No, you're probably not losing your hearing.
It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.
So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.
They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.
But with today's technology, microphones are so small they can be strapped just about anywhere on an actor. This allows the actor to move about the set freely and speak at a normal volume without worrying that their words won't be picked up. So then why can't we hear them? Turns out it's super complicated…and also not.
"A lot of people will ask, 'Why don't you just turn the dialogue up?' Like, 'Just turn it up.' And...if only it were that simple," Kendrick said before explaining, "If you have your dialogue that's going to be at the same volume as an explosion that immediately follows it, the explosion is not going to feel as big. You need that contrast in volume in order to give your ear a sense of scale."
Sure, you may be thinking, well that kinda explains it, but why do the music and other cinematic noises sound like they're beating on your eardrum while the dialogue sounds like the actors are whispering every line? That doesn't seem very balanced. There's more to it, and again, it falls back onto technology.
In the video, they explain how our televisions are too thin to hold large speakers facing in the correct direction, and until this video, it didn't dawn on me that the speakers to my television are indeed in the back. No wonder we can't hear. The actors are quite literally talking to our walls.
And there's more. Check out the full explanation in the video:
Sam Smith and Kim Petras' performance of "Unholy" left some calling it a satanic ritual.
Depending on which corners of social media you call home, few happenings from the 2023 Grammy awards were as divisive as Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ performance of the song “Unholy.” Was it a historic moment of inclusion or a historic display of a Satanic ritual broadcast to the world?
On the one hand, the pair made music history. After winning the Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Smith became the first non-binary artist to win the category, along with Petra who became the first trans woman to win the category.
However, not everyone was a fan of their live hell-themed performance, featuring Smith clad in red leather and sporting a top hat with devil horns and Petras dancing in a cage surrounded by dominatrixes.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz took to Twitter to call the act “evil,” and his fury was quickly echoed by other conservative influencers who declared it an example of mainstream devil worship.
“Don’t fight the culture wars, they say. Meanwhile demons are teaching your kids to worship Satan. I could throw up.” wrote conservative political commentator Liz Wheeler.
However, it doesn’t take a lot of research to find out what the artist’s original intentions were behind the song.
In a previous interview with NME, Smith shared that the song was about “liberating oneself from the clutches of others’ secrets.” The song’s lyrics explicitly suggest that the story is about adultery, and touches on the way certain taboo desires are viewed as sins and therefore kept hidden or repressed. For such a large portion of history, this has been a harsh reality of the LGBTQ experience, which makes the theme seem like a creative no-brainer rather than a literal endorsement for satanic worship.
Petras also responded to backlash over the song, telling Variety that the performance was inspired by not feeling accepted by mainstream religion as a trans person.
“I personally grew up wondering about religion and wanting to be a part of it but slowly realizing it didn’t want me to be a part of it. So it’s a take on not being able to choose religion. And not being able to live the way that people might want you to live, because as a trans person I’m already not kind of wanted in religion,” she said.
Taking it from the song creators themselves, it seems the message really being put out is that of acceptance. Or at least paving your own way when acceptance doesn’t come.
Watch the video below:
She captivated millions with nothing but her guitar and an iconic voice.
While a catchy hook might make a song go viral, very few songs create such a unifying impact that they achieve timeless resonance. Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” is one of those songs.
So much courage and raw honesty is packed into the lyrics, only to be elevated by Chapman’s signature androgynous and soulful voice. Imagine being in the crowd and seeing her as a relatively unknown talent and hearing that song for the first time. Would you instantly recognize that you were witnessing a pivotal moment in musical history?
For concert goers at Wembley Stadium in the late 80s, this was the scenario.
The year was 1988. Seventy-two thousand people gathered—along with 600 million more watching along on their televisions—to see headliner Stevie Wonder as part of Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday tribute concert.
However, technical difficulties (or perhaps some divine timing) rendered Wonder unable to perform his act. Chapman had already played a three-song set earlier in the afternoon, and yet she agreed to step up to the microphone.
