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Buy Your (Potential) Dream Home

As a child I often imagined my dream home and what sorts of mind-blowingly sweet (not a word I use now) amenities it would feature. My grandest dream of all was to have a swimming pool filled with cereal and milk. I wasn't great with logistics - l didn't consider the fact that I would quickly have a pool full of extremely soggy cereal and possibly spoiled milk. Or the fact that you'd be swimming in your own food while you ate it.

This 90,000 square-foot Orlando mansion is being sold for $75 Million, so you'd think it would have everything you could possibly imagine - including that disgusting indoor lagoon filled with Fruity Pebbles. But no. In fact, it doesn't even have carpet. The picture above is an artist's rendering of what it could eventually look like. Instead your money gets you the partially completed home shown below - which comes with the caveat that it's being sold "as is."

What does it really look like?

So if you were to buy this place and finish it, what features are a must-have for you?

(Via Huffington Post)

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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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