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Bring da noise

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Rush-O-Matic, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. Rush-O-Matic

    Rush-O-Matic
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    National Park Service Maps for the loudest places. Not surprisingly, the East Coast is louder than the West and Midwest. But, oddly enough, it's that way without people, too as described in this report.


    (Why didn't they put the map and legend in the same format?)


    Focus: Loudest place or event you've been.

    Alt. Focus: Favorite quiet place.
     

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  2. Juice

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    Concerts notwithstanding, the loudest place I've ever been was back in school when the men's and women's basketball teams won the NCAA tournament. People went fucking apeshit, and then proceed to riot.

    The quietest place Ive ever been was 2 years ago. We were doing some consulting work for MIT and one of the administrators we were working with gave us a tour. They have a room there that nearly (but not quite) sound free, that they test the acoustics of sensitive lab equipment in. He let me stand in there alone for 5 minutes and it was unnervingly quiet. You could not hear a single ambient sound except your own heartbeat. Apparently there some lab out west somewhere that is truly sound-proof and the longest anyone has ever been inside was 40 minutes because you start to hallucinate without ambient sound.
     
  3. toddamus

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    Loudest place I've ever been? Where ever my mom is in the evening. She loves to slam cabinet doors, use the ice machine for 30 minutes, pester my dad, basically be as loud and as obnoxious as she has to be to get someone to look at her.

    For real, a Killswitch Engage concert
     
  4. Currer Bell

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    Focus: Any place where my daughter is in control of the volume *boomtish*

    Anti-focus: When I'm lounging in bed to wind down at night or waking up in the morning, and Sunday mornings when I'm downstairs having my coffee.

    I remember one time when I was a kid (3rd grade, I think) and my class was taking a tour of Fort Pulaski. They were about to do a demonstration of a cannon being fired and warned us that it was loud and might hurt our ears. I went into full pussy mode and started crying because I didn't want my ears to hurt. I survived with my ears intact, but not my dignity.
     
  5. Misanthropic

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    Focus: Sitting in front of the speakers at a Motley Crue concert at Madison Square Garden. Even as a 19 year old I was worried about the ringing in my ears over the next two weeks.

    Alt focus: Yosemite National park at night in mid October, after the major tourist season. Black as midnight, and incredibly quiet.

    I was in Alaska for a few weeks for work, and you'd think that would be quiet, but it was so damn windy all the time that it was anything but quiet.

    Most eerie quietness? The New York/New Jersey area on September 12, 2001. There is always background noise in this part of the country, but not on that day. No aircraft flying overhead, many people home from work so almost no car traffic, and everything was kind of subdued.
     
  6. katokoch

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    Focus: Section next to the stage at an AC/DC concert. My ears rang for a solid week. Otherwise it was being in a small indoor rifle range at the same time as someone with a giant .50 BMG rifle. I didn't know it was there until they fired it and the blast made it feel like a bomb went off. I think everyone else breathed a sigh of relief when the thing broke down after that first shot and they left.

    Alt-focus: Favorite quiet place is deep in the wilderness, where you are completely unplugged from anything electronic and can have a lake to yourself for days if you paddle in far enough. The absolute quietest is on foggy, damp mornings after rain showers, where the air is still and the critters haven't come out from their shelters yet.

    [​IMG]

    Calm evenings when the lake turns to glass and reflects the sunset like a mirror are special too, and the quietness will be shattered by loons calling back and forth across the lake or wolves howling in the distance. They can be far from quiet but the song of either animal just adds to the experience as the sun goes down.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. TX.

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    Focus: I have no idea which concert was the loudest. I've been to a few where we were right by a speaker and my ears hurt. I didn't know that was possible until then.

    Alt focus: My parents' land out in the middle of nowhere. You can hear the faint sounds from a state highway a few miles away and some birds chirping. Other than that, it's deafeningly silent. It can be a little unnerving...like somebody's secretly watching you. I always feel like I have to speak really quietly there because normal voices sound SO LOUD compared to the quiet.

    A close second is a reading room in my undergrad's library. The "room" is so massive it could be a library itself. There's no talking or any kind of noise allowed. No slamming books on the table, no eating, no chairs scooting on the floor. It's awesome for folks like me who are easily distracted and need complete silence to study.
    readingroom.jpg
     
  8. Dcc001

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    I can't recall the loudest; probably some concert somewhere. I vividly recall the quietest, though:

    [​IMG]

    I was in Egypt in 2008 with a good friend, and we convinced the guard to let us climb up to the queen's chamber of Khufu Pyramid. But first, let me describe the approach. It was stifiling hot OUTSIDE the pyramids that day. With the sun reflecting off the sand, I'd say it was easily pushing 40*C, because we were there in late August/early September. You would think entering a stone edifice would be cool. You would be wrong, because that stone edifice has probably never been cool in its entire lifetime.

