Rest in Peace, Baby Beluga

@Raffi_RC / Twitter
@Raffi_RC / Twitter

The whale that sparked decades of elementary school sing-alongs has swum to the big ocean in the sky. Kavna, a beluga whale who inspired the children’s song “Baby Beluga,” died August 6 at Vancouver Aquarium. She was 46 years old.

Kavna lived a remarkably long life: most beluga whales don’t live past 30. A quick necropsy showed that she probably died of cancer.

Kavna wasn’t exactly a baby when singer-songwriter Raffi Cavoukian wrote the famous tune. She was about 14 years old. Raffi visited the Vancouver Aquarium in 1979 and was given a chance to play with the whale. Kavna planted a big kiss on his cheek and inspiration immediately struck.

In memory of Kavna, let’s sing along:

10 Products for a Better Night's Sleep

Amazon/Comfort Spaces
Amazon/Comfort Spaces

Getting a full eight hours of sleep can be tough these days. If you’re having trouble catching enough Zzzs, consider giving these highly rated and recommended products a try.

1. Everlasting Comfort Pure Memory Foam Knee Pillow; $25

Everlasting Comfort Knee Pillow
Everlasting Comfort/Amazon

For side sleepers, keeping the spine, hips, and legs aligned is key to a good night’s rest—and a pain-free morning after. Everlasting Comfort’s memory foam knee pillow is ergonomically designed to fit between the knees or thighs to ensure proper alignment. One simple but game-changing feature is the removable strap, which you can fasten around one leg; this keeps the pillow in place even as you roll at night, meaning you don’t have to wake up to adjust it (or pick it up from your floor). Reviewers call the pillow “life-changing” and “the best knee pillow I’ve found.” Plus, it comes with two pairs of ear plugs.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Letsfit White Noise Machine; $21

Letsfit White Noise Machine

White noise machines: They’re not just for babies! This Letsfit model—which is rated 4.7 out of five with nearly 3500 reviews—has 14 potential sleep soundtracks, including three white noise tracks, to better block out everything from sirens to birds that chirp enthusiastically at dawn (although there’s also a birds track, if that’s your thing). It also has a timer function and a night light.

Buy it: Amazon

3. ECLIPSE Blackout Curtains; $16

Eclipse Black Out Curtains

According to the National Sleep Foundation, too much light in a room when you’re trying to snooze is a recipe for sleep disaster. These understated polyester curtains from ECLIPSE block 99 percent of light and reduce noise—plus, they’ll help you save on energy costs. "Our neighbor leaves their backyard light on all night with what I can only guess is the same kind of bulb they use on a train headlight. It shines across their yard, through ours, straight at our bedroom window," one Amazon reviewer who purchased the curtains in black wrote. "These drapes block the light completely."

Buy it: Amazon

4. JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock; $38

JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock

Being jarred awake by a blaring alarm clock can set the wrong mood for the rest of your day. Wake up in a more pleasant way with this clock, which gradually lights up between 10 percent and 100 percent in the 30 minutes before your alarm. You can choose between seven different colors and several natural sounds as well as a regular alarm beep, but why would you ever use that? “Since getting this clock my sleep has been much better,” one reviewer reported. “I wake up not feeling tired but refreshed.”

Buy it: Amazon

5. Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light; $200

Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light

If you’re looking for an alarm clock with even more features, Philips’s SmartSleep Wake-Up Light is smartphone-enabled and equipped with an AmbiTrack sensor, which tracks things like bedroom temperature, humidity, and light levels, then gives recommendations for how you can get a better night’s rest.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Slumber Cloud Stratus Sheet Set; $159

Stratus sheets from Slumber Cloud.
Slumber Cloud

Being too hot or too cold can kill a good night’s sleep. The Good Housekeeping Institute rated these sheets—which are made with Outlast fibers engineered by NASA—as 2020’s best temperature-regulating sheets.

