So here’s a complete list of things with faces that are allowed to have faces: living things. Here’s what’s not supposed to have faces: everything else. When you see some inanimate object with a face your first reaction is probably to smile back at it. That’s natural. But your second feeling is: how did this pair of shoes trick me into thinking it’s alive? That’s black magic or something. But even knowing the trick, seeing things with faces is still compelling.
The year was 1931 and the four Marx Brothers (Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo) had by now had three hit Broadway shows and two smash movies: The Cocoanuts (1929) and Animal Crackers (1930)- behind them. Both The Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers were simply filmed versions of their Broadway shows. Both films had been shot in nearby Astoria Studios in Long Island, New York.
The Marxes, now being official 24-karat movie stars, decided to pull up stakes and move to the only residence befitting motion picture celebrities- Hollywood. Their third film would be their first with an official Hollywood screenplay.
The working title of their tertiary film was Pineapples, but was soon changed to Monkey Business. Written by S.J. Perelman and Will B. Johnstone with a screenplay by Arthur Sheekman, Monkey Business was directed by Norman Z. McLeod
Monkey Business was to be the only Marx Brothers film in which none of the brothers have a character name. Because they played four stowaways on a passenger ship, they were simply referred to as “the stowaways.” (in the film’s end credits, they are credited by their names, i.e. Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo Marx.)
What little plot there is involves the boys stowing away on a ship, being pursued by the captain of the ship and his underlings, meeting rival gangsters on board and getting involved with them, leaving the ship and thwarting an attempted kidnapping of one of the gangster’s daughters.
Another switch from the team’s previous two films was the absence of the boys’ female foil, perennial dowager Margaret Dumont. In her stead as the female lead is the always delightful blonde bombshell, Thelma Todd. According to the studio’s reasoning, Dumont “was not sexy enough for the part.”
According to Robert Osborne of Turner Classic Movies, on the first day of shooting, the four Marx Brothers reported to the set, each wearing each other’s wardrobe and imitating that respective brother. (We feel sympathy for the poor brother who had to dress as and imitate Zeppo- how much fun could that have been?)
Monkey Business, like every Marx Brothers film, has several delightful musical numbers.
The movie opens with the four brothers, hiding out in four barrels, beneath the deck, singing “Sweet Adeline.” To this day, a Marx Brothers rumor exists which states that mute Harpo is actually singing the song, hidden from sight inside his barrel, along with his three speaking brothers. Neither Harpo himself, nor any of his brothers, ever acknowledged whether or not the perennially silent sibling did, indeed, harmonize, while within his barrel in this scene. Whether true or not that Harpo was stealthily singing, we must be resigned to the fact that Harpo (and presumably his brothers) each went to his grave with the secret intact and unrevealed.
Interestingly, Monkey Business is the the only Marx Brothers film where one of the brothers composed the film’s theme song. It opens with the Chico Marx-composed song “I’m Daffy Over You.” Chico had originally played “I’m Daffy Over You” as his piano solo in Animal Crackers. A very catchy, breezy tune, “I’m Daffy Over You.” is often wrongly thought to be the 1950’s hit “Sugartime.”
Although the song was written by Chico (and Sol Violinsky), no screen credit was given to the eldest Marx brother. One wonders if Chico received any extra money for them using his composition, or was the satisfaction of having his tune featured as the main song in one of his movies payment enough. In the film itself, Chico’s piano spot features him playing a different song- “When I Take My Sugar to Tea.”
Another interesting Monkey Business first, we see Groucho strumming (albeit just a few comical notes) his musical instrument of choice, the guitar. Few but Marx Brothers aficionados are aware of the fact that Groucho was actually a very fine and devoted guitar player in his real life, much as Harpo and Chico were on their harp and piano, respectively. Groucho was to accompany himself while he, again, teamed with Thelma Todd in a scene in the boys’ follow-up film Horse Feathers the next year. After these two brief guitar excursions, nothing more was ever heard in a Marx Brothers film of Groucho and his instrument of choice.
On a sadder note, during one of Groucho’s scenes with the beauteous Todd, he also says a few lines which would be an eerie precursor of the tragic blonde’s all-too-soon future. Groucho says to Thelma: “You’re a woman who’s been getting nothing but dirty breaks. Well, we can clean and tighten your brakes, but you’ll have to stay in the garage all night.”
