Category Archives: blog

For a more personal take on things than the offical news announcements.

Geek Pop 2010 / Song Lyrics

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A song about Arabidopsis Thaliana

A Musicians favourite plant’s supposed to be marijuana
But I prefer A dot thaliana
Unravelling DNA and all the drama
that entails

A model organism standing alone
With your 5 delectable chromosomes
Your genes provide a knockout selection
That I just wanna grow

The papers you’ve provided have been ample
Your my favourite genus of which to prepare a sample
For a run on
the Illumina machine

That the public don’t know you / thats unfair
But they can get your genome / thanks to TAIR
All the info’s there

A girls favourite flower is of the genus rosa
But a man who gives you those is just a poser
I wanna woman who knows the
ideas that mustard seeds

In a hundred years from now they’ll forget these days
How your hundred and 57 million base pairs paved the way
helping scientists investigate the function of genes in the DNA


Why are there no pop hits / about arabidopsis

And all the hard work you doooo for plant science

noone knows your story / roses get the glory

but lets celebrate you in these modern times

Brownian Motion Blues

I’ve got Brownian motion / do you get the notion / behind my random moves / with other air molecules
Mostly its Nitrogen hanging round in pairs
with 21% of oxygen there
Water vapour and noble gases are also present….
…but they are pretty scarce

But I can’t go where I choose and that gives me the blues
I’m stuck in my own private hell
I never make friends with other air molecules
Trapped in a Whitley Bay Smoke Cell

I’ve got Brownian motion / do you get the notion / its bouncingly cool / being here
I can start close to the ground
transmitting pressure wave sounds
that bounce right
into your ears

A stochastic models been named / to capture my game
Its not something I say in jest
Though the scientists aims / were noble I’m shamed to be
modelled by The Weiner process

Did you know Brownian motion / applies in the ocean / its just that down here / its a little slower
than up there in the atmosphere
less energy to share around
so i’ve got less of a bounce

But I can’t go where I choose and that gives me the blues
I’m stuck in my own private hell
Bouncing around with similar molecules
I could be a metaphor for you

Destination In The Sky

A song about space elevators

I will get you there, from the planet into space
You’ll have to travel down to the equator first, to find my base
Take a good look at those seeing you off, it’ll be a while before you kiss her face
Now I’ll fling you from the surface of the earth and towards the counterweight

Its not like like in the old days / Of shuttles getting you into space
Booster rockets providing 25 million Newtons to kick off the escape
monomethyl hydrazine and tetroxide, variety nitrogen
when combined fuels that burn / without the need for oxygen

Before Colossal carbon tubes and graphene they/ wouldn’t of been able
To construct a 62,000 mile long /length of cable
Wider in the middle, tapering at the ends / its on this piece of magic your journey depends
In a climber that winds its way around it to sky / to minimise oscillations they must be carefully timed

I will take you there
I will take you high
I will get you to
Your destination in the sky


Telomere / a simple repeated DNA sequence

at the end of a chromosone

our cells loose a bit of you each time they divide / and when we loose you we grow old and die

Mitosis is the process by
which cells manage to divide
In 71 Olovnikov recognised
there were limits to the enzymes

On which the process depends
They couldn’t go to the chromosone ends
Without loosing part of the DNA sequence
A fact from which there is no defense

But have no fear
At the ends lies the telomere
Everytime a cell divides
Some is sacrificed

Although we need you to live
for that we give you praise
In cancerous cells there’s too much of you
Thanks to an excess of telomerase
Thats the enzyme from which
A telomere is made
Something that should only exist
In stem cells, after that we degrade

RPM Challenge completed

So combining the composition requirements for Geekpop and the RPM Challenge into one had given me the project of writing songs about Science. Geekpop being the online science and music festival happening in March and the RPM Challenge being the mission to record an albums worth of material in the month of Feb.

The GeekPop ones were due mid February and so four were recorded rather more completely than the remaining ones which were just charango, bass and vocals. It takes a lot of effort trying to factually verify the lyrical content of the track! The CD has been put in the post, so I guess it’ll be a week or so before they all get put online on the RPM Challenge Jukebox. But you can have a sneak peek at the artwork here.



In the meantime, the 2008 RPM challenge ones are up on our online music site for you to listen to if you want to w rap you ears around them, with their American theme.

GeekPOP/RPM Challenge ahoy!!!

So, its been a busy couple of weeks finishing off writing some sciency based songs for a virtual online festival we are playing at called Geek Pop. To top it off we’ve entered the RPM Challenge which last did two years ago, and so will have 5 science songs up for GeekPop with another five nerdy themed songs for the RPM Challenge. If we can get round to it there will be some video’s too! I’ll put the URL’s as and when they come up.

We’ll have more info up as it comes, until then why not check out our last RPM challenge attempt from two years ago?

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Ben There, Done That (A Computer Game Review)

As a computer gamer and a lover of terrible puns I was drawn to a game featuring two badly drawn characters on Steam – Ben There, Dan That. When the opening puzzle involves placing a lit ****** up a zombies ***** you know you are on to a winner big time!

Like Sam and Max, its a point and click adventure game featuring two characters, with a humourous and lateral thinking approach to its puzzles. Trying to examine and pick up everything is something you normally do in adventure games is a sign of desperation but here its a sign of the quality of writing – from the extended quoting from the bible and comments on lager louts and the quality of ladies toilets.

While the humour is kept up all the way through, it also has the right level of playability – I only got really stuck once on this. The game is quite short, but on Steam its also bundled with its sequel at only £2.99 at time of writing, which makes the games a winner! You can also download it from their website for free, but please give them a donation if you play for do so, and/or try their other games out. This pair needs to be cherished.

A new word – digitalulloid

So in a blog post yesterday I used a word that I made up – digitalulloid. It tries to capture the fact that we don’t record onto film on video cameras any more, but some variant of hard disk or flash disk or possibly digital tape. It provides an nice comfy analogue feel to the user of the word at the same time, as if they were back in the romantic era of pioneer camera users, who lived in danger of their artistic record exploding.

Google shows this word not to be in existence anywhere on the web! Does this mean its a new creation?!! I think it is a good word, and should be in the Oxford English Dictionary within a decade.

Single Launch – Come With Me

As part of a T-mobile ad campaign last year there was a move to get loads of people recording a song to make a supergroup of sorts. There were video recording sessions in various places across the country including London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Bristol. I turned up to a session filming in a covered market area in an area of London whose name I now forget, wearing my coolest jacket accompanied by my dorkiest hat. Usually I am a slave to my own brand of fashion but the day was very cold and tuning the charango up to its standard pitch resulted in two broken strings by the end of the afternoon 🙁 However as I was placed next to the drums the delicate tonal quality of the charango was not going to be picked up by the microphones! One the right side of me was the ukulele section of the band, though the cameras failed to get our synchronised Status Quo imitation moves onto digitalulloid.

Musically though, the charango was resurrected! A week after going down for the filming in London, I was invited down to specially record a charango track for the song, which is the opening instrument on the track before getting mixed in with the 1000+ other contributors to the recording. It was quite cool being in one of the best studio’s I’ve ever visited, though it was a bit disconcerting having to put a happy-cheery-pop hat on after being told the room you are in is where Radiohead recorded the awesomeness that is The Bends!!!

Anyway the single comes out this month, but in the meanwhile see if you can spot the Rishi in the video! (UPDATE – Single can be downloaded as an mp3 from Amazon!!!)

Many thanks to Josh for getting the ball rolling on this – the recording was a fun day out on both occasions, and it must be pretty cool to have made this happen.