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26 Scientists Volume Two Lyrics

Posted by on Jan 17, 2012

Happy new year, friends and fans. There have been a few requests for the second half of the “26 Scientists” lyrics in written form. So I have finally collected the scattered studio scraps. Thanks for listening!

“26 Scientists, Volume 2: Newton – Zeno”
all songs written by Timothy Sellers between 2003 and 20010

William of Ockham
English philosopher, 1280 – 1349 (wikipedia now says 1288 – c. 1347)

entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily when you hypothesize
when explainin’ new phenomena
Ockham’s razor shaves ‘em off!

how you gonna guess at things you can never know
how you gonna choose the best
Billy said the pope should live more like Jesus
this lead to house arrest

William chose the apostolic path
Ockham’s razor shaves ‘em off!

entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily when you hypothesize
when explainin’ new phenomena
William chose the apostolic path
Ockham’s razor shaves ‘em off!

Charles Francis Richter
American seismologist and physicist, 1900 – 1985

grandpa’s Ohio farm there was no kids around
old books and shiny stars in the sky

they moved out to L.A. school was sometimes a waste
he’d rather walk around in the woods

too clumsy for the lab this Stanford undergrad
too shaky with his hands (and so Charles Richter studied physics)

breakin’ down in Palo Alto

Charles Richter got a job and a psychiatrist
eventually enrolled at Cal Tech

then Richter hit the books was chosen to assist
a well-known seismologist a guy named Harry O. Wood

when the earth quakes and the ground shakes !

the Richter scale don’t stop at ten and if there is some kind of end
well the limitation is built into the earth
these granite blocks will shuffle ‘round
sea floor subducted underground for rebirth

Charles Richter was an avid nudist seismic moment absolutist
up in Altadena with his faults
tectonic plates of brittle ground
they get shoved beneath but they’ll soon rebound on basalt

is there some giant fish a herd of elephants
or a humungous frog underground?

the old Mercalli scale told us a vivid tale
eyewitnesses’ accounts but now we use the scale of Richter

when the earth quakes and the ground shakes !

Chien Shiung Wu
Chinese physicist, 1912 – 1997

they named an asteroid for Chien Shiung Wu
her dad told her put your head down walk on through

beta decay was like a very dear old friend
parity was not quite conserved

and there is only one thing worse than coming home
from the lab to a sink that’s full of dirty dishes foam
and that is not going out to the lab at all
not going to the lab at all

and so they named an asteroid for Chien Shiung Wu
her dad told her put your head down walk on through

Thomas Young
English polymath, physicist, Egyptologist, musician, etc. 1773 — 1829

when Thomas Young was still young he was a son of a gun
son of conservative Quakers so very uptight
he would not sweeten his tea with products of slavery
he knew that men would rather be free

when he was only a sprat his mind was quick as a cat
collectin’ oceans of detail every salient fact
he saw the forest and trees and every leaf in the breeze
and in a flash he comprehended it all

and he said “hey encyclopedia here’s another
entry on a subject deep and wide
I don’t need no credit I am the one they call
the phenomenon”

upon the back of a horse he took a ride to the north
attended medical school up in Edinburgh
he played the flute and he danced maybe he found some romance
it’s hard to say some things are not written down

the Quakers were not amused by his behavior confused
so at the end of the school year he rode further north
through burnin’ sun and through rain mosquitos searchin’ for veins
he persevered recordin’ it all

and he said “hey encyclopedia here’s another
entry on a subject deep and wide
I don’t need no credit I am the one they call
the phenomenon — anon.”

light rays behave more like waves so Thomas Young would have said
and eyes do not change their shape when lookin’ further away
some tiny muscles within tug on the zonules of Zinn
in turn they bend the crystaline lens

that bastard Champolion ripped off our phenomenon’s
decrypted hieroglyphics which he claimed as his own
but our polymath probably has the last laugh
because he’s known for the Rosetta stone

and he said “hey encyclopedia here’s another
entry on a subject deep and wide
I don’t need no credit I am the one they call
the phenomenon — anon”

Xenophanes of Colophon
Greek Philosopher and Poet, 570 – 480 BC

when he was banished from Greece
the poet Xenophanes walked around
he saw the fossils of fishes and of other sea life on the ground

but the surf was still pounding the waves were resounding against the land
he speculated that time was a beach and that we were the sand

he was a monotheist
he didn’t want any immoral gods
the poet Xenophanes
was with Homer and Hesiod at odds

but the surf was still pounding the waves were resounding against the land
he speculated that time was a beach and that we were the sand

he lived for 92 years
but only poems and satire survive
he never got to go home
and he continued to roam in exile

but the surf was still pounding the waves were resounding against the land
he speculated that time was a beach and that we were the sand

