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Carlos
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2002 12:00 pm    Post subject: Favorite Tom Lehrer Lyrics Reply with quote

I'd have to go with "Two, four, six, eight, time to transsubstantiate!".

By the way, I hear he divides his time between his home in Massachussets and teaching a mathematics class for non-mathematicians at UC Santa Cruz; anyone know if this is still true?
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phong
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2002 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was always partial to "poisoning pigeons in the park."
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I prefer, oh, nevermind, have no idea who he is.
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delta407
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2002 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kanuslupus wrote:
I prefer, oh, nevermind, have no idea who he is.

Ask your favorite peer-to-peer music swapping network. He's (was?) a math prof. at MIT that had a quirky sense of humor, the ability to play piano, and enough nerve to offend and amuse pretty much everyone that listens to him. Made a bunch a bunch of cold-war area vinyl albums. Quality material. ;)

Some of my favorites off the top of my head:
  • "'The Lord's my shepherd' says the Psalm, but just in case, we better get a bomb." (Who's Next?)
  • "...came the deafening roar of chickens in choppers" (Cows With Guns)
  • "The breakfast garbage that you throw into the bay... they drink for lunch at San Jose!" (Pollution)
  • "When you bet, and you end up in debt, oh try as you may, you just can't get away from mathematics!" (That's Mathematics)
  • "Our old mess seargant's taste buds had been shot off in the war" (It Makes a Fella Proud to be a Soldier)
  • "Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics, and the Cathloics hate the Protestants, and the Hindus hate all the Muslims, and everybody hates the Jews!" (National Brotherhood Week)
  • "One man deserves the credit, one man deserves the blame, and Nicolai Ivonavich Lobachevsky is his name!" (Lobachevsky, Plagarize)
  • "You can't take three from two, two is less than three, so you look at the four in the ten's place. Now that's really four tens so you make it three tens regroup and you change a ten to ten ones and you add it to the two and you take away three that's nine is that clear? Now instead of four in the tens place you have three because you added one that is to say ten to the two but you can't take seven from three so you look at the hundreds place. From the three you then use one to make ten ones (and you know why four plus minus one plus ten is fourteen minus one 'cuz addition is commutative right) so you then have thirteen tens and you take away seven and that leaves five. ...well, six actually, but... the idea's the important thing. [snip] Hooray for New Math! [snip] The book that I got this problem out of wants you to do it in base eight. But don't panic, base eight is just like base ten really... if you're missing two fingers!" (New Math) [okay, I listened to that one; I wanted to get it right]
  • "And what is it that will make it possible to spend twenty billion dollars of your money to put some clown on the moon? Well, it's good old American know-how, that's what. As provided by good old Americans, like Doctor Wernher von Braun." (Wernher von Braun)
  • "Whatever became of you, Hubert? We miss you, so tell us please. Are you sad? Are you cross? Are you gathering moss, while you wait for the boss to sneeze?" (Whatever Became of Hubert)


Everyone I know had never heard of him until I cooked them a CD containing 50+ songs of his stuff... :D
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Curious
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2002 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My favourite Lehrer song is 'Wehrner Von Braun'.

Code:

And what will allow us to spend fifty million of your dollars to put some clown on the moon?
Why, good old american know-how.
As provided by good old americans like Doctor Wehrner Von Braun.
....


Although Oedipus Rex was a pretty good song as well. See if you can find 'An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer' at your local secondhand CD store.

-- Curious
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Carlos
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2002 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having listened to most of his songs dozens of times, they're deeply ingrained in my subconscious, and what I remember most often are his crazy rhymes:


    "While we're attacking frontally, watch Brinkley and Huntley, describing contrapuntally, the cities we have lost."
    "Get in line in that processional, step into that small confessional, there the guy who's got religion'll tell you if your sin's original."
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2002 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

delta407 wrote:
He's (was?) a math prof. at MIT that had a quirky sense of humor, the ability to play piano,
I think I vaguely recall seeing him on PBS? Maybe another channel.
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NickDaFish
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2002 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
"...came the deafening roar of chickens in choppers" (Cows With Guns)

Not Tom I'm afraid... You've been had by a mislabled track that I've seen several times on the P2P nets.
Cows With Guns is by Dana Lyons... check http://www.cowswithguns.com

My fave may well be.....
Quote:
I do have a cause though.... obsenity..... I'm for it. (Smut!)


His best know track MUST be 'The Elements' where Tom bangs out a tune reciting the first 90 or so elements of the periodic table. Anyone who has taken chemistry class has probbaly heard it.
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delta407
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2002 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NickDaFish wrote:
Quote:
"...came the deafening roar of chickens in choppers" (Cows With Guns)

Not Tom I'm afraid... You've been had by a mislabled track that I've seen several times on the P2P nets.

Hmm... I thought I checked my list against a CD compilation or something. Guess I missed one.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2002 11:19 pm    Post subject: No matter which one you like, he is still a great lyrics wri Reply with quote

I personally love National Brotherhood Week!
It actually give you an insight into world politics, still valid today more than 30? years after he wrote it. And I believe it was just as valid a 1000 years ago and I'm afraid it is still going to be valid in another 100years unless we destroy this insignificant little planet we all live on.

Peace!
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delta407
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2002 12:39 am    Post subject: Re: No matter which one you like, he is still a great lyrics Reply with quote

ebrostig wrote:
I'm afraid it is still going to be valid in another 100years unless we destroy this insignificant little planet we all live on.

I think you mean until we destroy this insignificant little planet.

...:neutral:

It was fun while it lasted, at least.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2002 12:47 am    Post subject: Re: No matter which one you like, he is still a great lyrics Reply with quote

delta407 wrote:
ebrostig wrote:
I'm afraid it is still going to be valid in another 100years unless we destroy this insignificant little planet we all live on.

I think you mean until we destroy this insignificant little planet.

...:neutral:

It was fun while it lasted, at least.

I was a little unsure how to parse ebrostig's statement also, because the first half of the sentence seemed to make me want to root for whatever the option in the second half was going to be, but then the second half disappointed me.

I'm not sure we'll actually manage to destroy the planet, but rendering it a pretty inhospitable place for beings similar to those that live on it now to live on it in the future appears to unfortunately be the current trend line.

I think the cockroaches and Himalayan blackberries will be just fine.
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Carlos
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2002 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wait, wait, wait. When I first read ebrostig's post and the responses to it I agreed with rac and delta407 about it being difficult to parse. But in hindsight, I read the responses before the sentence in question, and actually it makes perfect sense.
ebrostig wrote:
I'm afraid it is still going to be valid in another 100years unless we destroy this insignificant little planet we all live on.

See, it's a pessimistic view. Humanity will continue to discriminate and hate amongst itself, and there's no way to stop that except destroying our habitat. Personally, I think there's a lot of truth to his view, but I think we can at least get to a state where there's much less hatred and discrimination, and content ourselves with that - though probably not in my lifetime.
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