FUN: Turn That Down!

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Science  25 Nov 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5752, pp. 1255d
DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5752.1255d

Brace yourself if you tune in to Bad Vibes from the University of Salford, U.K. The site is canvassing netizens to determine which noise people find most horrible. Visitors get to rate some 30 annoying, sickening, or grating recordings, from scraping Styrofoam to the yowls of Tasmanian devils. The results will not only nail down the most noisome sound, but they also might help scientists understand why we find some sounds offensive. So far, the top vote getter is audio of somebody retching, followed by microphone feedback and bawling babies.

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