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September 2010
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November 2010

Vintage Ozzy

This weekend, the Voodoo Fest is happening in New Orleans at City Park. One of the headliners is Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy has been at it quite a while. Here he is with his old group, Black Sabbath, performing Paranoid, circa 1970. On reading the lyrics, I think Melancholy would have been a more appropriate title. Maybe they didn’t want their song confused with Melancholy Baby.

Pink Floyd blends with ... the Bee Gees?

Here at Minor Wisdom, we hates disco, and we loves the nihilistic. So, while we like the movie Saturday Night Fever, we’re not so hot on the soundtrack (except as it accurately represents the world it portrays). On the other hand, we loves Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon sealed that love forever.

So what to make of this? Someone mashes up Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” with the Bee Gees’ “Staying Alive.” And it works, both musically and visually. Go figure. (Hat tip to Peter Friedman.)

Video blues fest: Corey Harris and Taj Mahal

Today is a great day to be in New Orleans. The sun is shining, the humidity is low, and the Blues & BBQ Fest is happening downtown in Lafayette Square. Price of admission for the B&BBQ Fest: $0.00. The program includes Corey Harris, one of my favorite blues artists. Here’s Corey doing a Skip James tune, Special Rider Blues:


The closing act is Taj Majal. I don’t know whether Corey will sit in on Taj’s set or vice-versa. In any event, here they are doing their version of the Mississippi Sheiks’ classic, Sitting on Top of the World.

Science marches on: The 2010 Ig Nobel Prize winners

Morgus The good folks at Improbable Research have announced this year’s Ig Nobel prize winners. The honorees include:

ENGINEERING: Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse and Agnes Rocha-Gosselin of the Zoological Society of London, UK, and Diane Gendron of Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Baja California Sur, Mexico, for perfecting a method to collect whale snot, using a remote-control helicopter.

MEDICINE: Simon Rietveld of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Ilja van Beest of Tilburg University, The Netherlands, for discovering that symptoms of asthma can be treated with a roller-coaster ride.

TRANSPORTATION PLANNING: Toshiyuki Nakagaki, Atsushi Tero, Seiji Takagi, Tetsu Saigusa, Kentaro Ito, Kenji Yumiki, Ryo Kobayashi of Japan, and Dan Bebber, Mark Fricker of the UK, for using slime mold to determine the optimal routes for railroad tracks.

PHYSICS: Lianne Parkin, Sheila Williams, and Patricia Priest of the University of Otago, New Zealand, for demonstrating that, on icy footpaths in wintertime, people slip and fall less often if they wear socks on the outside of their shoes.

PEACE: Richard Stephens, John Atkins, and Andrew Kingston of Keele University, UK, for confirming the widely held belief that swearing relieves pain.

PUBLIC HEALTH: Manuel Barbeito, Charles Mathews, and Larry Taylor of the Industrial Health and Safety Office, Fort Detrick, Maryland, USA, for determining by experiment that microbes cling to bearded scientists.

BIOLOGY: Libiao Zhang, Min Tan, Guangjian Zhu, Jianping Ye, Tiyu Hong, Shanyi Zhou, and Shuyi Zhang of China, and Gareth Jones of the University of Bristol, UK, for scientifically documenting fellatio in fruit bats.