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Family Meeting: Our Noisy Lives

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Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Noise is the top quality-of-life complaint to 311, and those complaints are on the rise. But our relationship with noise is very complicated, with lots of advantages, too. What noises drive you crazy, calm you down, damage your hearing or peace of mind, help you create? Callers sound off on noise and we hear from guests, including environmental psychologist Arline Bronzaft, acoustics consultant Alan Fierstein, sound historians Emily Thompson and David Hendy, and hearing specialist Eric Smouha.

The Noises in Your Life

From a social history, to coping with it in the city to the pleasures of bustle, we're talking noise. Here are the stories that capture your relationship with noise, the good and the bad.

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Exploring New York's Past Through Sound

Emily Thompson, historian at Princeton University and the author of Soundscape of Modernity: Architectural Acoustics and the Culture of Listening in America, 1900-1933, talks about her study of sound and her website featuring sounds of New York City in the 1920's.

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Coping with NYC's Noise

Arline Bronzaft, environmental psychologist on the board of GrowNYC, talks about the effects of noise and offers practical advice for dealing with it. Alan Fierstein, an acoustic consultant and the owner and founder of Acoustilog, joins her to share tales of noise mitigation from the 5,000+ jobs he's handled.

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Noise and Creativity Throughout History

David Hendy, media historian at the University of Sussex, host of the thirty-part BBC Radio series, Noise: A Human History, and the author of Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening, talks about the social history of noise and kicks off the call-in on the question of sound and creativity.  What sounds sparks your creativity or do you need absolute quiet?

 

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The Science of Hearing Loss

Eric Smouha, associate professor of otolaryngology and director of otology and neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, answers questions about the inevitable effect of noise over time -- hearing loss.

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