On December 16, 1935, Thelma Todd’s dead body was discovered in a car in her garage- the cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning. Thelma’s death has been one of Hollywood’s great unsolved mysteries for the past eight decades- arguments persist to this day as to whether her demise was a suicide, an accident or murder.
Sam “Frenchie” Marx, the father of the boys, made his motion picture debut, as an extra, in <>Monkey Business. In the scene on the pier, after the ship has docked, we catch a brief glimpse of a smiling Frenchie, sitting on a crate, amongst the waving crowd- in reality undoubtedly proud of his four famous sons.
Like many Marx Brothers films, several Monkey Business lines had to be changed (i.e. censored) because of sexual innuendo. Also missing from the film’s final version is a scene (captured for posterity only in production stills) of Harpo, dressed as a nurse, holding a baby Billy Barty in his arms. We can only imagine how funny this scene must have been.
Monkey Business premiered on September 19, 1931. It was not only a bonanza at the box office, but also garnered unanimous happy and pleased reviews.
Mourdant Hall of The New York Times: “Whether it is really as funny as Animal Crackers is a matter of opinion. Suffice it to say that few persons will be able to go to the Rivoli (Theater) and keep a straight face.”
Variety: “The usual Marx madhouse and plenty of laughs.”
Film Daily: “Crammed all the way with laughs and there’s never a dead spot.”
John Mosher of The New Yorker: “The best this family has given us.”
A follow-up Marx Brothers film to Monkey Business, continuing with the gangster main theme, was originally planned. Sadly and unfortunately, famed aviator Charles Lindbergh’s baby son was kidnapped and murdered, ostensibly by gangsters, and the idea was dropped like a hot potato. Monkey Business was banned in some countries because censors feared it would encourage anarchic tendencies.
The American Film Institute placed Monkey Business at number 73 on its list of the funniest movies of all-time (AFI’s 100 years…..100 laughs).
Monkey Business gives us perhaps our first real glimpse of vintage Marx Brothers- the four madcap zanies at their cinematic peak- wisecracking, punning, running around, leering, flirting, singing, playing and chasing blondes.
Even the ever-wooden Zeppo gets a great gag in this film. As so often happened, Zeppo has to carry the film’s obligatory romantic interest, this time with gangster Joe Helton’s daughter, played by Ruth Hall. In his big scene, Zeppo tries to pick up on Ruth, who coquettishly flirts. Zeppo earnestly and romantically proclaims to her- “I’ll never leave you, before he immediately bolts off, being chased around the ship’s decks by the authorities.
Chico gets off perhaps his most clever pun in Monkey Business. As the brothers go to the abandoned barn to rescue the kidnapped daughter (Ruth Hall), one of her kidnappers yells down at Groucho and Chico, “Keep out of this loft!”
Chico responds with, “Well, it’s better to have loft and lost than never to have loft at all.”
Groucho shakes his brother’s hand (with possibly an ad-lib of genuine admiration) and says, “Nice work.”
All four brothers give wonderful, memorable performances in Monkey Business. Both The Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers are wonderful and very amusing movies, but the prehistoric filming techniques of the time slightly diminish them for modern viewers. With Monkey Business we really capture the four Marx Brothers, on film, in all their glory. And that is some glory indeed.
This piece of pseudo-profanity is what’s known as a taboo deformation—a word we say when we don’t want to say the word.
Among the most hilarious words in the English language is “dagnabbit.” It’s full of very funny hard syllables and, for most Americans, it’s most often heard coming out of the cartoon mouth of Yosemite Sam, who has a funny voice and a big hat (big hats are also funny).
But the way the word evolved is not really funny. It is dark and ominous and paved with fear. “Dagnabbit,” along with the English words “bear” and “wolf,” are creations of a terrified populace, scared of beings visible and not.
These words are called, among linguists, taboo deformations. They are words we created because, in a very fantasy-novel sort of way, we are scared of the True Names of our enemies and overlords. Dagnabbit is an example of the perceived power of words to hurt us.
It’s easy to assume that language is, for all its variations and complexities, a shortcut, a way to convey meaning through sounds that represent concepts. But language itself has power. The word for a certain concept isn’t just a symbol; it is tied in some fundamental way to the concept itself. This pops up in humanity’s oldest stories: the idea is that each thing—person, god, object—has a true name, and that knowledge of that true name conveys power. There are stories about the true name of the Egyptian sun god Ra, of the Jewish monotheistic god, and later of various angels and demons and wizards in stories ranging from the Bible to, uh, the Earthsea fantasy novels written by Ursula K. Le Guin.
