28 February 2024


As reported by The Guardian:
Generations of palaeontologists have marvelled over a 280m-year-old fossilised lizard-like reptile, Tridentinosaurus antiquus, discovered in the Italian Alps in 1931.

Thought to be one of the best-preserved specimens of the species, palaeontologists believed there were even traces of carbonised skin on the surface. Now modern imaging techniques have revealed that this treasured fossil is, in fact, a carving covered in black paint.

Dr Valentina Rossi, from University College Cork, in Ireland, and her team used ultraviolet photography to look beneath the paint. Instead of finding the hoped-for soft tissues, they found an elaborate fake. Although exactly when it was made and who crafted it remains unknown, Tridentinosaurus joins a long list of fossil fakes, including the Piltdown Man and Archaeoraptor, to name just two. Ancient woodlice-like sea creatures known as trilobites were a particular favourite for faking, and natural history museums around the world are increasingly discovering counterfeits in their collections.

Examples of "noun piles"

"Ministers mull volcano ash cloud flight chaos measures" was a headline at the BBC; the last six words constitute a "noun pile."  A longer example is ""Profit distribution plan share buyback offer acceptance notice."

These are explained and discussed at Language Log.

Reposted from 2010 because the subject came up today in The New York Times:
The first thing that Grant Barrett, the chief lexicographer for Dictionary.com, wanted to emphasize was that the explosion of compound phrases like mob wife aesethetic, bookshelf wealth and goblin mode on TikTok and other social media platforms had been happening for centuries.

“It is incredibly common in English, and goes as far back as Proto-Indo-European,” Mr. Barrett said, noting that linguists liked to playfully refer to these strings of attributive nouns as “noun piles.” He gave me an example of how far noun piling could be extended by offering the single yet six-word-long noun “station wagon car seat installation instructions.” 
The article discusses other linguistic developments, including "cranberry morphemes" -"parts of words that look like they should exist independently, but don’t. The suffixes -aholic, -flation and -tastic have been the beneficiaries of similar trends through the years."

My German ancestors would like to remind everyone that you don't have to put spaces between the words.  According to Berlitz...
Here are the top 3 longest words in the German dictionary in all their glory - along with their English meaning:

3. Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz
Letters: 63
English meaning: Delegation transfer law for the labeling of beef in order to monitor task transfers.

2. Grundstücksverkehrsgenehmigungszuständigkeitsübertragungsverordnung
Letters: 67
English meaning: Regulation on the delegation of authority concerning land conveyance permissions.

1. Rinderkennzeichnungsfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz
Letters: 79
English meaning: Delegation transfer law for cattle labeling and beef labeling supervision duties.

26 February 2024

Weaver bird nests

Sociable weaver (Philetairus socius) nest in a quiver tree (Aloe dichotoma), Fish River Canyon, Namibia. Sociable weavers construct the largest nests of any bird, housing hundreds of individuals spanning many generations.
Very impressive!  Credit here, via Electric Orchids.

Reposted from 2011 to add this photo of weaver bird nests in India -

- and this video of a weaver bird at work:

I will never cease to amazed at how birds can do this.


A schematic drawing of the position in which an amateur cave explorer was trapped for 27 hours (until he died).

The full incident report is recorded at the National Speological Society News of October 2011 (scroll down to page 15 re John Jones at Nutty Putty Cave).
On the evening of November 24th, John Jones (26) and ten of his
family members including children entered Nutty Putty Cave
and toured the entrance area. After a short time, most of the
group left while John and others including his brother Josh
continued to explore. They proceeded to a tight, nasty, passage
known as Bob’s Push. This passage is mostly belly-crawl size
and undulates up and down before taking a decisive turn to the
left and downward. The remainder of the passage to its dead-end
is very tight and slopes downward at about a 60-degree angle.
John entered the passage head-first and continued head-first at
least 30 feet down the steep, tight section. At some point, he
realized he could not back out against the force of gravity. John
sent the others out of the passage and continued downward,
hoping to find a place to turn around...
Death by positional asphyxia can occur from prolonged inversion without any other injuries (cf. Saint Peter).  There are multiple documentary videos about this incident, including this one (hat tip to reader drabkikker, who located it).  The embedded schematic is a screencap from this one.

