People are always surprised when I tell them this was my only injury, and as a result I've always wondered how common this type of injury is with vehicle collisions. This is the first thing I've seen which makes me believe that it's a lot more common than people suspect.
Very cool! I hope this is taken up by other brands as well.
From the linked thread:
5. The stupid toilet bowl lid only fell about 8 inches. How could it damage my hearing so badly? I looked up the speed of sound in ceramic, divided by the length of the toilet bowl lid (and divided by 2 since the fundamental vibration is a half wavelength). This predicts 3.5 kHz.
6. This frequency is in the audible range. Using the short dimension of the toilet bowl predicts another (higher) frequency. The toilet bowl lid probably resonated at both those frequencies and their harmonics, putting all the energy into just those specific wavelengths.
7. The toilet bowl lid was not chipped or damaged, so the impact energy went mainly into sound (& internal heat) Maybe like half the impact energy went into sound energy. This lid was concave up like an antenna, near my face when it hit, focusing the energy into my face.
8. The energy travels into your inner ear and the cochlea. The pressure wave is strongest at some distance down the cochlea depending on frequency. Since the toilet bowl lid put all the energy into SPECIFIC FREQUENCIES, it was concentrated onto specific spots in the cochlea.
9. Apparently, this concentration of energy was enough to damage the hairs -- to bend them over like trampled grass -- and I was concerned it could be permanent. My hearing was only slightly better the next morning. It was like everybody was still talking at me through kazoos.
Fascinating. Be careful around dropping shatter-proof ceramics, I suppose!
The ceramic lid usually goes over the water tank.
(also, you can't control all the toilets in the world)
But imagine if you could!
But anyway, a big bin full of glass being emptied was damn loud, but all the concerts I went to wouldn't have helped.
There are studies though, and my conclusion is that it's still mostly inconclusive. Still, if my tinnitus suddenly worsened id be down at the doctor's begging for the steroids.
After a week my hearing was back to normal, so at least in my case it worked (although I guess there's a question of whether it would have recovered anyway)
I might have seen Ibuprofen mentioned explicitly in relation with hearing loss.
Can anyone confirm or deny if taking Ibuprofen could help if one is stuck without a doctor?
Most over-the-counter painkillers (other than acetaminophen/paracetamol) are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. OTOH, if the reason steroids work against hearing injuries is anti-inflammatory properties, NSAIDs might also work.
(OTOH, regular use of NSAIDs and acetaminophen is known to sometimes cause tinnitus and hearing loss, so, there’s that...)
[Edit: okay I was beaten to it :-)]
The post starts off mentioning cistern lids, and the title mentions cistern lids, but lapses into toilet bowl lid about the time the parent starts quoting.
"2 I was fixing the mechanism inside the tank of the toilet. The only thing left to do was to put the ceramic lid back on the tank"
So guys, still no excuse for not putting the lid back down when you've finished ;)
I've heard of cases where the plates on the machine were stuck together with grease and the user had selected a much lighter weight than usual. A number of plates below the linchpin were all the way up by the bonds of the grease before slipping and falling back down. The metal on metal impact rings out like a bell, right next to the user's head (in the case of bench press). Really nasty!
They're called bumper plates! They're so you can drop a loaded bar without causing everyone to glare at you - and also to help avoid the plates bouncing onto your foot.
But you shouldn't need these on the bench. If you bench without a spotter and get stuck, move the weights to your hip and then sit up and shift them slowly to the floor like you're finishing a deadlift. (I've always called this the 'strongman escape' but it has no formal name afaik)
The bumper plates are also round, which makes it easier to get a deadlift into position, and makes it land better when doing reps. The first 45 is a bumper plate, then add regular plates from there.
Resist the urge to bounce off the bottom of the rep! :-)
I think it also has to do with how rough the surface of the plates is, I believe a bit of a rough surface can help with the noise (some have a very polished surface and I can hear that from a mile)
Here's the post you're referring to: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/979583605637877760.html
The TL;DR is that from his calculation the lid dropping could generate noise at 138 dB, and hearing loss happens at around 140 dB.
This is below the level of terrorist attacks and shark bites in Kansas on the things to worry about list.
If I dropped my toilet lid, I probably wouldn't officially report it anywhere - not much can be done, after all.
Especially the one in the door right next to your head could be bad for your ears I imagine ...
Never thought of that before. Thanks for bringing it up
And a really well sealed cabin because they don't want any road noise creeping in.
Getting hit with airbag into the face when wearing eye glasses for example... that would suck, would it not?
