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Skeptics Mix Tape 2009

Think the best skepticism is the kind you can rock to? We’re pleased to offer you this selection of songs of science and skepticism — completely free! Download these MP3 files for non-commercial use at home or in your classroom. (Many of these songs are also available commercially from iTunes.)

Free for use on your podcast or radio show are a selection of Public Service Announcements in support of critical thinking, science, and the Skeptics Society. We’ll be expanding the selection in the coming months, so check back again soon.

Please do tell your friends about the whole set here at www.skeptic.com/mixtape09 or, share this page on Facebook.

Make a tax-deductible donation to the Skeptics Society

Songs in this collection

Jonathan Coulton (photo by Dale May)

Jonathan Coulton

Jonathan Coulton: “I’m a Mason Now”

Influential geek-rock superstar Jonathan Coulton explains why you might want to “stay on the good side of the guy who’s got the secret handshake down.” For conspiracy lovers everywhere. Parental Advisory: suitable for all ages

Creative Commons License

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VISIT the artist’s website >

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Dr. SETI

Dr. SETI: “Cosmic Carl”

Folk singer Dr. SETI (sometimes known as Dr. Paul Shuch, the man credited with designing the world’s first commercial home satellite TV receiver) leads a live audience in a fond shout-out to the late, great astronomer Dr. Carl Sagan. Parental Advisory: suitable for all ages

DOWNLOAD this song (1.1 MB MP3) >
VISIT the artist’s website >

Bandleader Timothy Sellers

Bandleader Timothy Sellers

Artichoke: “Mary Anning”

The snappiest ditty from Artichoke’s acclaimed alt-rock concept album 26 Scientists, Vol. 1 (A–M), “Mary Anning” tells the story of the self-taught woman who discovered the first fossil plesiosaur — and paved the way for Darwin to rewrite the history of life. Parental Advisory: suitable for all ages

DOWNLOAD this song (2.2 MB MP3) >
VISIT the artist’s website >

Overman

Overman

Overman: “Evolution Rocks”

A retro-styled educational tune that harkens back to Saturday morning cartoons, this is a quick survey of Charles Darwin’s life, insight, and impact on our understanding of biological change through geologic time. Parental Advisory: mild criticism of Darwin’s contemporary opponents, including religious thinkers

PODSAFE

DOWNLOAD this song (3.3 MB MP3) >
VISIT the artist’s website >

Being 747

Being 747

Being 747: “Shake Your Backbone”

A snapshot of evolutionary time, this song comes from the educational multimedia show Amoeba To Zebra, which offers a musical exploration of natural history in 55 minutes. This show can be booked for schools in the UK. Parental Advisory: suitable for all ages

DOWNLOAD this song (4.2 MB MP3) >
VISIT the artist’s website >

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Chris Hardwick (left)
& Mike Phirman

Hard ’n Phirm: “Carbon Cycle”

Mike Phirman and Wired magazine science correspondent Chris Hardwick (a former MTV host) are a comedy music duo with a heart of pure science. Here they offer a jaunty, straight-faced reflection on our ephemeral place in the biosphere’s carbon cycling. Parental Advisory: Clean radio edit (with bleeps)

DOWNLOAD this song (2.6 MB MP3) >
VISIT the artist’s website >

Coco Love Alcorn

Coco Love Alcorn

Coco Love Alcorn: “Thinking Cap”

In a brand new song recorded especially for the Skeptics Mix Tape 2009 project, Canadian indie darling Alcorn conjures up a distinctive blend of jazz, soul, folk — and critical thinking. Parental Advisory: suitable for all ages

DOWNLOAD this song (2.8 MB MP3) >
VISIT the artist’s website >

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Tales from the Birdbath

Tales from the Birdbath: “The Scientist”

A punk rock veteran’s affectionate description of the grueling research lifestyle led by his wife (hardworking endocrinologist, science writer, and rock drummer Rebecca Hernandez). Parental Advisory: suitable for all ages

PODSAFE

DOWNLOAD this song (1.6 MB MP3) >
VISIT the artist’s website >

Celia Chavez (photo by Marni Angel)

Celia Chavez

Celia Chavez: “P. T. Barnum”

With lyrics like “accepting deception as part of the show,” former P!nk backup singer Celia Chavez builds a haunting, off-kilter love song on the memory of 19th century showman, skeptic, and huckster P. T. Barnum. Co-written with Hilary Gardner. Parental Advisory: suitable for all ages

Creative Commons License

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Dirty Dishes

Dirty Dishes: “Lily the Pink”

“Lily the Pink” is a satirical send up of early patent medicine mogul Lydia Pinkham. This version was arranged and performed by country bluegrass trio Dirty Dishes (featuring Lisa Olafson, Suzie McKenney, and fiddler Alison Porter). Parental Advisory: suitable for all ages

DOWNLOAD this song (4.4 MB MP3) >
READ the companion article about Lily the Pink >
VISIT the artist’s website >

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band member Paul Tozer

The Bad Detectives: “Rattlesnake Oil”

An energetic, tongue in cheek, rockabilly sales pitch for traditional snake oil medicine (“It’s good for what ails you…It clears phlegm, cures gout — and drives demons out”) this song makes note of the true medicinal ingredient in many such patent potions: booze. Parental Advisory: Very mild innuendo. Refers to alcohol.

