Friday, February 10, 2006

Decibel Destruction

I just came across (how about that Googling?) an old item in THE STRAIGHT DOPE that includes a solution I suggested for contemporary social problem.

This excerpt includes my contribution:

Is there a way to permanently silence somebody's loud car stereo?

Dear Cecil:A few of us were discussing those booming megawatt sound systems have nowadays--a bane of urban existence if ever there was one. We fantasized about being able to send an electronic signal that would defeat, override, distort, or blow out an offending car stereo, without blowing up the driver unless absolutely necessary. Could this be done with available technology? --Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore

Cecil Adams included this reply in a later column:


Dear Cecil: A while back someone wrote asking if there wasn't some effective device to render car stereos and boom boxes inoperative when they were turned up to a certain volume. Your reply referred to something like nuclear bombs or cosmic forces or some other sad expression of comic overkill rather than taking your correspondent's question seriously and answering it accordingly. You could have advised the gentleman that several such devices have already been invented and are already available on the open market. One good example is the very handy Smith and Wesson .38 caliber Police Special. For fine tuning accuracy the five or six inch barrel is recommended. In a steady hand, this tool is also effective on explosively loud motorcycles with hollowed out tailpipes instead of mufflers. --B.J. Merholz, Los Angeles

Later, champ. Right now I'm trying on the shoulder holster and practicing the proper inflection for: "Hey ... you talkin' to me?" --CECIL ADAMS


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