Armed with nothing but herself and a guitar, the shy and stoic Chapman captivated everyone to silence. And the rest is history.
Using just a simple story, “Fast Car” conveyed a million different themes—the challenges of class and poverty, seeking escape from a small town and yearning for freedom and new opportunity. It’s easy to see why some find the song heartbreaking, while others find it hopeful.
After the Mandela gig, the song became a worldwide hit, earning Chapman Grammy awards and shooting her to stardom. What’s more, she introduced a new wave of socially-conscious music filled with gentle, yet brutally truthful introspection. Since that fateful day, her name is forever synonymous with a quiet revolution. We are quite lucky to get to experience it so many years later.
Kylie McDevitt's OBGYN is packing a bag to join the NFL star's wife, just in case baby Kelce decides to see the game too.
Having a baby is an intimate, vulnerable experience, so people get pretty attached to their healthcare providers. I've met women who have planned an induction to have their baby with their preferred doctor and not whoever would be on call if they went into labor naturally. So it may not be a surprise to birthing people that Kylie McDevitt, Philadelphia Eagles player, Jason Kelce's wife, isn't taking any chances when she travels to Arizona for the Super Bowl.
Kelce made headlines with his brother Travis recently when it was revealed that the Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs would be facing off for the Super Bowl, making the pair the first brothers to compete against each other for a ring. It seems that McDevitt didn't want to miss the history-making moment, even though she'll be two weeks shy of the standard 40 weeks of pregnancy.
It's a risky decision to travel to the other side of the country that close to giving birth but McDevitt made provisions—she's packing up her OBGYN. Mama's got a plan, and her doctor's on board, literally and figuratively.
The Eagles player revealed the news on the podcast he co-hosts with his brother, "New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce," saying, "Kylie's bringing her OB because she's going to be 38 weeks pregnant at the game." Kelce joked, "That could be a super Kelce bowl. If she has a baby in the stadium, it's officially scripted." How did he respond to such a random revelation? "We're in the Matrix," Travis replied.
Kelce and McDevitt have two children together and if you've heard anything about birthing babies, then you probably know that each subsequent child comes a bit faster. Of course, this isn't true for everyone but barring any complications, it's fairly accurate.
In an article for VeryWell Family, Dr. Robin Elise Weiss, a childbirth and postpartum educator, explained that subsequent births are quicker on average and that its thought that the body remains looser after childbirth. I mean, it certainly would make sense being that when pregnant, your body releases a chemical called relaxin. This specific chemical is designed to loosen the ligaments and muscles in the pelvis to prepare for birth according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Personally, I'm hoping that baby Kelce holds off until after the Super Bowl. I couldn't imagine giving birth on a dirty floor with most of America watching—it's probably safe to assume McDevitt is hoping for the same.
Whether baby Kelce comes while the family is in Arizona or not, this is going to be a family celebration and a history-making moment. Fans are even petitioning for the Kelce brothers' mom, Donna Kelce to do the coin toss. What a predicament to be in for a mother. No matter who wins, one of her sons loses. But from the looks of it, the family is close-knit so either way, it will likely be a joyous occasion.
All it took was a simple tweak to his browser.
It feels safe to assume that if money were no object, people would always choose to travel business class over economy. After all, who doesn’t want a fast check-in, fancy food and drink choices and more of that sweet, spacious legroom?
Luckily, thanks to one man’s clever travel hack, that fantasy might be more achievable than we realize.Cameron Stewart, a British photojournalist and camera operator, recently shared how he was able to score business class tickets at a fraction of the price, simply by switching the website language from English to Spanish.
Stewart had booked his flight on LATAM, Latin America’s largest airline company. According to The Mirror, he heard that LATAM’s website sometimes showed different ticket prices depending on which language the browser was set to.
While booking his flight from Santiago to Easter Island, Stewart decided to experiment and switched his computer’s VPN or "virtual private network" to make it seem like he was located in Chile, along with changing the browser's language.