A "quilted" maple tree

The abnormal consistency of the wood results in an unusual pattern when the wood is cut tangentially - coveted by makers of guitars:

There was very little useful discussion at the Reddit source for the tree photo, or at the Wikipedia entry where I found the guitar photo (cropped for size).  There is some discussion at The Wood Database.  The process reminds me of tree burls, which are also prized by woodworkers.

21 February 2024

The world is full of good people

I fully believe what I wrote in the title.  Here's one example:
The child, a first-grader named Levi, was in tears as he climbed aboard the school bus.

“I asked him, ‘Hey, buddy, what’s wrong?’ and he told me he didn’t have any pajamas for pajama day,” Farrish said. “His school was having a special day where kids could wear their pajamas all day.”...

After he dropped off Levi and about 40 other students at Engelhard Elementary School, Farrish decided to run a quick errand. He drove to a nearby Family Dollar store to pick out some new pajamas for Levi...

Farrish took the pajamas over to the school and went into the front office to explain to an office assistant that he was Levi’s bus driver, and what had happened that morning.

“She called for Levi [to come to the office] and when he came down the hallway and saw me, his face lit up,” he said. “He said, ‘Hey, you’re my bus driver!’”...

“He was just glowing, he was so happy,” he said. “He gave me a hug, then he walked back to class, hugging those pajamas. I was in tears.”..

“I don’t have kids, so I enjoy interacting with Levi and the other kids on the bus and hearing about what’s going on in their day,” he said. “My job is to get them to school safe, but I also hope I have a small impact on their lives.”
I also believe that most people are honest and that most people can be trusted.  Those sentiments are probably also not widely shared. 

20 February 2024

The Bayeux Travesty

Front and back covers of the Harvard Lampoon issue of December 1966, depicting the Harvard-Yale football game.
The Bayeux Travesty is meticulously faithful to the original in colors, design, and its Romanesque style. “His calligraphy was letter-perfect,” says historian Ted Widmer ’84, Ph.D. ’93, a Lampoon alumnus like Rayman. “Among many other things, David was a medievalist who loved illuminated manuscripts.” The artist’s wicked wit also inspired dog-Latin inscriptions that smuggled outright obscenities onto the magazine cover without a single peep of reader protest.
More information about the artist and his tragic death by defenestration at Harvard Magazine.

19 February 2024

Judith beheading Holofernes

The account of the beheading of Holofernes by Judith is given in the deuterocanonical Book of Judith, and is the subject of more than 114 paintings and sculptures. In the story, Judith, a beautiful widow, is able to enter the tent of Holofernes because of his desire for her. Holofernes was an Assyrian general who was about to destroy Judith's home, the city of Bethulia, though the story is emphatic that no "defilement" takes place. Overcome with drink, he passes out and is decapitated by Judith; his head is taken away in a basket (often depicted as carried by an elderly female servant).

Early Renaissance images of Judith tend to depict her as fully dressed and desexualized; besides Donatello's sculpture, this is the Judith seen in Sandro Botticelli's The Return of Judith to Bethulia (1470-1472), Andrea Mantegna's Judith and Holofernes (1495, with a detached head), and in the corner of Michelangelo's Sistine chapel (1508-1512). Later Renaissance artists, notably Lucas Cranach the Elder, who with his workshop painted at least eight Judiths, showed a more sexualized Judith, a "seducer-assassin"...

Judith remained popular in the Baroque period, but around 1600 images of Judith began to take on a more violent character, "and Judith became a threatening character to artist and viewer [the top embed is a Caravaggio]...

