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Categories: Newspapers. Tags: ,

iDosing: spot the difference between the Sun’s and the Mail’s stories

July 21, 2010 9 Comments

iDosing is the made up internet craze where teenagers download digital drugs in the form of MP3 sound files and get high. Or something. I'm not making it up - the Sun and the Mail have reported it. Google News shows a time stamp of an hour earlier for The Mail's story.

Now, if you want to understand how journalism works, compare and contrast ...

A teenager high on iDosing

A teenager high on iDosing

Videos on YouTube

The Mail

Videos posted on YouTube show a young girl freaking out and leaping up in fear, a teenager shaking violently and a young boy in extreme distress.

The Sun

Videos posted on YouTube show a young girl freaking out, a teenager shaking violently and a young boy in extreme distress as they listen to the sounds.

Flocking kids

The Mail

But there has been such alarm in the U.S. that the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs has issued a warning to children not to do it.

‘Kids are going to flock to these sites just to see what it is about and it can lead them to other places, spokesman Mark Woodward said.

The Sun

There has been such alarm in the US that the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs has issued a warning to children not to do it.

Spokesman Mark Woodward said: "Kids are going to flock to these sites just to see what it is about and it can lead them to other places."

News9.com from a few days ago

"Kids are going to flock to these sites just to see what it is about and it can lead them to other places," said OBNDD spokesperson Mark Woodward.

A willingness to experiment

The Mail

He added that parental awareness is key to preventing future problems, since I-dosing could indicate a willingness to experiment with drugs.

The Sun

He added parental awareness is key to preventing future problems, as iDosing could indicate a willingness to experiment with drugs.

Newson6.com from a few days ago

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics said parental awareness is key to preventing future problems, since I-dosing could indicate a willingness to experiment with drugs.

Schools in Mustang

The Mail

Schools in the Mustang area recently sent out a letter warning parents about the new trend after several high school students reported having physiological effects after trying one of these digital downloads.

The Sun

Schools in the Mustang area recently sent out a letter warning parents about the new trend after several students reported experiencing physiological effects after listening to the downloads.

Newson6.com from a few days ago

Recently Mustang Public Schools sent out a letter warning parents about the new trend after several high school students reported having physiological effects after trying one of these digital downloads.

A ship's horn

The Mail

some sound like a ship’s horn being repeated again and again whilst others are more abrasive and resemble cheap synthesizers being played very fast.

The Sun

Some sound like a ship's horn being repeated again and again whilst others are more abrasive and resemble cheap synthesizers being played very fast.

Binaural beats

The Mail

Dr Helane Wahbeh, a Naturopathic Physician and Clinician Researcher at the Oregon Health and Science University, said: 'Binaural beats happen when opposite ears receive two different sound waves.

The Sun

Dr Helane Wahbeh, a Naturopathic Physician and Clinician Researcher at the Oregon Health and Science University, said: "Binaural beats happen when opposite ears receive two different sound waves.

NPR.org from a few days ago

Dr. HELANE WAHBEH (Naturopathic Physician and Clinician Researcher, Oregon Health and Science University): ... Binaural beats happen when opposite ears receive two different sound waves.

Not similar to cocaine or ecstasy

The Mail

‘But when you listen to these sounds with stereo headphones, the listener senses the difference between the two frequencies as another beat that sounds like it's coming from the inside of the head.’

But Dr Wahbeh denied there was any possibility that someone could experience similar effects to cocaine or ecstasy.

She said: 'We did a small controlled study with four people, and we did not see any brain wave activity shifting to match the binaural beat that people were listening to.’

The Sun

"When you listen to these sounds with stereo headphones, the listener senses the difference between the two frequencies as another beat that sounds like it's coming from the inside of the head."

But Dr Wahbeh denied there was any possibility that someone could experience similar effects to cocaine or ecstasy.

She said: "We did a small controlled study with four people, and we did not see any brain wave activity shifting to match the binaural beat that people were listening to."

From npr.org a few days ago

But when you listen to these sounds with stereo headphones, the listener senses the difference between the two frequencies as another beat that sounds like it's coming from the inside of the head. ...

NORRIS [interviewer]: Now, based on your research, is it possible that listening to these tracks might lead someone to experience something tantamount to the effects of taking cocaine or ecstasy or even Viagra?

Dr. WAHBEH: We did a small controlled study with four people, and we did not see any brain wave activity shifting to match the binaural beat that people were listening to.

Two iDosings, please.

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9 Comments »

  • Andy says:

    So listening to these tracks makes you "freak out", convulse or act as in extreme distress? Sounds like just another day at a rave:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2VBWD26Gac

  • Marie says:

    So journalists from the Sun take the same approach as I did in my university days.
    Take article, change a few words, submit, hope no one notices.
    Unbelievable!

  • [...] Churnalism roundup Posted on July 21, 2010 by Jamie Malcolm Coles compares the Sun and the Mail’s coverage of ‘i-dosing’ to the original US reports. They’re, uh, similar. [...]

  • jc christian says:

    Oklahoma is not representative of the USA. It is viewed as a land of ignorance, superstition, & religious insanity by the rest if us. Their laws are used as fodder for jokes about about backwardness and gulibility.

  • SD says:

    "Marie says: So journalists from the Sun"

    Oh Marie, Sun? Journalists? In the same sentence? I haven't laughed so much since Littlejohn mistook a litter of puppies in Rotherham for a single mum!

  • Lynne, Gresham, OR says:

    I arrived here courtesy of a link at synchronium.net. Thanks so much for the connection!

    And thanks to jc christian who pointed out the true relationship between Oklahoma and the USA population-at-large.

    I live in Portland, Oregon (home of the OHSU mentioned in the story). I'm thinking I should propose they experiment on me. At 55, I've got lots of experience with drugs as well as lots of experience with music, and if there was any music that could get me high, I'd wanna know about it if I didn't already. The closest I've ever come to getting high via a recording would have to be Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music." I know I ended up with quite the splitting headache after trying to listen to it.

    I'd think Brian Eno might have been working on this but Eno, like Charles Darwin, marinates his thoughts until the world forces him to produce. Synthesizer frequencies that lead to intoxication have been a sci fi/horror theme for decades. Eno probably has something in a vault that would lead to us all stripping down and behaving madly, but I digress...

    With fond memories of a few months in England and regular Page 3 Lassies...

  • Yeah, I have to assume most of this is made by teenagers who have no clue what they're doing. This is nothing new (brainwave synchronization) and the reason most artists don't use it is because it doesn't sound very good. To properly utilize brainwave synchronization, it must occur over a decent amount of time and it requires an effect being placed over pretty much everything for the duration. Since it must be listened to headphones, it was particularly impractical before everyone had mp3 players. Regardless, I'm currently compiling an album with brainwave synchronization spread throughout, using precise changes to effect a trip of sorts.

    It should certainly be inspiring, though I can say without hesitation that it will not induce some sort of LSD trip parody that's captured the imaginations of America's youth.

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