‘ “The Hum” refers to a mysterious sound heard in places around the world by a small fraction of a local population. Its characterized by a persistent and invasive low-frequency rumbling or droning noise often accompanied by vibrations. While reports of “unidentified humming sounds” pop up in scientific literature dating back to the 1830s, modern manifestations of the contemporary hum have been widely reported by national media in the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia since the early 1970s.
Regional experiences of the phenomenon vary, and the Hum is often prefixed with the region where the problem centers, like the “Windsor Hum” in Ontario, Canada, the “Taos Hum” in New Mexico, or the “Auckland Hum” for Auckland, New Zealand. Somewhere between 2 and 10% of people can hear the Hum, and inside isolation is no escape. Most sufferers find the noise to be more disturbing indoors and at night. Much to their dismay, the source of the mysterious humming is virtually untraceable.
While the uneven experience of the Hum in local populations has led some researchers to dismiss it as a “mass delusion,” the nuisance and pain associated with the phenomenon make delusion a dissatisfying hypothesis. Intrigued by the mysterious noise, [Dr. Glen] MacPherson launched The World Hum Map and Database in December 2012 to collect testimonies of other Hum sufferers and track its global impact. He now also moderates a decade-old Yahoo forum…
MacPherson quickly discovered that what to him was a strange rumbling was actually having pernicious effects on hundreds of people, from headaches to irritability to sleep deprivation. There are reports that weeks of insomnia caused by the Bristol Hum drove at least three U.K. residents to suicide. “It completely drains energy, causing stress and loss of sleep,” a sufferer told a British newspaper in 1992. “I have been on tranquilizers and have lost count of the number of nights I have spent holding my head in my hands, crying and crying.” Thousands of people around the world have shared similar experiences of the Hum; some, like MacPherson, are devoting their time to finally uncovering its source.’ (Mic).
Day: June 23, 2014
A Mesmerizing Site That Tracks and Displays Real-Time Lightning Strikes
‘Did you know that a lightning strike emits a broadband pulse of radio waves that can be detected thousands of miles away? It’s that phenomenon which allows a website called Blitzortung to show lightning strikes as they happen all around the world, in real-time. If you thought it was hard to tear your eyes away from the World Cup, this is somehow even more entertaining to watch.’ (Gizmodo).
How fossilised ideas live on even in science
Andrew Crumey: ‘I would like to propose what I shall call the principle of eternal folly. It states that in nearly every era there arises, in some form, nearly every idea of which humans are capable. Certainly, there is the emergence of new ideas: technological ones are the most obvious, but there are others, too. I do think it fair to say that Jane Austen, Beethoven, and even the occasional entrepreneur have invented radically new things. However, the vast majority of ideas are recycled – and it is when we fail to recognise this, as we eternally do, that we commit folly.’ (Aeon).
Are We Approaching the End of Solitary Confinement?
‘As a new class-action lawsuit out of California’s infamous Pelican Bay State Prison that may definitively determine the future of solitary in that state moves forward, more people are taking the position that the practice amounts to inhumane punishment.’ (Pacific Standard)
The Supreme Court Green-Lighted Gun-Control Legislation
‘In a 5-4 decision, the SCOTUS blocked a conservative effort to overturn a law that makes it illegal to buy a gun for someone else. While the ruling maintains the status quo by preserving long-standing legislation, it opens the door for stricter limits on gun ownership.’ (Pacific Standard)
This U.S. Map Shows the Millions of Streets That Have No Name
‘Cartographer Kenneth Field is making a series of maps inspired by song lyrics about geography. Taking a cue from U2’s song “Where the Streets Have No Name,” he created this visualization of the 15 million unnamed street segments in the U.S.’ (