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Friday, October 24, 2003

Friday Five

Dave's topic:

I've been reading a lot about Neurology lately, and the rhythm's behind our thought processes. As if by fate, I came across this article yesterday that sums up one of the most insidious kinds of mental loops we all fall into. They're known as earworms.

"Earworm" is the term coined by University of Cincinnati marketing professor James Kellaris for the usually unwelcome songs that get stuck in people's heads. Since beginning his research in 2000, Kellaris has heard from people all over the world requesting help, sharing anecdotes and offering solutions.

"I quickly learned that virtually everybody experiences earworms at one time or another," he said. "I think because it's experienced privately and not often a topic of conversation, maybe people really long for some social comparison. They want to know if other people experience what they experience."

So, what are the top 5 "earworms" you've faced in your life?


First, I would like to offer a rule that I concocted at some point (college?) and have found to be true ever since.

The Mental Loop Rule
If you have a song stuck in your head, the only way to get it out is to start humming an even more annoying song. It's up to you to decide whether the change of pace is worth the increase in irritation.

The Captain Kirk Corollary
The nuclear bomb of songs--the tune that eradicates all other tunes--is the theme from the original "Star Trek" TV show. Use with extreme caution.

Five earworms that I have suffered:

1. "Particle Man" by They Might Be Giants. Although I could have listed any number of TMBG songs.

2. "Start the Commotion" by the Wiseguys. A.K.A. "that Mitsubishi song"

3. "Lovefool" by the Cardigans, off the "Romeo + Juliet" soundtrack

4. That nine-note lick from "Money" by Pink Floyd. Do DO de dum ba da dum dum DA do DO de dum ba da dum dum DA

5. Iwantmybabybackbabybackbabybackbabybackbabybackbabybackribs
Iwantmybabybackbabybackbabybackbabybackbabybackbabybackribs
[repeat until brain splitting headache erupts]

I think I may have to revoke the "Captain Kirk Corollary," because I think that stupid babyback ribs thing may be even harder to get out of your head.

 4:32 PM

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