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What the heck is pink noise?

Why does our heartbeat mimic the pulsings of a quasar in outer space? Pink noise is the blueprint of the universe, the middle ground between order and disorder. What is it, what does it mean and why is it everywhere? Get ready for some scientific mumbo jumbo!

Pink noise, or 1/ƒ, (one over frequency) is a low frequency wave-like pattern with equal energy in all octaves.

a chart!

postcard from cydonia

(Yes that explains everything I'm sure.)

Pink noise straddles the line between white noise and brown noise. White noise is entirely uncorrelated data, complete chaos, the snow on the tv screen. Brown noise is highly correlated data full of predictability. So pink noise is where the chaos of white noise and the order of brown noise meet.

Some things send out the actual frequency of pink noise and some behaviors or patterns when tracked and put on a graph match up to the pattern of pink noise.

I think pink noise sounds like a big waterfall. I'm listening to it right now. It's really good at drowning out the outside world, curing the ringing in your ears, or for just relaxing.

Things with pink noise:

  • wind
  • pulsating quasars
  • your heartbeat
  • the structure of our DNA
  • speech patterns
  • breathing
  • your thought patterns
  • the ebb and flow of the tides
  • river heights
  • movie directors tend to cut their movies in a pink noise pattern
  • sound engineers tune speakers with it
  • musical melodies
  • most electronic devices produce it
  • the flow of traffic
  • stock market patterns

Take this image of Chuck Norris / Walker Texas Ranger, and dissect it down to the basic waves and frequencies it's made up of. KAPOW! Pink noise.

cydonia

(I bet Chuck Norris would never wear pink)

Listen to some pink noise:

(ahh the soothing sounds of the universe)

I must speculate that there has to be more to this pink noise thing. I must have more! I can imagine a sick, sci-fi flick where Luke Perry accidentally stumbles upon hidden messages embedded within pink noise patterns and discovers the secrets of the entire universe. But then his love interest, played by Debra Gibson, is kidnapped by Nazi spies because they want the secret for themselves. Whoever controls the pink noise secret has infinite power over the galaxy. By the way, this is totally different than Raiders of the Lost Ark. It just needs some aliens or an ancient mega-beast rising out of a time vortex. Man I wish that was on right now.

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