The mystery of the ‘alien call’ deep in the Mariana Trench is solved. So, what’s the answer? , wired.co.uk, writes that scientists at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Centre, which named the sound the “Western Pacific Biotwang,” “likely represents the discovery of a new baleen whale call.” So mystery (sorta) solved!
“I wear earplugs everywhere because Britain is too loud.” Katie Morley, The Telegraph, reports that the UK’s “most famous choirmaster, Gareth Malone, has revealed that he wears earplugs everywhere he goes because Britain has become too noisy.” Malone wears earplugs all the time because “ears are the tools of my trade and I don’t want to do anything to endanger them.” Morley writes that despite Malone’s belief that he is “‘geeky’ for protecting his ears from loud sounds, Mr Malone may well be in common with an emerging breed of people who class themselves as intolerant to so-called ‘noise pollution.'”
She almost had us until her use of the unnecessary “so-called.” Interestingly, while relying on that weasel word to modify the term “noise pollution,” the rest of the piece highlights the many ways in which noise has overwhelmed the UK and damaged the quality of life of a majority of Brits. Sounds a bit melodramatic, but Morley writes that “two thirds of UK homeowners say their lives are being blighted by noisy activities of their next door neighbours.”
Click the link for the full story.
Thanks to London Sound Survey for the link.
Start your day quietly at The Museum of Modern Art, the first Wednesday of every month. See your favorite works from MoMA’s collection and take in select new exhibitions, all without the crowds. For these specially priced early hours, we encourage visitors to take time to look slowly, clear your head, silence your phones, and get inspiration for the day and week ahead.
As if a quiet visit at MoMa wasn’t enough, the museum includes “a drop-in meditation space… with guided meditation sessions closing out each morning from 8:30 to 9:00 a.m.” Quiet Mornings begin at 7:30 a.m. Admission is free for members and (quiet) children, $12 for adults, and reduced pricing for seniors and students. Only a limited number of tickets will be available in advance online, with the rest sold on the morning of the event, first come, first sold.
Silence. Olga Khazan, writing for The Atlantic, wonders whether wearing headphones and listening to music to avoid the noise in an open plan office is “just replacing one distracting noise with another.” And her research, unsurprisingly, leads her to the inescapable conclusion that music interferes with concentration. Khazan notes that the more engaging the music is, the worst it is for concentration, adding that “[m]usic with lyrics is dreadful for verbal tasks.”
So the next time your boss tells you to don a pair of headphones to drown out the noise of your fellow open plan toilers, send him or her the link to Ms. Khazan’s article along with a request for an office.
Thanks to @QuietEdinburgh for the link.
Terry Byrne, The Boston Globe, writes about how the New Repertory Theatre is helping the hearing impaired enjoy the theater. Byrne reports that the New Repertory Theatre installed a new assistive listening system before the start of the fall season that uses a hearing induction loop that “directly and wirelessly receives amplified sound from the stage without background noise.” Audience members with hearing aids or cochlear implants that have T-coil receivers can “simply press a button on their hearing aid to take advantage of the theater’s system.”
Kayla C. Leed, Mountain Xpress, reporting on a presentation by Juliette Sterkens, national hearing loop advocate for the nonprofit Hearing Loss Association of America, writes:
A hearing loop is a wire that circles a room and is connected to a sound system. The loop transmits the sound electromagnetically, and its signal is then picked up by the telecoil in the hearing aid or cochlear implant.”
Hearing loops are becoming more popular in the U.S., Sterkens pointed out. They’re available in airports, train stations, places of worship, stadiums, auditoriums, grocery store cash registers and libraries. New York City subway stations and taxis are required to have hearing loops installed.
Do you or someone you know have a hearing aid or cochlear implant with a T-coil receiver? Download this loop finder app to help find nearby loop-enabled venues.
Thanks to Charles Shamoon for the links.
Trees. Dean Fosdick, Associated Press, writes that “landscape designers in cities are creating quieter living spaces by using trees to mute loud noises like sirens and air brakes.” The practice is called “‘soundscaping,’ and it aims to restore peaceful, natural sounds like wind whispering through leaves, birds chirping or rain dripping from branches.” Click the link to learn more.
This Telegraph article is less about quiet at Christmas and more about quiet as a cultural phenomenon. Reporter Louisa Pritchard writes that we are “in the throes of a quiet revolution that could impact every area of our lives: a move towards (whisper it) cultivating the sound of silence.” We believe she’s right and that 2016 marks the beginning of a movement in which quiet is seen as something that is valuable. Here’s to a quieter world.
Thanks to @QuietMark for the link.
Short answer: “[T]his ear-splitting noise has the same frequency as that of a crying baby and a human scream, indicating that these sounds are tied to survival.”
Thanks to @QuietMark for the link.