Buy it: SlumberCloud

7. Comfort Space Coolmax Sheet Set; $29-$40

Comfort Spaces Coolmax Sheets
Comfort Spaces/Amazon

If $159 sheets are out of your price range, the GHI recommends these sheets from Comfort Spaces, which are made with moisture-wicking Coolmax microfiber. Depending on the size you need, they range in price from $29 to $40.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Coop Home Goods Eden Memory Foam Pillow; $80

Coop Eden Pillow
Coop Home Goods/Amazon

This pillow—which has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon—is filled with memory foam scraps and microfiber, and comes with an extra half-pound of fill so you can add, or subtract, the amount in the pillow for ultimate comfort. As a bonus, the pillows are hypoallergenic, mite-resistant, and washable.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Baloo Weighted Blanket; $149-$169

Baloo Weighted Blanket

Though the science is still out on weighted blankets, some people swear by them. Wirecutter named this Baloo blanket the best, not in small part because, unlike many weighted blankets, it’s machine-washable and -dryable. It’s currently available in 12-pound ($149) twin size and 20-pound ($169) queen size. It’s rated 4.7 out of five stars on Amazon, with one reviewer reporting that “when it's spread out over you it just feels like a comfy, snuggly hug for your whole body … I've found it super relaxing for falling asleep the last few nights, and it looks nice on the end of the bed, too.” 

Buy it: Amazon 

10. Philips Smartsleep Snoring Relief Band; $200

Philips SmartSleep Snoring Relief Band

Few things can disturb your slumber—and that of the ones you love—like loudly sawing logs. Philips’s Smartsleep Snoring Relief Band is designed for people who snore when they’re sleeping on their backs, and according to the company, 86 percent of people who used the band reported reduced snoring after a month. The device wraps around the torso and is equipped with a sensor that delivers vibrations if it detects you moving to sleep on your back; those vibrations stop when you roll onto your side. The next day, you can see how many hours you spent in bed, how many of those hours you spent on your back, and your response rate to the vibrations. The sensor has an algorithm that notes your response rate and tweaks the intensity of vibrations based on that. “This device works exactly as advertised,” one Amazon reviewer wrote. “I’d say it’s perfect.”

Buy it: Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

20 Most Popular Songs to Sing in the Shower

"So I put my hands up, they're playing my song. The butterflies fly away." —Miley Cyrus, and also this guy.
"So I put my hands up, they're playing my song. The butterflies fly away." —Miley Cyrus, and also this guy.
RossHelen/iStock via Getty Images

If you can hear your apartment neighbor belting Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the U.S.A.” in the shower day after day, you’re definitely not the only one.

UK-based bathroom supplier ShowerstoYou compiled a list of 530 Spotify playlists containing the word shower and found the 2009 party anthem on a whopping 97 percent of them—more than any other song. Apparently, quite a few people like to blast dance hits while they lather, rinse, and repeat: “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd came in second place, and Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie,” Doja Cat’s “Say So,” and Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now” all made the top 20.

Other bathers prefer to pine over lost love with a good power ballad. “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis was on 82 percent of playlists, Bruno Mars’s “Grenade” appeared on 72 percent of them, and 57 percent of playlist makers are trying their best to hit the high notes in Adele’s “Hello.”

Becky G’s 2014 pop hit “Shower” is probably the most apt song on the list, considering how many times (12, to be exact) the lyrics mention “singing in the shower.” And while the top 20 almost entirely consists of 21st-century chart-toppers, there are two noteworthy throwbacks: TLC’s 1999 classic “No Scrubs” and “Africa” by Toto.

In addition to analyzing Spotify playlists, Showerstoyou also surveyed 2329 people to find out which genre they favor for solitary sudsy concerts. Pop was the clear winner with 55 percent, followed by rap (19 percent) and R&B (10 percent).

Find out if your go-to shower song made the list below.

  1. “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus // 97 percent
  1. “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd // 90 percent
  1. “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis // 82 percent
  1. “Sunday Best” by Surfaces // 79 percent
  1. “No Scrubs” by TLC // 73 percent
  1. “Grenade” by Bruno Mars // 72 percent
  1. “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira // 66 percent
  1. “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran // 62 percent
  1. “Adore You” by Harry Styles // 61 percent
  1. “Say So” by Doja Cat // 59 percent
  1. “Hello” by Adele // 57 percent
  1. “Thank U, Next” by Ariana Grande // 56 percent
  1. “Sicko Mode” by Travis Scott // 55 percent
  1. “Mine” by Bazzi // 53 percent
  1. “Watermelon Sugar” by Harry Styles // 52 percent
  1. “Shower” by Becky G // 49 percent
  1. “Don’t Start Now” by Dua Lipa // 48 percent
  1. “Baby” by Justin Bieber // 47 percent
  1. “Africa” by Toto // 46 percent
  1. “Hey There Delilah” by Plain White T’s // 45 percent

[h/t ShowerstoYou]