Tag Archive for science

What Does the Universe Sound Like?

Mike explains how pigeon-lovers Arno Penzius and Robert Wilson found evidence to prove the Big Bang.  Find out about hisses, #starstuff, photons, poop, and more to get a full picture of what the universe actually sounds like.


Episode Music

Intro Music: Cosmos, Zu & Eugene Chadbourne, The Zu Side of the Chadbourne

Break #1: Ultime Cosmos, Lucien Dubuis Trio & Marc Ribot, Ultime Cosmos

Break #2: Three Modal Pieces: A Cosmos, Laurie Spiegel , Obsolete Systems

Break #3: Another Space Song, Failure, Fantastic Planet


Universe Sounds

Big Bang Hiss

Dawn Chorus

Black hole

Sound of the Big Bang


You Can Still Hear the Hiss of the Big Bang

Listen to A Black Hole

Listening to the Big Bang – in high fidelity

Black Hole Sound Waves

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1978

Sounds of Space: New ‘Chorus’ Recording By RBSP’s EMFISIS Instrument

Nobel-prize winning accidents

Big Hiss Missed by Others

The Sound of the Big Bang

Interpreting the ‘Song’ Of a Distant Black Hole

The Sound of the Big Bang – Planck Version (2013)

NASA Posts a Huge Library of Space Sounds, And You’re Free To Use Them


PD Episode Image:  Holmdel horn antenna http://bit.ly/2EWsp3E

This Episode Has Subliminal Messages

On this installment of Reasonably Sound, Mike Rugnetta covers subliminal messages and their (lack of) effectiveness with help from BrainCraft’s Vanessa Hill.  Chandler Bing is referenced.


  • Permanently Liminal by Menace Ruin
  • Please Be Patient With Me by Wilco
  • Nothing by Daniel Romano


  • Is there an effect of subliminal messages in music on choice behavior? by Hauke Egermann, Reinhard Kopiez, Christoph Reuter.Journal of Articles in Support of the Null Hypothesis Vol. 4, No. 2
  • Subliminal Auditory Messages: An Evaluation by Philip M. Merikle. Psychology & Marketing Vol. 5(4): 355-372 (Winter 1988)
  • Subliminal speech perception and auditory streaming by Emmanuel Dupoux *, Vincent de Gardelle, Sid Kouider. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2008.06.012
  • The Electronic Revolution by William Burroughs
  • The Influence of Auditory Subliminals on Behavior: A Series of Investigations by Myra J. Staum Melissa Brotons. Journal of Music Therapy, XXIX (3), 1992, 130-185

Joe Hanson on Animals, Sound, and Semiotics

When an animal makes a sound, does that sound have meaning?  Mike talks to Dr. Joe Hanson, a biology expert and curator/host of It’s Okay To Be Smart, about how male Pacific humpback whales woo female Pacific humpback whales, and you’ll get a glimpse into the world of animals, sound, and semiotics.  You might even hear them make whale noises … Mike and Joe, that is, not the actual whales.  Plus special cameos by “Wonderwall” and “The Fox.”

PD episode image: Dolphin – Bottlenose, NPSPhoto, 2001 by Everglades NPS http://bit.ly/2F0ObDh

Auditory Illusions

Mike Rugnetta would like to talk with you about auditory illusions (not tricks), specifically the Shepard tone and binaural beats.  Use your headphones for this one.  (ALSO: art school college story time!)

Show Notes!

PD Episode Image: Penrose Stairs by Sakurambo – http://bit.ly/2EcUSBk

The Cadillacs of Quiet

The stock photo place said these were shooting headphones. Let's hope they're right!

On this episode of Reasonably Sound, Mike Rugnetta considers noise-canceling headphones, whether you use them for cross-country flights or to mute your Simply Red-listening neighbor.  He tells you how they work (and don’t work), why the notion of neutral technology is a bunch of hooey (sorry, Chomsky), and that silence is a lie.


  • Weird warbles
  • Rare factions
  • Oculus Rift
  • Weirdly racist film stock
  • Harvard’s anechoic chamber
  • John Cage’s 4’33”
  • Wearing noise-canceling headphones while listening to John Cage’s 4’33”