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Morning Cup of Links: Oscars and Razzies

Find out the winners of the 2012 Academy Awards, and read what they said that was worth remembering. But most important, see what they wore.
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Even more interesting, the annual Razzie Awards celebrate the worst films of 2011. The nominations are out, and one film was so bad, it got 12 nominations in ten categories.
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Mysterious brown lights have been seen in the mountains of North Carolina for decades. Plenty of people are investigating them, and making money from them.
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In a breakthrough that will affect cosplay and furry cultures, researchers in Tokyo have developed a cat mask that can be controlled by the wearer's facial movements. They also have some useful applications in mind.
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The Black Diamond Jet Team performs aerial acrobatics. Watching from the pilot's POV, your brain tells you it's okay, while your stomach waits for the crash.
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Teller Reveals His Secrets. Magicians use their knowledge of perception, attention, and human nature to create illusions, but that doesn't ruin the magic.
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Gatonovela is a soap opera starring cats. This episode involves a Mexican drug cartel throwing its weight around.
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Siberia's Altai Mountains are beautiful and wild and hard to live in. So instead, you can look at some fascinating photos.
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Chandra Bahadur Dangi of Nepal has been recognized as the world's shortest man. At 21.5 inches tall and 72 years old, he finally got tired of being overlooked.
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An advisory committee recommended the FDA approve the anti-obesity drug Qnexa, which had previously been rejected. The obesity epidemic calls for "desperate measures," despite the risks.
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A Brief History of Newspaper Endorsements. Which will probably fade completely away soon.

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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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