Noise

Noise-cancelling window sensor helps you enjoy this silence amid cacophony

Publication: NBC News   Date: October 14, 2013   View Article

The cacophony of any city’s hammering jack hammers, beeping buses, and relentlessly yacking citizens can make anyone long for an oasis of silence. Enter the Sono, a futuristic noise-canceling gadget that sticks on the window and turns even the noisiest of rooms into a chill place to think. The pebble-shaped device, a finalist in a prestigious design competition, serves as a reminder of the power of quiet.

“From time to time, I just want to escape the noisy world for a while to reset my mind,” Rudolf Stefanich, an industrial designer who created the Sono device while a graduate student at the University of Vienna in Austria, told NBC News in an email. The gadget was selected as a top-20 finalist for the annual James Dyson Award. The famous designer will hand pick and announce a winner on Nov. 7.

Earth Hums, and It’s “Loudest” in Europe, Americas

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 10, 2009   View Article

Earth hums, and it’s the west coasts of Europe and parts of the Americas that are the main sources of the sound, a new study says.

Since 1998 researchers have known that Earth emits a low-frequency hum inaudible to humans. The sound waves register on instruments used to detect earthquakes even when no quakes are occurring.

Rare Japanese Dugong Threatened by U.S. Military Base

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 23, 2007   View Article

The rare Okinawa dugong has been classified as “critically endangered” on Japan’s Ministry of the Environment Red List, the Japanese equivalent to the U.S. government’s endangered species list, officials announced this month.

Cricket, Katydid Songs Are Best Clues to Species’ Identities

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 5, 2006   View Article

In a nighttime chorus of insects, the easiest way to identify individual katydid and cricket species is by listening to their songs, according to one of the world’s leading authorities on the jumping insects.

“Without sound, we’d be in a pickle,” said Thomas Walker, an entomologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Relying on morphology—body shape, structure, and color—to identify some katydids and crickets is next to impossible, he says.

Quieter Aircraft to Take Cues From Birds, NASA Expert Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 22, 2006   View Article

Bird-inspired technologies may be the key to dampening aircraft noise around airports, according to a NASA scientist.

“We are learning to make aircraft more like Mother Nature,” said Dennis Huff, chief of the acoustics branch at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Car Free Days Bring Quiet to Communities, Advocates Say

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 29, 2006   View Article

Beep beep. Vroom vroom. Thump thump.

The constant cacophony of honking horns, roaring engines, and booming car stereos has helped fuel a sixfold increase in noise pollution over the past 15 years that is driving people from cities, according to advocates for peace and quiet.

Wouldn’t it be nice, they ask, if cars were on the fringe of our daily lives?
To help find an answer, “car-free day” events held in a handful of cities across the U.S. are giving urban dwellers a taste for life with fewer—and in some cases no—cars.

Will Doctors Diagnose by Listening to Your Cells?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 13, 2006   View Article

With the aid of a tiny device that works like the needle on the arm of a record player, a scientist has pumped up the sounds made by tiny proteins zipping around inside a yeast cell.

The discovery is driving the development of a new tool that may allow doctors to detect diseases like cancer by listening to the sounds of their patients’ bodies, said James Gimzewski, a biochemistry professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach