The Music of the Maya: Mysterious whistles Confound Experts

It is thought that much can be learned from a culture by its musical traditions. The clay whistles of the Maya people were largely misunderstood until recently. Now experts sound the musical instruments to hear and perceive as the ancients did.

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Fact# 8833: It is bad luck to whistle in a theatre. The superstition dates back to the time when off-duty sailors would run the fly system in theatres, and the sailors would whistle the cues to each other. Therefore, if you were to walk through a theatre carelessly whistling a tune, you might cause a scenic piece to fall on your head.

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Mullet Guy Whistles, Blows Minds

One fateful day in the late ’80s, during the golden age of talk shows, a man wearing a great t-shirt and an even greater haircut spent two minutes and 35 seconds performing an act involving whistling, facial expressions, and a Hoagy Carmichael song. Like a viral Holy Grail, it sat dormant for years, waiting to be discovered. Presidents came and went, nations rose and fell, hip-hop was born and New Coke died. The world waited for it to return. 

And now, finally, it has. 

I think the success of Roy’s system is less “I can find my wife in a crowd when we both make this noise” and is more “People in the crowd back away from my wife and I when we make this noise, thus making it easier to spot one another”.