Jeanne Villepreux
French biologist, 1794 – 1871
thanks to Claude Arnal for biographical information

born in a French village in 1794
she took a walk to Paris and was employed making dresses

Jeanne Villepreux made a wedding gown so renowned
for a Bourbon Princess
Jeanne Villepreux used her newfound fame to get hitched
to an English merchant

he took her to his home in sicily by the sea
she soon became well known as the mother of aquariophily
Jeanne Villepreux brought aquatic life onto land
and she made some drawings

Jeanne Villepreux saw the nautilus grow a shell
starting as a larva

the edge of the ocean the side of the sea
the Mediterranean’s old mysteries
that Pliny the Elder had failed to perceive before her
the young argonauta are born without shells
they live with their mothers and cover themselves
a crater on Venus was recently named for Villepreux

after 25 years explorin’ what lay beneath the waves
the couple said goodbye to Sicily by the sea
Jeanne Villepreux packed her records up and her notes
and exquisite drawings
Jeanne Villepreux lost her life’s research to the sea
in a goddamn shipwreck

the edge of the ocean the side of the sea
the Mediterranean’s old mysteries
that Pliny the Elder had failed to perceive before her
the young argonauta are born without shells
they live with their mothers and cover themselves
a crater on Venus was recently named for Villepreux

Jeanne Villepreux’s work was not done
but she proved that Pliny the Elder was in error ‘bout the domiciles of argonauta!

Willard Van Orman Quine
American philosopher, 1908 – 2000

my daddy went to college for philosophy
but then he dropped out and got drafted unexpectedly
I bet he did a lot of reading just to pass the time
although his library was lackin’ W. V. O. Quine
he knew that –
every birdy flyin’ is somewhere bound
they got a magnet in their head for the magnet found
you know that every birdy flyin’ still needs the ground
they got a magnet workin’ in their head

my brother went to Vassar for philosophy
but then he dropped out to bake donuts unexpectedly
he found a cabin over Boulder and life more free
although he’s rarely checkin’ Quine out of the library
he knows that –
every birdy flyin’ is somewhere bound
they got a magnet in their head for the magnet found
you know that every birdy flyin’ still needs the ground
they got a magnet workin’ in their head

homo sapien leaves his cave and looks around
at the shape of things at the sky and at the ground
without a magnet he’s got to figure out where he wants to go!

well I believe that I’ll never know for sure
I’ve got these tiny little teeth and not much fur
yeah I believe that I’m gonna take a stroll
I’m gonna knit myself a sweater if it gets cold

Quine worked at the forefront of philosophy
by teachin’ logic down at Harvard University
although synonymy between an object and its sign
occupied the wrinkly brain of W. V. O. Quine
he knew that –
every birdy flyin’ is somewhere bound
they got a magnet in their head for the magnet found
you know that every birdy flyin’ still needs the ground
they got a magnet workin’ in their head

James Ussher
Irish biblical scholar, 1580 -1656

in the evenin’ earth and heaven
on the first day light and dark and
on the second water flowin’ down

on the third day good and evil
on the fourth day things celestial
on the fifth day flyin’ birds and fish

on the sixth day it’s complicated
cuz’ livin’ creatures they were created
last was Adam he got married to his rib

born in Dublin Bishop Ussher
he took the trouble and did the research
addin’ up a a list of who begat

he’s the one who did the math Bishop Ussher
addin’ up every begat Bishop Ussher
he’s the one who did the math Bishop Ussher — yeah!

theologians have long debated
when the world was first created
Bishop Ussher he clearly stated October 23

he’s the one who did the math Bishop Ussher
addin’ up every begat Bishop Ussher
he’s the one who did the math 4004 BC

he’s the one who did the math Bishop Ussher
addin’ up every begat Bishop Ussher
he’s the one who did the math 4004 BC

Isaac Newton
English physicist and mathematician, 1643 – 1727
“noe heat is so pleasant and beamish as the suns”

