None so deaf department

1. A new gadget, the AUDIO SPOTLIGHT, will be able

to project a beam of sound
directly to a person,
who will be the only one to hear it.
It is accurate within inches even from hundreds of yards.

The system works by beaming high-frequency ultrasound through the air. The beam is distorted by a computer back into audible sound before the target ears are reached.

It will produce audible sound within four years
It will cost no more than a couple of hundred dollars
It was invented by a PhD student at M.I.T. in Boston – Joseph Pompei

British Airways hopes to use it for in-flight entertainment without headphones.
It will enable:
lovers to coo to each other across a crowded party.
lawyers, politicians, actors, anyone in interview to be less obvious when they are being prompted.
sports coaches to be more effective, and quieter.
and so on - use your imagination


2. On the Subject of Autism
More than two hundred children with autism have been injected with a hormone called secretin and, in 90 per cent of cases, there were signs of improvement in their condition. Secretin actually occurs naturally in the body, and autism is regarded as a brain disorder, an imbalance which the natural hormone appears to correct. Trials are due to commence in a month or so.

3. Then there’s’ hearing what you don’t want to hear
Starlab Researcher: I had just used the urinal.
Suddenly a deep male voice behind me boomed ‘PERFECT!’

I have done a certain amount of living but this was a new one on me. Of course I quickly realised that some gentleman in a cubicle behind me, was using his mobile phone while he was in the 'bathroom'

(There is a suite of offices across the way from us, and there are always businessmen in suits striding in and out of there; some of them don’t stop working for anything). It was all going rather well, too, until he had to take down a number. All he could say was, ‘I don’t have a pen right now. Can I call you in a couple of minutes?.’ Which is what he could have said in the first place.

In the toilet in a certain Italian restaurant (in Toronto) you get an Italian lesson over the sound system while you do what you have to do. You walk in and a mellifluous voice says: "Bongiorno. Good morning. Come stai? How are you? Hai mangiato bene quest’oggi? Have you dined well today?" And when you have finished it says, "Grazie!".
I was out of there too fast to hear the 'Thank you!' - if there was one.

4. Enough of that, let’s get back to something romantic
King penguins and their queens have a very touching way of keeping their relationships going. They often mate for life, and never less than what socialites are wont to call 'The Season'. But Dr Thierry Lengagne of Paris Sud University has some even more remarkable news which makes penguins capable of doing naturally what the Audio Spotlight can only do with the aid of sophisticated equipment. (See ITEM 1 above).

The king penguin can call to his mate - and she hears him, over howling winds and above thousands of competing messages - there are about 40,000 penguins in a colony.
They are capable of extremely precise modulation, and, among the many factors they have to take into account, they appear to be able to include wind speeds
These seemingly complicated calculations are done instantly and are uncannily and infallibly accurate.