Saturday, May 8, 2010

101 Interesting Things, part forty-two: Musical Roads

So you know how when you're driving along the highway doing a hundred and ten miles an hour at two in the morning on maybe ninety minutes of sleep after drinking all weekend, and you nod off for a second and you're probably going to run off the road, but then you hear this obnoxious BZZRRRT sound as you cross into the shoulder? You can relate to that, right? No?

Well, OK, you'll just have to trust me that that's how it works. They're called "rumble strips," and some guy figured out that closer grooves in the pavement produce higher pitches and farther grooves produce lower pitches. Pick your speed, and you can make music:
It's called a musical road, and they've got 'em in Denmark, Japan, South Korea, and the USA. Here's another:
So yeah. There's not a whole lot to this, except that roads can be used as musical instruments. Which is awesome, don't get me wrong - I'm just saying, once you've explained the principle, there's not really a whole lot more you can say about it. I could get into the human angle, but I'm more fond of robots. So here's a robot playing a violin, which I think is also way cool:

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