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The Worst Date Movie of All Time

We thought we’d take a moment to salute Blue Velvet, on the 25th anniversary of its original wide release. The psychopaths get all the press, but it's a more stylish movie than you remember—full of Orbison kitsch, invisi-ties and the same sense of creeping dread that fueled so much of the 80s underground. And as The Squid and the Whale reminded us, masterpiece or no, it’s still the worst date movie ever made. You can see a fond remembrance and that Orbison cover here.

The Lynch Effect


It’s been centuries in internet terms, but it wasn’t that long ago that soccer moms and proto-lifehackers were buzzing about something called the Mozart Effect, which claimed extended exposure to Austrian string quartets could improve everything from spatial reasoning to IQ and SAT scores. A lot of people listened to a lot of good music, but somehow the new generation of chamber music geniuses never quite materialized…

Well, get ready for another go-round. Researchers at UC Santa Barbara and the University of British Columbia (via have found that working your way through Kafka’s “The Country Doctor” or David Lynch’s Blue Velvet can spur creativity, just like good old Wolfgang. Apparently the absurdism shocks the brain into out-of-the-box thinking by presenting what the researchers call “meaning threat.” Which, come to think of it, is a pretty Lynchian turn of phrase…

What does it all mean? It means the next time you’re getting ready for a brainstorming session, you may want to consider a Twin Peaks marathon. The jittery, loosely paranoid feeling means it’s working. Just don’t watch it on a telephone.