...your hearing, at least

March 2, 2007

1 Min Read
Bagpipes Kill

5:40 PM -- London's TimesOnLine carries news of a Scottish healthcare breakthrough:

  • WICK Hearing experts confirmed yesterday what anybody who has ever stood too close to a bagpipe band has long suspected: the noise they make is louder than a jet aircraft taking off.

    The Wick Royal British Legion Scotland Pipe Band will issue all its members with earplugs after the music at one of its practice sessions was recorded at 122 decibels — two decibels louder than a private jet. Sheila Mackay, an audiologist from Raigmore Hospital, in Inverness, measured the noise levels from the band. The readings came out at 108 decibels for the pipers on their own, rising to 122 decibels when they were joined by snare drummers. “I think the band members were a bit shocked when I told them that they were louder than a small plane taking off. It was quite a surprise to me too,” she said.

    John Bogle, the band’s secretary, said: “I was aware that the music was loud, but it was amazing to make the comparison. We have a duty of care [to members] and, as hearing loss is irreversible, we will bring the potential consequences to their attention.”

Potential consequences... such as total loss of bowel control. Why not do as I do when I hear a bagpipe? Put a plastic dry-cleaning bag over your head.

— Larry, Attack Monkey, Light Reading

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