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The Weekend Links

It definitely stinks to be on the list of 15 most famously filthy people in history. (Thanks Sami!)
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The long and the short of it - world's tallest man meets world's smallest man.
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At BU, a real Quidditch match is played. Really more Quidditch vs Gravity. Spoiler: Gravity wins.
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5 enormous fissures in the earth that I would stay well away from.
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From Jan, what's the creepiest candy you can think of? It wouldn't be Skittles, would it? Well it just might be after you've seen these commercials.
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If you're still in a spooky mood, check out 5 Psychological Experiments That Expose Humanity's Dark Side (cue the thunder, lightning, and an evil cackle)
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This site claims to be about ugly mailboxes, but I have to say, some of them are pretty darn rad.

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I've made a cake or two in my day, and I usually feel pretty good about it. Until I saw these pictures of fantastic cake art, anyway.
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On a similar topic: how to build a dish like a food stylist.
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Which way is the girl turning? Supposedly it's an IQ test, but I could do it pretty easily both ways yet I still count on my fingers. Go figure.
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Amazing sidewalk art.

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I'm not entirely sure WHAT this site is, but it has some very Monty Python-esque animations.
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Anyone who's lived in a cramped and loud apartment building can understand the frustrations brought up in this animation, although I would ultimately suggest a different solution ...
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10 of the most outrageous opening lines in literature. A few made me chuckle. Any other favorites to add?
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Some of the most difficult words to translate, and even more of them here.
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Feeling nostalgic? Looking for a 90s overload? Here are 30 minutes of cartoon openings for you. Ok, I didn't sit through the whole thing. But I was a little disturbed at how many I could sing along to ...

Pictures? Videos? Cartoons? Intriguing finds of any kind, please send 'em my way at FlossyLinks@gmail.com!

[Last Weekend's Links]

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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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Orange-Themed Trivia
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