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Video of the Day: Adron's homage to Monty Python

Just in time for Earth Day, a reminder of our small place in the "Galaxy"

Fans of Monty Python — bitter and humorless as you are — we have some Earth Day news for you. One of your favorite songs has gotten a refreshing update from a pair of popular Atlanta performers.

Why, you might ask in your best bitter-humorless tone, before learning anything else, would anyone anywhere or anytime update any song having to do with anything Monty Python? And of course what you mean by that is: Who would dare update anything that is the scripture and all-knowing, undeniable, un-mess-around-with-able genius of Monty Python?

Here's the thing: It's Earth Day, and the song is "Galaxy Song." Singer-songwriter Adron, taking a break from production on a new album, and her Dixieland-playing pal Blair Crimmins of Blair Crimmins & the Hookers, decided the video would be the perfect way to celebrate.

Again, why, you bitterly and humorlessly ask? Well, it's a happy song, of course, and it gives the listener a range of nearly reliable facts that lead to a startling perspective: We're just a very tiny part of the universe! And really, we mean nothing at all!

Also, Adron explains the idea for the remake thusly:

"I've always been a loyal Python fan since I can possibly remember," she says. "I knew all the words to 'Every Sperm Is Sacred' as far back as age seven ... And so a month or so ago it occurred to me how it might be a ton of fun to do a cover of a Python song, and then the idea to involve Blair seemed obvious because the style of music he plays would be so well suited to such an adaptation."

"Galaxy Song," as any Monty Python fan knows, was written by Eric Idle and originally performed in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. Idle's pink-tuxedo'd character hops out of a refrigerator and sings it to Mrs. Brown (Terry Jones) as a way to convince her to donate her liver in a live organ transplant. It's all very scientific.

"If I could put Python in a time capsule for future alien overlords," Adron says, "I would do it."


 

High-tech tree hugging: Meet Mother Nature Network's data-savvy president

Matt Crenshaw wants to make people feel good, not guilty about environmentalism

If, as Bill Gates famously declared of the Internet, content is king, then people like Matt Crenshaw are its field marshals. The president of Atlanta-based digital news outlet Mother Nature Network spends his time parsing web traffic trends, search engine performance, and social media engagement to help MNN.com and its sister site, TreeHugger.com, capture a combined 10 million unique visitors per month.

“We think of content as being an art and a science,” says the thirty-seven-year-old former vice president of Discovery Communications, who joined MNN last summer. Knowing that users often check Facebook upon waking, for example, inspired MNN to post a daily photo of a sunrise—“just to sort of pause and connect people with something that’s not information overload, but captures a feeling,” Crenshaw says.

Launched in 2009 by longtime ad man Joel Babbit and conservationist (and Rolling Stones keyboardist) Chuck Leavell, MNN revolves around the notion that environmental content should make people feel good, not guilty. Articles—a mix of lifestyle tips (“how to clean an oven naturally”) and science-geeky spotlights on natural phenomena—are tailor-made for Google searches and Facebook shares.

Atlanta native Crenshaw, who ran digital marketing and analytics for Discovery, sees no disconnect between high-tech strategizing and an earth-friendly ethos. “One of the biggest misconceptions people have about MNN is, ‘You guys must be all hippie-crunchy, wearing Toms shoes and everything.’ And certainly some of us are, but it’s about taking a mainstream audience and nudging it toward this green lifestyle. I look at it almost like a Whole Foods for content.”

Read more: Our extended interview with Matt Crenshaw

This article originally appeared in our April 2014 issue.

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