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The Late Movies: Ohio State University's Rad Marching Band

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This past weekend we were treated to a masterful football field tribute to video games by Ohio State University's Marching Band (aka TBDBITL, or The Best Damn Band In The Land). But this is by no means the first amazing thing the band has done. Let's look back at some supremely awesome halftime performances by TBDBITL, and you may vent your sports-related frustration in the comments.

Note: if you have a half hour to kill, Wikipedia's page about the OSUMB is epic.

"To Boldly Go"

The band performs a space-flight (both real and sci-fi) tribute, including Star Trek references as well as an on-field appearance by John Glenn (!).

"Beach Boys Tribute"

Celebrating 50 years of The Beach Boys, the band performs a medley along with fancy footwork and on-field formations (starting with a lovely car). The camera is a little iffy at the beginning of this one. Stick around for the surfer at 4:20.

"Script Ohio"

The signature formation of this band is called Script Ohio, and it's exactly what it sounds like -- the band forms the word Ohio in script on the field. Here's their performance of that maneuver on October 29, 2011 (it was first performed roughly 75 years earlier, on October 24, 1936).

Entering Ohio Stadium

Not all the action happens on the field. Here's a video showing the band's grand entrance. Somehow this reminds me of the medal scene in Star Wars.

For an inside view of what the band looks like as it streams in, check out this video from another performance. I love the tuba deployment flips around a minute in.

Sousaphone vs. Camera

In this clip, a cameraman gets too close to a high-stepping sousaphone player in the middle of his act. As a YouTube commenter said: "Rule #1 of marching...if someone is? in your way...hit them."

Tribute to Funk

Honestly, I think this is only moderately funky. Their rendition of "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)" is a little brassy for my taste, but I guess you work with what you've got.

Band History

This promo video explains the culture and history surrounding the band. Wow.

Post Your Favorites

I'm sure we've got some Ohio alums in the audience. What's the best thing you've seen this band do?

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Animals
Australian Charity Releases Album of Cat-Themed Ballads to Promote Feline Welfare
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An Australian animal charity is helping save the nation’s kitties one torch song at a time, releasing a feline-focused musical album that educates pet owners about how to properly care for their cats.

Around 35,000 cats end up in pounds, shelters, and rescue programs every year in the Australian state of New South Wales, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Microchipping and fixing cats, along with keeping closer tabs on them, could help reduce this number. To get this message out, the RSPCA’s New South Wales chapter created Cat Ballads: Music To Improve The Lives Of Cats.

The five-track recording is campy and fur-filled, with titles like "Desex Me Before I Do Something Crazy" and "Meow Meow." But songs like “I Need You” might tug the heartstrings of ailurophiles with lyrics like “I guess that’s goodbye then/but you’ve done this before/the window's wide open/and so’s the back door/you might think I’m independent/but you’d be wrong.” There's also a special version of the song that's specifically designed for cats’ ears, featuring purring, bird tweets, and other feline-friendly noises.

Together, the tunes remind us how vulnerable our kitties really are, and provide a timely reminder for cat owners to be responsible parents to their furry friends.

“The Cat Ballads campaign coincides with kitten season, which is when our shelters receive a significantly higher number of unwanted kittens as the seasons change,” Dr. Jade Norris, a veterinary scientist with the RSPCA, tells Mental Floss. “Desexing cats is a critical strategy to reduce unwanted kittens.”

Listen to a song from Cat Ballads below, and visit the project’s website for the full rundown.

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technology
ABBA Is Going on Tour—As Holograms
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Missed your chance to watch ABBA perform live at the peak of their popularity? You’re in luck: Fans will soon be able to see the group in concert in all their chart-topping, 1970s glory—or rather, they’ll be able to see their holograms. As Mashable reports, a virtual version of the Swedish pop band is getting ready to go on tour.

ABBA split up in 1982, and the band hasn't been on tour since. (Though they did get together for a surprise reunion performance in 2016.) All four members of ABBA are still alive, but apparently not up for reentering the concert circuit when they can earn money on a holographic tour from the comfort of their homes.

The musicians of ABBA have already had the necessary measurements taken to bring their digital selves to life. The final holograms will resemble the band in the late 1970s, with their images projected in front of physical performers. Part of the show will be played live, but the main vocals will be lifted from original ABBA records and recordings of their 1977 Australian tour.

ABBA won’t be the first musical act to perform via hologram. Tupac Shakur, Michael Jackson, and Dean Martin have all been revived using the technology, but this may be one of the first times computerized avatars are standing in for big-name performers who are still around. ABBA super-fans will find out if “SOS” still sounds as catchy from the mouths of holograms when the tour launches in 2019.

[h/t Mashable]

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