World’s Strangest

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The Late Movies: Victor Borge, the Clown Prince of Denmark

My grandmother thought Victor Borge was just about the funniest person alive. He used to have his own specials on PBS, and whenever they came on, she’d shush everyone in the room and proceed to laugh like a maniac. (To be fair, I thought he was funny, too — and still do.) He was a [...]

Grand Piano on a Sand Bar

Some Miami residents couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw a grand piano out in Biscayne Bay, perched atop a sandbar. How and why the piano got there is a mystery. A grand piano weighs at least 650 pounds and is unwieldly to move, said Bob Shapiro, a salesman at Piano Music Center in Pembroke Park. [...]

The Late Movies: Politicians Who Play

I posted a video of Richard Nixon playing the piano this morning, and it got me to wondering — what other politicians have musical talent? Let’s find out — to YouTube! There’s Condi Rice, of course, who’s a classically-trained pianist. Here she is playing for the Queen of England. Here’s Bill Clinton playing the sax on Arsenio [...]

A Short History of Long-Haired Music: The Classical Era, part 3

If you missed our previous installments, check out A Short History of Long-Haired Music archives Some people refer to it as the “Viennese Style.” Others, the “Viennese Classical School.” Whatever you call it, by the late 1700s, the Austrian capital of Vienna had clearly become the hot musical spot in Europe. It was in Vienna that [...]

Talking Piano

(YouTube Link) Austrian composer Peter Ablinger digitized a recording of a child speaking and then programmed a mechanical piano to replicate the sounds. The video above is in German, but Hack a Day has provided a translation: I break down this phonography, meaning a recording of something the voice, in this case -, in individual pixels, one [...]

The Original Keyboard Cats

The Original Keyboard Cats – $9.95 Neatorama’s counter protest to A Day Without Cats deserve its own commemorative T-shirt, and what better design than this: from 1650, here’s the Katzenklavier, a crazy musical instrument designed by Athanasius Kircher, a 17th century German Jesuit scholar: The piano was designed to raise the spirits of an Italian prince who [...]