In stories like those above, one’s true name is a carefully guarded secret, and if someone finds out your true name, you’re sort of screwed; that person will have all sorts of power over you. But delightfully, this concept translates to everyday, non-fantasy-novel life as well. Except we don’t always know it.
The real-life version of this very fun idea is a bit different, partly because humans aren’t heroes on the scale of Odysseus or the Jewish god or Duny from A Wizard of Earthsea. Instead we are weak, fragile idiots who can’t really take advantage of the power of true names; instead, we’re terrified of them, and at risk of gruesome death if we use them.
“Taboo deformation is one possible way for a word to change its meaning,” says Andrew Byrd, a professor of linguistics at the University of Kentucky who specializes in Indo-European languages. Basically, we are scared of the true names of certain beings or concepts, because to use them might mean we summon them, which we don’t want, or anger them, which we definitely don’t want, or simply make other humans mad at us, which is slightly less bad but still not ideal. The true name is powerful, and we normal humans can’t handle that power. So we avoid using the true name, but sometimes we still need to communicate with each other about those beings or concepts. That means we have to figure out a way to talk about something without using the actual word for it.
A great example of this is the word “bear,” in English. “Bear” is not the true name of the bear. That name, which I am free to use because the only bear near where I live is the decidedly unthreatening American black bear, is h₂ŕ̥tḱos. Or at least it was in Proto-Indo-European, the hypothesized base language for languages including English, French, Hindi, and Russian. The bear, along with the wolf, was the scariest and most dangerous animal in the northern areas where Proto-Indo-European was spoken. “Because bears were so bad, you didn’t want to talk about them directly, so you referred to them in an oblique way,” says Byrd.
H₂ŕ̥tḱos, which is pronounced with a lot of guttural noises, became the basis for a bunch of other words. “Arctic,” for example, which probably means something like “land of the bear.” Same with Arthur, a name probably constructed to snag some of the bear’s power. But in Germanic languages, the bear is called…bear. Or something similar. (In German, it’s Bär.) The predominant theory is that this name came from a simple description, meaning “the brown one.”
In Slavic languages, the descriptions got even better: the Russian word for bear is medved, which means “honey eater.” These names weren’t done to be cute; they were created out of fear.
It’s worth noting that not everyone was that scared of bears. Some languages allowed the true name of the bear to evolve in a normal fashion with minor changes; the Greek name was arktos, the Latin ursos. Still the true name. Today in French, it’s ours, and in Spanish it’s oso. The bear simply wasn’t that big of a threat in the warmer climes of Romance language speakers, so they didn’t bother being scared of its true name.
Another example is the way Jews refuse to use the true name of God, which is made up of four Hebrew letters which roughly correspond to the Latin letters Y, H, V, and H. (Maybe. In Hebrew, the symbols that roughly correspond to Y and V can also be used as vowels.) Anyway, Jews traditionally do not speak this word, and when it’s written, there are specific rules about how to treat the paper it’s written on. Sometimes this has even been applied to translations; I was told in Hebrew school to write the word “God,” which is of Germanic origin and does not appear in any of the important Jewish holy books, as “G-d.” This was useful because nobody wanted to ritually bury our Mead Composition notebooks.
But YHVH appears throughout holy books, and so to talk about God, Jews have come up with dozens of options. Hashem means, literally, “the name.” Adonai means “lord,” Elohim means…well, nobody’s quite sure about that one. Maybe “the power,” or “the divine,” something like that. With some taboo deformations, like “bear,” we’ve basically replaced the true name with something else; not many people know that it’s even a replacement. The Jewish name of God is written down, and so remains known, but in other cases, the deformation can take over.
There are all kinds of things that we as humans are too scared of to use its real name. God, sure, always smiting people, very scary. Bears, same thing, although “smiting” may not be correct word for a bear attack. Some words, like ethnic slurs, are so repugnant that they can’t be used at all, or are restricted to in-group use.
There’s also something called “mother-in-law languages,” which aren’t exactly languages. In some languages—east-central Ethiopian languages like Kambaata, Australian Aboriginal languages like Dyirbal—there’s a taboo stopping newlyweds from communicating directly with in-laws. That comes out in various ways; you might have to address requests to an inanimate object or animal (“dog, I sure would like it if the salt was passed to me”) or might have to avoid using even the basic sounds in your in-law’s name.
