SONG: Facts Will Save Us All

SONG: “Facts Will Save Us All”.

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE:Steve Ballmer Serves Up a Fascinating Data Trove,” New York Times, 17 Apr 2017, as used in the post “Microsoft’s Ballmer sics big data on government spending.

This is a song from the perspective, maybe, of Steve Ballmer’s inner voice.

He is, after all, an emotional man (about things like developers! at least).

The chorus comes from something that I remembered hearing in a public radio interview about his new da…

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Science Art: Lychee, from Flora Sinensis, 1656.

A lychee. By Michel Boym, from

This is Litchi chinensis, 荔枝, the lychee, sometimes called a “lychee nut” although it’s not nut-like at all. It’s more like a muscadine (tough skin, sweet juiciness) with a big seed in the middle. It’s one of the best things in life.

As I’m sure it was in the 1600s, when Michel Boym, a Polish Jesuit missionary, was studying them for his exhaustive work on Chinese botany. He also authored the first two dictionaries translating Chinese into European languages – Latin and French.

If you c…

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SONG: Another Girl, Another Planet (penitential cover)

SONG: “Another Girl, Another Planet” (penitential cover)

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: This has no scientific source; it’s a penitential cover for being late for the April song. It’s originally by The Only Ones.


This is a punk standard, as much as there is such a thing. I shouldn’t admit this, being of the generation that I am, but I came to this song backwards – through (of all things) a classical tribute to punk rock. Somehow, I missed this song the first time around, and the…

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Science Art: Blackbird SR-71 engine nozzle, 2011

from :
Click to embiggen

“Internal view of a Pratt & Whitney J58 afterburner and exhaust nozzle.”

Found on Wikimedia Commons.

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Science Art: The Myology of the Raven, 1890

Corvus corax sinuatus
Click to embiggen

This is the head and neck of a raven, Corvus corax sinuatus, as dissected and drawn by Robert W. Shufeldt.

I look at this and am impressed by the beauty of the anatomy. Then I wonder what Shufeldt’s fingers were like after dissecting and drawing the thing….

You can find more of the raven here. He was a thorough man.

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Science Art: Mouth of Petromyzon Marinus with its Horny Teeth,

From FM Balfour's WORKS, Vol 3:

This is a “more definitely suctorial mouth with horny cuticular teeth,” according to Francis Maitland Balfour, a British biologist with a particularly distinguished name and a delicate sense of prose, who was, until his untimely mountaineering death, viewed as the successor to Charles Darwin.

This lamprey’s face is from Volume 3 of his Works, which can be found on

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Whispering baby whales.

26 April 2017 grant 0

Science Daily listens close to baby humpback whales whispering to their mothers: Ecologists from Denmark and Australia used temporary tags on humpback mothers and their […]

No song today.

24 April 2017 grant 0

Sigh. I’m most of the way through one, but the words didn’t fall together even after the chorus turned up. One will follow soon, along […]

A teeny, tiny NASCAR.

20 April 2017 grant 0

Nature is gearing up for small engines going… well, pretty fast for their size. Because these chemists are racing single-molecule nanocars: Six teams from three […]