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Morning Cup of Links: The Tin Horse Highway

A profile of Sgt. Kimberly Denise Munley, the hero of the Ft. Hood shooting. "She had the training; she knew what to do. And she had the courage to do it — by doing it she saved countless people's lives."
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6 People Who Faked Their Own Death (For Ridiculous Reasons). What may seem to be an easy way out of a difficult situation only made things much worse. (via Gorilla Mask)
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In the days leading up to the annual bush races, the locals in Kulin, Australia construct fanciful horses out of all kinds of materials to entertain those who travel the highway leading to the Jilakin Racetrack. This has become known as The Tin Horse Highway.
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Catblogging, 1940s Style. Now I know how to pick up a cat during an air raid. (via YesButNoButYes)
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How can someone be in "critical but stable condition"? In plain English, those words are opposites, but in medical terminology they make sense -to medical professionals.
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Illustrator Paul Rogers puts together six drawings of iconic images from a classic movie. Your challenge is to name the movies from the drawings.
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9 Times They Probably Should Have Stopped The Presses. Newspaper and magazine lead times occasionally cause embarrassment, if not downright horror.

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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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