Sound

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.

How new underwater sonar is helping solve decades-old cold cases

Publication: NBC News   Date: September 19, 2013   View Article

Police officers in southwestern Oklahoma appear to be on their way to solving a pair of decades-old cold cases while learning how to use new sonar imaging equipment on a remote lake. Sonar itself may be decades old, but the imaging system that the cops were using is state of the art — and the technology is finally affordable enough for local police units to give it a try.

Sonar works by sending pulses of sound waves out into the water and recording the waves that bounce back to create an image. A new type of imaging technique, one that works in a similar way to an MRI scanner at a hospital, is finally becoming affordable enough to put into portable devices.

Pardon me: Did a robot just hear fish farts?

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: March 29, 2012   View Article

A torpedo-shaped robot that bobbed up and down along the Florida coast to map sound production by red grouper and toadfish has detected what appears to be the unmistakable sound of herring passing gas.

That is, a robot heard what scientists believe to be fish farts.

“Star Wars” Sound Traced to Dwarf Minke Whales

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 30, 2005   View Article

Ever since Luke Skywalker fired up his lightsaber, the sounds of Star Wars movies have been mimicked by battling boys the world over. Now, a scientist believes male dwarf minke whales may make a sci-fi sound to attract females.

In 2001 ocean scientist Jason Gedamke discovered that dwarf minke whales are the source of a mysterious ba-ba-boinnnngggg noise that scientists have heard in the oceans for more than 25 years.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach