Archive for September 2011
You’re on an impromptu date at the local Starbucks with someone you just met on BLENDR—the all-new, all-straight hook up app taking the Internet by storm. There’s some chatting, some sipping. You’re like, I went to NYU and he’s all, Oh, I went to a small school in Boston. Well, not in Boston exactly, but next to Boston. You have a couple of friends who went to that school, seems like they all say that. But that’s not even the weird part. You ignore the fact that he’s sporting one of those ironic 19th century mustaches—you’re more ignoring that it kind of works on him. You overlook the fact that though he does look exactly like his BLENDR picture, a rarity in online dating, he’s actually shorter than you. You can deal, you’re saying.
This is a great guy, you’re thinking. I’d like to get to know him better, you’re saying. But then out of nowhere at the end of the date he hits you with the whole, Oh-and-I’m-bisexual-is-that-going-to-be-a-problem? thing.
Seeing as how you don’t really want to come off as homophobic, you nervously sip from your double Americano, then: Um, I guess not? I mean, I was in college once so I know how that goes. At the end of the date you give him a big hug—specifically not a kiss, as you are not keen to kiss a guy’s mouth that as far as you know could have had a penis inside of it as recently as two hours ago.
The Occupy Wall Street protesters camped out in Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park are buzzing over a big secret musical guest scheduled to play this afternoon at around 4pm. We hear that it’s Radiohead, who are in New York for a couple concerts.
It makes sense: Radiohead’s lead singer Thom Yorke has a history of lefty anti-globalization protest. What do you think: Are the millionaires from Radiohead authentic enough to be the bards of revolution? They’re certainly capable of mobilizing people: When their New York show sold out in minutes they almost caused a Twitter riot.
Update: It’s been confirmed by Occupywallstreet.org the official website of Occupy Wall Street. An Occupy Wall Street spokesman told me, they have no permit but the police are “aware” of the event.
Update 2: Well! A Radiohead spokesman says the performance is not happening, though people on the ground still insist it is.
Like most “Wire” fans who deeply and un-healthily lament the loss of a beloved masterpiece, the mere mention of anyone associated with the HBO ensemble drama sends simultaneous shivers of fear and joy and heartache through my bones. When one grows so attached to a group of characters, seeing them out of context feels like some sort of cruel joke.
“Hey! What’s Avon Barksdale doing on an episode of “House?” He’s supposed to be in prison. This isn’t possible. This just isn’t possible.”
(That is a blockquote of me talking to my television screen during a rerun of “House,” in case you were curious.)
I’ve just discovered where those voices in my head have been coming from.
The culprit is the Songbird Clear sound enhancement device I’ve been testing the past few days. It’s not a hearing aid per se. It’s a tiny sound amplifier that fits into your ear and looks like a hearing aid.
Hearing aids, which can cost thousands of dollars and require several trips to the doctor, can replace sounds the ear has lost, like high and low frequencies. The Songbird Clear, on the other hand, is sold over the counter at drugstores for about $120 and boosts sounds your ears are already capable of hearing. It just makes them louder.
The sound it produces, however, is akin to being in a stadium with the announcer’s voice lodged permanently inside your head. Imagine this — whenever you’re talking to somebody, they sound as though they’re calling out the starting lineup over the public address system at the ballgame. You get the same effect whether watching television, using the phone, or enjoying an afternoon brew with the boys.
The Songbird Clear, made by Songbird Hearing of North Brunswick, New Jersey, also picks up background noise. As I paced my house, the creaking of the hardwood floors beneath my footsteps sounded like a Gatling gun.
Next, I thought the traffic speeding outside my house was about to crash through the front door. While writing this review, the clicks from my Magic Mouse sounded like a Zippo cigarette lighter opening and shutting, and the noise coming from my keyboard was less like gentle typing and more like a Sammy Davis, Jr. tap dance.