Anyway, that’s one way a taboo deformation takes hold: just ignoring the true name and coming up with a description to refer indirectly to it. But that’s not what happened with dagnabbit.
A fundamental issue with changing a true name is that you can’t completely change it. You can describe it, as with “bear,” but if you decided that instead of h₂ŕ̥tḱos you’d just call the bear, I don’t know, bing-bong, nobody would know what you meant, and the whole exercise would be pointless. So one very sneaky way to avoid using a true name is to just tweak it a bit.
There are rules for how you can tweak a name. If you change it too much, nobody will know what you mean; if you don’t change it enough, people might assume you’re using the true name, which is what you’re trying to avoid in the first place.
So to find the right balance, you can only change certain sounds for certain other sounds, in a strategy called dissimilation. Individual sounds that make up words are called phonemes, and they come in groups. There are the nasal phonemes, which are sounds that are made by releasing air through your nose, like “m” and “n.” The consonants “k” and “g,” and “b” and “p,” are pairs: they’re produced very, very similarly in the mouth. Vowels like “oh” and “oo” are similar, too; just minor adjustments to the position of your tongue. Try making those sounds right now. Almost identical, right?
But if you just swap out one sound for a very similar other sound, that might be a little too close. In the case of a word like “fuck,” which we fear because it refers to sex and also because social pressure indicates it is a word we should not say very often, just changing the vowel sound from, say, “uh” to “ah,” which are similar sounds, might not really have the result we want. If you yell “fahk!” someone might just think you’re cursing but with an accent. So we alter the first “f” consonant very slightly, from “f” to “fr,” keep the final “k,” and change the vowel more significantly. That’s how we get “freak” and “frick,” which are similar enough to the original word that everyone knows what you mean, but different enough that nobody thinks you’re cursing. Another way would be to come up with words that sound really similar, but are words in their own right: that’s how Christians who want to avoid saying “Jesus Christ” end up with “cheese and rice.”
The strategies get more in-depth than that, and we have to venture further to decode “dagnabbit,” which is, of course, a taboo deformation of the word “goddammit.” To do that, let’s break down “goddammit” into two parts: “god” and “dammit.”
One strategy is called metathesis, which is pronounced with an emphasis on the second syllable, like “meh-TAGH-thuh-sis.” (“Agh” is the way I’m typing the vowel sound in “cat.”) Metathesis is a switch of sounds within a word. Pretty simple: instead of “god,” you’d say “dog.” Use some dissimilation for the vowel—change “ah” to “agh”—and you end up with “dag.” Excellent! Halfway done!
“Nabbit” as a switch for “dammit” is more fun, because we get to use both dissimilation and metathesis. “M” and “n,” remember, are paired together, very similar sounds. So swap out one for another. “D” and “b” are also pairs: they’re called stops, which means that you halt the movement of air from your mouth. (That’s as opposed to a sound like “s,” which could theoretically go on for as long as you have air in your lungs. But you can’t make the “d” or “b” sounds without stopping air from flowing.)
So using dissimilation, we get to “bannit.” Pretty good, but not great. What if we use metathesis to swap the position of our new consonants within that word? Ah ha! Nabbit. Put them together and we’ve figured out dagnabbit. This also gives us a key to making our own taboo deformations, if we want. For example! I am sick of winter. Winter should be a bad word. Please always refer to winter as “millder.” With any luck, by avoiding the Dark Season’s True Name, we can avoid summoning it back next year.
by Emily Shwake, Buzzfeed
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Sleeping is great but getting to sleep can be a total nightmare, especially if your bedroom isn’t exactly that cozy.
1. Spray some lavender on your bedding, because it seriously relaxes your brain and body.
2. Set your thermostat somewhere between 65 and 67 degrees to help you truly ~chill out~.
3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible with a set of highly rated black-out curtains.
