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11 Creative Fan Renditions of Doctor Who Music

Doctor Who fans have a lot of creativity and talent, and many times they share it on YouTube. So to help tide us over until the new series starts, here are 11 creative interpretations of Doctor Who music!

Craig Ferguson had Matt Smith (the Eleventh Doctor) as a guest on The Late Late Show, and as he is a massive Doctor Who fan, he put this together as a song and dance number based on the theme; it was initially blocked by his producer's lawyers, but was "accidentally" leaked to YouTube for your enjoyment:

Craig Ferguson isn't the only comedian who likes Doctor Who; here's how Tim Minchin did the theme at the BBC Comedy Proms:

Dan Rider's acapella Doctor Who theme, which has lyrics celebrating the new series:

MrSolidSnake745 does renditions of popular music on his array of eight 5 1/4" floppy drives; this time, he does his interpretation of the theme:

Arc Attack, which makes music by modulating the frequency of sparks generated by a set of Tesla coils, has done the Doctor Who theme many times, but here's their performance at the 2011 World Maker Faire:

A more traditional acapella rendition, without lyrics, by YouTube user Maximusmessage:

Eric Calderone, aka Erock, put together an excellent heavy metal rendition of the 11th Doctor's theme, segueing into "I Am the Doctor", which is surprisingly good in this form:

Annette Bjorling performs an ethereal harp improvisation based on "I Am the Doctor":

The Doctor Who Fan Orchestra was created to produce collaborative performances of Murray Gold's music for the series; they haven't done the theme yet, but here's their first production, "I Am the Doctor":

This one is a bit different; it's only if you listen carefully that you realize Pink Floyd's "One Of These Days" is a bit familiar. It's much more obvious in live productions; in this one, listen to that bass line, and listen especially closely around 2:20:

And then we'll finish up by going back to the themes -- in this case, a medley of all broadcast versions of the theme tune (lasting over eleven and a half minutes):

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How Do You Stress the Word: THANKSgiving or ThanksGIVing?
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Here’s something else to stress about for Thanksgiving: where to put the stress in the word Thanksgiving.

If you’re from California, Iowa, or Delaware, you probably say ThanksGIVing, with the primary stress on the second syllable. If you’re from Georgia, Tennessee, or the Texas Panhandle, you probably say THANKSgiving, with the primary stress on the first syllable.

This north-south divide on syllable stress is found for other words like umbrella, guitar, insurance, and pecan. However, those words are borrowed from other languages (Italian, Spanish, French). Sometimes, in the borrowing process, competing stress patterns settle into regional differences. Just as some borrowed words get first syllable stress in the South and second syllable stress in the North, French words like garage and ballet get first syllable stress in the UK and second syllable stress in the U.S.

Thanksgiving, however, is an English word through and through. And if it behaved like a normal English word, it would have stress on the first syllable. Consider other words with the same noun-gerund structure just like it: SEAfaring, BAbysitting, HANDwriting, BULLfighting, BIRDwatching, HOMEcoming, ALMSgiving. The stress is always up front, on the noun. Why, in Thanksgiving alone, would stress shift to the GIVE?

The shift to the ThanksGIVing pronunciation is a bit of a mystery. Linguist John McWhorter has suggested that the loss of the stress on thanks has to do with a change in our concept of the holiday, that we “don’t truly think about Thanksgiving as being about thankfulness anymore.” This kind of thing can happen when a word takes on a new, more abstract sense. When we use outgoing for mail that is literally going out, we are likely to stress the OUT. When we use it as a description of someone’s personality ("She's so outgoing!"), the stress might show up on the GO. Stress can shift with meaning.

But the stress shift might not be solely connected to the entrenchment of our turkey-eating rituals. The thanksGIVing stress pattern seems to have pre-dated the institution of the American holiday, according to an analysis of the meter of English poems by Mark Liberman at Language Log. ThanksGIVing has been around at least since the 17th century. However you say it, there is precedent to back you up. And room enough to focus on both the thanks and the giving.

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Watch Boris Karloff's 1966 Coffee Commercial
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TAKWest, Youtube

Horror legend Boris Karloff is famous for playing mummies, mad scientists, and of course, Frankenstein’s creation. In 1930, Karloff cemented the modern image of the monster—with its rectangular forehead, bolted neck, and enormous boots (allegedly weighing in at 11 pounds each)—in the minds of audiences.

But the horror icon, who was born 130 years ago today, also had a sense of humor. The actor appeared in numerous comedies, and even famously played a Boris Karloff look-alike (who’s offended when he’s mistaken for Karloff) in the original Broadway production of Arsenic and Old Lace

In the ’60s, Karloff also put his comedic chops to work in a commercial for Butter-Nut Coffee. The strange commercial, set in a spooky mansion, plays out like a movie scene, in which Karloff and the viewer are co-stars. Subtitles on the bottom of the screen feed the viewer lines, and Karloff responds accordingly. 

Watch the commercial below to see the British star selling coffee—and read your lines aloud to feel like you’re “acting” alongside Karloff. 

[h/t: Retroist]

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