The Friday Fillip: Sound Travels

In the Globe and Mail this morning, I learn that researchers have found that the songs of male humpback whales change from year to year and, indeed, propagate throughout the world community of humpbacks, rather in the way that pop tunes spread among human beings — or the way that negative advertising infects ever larger portions of the polity. It seemed like a day to go with the whales, rather than the pols, so I hunted up these travelling humpback songs for you, finding them in the Wired story on this cetacean phenom.

A travelling sound more… melodious to our ears, perhaps, is featured in this remarkable advert — the very model of anti-negative advertising, in a way — for a Japanese cell phone called Touch Wood and made of — you guessed it — wood. (Well, just the body, not the brains.) As you’ll see, the travelling is done by a slowly falling ball, which manages to play Bach’s Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring, itself a tune that has travelled around the world and down through time. The video takes just over three minutes; time well spent:

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