American “CR box” Pie

One of the awesome things about Twitter is the robust community of Science Communicators who work together sharing their expertise, their experiences, and sometimes silly things like using Rock & Roll to get a point across. The story of the Corsi-Rosenthal box is a long one that spans the country and the Internet of things. I will edit this post to include those stories and Tweets, but y’all gotta send them to me in the comments section following this very long parody of a classic tune.

I left the chorus of the song alone because it seemed right to do, as well as “the day the music died” at the end of many stanzas. In case you miss it below, “the music” is “the science” that has been so hard to promote this pandemic. Near the end of the song, I tip my lyrical hat to STEM women. It is worth repeating that TONS of female scientists essentially kicked butt and took names in the name of Science this pandemic. They rocked! I have no way to quantify my gratitude for their leadership during such troubled times. My knowledge of so many things within and beyond my personal wheelhouse of Physics has grown by leaps and bounds because they keep saying stuff on Twitter. Thank you! Please, do not stop communicating Science.

The answers were with us before the pandemic and they still are. Our national culture of contempt divides the nation via political tribalism and deliberate ignorance. But I don’t have any strong opinions on the matter 😉. Anyway, I had fun writing this, and will probably edit it here and there as ideas come to mind, but it’s pretty much done in my opinion. I hope you like it.

The bold words are the altered lyrics in “American Pie”.


A long, long time ago
I can still remember how maskless faces used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That Indoor Air could be enhanced
And maybe they’d be healthy for a while

But February made me shiver
With the news that they’d deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more step

I can’t remember if I cried
When we were told to stay inside
But something touched us worldwide
The day the music died

So bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Did you write 62-point-2?
And do you have fresh air to move?
If the standard tells you to?
Now do you believe in Navier-Stokes?
Can Physics save your mortal soul?
And can you teach me how to measure air-flow?

Well, I know that you’re in love with him
‘Cause you social distanced in the gym
You both kicked off your shoes
Now we really need some I-A-Q

I was an academic muck-ity-muck
With a PhD and a coffee cup
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died

I started singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Now for two years we’ve been home alone
And Zoom calls suck on our cell phones
But that’s not how it used to be
When confusion came from the CDC
And aerosols weren’t quite yet a thing
And only droplets came from you and me

Oh, and while the WHO was looking down
The aerosols were hanging around
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned

And while cases kept hitting higher Marks
Corsi worked on a new fan box
While Trump shined lights into the dark
The day the music died

We were singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Helter skelter in a summer swelter
The second surge sent us back to shelter
Irate denial and growing fast
It’s a big pain in the ass
Taxpayers spend stimulus cash
Protestors march to grieve about the past

Now the western fires sent obnoxious fumes
Into lots of peoples living rooms
We just wanted to ditch the masks
Oh, but we never got the chance

When Science tried to take the field
The administration refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?

We started singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
And singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Oh, and there we were all in one place
A webinar lost in virtual space
With no time left to start again
So come on, Jim be nimble, Jim be quick
Tex-Air Filters in a FedEx truck
‘Cause filtration is our new best friend

Oh, and as I watched him on the Twitter stage
My hands got busy with some duct tape
This box is cool as Hell!
Who knew it would work so well!

And as the flames climbed high into the night
Cuz someone used a U-V-C light
You can’t use them on filters of this type

The day the music died

He was singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
And singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

I met lots of STEM women who sang the blues
And I asked them for some happy news
But they just smiled and turned away
I went down to the Science store
Where I’d heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play

And in the schools, on children’s screens
The teachers cried and the parents screamed
But not a word was spoken
The microphones were broken

And the three men I admire most
Bernoulli, Navier and Holy Stokes
They taught us don’t be a viral host
The day the music died

And they were singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

They were singing bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
And singin’ this’ll be the day that I die

Published by Clark Vangilder

born at a very young age, naked and out of work

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