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24 March 2011

Ode to the Brain

The Symphony of Science is a musical project headed by John Boswell, designed to deliver scientific knowledge and philosophy in musical form. Yesterday, the 9th video was added to their collection, "Ode to the Brain".



From the YouTube page:

 http://symphonyofscience.com "Ode to the Brain" is the ninth episode in the Symphony of Science music video series. series. Through the powerful words of scientists Carl Sagan, Robert Winston, Vilayanur Ramachandran, Jill Bolte Taylor, Bill Nye, and Oliver Sacks, it covers different aspects the brain including its evolution, neuron networks, folding, and more. 


The material sampled for this video comes from Carl Sagan's Cosmos, Jill Bolte Taylor's TED Talk, Vilayanur Ramachandran's TED Talk, Bill Nye's Brain episode, BBC's "The Human Body", Oliver Sachs' TED Talk, Discovery Channel's "Human Body: Pushing the Limits", and more.


Special thanks to everybody who's donated to keep the project alive and to those who helped track down the material used in this video.


To download and watch more videos visit http://symphonyofscience.com.


Here's the script from the video:

[Robert Winston]
It's amazing to consider that I'm holding in my hands
The place where someone once felt, thought, and loved
For centuries, scientists have been battling to understand
What this unappealing object is all about


[Vilayanur Ramachandran]
Here is this mass of jelly
You can hold in the palm of your hands
And it can contemplate the vastness of interstellar space


[Carl Sagan]
The brain has evolved from the inside out
It's structure reflects all the stages through which it has passed


[Jill Bolte Taylor]
Information in the form of energy
Streams in simultaneously
Through all of our sensory systems


And then it explodes into this enormous collage
Of what this present moment looks like
What it feels like
And what it sounds like


And then it explodes into this enormous collage
And in this moment we are perfect
We are whole and we are beautiful


[Robert Winston]
It appears rather gruesome
Wrinkled like a walnut, and with the consistency of mushroom


[Carl Sagan]
What we know is encoded in cells called neurons
And there are something like a hundred trillion neural connections
This intricate and marvelous network of neurons has been called
An enchanted loom


The neurons store sounds too, and snatches of music
Whole orchestras play inside our heads


20 million volumes worth of information
Is inside the heads of every one of us
The brain is a very big place
In a very small space


No longer at the mercy of the reptile brain
We can change ourselves
Think of the possibilities


[Bill Nye]
Think of your brain as a newspaper
Think of all the information it can store
But it doesn't take up too much room
Because it's folded


[Oliver Sacks]
We see with the eyes
But we see with the brain as well
And seeing with the brain
Is often called imagination


[Various]


[Robert Winston]
It is the most mysterious part of the human body
And yet it dominates the way we live our adult lives
It is the brain 



"The goal of the project is to bring scientific knowledge and philosophy to the public, in a novel way, through the medium of music. Science and music are two passions of mine that I aim to combine, in a way that is intended to bring a meaningful message to listeners, while simultaneously providing an enjoyable musical experience. "(John Boswell)  His group has produced 6 full length videos.  You can see them all, and download them for free (and contribute to the project) at the Symphony of Science web site.

I wrote last May about 3 other Symphony of Science videos - click back and look again.