Tag Archive: calm

It not just humans who can’t tolerate noise:

dogs

FDA approves first drug to help dogs deal with noise-related anxiety.  Anyone who has been around a dog when fireworks are going off know that loud noise frightens them.  According to the Daily Mail, the fear of loud noises is common “for the 70 million dogs in the U.S. and their owners.”  The fear is not insignificant, as “[d]ogs are sometimes so frightened they jump through windows, destroy doors while trying to escape a room or run into traffic and get hit by cars.”  So rather than require that people use silent fireworks as is being considered in one Italian province, the U.S. responds in typical fashion by focusing not on the source of the noise, but rather on the poor creatures who suffer because of it.  Introducing Sileo, a $30 syringe filled with doggy anti-anxiety drug that will calm your pooch for about two or three hours.

So why not mandate the use of silent fireworks or other noise control measures instead?   $30 X 70 million dogs = 2.1 billion reasons the market prefers Sileo to reasonable noise mandates.

What’s wrong with a noisy world?

For one very thoughtful answer read Olivia Parker’s article, “‘In Pursuit of Silence’: the film that says we need more quiet in our lives.”

Parker’s article starts with her review of “In the Pursuit of Silence,” a new film about the impact of noise on our lives and the movement to bring silence back into our everyday world.  She finds the film “both calming and jarring to watch.”  It “opens with near-silence,” she states, “four minutes and 33 seconds of it, to be precise, in honour of John Cage’s experimental composition 4’33, in which performers sit in silence for that length of time.”  The film then combines “30-second-long static camera shots of scenes and their sounds – a tree in a field, a petrol station at night, a motorway – with interviews with people involved in the consideration of sound and silence all over the world.”  Parker notes that it is “the first major film to be made about noise pollution – and for those who have been calling for a quiet revolution for years, it’s a much-needed step towards a more sound-balanced world.”

Parker’s review acts as a conversation opener to a deeper exploration of the pervasiveness and dangerousness of noise and the healing power of silence.  The query “how noisy are we now” is followed by a litany of aural abuses, focusing mainly on unavoidable transportation sounds–noise from airplanes, street traffic, and the Tube–but addng that respite cannot be had by ducking into a nearby restaurant for a nosh and some peace.  Parker looks at the consequences of living in a noisy world and they are not good.  She catalogs noise’s negative affect on one’s spirit, mood, ability to learn, and wellbeing.

The focus on our noisy world is followed with a look at the benefits of quiet, examining how it calms, increases productivity, and may even help our brains grow.  Parker concludes by examining how we can get more silence in our lives, highlighting the work of Quiet Mark, a UK company that “awards a badge of “quality” to brands that meet particular sound requirements,” and reviewing eight everyday appliances that have been awarded Quiet Marks.

The world could be a quieter place, we learn, if only all designers considered noise avoidance as important as durability, efficiency, or style.

There’s so much more in this article, so click the link to read it all.

LInk via Antonella Radicchi @firenzesoundmap.