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Cocktail Party Physics

Cocktail Party Physics

Physics With a Twist

The Sciences

Every Sperm is Sacred

We owe so much of our rich array of pop-cultural references to the Monty Python troupe's satirical genius. There's the "Dead Parrot" sketch, the Ministry of Silly Walks, the entire Holy Grail film -- Jen-Luc Piquant is particularly fond of the faux-French insults: "I blow my nose at you, English pig dog!" -- and of course, the musical sketch that forms the centerpiece of Monty Python's The Meaning of Life : "Every Sperm is Sacred."The incomparable Michael Palin plays a poor Catholic man who must sell his 63 children for medical experimentation because he and his wife (played by a cross-dressing Terry Jones) can no longer afford their care and feeding...

November 21, 2012 — Jennifer Ouellette
The Sciences

Cold Case Files: Tycho Brahe Not Poisoned After All

There are two bits of historical trivia that people like to cite about the 16th century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. The first is that he lost part of his nose when it was cut off in a duel in 1566 -- the dispute was over a mathematical formula, not a woman as was usually the case, although the argument occurred at a wedding banquet -- and had a metal fake nose made to replace it, which he wore strapped to his head in public.The second is that he suffered a very strange death...

November 18, 2012 — Jennifer Ouellette

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