I also work in a noisy environment, and it occurs to me that the road and engine and wind noise is probably loud enough to have a negative impact on hearing over time. Less so in newer cars, but both mine are over 10yo.
Also, in the event of a collision I’m protected.
Not the cheapest but if you don't lose them the should last a decade.
Let me know if you have any other questions!
Actually, it seems like it's legal in most states?  Unless your local municpal code says differently.
How else would you know an ambulance is around the corner, about to run a red light? There are things you simply cannot see, no matter how hard you look.
I find above 40k/hr my hearing is better with ear plugs because it attenuates the road, wind, and engine noise more for me.
Plus, I've never been one to have ear infections, so I end up with used ones in all my pockets so they're pretty much always on me.
As another comment mentioned, there are flat frequency response ear plugs, Etymotic ETY ER20 are pretty cheap, reusable and cleanable. Not as much dB reduction, but that's better for some scenarios.
And a car would have pretty decent internal damping.
The general traffic is already way too loud. Can reach 80 dBA and even more in tunnels.
Hey, but as long as you are ok, right?
How do you think the 27dB reduction due to ear plug hearing protection compares to someone playing loud music in their car.
Also see my other comment here https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20702195, reproduced for your benefit here:
At low speeds, driving around car parks etc, the ear plugs are out and usually have all the windows at least partly open, because I’m those environments hearing can be a huge boost to situational awareness.
Additionally, I've never been responsible for a serious accident, only a couple fender-benders when I was much younger.
Also, as per the site guidelines https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html
Be kind. Don't be snarky. Comments should get more thoughtful and substantive, not less, as a topic gets more divisive.
Please respond to the strongest plausible interpretation of what someone says, not a weaker one that's easier to criticize. Assume good faith.
My point was, I'm not deaf, but I'm fairly sure that on average deaf people are much better adapted to life with limited hearing than you or I would be when wearing ear buds. It doesn't logically follow that because a deaf person is allowed to drive we should be able to artificially reduce our hearing ability while driving.
Certainly there are subtleties to high end cars like road feel, steering, throttle feedback, and ergonomics that are only apparent to "car people" and thus work the premium versus something that is more "point A to point B". I applaud Mercedes for not only putting the effort into deploying a feature like this, but also for marketing it.
It's certainly one kind of car person that wants the latest and greatest nearly all the time. Some like to patronize particular auto makers, like fashionistas patronize fashion houses. It's quite another, equally valid kind of car person to take used examples of far simpler, utterly reliable cars and add suspension, brakes, forced induction, tuning, and so on far beyond what any manufacturer fits on any mass-market vehicle. They patronize component makers, often race- or restoration- oriented.
As for the non-enthusiasts, if you plan to lease a vehicle or trade it in every few years like clockwork, the eventual cost of added complexity might never affect you, apart from resale value. But the virtue of combining good mechanical QA with simplicity and serviceability is also much unsung, and cheaper, not more expensive.
Long-term owner of a 2004 Mercedes W211 E320 CDI in Europe, with 420k kilometers on the clock.
The inline 6-cylinder engine and the 5-speed auto transmission still work buttery smooth and the car pulls like a train without ever smoking. No interventions have ever been done to the engine and trans, apart from changing consumables on-time. The car still has a very solid feel to it, without any interior rattles and squeaks, with very few wear-and-tear signs on the interior. The original paint is still gleaming. The thickness of the paint and the metal is easily noticeable. A Honda of the same age and miles would probably still run, but will feel sub-par in most of these respects.
The car has a lot of electronic systems controlled by dedicated electronic units, the most notable of which is the brake-by-wire SBC system. It had been causing problems in early production, but the issue was fixed and that unit was replaced under warranty on almost all cars. It was a big reputation hit for Mercedes, though. That system was very innovative in the sense that it provides a common architecture for implementing traction control, ABS, brake-hold, etc.
So far, none of these systems have failed on my car, apart from the need to replace a few failed sensors for which I got warnings on the dashboard and were diagnosed easily while in the repair shop.
No problems with the engine and transmission other than the valve cover gasket blows every once in a while and starts leaking oil. Simple fix.
