World’s Strangest

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Music History #6: “American Pie”

“American Pie” Written and performed by Don McLean (1971) Getty Images The Music “I can’t remember if I cried when I read about his widowed bride But something touched me deep inside the day the music died” The phrase “The day the music died” is familiar to us today as shorthand for the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, [...]

Good Advice Costs Nothing and It’s Worth the Price

(Video Link) Until today, I’d never heard of the comedian and songwriter Allan Sherman (1924-1973). He was the Weird Al Yankovic of the 50s and 60s, composing and performing parody songs to millions of television viewers. This song, “Good Advice”, is a real hoot. It turns out that Sherman was responsible for the great inventions and discoveries [...]

Star Trek’s White and Nerdy

(YouTube link) The video edit set to Weird Al Yankovic’s “White and Nerdy” makes it clear that the song is really about Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. -via mental_floss

8 Curious Periodic Tables

One thing I love about the internet is the never-ending supply of geeks with a sense of humor. Most of us learned about the periodic table of elements in junior high school (middle school to you younger folks). Some understand and remember it well enough to adapt the template into an organizational table for other [...]

I’ll Take Long-Running Quiz Shows with Punctuation in the Title for $1000, Alex

I like to think that I’ve picked up a lot of random trivia as a writer. I often blurt out trivia at really inappropriate moments in casual conversation. I like to think that I would rock on Jeopardy!, but I have taken the show’s sample audition quizzes before, and the fact is… I suck. However, [...]

Know Your Meme: Auto-Tune

The Know Your Meme Blog has a great introduction to the history and technology behind Auto-Tune, the audio effect first introduced in 1997 and made popular when Cher’s single “Believe” made heavy use of the effect in a way that was never intended — emphasizing the warbling of pitch correction rather than simply using it [...]