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Weekend Links: Shakespearean Hokey Pokey

Gary Oldman speaks out against a very dangerous trend - athletes turning into actors! Fun fact: they had to shoot this an additional three times because he kept making the basket at the end. The man is just that cool.
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Ohhhh dearie me, what was the past like? Back in the day, Mickey Mouse attempted suicide and fought opium smugglers, and kids weren't weak and spoiled!
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The Hokey Pokey, Shakespeare style (and thanks to Boing Boing, I finally know where it originated. Very clever).
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A fantastic ominous photo of the smoke from the Colorado fires, apparently taken by accident. For some reason I feel like this could be used as a promotional image for Breaking Bad.
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Informative and necessary: a helpful chart - England versus the UK versus the British Isles, etc.
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An interesting piece on Collider this week about Pixar by the Numbers, From Toy Story to Brave.
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Another list of helpful auxiliary uses for common household items, including one which solves one of the most irritating aspects of summer swimming - foggy goggles! Apparently toothpaste works (anyone tried it and can confirm?)
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On this day, something happened. Somewhere. To someone. Quickly time travel through the site each day to find out what!
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What clementines can teach surgeons (the "a surgeon did this one / a non-surgeon did this one" picture is pretty convincing on its own).
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A big thanks to everyone who sent in links this week - keep it up! Keep cool and send me your Flossy finds and submissions to FlossyLink@gmail.com.

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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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