Scientists have discovered a shape that blocks all sound–even your co-workers

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Offices and tiny apartments could be transformed by the work of Boston University researchers, who recently unveiled an “acoustic metamaterial” that blocks all sound.

 A team of Boston University researchers recently stuck a loudspeaker into one end of a PVC pipe. They cranked it up loud. What did they hear? Nothing.

How was this possible? Did they block the other end of the pipe with noise canceling foams or a chunk of concrete? No, nothing of the sort. The pipe was actually left open save for a small, 3D-printed ring placed around the rim. That ring cut 94% of the sound blasting from the speaker, enough to make it inaudible to the human ear.

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Sound training can help an aging brain ignore distractions

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The goal of the research was to focus on the target frequencies while ignoring the distractor frequencies.

As we get older, we have an increasingly harder time ignoring distractions. According to new research in the Cell Press journal Neuron, by learning to discriminate a sound amidst progressively more disruptive distractions, we can diminish our distractibility.

 

 

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Bird sound used to create beautiful 3D animations

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Andy Thomas creates “audio life forms” from bird sounds.

The sound of chirping and singing birds can be enough to inspire a feeling of peace and tranquility. Australian multimedia artist Andy Thomas specializes in  creating “audio life forms” and such dulcet tones have inspired something more in him: curiosity about what they might look like as sound-driven 3D animations. (Video)

 

 

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Samsung develops ultrasonic smartphone case to help visually impaired sense their surroundings

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Samsung ultrasonic smartphone cover for the visually impaired.

A smartphone case that helps the visually impaired by enhancing their awareness of their surroundings has been developed by Samsung. The Ultrasonic Cover for its Galaxy Core Advance smartphone helps owners sense the presence of people and objects up to two meters away.

 

 

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Flexible materials could provide new ways to control sound and light

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A new wrinkle in the control of waves.

Flexible, layered materials textured with nanoscale wrinkles could provide a new way of controlling the wavelengths and distribution of waves, whether of sound or light. The new method, developed by researchers at MIT, could eventually find applications from nondestructive testing of materials to sound suppression, and could also provide new insights into soft biological systems and possibly lead to new diagnostic tools.

 

 

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The World’s Loudest Bike Horn Is More Deafening Than a 747 Taking Off

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Get out of the way!

A UK insurance company has found the perfect way for pedestrians and drivers to resent cyclists even more. It’s created the Hornster bicycle which features a triumvirate of horns on the handle bars capable of blasting out a deafening 178 decibel honk…

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Ferrofluid Sculpture

I just learned about Ferrofluid today. It can do some amazing things, like this video shows. After the jump is a second video explaining HOW ferrofluid works.

From the YouTube descriptioin:

A steel sculpture with changing magnetisation is coated with ferrofluid.
The fluid is pulled in the direction of increasing flux density and forms peaks, which become smaller in higher flux density. At an accumulation of fluid at ridges, the flux density at the surface decreases. The flow and the distribution of the fluid can be observed at several characteristic locations…

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This dog food commercial has sounds only a dog can hear

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What’s that sound?

Commercials have become so effective at focusing on what us human people want that we can’t stop watching them. Oh scantily clad women. Oh short attention spans. Dogs can join in the braindead fun now too, there’s a commercial made with sounds only a dog can hear…

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Mobile Phones Could be Charged by the Sound of Your Voice

mobile phone

Engineers have developed a new technique for turning sound into electricity, allowing a mobile to be powered up while its user holds a conversation

 A dead battery or a lost charger are among the frustrations of modern life for cellphone users.  There is now new research that promises a way to recharge phones using nothing but the power of the human voice.

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