"I cleared all cookies from my browser, and used private browser mode so there was no way the website would determine I was outside the country," Stewart told 9News, according to The Mirror.
Using Google translate to navigate the site, Stewart was easily able to book. And it actually turned out “cheaper than economy.”Stewart shared his story in an Instagram post, along with a photo in his cushy seat, all smiles as he sat next to a generous amount of some kind of orange beverage. Probably made from organic oranges they grow in the plane's private garden.
Is the trick foolproof? No. But with such a dramatic price difference, it might be worth trying out.With ever rising inflation costs and constant headlines about an inevitable economic crash, people consider saving money to be more important than ever. Even those who are incredibly wealthy are looking for ways to save. Rather than cutting ourselves off from the things that bring us joy, there are plenty of creative solutions when it comes to living frugally.
That goes for traveling too. Airline tickets might be bonkers, but the need to travel still exists. Perhaps even more so post-pandemic. The good news is that with a little bit of work, you can discover incredible deals to make the trip more feasible—things like finding the optimal times to book, checking sites multiple times a day, and learning how to optimize credit card points, to name a few. Sure, it doesn’t guarantee a hoity-toity business class seat, but it does make adventure that much more attainable.
Excuse me while I change my browser settings to French. Allons y!
The kids' staple was an afterthought.
It’s hard to imagine growing up in America without Tater Tots. They are one of the most popular kiddie foods, right up there with chicken nuggets, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and macaroni and cheese. The funny thing is the only reason Tater Tots exist is that their creators needed something to do with leftover food waste.
The Tater Tot is the brainchild of two Mormon brothers, F. Nephi and Golden Grigg, who started a factory on the Oregon-Idaho border that they appropriately named Ore-Ida. The brothers started the factory in 1951 after being convinced that frozen foods were the next big thing.
According to Eater, between 1945 and 1946, Americans bought 800 million pounds of frozen food.
The brothers soon became the country's top producers of frozen corn, but their cash cow was frozen french fries. The problem with french fries was that separating the part of the potato used for the fry from the rest of the scraps took a lot of work. But that was fixed after a door-to-door salesman sold them on using a prune sorter.
Ore-Ida founder Nephi Grigg.
via Mormon Wiki
Not wanting to waste all the leftover potatoes, the brothers fed the scraps to their cattle but had to stop when all the starch made the livestock too big. The brothers decided they could try to sell the potato scraps by pressing them into a new shape.
To make their new culinary creation, they chopped the potatoes into bits, extruded them into logs, blanched them and coated them in oil so they wouldn’t stick in the bag. The brothers held a contest among their employees and friends to create a name. The winning name, Tater Tots, was the idea of Clora Lay Orton, who took the slang name for potatoes and added an alliterative term referring to their size, and a staple of the American diet was born.
An Ore-Ida Tater Tots truck.
Tater Tots arrived in supermarkets in 1956, but they weren’t very popular initially because customers assumed they were worthless because of the low price. After Ore-Ida raised the price, the perceived value of the Tot rose and they were a hit. Initially, the brothers thought that people would fry Tater Tots in oil, but soon learned that they tasted just as good coming out of the oven.
Ore-Ida trademarked the name Tater Tots, so other companies sell them under another name, such as Tater Treats and Tater Puffs.
By 1964, Ore-Ida was making $31 million annually, but after complaints of nepotism within the company, the Grigg brothers sold it to Heinz for $30 million the following year.
These days, Tater Tots aren’t just for kids. They’ve become a popular dish in upscale restaurants, whether fancied up as Duck Poutine Tots at Sandpiper at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, Tuna & Tots at Cabra in Los Angeles, or as Kaluga Caviar and Tots at Ernest in San Francisco.
The Tater Tot was once an afterthought but has grown to be a food staple in the U.S. If there’s a lesson in the story, it goes to show that what some people may see as meaningless waste, others may see as an opportunity.