Salvation Army in Calgary lacking toy donations closes warehouse

first_imgCALGARY — The Salvation Army in Calgary says it has had to cancel volunteer shifts and close a warehouse because the agency hasn’t received enough Christmas toys for workers to sort.There are 7,000 children under the age of 14 registered for the agency’s toy program in the city.Officials say 18,000 toys have been received so far, but about  40,000 are needed.Spokeswoman Karen Livick says that in the past the agency has sometimes seen fewer toys donated in some age groups than in others.But this year donations are down generally.Livick says the organization is aware that buying a toy may not be in everyone’s budget.“I think it’s a direct result of the economic crisis that we’re seeing and … starting to feel again in Calgary,” Livick said. “We’ve started to feel it for a couple of years, but this year … people are a little unsure about their job situation and what’s going to happen in the new year.“They’re finding themselves … not being able to buy that extra toy to donate.”There is uncertainty in the oilpatch right now because the price for Alberta oil is low and Premier Rachel Notley is bringing in production cuts in the new year.People can drop off new, unwrapped toys until Dec. 15 at various locations around the city. Livick points out that the Salvation Army also accepts monetary donations.(CTV Calgary, The Canadian Press)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Elephants sing low the same way humans do

first_img Journal information: Science African elephants produce “infrasounds,” which are low-frequency (<20 Hz) vocalizations capable of travelling up to 10 kilometers. Their frequency is usually too low for them to be audible to the human ear.A new study by an international team of voice scientists and biologists has cleared up the mystery of how these infrasounds are produced. The researchers studied the excised larynx of an elephant that had died of natural causes and tried to use it to create infrasounds in the laboratory.The study, led by voice scientist Christian Herbst of the University of Vienna, Austria, aimed to settle the long-standing question of whether elephants make infrasounds in the same way that humans and many other mammals produce sounds, by air flowing across the vocal folds to create vibrations, or through active contractions of the muscles. Scientists can study the process in humans by inserting cameras into the larynx and observing what happens when different sounds are made, but this method is not possible in living animals such as elephants.The research team excised the larynx within a few hours of the elephant’s death in a Berlin zoo, and they froze it and transported it to the University of Vienna’s Department of Cognitive Biology laboratory. They tested the larynx by adjusting the vocal folds to a position used for vocalizations (called a phonatory position) and blowing streams of humidified warm air through it to simulate the action of the elephant’s lungs. The larynx produced infrasounds virtually indistinguishable from those produced by living elephants.The results demonstrated that muscular activity is not required to produce infrasounds, and that they are produced by the flow of air, a type of vocalization known as myoelastic-aerodynamic or flow-driven mode. If elephants produced infrasounds through active muscular contractions, in the same way as a cat’s purr is produced, the larynx would not have produced the sounds with the brain absent. The research does not, however, prove that elephants never use active muscular contractions to produce any sounds.Myoelastic aerodynamic vocalization is the method used in humans (producing frequencies of about 50 to 7,000 Hz) and many other mammals, including echo-locating bats (100,000 Hz or higher). The researchers also found other features of the elephant larynx that matched “nonlinear phenomena” in other species, such as screaming in humans. In nonlinear vocalizations the vibration is chaotic rather than periodic. The paper was published on 3rd August in Science. Researchers solve mystery of long elephant pregnancy Explore further (Phys.org) -- Mammals produce sounds in two ways, either via the flow of air over vocal folds (vocal chords), as in humans and many other mammals, or via active muscular contractions as in the cat’s purr. Until now no one has been sure how elephants produce their lowest tones, but a new study has solved the mystery. More information: How Low Can You Go? Physical Production Mechanism of Elephant Infrasonic Vocalizations, Science, 3 August 2012: Vol. 337 no. 6094 pp. 595-599. DOI: 10.1126/science.1219712ABSTRACTElephants can communicate using sounds below the range of human hearing (“infrasounds” below 20 hertz). It is commonly speculated that these vocalizations are produced in the larynx, either by neurally controlled muscle twitching (as in cat purring) or by flow-induced self-sustained vibrations of the vocal folds (as in human speech and song). We used direct high-speed video observations of an excised elephant larynx to demonstrate flow-induced self-sustained vocal fold vibration in the absence of any neural signals, thus excluding the need for any “purring” mechanism. The observed physical principles of voice production apply to a wide variety of mammals, extending across a remarkably large range of fundamental frequencies and body sizes, spanning more than five orders of magnitude.center_img Citation: Elephants sing low the same way humans do (2012, August 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-08-elephants-humans.html African Bush Elephant in Mikumi National Park, Tanzania. Taken by Oliver Wright, via Wikipedia. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2012 Phys.orglast_img read more