Do you hear the people sing?

You guys, this is happening:

And check out the casting: Hugh Jackman is Jean Valjean (yay!), Russell Crow is Javert (um, okay). The Thénardiers will be played by Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter. And in a particularly nice touch, the Bishop of Digne will be played by Colm Wilkinson, who was Valjean in the 1985 cast.

I can’t wait for Christmas.

(Hat tip to Dave Munger, on Facebook.)◼



Oh, hey, the guy who who did the Public Radio rap sings about other things, including important biological information that will come in handy if you have plans tonight. Or, at least, explain your headache tomorrow morning.

(Via pretty much the entire Internet. I do not personally celebrate the feast of St. Patrick, but this almost counts as a religious connection, right? So I will probably be having a beer or two, thank you.) ◼


Shit scientists say

So this means the “shit X says” videos are pretty much done, right?

Also, for the record, it has been years since I’ve said or written the word “utilize” non-ironically. ◼


Iowa hangover

So last night a tiny fraction of the population of a not-very-populous but otherwise unobjectionable Midwestern state demonstrated they’ve never Googled Rick Santorum. Or maybe that they’d rather vote for a hateful, race-baiting asshole than a Mormon. One state down, forty-nine to go.

So here’s a nice animation of imagery from my favorite movie ever, to help take the edge off. In the grand scheme of cosmic history, the Iowa caucuses are much less stressful.

2001: A Space Odyssey from Joe Donaldson on Vimeo.



Advertising equality

I’m with Queerty on this one: the Australians make a much better ad for marriage equality than us schlubs in the States.

Go ahead, take a moment to find a tissue.

If anyone asked my opinion, though—which they haven’t—I’d say that there’s an important point missing from this ad, and from most of the pro-equality campaigns I’ve seen. That point is that gays, lesbians, and transgendered folks are already living stories like the one so movingly depicted above, and making lifelong commitments to each other, without waiting for anyone’s permission to do it.

My ideal advert for equality would simply be a series of short clips of committed queer couples—maybe just sitting there looking back at the camera, maybe recounting bits of the joys of life together. Each couple has accompanying subtitles: Alice and Rose, together 14 years, or Rob and Michael, together 5 years.

The point being, gay marriages already exist, and in many cases have been existing longer than a lot of the straight couples in the audience have been together. And it’s long past time for the government to acknowledge them. ◼


CreatureCast: Strangler figs

Kevin Zelnio’s post about the need for evolutionary biologists to approach outreach like viral marketing reminded me about CreatureCast, a frickin’ awesome project by the Dunn Lab at Brown University, which has scientists talking about their work in bite-sized videos illustrated with whimsical animation. Here’s one on strangler figs:

If this isn’t a good argument for adding a little money to your next grant to support an undergrad video production or communication major as a “broader impact,” I don’t know what is. ◼