Oct 172005

Origin/Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Year: 1798

It’s amazing how many people recognize this piece, especially the second adagio cantabile movement. Many people even recognize the first and third movements. However, most people unfortunately do not know the name of this piece. It is a piano sonata, nicknamed the “Pathétique” by Beethoven himself (the only nickname of Beethoven’s sonatas to have that distinction). It is a relatively difficult piece requiring sustained tremolos and extreme precision of rhythm and finger pressure.

Oct 102005

Year: 2005

There are so many things that make this song great. First of all, the length of the song is 3 minutes 14 seconds, which has a remarkable similarity to pi. Secondly, Bond is a classical/dance group from Australia. All four of their members are very good string players, and base their songs off of famous classical pieces, and combine it with a techno beat and sound. This one is obviously using “Summer” from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, which is one of my favorite classical pieces.

Sep 262005

Origin/Composer: Originally by Free, performed by the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band
Year: 1975

This is THE song. Played by the notoriously famous Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band, this song celebrates the victories of the Stanford athletic teams and good times. There’s a part in the song called “The Jump” where all students jump. It occurs at the end of the transition section. Go Stanford!

Sep 052005

Album: Silent Alarm
Year: 2005

Holy crap, gas is expensive. That’s the only reason I chose this song. The lyrics are interesting, probably with some deep meaning, but I haven’t taken the time to decipher those meanings yet. Bloc Party is an awesome band, with this song not being one of their better ones, unfortunately. I remember adding gas last week, and thought it was incredibly cheap at $2.79 at Costco. Of course, it’s still much cheaper than that of Europe and the rest of the world, so we should have nothing to complain. We should switch to hydrogen cars and harvest the fuel from the sun. Or not.

Aug 262005

Origin/Composer: Joey Tempest (of Europe)
Year: 1985

I think I first heard it sophomore year of EPHS at someone’s house, because I remember humming it during my first debate meet (where I went 0-4). I heard it a few times after that, and every single time, I tried to find the name of the song, since I really liked it. I actually never found the name until I saw “How to Kill A Mockingbird,” quite coincidentally made be a Stanford student. The song was in there again, but fortunately, there was a soundtrack-like think on the page too, where I finally discovered the real name of the song. This was in February, near the beginning of AP English, as I remember Wally saying “How bizarre!” after I showed it to her. But now that I do know the name, it’s time to share it with everyone who hasn’t heard it yet, or even better, to those who have heard it, but just don’t know its nam

Aug 222005

Origin/Composer: M. Salomome
Year: 2004

I first heard about this from Dustin Foley on the SUMaC group. I emailed and IM’d a bunch of people later that day about it. Then, a day later, a similar message about it came through the mn-arml list from Mitcho. What makes this song great is that its audience is pretty much only math and related majors who have taken quite a few “serious” college math classes. Most people I showed this to did not laugh much, simply because phrases like “open but too dense” doesn’t have any mathematical meaning to them. So to make this funny for everyone, I made a list of the math references in the song below:

Please visit Klein Four’s Official Site for more information about the a cappella group.


The path1 of love is never smooth2
But mine’s continuous3 for youa
You’re the upper bound4 in the chains5 of my heart
You’re my Axiom of Choice6, you know it’s true

But lately our relation’s7 not so well-defined8
And I just can’t function9 without you
I’ll prove10 my proposition11 and I’m sure you’ll find
We’re a finite simple group12 of order two13

I’m losing my identity14
I’m getting tensor15 every day
And without loss of generality16
I will assume that you feel the same way17

Since every time I see you, you just quotient out18
The faithful image19 that I map20 into
But when we’re one-to-one21 you’ll see what I’m about
‘Cause we’re a finite simple group of order two

Our equivalence22 was stable23,
A principal love bundle24 sitting deepb inside
But then you drove a wedgec between our two-forms25
Now everything is so complexified26

When we first met, we simply connected27
My heart was open28 but too dense29
Our system30 was already directed31
To have a finite limit32, in some sense

I’m living in the kernel33 of a rank-one map34
From my domain35, its image36 looks so blue,
‘Cause all I see are zeroes37, it’s a cruel trapd
But we’re a finite simple group of order two

I’m not the smoothest38 operator39 in my class40,
But we’re a mirror pair41, me and you,
So let’s apply forgetful functors42 to the past
And be a finite simple group, a finite simple group,
Let’s be a finite simple group of order two
(Oughter: “Why not three?”)e

I’ve proved my proposition now, as you can see,
So let’s both be associative43 and free44
And by corollary45, this shows you and I to be
Purely inseparable46. Q. E. D.47