4. Decorate with all things blue to keep yourself calm in the bedroom.
5. Make your bed with two duvets instead of one if your S.O. is constantly stealing the covers.
6. Wash your pillows and sheets regularly, because your allergies may be what’s keeping you awake at night.
7. Keep your alarm clock on the other side of the room so you can’t hit snooze.
8. And choose an alarm tone that wakes you up slowly rather than that terrible siren ring you’ve been using.
9. Turn on a humidifier to breathe easier during the winter and a dehumidifier to cool down the air during summer.
10. Kick your computer and phone out of the bedroom, because they’re probably making you sleep worse.
11. And invest in a pretty Himalayan salt lamp.
12. Listen to pink noise to help your brain slow the hell down.
13. And bring a weighted blanket to bed to help calm your anxiety.
Now, go have sweet dreams!
By the way, if you’ve been having trouble sleeping and it’s not going away, it’s definitely worth checking with your doctor. Many things can cause insomnia, from stress to certain disorders, and your doctor will best be able to help you figure out what’s going on so you can get the sleep you need. In the meantime, you can always read more about insomnia here.
In January of 1964, the Beatles were in Paris, staying at the five-star hotel, the famous Georges V. They were staying there during the 18 days of concerts they were giving at Paris’ Olympia Theater. This was to be the last concert residency of the Beatles before they made their legendary first trip to America to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show in early February.
John and Paul had an upright piano sent up to their room for them compose new songs on. In these early days of Beatlemania, John and Paul still pretty much composed together. “Eyeball to eyeball, nose to nose”-type composing, as John would later call it.
But the new song the two composers came up with was not to be the usual Lennon-McCartney collaboration. This was no joint effort, this song was Paul’s baby. It would also become one of the first McCartney “classics.” It was to be very rare in the early canon of Beatle records, in that it is completely sung by just one person- none of the legendary “Beatle harmonies” or any background vocals whatsoever. No, this one was Paul’s and Paul’s alone.
John Lennon, never the most reliable source for facts and truth, at least regarding who wrote what in the Lennon-McCartney canon, said in 1972: “Can’t Buy Me Love” was written by “John and Paul, but principally Paul.” Eight years later, John, never one to be shy about grabbing credit when asked again about a song, was to admit “That was Paul’s completely”.
“Maybe I had something to do with the chorus. I always considered it his song,” he added. One can easily see the frustration Beatle biographers must feel when relying on John Lennon to locate the truth about all (or any) things Beatles.
“Can’t Buy Me Love” was recorded at EMI’s Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris on January 29, 1964. Incredibly, it was done in just four takes, 45 minutes total. Paul’s original “Can’t Buy Me Love” rendition had a Country & Western flavor, as did take two. But eventually, the country angle became less and less used, until it was completely gone by the song’s final take.
Also, as a demonstration of how loose the early Beatles’ recording sessions were, Paul did not have the lyrics “I’ll buy you a diamond ring, my friend” or “I’ll get you anything, my friend” in the song’s original version. Through the trial and error process, these lines were added during the session and in fully by take four. After the fourth take, the group, as a whole, was not used again. Paul recorded his voice on a free track and George performed a solo on his Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar.
On February 25th, Paul and George returned to their home turf, Abbey Road Studios, to add the final touches to the song. Paul double-tracked his vocal and George re-recorded his solo, this time on his new 12-string Rickenbacker.
Beatles’ producer George Martin came up with the suggestion that put “Can’t Buy Me Love” into its final form. According to Martin: “I really felt we needed a tag for the song’s ending, and a tag for the beginning- a kind of intro. So I took the first two lines of the chorus and changed the ending.” (This idea of taking the song’s chorus and using it at both the song’s beginning and end was similarly used in “She Loves You”).
What was “Can’t Buy Me Love” about? According to Paul: “The idea behind it was that all these material possessions are all very well but, they wouldn’t really buy me what I want.” Years later, Paul, now acknowledged the world over as being the most popular, successful, and wealthy singer of all time, was to amend this statement and say: “It should have been “Can Buy Me Love.” Paul added that “‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ is my attempt to write in a bluesy mode.”
The critics and those who love to analyze and figure out the “meanings” of Beatle songs came to a different conclusion. According to some, “Can’t Buy Me Love” was about either “prostitutes or lesbians.” One can easily see the logic of these conclusions- wrong as they were.
Because it was recorded in Paris, “Can’t Buy Me Love” became the only English language Beatles song ever recorded outside of Britain (the Beatles had also recorded German versions of both “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in Paris during this stay).
One last little bit of Beatle trivia regarding the recording of song. In his memoirs, engineer Geoff Emerick revealed a rather surprising little anecdote.
