NPF: OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO

I'm in a severely foul (hockey-related) mood as the Blackhawks continue to make a middling Red Wings team look like the 1977 Montreal Canadiens. Fortunately today was scheduled for Link Salad composed of a couple of strange places and something interesting to gawk at.

1. Do you enjoy peace and quiet? Then you'll love the quietest place on Earth, the anechoic chamber at Orfield Labs in Minneapolis. It wrested the title from the AT&T-Bell Labs "Quiet Room" in New Jersey, which was the site of many interesting tests and developments over the years. The Orfield room eliminates more than 99% of external sound, somehow producing a negative decibel rating (which I didn't know was possible) compared to the average "quiet room" with about 30 dB of background noise.

Surely this sounds pretty good to you lovers of peace and quiet. Well, it's unpleasant; the longest anyone has been able to tolerate sitting in it is 45 minutes. It is so quiet that it causes people to hallucinate. Although obviously the effect of being in the room cannot be conveyed in a video, this short clip about Orfield is interesting nonetheless.

2. Have you ever wondered what is the worst restaurant in the world? Well why not? Surely the quest to find it would be at least as interesting, if not as pleasant, as finding the best one. Vice has a nominee for this award, and it's in Los Angeles. Yes, I know. Vice is written by dicks, for dicks. No, the writer is not exactly sensitive to the plight of the homeless. But you have to admit, even if you find the author smug and condescending, that you won't be dining here anytime soon.

3. Here's an interesting little project by an artist depicting historical figures in various paintings in modern dress. Shakespeare looks pretty intimidating in most of the surviving depictions; it's interesting to think that if he was alive today he would probably look like an English graduate student. That is, like a hobo.

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22 Responses to “NPF: OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO”

  1. sinned34 Says:

    Since my team didn't even make the 2013 playoffs despite being within 2 games of winning the Cup last year, I'll be happy enough to see the teams I detest knocked out of the playoffs instead. The Canucks are already gone, now I just want to see the Kings, Rangers, and Wings lose and I'll consider this year not a complete and total loss.

  2. Alistair Says:

    I've actually eaten at that particular Jack in the Box. In a clown suit. With about 20 other clowns. On Ketamine.

  3. c u n d gulag Says:

    The Rangers won!
    They avoided a sweep!!
    If only to extend the agony for us fans.

    Now, we're hoping for a reverse of what the damn Red Sox did to the Yankees in 2004.
    Ain't gonna happen, but…

  4. anotherbozo Says:

    Since this is an olio of sorts of interesting web finds, maybe I can call you attention to a very funny series of YouTube vids. Besides, this particular one reminds me of Ed and Buddy. Even if you don't like talking animals, a hampster (gerbil?) worried about Mayan end-of-world scenarios?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3l4GZmh98k

    My favorite of this inspired French lunatique has to be

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIePsbJSS04

    He does all the voices.

  5. Major Kong Says:

    My wife and I were on a road trip a few years ago. We stopped for lunch at a Denny's somewhere off the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

    To this day we refer to it as "The Denny's of the Damned".

  6. sluggo Says:

    Thanks for ruining Shakespeare for me. He used to be the greatest playwright, one look at that picture, and he is forever douche-bag twig-boy who stole my parking space.

  7. CaptBackslap Says:

    Speaking of things that are utterly quiet: Toews.

  8. Kevin Says:

    You can't say Toews is utterly quiet. His crying was joyous music to my ears last night. LGRW!

  9. xynzee Says:

    What Sluggo said. Though, Lizzie bears a striking resemblance to Hilary.

    I have a friend who used to drop trips and go into a sense-dep chamber. So I'm sure there will be a commercial market for this kind of thing.

  10. Slim Shady Says:

    Clearly the Black Hawks meltdown can be traced to this Gay Marriage thing. It's not over yet, if anyone can come back it would be this Chicago team. If not, well, biggest upset since Ken Dryden single handedly stole a Cup from the Big Bad Bruins in '71. And that only happened because Hippies were still reigning supreme.

