2.17.2010

can you hear this?

When I was younger, my mom had an electric plug-in air freshener (thing-a-ma-jig) in her bathroom. When it was plugged in, it created the most hideous sound that would quickly seep out of her bathroom and into the rest of the house. Really, I could only hear it well if I was downstairs, but it was bothersome nonetheless.

One day I finally told her she had to get rid of it. That conversation went something like this:

Me: Mom, can you please trash that stupid thing?

Mom: Why?

Me: Because of that awful high pitched noise it makes when it's plugged in.

Mom: What noise?

Me: Are you kidding?

After a while of trying to explain the noise, I finally took her into her bathroom and prepared a demonstration. I took the plug-in out of the wall, and put it back in. I took it back out. I put it back in. During this, my ears were oscillating between extreme discomfort and heavenly respite. But Mom was all "Huh?"

Sigh.

It turns out that there are certain frequencies that humans can only hear up to a certain age - I think the consensus is around 25. I am 24 now, and I hope to God that on July 17, 2010, I will stop hearing this wretched frequency emitted by televisions, Glade plug-ins, and robots (probably).

So, can you still hear this frequency? Let me know in the comments!

SPEAKERS (or headphones) UP!

Frequency 451 (because that is the frequency at which the cochlea burns):








8 comments:

way said...

Haha. I remember sitting on mom's floor with you and mom and doing that demonstration.

Stuff like that blows my mind!!!!

Gary would be playing Call of Duty 4 at our house in Knox. He would turn off the XBox without turning the T.V. off. I would be upstairs in my room and I would yell down at him, "Gary, you forgot to turn the T.V. off!" He would say, "Whoa! You're right! How'd you know?" And I would say, "Because I can hear this loud noise that sounds like is scratching a chalkboard."

Then I would say, "Gary, you can't hear it because you listen to Stockholme Syndrome by Muse on full blast."

grantly said...

I could definitely hear the sound on your post, and I'm almost 28. My dogs could also hear it. They did not appreciate it. It was funny.

benjamin said...

well, grant, i guess you didn't listen to enough CSNY cranked to eleven like my mom did in her younger days.

hmm, so it sounds like it totally depends on the person and how bad their hearing has gotten?

Drew said...

I can't hear it and I'm 25. Do I pass the test?

benjamin said...

HA! thanks for the laugh, drew. oh, the irony!

Cooper said...

I can hear the noise! There is a recent episode of 30 rock that addresses how certain ages can only hear certain frequencies. It really is funny.

max. said...

i can hear it. lily (my dog) perked up when she heard it. i do not like this noise. no i don't

Christi said...

Yup, I, on the cusp of 29, still hear it. There is hope, yet!

I know I'm a little late to respond, but here are some interesting websites relating to the topic:

http://www.ehealthmd.com/library/hearingloss/HL_whatis.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/12/technology/12ring.html

http://www.noiseaddicts.com/2009/03/can-you-hear-this-hearing-test/