Can’t get that song out of my head

John Gushue
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An earworm is usually defined as a song or a musical phrase that repeats itself to you, whether you like it or not — as if, in other words, a little worm got into your ear and stayed there.

This week’s hop around the web starts with a site that presents itself as a remedy. We’ll also get caught up on the new recycling program for St. John’s, get some tips for the starving student and find out how to make Harry Potter’s preferred beverage.

Unhear It

You know the drill: you pass by a store in the mall, overhear a tune blaring from another car’s speakers or — out of nowhere — your memory serves up a tune that you otherwise had forgotten. And then it plays again, and again. Unhear It offers what it calls “reverse-auditory-melodic-unstickification technology,” which I’m pretty sure was not coined in a lab. The idea is that you play something here, and it eliminates one earworm … at the risk, of course, of creating another.

In that case, rinse and repeat.


Elsewhere this week


Curb It

This is the site for the St. John’s recycling program, which was first proposed in, oh, the 19th century. (Kidding, of course.) But city-wide curbside recycling has been a long time coming, what with delays and budget setbacks. This site explains how the program will work as it kicks into gear this month: that is, what you can put to the curb, and when, and what you can expect from the city. If you’ve been waiting to trim the waste heading to Robin Hood Bay, this is your guide to getting greener.

Recipes for the Starving Student

This article is actually titled “100 delicious, dirt-cheap recipes for the starving student,” which covers two key aspects of feeding the newly independent: that what’s on the plate be worth devouring, and that it not require a painful trip to the bank machine to finance. The recipes are post-secondary staples, and all come from external links to other sites. Whether you’re fending for yourself in a basement apartment or have a student who’s left the nest, this is a bookmark to keep.


Last season on “The Office,” B.J. Novak’s slick-and-slimy character Ryan introduced Wuphf, his latest scheme to get rich by marrying all means of social media together. In this season’s opening musical sequence, there was Ryan promoting … and, of course, I had to look it up. It’s basically a back-end promo site for “The Office,” but it also makes fun of social media integration; why not, after all, have one tool that will simultaneously send email, tweet, texts, even a fax … the list goes on. The humour comes from knowing Ryan is basically running this would-be empire from a corner of a cubicle.


How to make butterbeer

As any Harry Potter devotee knows, butterbeer is the preferred beverage of the Hogwarts gang. If the “beer” part of the name is throwing the cautious parent in you, don’t worry — muggles, after all, have been drinking root beer for generations. This recipe tries to emulate the beverage, with indeed some root beer (or cream soda) to start, and ingredients that usually get poured in butterscotch. On that note, prepare for some all-out sweetness and what a sugar overload might do. On the other hand, it could be a fun addition to a Halloween party, or a chaser for the upcoming Deathly Hallows film.


John Gushue is an online editor with CBC News in St. John’s. Twitter: @johngushue. Blog:

Organizations: CBC News

Geographic location: Robin Hood Bay

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