Little Balms for the Nuclear Family

The Galaxy Song: Monty Python's Eric Idle

here at the top of his game, and Wikipedia says —

Galaxy Song facts are accurate (as well as entertaining.)

Bohemian Gravity

I'm not sure my understanding of string theory or quantum loop gravity has deepened. Yet somehow I feel much lighter. This is massively entertaining.

Evo-Devo: Despacito Biology

How we go from single cells to people — set to Despacito by the ever-brilliant Tim Blais at A Capella Science.

Entropic Time

OK, I could just fill up this entire section with A Capella Science. Here, the replicated, rhythmogenic Tim Blais recapitulates Billy Joel.
BTW, to make this video Tim performed all the time-reversal magic tricks and sang the song backwards in one take!!!

Trump versus God

Comedian JL Cauvin nails it.

Brain Link to your Dog

SNL perfects a canine brain interface but with shocking results.

iPhone is Flawed! Deal with it!

Reviewers of Apple's latest, and greatest get their comeuppance when confronted by Chinese laborers (a fave from SNL.)

Amazon Echo Silver: Say What?

Amazon's newest Echo, specifically designed (by SNL) for the greatest generation.

Pinky and the Brain Teach Neuroanatomy

The Brain of Pinky and the Brain takes a break from his fanatical quest for galactic domination by teaching a class in neuroanatomy — to song, no less.

Web Site Story

West Side Story for the computer age — thanks, Sharron!

I am the very model of a Singularitarian

Featuring Charlie Kam, with an up-to-the-nanosecond version of Modern Major General from Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan.

Dancing? Better Wear a Gas Mask

From WW2 but newly relevant in 2020. (Sorry for letting reality intrude.)

The Hippopotamus Song

Flanders and Swann were one of the best musical comedy teams ever, and this song is one of their best, here sung by humorist Rolf Harris.

The Gnu Song

And another of the Flanders and Swann masterpieces — here sung by the incomparable Michael Flanders himself.

Glass Harp - Toccata and Fugue in D minor Bach

Hauntingly beautiful and kinesthetically connected to the thermin work below. Also watch Robert Tiso perform

Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy ,

and Thomas Bloch on the Glass Harmonica playing Mozart.

The Swan (Saint-Saens) on Theremin

A captivating rendition of Le Cygne played on the theremin by Clara Rockmore. (And, please excuse the following abrupt transition from the ethereal to the earth-bound!)

It's All About the Pentiums

"Upgrade my system twice a day; I'm strictly plug n play; ain't afraid of Y2K. I'm down with Bill Gates; I call him 'Money' for short; I call him at home; make him do my tech support."

Weird Al Yankovic has long been a fave — speaking of which —

Bob = boB

In 1967 in France (during my hippie period) Parisians asked me,

"Tu connais Bob Dylan?" Yeah, I channel Bob.

Yo, banana boy! (and other palindromes by Weird Al).

Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?

No, sir, away! A papaya war is on!

White & Nerdy

I've still got my MIT slide rule, but my pocket protectors are long gone.

Amish Paradise

Luddites rejoice! Technological civilization is going to hell!


How did I accumulate all this crap?

Augmented Reality Magic 1.0

Techno-magician Marco Tempest presents The Virtual Magician .

And, for (very British) humor expert Richard Wiseman,

levitating corks is all in a day's work.

The Brain As Explained By John Cleese

A clear explanation by one of the Monty Python crew.

Robot Dancer: HRP-4C

She's kinda stiff compared with the human females,

but she can also invert thousand by thousand matrices.

Mr Zed (The Robot Comic)

Post-Singularity, Mr Zed portends the end of human stand-up comics.

Honda Robotics (from SNL)

Honda produces the ultimate caterers for your next party.

Ladies Guide to Party Planning

How I remember the 50s (including the jello molds.)

Johnny Cab

To put passengers at ease, future driverless cars may want to take a tip from Johnny Cab — adding a little light banter (from Total Recall.)

World of World of Warcraft

Warcraft sequel lets you simulate being a nerd playing Warcraft.

Game's amazing level of detail makes players feel like they are actually in a cramped, dark apartment playing World of Warcraft!

Stanley Realizing He's a Brain in a Vat

An illustration from the always delightful collection at (Thanks, Snaggy!)

An audience member at one of my lectures pointed out, "And, she's reading Scientific American!"Yeah, she's got it all.

(Each of us is a brain in a vat floating inside a skull
connected to a bunch of peripherals via high speed cable.)

Sheldon Cooper's Friendship Algorithm

Sheldon, notorious physics nerd of tv's Big Bang Theory , has finally deciphered friendship. And, here, illustrating the doppler effect . or here, on Superman's flight dynamics .

