Thursday, January 05, 2006

'Noise is Power,' says Expert

In a special to “The Neighborhood Newswire,” Daniel Porras grabs a handheld decibel meter and takes a walk around the streets of San Francisco to measure the loudness of different sounds. His decibel measurements include the inside of his downtown studio apartment (50 dBA), the bell of a passing cable car (85 dBA), and 1950s rock hits from a diner’s outdoor speakers (83 dBA).

He interviews a noise expert with the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse, who says “noise causes a biological stress response in humans, who evolved in much quieter times, and can lead to an elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure, and loss of sleep and appetite.”

In another interview, Daniel is told by a noted bioacoustician and sound engineer that noise is power. “Look at the straight pipes on the Harleys [going] down the street. The louder you are the more attention you will call to yourself.”

Join Daniel in his walk. Check out the August 29, 2005 story, Urban Racket and the Quest for Quiet.

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