Do you live in the noisiest part of the U.S.? A map shows the country’s loud and quiet spots

a map shows the loudest and quietest parts of u s noisiest us
Forget red and blue states: The U.S. has blue and yellow states. At the 2015 AAAS meeting, researchers at the National Parks Service showed off a new map that illustrates just how loud a good swath of the country is. Kurt Fristrup helped collect more than 1.5 million hours of acoustical monitoring, according to Science magazine, which the team then translated into a map showing the noise levels across the U.S.

The yellowest splotches and spots are mostly clustered around cities, where noise levels average in the 50- to 60-decible range. In contrast, the dark blue areas depict areas such as Yellowstone, with noise levels below 20 decibels. It’s no big surprise that the map looks pretty similar to light-pollution maps.

If you live in the glowing yellow center of New York City, you might not think the hustle and bustle is that bad. “We are conditioning ourselves to ignore the information coming into our ears,” Fristrup said at the meeting, the Guardian reports. It’s something called “learned deafness.” Fristrup says, “There is a real danger, both of loss of auditory acuity, where we are exposed to noise for so long that we stop listening, but also a loss of listening habits, where we lose the ability to engage with the environment the way we were built to.” That includes the nature that we find in those natural parks, and losing the ability to tune into such sounds could be detrimental.

William Wordsworth wrote, “Come, hear the woodland linnet / How sweet his music! on my life / There’s more of wisdom in it.” The idea that nature can act as a teacher or salve has clearly been around a while, but now there’s a bit of research to back it up. According to early research Pennsylvania State University social scientist Derrick Taff presented at the AAAS meeting, sounds recorded at national parks, such as waterfalls and birdsongs, helped people calm down after stressful events more quickly than noises such as traffic and conversation. It’s not clear why. One hypothesis is our ancient ancestors, who could actually hear the linnets, found the sounds soothing.

Seems like Homer Simpson was on to something.

Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Marshawn Lynch, Netflix streaming data, and more

The NES and SNES Classic Editions may be being discontinued, but new streaming data from Netflix has been released, and we sat down with Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch on Thursday's episode of Digital Trends Live.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Home Theater

Sling TV ramps up its base programming with Discovery Networks for free

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.
Smart Home

Cops go after porch pirates with dummy Amazon boxes and GPS trackers

Amazon is helping police in Jersey City to catch thieves who steal delivered packages from outside people's homes. Within just minutes of the operation's launch this week, cops nabbed their first porch pirate.
Smart Home

A couple’s recalled dishwasher caught on fire — and now they’re warning others

A Wisconsin couple has been using the dishwasher in their house for a year, unaware that it was recalled in 2009. Then the appliance caught fire. Now they are warning others to check appliances for risks when buying or renting a home.
Smart Home

Amazon sent me a Christmas tree. Did it leave me pining for more?

Is driving to a Christmas tree lot or farm to get some fresh pine a daunting task that you dread every year? Good news: Amazon is now selling real Christmas trees with free shipping. We decided to order one to see how it went.
Smart Home

Amazon has some killer deals on vacuums through the holidays

Whether you're buying for someone else or for yourself, Amazon has some great deals on vacuums running through the holidays. Score them while you can and keep your home cleaner than ever.
Smart Home

Got an Emerson thermostat? 135,000 of them are being recalled due to fire risk

Most recalls are relatively benign but if you own an Emerson-branded thermostat, we encourage you to check your model number because the company has alerted consumers to the potential of the device starting a fire.

You don't want to sleep on these red-hot bedding deals

We've rounded up some of the best discounts and sales happening right now, so you can buy yourself (or your loved ones) new bedding without breaking your budget. Trust us when we say these are deals worth losing sleep over.

Best deals for smart home plugs that control your lights and appliances

Smart hubs and speakers play central communication and management roles in your home, but smart plugs let you add lights and appliances to your system. Any smart plug you buy must support one feature or anything you plug in stays dumb.

G’day, Google: U.S. users can now give Assistant a British or Australian accent

U.S. Google Assistant users can give their Assistant a different voice. Google has updated Assistant with the ability for users to give it either a British or Australian accent, which could make it a little more personal for some.
Smart Home

Knock, knock. Who's there? With a video doorbell, you'll never have to guess

When it comes to knowing who's at your door before you actually open it, there's nothing better than a video doorbell. Plus, you can "answer" the door even if you're not home. Here are some of our favorites.
Smart Home

The best air fryers deliver fried food with a fraction of the calories

What is this magical mechanism? It's an air fryer, and when used correctly, it can mimic the effects of frying while using just a little bit of oil. You still get that crispy, golden exterior and the fluffy center.