Galaxy Song (Monty Python, 1983)

"A black hole that grew to gargantuan size in the Universe's first billion years is by far the largest yet spotted from such an early date, researchers have announced."--Via

“A black hole that grew to gargantuan size in the Universe’s first billion years is by far the largest yet spotted from such an early date, researchers have announced.”–Via

We’ve discussed the Cosmos in our Bio class. Human beings are part of it, and can be aware of many things in it—which include stars, photons, bacteria, and plants. Everything is the Cosmos, but only we, with our huge and strange brains, are aware of it. Science helps us deal with this strange condition that puts us in a weird, but exciting situation: being aware of how infinitely small and how infinitely big things can get. This is why I’ve decided to update the blog with the Galaxy Song, by the comedy group Monty Python. The song was part of the soundtrack of the 1983 film Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (1983):


Whenever life gets you down, Mrs. Brown,
And things seem hard or tough,
And people are stupid, obnoxious or daft,

And you feel that you’ve had quite eno-o-o-o-o-ough,

Just remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s evolving
And revolving at 900 miles an hour.
It’s orbiting at 19 miles a second, so it’s reckoned,
The sun that is the source of all our power.
Now the sun, and you and me, and all the stars that we can see,
Are moving at a million miles a day,
In the outer spiral arm, at 40,000 miles an hour,
Of a galaxy we call the Milky Way.

Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars;
It’s a hundred thousand light-years side to side;
It bulges in the middle sixteen thousand light-years thick,
But out by us it’s just three thousand light-years wide.
We’re thirty thousand light-years from Galactic Central Point,
We go ’round every two hundred million years;
And our galaxy itself is one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.


Our universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding,
In all of the directions it can whiz;
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute and that’s the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you’re feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere out in space,
‘Cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth!

Here’s an illustrated version of the song, put together by Phillip Harrington, for his undergraduate astronomy classes at Suffolk County Community College on Long Island :


Oxidate It Or Love It / Electron to the Next One

We’ve reached “El Cuco” of High School Bio. Cellular Respiration–especially the stage that follows Glycolysis: Aerobic Respiration, in which chemiosmosis and the ETC (Electron Transport Chain) play a very important role–is a very complex set of biochemical reactions. In order to make energy from glucose, a lot has to happen; and all of this can be quite overwhelming:

This will not appear on your test.

This will not appear on your test.

The Krebs cycle can be tedious, difficult and boring; and I am well aware that my efforts on this blog do not guarantee that we will have a blast discussing this biohemical pathway. But I want to share this music video (via The Rhymebosome); maybe somethings about the Krebs cycle can actually be worthwhile:

Their best intentions are clear but a mouthful of complex words remains inevitable. Fortunately, Pulitzer Prize science writer, Jonathan Weiner, comes to the rescue with these two parragraphs (via

To power all of its molecular machinery … each cell contains anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand mitochondria. And every one of those mitochondria contains a large collection of rotary motors. With every breath you take, you set off a long series of actions and chemical reactions that make those rotary motors spin around and around in every living cell of your body like zillions of turbines, windmill vanes, or airplane propellers. These rotary motors turn out a concentrated energy food, an energy-rich molecule called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP.

And this ATP, more than any other molecule in the cellular inventory, makes all the rest of the machines go. This is the fuel of all our mortal engines. Without ATP it would be useless for us to breathe in air, to drink and to eat. Without ATP, even the smallest piece of action in our bodies would slow down and stop.