Whatever happened to …

… those old familiar daily sounds?

Sheila Stewart sent me this resource from the CBC Spark.

Quiz: Can you name these nostalgic sounds?

She ran it and got 8 out of 10.  Her husband and I both got 9.

I’ll admit; it was fun and I could kick myself for not getting the one that I missed.

The quiz is simple enough; just click on play and listen to the sound that is played.  You might find it helpful to close your eyes and listen to the sound from “back in the day”.


Please share your score in the replies below.

For a Sunday, some questions …

  • where there any sounds there that were completely unfamiliar?
  • what strategy did you use if the answer wasn’t immediately obvious?
  • would you say that we live in a quieter world now?
  • if you were going to create your own sound clip and challenge others, what sound do you think nobody would recognize or remember?

So, drop off your score and thoughts via comment please.

This is part of a regular Sunday series.  You can read them all here.

If you’ve got a great idea for a post, send me a message or drop it off on the Padlet that I created just for this purpose.

5 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …

  1. Pingback: Whatever happened to … - WORDPRESS.COMPASS

  2. Good morning Doug!

    I managed eight out of ten. I found that a number of the sounds seemed distorted. I wonder if they were intentionally modified to make the task more difficult? (I will be honest, I have never tried recording the sound of an egg beater, but that one seemed incredibly high pitched.)

    The one that was a complete guess for me was the choice between the Atari console and the Nintendo game machine. Neither one of those was a part of my childhood or of the childhood of my kids, so it was a tossup which I got wrong. I was impatient with the next one and didn’t read all the choices–I would’ve gotten the Polaroid camera if I had listened more carefully, even though my experience with those was limited as well.

    The whole concept of sampling sounds and then attempting to recognize them out of context is a great idea.

    I took a look on the Internet to see if there were any sites already in existence that did what the CBC did but with a broader and more extensive list of samples. The top hits where are YouTube videos like the kinds frequently embedded in Facebook, but I didn’t see anything more sophisticated.

    I found an interesting article from 2016 about AI/deep learning and efforts undertaken to teach computers to learn sounds. Recognizing Sounds (A Deep Learning Case Study). Sounds like this area of study is much newer than what has been done with images and music.

    Second, I found a neat article by (RCAC keynoter) David Pogue from Scientific in 2013: 8 Recognition Apps Work Almost Like Magic, In which he references favourites like Shazam, Soundhound, and a couple of new ones I hadn’t heard about for recognizing bird songs and leaves. Oddly enough, he missed a great one that I used to use frequently that would have you take a picture of a product (a book cover, a DVD cover, a cereal box) and it would recognize the image and give you alternative options for purchasing, complete with the price comparisons. I just scanned through the App store and didn’t see it: either the developer is no longer supporting it, or perhaps it has been renamed/remarketed. I didn’t see anything that looked familiar. It was really useful.

    This would be a great rabbit hole to disappear down on a Sunday morning! But first, some breakfast.


  3. Glad I am not alone in the 8 club 🙂 Most of the sounds were easy for me…
    Same here as Andrew re Atari/Nintendo — so I went with coffee grinder haha
    I would have got 9 if I had stuck with my gut… thought it was a car window crank.. but went with egg beater. Then the real egg beater comes up! Arrgh! But it was fun and our family had some fun with it too. My adult children got 9 too. Sigh.. haha
    Would we recognize the different pencil sharpener noises?


  4. I think that I got the same two wrong as Andy. While I was happy with 8/10, I also felt old knowing 8 out of 10 of these sounds. I wonder how many sounds a child in elementary school might get. How much have things changed in 20-30 years?

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane, even if it made me feel my age today. 🙂


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