Friday, August 12, 2005

Huh? Sorry, dear, what were you saying?

Nope, this is not another haze post about a probable difficulty of hearing due to the haze.

I'll try to squeeze in three news related to this topic. And please look away if you are going to accuse my of nothing better to do but just cut and paste news from the internet.

1. Men do have trouble hearing women, scientists find

LONDON (AFP) - Men who are accused of never listening by women now have an excuse -- women's voices are more difficult for men to listen to than other men's, a report said.

The Daily Mail, quoting findings published in the specialist magazine

NeuroImage, said researchers at Sheffield university in northern England discovered startling differences in the way the brain responds to male and female sounds.

Men deciphered female voices using the auditory part of the brain that processes music, while male voices engaged a simpler mechanism, it said.

The Mail quoted researcher Michael Hunter as saying, "The female voice is actually more complex than the male voice, due to differences in the size and shape of the vocal cords and larynx between men and women, and also due to women having greater natural 'melody' in their voices.

"This causes a more complex range of sound frequencies than in a male voice."

The findings may help explain why people suffering hallucinations usually hear male voices, the report added, as the brain may find it much harder to conjure up a false female voice accurately than a false male voice.

Sorry, dear-what were you saying just now? Now, you'll have an excuse the next time your fella nag you!

2. Soothing sounds

The Sun reports that newborn babies in Slovakia are being played classical music through earphones, "to help them communicate."

On doctors' orders, the tiny tots listen to the soothing music, which is believed to "ease the stress of being born". Maybe they should start doling out headphones to the shattered new mums - surely they feel more than a little stressed.

The babies in Kosice, Slovakia, are just one or two days old when the huge adult headphones are put over their ears. And they are 'soothed' by this music five times a day for 20 minutes at a time, reports the paper.

We're not told exactly which classical tunes are chosen to be piped through to the newborns but the Sun helpfully suggests a few tracks which could feature on their "iPoods". If you thought that was bad, you should read their suggestions.

"Don't Worry, Be Nappy" is top of the list.

Wait, it gets worse.

"Wake Me Up Before You Goo Goo" has to be the highlight.


Baby: goo gaa gaa Arsh goo gaa gaa
Mom: Sorry dear, what were you saying? OMFG...I must have wrongly put an Eminem CD or what? Please, dear, don't sue me when you grow up.

3. Short sharp shock for youngsters who can't log off net

ZHU ZHENGHUA thought his parents were taking him to Beijing to go sightseeing.
Instead they checked the 19-year-old into a clinic for internet addicts at the Beijing Military Hospital that claims to be the world’s first. “I used to stay online until I was tired. I don’t know how long. Days?” Zhu said. “So I think maybe this clinic is good for me.”

China’s soaring on-line population recently topped 100 million, but that has brought problems as well as advantages. Such is their obsession with the internet that almost all the clinic’s young patients have dropped out of school or college. They cease to communicate with family or friends. They live huddled in front of a computer screen, drifting through internet chat rooms or playing violent online games.

“These are children with low self-esteem or behavioural problems and going on to the internet boosts their selfconfidence. It makes them feel mature and successful and it gives them a sense of achievement,” said Tao Ran, the director of the clinic and a specialist with 20 years’ experience in treating addictions.

"Sorry dear-what were you saying-I'm braiwashing my brain not to be an internet addict anymore."

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