Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Has Anyone seen my Earworm?


Well never mind – there’ll be another one along in a minute. For at the moment, we seem bizarrely bombarded by earworms on radio and TV, in newspapers, indeed out of the very ether… not to mention the man at the Co-op checkout yesterday: 

"What’s that you’re humming?" said he.

"Hmm?" I rejoined appropriately but embarrassedly – people could hear me?!


Such is the puzzle of ‘earworms’. When I first heard it, this ugly word instantly conjured up an image from an ancient Star Trek episode, an image so terrifying and so utterly repellent that I shrink from linking it. 

(On vid anyway). But in the interests of space travel…
this is a Picture of the worm en route to Checkov’s ear, from where it will tunnel at leisure into his brain. (see The Wrath of Khan episode for gruesome details).

Anyway, the ‘earworm’ of today is a ludicrous term for a snatch of tune you just can’t get out of your head, so you evilly pass it on virus-like to anyone in your vicinity. As demonstrated perfectly by Daphne in the ‘High Crane Drifter’ episode of Frasier… (apologies for dreadful quality). 


In fact, I can't make the flaming thing work.  So -  just imagine Daphne gratuitously drubbing out a tuneless "Flesh is Burning NaNaNaNaNaNa", followed (Later That Afternoon), by everyone in the appartment mindlessly moaning the same tunelessness as they go about their everday stuff...  

But Why the sudden earworm obsession? Surely this earth-shattering phenomenon is not new… 
Hasn’t everyone been humming Bernard Cribbins’ Hole in the Ground since first it was dug?…   or The splendid Kinks' Thank You for the Days... and my personal constant, Lee Marvin’s merry rendering of I Was Born under a Wandering Star...

video


All unforgettable and tenacious snippets of joy.

(Though perhaps not for those on the receiving end). George insists my own musical scraps could do without the excess bars of doodlydiddly: "…Little old lady got mutilated late last night//Werewolves of London again..."  '(Diddelly diddelly again)'. 
(sadly-departed Warren Zevon’s fabulous Werewolves of London).  

Simple pleasure… but we’re now being told there is More to earworms than meets the… more than one could have imagined; that they might have a ‘Role to play’!  Psychologists and musical experts have been requesting earworm submissions... TV programmes have delved into the ‘function’ of earworms! 

Must they have a Function? – they just Are, aren’t they?   Like our cats… (incontinent little tinkers). 

You can actually buy earworms on the Net – something to do with Language-Learning, I think – and that reminds one of a Very famous  Babelfish:-



How jolly useful that would be if you stuck it in your ear!
 
Which takes us back to poor old Checkov, and shows that there are many ways to consider the earworm...

In conclusion, perhaps if one Took This Seriously and studied in depth the astonishing Mass of available info, one might learn something to one's advantage… 
And certainly to the advantage of all those within earshot

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Colour of Honey...

...is Goldeny, for bees sup at goldeny flowers like pansies and buttercups.  And Yet,  just Look at all the other-coloured flowers they take their nectar from to produce more GOLDENY honey...


Well, look at two of them anyway...


And then, read this extract:

"Beekeepers in northeastern France have been alarmed to find their bees producing honey in unnatural shades of green and blue...
It is thought the bees have been eating the sugary waste from M&Ms, small chocolates in brightly-coloured shells."
(BBC News 4 Oct 2012)

It's puzzling (isn't it?), why the colour of M&Ms should affect the colour of honey when the colour of petal doesn't. 

The unfortunate thing is that they can't sell the blue/green honey and must throw it away.  For the colour of our food does hugely affect our appetite... 

In 1981, George made a celebratory dollop of red, white & blue mashed potato for Diana & Charles' wedding.  It took enormous skill and dexterity to produce, and he was justifiably proud of the result. 

But no-one could eat it except with eyes shut, and it went the way of the blue/green honey.  (In spite of its potently enticing aroma).

A sad tale altogether, but luckily the colour of honey can but lead us to The Colour of Money and Paul Newman...


...and the twinkling Colour of those eyes

And here's another twinkling specimen we saw in concert last night:

The gifted and delightful Andy Fairweather-Low, of course!