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Tags crickets , Cuba conspiracies , Cuba incidents , mass hysteria , psychogenic illness , sonic weapons , US-Cuba relations

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Old 5th March 2018, 02:35 PM   #401
Checkmite
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Originally Posted by TheGnome View Post
Now I seem to recall that the signal in question was quite strong.
We have no idea how strong the signal was; just that it was audible.
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Old 5th March 2018, 03:14 PM   #402
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
This explanation makes a whole lot of sense. Any embassy is bound to be flooded with radio frequencies, both from listening equipment installed by other nations' intelligence service and jammers installed by the embassy nation's counterintelligence services. These frequencies are normally inaudible of course; but the experiment proves that audible sounds can be produced at foci of frequency interference. This could easily explain the sounds heard by some - specifically the phenomenon reported by some that the sounds were extremely local; that is, that one could move one's body in and out of a small focused "zone" of audible sound. This small area is where the frequency interference happened to produce the audible tones.

This is a much more likely explanation than say crickets, which should be audible everywhere and which it seems unlikely that someone who's lived in the location for months would suddenly start hearing after being long deaf to them.
Every modern home and workplace is flooded with radio waves. We shouldn't confuse those with sound waves.

The article doesn't really help explain anything. It's speculation about a method of producing low frequency sounds by mixing high frequency sounds which is completely familiar to engineers if not well known to the general public. The 'experiment' was a demonstration, not an investigation, because the effect shown is already well understood.

I remember this technique being demonstrated on TV decades ago, as a system intended to produce localised audio descriptions within a museum hall or art gallery which would only become audible near each exhibit.

It doesn't get us anywhere closer to evidence of skulduggery in Cuba. The presence of audible sound doesn't strongly imply the presence of inaudible sounds as its source and even if it did, there's no hint of any mechanism for harming people with ultrasound nor motive for doing so. It still seems to me that rumours of the commies secretly beaming radio waves through diplomatic buildings (again) is exactly the sort of thing that would make people suddenly notice every little sound they'd previously ignored. I'm still persuaded it's just crickets.
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Old 5th March 2018, 09:18 PM   #403
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
It doesn't get us anywhere closer to evidence of skulduggery in Cuba. The presence of audible sound doesn't strongly imply the presence of inaudible sounds as its source and even if it did, there's no hint of any mechanism for harming people with ultrasound nor motive for doing so.
The article itself explains that the intent of the exploration wasn't to try and find any mechanism by which people were harmed, but just to provide a possible explanation for a sound which some people could hear and only in certain places, while others heard nothing; a phenomenon that crickets as an explanation fails to explain.
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Old 5th March 2018, 11:14 PM   #404
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
We have no idea how strong the signal was; just that it was audible.

Just audible?! That's not how it was described six months ago when it was supposed to impair people's hearing.
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Old 6th March 2018, 01:03 AM   #405
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The way I see it:

Kevin Fu did not examine what people were hearing. How could he? He didn't have access to them. Instead he examined the published audio clip. He then came up with intertmodulation[1] as a possible mechanism and did some experiments that this indeed could be the case.

But this leads to quite a few questions. Maybe he has answered them in the published (or soon to be published) paper, I don't know, but I'll list a couple.

With people experiencing this sound, the intermodulation (IM) would take place in their ears. For the sound clip, the IM would be produced in the recording device. Not all nonlinearities are equal. Are they really comparable in this case?

Do we know the quality and fidelity of the sound clip? What type of recording device was used? If it was digital, are we certain it's not aliasing e.g.? Are there artefacts from a compression algorithm maybe?

All in all I think it's an intriguing hypothesis but, going just from the linked article, I don't think it's much better supported than the crickets explanation.


[1] The choosen expression, intermodulation interference, might be a bit misleading. It just means that an unwanted signal is interferring with the desired signal. It has nothing to do with interference patterns as can be seen in soap films, or are used in interferometry. These do appear in perfectly linear media. For intermodulation to occur there absolutly must be some nonlinearity, in this case either in the recording device, or in the human ear.
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Old 6th March 2018, 05:56 AM   #406
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
The article itself explains that the intent of the exploration wasn't to try and find any mechanism by which people were harmed, but just to provide a possible explanation for a sound which some people could hear and only in certain places, while others heard nothing; a phenomenon that crickets as an explanation fails to explain.
I don't recall seeing a report of anyone hearing a noise which another person present couldn't hear, so this may not be a matter of whether some people were able to hear a particular sound but simply whether they noticed it.

