World’s Strangest

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The 10 Most Beautiful Libraries in the United States

We already looked at libraries in all the major continents, but there were so many great ones in the United States that the article featuring libraries in North America had to leave many beautiful buildings out. Now’s the time to share some of the stunning libraries that might not make it in the top 10 [...]

Play It Hep Cat

(Video Link) Nora’s no Mozart, but she plays better than I can -which wouldn’t be saying much if she had opposable thumbs or any concept of music theory, but since she doesn’t, I think she’s pretty darn good. Via Discovery

Hearing Music for the First Time

Austin Chapman is profoundly deaf, but with new hi-tech hearing aids he recently received, he was able to hear music for the first time in his 23-year life. That night, a group of close friends jump-started my musical education by playing Mozart, Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Elvis, and several other popular legends of [...]

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik on Bottles

(YouTube link) This is for all those folks who says they would have learned to play music if they could afford an instrument. All you need is someone’s recycling bin and a little water. And may a couple of spoons. This busker was recorded playing Mozart on the streets of Copenhagen. -via Say OMG

11 Problems Music Can Solve

REUTERS/PETR JOSEK/LANDOV Music is a splendid thing. It can cheer you up when you’re sad, make you dance like a fool, and allow you to drown out the world when you need to. But music has its scientific uses, too. The new documentary Alive Inside details how dementia patients react positively when given iPods filled with [...]

10 of Ben Franklin’s Lesser-Known Feats of Awesomeness

Franklin statue image via Shutterstock We all know about Benjamin Franklin’s kite-flyin’, library-establishin’, Declaration-signin’, newspaper-printin’, lady-killin’ ways but, in honor of the Ben’s 306th birthday, let’s celebrate some of his lesser-known but very cool contributions to society. 1. Ben swam with the fishes. As a youngster, Ben learned to swim in Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River and became [...]

Scientists Develop the Most Relaxing Tune

Sound therapists and stress specialists worked with the band Marconi Union to develop “Weightless”, the most relaxing song ever: Weightless works by using specific rhythms, tones, frequencies and intervals to relax the listener. A continuous rhythm of 60 BPM causes the brainwaves and heart rate to synchronise with the rhythm: a process known as ‘entrainment’. Low [...]

Shazam, Shlemiel, Shlimazel

I’ve used Shazam on and off over the years to I.D. songs I either forgot the names of or just never knew. But the real test of any music recognition software is whether or not it can tell me what’s playing on a classical music station. This is where you really need the app to [...]

10 Cultural Giants Who Died Coinless

The notion of the starving artist is nothing new, and whether it was because they toiled in obscurity, were swindled or the victims of financial mismanagement, some of the most famous contributors to culture sadly perished in poverty. 1. Vincent van Gogh Though his life was short, Vincent van Gogh left the world with almost 2000 [...]

9 Child Prodigies (Who Actually Ended Up Doing Something)

Four-year-old Australian Aelita Andre is the talk of the international art world. She sold one painting for $24,000, and her work is currently on display at the Agora Gallery in New York. Perhaps a few decades from now, she’ll earn a spot on this list, which we first published in 2009. By Rick Chillot Being a child [...]