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Study finds scary ‘da dun da dun’ music causes people to view sharks negatively
08.19.2016
09:23 am

Topics:
Music
Science/Tech

Tags:
Jaws
sharks
soundtrack
John Williams


 
UC San Diego researchers studying the effects of ominous background music on the public’s perception of shark footage have recently published their findings.

Not surprisingly, when the researchers played music that was “modal with only fragments of melody accompanied by sporadic and sparse atmospheric percussion and a repetitive flute motif [creating] an unsettling sound” over the top of shark footage, the test subjects reacted more negatively to that footage than to footage accompanied by “uplifting background music.”

Though the findings may seem like a no-brainer, this study is the first, according to the researchers, “to demonstrate empirically that the connotative attributes of background music accompanying shark footage affect viewers’ attitudes toward sharks.”

In the article’s abstract the researchers assert that ominous music used in films and documentaries affects the public’s perception of sharks, leading to marginalization of the creatures:

“Despite the ongoing need for shark conservation and management, prevailing negative sentiments marginalize these animals and legitimize permissive exploitation. These negative attitudes arise from an instinctive, yet exaggerated fear, which is validated and reinforced by disproportionate and sensationalistic news coverage of shark ‘attacks’ and by highlighting shark-on-human violence in popular movies and documentaries. In this study, we investigate another subtler, yet powerful factor that contributes to this fear: the ominous background music that often accompanies shark footage in documentaries. Using three experiments, we show that participants rated sharks more negatively and less positively after viewing a 60-second video clip of swimming sharks set to ominous background music, compared to participants who watched the same video clip set to uplifting background music, or silence.

[cut]

Given that nature documentaries are often regarded as objective and authoritative sources of information, it is critical that documentary filmmakers and viewers are aware of how the soundtrack can affect the interpretation of the educational content.”

The abstract curiously puts the word “attacks” in quotes, as if to indicate that shark attacks aren’t a real thing—perhaps one could make that argument depending on one’s definition of the word “attack,” but these shark “accident” victims might be hard to convince.

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Shark-shaped tea bags that release gruesome bloody red tea
07.20.2016
09:38 am

Topics:
Animals
Design
Food

Tags:
sharks
tea


 
Yesterday I blogged about gnarly pimple-popping cupcakes and today I’m blogging about shark-shaped tea bags that slowly release blood red tea. I’m not trying to gross you folks out, I swear! These tea bags are a bit more subtle in the “gross out” department, anyway.

The shark tea bags are designed and made by Japanese manufacturer DaiSho Fisheries. I don’t know that much about the company and Google translate isn’t helping that much. I believe—but don’t quote me—that their sole purpose is making novelty tea bags. Either way, I dig this design. I can’t vouch for the flavor of the tea, though. Hopefully it’s good.


 

 
via Laughing Squid

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Traci Lords’ new Women in Prison-cum-Sharksploitation flick: ‘Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre’

 

 
Former underage porn actress, Traci Lords, stars in the new Jim Wynorski blockbuster, Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre. Wynorski is responsible for the best ‘80s murderous shopping-mall robot movie, Chopping Mall, 1988’s Not of This Earth (also starring Lords), Pirañaconda, and more than 40 other “quality” titles. Judging solely by the trailer, Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre promises to deliver the same standard of excellence we’ve come to expect from the prolific director. The film also stars Dominique Swain (Fall Down Dead, Nazis at the Center of the Earth).

This is the synopsis we have:

When a fracking mishap accidentally rips apart the earth’s crust, the resulting hole opens up a gaping underground waterway to a vast and mysterious ocean somewhere deep below. Instantly, giant prehistoric sharks begin wending their way upward toward a murky bog in the heart of the Arkansas Bayou. Unfortunately for a group of female prisoners on a work detail in the swamp, the deadly sharks attack without warning – pinning a hapless group of intended victims in a small deserted cabin in the heart of the wetlands. Death may be the only means of escape!

These sharks don’t just swim through the bayous—they also burrow through the ground Bugs Bunny style! Landsharks with a craving for female convict blood! The back-end for CGI sharks must be really cheap these days, as the Sharksploitation genre is in its golden age with titles such as Sharknado, Sharktopus, Ghost Shark, Snow Shark, Psycho Shark, Sand Sharks, and Raiders Of The Lost Shark. Sure, we’ve seen sharks in the swamp before in 2011’s Swamp Shark, but Wynorski had the vision to add female prisoners and Traci Lords!
 

 

Just put the words “Traci Lords,” “women in prison,” “fracking mishap,” and “landsharks” together and I’m instantly asking “where do I send my money?” I asked Jim Wynorski himself and he is remaining tight-lipped for the time being, stating only that the film will be “ready for release in mid-May.” It seems the film is still looking for a home. Wynorski wouldn’t comment on a DVD release, but indicated that SyFy would be taking a look at the picture upon completion.

Here’s the trailer for what promises to be the most important film of 2015:
 

 

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Air Swimmers: Remote-controlled flying sharks and clownfish
08.11.2011
02:44 pm

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
toys
sharks
Air Swimmers


 
Imagine the hours of fun you could have torturing your pets with this!

It looks like the Air Swimmers website is currently down due to heavy traffic.
 

 
(via High Definite)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The Shark Whisperer: Woman hand-feeds great white shark


 
Austrailian shark expert Valerie Taylor hand-feeds a great white shark for Australian Geographic’s TV documentary Shadow of the Shark. Towards the end of the video, she even gives the great white a friendly pat on the head. What the heck, Valerie?!
 

 
(via Neatorama)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment