Today as I was walking back from Vaden, I was baffled to find that the trees along a pathway by Wilbur lot, a path I have walked many times, had all been chopped down. The remaining stumps were still naked and raw, and it made me sad. My instinctive reaction is best captured by analogy with the children’s film “Fern Gully.” This film has a strong environmental message, and there is a stark contrast between the lush, colourful forest inhabited by the protagonists and the barren, brown, smoke filled landscape of logging. While the loss of a few trees at Stanford is hardly so extreme, it evoked some of the same ugliness in my eyes.

I have just this evening discovered a new way to block unwanted noise by combining two existing methods. A bricolage of silence-seeking techniques, perhaps. The secret? I put in earplugs, then added my over-ear headphones, which further reduce the noise that gets through and also hold my earplugs snugly in place. As an added bonus, I’ve turned on instrumental soundtrack music, which is muted enough not to distract me, but salient enough to further direct my attention away from offending sounds. If I were the inventing sort, I think I might invent sound-proof paneling – to be put up like wallpaper. Maybe something like this already exists. Or even better, soundproof glass, though I don’t know enough about physics to know whether the sound that comes in through my closed window is only through the cracks or actually through the barrier itself.

Comments 3

  1. pandoradeloeste wrote:

    I remember that movie. Emilio and I could quote chapter and verse of it at one point. Aaron will be very sad that trees were cut down. If they were olive trees, I’ll be really sad. Those things take about 50 years to produce fruit, and the ones by Vaden were definitely producing fruit last I checked.

    Posted 09 Feb 2006 at 16:58
  2. the_zedster wrote:

    No, are you serious?! What the heck is Stanford’s problem? That makes me so mad–they keep killing perfectly good trees. Just today I saw the tree in front of my dorm hacked to bits–there were bits of the tree actually scattered all over the ground and stairway. Last year they cut another really nice tree I used to like to ride past, behind Tressider and the Faculty club. Know what they did afterwards? Plant the exact type of tree in its place, just a few years younger. Another 20 years from now, they’ll hack that one to bits and plant yet another tree. And repeat the sick cycle >:{

    Posted 10 Feb 2006 at 08:06
  3. 2_ragged_claws wrote:

    The farce that passes for landscaping here appears to be some bureaucrat’s idea of orderly, pseudo-pastoral beauty by beating and pummeling the land into submission. “Inconvenient” trees are removed, pesticides and herbicides are used liberally (the blue spray you may see here and there right now is herbicide). They do not appreciate that nature is most beautiful wild and free.

    They also try to kill the gophers. The bastards. I despise them. If I were less apathetic, I would start a protest.

    Posted 10 Feb 2006 at 13:53

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