I read the following story and am simply amazed that there are no details of HOW a helicopter managed to crash and drag this poor kid to death. The story just talks about concerns that he had his headphones on and that might have been the cause of the death. Thus the creation of the category "HuH?". Yeah, I'm walking to get my mail and jamming to some music and a helicopter crashes on me. Everyone should be aware of the dangers of falling copters. He should have heard it coming down and ran away because... you know... that "avoiding helicopters" course they require in school teaches you that. How stupid. Where in the following story are the details about the crash?
VANCOUVER -- The death of a pedestrian in Cranbrook, B.C., on Tuesday has raised the question of how loud is too loud when it comes to listening to iPods and other personal music players.
Isaiah Otieno, a 23-year-old student, was killed when he was struck and dragged by a helicopter that crashed to the ground as he was walking to the mailbox.
Eyewitnesses reported that Mr. Otieno seemed completely unaware that he was in danger and a friend told reporters that he often listened to music through earbuds (in-ear headphones) with the hood of his sweatshirt pulled up over his head.
Concern over safe use of headphones is growing. Last year, Carl Kruger, a Democratic state senator from New York proposed a bill to ban the use of iPods and other electronic devices while crossing the street.
Though Mr. Kruger's bill was defeated, his position was echoed last fall by the charity Deafness Research UK, which launched a similar campaign to persuade young people to switch off their personal MP3 players while crossing the road.
But Lorienne Jenstad, assistant professor in the school of audiology and speech sciences at the University of British Columbia says that it's too early to draw any conclusions about the degree of risk.
"There are a lot of beliefs and assumptions right now on how dangerous this headphone use is, but currently no data to back them up," Prof. Jenstad said.
"In our own informal tests, we've found that the range of volume used is very wide - from moderate to levels that are potentially able to cut out all background noise," she said.
And if you've got the volume cranked too high, you may be able to tell by the ringing in your ears, said Geordon Hoag, digital music product consultant at Tom Lee Music in Vancouver. "The average downtown street registers at around 60 decibels. A jet plane flying overhead is generally quoted at 120 to 130 decibels. If you are playing your music loud enough to cut out that level of noise, then you have it cranked to a degree that is damaging your hearing."
It may also depend on the type of headphones you are wearing, he added. Though the perception is that in-ear headphones are more isolating than over-the-head headphones, the reverse is actually the case. "The seal that surrounds the ears on a good set of traditional phones shuts out more external noise," Mr. Hoag said.
Still, research on headphone use has focused on hearing loss, for a reason: Other safety issues are "pretty obvious," said Linda Polka, associate professor in the school of communication science and disorders at McGill University. "I see people riding bikes while listening to iPods, and it's horrific. You shouldn't need to educate people about that."