1) When buying audio equipment, especially headphones/speakers, I have often read about a "break-in" period. New equipment is supposed to be broken in by playing white noise continuously for X number of hours to open up the acoustics of the gear (Protip: Forget white noise, just pipe in any FM music station).
Now I had always been pretty skeptical but now I'm sold. My trusty Sennheiser cans (that's "headphones" in cool person slang) busted in one ear and I went to the national service depot, luckily located here in Montreal. They fixed it on the spot for 18$, just the price of the part. Excellent service, and for that they get blogged.
Anyways, I brought my new headphones home and the difference between my new out-of-the-box left side and played-constantly-for-over-6-years right side is unreal. The new piece sounds like a tin radio playing from inside a large animal. The old piece sounds like a live person whispering in my ear. It's also 1.5 times as loud so I'm hoping it breaks in sooner rather than later.
So, I'm sold. It's not even close. Break-in of audio goods is essential (at least for speakers; I've seen it recommended for amps and such, as well).
2) Love this quote:
"Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is critical."
- Aaron Levinson