Right to Quiet Society Noiseletter
Fall 2014, page 5

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Perfect sound absorber defies logic

By Tereza Pultarova

Spanish researchers have developed a new device that enables complete absorption of sound at a wide range of frequencies. The device, based on a conventional porous material used in the construction industry, could open new possibilities in noise reduction in the transport sector, for example, which frequently struggles with noise pollu­tion especially along railways or busy roads.

"Our study tackles one of the most important problems of today's society from a new point of view: the design of materials and surfaces able to significantly reduce noise," said Víctor Sánchez­ Morcillo, researcher at the Campus de Gandia of the Universidad Politècnica de València, who led the study together with his colleagues from the Technical University of Denmark and the University of Le Mans, France.

"In the view of the results, we believe

we have taken an important step toward the perfect absorber. And that has been done just by reconfiguring a known material," he added. Rather surprising about the new technique is the fact that it achieves improved sound absorption while us­ing a smaller amount of the absorbent material.

The key to understand this logic­defying concept is the innovative configuration of the material in periodically distributed panels. Such a distribution allows the sound waves to better penetrate the material and increases the interaction between the wave and the structure, thereby increasing the absorption.

Results of the study testing the new approach have been published in Nature Publishing’s Scientific Reports.

Source of article

Calgary police issue warnings in first blitz against ear­splitting vehicles

By Jenna McMurray, Calgary Sun

SHHHH. That was the message from Calgary police motorists during the trial run of a noise measuring device on the weekend. Police were out briefly both Friday and Sun­day afternoons and, over the course of three hours total using a single device, they handed out 17 warnings to drivers and motorcyclists deemed excessively noisy. "I was really hoping we’d have none, that everyone got the message," said Insp. Ken Thrower, adding the loudest vehicle observed was a diesel truck at 120 decibels on the gauge. "I guess I was being a little optimistic." They also issued six other charges for infractions such as equipment violations.

The weekend marked the start of a pilot project in which officers will hand out warnings for disruptive vehicle nois­es, while trying to pinpoint problem areas for stunting and establish what standard noise levels are in different areas. So far, six officers are trained to use the iPhone­ sized devices — police currently have two of them — but by the end of the month Thrower hopes to have 40 cops trained.

In the coming weeks, police will be out with the devices,

handing out warnings and doing their research in different areas, on weekdays and weekends, day and night. Thrower said police will then meet with the Crown to discuss further steps. He believes by September they will be using the devices when needed to issue excessive noise violations, which come with a $115 fine under the Traffic Safety Act.

Even then, Thrower said enforcement will be based on the officers’ discretion, as there will be obvious excep­tions. Thrower insists the move is a deterrent meant to minimize major disruptions and isn’t a cash cow. "This isn’t about money," he said. "If we don’t have to write a ticket, then we’re successful, mission accomplished." He said no one will be specifically targeted, rather, motorists will easily demand police attention if their vehicles are obnoxiously loud."You’re going to say, ‘Pick me!’ because you’re making too much noise," said Thrower.

While police were experimenting downtown, on 4 St. S.W., 17 Ave. S.W. and in Kensington on the weekend, Thrower said there are 11 main locations they plan to fo­cus their efforts on in the coming weeks.

Uproar at noisy 5am ­starts by binmen

By Anil Dawar, International Express

Noisy binmen are waking families in a seaside resort by starting work at 5am ­ to avoid the "intolerable" heat. Refuse collections in Bournemouth now begin earlier for "health and safety" reasons. Binmen also receive bottles of water to help to cool them down. But the noise has led to angry complaints on online forums. One resident wrote:

"Wimps. Gardeners and postmen manage and would the binmen like it if they were in bed and their neighbours started banging about that time in the morning?" Another wrote: "I wonder how our Brave Boys in Afghanistan cope in real heat?" Bournemouth Council has apologised for the noise but refused to return to the normal timetable until the weather cools.

Music seldom is a joy when the loudness does annoy - Wilhelm Busch

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