And, here as the ShelBot (using Willow Garage's TechAI telepresence.)

Here, the Wolowitz robotic space arm does a Chinese food pick and place.

And here, Howard Wolowitz (the multi-talented Simon Helberg) serenades his great love, Bernadette .

Want to understand positive reinforcement?

Sex works even better than chocolate.

The Elements

Satire pre-Weird Al? Yes, kids, back then there was Tom Lehrer.

Lobachevsky - Tom Lehrer

Here, (actual Harvard Math Professor) Lehrer teaches us the secret of success in mathematics: plagiarize !

Tom's song is based on Danny Kaye's Stanislawsky . No video of that exists, but I did find this wonderful clip of Danny Kaye with Louis Armstrong .)

The Vatican Rag

Another of Tom Lehrer's greatest hits: irreverent lyrics set to a catchy tune.

Elbot — a "has-been" champion chatbot
(pissed off at losing out to Mitsuku.)

In 1950 British code breaker Alan Turing set the best known AI goal — faking human discourse.

A computer passes the Turing Test if it can fool people into thinking it's human.

The Loebner Prize awards money every year to the best competitors.

But, best of all was ELBOT shown above, the former reigning champion — til dethroned by a female bot.

Mitsuku: are female bots smarter?

Bringing this up-to-date, Mitsuku was even smarter than Elbot — but perhaps not with Elbot's deadpan sense of humor. (Both Elbot and Mitsuku are now offline. Too bad!)

Your Own Home Computer?

Believe it or not, home computers may be possible by 2004.

They will even be easy to use, if the family learns Fortran.

Queen of Sh*tty Robots

Looking for a talented roboticist for your startup?

Don't hire Simone Giertz! She delightfully displays her handiwork here for Stephen Colbert.

Kraftwerk: We are the Robots

The Economist suggests this as the theme song for the bloodless bureaucrats that run the European Union in Brussels. (Kraftwerk — the surreal transmogrification of Bach and Beethoven.)

A Magazine is Just an iPad that doesn't work

That's reality for kids growing up these days.

Wall-E Sounds

A robot without a voice is like a soprano with laryngitis.

Sounds are next for the designers of Willow Garage's PR2, whose cousins, R2D2 , Wall-E, and MO all have superb voices.

Spock: "Highly Illogical, Captain!"

Ah, pure reason — with no humanoid emotion.

Generic Academy Award Movie Trailer

Insert endorsement for YouTube clip by

self-styled movie critic to show great wit.

Elaine Pawns Her Emmy to Breaking Bad Crew

In a dangerous lapse of judgment, Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Elaine of Seinfeld)

pawns her Emmy to Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul.

Star Wars Undercover Boss - SNL

Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) goes undercover as Matt, a radar technician, at Starkiller Base. He may be all-powerful, but his employees pick up on him right away.

Susan Boyle: I Dreamed a Dream

Susan Boyle stunned Britain's Got Talent when she sang this song

from Les Miserables : an amazing rendition.

Jackie Evancho: Ave Maria

Even more surprising and delightful was child opera phenom, Jackie Evancho. She was age 9 when she sang Ave Maria on America's Got Talent .

And here in 2016, at age 16, Jackie wows the crowd again with Someday at Christmas. Look at the rapt expressions on Howie Mandel and Simon Cowell.

Alma Deutscher Outdoes Mozart

British child prodigy Alma Deutscher not only plays violin superbly (here at age 11) but has been composing and orchestrating entire sonatas and operas for years.

Here she reveals the secret that unlocks her creativity: "waving around a skipping rope." What?

OK, neuropsychologists. Good luck figuring this out. Alma needs to be included in every account that attributes creativity to mere practice. So does child math genius Terry Tao. Practice just polishes the biological diamond.

Czardas: Hyun-Su Shin

A beautiful rendition of this gypsy violin favorite — music I grew up with — to be savored while drinking tea from the family samovar.

To play this well, Hyun-Su must be one of those rare Korean Jews.

My trumpet teacher would also play Czardas, as in this virtuoso performance
and here by the incomparable Rafael Mendez .

Flanders & Swann: Mozart Horn Concerto

Commemorating the passing of the father/son Saxton horn dynasty (from my youth in band,) —thanks, Marsha S!

Tangentially, on some bygone trip to London was this signage in Hyde Park: "Kindly Refrain from Expectoration."

Paganini La Campanella

Another long time favorite, here played by Stefan Milenkovich.