Modern paintings of the scene often cast Judith nude, as was signalled already by Klimt. Franz Stuck's 1928 Judith [right] has "the deliverer of her people" standing naked and holding a sword besides the couch on which Holofernes, half-covered by blue sheets—where the text portrays her as god-fearing and chaste, "Franz von Stuck's Judith becomes, in dazzling nudity, the epitome of depraved seduction".
Text and images from Wikipedia.

Reposted from 2014 to add some information about tomato sauces:

Middle Earth Organics opted for a traditional look in their labels by incorporating images of women from classic works of art.  The first is obviously from Botticelli's The Birth of Venus.  (Since she is arising from a scallop shell, wouldn't her image be more appropriate on a vongole rather than a tomato-based one?)

Don't know the second.  DaVinci's Lady with an Ermine is the third.  But it's the fourth one that has stirred up the most amusement on the internet.  The lady is Judith, and she is in the process of beheading Holofernes, in the image embedded at the top of this post.  The association with tomato sauce was unintentional, and striking.

The Films of Tim Burton

This morning, Neatorama provided a link to an article about a maker of movie montages. Paul Proulx, who posts on YouTube under the name Barringer 82, creates video "mashups" - montages of short segments from movies. Most people are familiar with these from watching the Oscar ceremonies on television. Several mainstream movies are montages of, for example, dance scenes, musical scenes, or highlights of the films of a particular studio.

Proulx's creations are tributes to individual directors. The one embedded above features the work of director Tim Burton (Batman, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Mars Attacks, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride, Sweeny Todd...) It is exceptionally well done - scenes coordinated with music and with one another rather than just randomly aggregated. I invite you to start the video; it's seven minutes long, but I doubt you will stop before the end, and it will probably make you want to see the movies you haven't seen. Trust me on this.

Reposted from 2008 (back when I had to explain what a mashup was) because a Screen Rant post raised the question as to whether these two Beetlejuice characters were murdered:

Concise explanation at Neatorama; photo via LiveJournal.

Caitlyn Clark's remarkable statistics

This week Iowa's Caitlyn Clark set a new NCAA women's basketball career scoring record.
Clark is a threat pretty much anywhere on the floor. Consider that she entered Thursday as a career-42.4 percent shooter on right wing 3s — the national average from there last season was 30.6 percent, according to CBB Analytics — while also shooting nearly 40 percent on left baseline 2s — just under 10 percent above the national average in 2023. Even around the rim, she’s more prolific than her peers, shooting 66.1 percent in her career heading into Iowa’s most recent victory, compared to the 57.1 percent Division I mark a year ago.
Here is the record-breaking shot - not just a three, but a logo three:

A blue tit displays structural colors

Photo cropped for size from the original at the BBC, where the article discusses the fortuitous circumstances that allowed the photographer to capture these non-pigment colors on a normal blue tit.

Traditional corn braid

I was at our arboretum this past week for a winter enrichment symposium and noticed that they had a corn braid on display.  Here is the accompanying text:

The component flint corn originally came from Bear Island at my favorite northern Minnesota lake - Leech Lake.  It has been stored in a seed bank and is now being redistributed to indigenous communities.  I found this "how-to" video online (there is another one at Vimeo).

If you want to research this subject, search for braiding "cornhusks", not braiding corn; the latter terms will steer you to hundreds of videos/articles re human hairdos.

14 February 2024

YouTube 10th anniversary video compilation

I'm not officially "back" at the blogging desk, but I wanted to post this brief compilation of excerpts from approximately 200 videos to keep you busy until I do come back.

The best feature is this playlist, which not only lists the videos, but supplements them with thumbnails.  And... if you play one of the videos in the playlist, it will automatically segue to the next video in the compilation - probably about 500 minutes of watching if you start at the first one and cycle all the way through.

It's almost scary how many of these are instantly recognizable from just a 1-second clip.  Use the playlist link to watch any of the videos in toto.

Reposted from nine years ago.

