Symphony of Science: A Wave of Reason

In the seventh "Symphony of Science" installment by John Boswell, Carl Sagan sings: "Science is more than a body of knowledge: it's a way of thinking; a way of skeptically interrogating the universe. If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to be skeptical of those in authority, then we're up for grabs." That's the theme of the song/video, which features Sagan, Bertrand Russell, Sam Harris, Michael Shermer, Lawrence Krauss, Carolyn Porco, Richard Dawkins, Richard Feynman, Phil Plait, and James Randi. Enjoy:

For all the videos (plus lyrics, downloads, remixes, etc.), check out the Symphony of Science website. I've posted the lyrics for this one below the jump as they're a little hard to hear in parts. Incidentally, if you have no idea what this is, you owe it to yourself to watch the original video (and still the best): A Glorious Dawn, featuring the now-famous lyrics (by Carl Sagan) "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe."

(Carl Sagan's lyrics written by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan and Steven Soter)

Bertrand Russell:

When you are studying any matter

Or considering any philosophy

Ask yourself only: what are the facts,

And what is the truth that the facts bear out

Carl Sagan:

Science is more than a body of knowledge

It's a way of thinking

A way of skeptically interrogating the universe

If we are not able to ask skeptical questions

To be skeptical of those in authority

Then we're up for grabs

Michael Shermer:

In all of science we're looking for a balance

between data and theory

Sam Harris:

You don't have to delude yourself

With Iron Age fairy tales

Carolyn Porco:

The same spiritual fulfillment

That people find in religion

Can be found in science

By coming to know, if you will, the mind of God

Lawrence Krauss:

The real world, as it actually is,

Is not evil, it's remarkable

And the way to understand the physical world

is to use science

Richard Dawkins:

There is a new wave of reason

Sweeping across America, Britain, Europe, Australia

South America, the Middle East and Africa

There is a new wave of reason

Where superstition had a firm hold

Phil Plait:

Teach a man to reason

And he'll think for a lifetime


Cosmology brings us face to face with the deepest mysteries

With questions that were once treated only

in religion and myth

The desire to be connected with the cosmos

Reflects a profound reality

But we are connected; not in the trivial ways

That Astrology promises, but in the deepest ways

Richard Feynman:

I can't believe the special stories that have been made up

About our relationship to the universe at large

Look at what's out there; it isn't in proportion


Never let yourself be diverted

By what you wish to believe

But look only and surely

At what are the facts

James Randi:

Enjoy the fantasy, the fun, the stories

But make sure that there's a clear sharp line

Drawn on the floor

To do otherwise is to embrace madness

Henson Company
Pop Culture
Jim Henson's Labyrinth Is Being Adapted Into a Stage Musical
Henson Company
Henson Company

More than 30 years after its cinematic debut, Labyrinth could be hitting the stage. In an interview with Forbes, Jim Henson's son and Henson Company CEO Brian Henson shared plans to transform the cult classic into a live musical.

While the new musical would be missing David Bowie in his starring role as Jareth the Goblin King, it would hopefully feature the soundtrack Bowie helped write. Brian Henson says there isn't a set timeline for the project yet, but the stage adaptation of the original film is already in the works.

As for a location, Henson told Forbes he envisions it running, "Not necessarily [on] Broadway, it could be for London's West End, but it will be a stage show, a big theatrical version. It’s very exciting."

Labyrinth premiered in 1986 to measly box office earnings and tepid reviews, but Jim Henson's fairytale has since grown into a phenomenon beloved by nostalgic '80s kids and younger generations alike. In the same Forbes interview, Brian Henson also confirmed the 2017 news that a long-anticipated Labyrinth sequel is apparently in development. Though he couldn't give any specifics, Henson confirmed that, "we are still excited about it but the process moves very slowly and very carefully. We're still excited about the idea of a sequel, we are working on something, but nothing that's close enough to say it's about to be in pre-production or anything like that."

While fans eagerly await those projects to come out, they can get their fix when the film returns to theaters across the U.S. on April 29, May 1, and May 2. Don't forget to wear your best Labyrinth swag to the event.

[h/t Forbes]

Pop Culture
David Bowie Is Taking Over New York City's Subways

Ground control to Major Tom: New York City subway riders can now channel one of David Bowie’s many personas while “floating 'round a tin can”—or vying for a seat on the train, as Fast Company reports. Created by Spotify in collaboration with the city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), commemorative MetroCards featuring iconic images of the legendary rocker will be circulated for a limited time to promote the ongoing "David Bowie is" exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum.

A promotional David Bowie MetroCard

Five different MetroCards are available, each depicting one of Bowie’s iconic stage personas, including Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, and The Thin White Duke. Past MetroCard promotions have featured characters from cult TV hit Twin Peaks and the logo of skateboard brand Supreme, the latter of which became so popular that some of the cards sold on eBay for prices ranging from $50 to $1000, according to The Verge.

Spotify and the MTA's David Bowie subway takeover

The MTA said 250,000 David Bowie cards have been printed. They will be sold at random from station booths and MetroCard vending machines at the Broadway-Lafayette and Bleecker stations.

The stations were chosen because of their proximity to Lafayette Street in SoHo, where Bowie lived for two decades up until his death in 2016. In addition to the MetroCard promotion, Spotify has launched a “ takeover” of the Broadway-Lafayette station, where commuters will see photos of Bowie that are currently on display at the Brooklyn Museum.

A photo of Spotify and the MTA's David Bowie subway takeover

The "David Bowie is" exhibition runs until July 15 and includes 400 objects from the David Bowie Archive. Highlights include more than 60 of his performance costumes, 85 handwritten lyric sheets, and oil paintings created by Bowie.

[h/t: Fast Company]


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