Listening exercise
CBC: Quirks and Quarks with Bob McDonald
Seeing with Sound


This CBC program introduces the vOICe, a technology designed to enable the blind to "see" with sound.
It's 22:15 minutes long, but the questions are only about the first two-thirds of the report (till about 14:00),
and you will need only about the first two columns of vocabulary. You also don't need to worry about the introduction.
The speakers speak very clearly and not too fast, so the exercise shouldn't be overly difficult.
Make sure you read the questions first. You only need to give the information asked for;
you don't need to understand every bit of the report. It is worth listening to the whole report, however;
Pat shares some really interesting experiences towards the end of the feature.

Choose either: (1) RealAudio stream of report and interview: http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/media/2004-2005/ra/qq-2005-04-02.ram
or: (2) mp3 audio file of report and interview:
http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/media/2004-2005/mp3/qq-2005-04-02a.mp3
Source page: http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/archives/04-05/apr02.html

Visit this page: http://www.seeingwithsound.com/javoice.htm
and draw your own soundscape. When you are finished, listen to it,
then print out the picture you have made and hand it in
together with the answers to this listening exercise.


Here is a previous listening exercise on this same topic:

http://ccms.ntu.edu.tw/~karchung/Technologies%20for%20the%20blind.htm
You can see the vOICe explained and demonstrated in the video mentioned in the second part of the exercise.
You don't need to do this previous exercise, but the video may help you with the current exercise.
There's a picture of Pat wearing vOICe gear here:
http://www.seeingwithsound.com/voice.htm

Vocabulary:
Bob McDonald
Quirks and Quarks
national science program
CBC 1
leading
Seeing with Sound
T-rex (= Tyrannosaurus Rex)
in the flesh
to go soft over
evidence of
dinosaur tissue
races
vampire bat
to dig up the dirt on
fake
moon dust
blind
to lose one's eyesight
to assume
to lose one's ability to see
logical
visual information
brains
Toronto
science journalist
Alison Motluk
to investigate
documentary
controversial technology
contradiction
software program
download
voice
to convert into
video images
sound images
to reverse-translate
vision
recently
to spend a day
Buffalo (New York)
Pat Fletcher
system
to demonstrate
to plug into
recorder
to take one on a tour
to show s.o. the ropes
to get one into (a story)
multisensory
to witness s.t. for oneself
frankly
to give s.t. a listen ( look)

(Questions start here:)
demolition plant
vet school
to go back to college
to finish one's degree
it just so happened to be
Labor Day
to be marked in one's mind
company
to be blinded
chemicals
hose
to expand
barrel
to blow out
to be engulfed in
blue flames
to melt away
to fuse shut
to glimpse
fire blanket
to be thrown over one's head
officially
totally blind
technology
video, sound information
known as
soundscapes
her brain does the rest
tiny
video camera
all told
postage stamp
lens
lentil
to tack s.t. to s.t. else
cycling glasses
spy glasses
contraption
to put together
bits and pieces
to buy off the Web
to feed into a computer
to be piped into
discreet
earphones
to leave it to one's brain
living room
furniture
to be pushed against the walls
to expect
coffee table
tripping hazard
surprisingly
well-decorated
whimsical
hedgehog motif
knickknacks
clocks
short, smart hair
warm smile
to dress casually
to hook one into a setup
to stare straight into
bowl of popcorn
absolutely
underlying assumption
to sound straightforward
in theory
in practice
to conjure up
in some way
overall
to keep track of
to sort out
general principles
objects
to scan
so far, so good
brightness
to be translated as
volume
to step outdoors
sunny day
a peek down...

unlit hall
cavelike drip
pitch
what's up and what's down
bannister
repetition
to refresh oneself
to repeat oneself
continuous
film
one frame each second
to "go walkabout" (to go walking around)
to steer s.o. towards
door frame
to lead into
front hall
1920s
molding
graphic
edge
flatness
to indent
high-pitched
to ripple
roundness
to identify
you can tell
blinds
partially open
horizontal
as opposed to
stripes
intellectually knowing
vision
to require
to understand content
odd
distinct
to approach
to catalogue s.t.
by accident
to poke around on the Web
to happen to have
color identifier
T-shirt
curious
to claim to be able to
to pull down
particular
to intrigue one
gate
study
speakers
soundscape
to notice
hologram
to cross the room
to shock
No way!
neck
to rise up
to walk the distance
blackness
opening
at that point
program
to create vision
to put it that way
necessarily
to involve
classic idea
to reflect
light rays
retina
rays
to stimulate
chemical reaction
rods and cones
in turn
to trigger electrical impulses
optic nerve
back of the brain
region
occipital cortex
visual areas of the brain
working eyes
to a degree
definition (= resolution)
initially
sound patterns
to make sense of s.t.
to force oneself to
to immerse oneself in
detail
you don't have any idea what you're looking at
"might can"
to equate it (with)
stripes
ripples
to figure out from there
maybe even
smile
soccer ball
football
to distinguish x from y
on the block
detailed vision
hard to believe
to buy the idea that
the only road into town
visual information
to deliver
ready-made picture
to interpret
to convey
to decode
visual cortex
undamaged
skeptical
to give it a try
to interpret
to deal with
to reconcile
to decipher
plastic cup
scanner
to run one's hands on
designs
ripples
ridges
to line up x with y
to relate touch and sound
a smear of nonsensical sound
to come to accept
to work in isolation
in a way
to fine-tune
Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone
neurologist
Harvard (University)
to blend one's senses
to merge the different sensory information
to process
to shape what and how you see
input
what's going on inside her head
MRI scanner
to claim to be seeing
to be activated
pretty much as it would be
to suggest
conscious
perception
to derive
to generate
conscious experience of
mental imagery
to call up
visual memories
other subject
to light up (lit up)
precisely because
to testify
to meet up with
inventor
Peter Meijer
Arizona
to be invited
to participate in
conference
consciousness
to venture out into
the desert
to touch one
little pointy things
triangles
mountains
I was just like (= I thought)
Oh, my gosh!
streak
jet
smoke
boundaries
to feel closed in
squashed
to be bounded by
amazing
to have long suspected
adaptable
to assume
brain cells
latent ability
from a variety of senses
experiment
blindfolded
healthy, sighted volunteers
consecutive
Braille
MRI scans
to respond
to rope in
to read by touch
indispensable
unused parts of
temporarily
to disrupt
to read Braille
astonishing
to recruit
new areas
as it turned out
to reverse changes
far too quick
to be the result of
new pathways
to form
from scratch
to come to the conclusion that
to be organized into
visual, auditory, tactile
units
specific jobs
to calculate distance
to time intervals
problem-solving units
to have limitations
to be beside the point
to step back into
sighted
to be of the old school
a living, breathing person
to be the interface to
that's all that matters
coke bottle

Listening comprehension questions:
1. When and how was Pat Fletcher blinded?
2. Describe the equipment needed to use the vOICe.
3. Why is the living room furniture in Pat's house arranged the way it is?
4. How does the vOICe represent in sound the (1) height and the (2) brightness of objects in a scene?
5. How does Pat know when a certain sound she hears is representing window blinds and not stripes on the wall?
6. How did Pat become interested in and begin regular use of the vOICe?
7. What is a hologram, and why did Pat get the sense of a hologram from a soundscape she'd heard with the vOICe?
8. Why does Pat say the vOICe can enable one to "see", even without working eyes?
9. How does the quality of information input you can get through sound with the vOICe compare with the quality of the visual input you get with your eyes?

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