CLOSE

2 Text or Not 2 Text

The average teen sends between 50 and 75 text messages a day. Perhaps more impressive: the top 14% of texting teens send more than 200 texts per day. Now, we've all seen this. At the mall, at the roller-rink, etc., so it shouldn't come as a huge surprise. Yet, at least for me, when I see these numbers "in print," I'm still rather blown away. Maybe it's bcos when I was a teen, the only phone I had access to outside the house was a payphone and if I wanted to get a message to a friend, it was by passing notes in class or in the hallway. Somehow, I can't imagine passing 50 notes a day, even if I had the opportunity and it were that ez.

Mind you, I'm not passing judgement here. (ikr) I like texting. And I can sort of imagine enjoying keeping in touch with my own kid via text one day when he's a teenager. But still, the numbers floor me. Here's some others that really got me thinking:

If you text while driving, you are almost 25% more likely to get in an accident. Given that my number one fear in life is of being in a serious car accident, this particular statistic kills me. (j/k) Then there's this: 200,000 car crashes a year are caused by texting. (This doesn't include the other 1.2 million caused by talking on cellphones!) According to some studies, if you text while driving, your reaction rate becomes that of a 70-year-old. Not sure what that means for the 70-year-olds who are texting while driving ;-) All joking aside, these numbers are no laughing matter. Nor are the profits for cellphone providers who are making $65 billion annually off the texting explosion. And, of course, it's not their fault that we're overusing or misusing the technology.

Finally, I'll leave you with 1 more interesting #: 160 Ever wonder y texts are limited to 160 characters? U can thank communications researcher Friedhelm Hillebrand for that. In 1985, he conducted an experiment whereby he typed out a bunch of random sentences and then counted all the characters (including spaces) of each. Most of them came in just under 160. He also analyzed postcards and found that the average one had about 150 characters on it. Using this info, he convinced his Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) team that 160 characters was plenty for the short messaging service (SMS) they were working on.

B4N

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
music
Stradivarius Violins Get Their Distinctive Sound By Mimicking the Human Voice
iStock
iStock

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]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
quiz
Orange-Themed Trivia
iStock
iStock

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios