Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Brilliant Mind

Let's hear it for Tom Lehrer, a brilliant, witty guy who is likely to not be equalled any time soon. For those who have never heard of Tom Lehrer, he was a late fifties to mid-sixties mathematician, entertainer, pianist, and satirist who used his skills at word play and playing the piano to comment on the social and political issues of the day. His popularity helped land him a spot as a writer on the television show "That Was The Week That Was." TWTWTW was originally a British show that gained such popularity that NBC spun off their own version for american television. But I digress.

Tom Lehrer's formula for "musical commentary" was so successful that he was often imitated, but never outdone. A few of the more successful examples that come to mind are Mark Russell and The Capitol Steps.

So when I was choosing a name for my blog, the name came to mind from two different directions. For starters whenever I have commented on articles online (,, etc.) I had always used the name "RocketScience" for the name's obvious implications and meanings, and its roots in the phrase "It's not rocket science!". My love of the phrase combined with the responses to my comments, which were always filled with such vitriol from so many supposedly-yet-obviously-not-too-educated right wing nut jobs, I knew I had the best name I could think of. "Rocket science" naturally led me to thinking about Werner Von Braun, and Tom Lehrer's hilarious lampoon tune. The combination of a great name and phrase combined with the satirical "Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink" of Lehrer's they say, the rest as they say is history.

Oh yea, one more thing. A big thanks to Johnny Yen for showing me how to embed the video below. I'm truly lost without my techno-savvy Boswell!


  1. I saw Tom Lehrer recently, maybe around the time of the 006 election? Genius, indeed.

    And found a cd replacement for an old record version . . .

    Which inspired the name for an "archives" section: That Was the Post That Was ;->


  2. i had a funny feeling that your archive got its inspiration from TWTWTW. nice to find someone else who knows that show!