The Best Paganini Cadenza

Here Philippe Hirschhorn performs this stunning cadenza from Paganini's Concerto No.1 Opus 6.

(The context was "robots vs humans". Obviously, human violinists will be amazing us a while longer.)

Pipe Dream

These are stunning musical animations from the geniuses at Animusic: Aqua Harp , Resonant Chamber,

Harmonic Voltage and Acoustic Curves .

In contrast, the Rolling Ball Marble Machine is real, and so is this robot playing an unmodified clarinet .

Chomskybot: Words Noam Never Said

MIT's Professor Noam Chomsky, the famous theorist of language, did say "Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously" to show that syntax and semantics are separately processed.

The Chomskybot in turn repeatedly generates paragraphs that Chomsky might have written — perhaps after too much schnapps. (After you click on Chomskybot above, click "Next Paragraph.")

The Treadmill Video: OK Go

"Come on, lads. Let's do the treadmill." Sounds like The Beatles, but it's actually OK Go.

U like OK Go? Try these!

End Love and White Knuckles .

George Strait: Cheaper than a Shrink

I hope I'm not the only member of the self-styled, liberal elite that likes Country and Western music. This is one of George Strait's best (and a great West Coast Swing.)

Glee: We Are Young

And, other wonderful YouTubes from Glee:

Total Eclipse of the Heart ,

Uptown Girl , Torn , and Smile .

Jason Mraz - Bella Luna

Rumba is one of my favorite dances, and here's a wonderful example from Jason Mraz — a catchy tune and ethereal lyrics.

And here's a beautiful video of rumba . Warning: this is "PG-13."

You Grew on Me

Tim Minchin: a cynical, straight Elton John.

Flying Spaghetti Monster

Pastafarians believe that God created cephalopods (and more!) in His own image.

Wiki describes the beliefs of this fanatical sect.

PrayerMAX 5000

Prayers not bringing you vast material wealth? You may just need a technological boost.

And here, the delightful Edward Current naughtily inquires, " what if God disappeared? "

Off That (Rationalist Anthem)

Baba Brinkman is angry and blunt here on pseudoscience: homeopathy, parapsychology, et al. Warning: this violates my "PG-13" code, but it's sooo well done.

Keepon Dancing

The music is Spoon's I turn my camera on.

So, what do you get when you combine a Terminator with a rubber ducky? a BeatBot — product of a very cool San Francisco robotics firm)

The Donald interviews himself

Donald Trump is clearly the only one qualified to interview himself — and particularly not that lightweight, Jimmy Fallon. (But, I'm really praying for Sarah Palin to join The Donald's political team.)

Or, to get an even smarter version of The Donald,
you could insert an AI module.

Sarah Palin as Maximum Leader!

Sarah Palin is one of my favorite politicians.
She unintentionally holds the comedic highground.

Brian Greene Explains Relativity

In 2015 we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Einstein's General Relativity. Here, physicist Brian Greene demos it to gadfly Stephen Colbert. (Hat tips to my lovely dance partner, Sharron, for this and the one below.)

Stephen Colbert & Smaug, the Dragon

Colbert asks the tough questions (at great peril) to the arch conservative Smaug, who reveals he will support Rand Paul in 2016 to put America back on the gold standard.

2016: Obama rocks!

This was at the 2016 White House Correspondents' Dinner hosted by Barack and Michelle.

The entire speech was a gem. (Don't miss the video with John Boehner.)

Be Saved by Bob!!!
Church of the Subgenius

Guided by the uber-charismatic J. R. "Bob" Dobbs, the faithful of His Church strive for Divine Slack. Here, an unauthorized excerpt from His Book of Bob .

Glucose Song

Who knew glycolysis could be so catchy?

Computer Geek

Ok, many of my friends are computer geeks.
They do have some redeeming qualities —
like nifty collections of pocket protectors.

Rich Flavell: Rejected

Who knew that Prof. Richard Flavell (Yale) — wizard of immunology — was also the next Paul McCartney?

Everlasting Life by Uploading

Some of my friends are head freezers — they've signed up with Alcor to cryopreserve their heads, to be uploaded to a mainframe post-Singularity and maybe even downloaded to a new body. It's not without peril.

She Blinded Me With Science

a quaint little ditty from the 80s

Tablet Evolution

Cool promo combines history lesson with buzz on Motorola's Honeycomb

Samsung SSD Awesomeness

What you get if you put a dozen SSDs into a RAID array

The Mom Song

All of mom's wisdom and admonitions in 3 minutes.

I Have a Little Dreidel

They've got the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
All we Jews have is I have a little dreidel.

It turns out it just needs a makeover — by the Maccabeats.