Some of the other parts on the car aren't quite as robust. I had to get the front end rebuilt. The key fob died. (That was a fun day since the steering column was locked, and there was no way to get diagnostic codes out. The only
way to diagnose that it was the key was to buy another key and see, so that required a trip to the dealer with the title in hand.) The starter failed twice. It started leaking oil from a gasket around the oil level sensor and got onto the wiring harness, and had to replace the wiring harness. The transmission gear in the panoramic sun-moon roof wore out, not worth fixing---just keep it closed. The motor actuator units under the seats both died a year apart from one another during a cold snap and started drawing 1A all the time, replaced the drivers side, and just disconnected the passenger side.
As long as there aren't any major problems with the engine/trans, I'll just patch it up. People just want too much money relative to the value of the cars. We'll see if there's a correction in that market once this next recession hits. Convincing people to finance $50k vehicles for 144 months, so that their payment is roughly $500, isn't a sustainable market.
"spare parts" (more common) or "replacement parts" (more formal)
Toyota and Honda have also had duds, of course. In particular, their up-spec engine options have often sacrificed a lot of reliability and serviceability, compared to the ubiquitous base options.
If you flip it on its head though, why is Mercedes only protecting people who pays 3-10x the price for their car for what in this case is just a software fix? Same with other cars and pre-collision breaking (vs a warning noise).
But you do need some features to justify that price tag.
One might liken it to how drug companies are charging $1M+ for new treatments and slowly cutting the cost as they walk the economic supply demand curve.
They paid for research, marketing, engineering, etc. By that logic one could also argue, that Amazon shouldn't store safety related products in their warehouses, but instead give them away for free.
Let the media center detect airbag deployment on CAN bus, then play a pre-saved quarter second audio sample at a fixed volume.
There might be complexities if the audio system is turned off and needs to boot up, but my guess is on all modern cars, the audio amplifier etc. is always turned on, even if the radio appears 'off'.
Yeah, but nothing in the car world is that easy. First you need to fit this to all cars. Then you need to test it (not that cheap), document it extensively (safety level, failure states, activation conditions, ...), check that it actually does what it's supposed to do instead of for example worsening it and then you need to get it certified for all the automotive markets which alone is probably as expensive as all that came before.
Of course the theory is simple, but the practice includes so many departments and agencies that it probably cost several millions. And you need to earn those back, after all.
And it's the kind of feature where if it only activates 98% of the time, or sometimes triggers incorrectly, it's not really a problem.
That would be too late, according to the description in the OP.
I don't know. I get into a Mercedes, and it all just feels so unintuitive to me. Not to mention cheap, like everything I touch is going to break off in my hand. And don't even get me started on the touchscreen that looks like it was taped to the dash as an afterthought.
I'll stick with my Acuras. I find them to be just as innovative and much more cost effective.
The heart of the range is still the E-class, which is built almost exclusively in Germany with a development budget of a few billion euros. A 4-cylinder diesel E-class is the archetypal long-distance cruiser in Europe, with many cars easily reaching over 600k kilometers on regular maintenance, while maintaining a fuel consumption of 5 litres per 100 kilometres during highway driving.
The website has only added marketing to the information available in the video from the original site.
I honestly thought this is satire until I saw it from the source, but this is actually pretty cool.
Your link is weirdly formatted on my machine to the point it looks broken.
Also I prefer reading text to watching a video.
It'll drive you nuts, especially if your handy builder put them in out-of-reach places.
A coworker did pat my shoulder to let me know, and I noticed the super loud fire alarm as soon as I removed the quiet headphones.
The headphones were not noise-cancelling or anything. Just Sennheiser HD380 Pro, which provide ~30dB isolation. I don't think it would have been possible for fire alarm to be noticeable under such conditions unless it was loud to ear-damaging levels.
This suggests that alternative indicators than just sound should be in place, such as automatically turning off lights and switching to emergency lighting.
The commercial building fire alarms have flashers on them for just that reason. Deaf people need to know the building is on fire too.
But still, this is really cool! I also didn't know that the ear has a "self-defense" mechanism against loud noise. I wonder how that mechanism interacts with things like headphone audio being played at high volumes. Does the mechanism eventually wear out? How does that affect people who do sound effects/mixing/mastering for a living?
This mechanism does not wear out. It can, however, be disrupted by damage to the muscle in question, or to the nerve innervating that muscle, or the portion of brain controlling that nerve.
However, you can still conduct sound without the stapes in place. It’s less effective - that’s why the bones of the inner ear are there at all - but in loud settings, and certainly in conditions where you can conduct sound effectively to the bones of the skull (eg, headphones), you can still pass enough sound to the cochlea to damage your hair cells.
I hope not, because I have been able to control the muscle voluntarily and it is still works after almost four decades.
