You're hearing a familiar tune, set to some new words by the group Tickle Tune Typhoon on their new CD, "Singing Science." This collection of catchy songs, all with subjects related to some aspects of scientific study, is doing for science what Schoolhouse Rock did for language and math years ago by providing melodies to carry the load of strict, unvarnished memorization. In other words, these are mnemonic devices. The word, mnemonic, goes back, in fact, to the mother of the Greek muses, Mnenosyne ("Ni-mos-enee"), whose name literally meant memory. What the Greeks were saying, of course, is that without memory, we don't have art -- nor do we have science either, with its own amazing, beautiful works. Just have a look at the Hubble Telescope pictures, and you'll see what I mean. And I can't think of a better, more lyrical way to learn about marine invertebrates, say, than with the Tickle Tune Typhoon's "Home on the Sea," that borrows the old cowboy ballad, "Home on the Range," or to balance "Weights and Measures" on the notes of "Alouette." And there are plenty of new songs, too: about the elements and geography, botany and cell biology. And who would've thought that there was a nouveau tango going on in plain old dirt:
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Copyright 2002 © John Cech
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Monday, 16-Dec-2002 00:33:42 EST