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The Late Movies: The Best Simpsons Songs

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I know I’m showing my age when I talk to people and say something like, “Remember when The Simpsons was really funny?” and they don’t. Awkward. Anyway, among my favorite Simpsons moments from their best seasons (3-9) are the musical numbers. Here are my top picks, but the list is by no means exhaustive. Leave your favorites in the comments.

“Talkin' Softball”

The only thing more brilliant than parodying Terry Cashman's "Talkin' Baseball" with lines like “Ken Griffey's grotesquely swollen jaw/Steve Sax and his run-in with the law" is getting Cashman himself to perform it. Despite the ear-buggy tune’s age (the episode “Homer at Bat” aired in 1992), it’s still one of the better known Simpsons songs, even among casual fans.

The Canyonero Song

The “country-fried truck endorsed by a clown” is a perfect satire of not only truck commercials, but also razor blade ads, the Marlboro Man, and any other marketing that targets the male mind’s fixation on masculinity and excess.

"Everyone Hates Ned Flanders"

Homer’s musical career may have peaked with “Baby on Board,” but lyrical brilliance never struck the Be Sharps quite like it does here with the comparison of Flanders to both Frankenstein and Dr. No.

Hank Scorpio’s Theme

“You Only Move Twice” is, in my humble opinion, the best Simpsons episode ever. It focuses on Homer’s brief employ with dream boss/super villain Hank Scorpio, and the Bond-theme-esque tune at the end is pitch perfect. Hey guys, what's your least favorite country, Italy or France?

“We Do” (the Stonecutters’ Song)

Conspiracy theorists fear that secret societies control national governments or are hiding knowledge of extraterrestrials. The Stonecutters do all that, but they also have much more innocent aims. In this drinking song, they brag about suppressing the metric system in the U.S. and maintaining Steve Guttenberg’s career, among other things.

The Monorail Song

The song has some great lines (Is there a chance the track could bend?/Not on your life, my Hindu friend!), but its real strength is in laying bare Springfield’s mob mentality and lack of foresight and reason, and holding up a mirror to the shortcomings of our own political processes.

“See My Vest”

This one tips its hat to two different Disney films, parodying “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast and exposing Mr. Burns’ inner Cruella de Vil.

“We Put the Spring in Springfield”

This tribute to “that little extra spice that makes existence extra nice” won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Music and Lyrics.

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science
6 Radiant Facts About Irène Joliot-Curie
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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Though her accomplishments are often overshadowed by those of her parents, the elder daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie was a brilliant researcher in her own right.

1. SHE WAS BORN TO, AND FOR, GREATNESS.

A black and white photo of Irene and Marie Curie in the laboratory in 1925.
Irène and Marie in the laboratory, 1925.
Wellcome Images, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 4.0

Irène’s birth in Paris in 1897 launched what would become a world-changing scientific dynasty. A restless Marie rejoined her loving husband in the laboratory shortly after the baby’s arrival. Over the next 10 years, the Curies discovered radium and polonium, founded the science of radioactivity, welcomed a second daughter, Eve, and won a Nobel Prize in Physics. The Curies expected their daughters to excel in their education and their work. And excel they did; by 1925, Irène had a doctorate in chemistry and was working in her mother’s laboratory.

2. HER PARENTS' MARRIAGE WAS A MODEL FOR HER OWN.

Like her mother, Irène fell in love in the lab—both with her work and with another scientist. Frédéric Joliot joined the Curie team as an assistant. He and Irène quickly bonded over shared interests in sports, the arts, and human rights. The two began collaborating on research and soon married, equitably combining their names and signing their work Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie.

3. SHE AND HER HUSBAND WERE AN UNSTOPPABLE PAIR.

Black and white photo of Irène and Fréderic Joliot-Curie working side by side in their laboratory.
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Their passion for exploration drove them ever onward into exciting new territory. A decade of experimentation yielded advances in several disciplines. They learned how the thyroid gland absorbs radioiodine and how the body metabolizes radioactive phosphates. They found ways to coax radioactive isotopes from ordinarily non-radioactive materials—a discovery that would eventually enable both nuclear power and atomic weaponry, and one that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935.

4. THEY FOUGHT FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE.

The humanist principles that initially drew Irène and Frédéric together only deepened as they grew older. Both were proud members of the Socialist Party and the Comité de Vigilance des Intellectuels Antifascistes (Vigilance Committee of Anti-Fascist Intellectuals). They took great pains to keep atomic research out of Nazi hands, sealing and hiding their research as Germany occupied their country, Irène also served as undersecretary of state for scientific research of the Popular Front government.

5. SHE WAS NOT CONTENT WITH THE STATUS QUO.

Irène eventually scaled back her time in the lab to raise her children Hélène and Pierre. But she never slowed down, nor did she stop fighting for equality and freedom for all. Especially active in women’s rights groups, she became a member of the Comité National de l'Union des Femmes Françaises and the World Peace Council.

6. SHE WORKED HERSELF TO DEATH.

Irène’s extraordinary life was a mirror of her mother’s. Tragically, her death was, too. Years of watching radiation poisoning and cancer taking their toll on Marie never dissuaded Irène from her work. In 1956, dying of leukemia, she entered the Curie Hospital, where she followed her mother’s luminous footsteps into the great beyond.

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Live Smarter
You Can Now Order Food Through Facebook
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iStock

After a bit of controversy over its way of aggregating news feeds and some questionable content censoring policies, it’s nice to have Facebook roll out a feature everyone can agree on: allowing you to order food without leaving the social media site.

According to a press release, Facebook says that the company decided to begin offering food delivery options after realizing that many of its users come to the social media hub to rate and discuss local eateries. Rather than hop from Facebook to the restaurant or a delivery service, you’ll be able to stay within the app and select from a menu of food choices. Just click “Order Food” from the Explore menu on a desktop interface or under the “More” option on Android or iOS devices. There, you’ll be presented with options that will accept takeout or delivery orders, as well as businesses participating with services like Delivery.com or EatStreet.

If you need to sign up and create an account with Delivery.com or Jimmy John’s, for example, you can do that without leaving Facebook. The feature is expected to be available nationally, effective immediately.

[h/t Forbes]

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