THE BIG SCREAM

U.S. Marines arriving in Iraq this month as part of a massive troop rotation will bring with them a high-tech weapon never before used in combat - or in peacekeeping, writes military analyst William Arkin in the Los Angeles Times. The device is a powerful megaphone the size of a satellite dish that can deliver recorded warnings in Arabic and, on command, emit a piercing tone so excruciating to humans, its boosters say, that it causes crowds to disperse, clears buildings and repels intruders. "[For] most people, even if they plug their ears, [the device] will produce the equivalent of an instant migraine," says Woody Norris, chairman of American Technology Corp. of San Diego, which produces the weapon. "It will knock [some people] on their knees." The new sound weapon might, in some cases, save lives, Mr. Arkin writes, "but the U.S. is making a huge mistake by trying to quietly deploy a new pain-inducing weapon without first airing all of the legal, policy and human-rights issues associated with it." The Globe & Mail, Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Thai karaoke taxi

Vichina Simma, 23, created hell on wheels: a Thai taxi equipped with a karaoke player and over 200 CDs, to the tune of which his passengers in the north of the country may trill along. The singing is supposed to cheer up the passengers plagued by traffic jams, said Simma. Whoever has already spent some time in South East Asia knows that people in that part of the world cherish nothing more than karaoke. On bus rides, in pubs or bars, those people are immersed in something like a permanent hit-grand-prix - and now that.

Simma told the English language newspaper Bangkog Post that his idea earns him hefty tips. The passengers are thrilled. "Some can't get enough of it, especially if they're just coming from a pub," said Simma. "Others ask me to drive around a little more that they can sing longer." He also enjoys to join his customers in the rear for a duet, he threatened. Thus beware when visiting Bangkok, as the enterprising Thai mentality leads one to suspect that in the future loud folklore could be pouring out of every taxi. Side effects to western ears are quite possible. afp/tel Darmstaedter Echo, Tuesday, May 16, 2003

New good book published

"Unclutter Your Life: Transforming Your Physical, Mental and Emotional Space", by Katherine Gibson (Beyond Words Publishing, 2004) features the RTQ Society in the chapter on noise clutter. Available at all bookstores. The author will be making a presentation and signing books April 28, 7:30 pm. at 32 Books in North Vancouver.

See more at: www.clutterbook.com     Ph: (250) 370-2357

Soundbites

Madrid bombing - Offices, shops and cafes across Spain also emptied at noon as people stood in silence on the streets to honour the dead. Authorities had requested a minute's silence, but many in Madrid stood for about 10 minutes. The Vancouver Sun, Saturday, March 13, 2004

Accent Cruises ad - Fireworks and celebrate at midnight with noise makers and champagne. $139 ticket includes dinner, noise makers & champagne for two. The Vancouver Courier, Sunday, December 28, 2003

Loud snow - As a snowflake falls onto a body of water, it deposits a tiny amount of air just beneath the surface. Before the bubble reaches the surface and pops, it sends out a piercing sound inaudible to humans but really noisy to porpoises etc. The Vancouver Sun, Thursday, February 12, 2004

Right to Quiet Society Newsletter, Spring 2004
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