Right to Quiet Society Noiseletter
Fall 2007 - page 6

Society members sound off

In Vancouver’s Westend: 
I hope you are well and still fighting the good fight! Do you know of any progress being made at City Hall towards restricting the use of lawn mowers? These noise machines are so uncivilised that I find it hard to understand at times that they are still permitted at all. But then, the same people who permit these cacophonous lawn mowers also allow Harley Davidsons, car alarms, and and and...

A bunch of thick‑skinned, uncaring, unprincipled opportunists. And most managers, at least in my area, seem to be lacking even a thin veneer of civilised consideration; they seem to delight in creating noise and disturbing the neighbourhood. I suspect that some of them are so primitive in their emotions and sentiments that they feel "empowered" when they run their roaring machines. Some of these brutal barbarians are now using  pressure washers [in lieu of leaf-blowers] to get rid of the few leaves on the sidewalks! 



In Albany, New York: 
After almost twenty-two years, I gave up on living in the city of Albany for an indefinite time due to proliferating and unchecked noise pollution from too‑loud vehicles (tail-pipes, amplified "music", needless horn blowing, and needless squealing of tires when accelerating).

I hope that the damned noise polluters are happy now. I gave up. I gave in and moved away to a much, much quieter setting. I surrendered rather than try to waste further time in a maddening, futile, frustrating, protracted effort to get noise‑polluting vehicles off the road, and the offenders punished and fined. I hope they're glad that I am having to pay seven THOUSAND dollars in extra money for each full year for additional rental and utility costs.

And I am angry about that. Angry that peace and quiet is apparently wrongly a privilege rather than a right, and that it has to take plenty of extra money for that "privilege." 

— J.M.

Floating wind generators

Munich/Oslo—Germany’s Siemens and the Norwegian energy giant Norsk Hydro want to jointly develop floating wind-driven power-generators, which should allow to also generate wind energy in deep-water areas, according to the companies. Next, Siemens is supposed to supply the first wind-turbine for a test facility to be


installed near the Norwegian coast, allegedly the first project of this kind worldwide. At sea there is often more wind than on land. In addition, there won’t be protesting residents disturbed by the noise of the wind-mills.


Old bird-songs out of fashion

Modern music takes flight: Birds experience human-like shifts in taste, researcher finds. But do they like ‘Free Bird’?

Birds know when a song is out of fashion, says a biologist who found sparrows get all lathered up by modern sparrow love songs, but ignore recordings from the 1970s.

Elizabeth Derryberry’s work shows songbirds experience something like human shifts in taste


and culture. Song is language to the birds, and she thinks the shifting songs may be one means by which birds split into separate groups with different dialects.

Dr. Derryberry used white-crowned sparrows— found commonly in the forests of Eastern Central Canada—for the ultimate battle of the bands. She played recorded sparrow songs—some modern, some recorded in 1979—in the same forest. Modern songs excited the birds.

—National Post

Good question

Plants' taste in music?

Q: Do you think it helps if you play music to your plants? I am convinced I get better growth from seedlings when I play music to them.

SW: Dorothy Retallack published the results of some interesting trials she conducted on the effects of music on plants in a book called The Sound of Music and Plants in 1973. “Easy listening” music apparently produced the best results, whilst heavy metal rock appeared to hurt



them, although it did increase their demand for water. I have no idea.

—Steve Whysall/The Vancouver Sun

Editor’s note: Some time during the 1960s I heard a report on Austrian Radio about a study in the former Soviet Union on dairy cows and music played to them while being miked. The result was that with classical music the milking went well, while with modern music of that time the cows were nervous, kicked and withheld the milk.


International Noise Awareness Day report

This year, on April 25th some of our members were out again in Vancouver to distribute our leaflets. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate. After about two hours we were rained out. A press-release sent to over 25 media outlets across Canada fell on deaf ears; no response that we are aware of. We just may have to make more noise...

The date for the 13th INA-Day is scheduled for April 16, 2008!

Entire contents © 2006 Right to Quiet Society. Cartoon © 1996 Right to Quiet Society
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