Unlike some of the whistles or hums heard in other parts of the world, the mystery sound in Alhambra, California is described as a “loud, booming noise that sounds louder than a firecracker explosion.” Residents say there have been about 100 of these explosions since February of this year.
Fox News being Fox News, the article closes with this inane tidbit:
[Town resident] Saunders is interested to see how long the booms will be a mystery. But whether the noise is something extraterrestrial, she expressed some doubt, according to NBC Los Angeles.
“I believe that anything’s possible, but I don’t think these are aliens,” Saunders said.
If we had to guess, the logical explanation would be police or military weapon testing. But it’s just a guess.
For those of us who love coffee, this study gives us one more reason to fight back against noise.
Thanks to Quiet Communities, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting our health, environment, and quality of life, for the link.
.Noise Complaints Rising In New York City.
New York City has a noise code [pdf warning]. It’s pretty comprehensive and is looked to as a model for other cities. So why the rise in noise complaints? One reason the article notes is this: Police said writing noise complaint tickets is to an officer’s discretion.
Police probably do not have the training and equipment to properly monitor noise complaints, and noise is probably low on the priority list. If cities are going to seriously address noise pollution, they need to have a designated team of professionals to investigate noise complaints and issue citations. Until that happens statutes will rarely be enforced and noise polluters will continue unabated.
So are a handful of members of congress serving Massachusetts, who “are calling on the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study about the health effects of air traffic noise and pollution on humans.”
The request for more research follows on the heels of a five-fold increase in aircraft noise complaints with the Massachusetts Port Authority. Citing a joint public health 2013 study by Harvard University and Boston University showing a link between exposure to aircraft noise and cardiovascular disease, the request asks for research on the health impacts from noise and jet emissions, such as carbon dioxide.
The article discusses Action on Hearing Loss’s “Speak Easy” campaign which takes aim at high noise levels in restaurant chains. The charity conducted a survey of nearly 1,500 people across the UK and found that “eight out of ten people have left a restaurant, cafe or pub early due to noise levels” and that 91% said that they “would not return to a venue they considered to be too noisy.” Armed with the statistics, the charity “produced a practical guide to help the catering industry improve customer experience levels with noise reduction measures.” This is a brilliant approach to an often ignored problem. Kudos to Action on Hearing Loss.
Yes, permanently. Dr. Sharon Sandridge of the Cleveland Clinic notes that one exposure is all it takes to permanently damage your hearing. She states that, “if you go to a concert, and you say, ‘I’m going to just tough it out,’ and you walk out and your ears are ringing and everything is dull, you’ve done permanent damage at that point.” Permanent damage for which there is no cure and for which the only treatment is a hearing aid. Do yourself a favor and use ear plugs whenever and wherever you are around loud noise.
Click the link to read the article, which discusses interesting cutlrual difference between the U.S. and China with respect to parks. In the U.S. we are more like to see parks as places for quiet enjoyment, whereas parks in China, and certainly the one highlighted in the article, are places where people, often retirees, meet to for collective activities, such as singing and dancing. It is also interesting to see that older people are the cause of the noise rather than the ones complaining about it.
Thanks to Heather Maloney, @thegalonthego, for the link.
The sound, a whistle, is so powerful its vibrations can be picked up from space. By machines. Humans can’t hear it because the sound, at “nearly ’30 octaves below the bottom of a piano,” is beyond human hearing range.