Right to Quiet Society Noiseletter
Spring 2011 – page 6

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Musical brains

Many of us have experienced getting a chill of pleasure when listening to music. Now, research "orchestrated" by Valorie Salimpoor, a Ph.D. candidate at the Montreal Neurological Institute and McGill University, has shown that this chill is, in fact, due to music directly affecting our brain chemistry. The researchers looked at dopamine

production and uptake while subjects listened to chill-inducing music. What they saw was that there was a burst of dopamine in response to the music. Since dopamine is the same neurotransmitter that activates the brain's reward circuitry when we eat or have sex, this suggests that the enjoyment of music might well be a deeply evolved behaviour in humans.

Link to CBC's Quirks and Quarks, Jan.15, 2011 (paper in Nature Neuroscience)

Shhhhh! Quiet!

By Thomas Frankenfeld

Soon one will be able to hear something very special on the Israeli radio station 531 AM: Nothing! That by Christian churches proclaimed “Year of Tranquility” didn’t turn out as quiet as was hoped for. Sometimes it was a rather ear-splitting stillness. Mockers think stillness is that heavenly condition which occurs when all people only speak of things that they truly understand. Deeper thinkers even enthuse about the sound of falling snowflakes. By contrast, modern mass media like radio are rarely noticed for either relaxing stillness or outstanding thoughtfulness. Some moderators know to tell so much about themselves that there is little room left for the programme.

Israel’s radio authority now takes a somewhat unusual direction. It plans to introduce an acoustically restrained

programme for the Sabbat on 531 AM radio. Nothing shall be aired aside of the odd emergency and calamity reports, with other words upholding the Sabbath. The government in Jerusalem wants thereby to also make it possible for orthodox Jews to hear radio all day or, more precisely, not to hear, in spite of this begging the nagging question of Israel’s radios possibly lacking that blessed off-button.

Should this programme turn out to be successful, it is to be hoped that radio stations in other countries will follow suit, perhaps rededicated for Sundays, and extended to Television. Whoever is afraid of being distracted from spiritual fulfilment could then sit at the TV-set all day, free of wor-ries, in precious stillness at a blank screen.

- Hamburger Abendblatt

WHO book on noise

Night noise guidelines for Europe Available in: English (PDF), 1.7 MB; 2009, xviii and 162 pages; ISBN 978 92 890 4173 7; CHF 40.00/US$ 40.00
In developing countries: CHF 28.00/US$ 28.00
Order no. 13400089
More information

Environmental noise is a threat to public health, having negative effects on human health and well-being. This book

reviews the health effects of exposure to night-time noise, examines dose-effect relations, and presents interim and ultimate guideline values for exposure.

Outstanding scientists reviewed the scientific evidence in the WHO European Region and used it to draw up the guideline values. The guidelines were peer-reviewed and discussed to reach a consensus among the experts and stakeholders. This book offers guidance to policy-makers in reducing the effects of night-time noise, thus helping to improve the health of the people in the Region.

Noise-protection wall under protection

KARLSRUHE, Germany - Specifically designed noise-protection walls have the privilege of being protected by copy right. That was determined in a federal court ruling, there-by agreeing with an architect. The State of Hesse copied a particularly successful noise-protection wall at the free-way near Koenigslutter, Lower Saxony and erected it along the freeway A4 in Herleshausen, Hesse. The construction superintendent of Lower Saxony sued for damage and

compensation. He argued that, as a state official, his creation ought to benefit the State of Lower Saxony, and a free copying of “his” wall is a violation of his copy right. Now, the State of Hesse has to pay compensation to the plain-tiff. The amount was not established at the time of this report.

- Darmstaedter Echo/dpa

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