Ask Me Another
1:12 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Blinded Me With Science

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 10:42 am

Guest troubadours Paul & Storm have emerged from their lab to share their latest experiment. To pay tribute to Thomas Dolby's 1982 New Wave classic "She Blinded Me With Science," the duo has reworked the lyrics to describe different scientific principles and discoveries. So put on your safety goggles and play along!

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Our next two contestants are standing before me right now. We have Cici James and Katie Hamill. Welcome to the ASK ME ANOTHER stage.

CICI JAMES: Hello.

KATIE HAMILL: Hi.

EISENBERG: Hello.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Katie, you're an attorney.

HAMILL: Yes.

EISENBERG: An attorney from Massachusetts.

HAMILL: That's right.

EISENBERG: With the State Supreme Court.

HAMILL: Yes.

EISENBERG: I'm very impressed.

HAMILL: Thank you.

EISENBERG: Who is your favorite Supreme Court justice?

HAMILL: All time?

EISENBERG: Yeah, I'll say all time.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I like that you can do that, by the way. You're like which year?

HAMILL: Massachusetts or U.S.?

EISENBERG: I'm going to say U.S. for fun.

HAMILL: I guess I'll go with Justice Marshall, Thurgood Marshall.

EISENBERG: Okay, I like that answer.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Cici, I love what you do. You have a vintage books shop for sci-fi.

JAMES: Yes.

EISENBERG: And fantasy. Books that people have long forgotten that you want o bring out.

JAMES: Yes, many of them, thousands.

EISENBERG: How did this project start?

JAMES: My to-be-husband and I did a kick-starter.

EISENBERG: Oh, nice.

JAMES: We got money to bring books that are in questionable copyright back from the dead, printing them with author's - with their estate's permission. And then, we had to buy so many books to do that project that we started a bookstore.

EISENBERG: I like that you said "estate's permission." I'm sure Katie was like, okay, I heard that.

JAMES: Right, right.

EISENBERG: I got it.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Paul and Storm, what do we have up our sleeves for these people?

PAUL: Well, when we heard that Jad Abumrad was going to be on the show, we figured we needed to do something smart and sciencey.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

PAUL: Some of you may remember the song by Thomas Dolby, "She Blinded me with Science."

JAMES: Absolutely.

(APPLAUSE)

PAUL: In fact, let's go ahead and get it right now, audience.

EISENBERG: Yeah, let's do it.

(SOUNDBITE OF AUDIENCE YELLING)

PAUL: Science.

JAMES: It's poetry in motion.

PAUL: So we decided that we would rework the lyrics to that song to be about different scientific principles and discoveries. So we're going to sing the stanzas of that song. And contestants, you have to yell out "she blinded me with gravity," if that were the answer, or whatever it happens to be. And you must yell it in that fashion, very important.

After each stanza, there will be a follow-up question that either of you can buzz in for. And the winner of this round will go on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show. Ready?

JAMES: Yes.

HAMILL: Yep.

PAUL: Here we go.

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

PAUL AND STORM: Something's happening in the drier. Turboelectric electric energy. Her hands remind me of live wires. It's shocking when she touches me. She blinded me with something.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Cici?

JAMES: She blinded me with electricity.

PAUL: Type of electricity?

JAMES: Static. She blinded me with static.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: You hit it. Well done, Cici.

PAUL: And now the follow-up. We all experience static electricity when we pull socks out of the drier or by rubbing a balloon on our sweater, but what is a large-scale example of static electricity that kills, on average, 40 people in the U.S. every year?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Katie?

HAMILL: Lightning.

EISENBERG: That is correct, well done.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

STORM: Genetics is her hobby. Her lab-made children all make me amazed. They're identical copies, right down to all their DNA. She blinded me with something.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Katie?

HAMILL: She blinded me with cloning.

EISENBERG: That is correct, Katie.

PAUL: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

PAUL: Follow-up question: in 1996, scientists in Scotland reported the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell, a sheep by the name of what?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Katie?

HAMILL: Dolly.

EISENBERG: Dolly is correct. You know your cloning, Katie.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

STORM: She puts my world in motion, riding the asthenosphere. Forming mountains and the oceans, it's why Pangaea is no longer here. Yeah, she blinded me with something.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Katie?

HAMILL: She blinded me with continental drift. Is that what you're looking for?

EISENBERG: The puzzle guru says yes, you got that correct. We were looking for plate tectonics, but that works.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

PAUL: I feel the earth move under my feet.

Sang what artist on her hit 1971 album "Tapestry."

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

HAMILL: Carole King.

EISENBERG: That is correct, Katie.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

STORM: She's so experimental, speaking to me in both Swiss and French. Collisions aren't accidental, in her multibillion-dollar trench. She blinded me with something.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Cici?

JAMES: She blinded me with the Large Hadron Collider.

EISENBERG: Yes, that is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

PAUL: And costing nearly $5 billon, the Large Hadron Collider was built to find elementary particles such as the Higgs Boson, which has been given what sexy nickname by the media?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Cici?

JAMES: The God Particle.

EISENBERG: Also correct, well done.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: It was a great, great match, but Katie is the winner of this round. She'll be moving on to our Ask Me One More final round.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Cici, you were a joy to have on our ASK ME ANOTHER stage. A big round of applause for our contestants.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.