My recollection is that one person reported a sound which ceased when they got out of bed or sat up in bed (plausibly turned a light on?) and resumed when they lay down again. Crickets fit that quite neatly.
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Old 7th March 2018, 02:29 PM   #407
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Cuban protests against the permanent cuts at the U.S. embassy in Havana with references to the alleged health attacks:

Quote:
“It is false that the diplomatic staff of the Embassy is or has been at risk,” added Fernandez de Cossio.
The Cuban diplomat stressed that “it is false that it was allowed in Cuba or that any deliberate action against diplomats of the United States may have occurred in Cuba.”
Cossio criticized on Twitter that Washington continues to use the word “attack”, when “it knows perfectly well that no attack or deliberate act occurred in Cuba against its diplomats.”
“The United States has sufficient evidence that Cuba is a safe country for US diplomats or any country, as well as for Cubans and for more than 4 million foreign visitors every year,” he added.
Cuba Criticizes Trump’s Decision to Maintain Reduction in Embassy Staff (Havana Times, Mar. 3, 2018)

Quote:
A State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, called the Cuban complaint "ridiculous."

"Let's remind Cuba: They are obligated under the Vienna Convention to protect our diplomats. It is very serious that 24 of our U.S. government colleagues suffered health attacks, some with serious and ongoing symptoms. Secretary Tillerson had to protect his staff by limiting our work at the U.S. Embassy in Havana to emergency services," she said.

"While our investigation is ongoing, rather than find excuses, Cuba should focus on helping to locate who or what is responsible for the harm caused to American citizens," Nauert added.
Cuba condemns U.S. cuts to embassy staff over health attacks (VOA News/AP, Mar. 5, 2018)

Quote:
Asimismo, el Director General para Estados Unidos calificó como otro acto hostil y difamatorio la renovación de la alerta que recomienda a los viajeros reconsiderar las visitas a Cuba, emitida igualmente el 2 de marzo.
En su opinión dicha alerta está basada en motivaciones políticas y no tiene relación con la salud de los funcionarios ni con la preocupación por los viajeros.
«Es falso que el personal diplomático de la Embajada esté o haya estado en riesgo. Es falso que haya sido objeto de ataques. Es falso que se haya permitido en Cuba o que pueda haber ocurrido en Cuba por parte de alguien alguna acción deliberada contra diplomáticos de los EE. UU. Es falso que ciudadanos estadounidenses tengan razones para temer por su seguridad en Cuba», expresó.
«El Gobierno de EE. UU. tiene evidencias suficientes de que Cuba es un país seguro para diplomáticos estadounidenses y para los diplomáticos de cualquier país, como lo es para los ciudadanos cubanos, para los residentes extranjeros y para los millones de viajeros de todas partes del mundo que visitan Cuba cada año».
Minrex: Decisión unilateral del Gobierno de Estados Unidos responde a motivaciones políticas (Juventud Rebelde, Mar. 6, 2018)
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Old 14th March 2018, 03:56 AM   #408
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Quote:
Pompeo shares much of Trump’s worldview
Beyond his Russia falsehoods, Pompeo is known for a hard-line view of Iran — including “rolling back” the Iran nuclear deal — and his support for Guantanamo Bay and the brutal interrogation of terror suspects.
Mike Pompeo, your likely new — and Trump-friendly — secretary of state (Vox, Mar. 13, 2018)

¿Qué significa la designación de Mike Pompeo para Venezuela y Cuba? (Diario las Américas, Mar. 13, 2018)

There's no reason to think that Pompeo won't continue the lie about the alleged Cuban health attacks.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 22nd March 2018, 05:46 AM   #409
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New JAMA article:

Quote:
Steven Lewis, MD, coauthor of the editorial accompanying the study, noted that none of the patients underwent similar testing before they arrived in Havana, making it difficult to pinpoint when their problems began. Without reporting the age of each patient or having prior baseline test results, it’s also impossible exclude the likelihood that the neurological findings could simply be due to aging, explained Lewis, chief of neurology at the Lehigh Valley Health Network in Pennsylvania.
For example, he said, age could be a factor in the 3 people who needed hearing aids after they left Havana. “We don’t know if they were 38 or 58. If they were 38 and had hearing loss, maybe that would potentially be a little more significant.” Given the lack of baseline testing, it would be helpful to have blinded evaluators compare the cohort to age- and sex-matched controls, Lewis said.
More Questions Raised by Concussion-like Symptoms Found in US Diplomats Who Served in Havana (JAMA Network, Mar. 20, 2018)

I know from my own experience and that of friends that many people with impaired hearing tend to procrastinate instead of being pro-active about it. Sometimes it may be a question of vanity - even in women, even though it's usually pretty easy for them to cover up the hearing-aid devices you can get nowadays, so it's no surprise that discreet (533.000 google hits!) is a major selling point (efficient 845.000!). It's also no surprise that in a group of 24 people of all ages, you may find three whose hearing is so impaired that hearing-aid devices are recommended.

