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The Weekend Links

Every once in a while there's a commercial that, for whatever reason, installs itself into the public conscious. The Progressive commercials, and more specifically, the Progressive sales girl, have garnered a fan following that would make the Budweiser frogs jealous. For those of you who love Flo, here are 5 things about her may not know. (Thanks Sarah!)
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Best news all day - turns out that playing Tetris may build up the old gray matter. Can this also apply to Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook, please?
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There's something out there for everyone - and more than likely, there's also a magazine about it! Even in these tough times, it seems some very specific magazines are still able to hold court in their field because, well, who else is covering Crappie? Or the comings and goings of Cowboys and Indians? (so much wrong, not enough time to get into it)
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Some very creative pillows. I think the stones are my favorite, although the Mac dock does make me smile.
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So everyone in Geekdom and beyond knows now that Disney purchased Marvel comics. But will that mean Spider Mouse is to come? Here are some fun Disney-Marvel mashup ideas.
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For those of you who missed this when I posted it to my Twitter (see what I did there?), a great, hilarious and true song making fun of bike racers and bike hipsters (Thanks to Jeff, my biking guru!)
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Though this spoof video focuses on Arlington, VA, it will ring true to anyone familiar with big city suburbs. Also, it is incredibly funny.

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I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this is probably the largest collection of photo bombing I've ever seen, for whatever that's worth. Some people have no shame! Are any of you Flossers photo bombers? Come on, fess up!
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From the annals of the amazing - 11 Unique Outdoor Sculptures sure to amaze (or confound).
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If this photo is true and, as we know, the internet is a dubious place, I'm pretty sure this scenario makes this guy the luckiest in the world.
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For the lads - xkcd very seriously debates urinal protocol (now with math!). Though it's not quite the same with girls, some of the same basic sociological rules apply (if there's one person in a stall, you don't go to the one right next to them! If you can help it, that is).
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So useless, yet so puntastic a foam banana phone.
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Extra! Extra! Enlightened Chinese farmer branches out by growing pears shaped like baby Buddha.
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For everyone who wants to know - how to tie a tie (in four varieties!)
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My neighbor is a champion hula hooper, so this goes out to her: an article on why exercising with hula hoops is great for the body and soothing for the soul. I am a terrible hula hooper, for the record!
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Sand at the beach? Not surprising. But what if it's floating on top of the water? Amazing photographs ensue!
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Finally, your breathtaking space pic of the week.
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A big thank you to everyone who sent in links! Always interesting and always appreciated ... so don't stop now! Keep sending your findings to FlossyLinks@gmail.com, and enjoy your long weekend.

[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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