Unique Exhibition on the Nature of Sound – San Francisco’s Exploratorium will be hosting an unprecedented exhibition titled “Listen: Making Sense of Sound,” from October 21 thru December 31. Three years in preparation, the sonic soup will include over 55 different interactive exhibits in a 5000-square-foot space. You can listen as a musician does for the patterns forming the structural framework of a musical composition. Or sort out aural clues evoking a sense of place. Try on alternative ears and experience the ways the shape and orientation of an animal’s ears affect the sounds it hears. Or listen with your teeth and jaws, as does a snake, not needing ears at all. The various sonic journeys explore the physiological processes of hearing, human speech and communication – how humans perceive sound and how you listen. There will also be specially-commissioned artist-created sonic environments and public programs. For example, artist-composer Brenda Hutchinson is now hauling a large cast-iron bell across the country on a trailer and holding bell-ringing events in cities across the U.S. The Exploratorium is her destination, where she will give lecture-demonstrations. Beginning 10/19 you can listen on the web at www.exploratorium.edu/listen
Consumer Confusion Over Electronic Devices – A chain of electronics stores recently carried out an extended trial in selling home technology in some of their locations. They identified a gap in the market for a service to help ease the confusion many consumers feel when they are faced with the myriad gadgets and various technical specifications available to them. The research revealed that one in five people owning an electronic device do not know most of the common technical terms used in the home electronics industry, such as MP3, PDA or HDTV. It found that many people don’t know how to use all the functions of devices they purchase; in fact nearly five out of ten people admitted they had to get friends or family to help them operate even the simplest gadgets they had bought. Six out of ten people hated shopping for electronic devices at all, and many were unhappy with overly pushy in-store staff, who they feel are less than helpful or not even knowledgeable about the products they are selling. Sound familiar?