Smelling the Beans in Brazil

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Are different people able to sense different stimuli? We all have the same five senses right? Even though that is true many of our senses have a natural variation and some lose their ability over time.

The sense of hearing or audition is a sense that loses its ability to perceive certain stimuli. "Teen Buzz" is a product to take advantage of this phenomena. It is basically a loud and annoying buzz that is emitted at a frequency of approximately 17.4 kHz. At this frequency the sound is only really heard by people under the age of 25. Its intended purpose is to be projected around businesses in order to stop loitering, vandalism, and drug use. I tested myself and my 19-year old friend, we both could hear the 17.4 kHz buzz. It was loud and almost hurt to listen to. It would definitely be a good deterrent.

All senses also follow a natural variation when it comes to ability. Just like height or weight a person's ability to sense stimuli will be different compared to almost anyone else. Just as there are super tall people, there are also people who have a heightened ability to sense things. Olfaction, or the sense of smell, follows this and a person with a heightened sense of smell could "smell the beans in Brazil", as the proverbial phrase goes.

As with the other senses certain animals have a sense of smell that is many times better than even the best human's. The silvertip Grizzly Bear (pictured below) has the best sense of smell of all animals. Their sense of smell is 7 times stronger than a Bloodhound's which are renowned for their ability to detect and follow scents.



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I didn't know that bears had the best sense of smell. It was interesting to read about the Teen Buzz that only those under 25 can hear. Did you consider adding a link to the sound or elaborating on the bear's sense of smell? For example they can smell a dead animal over 18 miles away!

I also didn't know that bears had the strongest sense of smell. Do you have any idea which types of businesses might be using the Teen Buzz? Are there any laws against using it? The topics you discussed were very unique and I plan to look more into them!

This is a very interesting article because of its relation to our everyday lives. We are constantly using our senses to survive and progress our lives, but they are usually overlooked or forgotten until an article such as this presents itself and makes us realize how important they are. Like everyone else has said, it is interesting to hear that bears have the strongest sense of smell. Does this mean that their other senses are weaker? Just a question to ponder or hopefully answer/add to the article.

I think the buzz thing sounds like a lot of potential for fun. You did a good job explaining how it works. I would worry that hearing the high pitched buzz would be degrading to hearing. For example, I read in an article that listening to loud music positively correlates to hearing loss ( It would be interesting to see if there are the same degrading effects from listening to high pitched noises like the buzz.

I really enjoyed reading this article and learning about how different pitches of noise can only be heard by certain age groups or younger. I never knew this fact, but it sort of makes sense about how society always assumes that you lose your sense of hearing with age. It was also interesting to learn about how businesses will use the high frequency buzz when trying to prevent loitering, vandalism etc. Neat topic!

Great topic, I have never heard of "Teen Buzz" but after reading it seems very interesting. it is strange that even though we all (human and animals) have the same senses but we have natural variations in the strength of the sense. I enjoyed the simple comparison of teens to adults but also throwing in the Grizzly bear was great.
great pictures and evidence.

I thought this was a very interesting topic and you did a very good job explaining everything. I think it's weird to think about that even though we all have the same five senses, that some people use their senses differently or some of their senses are better than others.

I also think you did a really good job explaining your chosen topic. I found the "Teen Buzz" part especially interesting, I know that there are cell phone ringtones that work in a similar way, and are intended for teenagers use during school so their teachers can't hear them, I wonder if it is the exact same as the idea you described?

I enjoyed reading your article. I was surprised to learn that the Bear has the best abilities to detect smell; I was also surprised to learn about that sound that can only be detected by people between 17 years and 25 years old. I wish you included a link to the sound that way I can check if my ears are getting too old.

I really enjoyed reading your blog post. I didn't know that bears had the best sense of smell. That's a good thing to know, especially if you're a camper or an outdoorsy person. Also, I think that's really interesting about the Teen Buzz. I've never heard of that before, but I bet it's effective. Nicely done!

Great blog post and lots of great information. I liked the piece about the teen buzz. Me and my friends would always play that sound during class and it would bug the heck out the other students but the teacher would have no idea so it was a joke we liked to play. I had no idea that the Grizzly bear had to best sense of smell though so that was very interesting to learn.

Very good blog post! There was a lot of very interesting and useful information! I also read about teen buzz for my blog post and found it fascinating how the ability of our senses changes over time. I also had no idea that could smell that much better than dogs. It would be interesting to see if there was some way to use the bears incredible sense of smell to create a something like teen buzz that would repel bears from populated areas. Like some smell that would be undetectable to humans, but repel bears. But overall, great article!

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This page contains a single entry by noyce005 published on February 19, 2012 5:17 PM.

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