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Apr 22, 2010

Earlier today, NPR’s On Point call-in program featured “acoustic ecologist” Gordon Hempton, author of One Square Inch of Silence: One Man’s Search for Natural Silence in a Noisy World, who discussed natural quiet and touched on related issues (such as the quiet experienced near airports this past week as a result of international flights being grounded).

This will actually tie into an upcoming blog post, but that will have to wait for another day.

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Apr 21, 2010

FYI, InfoComm is offering scholarships for undergrad students interested in audiovisual fields (which includes “audio, video, telecommunications, electronics, technical aspects of the theater, data networking, software development and information technology”).

Details are available on the InfoComm scholarship page.

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Apr 16, 2010

Quick takes:

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Apr 12, 2010

From a Washington Post real estate column:

If it becomes necessary to prove that you have a problem, you should retain an acoustical engineer, at your expense. This professional can determine whether the noise in your unit is within the acceptable decibel range. The engineer should also inspect the upstairs unit, so he can provide suggestions as to how to resolve the problem.

I appreciate a referral as much as the next person, but unfortunately the time to take care of noise problems in a condo is before things are actually built and people have moved in. You can hire us after the fact (and I’ll be happy to take your money) but chances are there will be little we can do absent major structural renovations.

If you are moving into a multi-family structure and you have concerns over noise, don’t just ask if the builder took noise into account because the answer will always be “yes” (and the builder may even sincerely believe they’ve mitigated noise). Ask for test results (specifically Field Sound Transmission Class (FSTC) and Field Impact Insulation Class (FIIC) ratings. Major deficiencies are going to require ripping apart and rebuilding walls, floors and ceilings so you should be sure before you sign on the dotted lines and move in.

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Apr 05, 2010

Two informative articles:

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A follow-up to an earlier article about a patient death at Mass General Hospital — A Federal inquiry found that a contributing factor to the death was “alarm fatigue”:

Additionally, federal investigators said the volume for a separate audible crisis alarm on the patient’s bedside monitor was turned off the night before by an unknown person. Mass. General executives had previously told the Globe that this crisis alarm had been inadvertently turned off.

But investigators for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said that desensitization to alarms that actually sounded also was a factor in the patient’s death.

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