End-of-year shout-outs

As another year comes to a close, it seems appropriate to acknowledge those (besides those already listed in the About Us section) who have enhanced the SAS&M website. In particular, the SAS&M database continues to benefit from resources provided by Wikipedia and Geek Pop.

One aspect of the database that probably goes unnoticed by most people is that, for song parodies, I try to include the composer(s) of the original song as co-writer(s) of the parody, even if the parodists themselves do not provide this information. This seems appropriate intellectual property-wise, but also adds significantly to the work of curating the database. Finding out who wrote a song (as opposed to who performed it) is not always easy even in the Google era. 90% of the time, though, I can get what I need from, you guessed it, Wikipedia. I still can’t quite believe that the wiki model of maintaining an encyclopedia works as well as it does, but I’m happy to take advantage of it.

Another potentially challenging aspect of curating the SAS&M database is simply gaining awareness of all the different science and math songs that are out there. While I’m grateful for the occasional links provided by colleagues and friends, by far the biggest source of song candidates in 2011 was Geek Pop. Geek Pop casts a somewhat wider net than SAS&M; for example, the theme of one of its recent podcasts was “songs about monsters,” which weren’t necessarily scientific (or mathematical) in nature. But there is still a lot of overlap, and I might never have heard about projects like Amoeba to Zebra (by the group Being 747) if it weren’t for Geek Pop.

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