Watson & Crick get taken to school by Rosalind Franklin
This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting Tom McFadden, science rapper, teacher and YouTuber. He and his students use hip hop music to bring science out of the dusty old textbooks and turn it into something with a pulse. You should definitely check out his channel: Welcome to Science Class
Here’s my favorite. Watson and Crick start out pretty tough in this one (excellent “two chains” reference, guys), but when the ladies come in, W&C get blown out of the water. Seriously, I can’t tell you how much I like this. Bob your head to some biology, errbody.
She drops so much burn on W&C that their strands are melting apart.
Bonus tracks: Want more education through hip hop? Check out Jabari Johnson’s truly masterful rap about potential energy, and Baba Brinkman’s Performance, Feedback, Revision from his Rap Guide To Evolution.
Oh, and if you like Pluto, you’re gonna want to click here.
New video! Evolution and the Book of Life
Hmm. I don’t really know how to describe this week’s IOTBS.
I was having a bit of an existential crisis about evolution and why something as simple as DNA, changing over time, could be responsible for creating everything from bacteria to beagles. So I called my friend Eric over and he explained the book of life to me.
I also make fun of him for having red hair, defend Rosalind Franklin’s honor, and declare myself part of Team GIF With A Hard G).
A Google doodle celebrating Rosalind Franklin’s 93rd birthday. Sadly, this pioneering female scientist left us too soon, passing away 55 years ago. In addition to her much-celebrated work deciphering the structure of DNA, she also made huge contributions to the field of virology.
I’m not a bad dresser by any means (I mean, just check out my stunning wardrobe in the IOTBS YouTube vids), but I’ve certainly never been called a “fashion guru”.
That being said, I think I know good stuff when I see it. And these pants from Shenova Fashion on Etsy are awesome. As is most of the other stuff in the shop. Honestly, if I saw anyone wearing those neuron/retina leggings, I would walk up and high-five you without warning, because they would be incontrovertible proof of your awesomeness. I would high-five the pants, too, but I don’t think that would come across quite like I intend.
I believe this is where you say “Shut up and take my money”.
Let’s have a little round-up … what other cool science-fashion have you seen out there?
Via thekidshouldseethis, a truly beautiful animated look that explains the simple elegance of DNA, and how, with just four bases at its disposal, it can code for everything that we are and everything that we know:
Director William Samuel and London-based studio Territory made this beautifully illustrated explainer of DNA for BBC Knowledge and Learning. Read more about their inspiration (hint!) and the BBC’s forthcoming site here.
Francis Crick’s letter to his 12-year-old son Michael announcing the discovery of DNA’s double-helix structure 60 years ago this week. More at The New York Times.
Jim Watson and I have probably made a most important discovery. We have built a model for the structure of de-oxy-ribose-nucleic-acid (read it carefully) called D.N.A. You may remember that the genes of the chromosomes – which carry the hereditary factors – are made up of protein and D.N.A. Our structure is very beautiful…
Now we believe that the D.N.A. is a code. That is, the order of the bases (the letters) makes one gene different from another gene (just as one page of print is different from another)…
In other words we think we have found the basic copying mechanism by which life comes from life. You can understand that we are very excited. Read this carefully so that you understand it. When you come home we will show you the model.
Lots of love, Daddy.”
How about a DNA shirt to go along with that DNA dress I posted a while back? Now you too can be a power DNA fashion couple!
The shirt is for sale from Shenova, where you’ll find an amazing collection of smart and sciencey designs. Very cool intersection of fashion and science.