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From NPR:

International music competitions are full of nail-biting moments for young musicians seeking top prizes. But Japanese-born, Chicago-based flutist Yukie Ota encountered a peculiar distraction Monday in the first round of the hugely competitive Carl Nielsen International Flute Competition in Odense, Denmark, which draws flutists aged 13 to 29.

As Ota played Pierrre Sancan’s Sonatine for the judges, a butterfly first landed in her hair and then settled on her left eyebrow as she continued to perform. Only a brief glance upward belied her complete concentration as the insect opened and closed its wings.

Just in time for the Dark Knight’s 75th anniversary, our fearsome taxonomy of Gotham’s rogues gallery has returned to strike again! Featuring an all new pulp-inspired design, this 12″ x 16″ chart is a veritable Who’s Who of knaves and ne’er-do-wells, and categorizes by name nearly every one of Batman’s colorful combatants–from big-time baddies like the Joker and Mr. Freeze, to lesser-known lawbreakers like the Walrus, Batzarro, and Larry the Judge. A comprehensive crimefighter’s database second only to the Bat-Computer, this is the definitive guide to the superstitious and cowardly lot who have dared to dance in the pale moonlight with the Caped Crusader.

You have to see it in full detail to believe it.

I’m absolutely positive I wouldn’t eat this, but I like Lucky Charms still for breakfast, so who am I to judge? The Burger King Kuro Burger is a burger featuring a black bun, cheese, and sauce that is sold by Burger King Japan. The buns and cheese are colored with bamboo charcoal, while the sauce is blackened with squid ink.

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From New York Daily News:

A Massachusetts state trooper noticed something a little odd about the license plate she spotted on a car on Interstate 391 in Chicopee.

Upon closer inspection, there was a lot odd about it.

The “license plate” on the car pulled over at about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday was actually just a piece of cardboard. In a poor attempt to replicate a real Massachusetts license plate, the letters and numbers were crudely drawn with a red marker.

The word “Massachusetts” and the phrase “The Spirit of America” were written in the appropriate places in blue pen.

The 20-year-old woman driving the vehicle was charged with driving with a suspended license and attaching false plates.

Apple, Universal Music Group and legendary rock band U2 today announced the release of the album “Songs of Innocence,” which Apple is gifting to iTunes Store customers around the world, making it the largest album release ever with over half a billion copies distributed. The album features 11 new songs from the band and charts their earliest influences from 70s rock and punk rock to early 80s electronica and soul. The album is free for iTunes Store account holders in 119 countries and is available exclusively on iTunes for the next five weeks.

“From the very beginning U2 have always wanted our music to reach as many people as possible, the clue is in our name I suppose—so today is kind of mind-blowing to us. The most personal album we’ve written could be shared with half a billion people… by hitting send. If only songwriting was that easy,” said U2 lead singer Bono. “It’s exciting and humbling to think that people who don’t know U2 or listen to rock music for that matter might check us out. Working with Apple is always a blast. They only want to do things that haven’t been done before—that’s a thrill to be part of.”

“U2 has been an important part of Apple’s history in music and we’re thrilled to make ‘Songs of Innocence’ the largest album release ever,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We get to share our love of music today by gifting this great new album to over half a billion iTunes customers around the world.”

“Songs of Innocence” features 11 new songs from the band and is their most personal work to date, charting their earliest influences from 70s rock and punk rock to early 80s electronica and soul, and giving insight into how and why the band came together and the relationships in and around them, their family and friendships. Recorded in New York, London, Los Angeles and Dublin, the album is produced by Danger Mouse, along with Paul Epworth, Ryan Tedder, Declan Gaffney and Flood.

Apple is gifting “Songs of Innocence” to iTunes Store account holders.* Customers who sign up for an iTunes Store account in the next five weeks will get the album as a gift.

Apple and U2 share a special connection in music. U2 was an important partner for the opening of the iTunes Store in 2003. Apple worked with U2 on the iPod U2 Special Edition and created “The Complete U2” box set together. U2 continues to be one of the most popular bands ever on the iTunes Store. Apple has partnered with Bono and (RED) to fight for an AIDS-free generation by creating (PRODUCT)RED merchandise. More than $75 million has been generated by Apple for the Global Fund.

Just like there are optical illusions, there is also “audio illusion” or “acoustical illusion”. This one is called Shepard Tone. When a number of octave notes are played at the same time, the average human ear will simply hear the one note, closest to the last pitched sound it heard, as opposed to differentiating and splitting that sound into its singular octave parts. The volume of the higher pitched tone slightly decreases and the lower pitched one increases over the scale, which is what makes the effect seem so seamless.

Lachlan Lever was born with severe hearing loss in both ears, but at seven weeks old was given his first hearing aids. Lachlan’s father, Toby Lever, uploaded a touching video that shows the moments when Lachlan could first hear.

That LOOK. That actual moment of hearing.

Our beautiful son Lachlan was diagnosed as having moderate to severe hearing loss in both ears. When he was 7 weeks old he received his first hearing aids. His reaction when they were turned on was truly amazing. We cried from happiness. Our beautiful little boy is now two years old and doing remarkably well.

I hope this video reaches 50 million to pay for hearing aids for life for Lachlan.

From Mashable:

Malaysia Airlines is apologizing after starting a promotional campaign that asked customers to name their bucket list travel destinations.

Many criticized the idea of a bucket list — which contains items or activities a person wants to complete before they die — because of the airline’s connection to the worst two airline tragedies this year. Between the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the shooting down of Flight 17, a total of 537 lives were lost.

“Malaysia Airlines has withdrawn the title of a competition running in Australia and New Zealand, as it is found to be inappropriate at this point in time,” the airline said in a statement on Wednesday. “The competition had been earlier approved as it was themed around a common phrase used in both countries. The airline appreciates and respects the sentiments of the public and in no way did it intend to offend any parties.”