Right to Quiet Society Noiseletter
Spring 2010 – page 6

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Acoustics Week in Canada Victoria, B.C. 13-15 October, 2010

This is the premier Canadian Acoustical symposium; it will include three days of plenary lectures, technical sessions on all areas of acoustics, the CAA Annual General Meeting, an Exhibition of acoustical equipment and services, the Conference Banquet and other social events.”

Plenary sessions will have relevant appeal with topics such as Marine Bioacoustics, Environmental Acoustics, and Noise Control. Student participation is encouraged, courses/seminars are invited, and paper/abstract submissions are due by June 15, 2010.

The Conference venue will be the Laurel Point Inn on Victoria’s historic waterfront, with a special conference rate of $109/night, lasting until October 18 for an extended holiday. Check the Conference Website: www.caa aca.ca for information on registration. It sounds like a great event!

—Canadian Acoustics, December 2009, Volume 37 Number 4, Pp. 48,49

—Edited by Carole A. Martyn

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From the bird war in the berry fields

The tug-o-war between cannon-blasting berry farmers and noise-fatigued residents continues. A message from a lady in Sidney, Australia drew our attention to an interesting article about an effective, silent substitute for the noisy propane cannons which is copied below.

Winemaker has a ball as cockatoos flee

By Tim Elliott—Some people use shotguns, others use nets. But Rod Windrim prefers disco. The Hunter Valley winemaker has installed dozens of disco balls in his vineyard in a novel attempt to deter birds from eating his precious grapes. And the plan is working. "We put them in six weeks ago," Mr. Windrim says. "And the results have been amazing."

Windrim and his wife, Suzanne, own Krinklewood Vineyards, a 20 hectare vineyard at Broke, in the Hunter Valley. The region's free-draining loam is ideal for producing the classic Hunter varieties of semillon, chardonnay, verdelho and shiraz. But it's also ideal for producing flocks of ravenous cockatoos, silver eyes, and leatherheads, which have in years past destroyed up to 50 per cent, or 50 tonnes, of the vineyard's yearly harvest.

 

Until recently, Mr. Windrim used a complicated system of radar-activated speakers which broadcast bird distress noises. "It's basically these speakers that go whaa whaa-whaa incredibly loudly," he says. "And when I say loud, I mean like change your underpants loud." The speakers worked, Mr. Windrim says, "but they also sent my neighbour insane". Other vineyards use propane cannons or gas guns to deter birds, or employ staff to walk around blasting shotguns.

But none of these solutions seemed to suit Krinklewood's earth friendly ethos. "I was looking through viticulture trade journals for a subsonic dog whistle type thing when I came across the disco balls idea," Mr. Windrim says.

The Chinese-made disco balls are 30 centimetres in diameter and hang on a bracket just above the grapes, meaning they don't have to be removed at harvest time. There are 30 of them, and the slightest movement sends shards of light bouncing across the vineyard, scaring off the birds. "The balls cost $40 each," Mr. Windrim says. "But they've reduced our loss rate to about 5 per cent."

—The Sydney Morning Herald

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Japan prepares to give electric cars a louder voice

TOKYO – The Japanese government is drawing up legislation to make a new generation of electric cars speak, beep or even mimic the sound of galloping horses or running water.

The introduction of hybrid and electric cars, which make very little noise, has raised concerns of an increase in accidents involving pedestrians. A ministry of transport panel is working on guidelines for a minimum noise level for such vehicles and has invited ideas from the public for a standard warning noise—prompting suggestions for automated verbal warnings, the sound of an indicator ticking or even horses’ hooves.

 

Nissan is among the companies exploring the most appropriate sounds to attach to their vehicles.

The company is not wedded to the idea the noise must be mechanical, according to Pauline Kee, Nissan’s spokesman. “For consumers as well, we are looking at all possible options for enhancing the interaction with the car,” she said, adding that the noise could be music, the sound of running water or wind rustling the leaves of a tree.

—Daily Telegraph

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Excerpt from “Noisy bikers and their puny ideas of manhood,” by Scott McKeen, Edmonton Journal

“Making a racket on your two-wheeled monster is a sure sign of immaturity. People buy a motorcycle and revert to a time when they held their tiny wee-wee in one hand and a toy car in the other, making vroom-vroom noises. Is there any activity more symbolic of immaturity than yeehawing around on a two-wheeled noisemaker?”

 


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