Happy Birthday, Tom Lehrer!


Tom Lehrer – mathematician, satirist, singer-songwriter and hero to geeks taking chemistry tests everywhere – was born on April 9, 1928, making today his 84th birthday!

Lehrer (who also claims to have invented the Jell-O Shot in the mid-1950s) taught at MIT, Harvard, Wellesley and University of California, Santa Cruz before retiring in 2001. But Lehrer is best known for his biting satiric songs, covering everything from pollution to nuclear proliferation to masochism.

Possibly Lehrer’s most famous work is “The Elements.” While slightly out of date, it remains a classic geek song 53 years after it was released. Here’s a video of Lehrer himself performing that iconic track:

And here’s extremely cute 3-year-old Rose singing it:

And for the extra geekiness of it, here’s Daniel “Harry Potter” Radcliffe singing it:

Mr. Lehrer, from all of the geeks who loved (and were educated by) your songs as kids, and who now teach those songs to our own children – thank you, and a very happy birthday to you!

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