Friday, December 19, 2008

(heavy metal) music and the (literal) brain

"Head and neck injury risks in heavy metal: head bangers stuck between rock and a hard bass", BMJ medical publication of the year (2008)
by Declan Patton & Andrew McIntosh
Retrieved 19 December, 2008

So apparently head banging is pretty bad for you. No, seriously; THEY DID A STUDY.

The good folks at the School of Risk and Safety Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia noticed that people at heavy metal concerts often report being dazed and confused. Not only that, but these same good folks put two and two together and realized that being dazed and confused are also symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury. And they thought to themselves, 'you know? it's possible people are actually giving themselves brain injuries from head banging at heavy metal concerts'.

So they went to a bunch of heavy metal concerts and observed people head banging. (They called it an 'observational study'. ahem.) From their observations, they ascertained the most common style of head banging (the 'up-down style') and undertook a bio mechanical analyses from which they constructed a theoretical head banging model. (I am NOT making this up.) Then they figured out the average tempo of a head banging song and they randomly selected three easy listening songs as controls.

Guess what they found?!

Let me put it into plain words for you, folks:

when you head bang, you risk mild traumatic brain injury

So what should we do about this great risk to the headbanging public? Hey! I'm glad you asked! These are some suggestions (I've helpfully highlighted my two favourite suggestions):

To minimise the risk of head and neck injury, head bangers should decrease their range of head and neck motion, head bang to slower tempo songs by replacing heavy metal with adult oriented rock, only head bang to every second beat, or use personal protective equipment.

Awesome, no?

Okay, so this isn't exactly on target in terms of course-related material but I could not resist posting about it.
Because of the sheer awesomeness of imagining head bangers switching in a little Lionel Ritchie or Whitney Houston at heavy metal concerts in order to save their brains.
And because of the sheer awesomeness of imagining an entire stadium of heavy metal concertgoers in personal protective equipment.

Fully BEYOND awesome.

by Shannon Coates


Sharon Dutton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sharon Dutton said...

... cool entry ... how did you get the colours for your text???

Sharon Dutton said...

that crazy head-banging cockatoo is at:
Back Strreet:

s@bd said...

Sharon -
There are a couple of ways to colour the text. You can use simple html ... OR, you can use the button that has a T (standing for 'Text', I beileve) and a bunch of colour squares ...

It's pretty straight-forward - just go into your post in edit mode and try the T/colour button.

Hope that helps!