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Someone Made a Real Version of Andy's Room From Toy Story 3

Ever wanted to live in one of your favorite movies? Mason McGrew really does. As part of their real-life remake of Toy Story 3, brothers Morgan and Mason McGrew, ages 19 and 16, painstakingly morphed Mason's room into Andy's room, with details right down to the stickers on the doors and the notes written on the whiteboard.

Some of the elements were lucky thrift store finds, like the green and red dart board on the back of the door. Others were made completely from scratch, such as the many posters and stickers that adorn Andy’s walls. Be sure to look for Easter eggs—I spy a Monsters Inc. sticker and a “Newt Xing” sign, which refers to a Pixar movie that ended up getting scrapped.

“The most challenging piece to recreate was the crescent moon headboard,” Morgan said. “My brother and I had to get help from our dad on that one. It was a tremendous amount of precise woodwork."

Hop over to the Pixarist to check out side-by-side comparisons of shots from the movie and pictures from the real room. It’s surprisingly hard to tell which is which.

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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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