Quote:
The key victims were CIA agents. Not a single tourist was affected, and the island remains among the safest countries in the world to visit.
(…)
Only after DeLaurentis briefed the entire diplomatic corps at the Havana embassy in late March 2017 did something akin to mass hysteria break out. Some 80 members of the US diplomatic community, including family and non-diplomatic personnel, took a leave to Miami to be tested for symptoms.
(…)
But at time when the Trump administration seems determined to undermine better US relations with Cuba, travel to the island has become all the more important. If the State Department is unwilling to engage in the mission of diplomacy, it will be left to the citizen-diplomats to fill the void and, at the people-to-people level, advance the cause of positive relations.
What the US Government Is Not Telling You about Those 'Sonic Attacks' in Cuba (The Nation, Mar. 7, 2018)

The Nation refers to this Pro-Publica article (Feb. 14, 2018), which I already linked to (among many others) in post 390.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 22nd March 2018 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 4th April 2018, 07:01 AM   #410
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At least, the alleged health attacks don't seem to have harmed tourism much:

Quote:
Experiences reported and surveys conducted indicate that visitors have been satisfied with their trips to Cuba, confirming that Cuba is secure, tranquil, and stable, characteristics also recognized by United Nations international agencies, and other specialized tourism groups. At the same time, leading companies have praised the country's standards of quality and comfort.
Cuban tourism: Secure and on the rise (Granma, Mar. 26, 2018)

I hope the sonic blasts will be relegated to the fairy tales where they belong!

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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 17th April 2018, 05:18 AM   #411
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Quote:
The Canadian government says 10 people, including children, are currently being followed for medical care by a doctor hired by Canada’s Global Affairs department and are experiencing symptoms that are similar to a concussion, such as headaches, dizziness, nausea and difficulty concentrating. Two of those people reported symptoms after they returned to Canada.
Canada Recalls Families of Diplomats in Cuba (Wall Street Journal, Apr. 16, 2018)

Quote:
Canada announced Monday it was bringing home the families of its diplomats in Cuba, after a year-long investigation into a mysterious illness afflicting Canadian and US officials failed to reveal a cause.
(…)
The symptoms included dizziness, headaches and a lack of ability to concentrate. "In some cases the symptoms have appeared to lessen in intensity, before reasserting themselves," the government said.
(…)
The last two cases in August and December involved individuals who reported having sensed what they described as waves of pressure.
Canada pulls families of diplomats out of Cuba over mysterious illness (eNCA.com, Apr. 17, 2018)

To me the description of the symptoms still sounds like psychogenic illness.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 27th April 2018, 10:06 PM   #412
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In an article describing the findings of Sergio Della Sala and Roberto Cubelli, Neuroskeptic concludes:

Quote:
Overall, I agree with Della Sala and Cubelli that the JAMA paper is pretty weak. Clearly, something has happened to make these 21 people experience so many unpleasant symptoms, but at present I don’t think we can rule out the possibility that the cause is psychological in nature.
Bad Science of the Havana Embassy ”Sonic Attack” (Neuroskeptic (Discover Magazine), Apr. 7, 2018)

The article is based on this study: Alleged “sonic attack” supported by poor neuropsychology (Science Direct, Apr. 5, 2018)

Their conclusion is:

Quote:
There is no evidence that the people assessed present with any cognitive deficit (to be linked or not with their stay in Cuba). Subjective cognitive symptoms cannot be supported by the reported data. There is no ‘new syndrome’ to contemplate. Hence, the search for its cause is moot…

The condition suffered by the US diplomats in Cuba has been labelled “mysterious” (Rubin, 2018). The real mystery though is how such a poor neuropsychogical report could have passed the scrutiny of expert reviewers in a first class outlet.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 12th May 2018, 10:56 AM   #413
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The US has fallen silent over its sonic attack theory in Cuba (Financial Times, Apr. 11, 2018)

Well, not quite silent! Marco Rubio is milking the JAMA article for all it’s (not) worth. It is no surprise that he 'forgets' to refer to the leading article in JAMA criticizing the article:
FBI making ‘progress’ in finding answers on health attacks in Cuba, Rubio says (Tampa Bay Times, Apr. 17, 2018)

Cuban newspapers appear to be better sources of reliable news in this case:
The 10 most common lies about alleged health incidents affecting U.S. diplomats in Cuba (Granma, Apr. 26, 2018)

Robert E. Bartholomew has written a new article with a Cuban colleague from Havana University, Dionisio F Zaldivar Pérez:
Chasing Ghosts in Cuba: Is mass psychogenic illness masquerading as an acoustical attack? (International Journal of Social Psychiatry, Apr. 2, 2018)

If you do a Google search for "Cuba JAMA health attacks", you have to go to page 5 and beyond in order to get to the Granma and the Bartholomew/Zalvidar Perez articles ...
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old Yesterday, 03:58 AM   #414
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https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news...china-10261718

American suffers brain injury after 'sound' incident in China
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2 prints, same midtarsal crock..., I mean break?
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Old Yesterday, 08:36 AM   #415
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Interesting. Seems to be long-distance contagious.
MTBI, mild traumatic brain injury, after allegedly having experienced "subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure."