  11. mothra Says:

    I am sure there are worse restaurants in the world. I didn't know that Vice was written by dicks for dicks, though. I don't mind their HBO thing too much–informative, but maybe a little too concerned with finding audacity on which to report–and scary situations to be filmed through night vision goggles.

    I don't give a shit about hockey, except to be highly annoyed that the NBC Sports Network completely bumped all their cycling coverage for the never-ending playoffs. People. It's summer. Get off the goddamned ice.

  12. dayman2042 Says:

    Go Wings! I can't stand the Black Hawks, or the White Sox, or the Bears… Chicago as a whole just kind of annoys me. I don't really care about the Cubs because they are in the NL, and the Bulls because who really can watch the NBA. The Wings have been a pleasant surprise in the playoffs so far after barely squeaking in. They usually turn it up in big games, though. Sorry Ed.

  13. Doctor Rock Says:

    One of the things I like about Vice is their constant ragging on LA. I've been there several times over the past several years (to visit my sister and a friend who up and moved out there) and have nevertheless never really enjoyed it.

    Maybe it's because I was born and raised in Miami-the city reminds me of a bigger version of the urban sprawl and even worse traffic. There's something about how spread out it is, and how the bright sun throws the ugliness of the city into sharp relief.

    I've had fun there, to be sure. There was certainly a lot to do. But living in NYC, LA felt…wrong. I dunno. Part of it is also how far away it is from everything and everyone I know, save for a handful of people. I feel like I'm on a different planet. Which is weird, because I've enjoyed San Francisco. Anyway, there's my tangential input.

  14. Doctor Rock Says:

    Part of it may be jealousy. Since I was a kid growing up and hating it in Florida i'd wanted to move out west. Almost took a scholarship to USC but went to school in the northeast instead. Even though I'm not sure I want to move to California anymore, I envy my sister and friends who have. Something about the freedom and self-determination that involves moving across the country instead of staying in one place since graduating college. Sadly, what I do for a living doesn't exactly make for an easy cross-country move. I'd have to start all over again with connections.

    Anyway, that was a little self-indulgent. Kids, put some thought into where you want to live.

  15. JohnR Says:

    "Kids, put some thought into where you want to live."

    I did. I decided I wanted to live in a house. Now every day I look at all the things I can't afford to fix and all the things I've fixed so badly that it will cost money just to get them back to where they were only broken before, I wonder if maybe a cave, or a van down by the river, might not have been a better choice. Well, if only I'd decided to live in Oklahoma, I could have had a clean slate every five or ten years. Too late now, I suppose.

  16. acer Says:

    I've met that Vice writer. She tries way too hard to come off as a sociopath.

  17. Tim Says:

    Decibels are a log-scale (i.e. 50 dB is 10x as loud as 40 dB, 0 dB is 10x as loud as -10dB), so it's perfectly possible. That's damn quite though. Sounds nice.

  18. Nick Z Says:

    Elizabeth I: Tilda Swinton :: Henry VIII: Ray Winstone

  19. wetcasements Says:

    "by dicks, for dicks"

    That's not always a bad thing.

  20. Nunya Says:

    Jesus Christ – The Jack in the Box of the damned article further cements the brilliant decision to move the fuck out of LA as soon as I graduated from high school. That place is a predators dream and the author of that article should be sodimized by an army or thorn condomed horses. I feel dirty for having read that.

  21. Sam Says:

    Man, the first few comments on that anechoic chamber article are just…staggeringly silly.

  22. BigHank53 Says:

    I've spend a little time in an anechoic chamber. Your brain expects background noise of some sort: traffic or computer fans or the fridge or wind or even your own heartbeat, and it's got subconscious routines for filtering them out.

    With no background noise, they start working overtime and…hello, headache.