Metal is everywhere, and even the world's smartest nerds like to bang their heads once in awhile -- just ask the MIT students who've been lining up for Heavy Metal 101 over the past decade.

The course, which celebrates its 10th-annual offering this month, promises to educate students in "everything you ever wanted to know about heavy metal, including who’s awesome, who isn’t, why louder DOES mean better and so much more!" That's a lot of ground to cover, and it's broken down into a series of components that includes "musicology; culture and iconography; history and development; why Judas Priest rules; why Metallica used to; and why Lemmy IS God."

Held over four Thursdays in January via a quartet of one-hour lectures that begin with "Music and Culture" and conclude with a three-part "History of Heavy Metal" series, the course promises to be "the most BRUTAL class ever offered at MIT" and warns prospective students, "If you think that Poison is metal (they're not), that umlauts have no place in the English language (they do) and can't tell the difference between Black Sabbath and Bon Jovi (hell, if you think Bon Jovi is listenable, for that matter), then you can't afford to miss this series."

Sounds like a lot more fun than another engineering class, right? For more information about Heavy Metal 101, visit the course website.

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