Monthly Archive: June 2016

Have you heard an odd low humming noise?

Well, you are not alone: there’s a weird humming noise that has been heard around the world.

What does this mystery hum sound like? According to Dr. Glen MacPherson:

The classic description is that it sounds like there is a truck idling outside your home. For some people, it is a deep and distant droning bass tone. Some people perceive the sound as a rumbling noise. The sound is louder indoors than outdoors, and louder late at night than during the afternoon. It can suddenly appear or dissappear (sic) for days or months.

For more information about the hum, go to MacPherson’s appropriately named website, The Hum.

 

 

 

Noise-free work space is now a perk.

When It Comes to Workplace Noise, Millennials Can’t Even.

Yes, as upper management tries to squeeze more and more of the worker bees into the tiniest footprint they can, it turns out that savings in the account ledger comes at a price:

Oxford Economics, an analysis firm spun out of Oxford University’s business college, reached out to more than 1,200 executives and non-senior employees across industries, including healthcare, retail, manufacturing, financial services, and the government sector. The majority of the respondents (74 percent) reported that they worked in open-plan offices. A handful had private offices, and the rest split their days between home offices, travel, co-working spaces, or a combination of the three. About half of the respondents were Millennials.

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More than half of the employees complained about noise. The researchers found that Millennials were especially likely to voice concern about rising decibels, and to wear headphones to drown out the sound or leave their desks in search of quieter corners.

So what was the most important “perk” for millennials?

Across the board, uninterrupted work time trumped employees’ wish lists. [Ed: emphasis added.] None of the respondents indicated that amenities like free food were most important to them in a work environment.

Essentially, providing an environment that allows your employees to do their work is a perk.  How telling is that?

Who knew? Country living isn’t always as quiet as one might assume:

French frogs’ noisy love-making ruled a public disturbance in row between neighbours.

Click the link for what is an interesting discussion regarding “complaints about countryside noise from so-called ‘neo-rurals.'”  Long and short, the countryside isn’t a library, and city dwellers seeking quiet will soon realize that country life comes with its own sound track.

It looks like the campaign to provide noise-free shopping is progressing:

Scottish shopping center to introduce a quiet hour to make mall “more autism-friendly.”

In the UK, at least, business owners are beginning to understand that there is an underserved market that is eager for noise-free environments.  While efforts to address this market may be driven in part by compassion, there is no doubt that a robust response by the buying public will make quiet hours de rigueur.  Let’s hope the UK experience is profitable, because that may give incentive to U.S. businesses to design quieter spaces.

How can you address noise pollution in the home?

Living the quiet life thanks to acoustic fittings.

The article interviews Poppy Szkiler of Quiet Mark, which is associated with the Noise Abatement Society, a UK charity.  Szkiler said that, “[i]t’s difficult to mount a campaign against something like noise that you can’t actually see. You need a positive reward system to encourage manufacturers to design quieter products.”  So Quiet Mark, using a sophisticated testing system, “gives approval awards to encourage noise reduction in everyday household appliances.”  Readers are encouraged to look for the Quiet Mark, a purple “Q” symbol, on an item to know they are getting the quietest of its class.

If you have seen appliances bearing the Quiet Mark in U.S. retailers, please let us know in the comments.

Noise reduction has become a “major preoccupation” in Scandinavian interiors

Acoustics were the hot topic at Stockholm Furniture Fair, with designers and brands launching products aimed at making interiors quieter.

One of the fair’s jurors noted that “designers have neglected noise in interiors for too long,” adding that they fail to consider sound because they focus solely on whether a design looks nice.  Most of the designs were in response to the open floor plans corporations have adopted as a way to squeeze as many employees into as little a footprint as possible, as a “side effect of this is that workers’ productivity is increasingly affected by noise distractions.”  No doubt the cost of distraction hits the bottom line in one way or another, as the article states that there is a great deal of demand for these products in Scandinavia.  One hopes American designers embrace the noise reduction trend sooner rather than later.

Attention New York City residents: Free film

Rooftop Films is presenting “In Pursuit of Silence” for free on July 30th.  “in Pursuit of Silence” examines silence as a “resource for respite and renewal from the sensory onslaught of our modern lives.”  In keeping with the theme, “[t]he film will be presented as a special silent screening, with the audience listening to the film on headphones.”  Click the link above for more information.

 

Imagine a world in which every corner is filled with non-stop piped music.

We would rather not.  And Nigel Rodgers, a Brit with a mission, agrees.  Which is why Rodgers has formed Pipedown, an organization that attempts to persuade retailers, airports, and other businesses to stop playing piped music in their public spaces.  Read about Nigel’s campaign in Pipedown. Please.

Link via Quiet Edinburgh.

He just had to stop the noise:

Man starts fire in apartment over neighbors having sex.  So, what exactly pushed him over the edge?  The defendant told the police that he started the fire “because his neighbors were having sex and making too much noise.”  How much noise?  So much that he decided that “he would rather go to prison and ‘get away from the noise.'”

We understand the defendant’s frustration while noting his lack of judgment.