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Gezal
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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When I posted a bit about the John Birch Society an old memory was triggered. A pamphlet disseminated by the said oraganizatation made the claim that houseplants exposed to rock music shrivel up and die. I had also heard about experiments conducted that showed rock music to kill plants.

Well, my houseplants listen to plenty of rock on a reguilar basis and they are all just fine.
Does anyone know if there really has been a legitimate study on this? Does rock and roll really kill plants?

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ILS
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The Discovery Channel show, "Myth Busters" did a segment on this. They grew bean plants in different greenhouses. Some had silence, some had encouraging talk, some had discouraging talk and one had heavy metal rock blasted at them.

Even though the battery in the automatic watering system failed so all the plants basically died, the heavy metal rock house did the best by far before expiring.

I wonder if it isnít possible that the sound waves help keep pests away or something.

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kjbrasda
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Mythbusters tried it. The plants subjected to rock did the best IIRC. I'll see if I can find it somewhere.

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Gezal
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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And that's not all....

It just so happens that rock music cooks eggs.

http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Meadows/2360/tracts/neutral.html

quote:
Rock music can literally cook an egg!


Drs. Earl W. Flosdorf and Leslie A. Chambers found in a series of experiments that shrill sounds projected into a liquid media coagulated proteins. A recent teenage fad was that of taking soft eggs to rock concerts and placing them at the foot of the stage. Midway through the concert the eggs could be eaten hard-boiled as a result of the music. Amazingly few rock fans wondered what that same music might do to their bodies. (Larson, Bob The Day Music Died, p.116)

Does anyone think this is true?
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James of Maine
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Does anyone think this is true?
Well, if it's coming from someone like Bob Larson, it must be true.

In fact, just reading that link gave me a physical reaction. Excuse me while I go grab some acetomenphen....

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SilvorMoon
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I tried a science experiment like that in high school. The plants I played heavy metal to flourished beautifully - far better than the other plants did.
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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Sorry, but I don't buy it. The biggest problem is that the person caring for the plants knows which ones are in which group. People have been known to make slight differences in treatment of plants and animals (and humans) when they know what the experiment is about and which group is the control group, etc.

There are many other possible problems, such as the equal (and randomized) care of large groups of plants, which also then have to go through the specific treatment of music bathing. All of these things have to be controlled carefully and blindly. In such cases, I don't think there would be any difference in the results. (Maybe I'll check the literature later. There may be some papers out there.)

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Gezal
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I checked the scientists used in Bob Larson's bit about music cooking eggs. The experiment that he is refering to was written in the Jounal of Biological Chemistry, May 1, 1936. You cna read the original rtical on PDF from here:

http://www.jbc.org/content/vol114/issue1/index.shtml

Funny that Larson forgot to mention when this experiment was done -- his quote might lead one to think that it had something to do with rock music.

Now the making hard-boiled eggs by putting them on the stage at a hard rock concert is quite a trick.

I'm playing country music to some eggs right now -- hopfully this will result in a Denver omlet.

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me, no really
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quote:
Originally posted by Ganzfeld:
Sorry, but I don't buy it. The biggest problem is that the person caring for the plants knows which ones are in which group. People have been known to make slight differences in treatment of plants and animals (and humans) when they know what the experiment is about and which group is the control group, etc.

There are many other possible problems, such as the equal (and randomized) care of large groups of plants, which also then have to go through the specific treatment of music bathing. All of these things have to be controlled carefully and blindly. In such cases, I don't think there would be any difference in the results. (Maybe I'll check the literature later. There may be some papers out there.)

I haven't seen the mythbusters episode in question, but I got the feeling that it was reasonable controlled for care conditions. At least, if they all died as a result of a failure in the watering system, it sounds like that aspect of care was automated, and not subject to human interference

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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The more I hear about Mythbusters, the less I trust their methods. The less I trust their methods, the less I trust their results and conclusions.
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Mickey is a Hanukkah Bush
O Come Let Us Adore Sales


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Have you ever watched it, Ganzfeld? It's an interesting show- and they do it via very scientific methods.

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The Goof
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Mythbusters is not only uses very scientific methods, the also consult with "experts" when that is necessary to make sure they get everything right, or to verify there findings.

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RichardM
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Well, I am not sure about the effect of rock music on plants, but my personal skill with plants is such that I killed a plastic plant once. I really did.
Richard

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Mickey and TheGoof: Yes, I've watched it. I disagreed with several of the protocols for experiments I watched. I also saw them make conclusions that didn't follow from the experimental evidence they gave. I admire their willingness to tackle the problems scientifically but it's clearly more than half entertainment. That's fine. It's just not "very scientific methods".
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The Goof
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How dare you disagree with me Ganzfeld!

Ok, actually I agree with you to a certain extent, they have come to some conclusions that I did not agree with with the evidence presented. I think they really try to be as scientific as possible though, it's hard to use a very scientific method on some of the myths they do. And you are right it is more than half entertainment, but I thought the plant episode was fairly controlled and well executed.
So [Razz]

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Gezal
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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The null hypothesis in a plants/music experiment would be that the type of music played for plants does not make a difference in the growth rate or health of a plant. The alternative hypothesis would be that type of music is a factor in the growth rate and overall health of a plant.

You should have all of the things that we know are factors in plant life (soil, water, light, nutrients, etc.) controlled for and the diffesernt plant subjects are set of as equally as humanly possible -- the setting up should be done blindly, that is, those planting the seeds and setting up the subject's environments should not know which plants will receive which experimental conditions. The ongoing care of the plants should be fully outomated so their is no chance for experimentor bias. The results should be measured blindly as well, that is, the people who measure and determine the health of the plants should not know which plants recieved which treatment.

Under the conditions that I described, I would be very surpised if there was any significant difference in the plants. Why?

Because all living things in the plant kingdom do not have ears or any auditory receptors for that matter. They can't hear music. Plants do not have brains, thet have no way of actually knowing if there is music (of any kind) playing or not.

Now the music cooking eggs -- that's a different story, I'm sure that one has to be true. My denver omlet is not done yet but I'm sure that after a few more Hank Williams tunes -- it's lunch time.

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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It's a very cool show. I like it a lot.
quote:
Originally posted by The Goof:
...but I thought the plant episode was fairly controlled and well executed.

I didn't see it. So I don't know. But if that was the conclusion someone should get on this and find out what we don't know about plant biology and rock music that makes some plants grow better when they "listen" to rock music.
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thadeus
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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"Heavy Metal" is too broad a category to conduct a rigorous experiment.

From my own experience, different bands have different influences on the growth/decay of plants. For a control group, I compared the plants at my neighbor's house, who is deaf, and doesn't listen to music.

Led Zeppelin has little to no influence. I suspect this is because the plants are accustomed to singing plants.

Motorhead didn't kill the plant, but on the last day of the experiment my plant kicked my ass and ran out the door with my six-pack of Amstel Light and my old denim jacket.

Stryper killed the plants within minutes, but I assume they've gone on to a better place.

Deicide didn't seem to have any influence on the growth/decay cycle, but I haven't seen my cat in weeks. Or any of my black t-shirts.

Creed only lasted a few minutes before one of the plants told me, "wow, that guy's a total tool."

Judas Priest had little influence, though I caught a couple poinsettia flowers rubbing their stamens together, which was weird and a bit uncomfortable.

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