Math References

1 Path: Basically the set of points that can be described by a function, or the curve along which a path integral is taken.
2 Smooth: A function that can be differentiated infinitely many times.
3 Continuous: A function without “breaks.”
4 Upper Bound: The upper bound is a value that can sometimes be calculated to determine the maximum possible value of a certain solution.
5 Chain: A totally ordered set in set theory.
6 Axiom of Choice: An axiom of set theory stating, in the vernacular, that one can choose an element from each set in a set of sets.
7 Relation: A definition relating two or more mathematical objects.
8 Well-defined: Mathematically defined in a logical way from base axioms, and without ambiguity.
9 Function: Everyone should be able to get this joke 😀
10 Prove: Logically establishing a statement to be true from previous axioms and proven statements.
11 Proposition: A conjecture.
12 Finite Simple Group: Umm…these three words take a lot to explain. Well, a group is a mathematical concept that combines a set of objects together with an operation, along with three axioms. Then, you can look at symmetries and other cool stuff in that object called a group. A finite group is simply one that has a finite set of objects defined within it. A simple group, in plain English, is the most basic type of group, similar to the prime numbers in the natural numbers.
13 Order Two: The order is the number of elements in a group. A simple finite group of order two is very interesting in that it is the smallest prime cyclic group, with some interesting properties.
14 Identity: A value e, such that axa-1=e
15 Tensor: A geometric entity describing a certain space.
16 Without Loss of Generality: Often abbreviated “WLOG,” this is often used in proofs to (correctly) substitute a simpler, equivalent special case for the general case to be proven.
17 An example of a bad use of WLOG. 😀
18 Quotient Out: In a quotient group, a specific type of simple finite group, certain values are said to be “quotient out” to create the group.
19 Image: The resultant figure after a mathematical tranformation.
20 Map: A function that takes each value in an object and corresponds it with another value.
21 One-to-One: For each x, there is one f(x), and for each f(x), there is one x.
22 Equivalence: A binary relation that is transitive, reflexive, and symmetric.
23 Stable: A polynomial in which all the roots lie in the left half-plane, or in the open unit disc.
24 Principal bundle: I know this is math, but I have no idea what it means. Check Mathworld or Wikipedia or something.
25 Two-forms: Another one I don’t know.
26 Complexified: A vector space that has been extended to the complex numbers.
27 Simply connected: In plain terms, an object that is in one piece, and without any “holes” or “loops.”
28 Open: An interval that does not include the end-point.
29 Dense: Basically, a set that there are infinitely many values between any two values in the set.
30 System: A group of equations to be solved simultaneously.
31 Directed: In graph theory, a graph where the edges have specific directions.
32 Finite limit: A limit is something in calculus…and a finite limit is a limit that is finite.
33 Kernel: There’re a lot of definitions. Check Wikipedia.
34 Rank-one map: In linear algebra, the number of rows or columns that are linearly independent.
35 Domain: The “input” of a function.
36 Image: I think I’ve done this already…yep. Check number 19.
37 Zeroes: The roots of a function, or just the number zero.
38 Smoothest: Check number 2.
39 Operator: A symbol that defines a specific relationship between mathematical objects.
40 Class: Any group of set with a certain distinguishable trait.
41 Mirror Pair: The paired point in a reflection. Or in physics, the anti-particle or supersymmetric particle of a particle.
42 Functors: Don’t know. Check Mathworld or Wikipedia.
43 Associative. The property that, with three values a, b, and c, and operator ^, (a^b)^c=a^(b^c). Associativity is one of the axioms of groups.
44 Free: A variable that is not dependent.
45 Corollary: A result or statement that comes obviously from a statement that has just been proven.
46 Purely inseperable: ???
47 Q.E.D.: Quod Erat Demonstrandum, or “Which was to be demonstrated” in Latin. It is often used at the end of proofs as a completion.

Perhaps a Math Reference

a You: Maybe a play on the letter u, which is often used in calculus?
b Deep: A theorem that has many implications and goes to a core of mathematics.
c Wedge: A mathematical shape–a triagular prism.
d Trap: Just sounds like it could be mathy.
e “Why not three?” Obviously, many of the propositions in this song would be false if the finite simple group became of order three. Also, this hints at a three-some. I won’t go into what that means, if you’re a poor confused soul

Aug 152005

Origin/Composer: Alexander Brandon; from the game, Deus Ex
Year: 2000

This song is from the computer game Deux Ex, which was revolutionary in the graphics and the immersive environment when it first came out. I can honestly say that there hasn’t been a single game as immersive and detailed as the original Deus Ex. The soundtrack actually isn’t as good, because real instruments are used, which destroys the symbolism of the different sounds of the instruments. Also, professional musicians aren’t as good at synchronization of notes as a computer, unfortunately.

A large part of what makes it great is the music. From the first main menu, the music draws you in. The music starts in a dark mood, emulating the natural sound of an orchestra. Then suddenly, the song has a mode change into a major key, possibly signifying the appearance of JC Denton, the protagonist in the game. Then, two measures later, the mode changes back to minor, and the development section begins with more electronic sounds and a more sinister sound. Halfway through this malicious-sounding melody, a countermelody of a variation of the main theme pops up, perhaps signifying the struggle. Near the end, nearly all sound disappears, and ends with the malicious electronic sound. This is the best electronic music I have ever heard.

And if you haven’t noticed already, I love Deus Ex.