Butchershop window, laundry, and hats/caps

Three images from a very interesting gallery of photos from the Lake District in the nineteenth century.  Lots to think about regarding that array of meat, and this one of laundry drying across a broad street with no vehicle traffic -

- and this one illustrating the ubiquity of hats and caps:

Each embed cropped for size/emphasis, and there's more at the link.

Interesting speculation re aliens

One doesn't expect to find any deep insight at the StrangeEarth subreddit, but the mechanism for this happening is worth pondering.

Insecticide-resistant bedbugs

Unsettling news from Knowable Magazine:
The stories have become horribly familiar. Houses so overrun by bed bugs that the bloodsucking insects pile an inch deep on the floor. An airport shutting down gates for deep cleaning after the parasites were spotted brazenly crawling around. Fear and loathing during Fashion Week 2023 in Paris, with bed bug detection dogs working overtime when the insects turned up in movie theaters and trains.

For reasons that almost certainly have to do with global travel and poor pest management, bed bugs have resurfaced with a vengeance in 50 countries since the late 1990s. But recently, the resurgence has brought an added twist. When exterminators swarm out to hunt these pests, they might encounter not just one but two different kinds of bugs.

Besides the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, which has always made its home in the Northern Hemisphere, there are now sightings of its cousin, the tropical bed bug, Cimex hemipterus, in temperate regions. Traditionally, this species didn’t venture that far from the equator, write entomologists Stephen Doggett and Chow-Yang Lee in the 2023 issue of the Annual Review of Entomology. But in recent years, tropical bed bugs have turned up in the United States, Sweden, Italy, Norway, Finland, China, Japan, France, Central Europe, Spain — “even in Russia, which would have once been unthinkable,” says Lee, of the University of California, Riverside.

Like the common bed bug, the tropical version has grown resistant to many standard pesticides — to the point that some experts say they wouldn’t bother spraying should their own home become infested. It has been estimated that the fight against bed bugs is costing the United States alone $1 billion annually.
Lots more information at the longread link, including this final recommendation:
If bed bugs do invade a home, “the biggest mistake is to try and get rid of them on one’s own,” says Doggett. “The average person doesn’t appreciate how challenging it is to control bed bugs and will use supermarket insecticides that are labeled for bed bugs but don’t work. The infestation will spread, and the costs escalate.”

09 February 2024

The only "decipoint" in the world

The graphic is pretty much self-explanatory, but there is extended commentary at Atlas Obscura.

A two-hour compilation of "fail videos"

The YouTube title says "try not to laugh," but that's actually not hard, because many of them are trivial and others cringeworthy because people get hurt.

In the psychiatrist's office

One of the cartoons that accompany the weekly cryptic crossword in the New Yorker.  Here's another good one.

A chart of fossils commonly seen in the Upper Midwest

Nicely done, with common names included.  Via the often-interesting fossils subreddit.

Edvard Munch created four copies of "The Scream" - updated with info about the sky

You learn something every day.  I knew about "The Scream" and even how the red sky may have been the result of a volcanic eruption, but until reading about a sale of one version of "The Scream" in the Wall Street Journal this morning, I didn't know there were so many varieties:
One of four versions of "The Scream" that Munch created, this is the only one not in an Oslo museum and the first to ever come up at auction...

Top clients have visited the picture privately at Sotheby's in New York, sitting in high-backed chairs set a short distance from the work inside a locked room. "One of the world's great collectors said, 'I could sell all my pictures, put this on my wall, put my chair here with a cup of coffee and stare at it for the rest of my life and be happy,'" says Mr. Shaw...

