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Silbo Gomero is a language that is spoken in the Canary Islands that is composed entirely of whistles. The reason this language was made was to make sound travel over long distances. What is it about whistles and/or the physical geography of the islands that makes the whistles heard more clearly over long distances than regular words?

The human ear is acutely tuned to differentiate between pitches.  Words are complex that way, but single tunes are easy to distinguish.  Also, higher pitches are easier to hear, though lower pitches actually carry over more miles...but we're not talking many miles like an elephant's call.  That language is simple and tuned for the human ear to hear over noise, as I understand it, those islands (like where I live) are quite mountainous and windy.


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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson


I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.


I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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