About the Author:

With a career that has spanned advertising, production, technical services, and project management, Michael is able to articulate the wide range skills and professions that make the Internet work. This eclectic understanding and his desire to shine the light on those hiding behind techno babble has brought success to a wide range of projects.

Twitter @bissell

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Past Postings:

New York, New York

Made it to SXSW in Austin

Good Morning America, now Go Fight Traffic

More surreality in Portland

Irish Music in Oregon City

Landing on an Aircraft Carrier

Got Curry? And some bizarre art?

Random Music and Random Life in Portland

To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump

Flight Simulator

Cold night, hot fire, happy cat

Walking to work in the snow

A window into Moreland of the Past

Big and Little Beirut

Reflections on my DC Trip

Born Again American

The wall of pissing

National Treasure/National Archives

My trip to DC so far

Everyone is insane

Getting ready for DC

The Very Model of a Modern Major General

Race to Witch Mountain

Christmas Fire

CAT Scan!

Follow up to the shoulder injury

Ironic Injury

On the Santa Monica Pier

Oil prices and birdsong

Watching Starship Troopers AGAIN!

You can't build life

Accidentally Drunk in Portland

Al Gore the Winner

Intelligent life is out there (but itís bugger all down here on earth)

Aussie Rules Football

Trip to Nostalgia Land

I am such an idiot

Long day of travel

Miami -- as far from Portland as you can go in the US

I'm fascinated with modern plumbing

Leaving Seattle (or why you should keep your ticket close)

On the Rails



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Oil prices and birdsong
2008-08-03 15:37:19

Markie and I spent a few days at her friends' farm in Raymond, Washington. They have 152 acres of timber (it would have been 160 except for the road) so it's extremely quiet; just the birds, the wind in the leaves and the sound four people and a dog make while reading on the porch.

I don't think we realize how we've destroyed birdsong with our urban development. Silence, sure, we all want more peace and quiet, but when you get out here you're overwhelmed by the birdsong. I had forgotten how much it was part of walking at the Sea Ranch when I was growing up (there are white crown sparrows here, I haven't seen any, but I remember their call).

All the cars growl in a low roar in the city. It's amazing how it drones even at 4 am, after the drunks have passed out but before the early risers have headed to the gym.

If we do actually transition from internal combustion to electric vehicles, we may get some of that birdsong back. Cities are getting more forested as they mature, so the canopy is back, even if the meadows aren't.

Of course there will be leaf blowers, exhaust fans, and booming music. Heck the amount of noise that four adults makes isn't negligible. Chit chat, clanking of pots and pans, yelling at the dog... Multiply that by a million people in a greater metro area and there's still a low roar.

But maybe it will be a roar that doesn't carry as far and we'll be able to hear the birds again in the city...


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