To talk of many things, of whales and ships and head voices, of murder foul and pings.
Do you sometimes hear a little voice in your head, telling you to turn back or take another action? It's something we can't explain, yet I've come to trust that guidance. The whisper can be something as minor as telling you to return and pick up an item, which will save time in the long run. Sound, size and voices run through my thoughts for today.
Three things are linked on the news: A man claims he hears voices directing his actions—Whales are suffering from excess shipping noise—Container ships are increasing in size and volume.
Can container ships get any bigger? They are now one quarter of a mile long and taller than London's Olympic Stadium. If the vessels were placed in Times Square in New York, they would rise above billboards, streetlights and some buildings. You can read the BBC News article demonstrating comparisons in size of container ships here. The increase in size is not surprising, considering the volume of goods produced in Asia and consumed in Europe and the US. But are these giant symbols of the world's trade imbalance growing beyond all reason?
At the same time, excess North Atlantic shipping noise affects the way whales hear each other, communicate and find food and mates. Northern right whales numbers are low and can ill afford ship strike losses. Researchers have persuaded shipping companies to change their routes in and around the Boston area. The changes have helped lower the din and avoid collisions with whales. Boston's vast port nestles close to the skyscrapers of the city's financial district. 1,500 vessels go in and out each month, mostly large container ships carrying gas and petroleum products.
The way we hear effects the way we act. At the sound of a ping above, we automatically duck to avoid a hit. I don't know how a deaf person perceives what goes on around them, but maybe they hear their own thoughts. In the Canary island of Tenerife, off Spain, a man accused of beheading a woman claims to have been directed by voices.
I believe in the little inner voice that directs me in times of need. It's always good and always right. But what would happen if a voice directed a warped mind the wrong way?
I've written several novels featuring that very thing. In the first published book, Still Rock Water, my heroine envisions others at times of need and whispers advice to help them through a situation. The second soon to be released book, Tidal Surge, shows the bad voice that wants to cause harm. You can see my books at the side of the page.