1. Hank Fox says

    Jeez, that was fantastic! What’s our policy on poaching content from one blog to another? I want to echo this on BCA!

  2. Francisco Bacopa says

    I liked the first few Symphonies of Science. Now I mostly dislike them. But as in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves Morgan Freeman makes this one cool.

    Who was the young British guy with the hipster hairdo? Was that the dude known on Youtube as Andromeda’s Wake?

    And why does he call him himself Andromeda’s Wake. Is he dissing our galaxy about the upcoming (in a few billion years) galactic collision. Sorry buddy, The swirling droplets from Hera’s breasts (or the backbone of the night for you Egyptians) is getting hit edge on. That concentrates our mass.

    Sad thing is, once the Andromeda-Milky way interaction settles down into a huge new barred spiral mega-galaxy, alien astronomers will need pretty big telescopes to see the results as the universe will have expanded quite a bit by then.

    Too bad for the Big Crunch. I kinda wanted the universe to be destroyed and reborn. Looks like it’s a one way ride into a future of black hole filled mega-galaxies with their richer and richer 4th, 5th, and 6th generation stars hanging on in a colder and colder universe. Would a civilization orbiting a 5th or 6th generation star even be able to figure out the Big Bang? They would be isolated in the “Island Universe” of their own cooling, but resource rich, galaxy and be able to determine little of the larger structure of the Cosmos.

    Yup! Its true. Immanuel Kant coined the term “island universe”. He heard about galactic nebulae and had the first hunch that they might be huge structures very far away.

  3. someclone says

    #4, He’s Professor Brian Cox OBE, once keyboardist to D:Ream. He’s also the host of Wonders of the Universe.

  4. Alverant says

    Now come on, the universe is made up of way more than 12 particles of matter. There’s billions of particles of matter in a single DNA strand!

    Apart from that nitpick, great video.

  5. Ian says

    Alverant, he’s referring to the twelve different types of elementary particle. Six quarks, six leptons.

    Those particles combine to form protons, neutrons, and electrons, which in turn form the atoms of the periodic table, which form the molecules like DNA.

  6. Epikt says

    Rev. BigDumbChimp says:
    “The inventor of autotuning needs to be taken out behind the woodshed.”

    A friend runs a commercial recording studio. He’s recorded a number of cds for a Celtic band run by a married couple. Sadly, the woman (and lead singer) has MS, and she’s deteriorated to the point where she can’t always reliably sing on pitch. Her husband and my friend have a small conspiracy going, autotuning her vocal tracks without telling her, in an effort to allow her to do something she loves for as long as possible.

    I still hate autotune, but I hate it a little less now.

  7. aleopold says

    Here’s another version “Symphony of Science: A Wave of Reason”

    Russell, Dawkins, Sagan, Harris, Feynman, Randi, and others

  8. ReasonUnleashed says

    No one else’s smile and twinkly eyes bring more happiness into my heart than Richard Feynman’s. What a warm, thoughtful, kindly fellow.

  9. PlayMp1 says

    I think autotuning Stephen Hawking is more bizarre. Autotune makes you sound like a pitch perfect robot (thank Weird Al Yankovic for that description). Stephen Hawking’s voice is essentially robotic. What.

  10. calvinstrikesagain says

    @Francisco Bacopa: That guy is actually Brian Cox, the particle physicist working at the LHC at CERN. He’s kind of a rock star like figure for science in the UK and abroad.

    Might want to double-check identities *before* getting on soapbox.

    All the Best,


  11. says

    I really do like most of these Symphony of Science videos.
    I understand the hatred. Auto-tuning sounds stupid, but I can get passed it because of the content and the speakers. I sometimes find myself going out of my way to search out my favorites: Wave of Reason, Galaxy Rise, and (most of all) Poetry of Reality.

    About this one, though: No Carl Sagan?! Just feels weird w/o Sagan. He could have at least had a small cameo saying “Billions and Billions” or something.

  12. Francisco Bacopa says

    @Francisco Bacopa: That guy is actually Brian Cox, the particle physicist working at the LHC at CERN. He’s kind of a rock star like figure for science in the UK and abroad.

    Thanks for letting me know.

  13. passerby says

    Saved and added onto my Zune with the rest of the collection. Morgan Freeman: The only God you need to believe in. Hey, you can actually see him (in bad movies)! Better than the other ones!

  14. Musical Atheist says

    Oh my, Stephen Hawking sounds fantastic. As does Richard Dawkins. Actually, I think the reason ‘shrill’ ever got applied to Richard Dawkins is because he’s clearly a tenor, and there’s a tendency to associate masculinity with deep voices, so I reckon there’s a sort of subtle feminising of Dawkins in order to discredit him by people who dislike his work… Does anyone call Hitchens ‘shrill’? Purely personal musing I should hasten to add, I have no real evidence for this whatsoever.

    I HATE when recording artists use autotune! Learn to sing!

  15. Hercules Grytpype-Thynne says

    I used to think there was no evidence of the supernatural. Now I’m not so sure, since autotune is clearly Of The Devil.

  16. momof3 says

    I’m not sure how I missed out on these before, but I’m glad you posted it. My 3yr old and 6yr old loved it. My 3yr old then required that we watch several more before watching this one again a few more times.

  17. David Rolfe says

    I’m not a giant fan of autotuning in general (unless Daft Punk is involved) but there is one Symphony of Science track I can listen to over and over: We Are All Connected.

    Any time I listen to it I get tears in my eyes. The NdGT quotation in that one is just as profound as when Sagan says, “The cosmos is also within us. We are made of star stuff. We are a way of the cosmos to know itself.”

  18. Heathen Canuck says

    Sure, Morgan Freeman is cool, but they ALSO autotuned PZ Myers! I ask you, who’s the real celebrity?

  19. TomZ, a miasma of incandescent plasma says

    pt @16, one of the comments from SoS’s earlier videos said there’s a copyright dispute with Sagan’s people, which is why he hasn’t appeared in this one or Children of Africa… Personally I think (totally biased and unsupported opinion) that Sagan would be on board with using his voice for these, it’s just another way to spread the message and awe and wonder of science. And he’d be all for that.

  20. says

    Autotune or not, these were brilliant …

    … and Feynman is a fantastic inspiration autotuned or not.

    @7: You’re not nitpicking. You’re misunderstanding what they’re saying in the video. There are only those fundamental massive particles, + the W and Z bosons if you do want to nitpick. In fact matter is almost entirely only made up of three of those 12. Up and down quarks and electrons.

  21. KD Jones says

    I’ve long believed that autotune is one of the great curses of technology. It takes something that is so deeply human – the combination of breath, rhythym, inflection, articulation (and probably more) – and makes what was the LEAST fragile and most easily recognizable and reproducable component and uses it to break what was possibly the most persistent chain of emotion in human expression… the intonations learned from a mother’s cooing and much else in infancy and only made mature by a combination of conscious and unconscious experience and practice, all going to deaf ears for the accumulating loss in popular culture. I’ve actually heard people say they can’t perceive any loss of emotion or depth in pitch-corrected vocals. Gads.

    But the vid itself was a lot of fun. Sweet in a cheesy but still affecting way, and even heartbreaking for the Feynman ending. Hard to think of him leaving us, still.

    – KD Jones