Video of Music Memory Reviving Nursing Home Resident Goes Viral

Melissa Knowles

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Listening to music can have a profound effect on the human brain. In "Alive Inside," a documentary produced by Ximotion Media, producers follow social worker Yvonne Russell's attempt to reinvigorate nursing home patients with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. A clip of the YouTube video has gone viral, and it is pulling at people's heartstrings.

Nursing home resident Henry is given an iPod loaded with popular music from his younger days, including some of his favorite songs. Henry, who once sat hunched over and barely spoke, lights up with life and expression as he sings along and bobs his head to the music. The normally unresponsive man is now animated and wants to converse about the music he just listened to.

Neurologist Oliver Sacks, who makes an appearance in the video, says that "music evokes emotion, and emotion can bring with it memory and brings back the feeling of life when nothing else can."

The video has already received more than 2.8 million views in just over four days, and the number of views is increasing rapidly.

Response to the video has been mostly positive, with people who have watched the video calling it "touching," "beautiful," and "truly amazing."

For more information about how music and memory can help elderly patients, or to volunteer or donate an iPod (new or used), visit


Our second story is about the ever-so-secret contents of a woman's purse. Ever heard a woman say, "My whole life is in there" as she describes her handbag? Well, judging by a popular new exhibit, that is not an exaggeration.

You can thank German artist Hans-Peter Feldmann for unveiling the hand-carried mysteries. In exchange for their purses and all of their contents, Feldmann paid six of his friends and acquaintances 500 euros, or about $655, each.

In the name of artistic expression, Feldmann persuaded these women to display the contents of their purses, everything from cell phones to sunglasses, nail polish, cigarettes, and used chewing gum. The women were able to keep their passports and money (the money on display is a photocopy of the original currency). The items are currently on exhibit in London's Serpentine Gallery.

As for why Feldmann was so interested in exploring handbags, he said always wondered what was in his mother's purse when he was a kid.