Bohemiatic Rhapsodology

In obvious confirmation news, a bunch of Europeans sat around listening to old 70’s records and 8-tracks and then wrote about it using big words.

Regardless of what they might think personally about Queen, most rock critics and music fans alike wish they could get grant money to sit around and listen to classic rock.  Now, a group of Austrian, Czech, and Swedish researchers with nothing better to do conducted research on lead singer Freddy Mercury (top), the results of which were published in the journal Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology for Dummies.

The research began after a logopedian, a phoniatrician, and a vocolologist walked into a bar and were refused service. An exopsychochemist who couldn’t hear over the loud music declined to participate when he found out they were studying Freddy Mercury and not Eddie Murphy (below).

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The researchers requested anonymity because they were out at a bar when they were supposed to be working.

What they discovered was that he likely employed subharmonics, an artificial ventricular fold enhancer banned by the European Tenors Committee.  Most humans never speak or sing with their ventricular folds to avoid being sued for causing global warming by environmental litigators.

They couldn’t confirm the long-held belief that Mercury’s range spanned four octaves, or any other hypothesis, because Freddy Mercury died in 1991.  (Disclaimer: Attempts to reanimate him as a zombie revenant are still tied up in court.)  However, they did discover some convenient interesting tidbits the night before the paper was due.  For one, despite being known largely as a tenor, identifying himself as a tenor, and singing in a tenor voice, the researchers determined that claiming he was a baritone was better click-bait.  That, coupled with anecdotal evidence that Mercury once turned down a gig with the Queen Lantern Corps (below) because he was afraid fans would think he wasn’t a tenor, led to the conclusion that they could say anything they wanted.

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It’s true that without a living test subject, the researchers were free to make up stuff without anyone being able to prove otherwise.  With no one to stop them, the team brought in professional rock vocolologist Daniel Zangger-Borch (below), killed him, and reanimated his corpse into a zombie revenant.*   (Full disclosure: Zangger-Borch (below, before and after) does drive a Mercury Cougar, and was trying to grow a mustache before his reanimation.)

They filmed his larynx at 4000 frames per second in order to look at exactly how someone who is not the Queen frontman created the iconic rough growls and jaw-dropping vibratos.  (The video is currently posted on the website NaughtyLarynxes.com.)

The predetermined conclusion was clear from the beginning: Freddie Mercury has a voice unlike anyone else in rock ‘n’ roll.**

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Former child star and logopediatrician Danica McKellar (shown above improving the self-esteem of young girls by forming conclusions first and justifying them using numbers afterwards) analyzed the film and determined that Zangger-Borch’s stomach was growling from a hunger for brains, and advanced decomposition had caused his jaw to drop off.  She said that while a typical vibrato will fluctuate between 5.4Hz and 6.9Hz, Mercury’s was 7.04Hz, one of the most italicized numbers ever made up for this article.

There’s a lot of scientific and analytical music terminology in the full study, most of which is only understandable to other phoniatricists.  Frankly, we didn’t understand any of it, so we quit reading after the first page.

Click here for even more logopological, phoniatrical, vocolological fun.

* The art of creating zombie revenant singers is called Phoniatrics.
** At a press conference, the researchers issued a correction, saying that “Freddy Mercury has a voice unlike anyone else in rock ‘n’ roll.  Except Daniel Zangger-Borch, of course.  Clearly Daniel has exactly the same voice as Freddy Mercury.  That’s what makes our findings so grant-worthy, if you catch our meaning.”  

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Fortune favors the Swift

In pop geopolitical news, a study released by the Fortune Institute for Ranking Great Leadership has named singer Taylor Swift the greatest female leader.

The timing of the announcement is curious, coming two days before Pope Francis called for multilateral talks among leaders of the Fortune 6 Great Powers (Apple, the European Bank, China, the Vatican, India, and Taylor Swift) to discuss rising tensions between Ms. Swift and neighboring India.  Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has expressed alarm at the sudden rise in greatness of Taylor Swift and concern that her combination of power and great leadership could be felt as far away as Beijing and Cupertino by next year. India has been conducting military exercises along its border with Taylor Swift.

