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How to be a science geek on YouTube, Part II

February 15, 2010

by Jennifer Phillips, Ph.D.

Well, I never imagined that it would fall to me to lighten things up around here, but after Mark's last gravitas-laden entry, it hardly seems fair to whack you all with the big science stick two weeks in a row. So once again I turn to You Tube for a little frivolity. 

The video below has to be one of the best things I've ever found on YouTube. I'll spare you the long boring lecture this time, but I will preface the video by saying that it features some of my scientific role models, most notably Carl Sagan. I was probably the only kid in school who didn't doze off when the 'Cosmos' film started chattering through the projector. While my contemporaries drooled and passed notes in the darkened classroom, I sat captivated by his vision, and the clarity with which he expressed it to lowly viewers like me. He was one of the pioneer popularizers of science, and the enthusiastic, lucid way in which he made the universe-the universe!-accessible to anyone interested enough to tune in inspires me to this day. 

However, I hasten to point out that this is not a video of Carl Sagan droning on about "Billyunz and Billyunz of Starrrzzzzz" (yeah, even I made fun of that one). It's actually a compilation of a few memorable 'Cosmos' snippets blended with words from other leading lights in science communication like Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and Richard Feynman, all set to music through the process of Auto-Tuning. It's cool. And it gives me chills every time I listen to it. Hope you like it.

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