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Weekend Links: Google Street View - Antarctica

Using the noggin: how to successfully store passwords in your subconscious.
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I positively loved this beautiful video of a person who "plays a strangely tuned guitar in a language that we can all understand." (Thanks for this goes to Matt!)
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Another cool video -- this time, of a marble machine that continues to gain complexity.
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Check out these breathtaking Google Street View pictures of Antarctica (including the South Pole).
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Everyone seems to be looking to capitalize on the popularity of zombies (or the popularity of figuring out how to survive their eventual rise) - here are 11 of the strangest zombie-inspired objects.
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From my friend Ben, an incredible list of the best memes. So many hours wasted on these. Much-needed laughs abound.
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For those who, like me, like to be tricked into learning, these Five Funny Books With Substance recommended by NPR's book blog look to be a good place to get started for mid-summer reading.
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Speaking of books, this site for the Book Barn popped up in my searches this week, and it made me pine for more stores like this. Sadly we don't have anything like it in my city - do any of you guys frequent a cool local throwback shop like this? Enjoy them before they all get stamped out!
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And to close, a nice weekend playlist, courtesy of Louise Brealey (who plays Molly on "Sherlock") via Twitter: "Here’s a playlist made from some of my favourite instances of darling, or darlin’, in popular music, that includes suggestions made by nice people on the social networking site, Twitter. All links to YouTube; apologies for some of the appalling videos."
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Stay tuned - more links on the way tomorrow! In the meantime, send your Flossy finds to FlossyLinks@gmail.com. You can also send me a Tweet @keeneTV.

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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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