MTBI is
Quote:
Defined as the result of the forceful (!) motion of the head or impact causing a brief change in mental status (confusion, disorientation or loss of memory) or loss of consciousness for less than 30 minutes.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury is

So like in the JAMA article, it appears to be a contradiction in terms: concussion without the concussion. Subtle and vague ...
Must be a Cuban-Chinese conspiracy, then.
The usual suspects?

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Also in the New York Times, May 23, 2018
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; Yesterday at 08:39 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 08:49 AM   #416
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Sounds like an excuse to start a diplomatic spat with the Chinese.....

.....if one is needed to deflect any negative publicity following the Trump Administration's supine performance in the trade war (which is so easy to win )
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Old Yesterday, 08:58 AM   #417
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Sounds like an excuse to start a diplomatic spat with the Chinese.....

.....if one is needed to deflect any negative publicity following the Trump Administration's supine performance in the trade war (which is so easy to win )
If the story is in the US MSM, I haven't seen it.

I thought the trade war with China was on hold?
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2 prints, same midtarsal crock..., I mean break?
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Old Yesterday, 09:35 AM   #418
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Originally Posted by LTC8K6 View Post
If the story is in the US MSM, I haven't seen it.
It's on the BBC website so I'm sure it'll turn up in the US MSM unless it's already there.

I suppose it depends on your definition of MSM, the New York Times article was linked in dann's post

Originally Posted by LTC8K6 View Post
I thought the trade war with China was on hold?
After a bunch of rhetoric about putting American workers first, President Trump recently tweeted about protecting Chinese jobs. That kind of supine performance in the face of the mildest of push-back from a country you're starting a trade war with is embarrassing and he even started to get some (mild) criticism from GOP representatives.

edited to add....

Is CNN MSM enough ?

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/05/23/a...ntl/index.html

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Old Yesterday, 11:33 PM   #419
dann
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¡Si oyes algo (o no), di algo!

Quote:
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that an incident involving a US government employee stationed in China who reported "abnormal sensations of sound and pressure" suggesting a mild brain injury has medical indications that are "very similar" and "entirely consistent" to those experienced by American diplomats posted in Havana.
(…)
At a congressional hearing in January, US officials detailed how personnel experienced a variety of symptoms including sharp ear pain, headaches, ringing in one ear, vertigo, disorientation, attention issues and signs consistent with mild traumatic brain injury or concussion. In nearly all cases, the ailments were preceded by some sort of "acoustic element," such as a "high-pitched beam of sound" or a "baffling sensation akin to driving with the windows partially open in a car."
Pompeo says China incident 'entirely consistent' with Cuba 'sonic attacks' (CNN, May 24, 2018)

Compare this with LTC8K6’s link from yesterday:

Quote:
The embassy's health alert says the employee "recently reported subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure."
US staffer suffers brain injury after 'sound' incident in China (Channel News Asia, May 23, 2018)

At this point, the warning’s gotta be: If you hear highpitched sounds, subtle and vague sounds, or even no sounds at all, it’s probably a sign that the enemies of the USA are out to get you!
Be afraid, be very afraid!


(What the only consistency is in these cases should be obvious to everybody who has followed this thread!)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old Today, 02:43 AM   #420
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While we’re awaiting the next installment of this exciting piece of fiction, those of you who are most impatient may be interested in the old graphic novel by Hergé, The Calculus Affair:

Quote:
Tintin surmises that Calculus had invented an ultrasonic device capable of being used as a weapon of mass destruction, which both Syldavian and Bordurian intelligence agents are now seeking to obtain.
The Calculus Affair: Synopsis (Wikipedia)

But in order to make the diplomatic health crisis a little more exciting, the CIA should consider adding a couple of cases of spontaneous combustion or something like that. The latest case is neither here nor there, and I’m afraid that people will lose interest in the story if it continues like this for much longer.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old Today, 03:01 AM   #421
dann
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,718
Good news, finally! Problem solved, and all it took was a little Chinese ingenuity! Guangzhou tackles noise problems in public parks with new rules (GB Times, Beijing, Oct. 10, 2014)
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/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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