Thirty meters is not very far


Just north of Vancouver, BC, railway noise is messing with the health of the residents of Squamish Nation.  This has been going on for years.  And has improved very little.

Read about it here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Planned Parenthood

OK, so no, PP is NOT noisy. Except politically speaking, in their work to maintain access to abortions and other healthcare to women in the USA.

planned parenthood demo


But – there are many protestors in the USA who gather outside PP clinics and make a lot of noise shouting, praying, chanting, etc.  In Spokane, PP is filing a suit against the protestors for violation of noise by-laws. I hope they win!

(BTW – you can donate to Planned Parenthood here.)



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Noise in the workplace

Yes, workplaces are often noisy.


3 Ships.jpg

But this workplace noise is different. Shipyard workers in Bath, Maine are “putting the hammer down” to protest their contract negotiations. They hammer pieces of metal forone minute of every hour. It seems like this is a long-standing act of protest.

It is similar to a cacerolazo, a 19th century form of protest,where people came out and banged pots and pans to show their displeasure. (The Noise Curmudgeon posted about this form of protest back in 2013.)


It seems that protestors in Washington D.C. have adopted the cacerolazo as another way to protest the killing of George Floyd. (You can read a bit more about this here.)

A long tradition of noise making lives on!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Noisy Bugs


Ah –  nature.  This is the year that cicadas emerge –  as they do every 13 – 17 years!  And apparently they generate an unholy amount of noise!  (BTW – what is ‘holy’ noise? And is it ‘good’ noise or ‘bad’?)

This emergence will be in the Southern states in the US.  More here on this event.

Apparently they also show up in France.

Creepy, if you are not a fan of swarms of bugs!!


P.S..  It was just pointed out to me that cicadas are NOT dangerous to people.  (I still say the idea of a gazillion bugs around is creepy.)  Apparently they are tasty too.  Who knew?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Has the pandemic helped with noise?


Has it?  Well, yes and no.  The natural world is quieter – oceans are quieter, apparently Earth itself is quieter (not sure why) and there is much less traffic noise. BUT – noise complaints from neighbours who are at home all the time now have increased, a lot.  Especially for people living in apartment buildings.

This article looks at some of the noise issues going on in Vancouver. I assume the issues are the same in all big cities. Get those ear plugs dusted off.  And learn how to do deep breathing. This is going to be a long haul.



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Then again, NYC is louder

New York City


The other day I posted about how the pandemic was slowing down shipping in the oceans, and thus allowing sea animals to have less noise to deal with.  And that is good.

BUT –  apparently New York City has had a large spike in noise complaints since mid-March. Not so much complaining about street noise, but about the noise of neighbours.  Hopefully they can find ways to resolve these problems.

(BTW – I am re-watching the film “Noise”, starring Tim Robbins. It is a great look at one man’s struggle to diminish noise in his life, in NYC.)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ocean Noise


Guess what?  The oceans are a lot less noisy recently.  Why, you ask?  I think you know the answer!  COVID 19.  Shipping is way down, across all the oceans.  And so the noise levels that have detrimental effects on sea life have decreased.  Read more here.

Maybe it is time for us to re-think what we are doing to the planet?  Maybe?  Do ya think?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Day something or other of the pandemic

new delhi clear sky

You have probably heard reports about the decrease in air pollution around the planet. People in New Delhi can see blue sky, and far away mountains. (See photo above for a sense of the change in air quality in New Delhi. Also, notice almost no traffic, in a city of about 30 million people.) Photos from space show very different images of the planet.


(toronto empty streets covid-19-1

(Empty streets in downtown Toronto, Ontario)

Noise levels have also decreased during these hard and strange times. This is good, I have to say.  And yet this decrease in human-made noise/sound reflects the serious damage this virus has done to peoples’ ability to earn a living. Once this is all over, the noise levels will most likely rise again.  Perhaps, though, we will have noticed how different the world around us sounds, and we will do a better job of keeping the noise down?

In the meantime,  my good and dear spouse sent me a link to Atlas Obscura – such a great site! –  about noise in various cities that are famous for high noise levels.  Give it a listen here.

Take care of yourselves.  One day this will pass. Really!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

An interesting article to read – in quiet.



As Bilal Qureshi says in this piece from the Washington Post, we are inundated with sound/noise; it is hard to escape it, and yet many of us feel a deep desire to do so.  The piece discusses a few of the recent spate of books on silence.  Check it out. (Thanks to MJB for forwarding the article to me.)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Bamboo Forest in Japan

sagano bamboo forest

My spouse sent me a link to a piece about the Sagano Bamboo Forest in Japan.  What a lovely looking place!  It is one of Japan’s “governmentally recognized soundscapes”.

If you get a chance to go, let us know what it is like.  It is apparently best to go when there is no one else there to make noise!

Also, you can listen to the sound of the bamboo in this hour long video.  Quite peaceful.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment