so often, I end up writing an essay about why sounds are different
at four in the morning and one in the afternoon.
is one of those essays.
you ever heard the theory that the world emits a consistent hum?
true. Iím not going to cite it here, but you can go ahead and
look for it. There are studies and reports, from a variety of
different sources, most essentially saying that there are times
when a low noise can be heard.
places attribute it to specific conditions. Others to a certain
location. A few cite evidence that it happens below a set temperature,
and some contradict by saying it needs to be above a set temperature.
It might be the time of year. And then there are the skeptics,
combatting the studies by debating different sounds being mistakenly
attributed to the planet.
the kickerÖ whether a researcher with findings or a skeptic with
doubts, there actually is a fairly consistent result that I keep
encountering. Everyone seems to agree there is noise out there,
clicking and clacking and rattling and banging in the backgrounds
of our lives.
my house right now, we have a water cooler that switches on and
off to chill the water. We have a dehumidifier in the basement.
Central air is set, which kicks on to raise (or lower) the temperature
inside the house.
are sounds, and they take place at a variety of times.
like to ponder why the television can be set for the same volume
level, on the same station, even showing the same program, and
yet itís like a twisted version of Goldilocks. Too loud during
the overnight, too soft during the day, and just right in the
now I find I wonder, what about the planetary hum? What about
the skeptics debating the source, but not the existence of sound?
all that background noise. Stuff perhaps too weak or soft or far
away to be heard clearly, but definitely in some ways contributing
to the general clackity clack. What do I mean? WellÖ
do you wash your clothes? When do you mow your lawn? Is there
a time when youíre more likely to be driving your car (and a time
when youíre less likely to be on the road)? All of these random
noise generators, in your home and around your neighborhood and
interacting with your life. From planes flying overhead to kids
playing in the pool next door, noise and more noise and more noise.
for the most part, as you move around and attack the activities
of a day regardless of the time, you probably donít even notice
what you might be adding to the artificial hum of your community.
But there it is. So subtle you donít even detect it, but enough
to drive you to grab the remote and turn up the volume or turn
down the volume without an evident reason for why you need to
adjust the volume.
wife is asleep. Iím about to turn on the television, and need
to remember to immediately lower the volume when I do. The joys
of being awake during the overnight while the rest of the house
is still running. But it is a cool evening outside, and the air
conditioning isnít likely to come on. Probably not wise to take
my chances. Iíll turn it down.