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.)
Bamboo Forest in Japan
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.
We should have guessed, perhaps, that the Swiss would be all over noise problems. And indeed they are. Apparently they have had policies about noise control for 30 years! Amazing. And now they are going to spend billions of francs on reducing noise in their country. Check out the story here.
Here is an interesting piece from NYT food critic Pete Wells. He writes about how noise in a restaurant can be a problem, but can also be a pleasure.
“Everything about the restaurant experience is designed to speed those things along, and when it all works, we respond by raising our voices. Far from being an accidental side effect, a noisy restaurant is the end product of a business that helps us have a good time, just as purring is the end product of scratching a cat’s chin the right way.”
It is not an argument I agree with, but I have to say he does have a point. For those of us for whom noisy restaurants are a problem, I guess we either stay home, deal with it, or, as Mr. Wells suggests, take some effort and find those spots that are less noisy. And maybe we will end up purring.
Music and your Head
My dear spouse sent me this link to an old SCTV episode, starring a very young Kathleen O’Hara. As you will see, she is using a Sony Walkman; I think perhaps a cassette playing one, not the later CD player. OLD school!
It is amusing – but also TRUE!!! Her points holds true, all these years later.
Yay for this guy in Saanich, BC, near Victoria. He has been working hard on getting gas powered leaf blowers banned. And now he is taking a petition to Saanich city council to push them to change their by-law. Best of luck to him and his supporters.
Here is an article about noise/sound research being done in four parts of Boston. You can check out the Community Noise Lab Works site, which is working with these communities on noise issues. Who knows what will happen, but it is good to know that cities are taking the issue of noise and noise pollution more seriously.