inspiration regarding the roots of this, May’s recent book centered on historic stereo images…

Terri, then does a nice job of bringing this around to how it interwove with May’s musical career. Then, into his Queen’s musical career itself, which after all is what the average listener actually wants to hear about anyways.

Then, comes a wonderful, examination of the creation of a rock mega hit.

Then, they got into technic and touches on Mays physics background.

Then, the story touches on a guitar solo that comes in at the end of “We Will Rock You” and finishes the song. In light of the interview that solo attains all sorts of new nuances. Quite beautiful in an artistic sort of way.

After a break, she plugs his Stereoscopic Book again, but gravity has its way and she is back to discussing Queen, and trying to delve into the band’s morphology. 

Yes, the rumor is true, during Bohemian rhapsody they did physically wear through an audio-tape.

Terri pulls off a beautiful transition into more recent times, with a surprise “Wayne’s World” audio. (28:20)

At 35:40 she touches on May’s PhD
Then at 37:10 mentions his book about radial velocities of zodiacal dust.  She asks for his layperson’s description.
38:45 discusses his study and use of doppler shifts…
measuring shifts of the light bounced off these dust particles
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So all in all I take back my swipe at the quality of this particular interview, not one of her best… but pretty good just the same     cheese

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Posted: 16 April 2011 07:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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jump_in_the_pit - 16 April 2011 01:29 PM

Anyone ever attend the World Science Festival?  What did you think?

nope, though I’d love too, but NY is way too far away for me.

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Posted: 17 April 2011 07:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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jump_in_the_pit - 16 April 2011 01:29 PM

Anyone ever attend the World Science Festival?  What did you think?

Depending on the cost of tickets, I would love to go - anyone know how much tickets are? I couldn’t find that info on the site.

They did have a nice little video on my kind of faith - HERE

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Posted: 17 April 2011 02:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Faith in math driving the Universe?  How can we all see the math in the Universe?  The things that add up, and multiply, wave, integral, and differentiating… can we all see that they exist in the world like the way we see Barney is really a person in a big purple foam outfit, or a wall contains electric wires and water pipes, mathematic insight. smile

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Posted: 17 April 2011 04:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 16 April 2011 07:37 PM
jump_in_the_pit - 16 April 2011 01:29 PM

Anyone ever attend the World Science Festival?  What did you think?

nope, though I’d love too, but NY is way too far away for me.

Me too! Can’t they hold it in SF for just one year??? cheese

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Posted: 09 November 2011 07:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Symphony of Science has set scientist’s words to music.  Its fun.  smile

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