The version of the "The Scream" up for sale at Sotheby's is a bright mix of 12 different colors, with the skeletal character in the foreground sporting one blue nostril and one brown one. The third in a series created between 1893 and 1910, the work was created with pastel on rough board. Some art dealers view the pastel as a mark against the work, though others say the lines and colors are more electric than even those found in the painted versions. The picture offers another standout feature: its frame, inscribed with the original 1892 poem Munch wrote that is said to have inspired the work. In it, he describes walking along that fiord, "trembling with anxiety" and sensing "an infinite scream passing through nature."
No way I could "stare at it for the rest of my life and be happy," but it's still interesting.  More at the link, and note BTW that the scream is not coming from the man in the painting.

AddendumMental Floss offers a fresh perspective on this classic painting.  They begin by citing an entry in Munch's diary -
“I was walking along the road with two friends
—the sun was setting
—I felt a wave of sadness—
the Sky suddenly turned blood-red... [continued at the link]
- then address the question of why the sky would turn blood-red.  Normal sunsets are of course red-shifted, and previous explanations have suggested that he was remembering sunsets accentuated by atmospheric volcanic ash as a result of the Krakatoa eruption some years earlier.

But another possibility was raised in 2017 when three Norwegian researchers postulated that the sunset Munch saw that day included nacreous clouds such as these:

Nacreous clouds (Google gallery of images), offer the advantage of being instrinsically "wavy" in appearance, in contrast to the standard uniform red sky produced by volcanic ash.  There's a good discussion of the matter at the Mental Floss link, via Neatorama.

Gaza (war) and Turkey (earthquake)

Two of the "photos of the week" from The Atlantic.  Credits and some details at the link.

06 February 2024

"Prophet Song" (Paul Lynch)

This is a powerful book, winner of this year's Booker Prize (best work of fiction in the U.K. and Ireland).  The setting is an alternative version of modern Ireland, the country stressed by inner turmoil, an authoritarian government in place.  The protagonist whose thoughts we enter is a young professional woman whose husband has been "disappeared" for political reasons.  She is trying to protect her four children and an intermittently-demented father in the face of chaotic changes, which ultimately devolve into civil war.  Herewith several extended excerpts (boldface added):
"She has not moved, her eyes have dropped to watch her feet when she hears it fall from her mouth, the truth about [her son's] father, she is explaining the illegal arrest and detention, the efforts being made to get him before a judge, the fact that nothing will happen before Christmas.  Her heart grows pained as she watches the boy's frowning disbelief, the sliding look in his eye, how his mouth slopes and then he buckles silently to the floor ringing his arms about his knees.  What she sees before her is an idea of order coming undone, the world slewing into a dark and foreign sea.  She holds him in her arms, seeking in her whispers to rebuild for her son the old world of laws that lies broken at his feet, for what is the world to a child when a father without word can be made to disappear?  The world gives to chaos, the ground you walk on flies into the air and the sun shines dark on your head..." (45)

"She finds herself staring into a face that does not alter from its single expression, the colourless eyes, the mouth and what it says although the mouth does not speak - your husband is in detention, Mrs Stack, you have been deemed a security risk.  It is then she is struck with the sense that some wild animal has entered behind her and is pacing the room, she takes the form and slowly folds it, places it into her bag, watching the supervisor leave the chair hearing the silent steps of the animal, sensing its rank breath on her neck, she is afraid to turn around.  The silent, seated faces gaping into phones." (53)

"The detective inspector looks across and finds her gaze and there is a moment between them where he puzzles at her and then he smiles and it is the smile of somebody you know to say hello to on the street, a husband, a father, a volunteer in the community, and yet behind that smile lies the shadow of the state..." (60)

"... let me tell you, whatever-you-call-yourself, your husband is where he is because he is an inciter, an agitator against the state during a time of great threat to this country, you people have no idea what's happening outside in the world, what is coming our way, you will see us all destroyed, this should be a time of unity for our nation but instead there's civil unrest up and down the country and we have to face down the likes of you, get out of my house this minute.  Eilish sees in the woman's face the superior look of the party..." (63)