The United Nations has downplayed the power of Taylor Swift (above), once thought to be limited making her eyes glow and talking to sea turtles.  However, the discovery of great leadership from the singer, who celebrated the 25th anniversary of her founding in December, became clear after she successfully crossed swords with Spotify.

Author’s Note: I’m pretty sure Spotify is a gentle shampoo for getting tough stains out of Dalmatians and leopards.  I’m not sure why a great leader like Taylor Swift would spend time fencing with it.

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Swift came in at number six on the overall list.  In past years, Cylon Tricia Helfer and Prisoner Patrick McGoohan have also held the role of Number 6.  In a press statement, Ms. Helfer (above) praised the decision.  “As a tall, hot blonde with glowing eyes, I am gratified to see Fortune recognize the great leadership of tall, hot blondes with glowing eyes, some of whom have been leading men on for years!”

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Out of their depth

In mythological maritime metallurgy news, scientists announced that a pile of wet metal on the floor of the Mediterranean means maybe Atlantis is real.

Scientists located a shipwreck off the coast of Sicily containing 39 ingots of orichalcum, a metal so unique that it only exists in the imagination of Greek philosophers.

According to Sebastiano Tusa of Sicily’s Sea Office, “The wreck dates to the first half of the sixth century.  It was found 1000 feet from the coast at a depth of 10 feet.”  Until recently, humans have not been able to explore the ocean deeper than about 7’2″ without getting their hair wet.

“Nothing similar has ever been found.  We knew orichalcum from ancient texts and a few ornamental objects, but those got put in a box when me moved the Sea Office to Sicily last spring, and nobody knows where it went.  My favorite coffee mug was in that same box.  If you happen to find it, let me know.”

The real metal is a brass-like alloy.  The metal found by the Sea Office is an alloy of dilithium, kryptonite, and flubber.

One oceanographer involved with the discovery indicated that the shipwreck was over 2600 years old.  He was granted anonymity when casual observers determined that for a 6th century wreck to be 26 centuries old, the discoverer would have to be a time traveler from the 32nd Century.

Plato’s account of Atlantis was written around 360BC.  Many argue that Plato’s tale of the sunken city is fiction meant to illustrate his political theories that global warming was caused by people living on a giant hidden continent 1000 feet off the coast of Sicily.  The ingots offer a tantalizing hint that Plato’s stories of Atlantis might have been an attempt to manipulate the Aegean orichalcum futures market in the first quarter of 359BC.

Plato described Atlantis as glittering “with the red light of orichalcum”, a common sight in Atlantis’ seedy red-orichalcum-light district.  He later claimed that he had never been there himself.  “A friend of mine told me about it,” he told ancient Greek reporters at a news conference.

The philosopher wrote, “It was a way to the other islands, the ones that don’t have names, and from these you might pass from the nonexistent land of Hyperia (see map above, bottom left) to the undiscovered continent of America (right), named after the not-yet-born Amerigo Vespucci (not pictured).”

Click here to explore the original story for yourself.

Milking the new year

Look, I’m as tolerant of lactose as the next guy (Disclaimer: maybe the guy after that — I don’t really know the next guy), but this time the damned pro-lactose activists (“lactivists”) have gone too far!  Nogging up perfectly good rum for Christmas is one thing, but I say we put the carbonated grape juice and drunken louts back in New Year’s Eve!  What’s next?  Wine mixed into cheese?  Who’s with me?

With great Taylor comes…what?

This morning, as I was walking through Barnes & Noble, I passed the magazine section, and happened to notice this cover for Time Magazine.  I know who Taylor Swift is — sort of.  I’m pretty sure she’s either a singer I’ve never heard (i.e. anyone who became famous after 2010) or the star of a CW show I’ve never seen (i.e. any CW show other than The Flash).  I’m vaguely aware that she’s younger and taller than she looks, but I don’t know why I know that.

Still, in spite of my vast knowledge (which runs the gamut from A to lower case a), I’m intrigued by the concept of “The Power of Taylor Swift”?  What is it?

