A Mysterious Sound Is Driving People Insane — And Nobody Knows What’s Causing It

Dr. Glen MacPherson doesn’t remember the first time he heard the sound. It may have started at the beginning of 2012, a dull, steady droning like that of a diesel engine idling down the street from his house in the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. A lecturer at the University of British Columbia and high school teacher of physics, mathematics and biology, months passed before MacPherson realized that the noise, which he’d previously dismissed as some background nuisance like a car traffic or airplane passing overhead, was something abnormal. 

"Once I realized that this wasn’t simply the ambient noise of living in my little corner of the world, I went through the typical stages and steps to try to isolate the sources," MacPherson told Mic. “I assumed it may be an electrical problem, so I shut off the mains to the entire house. It got louder. I went driving around my neighborhood looking for the source, and I noticed it was louder at night.” 

Exasperated, MacPherson turned his focus to scientific literature and pored over reports of the mysterious noise before coming across an article by University of Oklahoma geophysicist David Deming in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, a peer-reviewed academic journal devoted to exploring topics outside of mainstream science. “I almost dropped my laptop,” says MacPherson. “I was sure that I was hearing the Hum.”

"The Hum" refers to a mysterious sound heard in places around the world by a small fraction of a local population. It’s characterized by a persistent and invasive low-frequency rumbling or droning noise often accompanied by vibrations. While reports of "unidentified humming sounds" pop up in scientific literature dating back to the 1830s, modern manifestations of the contemporary hum have been widely reported by national media in the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia since the early 1970s. 

I wrote a big fat feature about “the Hum” and the men desperately searching for its source for Mic.

Out of that shared truth, perhaps organically, the X-Men came to represent a grand up-scale version of the constructed families that LGBT exiles create for themselves in the real world. The Westchester School is its own New York house for runaways; the glamorous House of Xavier, with house mother Storm. Even the term ‘School for Gifted Youngsters’ has the right ring of fabulous defiance to it. It serves up some Ivy League realness; some eleganza mutante.


How I photographed Tiananmen Square and ‘tank man’

Photographer Stuart Franklin tells his story of the 1989 protests, from peaceful demonstration to bloody crackdown, the iconic ‘tank man’. Read it here

Photo: Stuart Franklin/Magnum Photos

I witnessed the troops moving into the square and clearing out the protesters on the night of 4 June. I left in the early hours of 5 June with Newsweek photographer Charlie Cole and we headed back to our hotel. After that point, we were totally confined. The military occupied the lobby and journalists were searched and stopped from working. I was on a balcony with a group of other photographers and journalists when we saw the man jump in front of the tank on 5 June. That image has now become so iconic – but what drove its impact was the fact that people had seen the man standing in front of the tanks on TV, as well as footage of the violent crackdown the night before. The still photographs that a few of us took of that ‘tank man’ scene seemed unremarkable to me, because I was so far away on that balcony.”

(Source: theguardian.com)

For the past 100 years, a box of never-before-seen negatives has been preserved in a block of ice in Antarctica. Recently, Conservators of the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust came across the 22 exposed, but unprocessed, cellulose nitrate negatives during an attempt to restore an old exploration hut.


Dear Freelance Writers: Pitch Me Your Stories

I started at PolicyMic, a news and analysis start-up based in New York, just over a month ago. We’re a small team (less than 30 people, including editorial, business side, and technology/product) and we’re reaching for the stars: we just closed a round of VC funding and we’re going to break our previous traffic record by the end of May.

That said, I want your stories. We’re looking to increase the amount of compelling, thoughtful journalism on topics that matter for our generation we’re producing on a daily and weekly basis. 

Here’s what we’re looking for:

  • Original reporting on untold stories in politics, technology, the arts, music, identity and gender issues, and sports.
  • Forceful, smart analysis and opinions on the biggest issues facing our society, from education to racism and sexism in America to the state of the media to our relationship with technology and how it impacts our daily lives, among other things.
  • Personal essays share an untold story or perspective and fit into a contemporary issue facing our society.

Interested? Reach out through my Tumblr inbox (be sure to include your email address so we can reach you) or email me at jared@policymic.comAnd yes, we will pay you for your work. 

I look forward to hearing from all of you.

 - Jared

I know I’m missing something when I keep my pen in my desk drawer. I type rapid-fire and engage in witty back-and-forth, writing on screens crowded with instant messages and blinking notifications. The recipient doesn’t fully occupy my thoughts. Nothing fully occupies my thoughts. Everything is scattered.

– An argument for the handwritten note in the age of social media.

[The Morning News]