Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas time, mistletoe and wine...

With the inevitable new year celebrations looming ahead, there's just time perhaps for a few christmassy thoughts and videos...

First off, a song to get into the right mood... Just a few weeks before his death in October 1977, American popular singer Bing Crosby recorded a song with David Bowie, whom he knew through his children. Because Bowie wasn't very taken with the lyrics of Little Drummer Boy, the song Crosby wanted them to sing, they settled on a medley, with Bowie singing Peace on Earth.



Still over at YouTube, the British monarchy has recently opened up an official channel, unsurprisingly called The Royal Channel. Apart from several historical as well as contemporary short films, it includes not only this year's Christmas broadcast from the Queen, but also the very first such broadcast recorded for TV exactly fifty years ago, to which the Queen in this year's speech also referred.

In a different category altogether (but very funny I find) is the new year video made by Leuven-based advertising agency Edison, which sees French president Sarkozy following in the musical footsteps of Yves Leterme...



If you don't find Edison's video remotely amusing, chances are you are a woman. No, this isn't just me being sexist; it's what Professor Sam Shuster, of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, has recently claimed. His research methodology, it must be said, was somewhat unorthodox: he cycled round on his unicycle and recorded people's reactions. BBC News has the full story on the link between testosterone and humour.

Finally, if you're interested in a thought-provoking essay reflecting on today's massive memory storage capacity, feel free to read The advantages of amnesia: "What society needs now are new ways to forget" (a message not to be misconstrued as a word of advice for the upcoming exams, naturally).

3 comments:

Simon Lab@ said...

That song was a great parody! If Sarkozy had accidentally sung the "Leeuw van Vlaanderen" when asked to sing the "Marseillaise", I think he would have had to resign… Mr Leterme was forgiven, but that's probably because no one actually knows the "Brabançonne", too…

(It reminds me that last year Mrs Leijnse asked us who knew the lyrics of Belgium's national anthem, and surprisingly I was the only one…)

As to this study on the link between humour and gender, I think it can explain why the students — a group which is made up of a majority of girls — don't laugh when you crack jokes… (Unless your surname is Statler or Waldorf.)

Cécile* said...

I like listening to the Queen because she's one of the few English people I can fully understand. She speaks so slowly and with the perfect English RP of course! :-)

We should listen to her more often... It's a good way to learn English!;-)

"Their" Majesty should sell videocassettes for those who want to learn English; she'd make a fortune! (or maybe she's already TOO well off...!)

Eloy JM Romero-Muñoz said...

I've always had my doubts, but it seems (at least by your standards) I am a woman.