Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Slightly Odd Return Of Self Help Radio Extra!

I listen to a lot of music, but at times I don't get to do a lot of radio shows, mostly getting one a week during my entire time on the radio. Also, some of the people who appreciate my musical taste don't necessarily want to listen to me yammer on about zombies & robots in-between songs. One simple solution for this dilemma was to make a mix CD for those people, put it up on my website, & call it something like "Self Help Radio Extra." I did that, starting in October of 2007, & more or less continued doing it up until sometime last year. I can hazard a guess why I stopped - I was doing a radio show & a weekly podcast, & then when we moved to Lexington, I was subbing a lot of shows on WRFL. But I had a little time this week & I thought I'd make a mix. For you. Here it is. On the Self Help Radio Extra page.

You may think there's a theme to the mix, but there really isn't. There's a reason it sort of looks the way it does, when you see the playlist, but I'm not going to tell you what the reason is, or why the reason is, or whatever. You can puzzle over it or you can listen to it or you can do neither because you don't care.

Self Help Radio Extra has returned. & you didn't even know it had gone anywhere!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Can You Hear Me Now? Oooomph!

As loud as Self Help Radio was last night, it was nowhere near loud enough to get everyone's attention, & as such, I am going to have to find another way to get everyone to look at me & listen to what I have to say & fall in love with me & think everything I say & do is valuable & adorable. Rats.

You control the loudness, though, so if you didn't catch the show, or caught it but had the volume down too low & need to listen to it again, or simply want to play it as loud as possible to scare all the cats in the neighborhood (or convince them to dance with you), you can listen to it now over at self help radio dot net. It's there now waiting for you to raise its decibels if that's your idea of fun.

Hey! Can you hear me? I'm writing in a whisper! Is it sexy? Or creepy? Or are you waiting for me to tell you a secret? I have no secrets. I'm just whispering to make everyone think I do. It seems counterintuitive but I think you can use an exclamation point in a whisper! It's just a louder whisper! Oh crap, why is it every time I whisper a librarian shows up to shush me?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Loudest Radio Show Ever

I forgot to mention, with it being Valentine's Day & all, that you can still download the songs from the Self Help Radio Valentine's Day 2011 show, which was about love songs, at this link here. I'll leave the zip file there for a couple more days. Please to enjoy this (late, if you missed it) Valentine's Day gift from Self Help Radio to you.

Tonight, though, on 88.1 fm WRFL Lexington, Self Help Radio will be - well, not loud - I mean, as I've said before, you control the volume knob - so it's always as loud as you want it to be - but in its own head it will be the loudest radio show ever. Not because of its volume, or even because it's wearing gaudy clothing (though it will be), but because it's about loudness, & will explore loud in a way that presupposes volume. Or maybe supersedes volume. Or perhaps expands upon volume. Or maybe it would be better if I said it overtakes volume. All of these. Even, perchance, none of these. You know how it is.

That's tonight, midnight, on 88.1 in Lexington & all over the world at wrfl dot fm. It may be so loud, though, that you don't even have to have the radio on to listen.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Whither Loudness?

A decibel is a complicated thing (just read the wikipedia definition) but for our purposes here it is a measure of loudness. It measures power & intensity - in this case, the power & intensity of sound. When we speak to each other, for example, unless we have no indoor voice, we speak at around 60 decibels, or 60 dB. (Technically, it's dB(A), but I am a layperson & I will assume I'm not addressing an audio engineer or other smarty-pants in the world of sound measurement.) How does that compare with other sounds we hear?

The noise of a rocket taking off is 180 dB. A public library when the librarian is doing his or her job, 40 dB.

An air raid siren is about 130 dB. Leaves rustling, 30 dB.

Your typical night club is pretty loud at 110 dB. Your typical office, around 50 dB.

Oh, an important one for radio listeners: "amplified rock music" can be from 110 to 130 dB. A noisy restaurant is 70 dB.

A screaming child is as loud as a lawn mower is an loud as a "passing motorcycle": 90 dB.

You're lucky, though. You can control the volume knob on your radio. Self Help Radio need only be as loud as you want it to be. Some people, it must be said, turn it all the way down.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Preface To Loudness: Ear Damage

While everyone assumes that Self Help Radio is supposed to be listened to loud, it may surprise you that Self Help Radio actually cares about your hearing, & hopes that you do not choose volume over ear health.

What happens to your beautiful ears when you listen to loud music? A borderline literate researcher at the "wikianswers" page says this:

"The waves & vibrations of the music pound into your delicate eardrum, located close behind the hammer & anvil. Sound, which is collected by your outside, visible ear (the pinna) travels through the outer ear canal. Your eardrum then vibrates as well as the three mini bones around it: the anvil, hammer, & stirrup. All named those names because of their shapes. This vibration goes to the cochlea (a snail like spiral), which has many little hairs that have nerve signals sent to the brain. If you listen to loud music, the hairs fall off. & you go deaf."

Yes, friends, loud music will make your inner ear bald. & if you're as old as some of the men behind Self Help Radio, you know that the hair that eventually grows just inside & on your ear as old age embarrasses us more & more is no replacement for the nervy hairs on the naughtily-named cochlea.

Furthermore, if you can no longer hear, how could listen to Self Help Radio? While there is no evidence of an increase in quality from show to show, from year to year, with Self Help Radio, one can always hope, & should you no longer be able to listen, what might you miss when Self Help Radio finally covers your favorite theme in 2018? Could you live with yourself then?

Take care of your ears! Listen to all things at a moderate, pleasing volume. Use protection when you go out to see "rock & roll" bands. Good listeners have good ears. Self Help Radio needs all the listeners it can get!