This is what a frozen lake sounds like.Alessandra Potenza, The Verge, writes about “one of the coolest sounds you can hear. A frozen lake that looks like it’s been stopped in time, but in fact keeps shifting and moaning sounding like a Star Wars blaster.” Sadly, she didn’t have equipment to record the sound, but she found a good example online:
Not only does a noisy engine give a visceral thrill, knowing that there are thousands of tiny explosions happening to keep you going, but it just sounds awesome. It would be a shame to lose it, and carmakers know it. Bloomberg says Porsche has been looking at artificially inserting noise into the cabin, perhaps via the stereo like some other manufacturers have done, or amplifying the high-pitched hum of the electric motor.
I don’t know what the answer is, but a world without the roar of a Dodge Challenger Hellcat is a world that’s just a little less fun.
And so the rare opportunity to reduce the overall noise level in our soundscape will likely be ignored, as carmakers will rush to spend big bucks adding unnecessary noise to electric cars because engine noise “just sounds awesome.” Sigh.
The best ways to cope with a noisy office. Rachel Becker, writing for The Verge, is wisely concerned about finding a good option to block distracting noise at work that won’t put her hearing at risk. Becker notes that “[h]earing loss typically occurs as people age” and that it is irreversible, but what she is concerned about is the World Health Organization’s statement that “more than 1.1 billion young adults are also at risk” of hearing loss because approximately “half of [all] people ages 12 to 35 in middle-to-high income countries are exposing themselves to unsafe levels of noise on their devices.” That is, younger people are engaging in activities that almost guarantee they will suffer hearing loss as they age, something Becker wants to avoid.
Sadly, her review of options doesn’t reveal a perfect answer. But her article is important because she is young and aware that she may be able to avoid hearing loss entirely by taking steps to protect her hearing today. She’s right, after all, about hearing loss being irreversible, and the truth is that no one knows when, or if, a cure will be found. Since noise-induced hearing loss is 100% preventable, Becker is choosing the wiser route: avoid exposing your ears to damaging sound today to preserve your hearing tomorrow.