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.
(CyrusOne data centre outside Chandler, Arizona)
The Atlantic. No, not the ocean – the magazine. Bianca Bosker has written a well rounded article on noise. Her primary focus is on a small town in Arizona, where the data storing company CyrusOne has a huge server farm. She follows the noise problems encountered by the community of Chandler, and also details information about noise, its effects on humans, on nature, the loss of silence, its use as torture, etc.
Read it online here. (It was originally published in the November print edition of The Atlantic as “The End of Silence”.) At the end of the online article, there is a video entitled “The Hum: The Unexplained Noise 2% of People Can Hear”.)
If you live in Markham, or, I suppose, anywhere along the GO train line in southern Ontario, this might be of interest to you. Yes, trains are good; having commuters not using cars is wonderful. BUT – Transport Canada has a rule that requires trains to sound their whistle/horn at crossings where “…there isn’t infrastructure — like train arms — to alert drivers and pedestrians of a coming train.”
There is a number of people in Markham who have been trying to get the train horn noise stopped, or at least decreased. Apparently little has changed since they started to complain.
Read a CBC article on the issue here.
And here is a video from two years ago about the protests. Seems like little has changed.
Who knew that a wee bird could be as loud as a jackhammer? You can read about the white bellbird of the Amazon and see that the male’s mating call can hit 127 Dbs! He beats the record held by the Piha bird.
And, you can hear him here. If you are wearing headphones, you might want to take them off to hear this fella.