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Martian Chronicles Live Video

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Recorded live from Cambridge Bright Club earlier this month – and augmented with lots of groovy facts and info from the NASA Mars Exploration website. It really is a fascinating repository of information.

I tried my hardest not to be influenced by David Bowie when writing this song, but it was neigh on impossible! I will have a fuller post about writing this next month, but for now, here are the lyrics.

Lyrics

It ain’t no goddamn small affair being a robot sent to Mars
You ain’t a girl with mousy hair; You’re a one tonne remote control car
Daddy told you to go and send back images of what you see
At Mission Control, they’re hooked to their silver screens

First came the Viking hordes flights are still being planned
No sailors in dance halls, these missions are all unmanned
Only half the flights launched, make it; Rule Britannia is out of bounds
The Beagle 2s innovative balloon based landing system had a bit too much bounce

You landed in the Gale Crater, cushioned by suspension and parachute
Run on your electricity generator, 32 plutonium cubes
You are your own navigator, six wheels and cameras help move
Now you’re up there gathering data, from the seat with the clearest view

Chorus

You’re a giant robot rover of the surface of Mars / driving round, finding paths
remote controlled science car
Photographing scenery / rock sampling with chemistry
it’s amazing that you’ve gone so far

You’re a giant robot rover of the surface of Mars / driving round, finding paths
remote controlled science car
Spirit Opportunity / Viking Curiosity
it’s amazing that we’ve gone so far

No Norfolk broads, but lots of iron oxide rich soil
No Ibizan seas, but there’s more heavy water that you have seen
No mickey mouse or cows, but if there evidence for life around
You’ll find it / you’ll find it / you’ll find it around

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Ode to Arabidopsis

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I have adapted the backing video for the Ode to Arabidopsis song with some performance footage I did as an earlier. An excellent animation was once again done by Rob Kemp, so a big thanks once again to him for his hard work.

The song is available on the GIANT LEAPS album, and in fact was the first sciency one I wrote, pretty much kick starting the Professor Karmadillo project.

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Collaborators – Rob Kemp

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Rob Kemp is the animator whose crazy MS Paint inspired videos made me think he’d be ideal for the GFP song. Below he describes his animation technique, his love of science, and working on the GFP video. Check out his other films on the Rob Kemp Films Youtube channel

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Science Showoff 5 – GFP Live!

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Before going on baby enforced hiatus in March I was able to squeeze in an appearance at Science Showoff 5 this month. This really is a great night with a mixture on many scientific topics – ranging from an opening session on making concrete and closing with a talk on the effect lightening has on aircraft. The latter was presenting by a Welshman with the stagename – Rhys Lightning! Fantastic.

There was also an item on the use of tattoos and how they can assist in forensics as well as Andrew Holding presenting colourful huge litmus tests which were great.

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ConCERNing Higgs (Live Performance Video)

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A song about the reasons for the Large Hadron Collider and one of the things it is hoping to achieve – show the existence of the Higgs Boson particle.

I didn’t have the budget to go the LHC so this was all recorded live in the Main Engine House of the Cambridge Museum of Technology, where the machines are slightly older – steam powered and the original sewage pumping station for Cambridge! Dealing with different kinds of particles 😉

Lyrics

there’s a …. Standard Model of Particle Physics
And you’ll find that in it
is a set of elementary particles

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GFP

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The first Professor Karmadillo video to be launched into the public! Now updated to the Giant Leaps album version!

Lyrics

A cell contains much DNA
But a decade ago, it was hard to say
To tell which genes were being activated
Without obvious phenotypes we would be frustrated
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