Betsy Devine: Funny ha-ha and/or funny peculiar

Making trouble today for a better tomorrow…

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Entries from June 2009

The amorous singing oxygen atom is baaaack

June 14th, 2009 · Comments Off on The amorous singing oxygen atom is baaaack

The oxygen atom, thinking about the scientist Eve

Originally uploaded by betsythedevine

From today’s NY Times Tierney Lab blog:

Dr. Wilczek, an M.I.T. physicist who grew up in Queens, sang a Gilbert and Sullivanish song, centered on the frustrations of an oxygen molecule in love with a human being.

The big revelation is that this physicist isn’t a bad a singer. He may have a bit of vibrato, but he’s also got a lot of bravado. And he definitely stayed on key for the entire performance.

After a while, he was so engrossed in what he was doing, that he began to move–though, I must report, he’s no James Brown. Nevertheless, the audience where I sat–heavy-duty academic types– had to repress their own desires to start dancing. Who says that scientists have to be solemn and boring?

Who indeed? The song was the re-setting by Marc Abrahams ( for his Ig Nobel opera Atom and Eve, in which Frank played the baritone lead to friendly acclaim.

And there was more Tierney Lab news from Frank’s appearances at the NY Science Festival–or perhaps I should say instead there was Nothing.

Tags: Frank Wilczek · funny · Science · Wide wonderful world

To duck or not to duck?

June 2nd, 2009 · Comments Off on To duck or not to duck?

Those familiar with this blog may have noticed that ducks tend to float through its pages like a theme, perhaps, I hope, from a dreaming composer and not so much, I hope, like that annoying drum riff that the worst guy in the band loves to play.

Sinister ducks, rubber ducks, ducks in and out of water, even (way back in 2003) my first Flash animation Quack-Don’t-Quack.

So it is understandable that a clever person who knows me well, such as for instance a Nobel Laureate who is married to me, would think of me as somebody who would like this video making fun of Pat Robertson for comparing gay marriage to sex with ducks.

And I cannot resist in turn passing this on to you also, but let me just say that as much as I do like ducks, I do not like them THAT way.

But I do really, really like this song.

Tags: Frank Wilczek · funny · Wide wonderful world