Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
I was brought up on the Eurovision Song Contest.
This is an event where songwriters from all over "Europe" -- Australia competed this year -- try to create the song that will be hummed in any language.
Please don't scoff.
Abba won it once with Waterloo. And I confess to winning a tidy sum when Celine Dion won it with the seminal Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi.
I know she's Canadian, but she was singing the Swiss entry.
What, though makes one song just more hummable than another? What makes one song stick in your head, while the whole catalog of Radiohead just disappears?
Naturally, scientists want to know.
So psychologist Kelly Jakubowski -- then at Goldsmiths College, London -- and her co-researchers decided to investigate so-called earworms. Songs that worm their way in and won't leave. Just like one or two online dates you might have had.
The researchers' academic paper was just published and what a delight it is. Almost memorable, in fact.
Catchy songs apparently often have speedy tempos and similar melodic patterns that involve rises and falls. Unique interval patterns help too.
Think Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Or try not to.
The faster pace "could have to do with the idea that we have a propensity to move along to earworms," Jakubowski told the Washington Post. "A lot of people experience earworms when they're running or while they're brushing their teeth."
Or while they're desperately trying to stay awake in a very boring meeting.
The researchers asked 3,000 people to name their most annoyingly clingy songs and compared them to other songs that had been hits, but somehow didn't stick in people's heads.
Naturally, there's a scientific term for a catchy song. It's INMI. Or, to give it its full glory, Involuntary Musical Imagery.
Here are the Top 10 songs that arrive uninvited and refuse to leave.
1. Bad Romance by Lady Gaga.
Whoa-whoa-oa-oh-oh-oh. Oh, no.
2. Can't Get You Out Of My Head by Kylie Minogue.
Frankly, I can.
3. Don't Stop Believing by Journey.
So hopeful. So necessary. Can you hit the top note of "Hold on to that feeee-ling"? I fancy you can't.
4. Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye.
A song that I used to hum. But no longer.
5. Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5.
But sings like Adam Levine.
6. California Gurls by Katy Perry.
This one's just perfect. It sounds so happy and it has plenty of "oh-a-oh-a-oh."
7. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.
Is this real research? Or is it just fantasy?
8. Alejandro by Lady Gaga.
It seems that Gaga knows how to use science to hook you. Not a patch on Abba's Fernando, of course.
9. Poker Face by Lady Gaga.
Surely our security services will want to hire her Gaganess at some point to get certain ideas inserted into public brains.
10. A tie between Single Ladies by Beyonce and Rolling in the Deep by Adele.
I'm rolling in disbelief.
Of course, these were choices mostly from one particular era, suggesting that the respondents weren't necessarily familiar with the Bay City Rollers or Wolfgang who wrong Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.
Jakubowski's conclusion: "It's like the brain is searching for an optimal level of complexity in the melody. It has to be interesting, but not too complicated for the brain to remember."
Yes, just like your average electoral message.