PODSAFE

DOWNLOAD this song (4 MB MP3) >
VISIT the artist’s website >

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George Hrab

George Hrab: “Skeptic”

If skepticism had an anthem, this might well be it! Echoing with the chorus “You can’t believe what a skeptic I am,” this is rock artist George Hrab’s stinging (yet compassionate) indictment of promoters of lucrative alternative medicine schemes. Parental Advisory: mild bad language

PODSAFE

DOWNLOAD this song (6.7 MB MP3) >
VISIT the artist’s website >

Bonus Track (added January 2012)

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Monty Harper

Monty Harper: “Junior Detectives Club”

From his CD “ Get a Clue ” comes this fun children’s song featuring The Center Stage Singers.

Creative Commons License

DOWNLOAD this song (2 MB MP3) >
VISIT the artist’s website >

Suggest your own song for the next mix tape

Do you have an awesome skeptical song of your own that you’d like to submit for a possible sequel to this project? Email Junior Skeptic Editor Daniel Loxton and tell him about it. If it’s a good fit, your song could end up on the next Skeptics Mix Tape.

SUGGEST one of your own songs

Public Service Announcements

Michael Shermer

Michael Shermer

Michael Shermer on
the Spiritual Beauty of Science

Skeptic Publisher Michael Shermer reflects on the soaring power of science to uplift us, inspire us — and humble us before the majesty of the cosmos. ”Anything that generates a sense of awe may be a source of spirituality,” Shermer says, “and science does this in spades.”

Creative Commons License

DOWNLOAD this PSA (2 MB MP3) >

Phil Plait

Phil Plait

Phil Plait speaks out

Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait (President of the James Randi Educational Foundation) wants “to exhort you to think. Just think. When you see something, when you hear something that doesn’t sound right, just think about it. That’s really all it takes…”

Creative Commons License

DOWNLOAD this PSA (2 MB MP3) >

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Skeptic magazine plug

CONTENT: “Hungry for more skepticism? Want to learn the truth about the scientific controversies of our time? Then subscribe to Skeptic, the quarterly magazine Stephen Jay Gould called ‘the best journal in the field.’ To subscribe, visit Skeptic.com today.”

Creative Commons License

DOWNLOAD this PSA (144 KB MP3) >

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eSkeptic plug

CONTENT: “Want to stay abreast of the latest from Skeptic magazine and the Skeptics Society? Want cutting-edge skeptical articles delivered straight to your inbox every week? Then subscribe to eSkeptic, the free electronic newsletter of the Skeptics Society. Visit Skeptic.com to sign up.”

Creative Commons License

DOWNLOAD this PSA (160 KB MP3) >

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our free newsletter

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Popular Articles
on skeptic.com

Here are the articles that people have been sharing over the last few days.

Carbon Comic

Carbon Comic (by Kyle Sanders)

Carbon Comic, which appears in Skeptic magazine, is created by Kyle Sanders: a pilot and founder of Little Rock, Arkansas’ Skeptics in The Pub. He is also a cartoonist who authors Carbon Dating: a skeptical comic strip about science, pseudoscience, and relationships. It can be found at carboncomic.com.

Help the
Skeptics Society
at no cost to you!

Planning on shopping at Amazon? By clicking on our Amazon affiliate link, which will open the Amazon Store in your Internet browser, the Skeptics Society will receive a small commission on your purchase. Your prices for all products remain the same, yet you’ll provide essential financial support for the work of the nonprofit Skeptics Society.

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FREE PDF Download

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

Do you know someone who has had a mind altering experience? If so, you know how compelling they can be. They are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be dangerous…

Reality Check

Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future (paperback cover)

How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future

The battles over evolution, climate change, childhood vaccinations, and the causes of AIDS, alternative medicine, oil shortages, population growth, and the place of science in our country—all are reaching a fevered pitch. Many people and institutions have exerted enormous efforts to misrepresent or flatly deny demonstrable scientific reality to protect their nonscientific ideology, their power, or their bottom line…

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths About Evolution

Top 10 Myths About Evolution (and how we know it really happened)

If humans came from apes, why aren’t apes evolving into humans? Find out in this pamphlet!

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Alternative Medicine

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Alternative Medicine

Topics include: chiropractic, the placebo effect, homeopathy, acupuncture, and the questionable benefits of organic food, detoxification, and ‘natural’ remedies.

FREE PDF Download

Learn to be a Psychic in 10 Easy Lessons

Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
Easy Lessons

Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

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