".. maybe there's two men in a car and one of them doesn't like how you look, maybe you're just wearing white [a protest color] because you like the look of it or maybe you're trying to say something else, something provocative, something the man doesn't like, maybe he stops and gets out and takes your name and address and creates a file with your name on it, maybe you'll be quiet or maybe you'll say the wrong thing and instead of taking your name and address he takes you, puts you in the car, and where's that car going to, Molly, have a think about that, maybe its going to where all the other cars go, the unmarked cars that pull up silently and lift people off the street because of one thing or another, the people who do not return home again, you think because you're fourteen years old you can do what you like that the state isn't interested in you, but they arrested those boys and those boys haven't yet been released and they're your age, you think I'm not doing anything, that I'm just standing about waiting for your father to return, but what I am doing is keeping this family together because right now that is the hardest thing to do in a world that seems designed on tearing us apart..." (76)

"What she sees outside are three men in the driveway, a white SUV parked with a running engine.  Something is thrown against the porch glass and there is a bang behind her as the bedroom door meets the wall, Molly tumbling into her arms shouting about men trying to get into the house... Through the curtains she watches a man climb the Touran, tattoos emblazoning arms and throat, another man bent to the side of the car.  The man brings down a bat upon the windscreen then takes out his sex and urinates on the car, the apish laughing teeth as the man zips up and jumps dow onto the gravel.  Across the street a bedroom light turns on and then off again as the SUV powers away." (138)

"She drops the clothes in the basket and looks down at her hands and does not know why she remains so calm, another door has been opened, she can see this now, it is as though she were looking out upon something she has been waiting for all her life, an atavism awakened in the blood, thinking, how many people across how many lifetimes have watched upon war bearing down on their home, watching and waiting for fate to come, entering into silent negotiation, whispering and then pleading, the mind anticipating all outcomes but for the spectre that cannot be directly looked at.  The electricity stutters and the lights grow dim..." (182)
Reviewers sometimes compliment novels by saying they couldn't put down the book.   This one had quite the opposite effect on me - I often had difficulty continuing even to finish a chapter before the intensity of the drama forced me to "take a break."  By the time war breaks out it is almost a relief to deal only with physical trauma rather than the relentlessly looming terror and anxiety.

The protagonist Eilish reminded me in many ways to Dorothy ("Dot") in the recent fifth season of Fargo - a woman whose intense devotion to preservation of family is likened to a mother tiger that even a sin-eater can't defeat, as she braves sniper fire to find medical help for her shrapnel-injured 12-year-old son.  And at too many moments in the story we are confronted by the fact that some of the worst terror in dystopic times comes from bureaucracy itself and its insistence on forms and IDs.

The excerpts I've embedded should give a sense of the fluidity of Lynch's prose, somewhat reminiscent of a Faulknerian stream of consciousness and how it conveys a sense of menace that reminded me of Cormac McCarthy's novels (without McCarthy's incredible vocabulary).

This was the best book I've read in several years.  It's not an "enjoyable" read, but I can recommend it without hesitation.

05 February 2024

Bioluminescence ("Sea Sparkle")

The photos above were taken at the Gippsland Lakes (Victoria, Australia), where in 2007 fires and floods resulted in massive amounts of nitrogen being washed into the lakes, which resulted in an algal bloom...
But this was not the blue-green algae that had appeared in the lakes before. Early analysis identified the cause of the green tinge as an algal outbreak of Synechococcus... As summer took hold at the end of 2008, what happened surprised everyone – a new species called Noctiluca Scintillans began to prosper, by feeding on the Synechococcus.

In contrast to the widespread bright green of the Synechococcus, Noctiluca Scintillans was visible during the day as localised murky red patches, often building up on sections of shoreline facing the wind during the day. At night though, Noctiluca Scintillans produced a remarkable form of bioluminescence (popularly referred to as ‘phosphorescence’) – the water glowing brightly wherever there was movement – in the waves breaking on the shore, in ripples in the water and wherever people played in the water.
You can read the rest of the story at Phil Hart's webpage and see additional photos in his gallery (via Neatorama).

