Monday, September 03, 2007

Science Singles, as seen on the famous internets

Here you go, have reviews of two of this weeks singles with a scientific meaning crowbarred in.

First it's the ever-lovely Magic Numbers with Undecided

Science? Bear with me here, it's going to get a bit nuclear physics. The nucleus of an atom is made up of two types of subatomic particle, protons and neutrons, known collectively as nucleons. According to the shell model of the nucleus, these particles are arranged according to energy levels in to "shells", much like the way we think about the arrangement of electrons orbiting the nucleus. When these shells are full, the nucleus is stable, and the number of nucleons needed to fill each shell is knows as a magic number (phew! we got there in the end). At the present time, science knows the following magic numbers: 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82 and 126. The band the Magic Numbers hail from west London, and are made up of two pairs of hippy brother and sisters . At the present time, science doesn't know if the Magic Numbers know anything about nuclear physics.

What does it sound like? It's oddly familiar. Like when you try on a new pair of jeans, and you instantly feel comfortable in them. It's only when you get home that you realise they are remarkably similar all you other jeans. It's one of those Magic Numbers songs: it has a fairly driven bit, a slower quite bit, an a cappella break bit, and a drum pick up bit back up the driven bit. Not original, but it works.

It's that Emma Pollock with Acid Test

Science? The term "acid test", meaning a decisive test, is used for all sorts of things these days. Back in the day it was only used to test if gold was gold. Due to it's complete outer shell of electrons, gold cannot easily give away or receive electrons, and as such it is inert. Put nitric acid on most metals and you will oxidise it, that is to say give away spare electrons. This results in the formation a metal nitrate salt, nitrogen dioxide and water. Since the salt is soluble, the treated metal will dissolve It will not, however, react with gold (or for that matter platinum, which is also inert).

What does it sound like? Meh, I never really was into the Delgados (she used to be their singer), and this leaves me unmoved. It's perfectly nice and everything, but it doesn't really have that something that other non-cutting edge people, such as the afore mentioned the Magic Numbers, have. In her favour, however, is the fact that she had a single called Adrenaline and the Delgados were signed to the Chemikal Underground label, both factoids being suitably almost sciencey for me. And pollocks are a type of fish. Fish are cool right?

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