Watch an Opera Singer Perform (While Undergoing an MRI)

In Pretty Woman (1990), Richard Gere doles out an oft-repeated theory about opera. In preparing Julia Roberts’s character for a performance of La traviata, he tells her, “People's reactions to opera the first time they see it is very dramatic; they either love it or they hate it.” This may be true, but what are people’s reactions when they see inside an opera singer?

The above video, which comes to us via Laughing Squid, shows German opera singer Michael Volle as he performs a beautiful aria from Wagner’s Tannhäuser—and he does so while undergoing an MRI scan. Not only does it sound great, but this cross-section-like view also allows us to see what it looks like when Volle hits those notes.

This kind of advanced imaging is thanks to a new technology that provides MRI scans at 100 frames per second. (Standard MRI machines you see at the hospital work at about 10 frames per second.) Invented by scientists at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois, this high-resolution imaging technique was originally developed to provide researchers with an inside look at the body's vocal mechanisms as they work to form speech.

This isn't the first time this type of MRI has been used on someone while they were singing. As we reported last year, the researchers at the University of Illinois showed off the technology by scanning someone as they sang "If I Only Had a Brain." Watching the two performances next to each other is a great way to see just how amazing an opera singers' command is over the anatomy that accounts for vocalizations:

It’s a sweet-sounding anatomy lesson that you’re gonna love (no matter what Richard Gere has to say about opera).

[h/t Laughing Squid, Reddit]

Banner image via, YouTube.

Afternoon Map
The Most Searched Shows on Netflix in 2017, By State

Orange is the New Black is the new black, at least as far as Netflix viewers are concerned. The women-in-prison dramedy may have premiered in 2013, but it’s still got viewers hooked. Just as they did in 2017, took a deep dive into Netflix analytics using Google Trends to find out which shows people in each state were searching Netflix for throughout the year. While there was a little bit of crossover between 2016 and 2017, new series like American Vandal and Mindhunter gave viewers a host of new content. But that didn’t stop Orange is the New Black from dominating the map; it was the most searched show in 15 states.

Coming in at a faraway second place was American Vandal, a new true crime satire that captured the attention of five states (Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). Even more impressive is the fact that the series premiered in mid-September, meaning that it found a large and rabid audience in a very short amount of time.

Folks in Alaska, Colorado, and Oregon were all destined to be disappointed; Star Trek: Discovery was the most searched-for series in each of these states, but it’s not yet available on Netflix in America (you’ve got to get CBS All Access for that, folks). Fourteen states broke the mold a bit with shows that were unique to their state only; this included Big Mouth in Delaware, The Keepers in Maryland, The OA in Pennsylvania, GLOW in Rhode Island, and Black Mirror in Hawaii.

Check out the map above to see if your favorite Netflix binge-watch matches up with your neighbors'. For more detailed findings, visit

Afternoon Map
Monthly Internet Costs in Every Country

Thanks to the internet, people around the world can conduct global research, trade tips, and find faraway friends without ever leaving their couch. Not everyone pays the same price for these digital privileges, though, according to new data visualizations spotted by Thrillist.

To compare internet user prices in each country, cost information site created a series of maps. The data comes courtesy of English market research consultancy BDRC and, which teamed up to analyze 3351 broadband packages in 196 nations between August 18, 2017 and October 12, 2017.

In the U.S., for example, the average cost for internet service is $66 per month. That’s substantially more than what browsers pay in neighboring Mexico ($27) and Canada ($55). Still, we don’t have it bad compared to either Namibia or Burkina Faso, where users shell out a staggering $464 and $924, respectively, for monthly broadband access. In fact, internet in the U.S. is far cheaper than what residents in 113 countries pay, including those in Saudi Arabia ($84), Indonesia ($72), and Greenland ($84).

On average, internet costs in Asia and Russia tend to be among the lowest, while access is prohibitively expensive in sub-Saharan Africa and in certain parts of Oceania. As for the world’s cheapest internet, you’ll find it in Ukraine and Iran.

Check out the maps below for more broadband insights, or view’s full findings here.

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

[h/t Thrillist]


More from mental floss studios