TIL you can make a banana piano, and pointlessly smoke the peels

Illustration for article titled TIL you can make a banana piano, and pointlessly smoke the peelsem/em
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Today I LearnedToday I LearnedToday I Learned is a feature where The Takeout writers share something they learned today.

In the span of 24 hours, I learned two very different things about bananas. I thought I had a pretty clear understanding of bananas. They’re bananas. They grow in a bunch on trees. You peel them. You eat them. Potassium. Fiber. Banana bread. Cartoon characters falling. Got it.

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Yet apparently you can take a bunch and make them into an extremely rudimentary piano?

That adorable (admittedly limited) instrument comes courtesy of some kids in Kazakhstan. Per Classic FM, they made it for the Go Creative! festival, a technology festival held in Almaty, the country’s largest city. They’re not the first to make such a thing—here’s a lesson plan from North Summit School District in Utah, which gets into the science behind it (electricity circuits, conductivity, etc.). But it’s cool regardless.

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A mere 18 hours before, I learned that people used to think that Donovan’s “Mellow Yellow” was about smoking banana peels to get high, which does not work.

This is even included in The Anarchist Cookbook and is apparently (and unsurprisingly) bullshit. But still, it’s possible. You can play yourself a nice rendition of “Hot Cross Buns” on a banana piano, peel the keys, then eat the bananas while smoking the peels. Sounds like a nice afternoon.

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!

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DISCUSSION

Dr Emilio Lizardo

More random banana facts.

  • The bananas you buy in stores is a monoculture and prone to diseases. The last banana blight resulted in the song “Yes We Have no Bananas.”
  • Bananas contain approximately 1 milliequivalent (mEq) of potassium per inch of length.
  • Bananas are radioactive. Eating about 50 of them is equivalent to getting a set of dental x-rays.