Monthly Archives: July 2012

1960s music was original, modern music all sounds the same – the scientific proof

Painstaking research led by Spanish scientists has produced a set of results to support the argument that music from the 1960s was at its greatest, and modern music is repetitive and unoriginal. The scientists produced these results by analysing information from a database named the Million Song Dataset, which contained data of over a million songs recorded since 1955. 

Elements of the music such as tempo, volume, timbre, and pitch of notes yielded the above graph, which is a chart of “timbral variety” against time. In other words, it illustrates the diversity of sound in music, and clearly demonstrates that the 1960s was the peak of “timbral variety” in modern musical history. This suggests that music was at its most inventive, creative, and diverse during that era.

Since the 1970s, the originality and diversity of music has been on a downward slide – and continues to dip. These findings suggest that today’s music is simply becoming more and more homogeneous. Fans of 1960s music with a particular hatred for modern artists will revel in this discovery, and see it as undeniable proof that the likes of Justin Beiber and Lady Gaga simply cannot compete with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and so forth.

But, argues Sean Carroll of Discover Magazine: “On the other hand, one could … argue that this is because back then we didn’t know how to do it right, and there was a lot of experimental crap, whereas we’ve now figured it out.”

Full story: DISCOVER Magazine


Autistic man becomes stranded in Utah desert for three weeks – and survives

It is the kind of thing Bear Grylls would do. An American man has spent three weeks alone hiking through the Utah desert without food, water, or shelter – and come out alive.

It is reported that autistic 28-year-old William Martin LaFever had been hiking with his dog in the Utah area when his hiking gear was stolen and had run out of money. LaFever’s father had wired money to Page, Arizona, and had told his son to catch a ride there. Instead, Mr LaFever decided to hike through the Escalante desert in southern Utah to reach his destination.

He survived by scavenging for food, eating frogs, and drinking water from the Escalante River. Three weeks into his ordeal, he was spotted by helicopter and rescued. He was emaciated, and unable to stand, but is now said to be in a stable condition as he recovers in hospital.   

Full story: BBC News