    Here's a cross section of Khufu pyramid:

    [​IMG]



    This in no way does justice to what it's like to be inside of the shafts and chambers. When you enter, the passage is slightly wider than your shoulders. You proceed downhill, but then the road forks and you must scramble up a rickety ladder and cross back over the opening (mind the drop!) to get yourself on an upward trajectory to the Grand Gallery/Queen's Chamber. This upward tunnel is inclined at such an angle that you can't walk up it, but it's not well laid out for crawling, either. Ironically, going up is not really the problem - you only realize how shitty the geometry is when you try to leave. Up you go, and the sweat is pouring out of you. You're hotter than you've ever been in your life. The air does not move. Eventually you reach a point where you can go no further, because the tunnel to the Grand Gallery is closed off to the public.

    To enter the Queen's chamber (shown as "E" on this diagram), you must pass through a low tunnel. It's about 48" in height, which means it is too low to walk in but so high that you feel weird crawling. You crawl, because what else are you gonna do? Eventually you reach the destination: the Queen's Chamber.

    [​IMG]

    The ceilings are quite high. It's lit with one lone bulb. I had to sit down and lean against a wall, because I had reached a point with the heat where I thought I would faint. I let the blood come back to my brain, and when I calmed down I realized this: it is the quietest place on earth. My friend and I happened to be alone in it. When we both stood still, that was it. No ambient noise. No murmur of crowds. No airplanes or honking horns or dogs barking or kids screaming. NOTHING. I understand where the saying "As silent as the grave" comes from, because I can't imagine any place more silent than the middle of that tomb.

    When we were ready, we left. And once we passed back through the tunnel (part "E") the cool air felt so good. Remember how hot it was going in, so I can't begin to guess how hot it is inside the chamber. I just know that once we crawled back out and reemerged in the Egyptian sun in late summer, it felt like the fridge had been opened. So everything's relative.
     
  9. GTE

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    Second the .50 BMG. First time I shot one I thought the scope hit me but it was just the percussion from the round. The 2nd shot made my nose feel like someone thumped it.

    The loudest sustained noise was this guys Chevy Tahoe. It's about a 160 decibles IIRC
     
  10. dixiebandit69

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    Focus: As far as decibel levels go, it would have to be one of the concerts I've been to over the years.

    But the worst loud place: Prison. It's a constant barrage of noise. You're in a concrete and steel building, so any sound just echoes around. There's guys yelling at the TV (which is usually cranked up to full volume), fuckers slamming dominoes on the stainless steel tables, announcements over the PA system, loud industrial fans blowing, etc.
    The whole time I was there, I was constantly asking people to repeat themselves, and even then, I usually just gave up on trying to figure out what they were saying.

    Alt. Focus: There's a (usually) dry salt lake about 20 miles from my house, and I go out there to think some times. While I'm sure it's not as quiet as that room that Juice was talking about, on a calm day it gets very still, and your ears will start playing tricks on you.
     
  11. Danger Boy

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    Firing a 7 white bag charge on a 155mm howitzer. Not the heaviest powder charge you can fire through these things, but the size of the installation we were on didn't allow anything bigger. Our 6 gun battery fired 5-6 shots each and when we were done the 3' tall grass was all laid down flat in front of the guns. You could really feel the noise.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. toytoy88

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    Loudest: I would be tempted to say a Molly Hatchet concert in a high school gym with a PA system designed for a venue of 20K, but no.

    When I was working on Elmendorf Air Force base I made the brilliant decision to sit at the end of the runway while an F-15 took off. It passed overhead 25-30 feet off the ground running WFO. It was disorientingly, pants shitting, boarder line terrifying. The noise was the only thing that existed for a few seconds. Would not do ever again.

    Quietest: One January a couple friends and I decided to go snowmobiling at night in Idaho. We were about 25-30 miles up a trail on top of a mountain. My buddies wanted to go explore some bowls in the area and do some hill climbing, my sled wasn't long tracked and therefore not equipped for what they were heading into, so I stayed behind. By myself. After awhile the drone of their engines died away and I was left in an eerie silence. I was sitting on top of a snow pack of about 10-12 feet, the sky was cloudless with millions of stars twinkling and it was roughly 0 F. It was completely awe inspiring and a bit scary...like I was the only person on Earth.

    An interesting noise dichotomy: In the north at night the woods are quiet. Completely quiet. In the south, the woods come alive at night with the whippoorwills, tree frogs, and whatever the hell else lives in the woods. Southern woods are deafening loud at times.
     
  13. Aetius

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    Loudest thing I've ever heard was when my next door neighbor's tree got struck by lightning. It was about 30 yards from my open window and Jesus fuck it was like being hit by a wall of sound.

    Quietest place I've ever been was in a sound lab in college. The entire building had its construction altered in order to accommodate the acoustics of this room; the whole room was isolated from the rest of the building with dampeners, the ventilation system was specially constructed with baffles to reduce noise, and the very dimensions of the room were designed to reduce resonant frequencies.