Monday, July 2, 2007

The Anti-Crap Sound

I was thinking about Jake's post this afternoon and wondering if there is some totally impractical way of reducing bathroom noise. It doesn't take much wondering to realize there is, and here's what I'm thinking: phase cancellation devices in bathroom stalls.

You've heard of those noise-canceling headphones, right? Well, those work on the principle that two sound waves that are out-of-phase with each other will cancel out. The closer they are to 180 degrees out-of-phase, the closer to silence the result is. It's like when you're in the tub and the water is getting cold so you run more hot water in and you start pushing it towards the back of the tub and it makes this wave back and forth but then eventually the waves sync up and flatten out and you can't seem to get the bath water in the back of the tub as warm as the water under the spigot.

So, what if MCW could go into the stall and flip a switch that was calibrated to the specific sound waves he emits during number two's? Maybe his sound waves have a frequency of 80Hz with an amplitude about 72 dB and a wavelength of about 4.3m. The machine would just reproduce those waves out of phase.

My whole theory breaks down, though, because it's not a constant sound he's making; it's intermittent, and probably random. Now, I may have absolutely no idea when I'm talking about (and I don't) but wouldn't that mean when no noise is coming from MCW there is a noise coming from the phase-shifter, and that noise sounds very much like MCW taking a dump? So then it'd only get quiet when he actually is pooping, and then you get to the point where which is more embarrassing?

Here is a photo of the graph I tried to draw when thinking about all this:

3 comments:

Bryce said...

thats probably the most brilliant thing that has ever been thought up. if you don't patent that, i think i'll be forced to.

MCW said...

Alice, what if multiple people are taking care of business in multiple stalls. If each person is working at a different frequency, would the frequencies in the bathroom conflict with each other?

Maybe sound proof stalls are better.

alice said...

i think there would have to be a switch for everyone at p.w.
yes, another problem with this plan...