When the tape that had been recorded in Paris arrived in England at Abbey Road Studios, engineer Norman Smith realized that it had a ripple in it because it had been spooled incorrectly. As a result, there was a partial loss of the treble on Ringo’s hi-hat cymbal. Because the group was absent, there was only one solution- Norman set himself up in the studio and replayed the faulty hi-hat parts himself. As for the Beatles, they never realized it.
This amazing revelation casts light on a document found in 1991 in the EMI archives: an unknown drummer had been paid a small amount (coming to around $7.50 in U.S. dollars) for a session on March 10, 1964. Sure enough, it was Norman Smith! Norman Smith thus becomes the answer to a wonderful bar bet question almost guaranteed to win the questioner money- “Who was the first person outside of the four Beatles to play on a Beatles record?”
To clarify: drummer Andy White, did, indeed, play on the Beatles 1962 song “Love Me Do.” At the time, the suits at EMI were not so sure about Ringo’s drumming prowess, so Andy was brought in to play drums on this song. However, Ringo also drummed on a different version of “Love Me Do.” Ringo’s version was used on the “Love Me Do” record, but the Andy “Love Me Do” version was used on the Beatles first album, Please Please Me. Therefore, Andy White was the first person outside of the four Beatles to play on a Beatles album. But Norman Smith is the first person besides the Fab Four to play on a Beatles record. (Disclaimer: although the above facts are all true, the author of this article takes no responsibility for any money, either won or lost, on any future bar bets.)
“Can’t Buy Me Love” was released on March 16, 1964 (four days later in the U.K.). It was to become the Beatles third #1 record in a row. (“I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You” had preceded it to the top of the charts in the previous weeks.) “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “She Loves You,” and “Can’t Buy Me Love” topped the Billboard charts, one after the other, with no other artist or group having a #1 record in between. The Beatles accomplished this amazing feat five and half decades ago; it has not been duplicated to this day and remains unparalleled.
Even more incredibly, when it hit #1, on April 4, 1964, it gave the Beatles the top five songs on the charts- a record that will probably stand for all-time:
1) Can’t Buy Me Love
2) Twist and Shout
3) She Loves You
4) I Want to Hold Your Hand
5) Please Please Me
“Can’t Buy Me Love” was to be the number one song for a four week stretch. During its second week at the top of the charts, the Beatles had an unbelievable 14 songs simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. And “Can’t Buy Me Love” had 2.1 million advance orders- another record for the Fab Four.
It was to make the jump from #27 on the charts to #1 the next week. At the time, this was the greatest leap of any record from one spot to going #1 in musical history. And this Beatle record stood for 38 years- until the year 2002. In September of 2002, a young singer named Kelly Clarkson released a song called “A Moment Like This.” She had sung the song when she became the first American Idol winner. Kelly’s song made an unbelievable jump- from #52 to #1- in one week, to break the long-held Beatles’ record.
“Can’t Buy Me Love” proved to be so popular it was used twice in the Beatles debut movie A Hard Day’s Night, which premiered later that year (1964). Most notably, the song provided the background music for the scene where the Beatles frolic wildly in the field (the most beloved scene in A Hard Day’s Night and the Beatles’ own personal favorite scene).
The famed Beatles stereotype of “John wrote the hard rockers and Paul wrote the sweet ballads” was proven incorrect as early as March of ’64 when “Can’t Buy Me Love” was released.
The song was to remain an important song in McCartney’s oeuvre for the rest of his life and career. In 2015, the Beatles (or Paul McCartney, on behalf of the Beatles) donated “Can’t Buy Me Love” to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for use in a television commercial. And to this day, these five and a half decades after it was originally composed, Paul McCartney will still frequently include “Can’t Buy Me Love” as a part of his concert lineup the world over.
The song’s catchy opening chorus is always met with happy faces of instant recognition. Nostalgia? Sure. But his legions of fans also recognize a great song when they hear one- the first true solo classic in the amazing career of Paul McCartney.
When you visit funeral homes you’re already in a pretty bad state. Why make it worse by going to one with an ironic name? Like seriously, funeral director guy, you don’t have to name it after yourself. Or, if you must, just change your last name. What are the odds a guy with the name “Slaughter” would end up owning funeral homes? Why not literally any other profession that wouldn’t make you do irony with your name? Probably don’t become a doctor either, though.
by Nick Douglas, Lifehacker
Hey what’s that song from? Ask MetaFilter commenters named 52 different tunes, mostly classical and big-band, that you’ll recognize instantly but might have trouble naming. And we assembled them into a Spotify playlist, along with songs from here and here.
