Quietly making noise

The value of noise is in the ear of the beholder.

The New York Times today, profiled the perils of Cairo, where the average decibel level is 85. “It is literally like living day in and day out with a lawn mower running next to your head, according to scientists with the National Research Center,” the article said.

Bad stuff, but at least it doesn’t kill you like “quiet” can.

The electric car, It turns out, is so quiet it can kill you.

From the University of California Riverside:


Preliminary results of the on-going research project show that hybrid cars operating at very slow speeds must be 40 percent closer to pedestrians than combustion-engine vehicles before their location can be audibly detected, said Lawrence Rosenblum, professor of psychology. Those findings have implications for pedestrians who are blind, runners, cyclists, small children, and others, he said.

H/T: Wired