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Apr 24, 2007

My sound level meter and I make a brief appearance on a WBZ TV (Boston) News segment about loud toys.

And yes, the maracas were really that loud.

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If you spend any time around community noise activists and anti-noise internet forums, you inevitably find noise-impacted residents who yearn for a magic point-and-shoot ray beam that they could point at boom cars to destroy car stereos. Well, wish no more: Barney Vincelette of Houston, Delaware has apparently done just that:

Vincelette used his genius-level IQ and parts of household microwave ovens to develop a makeshift device that uses electromagnetic waves to temporarily jam the circuitry of his neighbors’ stereos.

At first I thought the article had to be an April’s fool joke. However, a few Google searches turned up plenty of evidence that someone named Barney Vincelette has been pursuing microwave research for some time. My guess is that his device is causing the same type of interference that cell phones cause on analog sound circuits, but on a massive scale.

For anyone that might be thinking of following in his footsteps: don’t. First of all, it’s illegal to intentionally jam a radio signal in the U.S. (well, it’s legal under certain circumstances, but those circumstances basically render your device useless as a jammer). Second, if a homemade microwave weapon is powerful enough to disrupt electronics at great distances you gotta wonder what it’s doing to the operator.

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