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Carpe diem? Caveat emptor.

Live for the moment, or save for the future? According to a new study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, party while you still can: you'll be glad you did. Ran Kivetz, a professor of business at Columbia U, conducted a series of interviews to gain insight into a condition he calls "hyperopia," or excessive farsightedness.

One set of interviews asked people about a time in the previous week when they chose between work and pleasure, and had them rank how they now felt about that decision. Another asked people the same question, but in reference to an event five years in the past. The results were polarizing: most of those who had forgone pleasure and worked hard a week prior were glad they did, but wished they had chosen to party five years prior. "In the long run," Kivetz says, "we inevitably regret being virtuous and wish we'd been bigger hedonists."

Of course, one thing the study doesn't take into account is how work performed in the past effects current happiness. Sure, it's easy for dad to say now that he wished he'd gone to Woodstock instead of studying for the bar exam -- but then again, the Jag in the driveway might not be there if he hadn't.

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Stradivarius Violins Get Their Distinctive Sound By Mimicking the Human Voice
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Italian violinist Francesco Geminiani once wrote that a violin's tone should "rival the most perfect human voice." Nearly three centuries later, scientists have confirmed that some of the world's oldest violins do in fact mimic aspects of the human singing voice, a finding which scientists believe proves "the characteristic brilliance of Stradivari violins."

Using speech analysis software, scientists in Taiwan compared the sound produced by 15 antique instruments with recordings of 16 male and female vocalists singing English vowel sounds, The Guardian reports. They discovered that violins made by Andrea Amati and Antonio Stradivari, the pioneers of the instrument, produce similar "formant features" as the singers. The resonance frequencies were similar between Amati violins and bass and baritone singers, while the higher-frequency tones produced by Stradivari instruments were comparable to tenors and contraltos.

Andrea Amati, born in 1505, was the first known violin maker. His design was improved over 100 years later by Antonio Stradivari, whose instruments now sell for several million dollars. "Some Stradivari violins clearly possess female singing qualities, which may contribute to their perceived sweetness and brilliance," Hwan-Ching Tai, an author of the study, told The Guardian.

Their findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. A 2013 study by Dr. Joseph Nagyvary, a professor emeritus at Texas A&M University, also pointed to a link between the sounds produced by 250-year-old violins and those of a female soprano singer.

According to Vox, a blind test revealed that professional violinists couldn't reliably tell the difference between old violins like "Strads" and modern ones, with most even expressing a preference for the newer instruments. However, the value of these antique instruments can be chalked up to their rarity and history, and many violinists still swear by their exceptional quality.

[h/t The Guardian]

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