In the late '70s, NASA launched Voyagers 1 & 2 to explore the furthest reaches of our solar system and beyond. But something amazing was included on those space probes... a 90-minute time capsule of sounds, language, and music from Earth called The Golden Record. Its intended recipient? Any intelligent extraterrestrial life that might stumble upon it. What did Carl Sagan and his team put on the record to represent all of humanity? How would aliens decode it?
When was the last time you stopped and really listened to birdsong? Ever wonder what they’re singing about? We chat to Kenn Kaufman and Dr. Irene Pepperberg about the extraordinary complexity to the avian arias, how they’re produced, what they mean, and how vocal acrobatics can reveal a surprising hidden intelligence.
As technology advanced rapidly over the course of the 20th century, the telephone industry went through several transformations. From Strowger switches to rotary dials, the Bell company continually experimented with inventive ways of making phone calls. In 1963, AT&T’s patented “Touch Tone” technology changed the telecommunications industry forever. The Dual Tone Multi Frequency signals used by these push button phones could make phone calls, control voicemail machines, and even insert local TV ads into national broadcasts. This episode features interviews with author Annabel Dodd and telephone aficionado Jim Hebbeln of the Telecommunications History Group.
Movie trailers have undergone a huge evolution. They’ve gone from those cheesy voice-of-God narrators in the ‘80s and ‘90s, to solemn but somehow even cheesier trailers that utilize the same few epic sound effects, over and over. Professor James Deaville delivers the history of trailers, and Youtuber Craven Moorhaus offers a hilarious takedown of the sounds and dialogue that are common in the modern trailer style. After you hear this episode, you’ll never be able to watch a blockbuster trailer the same way again.
Have you noticed how loud it gets in restaurants these days? Have you found yourselves shouting just to keep a conversation going? Architecture critic Kate Wagner explains how changing design trends have led to dining experiences that aren’t just antisocial, but are negatively impacting our health as well.
Alarm sounds have been around almost as long as humans themselves. But as our world has transformed, so have they. Today’s alarms are having an unexpected effect on our minds and bodies, and can even be putting our lives at risk when we’re at our most vulnerable. Dr Judy Edworthy and Yoko Sen talk to us about our alarming sound environment, and how it can be improved.
For decades, NFL strategy slowly evolved from each team running a dozen different plays, to rigid schemes with coaches sending in orders through codewords and secret signals. Then, one piece of audio technology revolutionized the game. Beginning in the early 1990's, the NFL allowed coaches to speak directly to their quarterbacks through radios in their helmets. What followed was an instant increase in excitement for the nation's most popular sport, spawning a high-scoring era of fast paced offenses. Featuring former Super Bowl winning coach, Dick Vermeil, current LA Rams Head Coach Sean McVay, Bose Senior Project Manager Matt Ruwe, and Bose Distinguished Engineer Dan Gauger.
Our world is filled with sound. It exists in even the quietest corners of the planet. But what happens when all that sound is taken away? What is silence? There are very few places on Earth where silence actually exists, but in this episode, Dallas experiences it for himself thanks to a special room called an anechoic chamber. How do our brains process the complete nothingness of silence? Find out as Dallas locks himself alone inside the chamber. Featuring David Alvord and Nick Breen from the Georgia Tech Research Institute.