You Won't Succeed on Broadway

What's up with all those "Jewish" Nobel Prizes? ?
(My favorite non -explanation is that

the Swedish Nobel Committee just loves Jews.)

David Hyde Pierce shows it also extends to Broadway.

Bruno Mars: Uptown Funk

Three billion hits on YouTube! Go, Bruno!

Rocking Robin

An East Coast Swing, as seen on Dancing with the Stars

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
Even arch-villains (Neil Patrick Harris) need love.
(Start at minute 3:40; play to min 5.
Song itself is also here :
Tony Awards 2013 Opening Number

Here, the multi-talented Neil Patrick Harris opens the 2013 Tonys.

Meryl Davis & Charlie White: Ice Dancing

A spectacular dance by the world champions.

Zorro: My Lifetime Loving You

Just a very pretty song.

Fiddler: Sabbath Prayer

Here is the international cast: so moving!

Il Volo: Grande Amore

Three great tenors. Thanks, PBS!

Carino by Chris Spheeris

a beautiful guitar solo. Another lovely song:
Heaven's Gift by Gypsy Enchantress.

My Valentine: Paul McCartney

Paul's still got it.

Old Spice Commercial

that brings an old product into the Third Millennium.

Will Ferrell Wired into the Future
Alliteration Gone Mad

Assumes an articulate author, appropriately adept
at alliteration.

The Mickey Mouse Club

Perhaps my introduction to dancing
And, here's the The Lone Ranger,
and Zorro , and Roy Rogers.

Billy Crystal: - Marvelous

"You rrrooook mahvelous, my dahlings"
(and you know who you are!)

Sacha Baron Cohen; OMG!

Sacha here — working the edge.
(BTW: his cousin, Simon, is a superstar neuropsychologist, who specializes in autism.)

Borat: intimate inspection
of Jimmy Kimmel

Here master comedian Baron Cohen
inspects Jimmy Kimmel for viruses
while maintaining social distance

The Turkey that Ate St. Louis

Cross Colbert and Carl Sagan and you get Seth Shostak
SETI's most entertaining lecturer .
This student film by Seth shows his many talents.

Diet Coke + Mentos

Like the Bellagio Fountains in Vegas, only funnier.

The Mythbusters provide an explanation .

Watsky Raps . . .


Native Instruments: The Mouth

An essential tool for would-be DJs and rap artists.

Cymatics: Science vs Music

An incredible melding of physics and music from artist engineer Nigel Stanford .

Vsauce2 - Kwazy Inventions

Hummingbird feeder on your head, robobutt, robomusician, robo-cocktail mixer, etc.
And, more wacky science (color perception and electricity from fruit) from Vsauce .

Where Do Babies Come From?

My favorite Kaiser Permanente Ad.

Mozart - Don Giovanni

The aria Deh vieni alla finestra .

Gustave Flaubert said that God's most sublime three creations were Hamlet, Don Giovanni , and the sea. Perhaps he was talking about this aria.

Valentina Lisitsa - Chopin Etude Op25 No.12

I first heard this piece live at a Christmas party in 2014.
For Valentina fans here are two more:

Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody
and the Rachmaninoff Prelude in g minor op. 23 #5.

Phantom of the Opera

Here, with four phantoms.

Quantum Levitation

very cool demo of quantum locking.
(Thanks, Bill Berry (see next photos!)

World Champion Jugglers
Anthony Gatto: World's Top Juggler

He's the best in the world (from someone who knows.)

Thank you to (great juggler) Bill Berry .

Juggling robots have a ways to go .

Ping Pong: Man vs Robot

World champion, Timo Boll, versus KUKA robot. Wow!

Boston Dynamics: Atlas Flips (OMG!)

In 2017 — incredible progress at Boston Dynamics since Google sold them to Softbank in Japan (much better than America at nurturing industrial robots.) Don't miss this!

The Ascent of Alex Honnold

I backpack every summer in Yosemite where Alex Honnold is Crown Prince of the Big Wall climbers. He climbs 3,000 foot rock faces with no rope and no gear.

Alex has been featured on CBS's 60 Minutes (above link), and in a NatGeo Special .

Felix Baumgartner's Top 5 Freefalls

I was amazed by Fearless Felix's jump from the edge of space at 39,000 meters.

Career Advice: Follow Your Passion (Not!)

Realistic career advice from the Onion .

Jack Black: Kiss from a Rose

And, here is Black, the id-persona of rock, in Wonderboy .

Ok now, this has gone on too long (according to Jack and Will Ferrell — don't miss this one !)

Cheers, Bob “ out ”