EAS LogoThe Refractor


Bulletin of the Eastbay Astronomical Society
Founded in 1924 at Chabot Observatory, Oakland, California
Volume 77, Number 4, December 2000

Front Page.

Roberts Rules. President Carter Roberts’ message.
Sky Lore for the Month. Taurus

2001–2002: A Year of Planets. By Jim Scala
Diamonds in the Sky.
Hubble Space Telescope art at St. Mary's College

Christmas at the Cosmic Cabaret:
Lynda Williams, The Physics Chanteuse

Saturday, 2 December, 2000
Potluck Dinner 6:00 p.m.
Election and Entertainment 7:30 p.m.
Teachers' Research Center, Dellums Building (Enter from Wightman Plaza)
Chabot Space & Science Center, 10000 Skyline Boulevard, Oakland, California

Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump! / Annie Jump Cannon!
She was a human computer
at the Harvard College Observatory
classifying stellar spectra
she was the world's leading expert!
She created the spectral class system
we all love and use today!
Oh be a fine girl kiss me right now sweetie!
(O B A F G K M R S)
She could do three in a minute!
Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump! / Annie Jump Cannon!
© 1998 Lynda Williams
Every once in a while comes an opportunity to do something truly different. This meeting is one of those opportunities. This will be one of those meetings that members will be talking about for years to come! We will have as our speaker, no… urh …singer, the famous science artist, Lynda Williams, also known as the “Physics Chanteuse.” Lynda has been written about in the New York Times, L.A. Times, and featured on “Good Morning America.”

She sings original love songs about Physics and Astronomy! I’m not kidding. Dressed in an outrageous outfit, she croons such memorable ballads as “Big Bang,” “Carbon is a Girl’s Best Friend” and the “Quark Sing-a-long”, and many others. Lynda describes her alter-ego as “Bette Midler meets Carl Sagan with a touch of Tom Lehrer and Mae West added to the mix.
She has even sung for such scientifically prestigious events as “Kipfest,” the sixtieth birthday party for Kip Thorne. There she got her hands on a “chirp” which represents the “sound” two black holes make when they collide. She then digitized the sound and created a song called “Black Hole Song,” which is about ligo, the gravity detector Kip Thorne is building. She described her preparation for that event like “…taking my orals, only this time I’d be singing.” It’s not suprising that she felt that way since she was singing to such physics luminaries as John Wheeler and Stephen Hawking. The memorable lyrics (sung to the tune of the Beatles “Blackbird”) to Black Hole go: Black Holes spinning in the dead of night Spiraling around out of sight, Until you collide. We are waiting for your waves to arrive.

We will be singing karioki along with Lynda, especially “Freaky Wave” where we’ll be expected to sing about Maxwell’s equations, so study up!

Lynda is a real physics instructor! She got her B.A. in Mathematics from C.S.U. Sacramento in 1987 and her Masters in Physics at San Francisco State University in 1996 where she currently teaches and performs in the planetarium. Also a dancer, she has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute. For more information about Lynda Williams check out her website at

By Dave Rodrigues

Christmas Potluck Dinner

Don’t forget that the December meeting is also our annual Christmas Potluck! Bring your favorite holiday dish, drink, and costume and get in the mood for the Cosmic Chanteuse! Dinner will start at 6:00 pm in the Teachers' Research Center in the Dellums (West) Building of the new Chabot Space & Science Center. Enter from Wightman Plaza, then down one level. The business meeting for announcements and election of officers will start at 7:30 at the same location, to be followed by our evening's entertainment.

Parking is free in the garage, but you are encouraged to take AC Transit Bus 53. Go to
www.transitinfo.org/Sched/AC/53/ or call (510) 839-2882 for schedule information.

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