When Biblioklept’s Chief Science Reporter Nicky Longlunch sent us this article about coked-up bees from The New York Times, we knew we had to give it the old Dada treatment, or in this case, the new Dada treatment. In 1920, Tristan Tzara gave the following directions:
TO MAKE A DADAIST POEM
Take a newspaper.
Take some scissors.
Choose from this paper an article of the length you want to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Next carefully cut out each of the words that makes up this article and put them all in a bag.
Next take out each cutting one after the other.
Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.
The poem will resemble you.
And there you are—an infinitely original author of charming sensibility, even though unappreciated by the vulgar herd.
Of course, scissors and cutting and actual papers and bags can be messy and tiresome, not to mention terribly old fashioned. Luckily for us, there’s a hypertext version, and we used this Dada poem generator to make our own poem out of the NYT article. Here is our poem:
liquefied brain so backs, it
liquefied brain so backs, it
scientists Australia dropped freebase cocaine
freebase liquefied brain so in
in Australia freebase cocaine bees’
circulatory backs, dropped it brain
freebase on bees’ backs, so
much judgment, their behavior makes
like stimulates their behavior and
humans much their enthusiastic them
much humans cocaine judgment, their
much like alters their their
react bees makes like enthusiastic
its odor exhibit plummets syrup
exhibit coked-up bee cold turkey
bees symptoms stop test of
bee its score standard test
turkey its test associate syrup
exhibit turkey test of bee
The real article’s actually kinda sorta better. Try this (any of it) at home.
Who can resist a face like that? I found Rainbows, Curve Balls this week in a super-secret cache of books (dusty box inside of locked cabinet in corner of former teachers’ lounge). Some fool was going to throw the whole dealy away; luckily I was armed with curiosity and my trusty hammer (yes, I keep a hammer in my classroom)
In 1988’s Rainbows, Curve Balls, NPR’s own Ira Flatow explains belching, “Kitchen Magic,” the difference between vinyl and CDs and answers the age-old question, “Do airplane wings flap?” Good stuff.
I loved this book as a kid. Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time explores the the intersections of space and time against a backdrop of adolescent angst. Our intrepid heroine Meg goes on a trans-dimensional quest to find her missing physicist father. Dad has disappeared due to his work on a project involving a tesseract. Go check out Tomorrowland’s brilliant write up of the tesseract.
The biblioklept in question with this one was a certain C**** **ll***, who worked at a book store in the mall. He kindly tore the cover in half and gave me the book gratis. I had to read it for my high school chemistry class. It turned out that I loved this book, to my surprise. My current copy is my wife’s. She also had to read the book for school. Hers has a cover.
Carl Sagan had mad science skillz. Sagan hypothesizes aliens as floating gas clouds, waxes on the multiverse theory, explains Einstein’s theory of relativity, discusses the possible effects of time travel on human history and answers a host of other “big questions.” Also, everything you ever wanted to know about Ptolemy, Kepler, and Brahe.
Cosmos is actually based on a multi-part TV special that starred Sagan, making it the only non-franchised book-based-on-TV-show that I’ve read. To my knowledge. Everyone should read this book, or at least read parts of it.