Isaac Newton took a breath Just as Galileo left
early on a Christmas morn his father was dead so
mother found another man left him there to tend the land
but Isaac was a genius and a terrible farmer
His grandma was head of the household
But Isaac did what he was not told
His grandma did everything she could
But Isaac was watchin’ the light

fences lay in disrepair Isaac didn’t seem to care
animals were runnin where the animals wanted
Isaac made a list of words every planet every bird
every stone he overturned to see what was under

they sent him to study at Cambridge
which suited his nature obsessive
the canon was mostly a fossil
the classics back to Aristotle

coffee reached Europe and many said “it’s the drink of satan!”
coffee reached Europe and put an end to the middle ages

then there came bubonic plague Londoners were diggin’ graves
Cambridge students went away their classes suspended
Isaac Newton went back home to his farmer’s house of stone
contemplatin’ all alone happy and friendless

the prism dividin’ the light and
the shadows that move on the sundial
the cities were ringin’ their plague bells
But Isaac was watchin’ the light

Galileo and Descartes showed him where to make a start
takin’ time and space apart slicin’ and dicin’
Newton headed up the mint his eyes were lasers heart was flint
If he found a coin was clipped there was a hangin’

so jealous of others’ success and
so needy to make an impression
he started with beautiful questions
he ended with venom and bile

Isaac loved his solitude hated Leibnitz had a feud
bitter rivalries ensued over the math prize
Isaac was a bitter pill when he died he left no will
probably a virgin still we’re lookin’ through his eyes

he never laid eyes on the ocean
but Isaac deciphered its motion
he died of a stone in the kidney
he died unloved and in pain

Coffee chorus 2x

Erwin Schrodinger
Austrian physicist, 1887 – 1961

I don’t wanna see my cat
I might kill and I don’t want that

one look that’s all it takes
one look and he might not wake

well I wonder if it’s stable
particle may have decayed
yeah I wonder if it’s stable
and I’m feeling so afraid

quantum problems brrrrrrrrr! quantum problems

black box full of poison gas
the atoms well they might not last

well I wonder if it’s stable
particle may have decayed
yeah I wonder if it’s stable
and I’m feeling so afraid
quantum problems brrrrrrrrr! quantum problems

Iv an Petrovich Pavlov
Russian physiologist, psychologist, and physician, 1849 – 1936

his father was a preacher
his father’s father too
but Ivan studied creatures
and what they had to do

when they hear a ringin’ bell ringin’ bell
when they hear a ringin’ bell ringin’ bell

and now antivivisectionists say
that there must be some other way some less painful way

we hope to fulfill our expectations
we just want to get along okay
tell us when our food arrives and if we go or stay
we hope to fulfill our expectations

he came up with a reason
conditional response
what were the doggies feelings?
what were the doggy thoughts?

when they hear a ringin’ bell ringin’ bell
when they hear a ringin’ bell ringin’ bell

and now antivivisectionists say
that there must be some other way some less painful way

we hope to fulfill our expectations
we just want to get along okay
tell us when our food arrives and if we go or stay
we hope to fulfill our expectations

and now antivivisectionists say
that there must be some other way some less painful way

Nikola Tesla
Serbian physicist, inventor and engineer, 1856 – 1943

Croatian farm idyllic life
he loved to wallow in the grass with a cat
his brother died when he was five
Nikola Tesla went in search after that

they left their farm and he got weird
he’d catch a fever if he looke d at a peach
the army started up the draft
Nikola Tesla roamed the hills out of reach

at polytechnic school in Graz
he studied like a man obsessed and he asked
if AC current might be best
Nikola Tesla fled before his exams

the 1893 world’s fair
illuminated by AC – powered lights
impressed Lord Kelvin and the rest
Nikola Tesla set the falls in his sights

he worked with Westinghouse and Co.
to keep the robber barons’ cash satisfied
Niagara caused electron flow
Nikola Tesla had no doubt in his mind

Zeno of Elea
Greek poet and philosopher, 490 BC – 430 BC

go where you want to go
but know as you’re leavin’
nobody ever gets where they’re goin’ to said Zeno

I am no different
I try as we all do
why must a paradox keep me stayin’ here all the time

I’m stuck like a bug in a cobweb I don’t know
how to jump over all this

you chase after turtles and
you race fast as you can
you’re only halfway there only half of halfway again

you’re stuck like a bug in a cobweb you don’t know
how to jump over all this

well the Cynics were wise-asses too
and old Zeno they liked to refute
they had not mathematical proof
just a walk in the park

they said don’t think too hard when you move
cuz it makes it much harder to do
you don’t need comfy socks fancy shoes
take a walk in the park

we’re stuck like a bug in a cobweb we don’t know
how to jump over all this

so go where you want to go
but know as you’re leavin’
nobody ever gets where they’re goin’ to said Zeno
where they’re goin’ to said Zeno
where they’re goin’ to said Zeno