Current Weather
The Spy FM

Mama Mia, Mama Mia! A Canadian Bohemian Rhapsodizes About String Theory

Filed by KOSU News in Science.
September 18, 2013

Let me confess right off that I didn’t understand anything Tim Blais sings in this video, except that it’s hard — very hard — erase-the-blackboard-constantly-in-frustration hard — to find a mathematical theory that explains everything in the universe. That’s OK. I’m not a physicist, so this isn’t my problem. But when Tim produces an Albert Einstein sock puppet having a high-tenor tantrum, I found myself doing a little happy dance.

With no apologies to Queen, this is Tim’s “A Capella Science” take on String Theory set to Bohemian Rhapsody. He calls it “Bohemian Gravity.” He’s 23. He wrote this. He sang this. He designed this. He’s amazing.

A year ago Tim’s college paper, The McGill Daily, sat him down and asked “who are you?” He says he grew up not too far from Montreal, that he’s been a science nerd all his life, or for as much of it as he can remember. When he was about 3 or 4, he says …

a kid in my preschool introduced me to “Bill Nye The Science Guy,” which became the only TV I watched for about six years. After kindergarten I didn’t go to school until Grade 10, but was homeschooled by my parents. We had a very multifaceted way of learning [...] that I think allowed me to see the big picture of things without getting bogged down in the horrible little details that are often the stumbling block when you start learning something. That gave me a fascination with science that’s essentially carried me through a science DEC and one-and-a-half university degrees. But my parents have always been super cool about not pressuring us kids to be anything in particular, and now to show for it they’ve got an emerging rock star — my brother, Tom; a dedicated speech pathologist — my sister, Mary-Jane; and me, researcher in incomprehensible physics and recently popular internet fool. I think they did alright.

Me too. And if you liked this video, you should know he’s got a few others. Last year, his A Capella Science version of the Higgs boson, sung to Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” was a monster success. The McGill paper asked him if he considered himself a singer or a scientist and he answered, “I don’t really know what I am. I’m a person with varied interests.” I think that’s kind of obvious.

Thanks to Jacquie Lowell for sending this video my way. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

Leave a Reply

5AM to 6AM Living On Earth

Living On Earth

Living on Earth with Steve Curwood is the weekly environmental news and information program distributed by Public Radio International.

Listen Live Now!

6AM to 7AM On Being

On Being

On Being engages listeners across the spectrum of belief and non-belief in conversation about life's deepest questions. From autism to the ethics of torture, Krista and her guests reach beyond the headlines to probe faith and meaning, ethics and new ways of being, amidst the political, ecological, economic, cultural and technological shifts that define 21st century life.

View the program guide!

8AM to 10AM Weekend Edition

Weekend Edition

Weekend Edition Sunday premiered on January 18, 1987, and was the last of NPR's major newsmagazines to hit air. Since then, Weekend Edition Sunday has covered newsmakers and artists, scientists and politicans, music makers of all kinds, writers, thinkers, theologians and all manner of news events.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center