Category:
Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

Ghost Tape Number Ten

From Wikipedia:

Operation Wandering Soul was a propaganda campaign and large scale psychological warfare attempt exercised by U.S. forces during the Vietnam War...

U.S. engineers spent weeks recording eerie sounds and altered voices, which pretended to be killed Viet Cong, for use in the operation, with the intended purpose of instilling a sense of turmoil within the enemy, the desired result being for the soldier to flee his position. The tape, dubbed Ghost Tape Number Ten, was played on loudspeakers outside U.S. bases.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Mar 10, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Military, Paranormal, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

The Snore Consumer

I've come across reports in early 20th-century newspapers of an invention, designed to stop snoring, that worked by directing the sounds of the snoring into the snorer's own ear.

Oakland Tribune - Nov 26, 1933



I'm not sure if anyone ever really built this device, or if it was just a joke repeated by reporters.

The earliest report of it I've been able to find ran in newspapers in 1871. It attributed its invention to an unnamed woman from Iowa. However, I haven't been able to find a record of anything resembling this in the U.S. Patent Office, although there are numerous patents for anti-snoring devices.

Atchison Daily Champion - Feb 24, 1871

Posted By: Alex - Thu Feb 25, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Inventions, Sleep and Dreams, Nineteenth Century, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

Whistling Accelerators

Accelerators have inspired a number of weird inventions. For example, a few years ago we posted about the "Deaccelerator" which was a device that aimed to prevent speeding by making it harder to depress the pedal in your car once you reached a pre-set speed (usually 50 mph).

We've also posted about an effort to replace the accelerator with a pedal. The faster the driver pedaled, the faster the car would go. This was designed to give drivers some exercise as they commuted to work.

And yet another odd accelerator invention is the whistling accelerator. The idea is that if the accelerator is depressed too rapidly it will produce an annoying whistle. This will remind the driver not to accelerate too quickly, thereby saving gas.

The idea for a noise-making accelerator goes back to a 1958 patent granted to Philip Kershman of Los Angeles. He had rigged up an accelerator so that it would ring a bell if depressed too quickly.

Eighteen years later, in 1976, Henry Merriman of Michigan simplified this idea by replacing the bell with a whistle. He basically took a squeeze toy and attached it to the underside of the accelerator.

Merriman's squawking accelerator



St. Joseph News-Press/Gazette - Apr 30, 1975



Another whistling accelerator was patented in 2012. Its design was more sophisticated, but it was overall the same idea — accelerate too quickly and the thing starts whistling. The patentees described it as a "vehicle fuel efficiency monitor and signalling device".

Personally, I'm content to drive without any bells or whistles attached to the accelerator.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 20, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Inventions, Cars, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

Dyr bul shchyl

The Russian artist Alexei Kruchenykh invented the Zaum language in 1913. He described it as "a language which does not have any definite meaning." From what I can gather, it was gibberish sounds strung together.

Dyr bul shchyl, also written by Kruchenykh, was the first (but not last) poem written in Zaum.

Dyr bul shchyl
ubeshshchur
skum
vy so bu
r l ez

You can hear Kruchenykh reading the poem aloud in the first clip. There's a more modern interpretation of it below.





Knowing Russian, or any other language, won't help you understand the poem. But according to Russian language expert Lucas Stratton, "critics have interpreted Dyr bul shchyl as an arrangement of sounds associated with a coming storm."

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 29, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Languages, Poetry, 1910s, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

John Cage’s “Inlets”



I can almost smell the burning pine cones!

Full explanation and history here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Nov 27, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Music, Avant Garde, 1970s, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

Sun Ra Arkestra - Seductive Fantasy (A Chad Van Gaalen animation)



Weird music plus weird animation: two great weirds that go great together!

Posted By: Paul - Thu Aug 20, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Music, Avant Garde, Surrealism, Cartoons, Psychedelic, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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