I love ambient nature audio, especially thunderstorms. I use ambient soundscapes for concentration, for relaxation, for adding some extra atmosphere to music; for drowning out environmental noises like computer fans, air conditioners and that damn incessant ice cream truck that's been rolling down my damn street playing the same damn earworm jingle for five damn summers in a row.
A while back I was addicted to naturesoundsfor.me, where users can mix a small array of audio tracks to create different soundscapes. I made about twenty of them. But I don't use the site anymore, because they have removed user credit from mixes and no longer offer users a way to link to their list of mixes -- essentially, they've kinda taken our mixing work and made it hard to share content. What I do recommend is MyNoise.
The site offers exponentially more soundscapes, a ton of customization, and great quality. Most of the sounds are recorded by the site creator, yet most features are totally free to use. I sent $5 a few months ago and the site still rates my 'support level' at five stars rather than ask for any more money. Please check out this site. The content is excellent, and the creator is skilled and generous. Seriously, and I'm not being paid to say this, try MyNoise
if you're stressed at all, whether by the political atmosphere, by other bad news, by life in general. Or even if you're not stressed. It's quite elevating. You can preview the sounds by hovering over the links on the front page.
If you like it, do send a few bucks. We can't keep expecting to get quality content online for free. That expectation is what creates media dependency on advertisers, which creates clickbait, which relies on creating alarm and distress for attention, which has had a hand in creating the current sociopolitical mess we're in. Speaking of that mess: Boston.
30,000 people (or more?) have gathered in Boston to protest against a free speech rally because they believe it is filled with Nazis and the alt-right. Here
is a picture comparing the size of the free speech event to only a portion of the crowd protesting it. Here
is a picture from inside the event. Here
is a sign I really like. Here
is a conservative free speech activist walking peacefully through a crowd of people who hate him. Here
is a free speech supporter getting screamed at in a racist way and then suckerpunched very hard for trying to have a conversation with protesters. The futility of the guy saying "Jesus taught us to love each other" makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time. Here
is the police doing their jobs despite intense hostility from some protesters. Here
is a man foaming at the mouth. Here
is the apparent current state of a large number of American minds.
Circlejerks are bad, mkay?
[Edit Aug 20: just bookmarking a video I intend to watch and a discussion I intend to read