Every man in his humor

One of John Medina’s brain rules is “we don’t pay attention to boring things.” Obvious, in the sense that fire tends to feel hot, but somehow missing as a design principle in a lot of training and education.

I’m working through Merona’s book and have gotten to the chapters on short-term and long-term memory. They’re as good an excuse as any for a side trip to honor a man who once described his goal like this:

Tom Lehrer in 1967

I’d like to take you now on wings of song, as it were, and try and help you forget perhaps for a while your drab, wretched lives. 

It’s Tom Lehrer’s 80th birthday. I read once that he has collected newspaper articles discussing his death, though so far as I know he’s still around. For me, and I suspect many other people, his songs on That Was the Week that Was or on his albums moved quickly and permanently into long-term memory.

Three samples to show his range. First, something seasonal:

Then, a trip back to the early 1970s and The Electric Company:

And finally, a link well worth the trip: Mike Stanfill’s Flash animation of “The Elements.”

Happy birthday, Tom.

2 thoughts on “Every man in his humor

  1. Such a big fan of Mr. Lehrer. That ole silent e — my kids and I sing it often – so very catchy. “Ala Kazam!” Thanks for providing a bright spot in an otherwise most drab and wretched day.

  2. So few people appreciate his academic talents. “He was well known in academic circles for his masterly translation…of The Wizard of Oz, which remains even today the standard Latin version of that work…”

Comments are closed.