Massive blooms of bioluminescent organisms can produce "milky seas" that can be seen from satellites, as shown in this image from Chemical and Engineering News:

"Generated most likely by the bacterium Vibrio harveyi, this awesome display of flamboyant biological chemistry happened on a vast scale: The researchers estimate that it took a bloom of 40 billion trillion (4 X 1022) bioluminescent cells to generate the milky sea that the Lima had encountered."
Reposted from 2011 to add this video of bioluminescence in the Wadden Sea.

Addendum 2024:  A tip of the blogging cap to reader James, who sent to me the following photos, apparently harvested from the Bioluminescence Tasmania Facebook Group -

- and a link to a very useful site: Tasmania Geographic's The Definitive Guide - How to Find and Photograph Sea Sparkle Bioluminescence.

03 February 2024

Looks like phocomelia ("T. rex arms")...

... but it's just an optical illusion.  The mother has normal arms.  Look closely.


Via.  Reposted from 2018 because I encountered it again while searching for something else and was fooled again.

Yet another optical illusion

For this illusion to be effective, you need to view a gif, and since I've never learned how to embed gifs, I'll just link it here.  After 22 seconds, the static image above changes for 2 seconds to this black-and-white one -

- which your brain will see in full color (reversed from the top embed). 

The effect is probably similar to the Troxler's fading that I blogged back in 2011.

I thought I had blogged this one before, but I couldn't find it in my archive of optical illusions (84 to date, but some are undergoing linkrot over the years, so don't delay forever in browsing them).

Betting on the Super Bowl (and Taylor Swift)

The Super Bowl has always been the most heavily bet sporting event in the United States.  There are endless "prop bets" not determined by the winner of the game, including a bet on the coin flip to start the game
One bettor at Caesars Sportsbook is looking to win big on a $100,000 bet, paying out at -105, which would profit $95,238.10 if they are correct.
It's possible to place "prop bets" on every aspect of the game, including player statistics, but also on the color of the Gatorade bath and the duration of the national anthem.

This year there is an added element: Taylor Swift
Bettors at TheScore Bet can also wager on the odds of Swift being shown during the national anthem (-200), during the halftime show (+120) and more than 5.5 times on the CTV broadcast (+120). Another popular Swift prop across Ontario sportsbooks is the odds of her being mentioned during the Super Bowl MVP's speech after the game.

Update:  Here's how the conventional prop bets paid off

Dolly Parton explains and performs "I Will Always Love You"

A song made world-famous in 1992 by Whitney Houston - 
Whitney Houston recorded a soul-ballad arrangement of the song for the 1992 film The Bodyguard. Houston's version peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for a then-record-breaking 14 weeks. The single was certified diamond by the RIAA, making Houston's first diamond single, the third female artist who had both a diamond single and a diamond album, and becoming the best-selling single by a woman in the U.S. The song was a global success, topping the charts in almost all countries. With over 24 million copies sold, it became the best-selling single of all time by a female solo artist. It was also the world's best-selling single of 1992.
- but written by Dolly Parton back in 1974, when it reached #1 on the Billboard country charts.  Author Curtis W. Ellison stated that the song "speaks about the breakup of a relationship between a man and a woman that does not descend into unremitting domestic turmoil, but instead envisions parting with respect – because of the initiative of the woman."

After the 1974 release, Elvis Presley asked to record the song, but his manager told Dolly she would have to sign over half the rights to it.  She declined.
I said, 'I'm really sorry,' and I cried all night. I mean, it was like the worst thing. You know, it's like, Oh, my God… Elvis Presley.' And other people were saying, 'You're nuts. It's Elvis Presley.' …I said, 'I can't do that. Something in my heart says, 'Don't do that. And I just didn't do it… He would have killed it. But anyway, so he didn't. Then when Whitney [Houston's version] came out, I made enough money to buy Graceland. 😀

Here's the Whitney Houston version [1.5 billion views] 

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