A long-lost musical instrument re-created

The BBC reports that a musical instrument of Bach’s time has been successfully re-created after intensive research, and is lending a newly authentic tone to one of his motets. New software has enabled researchers to recreate a long forgotten musical instrument called the Lituus. The 2.4m (8ft) long trumpet-like instrument was played in Ancient Rome but fell out of use some 300 years ago. Bach’s motet (a choral musical composition) “O Jesu Christ, meins lebens licht” was one of the last pieces of music written for the Lituus. Now, for the first time, this 18th Century composition has been played

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Doofus Of The Day #219

Today’s doofus is an unfortunate thief from Warsaw, Poland. A suspect tried to evade police by wrapping himself in a carpet. Miroslaw Dabrowski, 32, rolled up in a rug and propped himself against a wall on the balcony as police searched his aunt’s home in Warsaw. He was only found after two hours when a detective went out to the balcony to smoke a cigarette and the officer noticed it was shivering. A shivering carpet? Yeah, that’d get my attention, too . . . Pity he didn’t roll himself in it while it was still indoors! Peter

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Not the winners, but still my favorites!

Tonight saw the finals of the ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ TV show. I’m sure by now many of you have read the results. My favorite act of this year, ‘Stavros Flatley’, a hilarious send-up of the ‘Riverdance’ type of Irish step dancing, made it all the way to the finals. The father-and-son team didn’t make the final three, but I know they had a blast all the way. The relationship between them is clearly very close, and the father set a great example to his son by agreeing to join him in fooling around on stage. I posted video of their

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Another automotive legend comes under the hammer

A classic 1939 Auto Union D-type racing car, long abandoned in pieces in the Soviet Union, has been rebuilt, and will be auctioned in California in August. According to the Web site of Bonhams, the auctioneers: Bonhams & Butterfields is delighted to offer for sale by auction nothing less than one of the most charismatic Grand Prix racing cars ever built – the 1939 Auto Union ‘D-Type’ with rear-mounted 3-liter twin-stage supercharged V12-cylinder engine. The annual collector’s motorcar car auction is set for August 14, 2009 in Carmel, CA. This legendary racing car – absolutely confirmed today as chassis number

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Frightening can be funny!

The video below shows various people being ‘ambushed’ by those wanting to throw a scare into them. It’s been around for a while, but I still laugh when I see it: so, for those of you who may have missed it, here it is. Peter

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Doofus Of The Day #218

Today’s Doofus award is belated, because the incident in question occurred in January 2008. However, when I read the report, I realized it was such a classic example of Doofidity that I simply had to give the culprit an award: so, on the principle of ‘better late than never’, here it is. A bank robber’s cunning plan to disguise his identity by coating his face with plaster sadly turned out not to be the criminal masterstroke he was hoping for. Robert Coulson Lavery, 56, of York County, Pennsylvania, was convicted last Wednesday for robbing the New Cumberland Federal Credit Union

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A ball fetish, perhaps?

I’m astonished to read about the collection of the late Mr. Barry Grosse of Saskatoon, Canada. The Canadian family of a dead Saskatoon man who was passionate about golf say they’ve found more than 40,000 golf balls he hoarded at his home over decades. Barry Grosse, 64, was struck by a car and killed last September while riding his bicycle, and nephew Phil Grosse is cleaning out his uncle’s home, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix said Friday. Grosse said his uncle, who was a retired school principal, became passionate about golf in early childhood and spent countless hours playing and collecting golf

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Bureaucracy gone mad – again!

I’m infuriated to read of the cavalier attitude of Lambeth Council, in south London, England. They decided they were going to make a portion of road, previously open to parking, into a no-parking zone. They duly hired contractors to paint a double yellow line on it. The contractors arrived, only to find the car of Ms. Ruth Ducker already parked there. No problem – they brought in a crane, physically lifted the car out of the way, painted the new no-parking lines, and then replaced Ms. Ducker’s car on top of the no-parking zone! To make things worse, an hour

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This just blows my mind!

I came across this video of an utterly astounding performance at the 38th annual performance of the Circus Monte-Carlo. I don’t know the names of the two gymnasts, so if anyone can provide further information, I’d be very grateful if you’d please post it in Comments. Suffice it to say that the strength and balance of these two is just amazing! What an incredible display! I hope they keep performing, and come over to the US sometime. I’d pay to watch that live. Peter

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Ever heard of ‘Stinking Bishop’?

Neither had I . . . until I learned that this week, ‘Stinking Bishop‘ was voted Britain’s smelliest cheese. As Anna Pickard of the Guardian comments: According to the Press Association, “the Stinking Bishop made by Charles Martell of Martell and Son in Gloucestershire blew the judges away and was described as smelling like a rugby club changing room.” Blowing away which judges? Well, apparently a set of professional judges, including a perfumier, who you would expect to know his odours, and a journalist, who presumably had a nose for a good story. They were joined, it says, by a

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