Never underestimate a high school student's ability to craft an inspired prank.
Going back to the '80s for inspiration, Sairam Gudiseva wrote an essay with a "rickroll" message best
to be enjoyed by fans of good-natured shenanigans.
Give Gudiseva props. It isn't easy to write about scientist Niels Bohr, while working in Rick Astley lyrics that
you may miss on first pass. Gudiseva posted a copy of his essay to Twitter, with the Astley lyrics marked
up with a yellow highlighter. As the Independent noted, it's impressive to write an essay on physics,
never mind the time it must have taken to get each lyric to line up perfectly.
Going back years, rickrolling is a term for getting victims to watch Rick Astley when they least expect
to. Sometimes, during a boring video, the merry prankster will cut to Astley a few minutes in and
let his melodic rock crash over you like the rushing tides of the Pacific Ocean, so gentle, so free.
You may have thought rickrolling had jumped the shark, but no. You just can't keep a good prank
down. It is worth noting that Gudiseva isn't the first student to pull the essay prank. In 2010, using a
never ending stream of Astley lyrics in a computer essay, a student pulled a similar stunt. You're
going to have to keep in mind that Guyism, the site with that story, is NSFW (not safe for work).
To check out that story without the risk of an angry boss, click here.
Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).
Here's a funny little variation on "rickrolling," a term some of our readers might not be familiar with. So let's quickly refer you to Wikipedia:
Rickrolling is an Internet meme involving the music video for the 1987 Rick Astley song "Never Gonna Give You Up". The meme is a bait and switch; a person provides a hyperlink which is seemingly relevant to the topic at hand, but actually leads to Astley's video. The link can be masked or obfuscated in some manner so that the user cannot determine the true destination of the link without clicking. People led to the music video are said to have been rickrolled. Rickrolling has extended beyond web links to playing the video or song disruptively in other situations, including public places, such as a live appearance of Astley himself in the 2008 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. The meme helped to revive Astley's career.
Now, in another sign that rickrolling has gone beyond the web, we have above a snapshot of a quantum physics written by Sairam Gudiseva, a student at (we believe) White Station High School in Tennessee. As the snapshot shows, Gudiseva managed to run the lyrics of "Never Gonna Give You Up" down the left margin of the page ... while still keeping his ideas flowing. Well done, young man. You can see a full page of his essay here.
By the way, this is not the first time some levity has been introduced to a physic paper. You might want to refer back to our 2012 post, Physical Attraction: Marriage Proposal Comes in the Form of a Physics Paper.
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