Tunes like “Spanish Flea” and “Gymnopédie No. 1” pop up in soundtracks, hold music, cartoons, and YouTube videos. They’re known more for the moods they signify than for the original composition. “Entry of the Gladiators” is an ironic “send in the clowns” soundtrack for overblown pomp; the “Morning Mood” movement of “Peer Gynt Suite No. 1” means waking up when birds are chirping and the sun is shining; “Happy-Go-Lively” means it’s the 50s and we’re shopping.
Many of these connections were established in the years of Spike Jones and Looney Tunes, when entertainers could make a joke out of setting up expectations with a clichéd bit of classical music, then subverting them with silly characters. Others were one-hit wonders that landed in commercials or became famous hip-hop samples. Now it’s hard to hear certain tunes without thinking of Bugs Bunny singing along, or some Ford truck rolling through hills, or the summer of ’93. So load up the playlist and get ready to remember every piece of pop culture ever.
What’s the use of a penny in today’s economy? The U.S. government has been talking about doing away with the copper-plated coin for years, but so far, no progress has been made. Two big arguments against keeping the coin in production are time and cost. In 2016, the U.S. Mint spent 1.5 cents to produce each one, making the cost of every penny 50 percent higher than its actual value.
They also waste a lot of time. Citizens to Retire the U.S. Penny claims that handling pennies adds an average of two seconds to a cash transaction. According to a 2012 study by the Federal Reserve, there are 107 billion cash transactions per year in the United States.
To help you combat the penny problem, here are some strategies for spending them, plus ways to put them to creative use.
1. DEPOSIT THEM AT THE BANK.
If you don’t want your pennies, your bank will take them. Count them out, roll them in coin wrappers (ask your bank if they can give you some for free), and deposit them into your account. There are a few banks that will count coins for free and exchange them for bills so you can walk away with cold, hard cash. You can find participating institutions listed on Lifehacker and MyBankTracker.
2. TAKE THEM TO A COINSTAR MACHINE.
Coinstar machines are magical: You dump your jar of change into their depths and get cash in return. The major downside is that there’s an 11.9 percent service fee. However, if you choose the eGift Card option, there’s no fee. Options include Amazon, Starbucks, Sephora, iTunes, and Best Buy. Or, turn your coins into a tax-deductible donation to one of several charities. You can use Coinstar’s website to find a machine near you.
3. MAKE A COLD COMPRESS.
If you don’t have an ice pack in the freezer, try making one with the contents of your piggy bank. Throw some coppers into an old sock, tie it, and freeze it. (A plastic bag works, too.)
4. CREATE DIY DRAPERY WEIGHTS.
If your curtains flare out and won’t stay straight, use pennies as drapery weights. Open the stitching at the bottom of your drapes and slide a few pennies in, then sew it back up.
5. SEPARATE THEM INTO DENOMINATIONS BEFOREHAND TO MAKE SHOPPING EASY.
Organize your pennies into groups of five or 10 and put them into small Ziploc bags to keep in your purse or backpack. Then you can combine them to pay for something that calls for, say, 15 cents in change. Or, if your total comes to an amount that’s not a multiple of five or 10, breaking open a baggie is easier than scrounging around in your coin purse.
6. DECORATE YOUR FLOORS …
7. … OR MAKE A PENNY TABLE.
Add a copper top to a plain table with this DIY guide.
8. USE TAKE A PENNY, LEAVE A PENNY JARS.
Take a penny, leave a penny trays are everywhere—but many people don’t understand how they work. They’re commonly seen at convenience stores or other small shops. Here’s the rundown: Customers can take pennies from the bowl if they don’t have change and don’t want to break a bill. If you get pennies as part of your change for a transaction, you can get rid of them there, so they never even touch your wallet in the first place.
9. MAKE JEWELRY.
10. FUNNEL YOUR PENNIES INTO HOME DECOR.
There are endless ways to turn pennies into statement pieces for your pad. Paint them white to make this crafty vase, make them into coasters, decorate a mirror or a picture frame. Make some creative wall art, like this penny mosaic portrait of Abraham Lincoln, these block letters, or this ombré wall hanging. Or, find pennies from milestone years in your life and make a commemorative piece like this one.