Human nature and car boom-boxes

Just happens to be one of my pet peeves!

Matthew Wright

Humans are an odd species. A few weeks back I was enjoying a cup of coffee at a footpath table, outside a café in a small shopping centre. A vehicle pulled up nearby, sound system absolutely thundering. The car stopped, doors and windows open, and somebody ran into a shop. They obviously weren’t going to be there long.

The music was a slow 4/4 beat with burping low-frequency bass, topped by vocals that seemed to consist mostly of aggressive shouting.

The issue was less the genre (which I believe was gangsta rap) than the way it was being played. The driver had turned the volume up to the point where the bass set the speakers buzzing. One of the reasons drivers do this is physics. It takes half a wavelength for any frequency to reach maximum amplitude. Thirty hertz, which is about the frequency of the bass notes this guy…

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