  • Is it an attribute of Ms. Swift herself?  (“The power of Taylor Swift is derived from a corbomite quantum cell in her medulla oblongata, which is why her eyes do that glowing white ring thing.”)
  • Or is it a thing superheroes can do, like invisibility?  (“After being exposed to cosmic radiation, Brandi suddenly developed the powers of telepathy, Taylor Swift, and telekinesis, which is why her eyes do that glowing white ring thing.”)
  • Or is it a benchmark for comparison purposes?  (“The 2015 Lexus combines the sleek lines of a sports car with the power of Taylor Swift.  Just one test drive and your eyes will do that glowing white ring thing.”)

Or is this just one of those things that man was not meant to know?

Update: Those glowing white rings in her eyes remind me of this:

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I’m now certain that the power of Taylor Swift has something to do with seafood.

Update 2: Mystery solved below.

A spooky little sale like you

(Uncharacteristically Appropriate Disclaimer: This post contains graphic references to advertising graphics for actual goods and/or services that exist and may still be available.  I don’t make them.  I don’t use them, and I don’t recommend them.  My role is to mock them.)

Parental Advisory: The following post contains images of cookies, penguins, and deceased popcorn magnates that may be too intense for young bargain hunters.

As Halloween approaches, the stores take a brief break from the 30th week of Ordinary Christmas Shopping Time to roll out all the black and orange decorations that don’t really say “Christmas”.

About a week ago, my brain’s Noticing Subsystem was alerted to a local commercial advertising “Spooky Savings” on some product or another.  I don’t remember what it was, but I vaguely remember that it was some ordinary product, rather than something Halloween-related (costumes, candy, etc.)  What I do remember was the phrase, “Spooky Savings”.

Let’s take a step back.  The term “spooky”, according to some random Internet website, means “eerie, scary; like or befitting a spook”.  Like any sane person, when I think of things that are spooky, my first thoughts are, of course, haunted amusement parks patrolled by dinosaurs (above), and Scooby-Doo (below).

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So of course, when I searched for the term “spooky savings”, I expected to find things that were eerie, scary, and like or befitting a spook.  (Disclaimer: No, I didn’t.)  This is some of what I found:

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Spoiler alert II

CDC Spokesman:

At approximately 1230 hours on Tuesday, October 14th, sensors at the National Irresponsible Research Laboratory in Chicago reported an Expected Apocalypse Event involving a lethal biological agent.  The incident has been traced to a lone researcher who accidentally shattered a vial of zombie virus while eating his lunch.  Per standard procedure, the laboratory was instantly sealed from all outside contact, and the laboratory automated sensor system immediately began analyzing the environment for any pathogens.

Upon verification of exposure by automated and manual systems, the CDC triggered Phase One of its SHAD Protocol.  As a Phase One risk factor, the exposed researcher was immediately Shot in the Head And Decapitated by the cleanroom’s Containment Drone.  The contents of the room were subsequently incinerated at a temperature of 2000°F, followed by radiation exposure sufficient to make the surrounding area lethal to all forms of life for the next 500 years.

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Spoiler alert

CDC Spokesman:

U.S. hospitals can safely manage a patient with the zombie plague by following our recommended infection-control procedures.  It’s important that we do not let fear of the undead overtake our reasoned approach to any zombie apocalypse.  There is zero danger to the U.S. public from these two zombies or the zombie plague in general.  People who are zombies are not walking around on the street.  They are very, very dead and pretty much confined to a hospital.  Zombies do not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public.  Keep in mind that zombie plague is not something that is easily transmitted.  That’s why, generally, outbreaks dissipate.  But the key is identifying, quarantining, and isolating those who contract it and making sure practices are in place that avoid transmission, such as not biting or getting bitten by a zombie.

 – Leaked script page from the upcoming prequel filmThe Walking Dead: We’ve Got This Under Control

Home invasion for the holidays

In seasonal apocalyptic cheer news, leaders of Minnesota’s drunken zombie Santa community are calling for calm after one of their members paid an early visit to a St. Paul family.

The Santa, whose name is being withheld because he had been too dead to remember it and too drunk to pronounce it, was cited for premature breaking and entering by an undead intoxicated person, and hunting teenagers out of season.

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