Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Walking a Labyrinth

Something that peaked my interest lately was the idea of labyrinths. A labyrinth is like a maze you can walk on. It has a squiggly pattern and usually loops around to fill the space provided. These kind of walking labyrinths are not very common but if you do a search, you may be able to find one near you. After having it on my list of things to do, I finally got a chance to try one out.

I was in the area where I knew one was located so I decided to stop by and check it out. It was a free outdoor labyrinth located behind a church. It was a nice day so I figured it would be a good time to try it. The labyrinth was fairly big and circular in shape. There was no one there but there were buildings and residential areas surrounding it so it did not feel secluded.

I went to the beginning and started walking the path. I started looping around following the path back and forth. I soon realized that it would take longer than expected to walk the whole thing. After a few minutes honestly I became a little bored of it so I decided not to walk the entire path.

The thing is, I enjoy walking but I realized when I walk I like to cover ground and see new things. With the labyrinth you are pretty much just staying in one area walking around in circles. This would be good if you wanted to walk and you were confined to a small space like a back yard, but if you have the freedom to walk anywhere, I think it is more enjoyable to walk on a regular path or trail.

Walking a labyrinth would be good if the weather is nice and you don't have anything to do. If you are busy or have other things to do, it can seem kind of like a waste of time to walk around in the same spot. I still find them interesting and worth checking out just because they are something different to see that you don't find very often.

If you have some free time and feel like doing a little walking, or maybe you have some kids that might enjoy it, I recommend visiting a labyrinth if you have one nearby.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

When should you use a turn signal while driving? Is it always necessary?

When people are asked about pet peeves or things that bother them, often one of the top things mentioned is when people don't use their turn signal. Personally, this doesn't bother me much, but I found it interesting that it seems to bother a lot of other drivers.

I agree that turn signals should definitely be used in some cases, but in other cases, I think it is ok not to use them. According to the law, you should always use a turn signal when making a turn as well as in many other instances, but is it really necessary to use a signal in every situation? Here I will go over some examples on when you should use a turn signal and when you really don't have to in my opinion.

The purpose of the turn signal is to notify other drivers and pedestrians around you of what you are about to do such as making a turn or changing lanes. So it is important to use the signal when your action will have an affect on those around you because they need to be prepared.

For example, if you are driving in the right hand lane and you are going to be making a right turn into a driveway and there is someone behind you, you need to put in your right signal to let them know you are about to slow down and make a turn. Without the signal, they will not expect it. They will only see your brake lights and then wonder why you are slowing down in the middle of the road for no reason. It's easy to see why not using a signal would be bothersome to the person behind in this situation.

Another example of when a signal is needed would be at a 4 way stop when there are cars pulling up at the same time from different directions. This can be a confusing situation so it is important to put on your signal to let the other drivers know which way you are planning to turn.

Putting on your signal when changing lanes around other cars or merging in traffic is also important as it makes it safer by letting the other drivers around you know what you are about to do. Trying to merge or change lanes without a turn signal can catch people off guard and can make for unsafe driving conditions.

So there are many situations when using a turn signal is necessary, but what about situations where you do not need to use your signal?

As mentioned before, the purpose of the turn signal is to notify those around you of your actions. Because of this, I would argue that you really only need to use a signal when there are actually other drivers or pedestrians around you. This means if you pull up to a street to make a turn and there is no one in sight, there really is no reason to put on the signal because there is no one to notify about your turn.

This would apply in other situations as well such as changing lanes. If there is no one around you either in front, to the side, or behind you for some distance, there really is no purpose of putting on the turn signal because there is no one to inform that you will be changing lanes.

I might go as far as to say even if you are in a left turn lane with a red arrow, you really don't need the signal on the whole time because just being in the left turn lane itself lets people know you are going to be turning left. It's a good idea to have the signal on just to be safe, but in a situation like this where there is only one direction to go and there is no confusion as to which direction you are turning, I would argue that it is not 100% necessary to have the signal on in a situation like this.

Some people might disagree and say you always have to use your turn signal no matter what because it is the law, but personally I go by the purpose of the signal which is to inform those around you of your actions. If there are drivers around that need to know you are turning or changing lanes, then of course it is necessary, but in other situations such as when there is no one around to notify, there is just no reason to use the signal. Feel free to comment below if you have an opinion on the use of turn signals.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Should Concerts Have a Limit on Volume Level? - Music That is Too Loud

If you have ever been to a live concert, especially one in a big venue you know the music can sometimes be very loud. It is not uncommon for the volume levels to be over what would be considered safe in order to avoid hearing damage. In fact many experts recommend always wearing earplugs if you are attending a concert.

So why is it that concerts are so overly loud in the first place? Some people say they like loud music and maybe they think it makes for a better experience, but it should never be so loud that it becomes dangerous to your well being. Being exposed to a duration of loud noise such as a concert has been known to cause damage to hearing. So why does this trend of loud music continue?

For those who have learned the hard way, they know now to bring earplugs if they are going to be attending a show. The problem is, many people, especially young people who might be attending their first concert do not know to do this. They are just excited to have the chance to see a band they like perform live. It's not until after the show when their ears might be ringing and they can't hear as well that they realize the effect of loud music on their ears.

I remember one of the concerts I went to in college where my favorite band was playing and I got to be pretty close to the front. The show was very loud and I did not have earplugs. The show was fun but I remember the next day my ears were ringing constantly and I could not even concentrate on my classes. Luckily after a day or so, it went away, but some people are not so lucky.

The ringing in the ears is called tinnitus and some people who have been exposed to a lot of loud noise have this condition all the time which can be very bothersome. Hearing loss can even occur from being exposed to volume levels that are too loud. Usually if you are attending a concert or listening to music it means you enjoy music so the last thing you would want to do is cause damage to your hearing.

This is why I think there should be regulations in place when it comes to venues and live concerts. There should be a certain decibel level that the show must remain under in order to provide a safe listening experience for the attendees and everyone involved. If there was a limit on how loud the music could be, it would help prevent people from being exposed to unsafe volume levels that could damage their hearing.

This is something that might be hard to regulate and some people might not follow it anyway, but I think it is something that should be put into place, not just for concerts but for any kind of loud noise that the public may be exposed to. If someone wants to listen to loud music on headphones, that is their choice, but if the music is being played out loud and it is effecting other people, then it becomes a concern.

For now, it is up to us to protect our ears from exposure to loud noise. If you are going to a concert, make sure to bring earplugs. The volume level might be ok, but in case it is too loud, you have to be prepared. It is better to be safe than sorry.