It doesn't go off by itself all the time though. It's more for sudden loud noise, I don't think it works at all for sustained loud noises.
Oh, is that how the brain rumblies thingy works? Huh, I never realized most people couldn't do that.
Yeah, it’s for when your brain thinks there might be a loud noise. I, too, was surprised when I found out that being able to deliberately tense it wasn’t ‘normal’.
"Some individuals can voluntarily produce this rumbling sound by contracting the tensor tympani muscle of the middle ear." (Emphasis mine.)
That is: there are 2 methods. The first method only "some...can" and the second method "[all people] can". The second method seems to be exactly what I voluntarily do; unfortunately the second method's description omits mention of voluntariness ("as when" means that yawning is not mandatory) though. Thus, the "all people" method and doing it voluntarily might overlap much of the time.
Aside: I also have a hardly-traumatic "ear popping" (I say it that way because pressure-caused popping is called barotrauma) as a very early precursor to my voluntary rumbling. I wonder how typical that is...
So many startups do this too with product names, they fear whatever name will be too "limiting" and end up with some generic name that doesn't communicate anything at all.
Brand names shouldn't be taken so literally either, no one cares that "Vodafone" sells Internet and TV connections, not just cell phones. Or that Salesforce sells a whole bunch of products unrelated to sales. Or Facebook is expanding outside of social networks into AI and VR. But more importantly than the brand/trademark is the product names don't have to be all encompassing of everything the product does (or plans to do in the future).
People are smart enough to connect a name to a group of things even if the name is only about one of them. And a negative term like 'pre crash' is far more memorable than 'pre safe'.
I've seen it most often in rocketry contexts - you "safe the rocket" in an aborted launch scenario so it won't go off accidentally, etc.
"It is a good idea to add a safety release valve to your launcher. Sometimes it is important to abort a launch and safe the rocket after it has been pressurised." http://www.aircommandrockets.com/rocket_launcher.htm (Google "safe the rocket" for occasional other examples.)
It's safing in advance of the event (pre-safe), rather than after the event (post-safe), which would be too late.
For example, when you get into one, it will adjust the tension of the seatbelt automatically to be ideal for each passenger. And of course this pink noise. And a ton of other little things that cost extra that most people will never notice.
There's a reason the Mercedes is always at or near the top of any vehicle safety list.
A couple days after I got the new car, a kid ran out behind my car as I was backing out of a parking spot. It beeped and stopped me from backing up anymore. I think I would've reacted in time too, but it was quite reassuring to have the computer help out.
For me the most useful feature is the 360 camera, which is admittedly more convenience than safety. It starts beeping loudly before you bump into things, and shows you a top-down view of your surroundings on the screen. Super super super useful for squeezing into tight parking spots. Just this morning I had to get into a really tight spot, and I probably would've been pretty nervous without the camera haha.
It is a little scary though that the system has so much control over the car now. Makes you wonder what'll happen if it glitches while you're on the highway.
As an aside, I still haven't gotten used to the seatbelt pull which startles me every time, it's a pretty firm tug. The 2019 BMW models have that too.
It has the birds-eye view 360 degree parking camera (and curb view), forward collision auto emergency braking, lane departure warning and it'll beep at you when the car in front starts moving after a red light and you're too engrossed in your phone to notice.
I found myself hanging upside quite securely with my brain processing the strange sensation in being a place that was both highly familiar (my car) but entirely strange (being upside down.) I looked and saw that the back window had broken so I'd have an easy way to get out; I had time to plan my moves, then released the seatbelt and went out the back.
All modern cars meet very high standards for safety and these are improving all the time.
What do they have now that the rest of us will get in 2050?
Luxury brands can actually stop you from going into a lane when a vehicle is there or minimizing the damage if you push it. Kinda like Tesla Autopilot but only when you're about to do something stupid.
- backup camera
- radar-guided "smart" cruise control (this is amazing!)
- lane-departure warning and active steering
- emergency braking
Our particular model doesn't have the blind-spot detection (as per parent post) or rear cross-traffic warning, even though the version just below it does (different factories, weird), but we preferred the better interior.
Unfortunately I couldn't get the advanced cruise control because I ordered mine with manual transmission. And the emergency braking feature acts weird on my car. It emits a warning signal if it detects a car in front lomg before it brakes but I find that to be pretty hit or miss.
Yes they have more issues with technology than other cars, but that's because they use more and newer technology than cheaper brands. 
Apparently with their vehicles (in this case a C180/2004) the tensioner is power-dependent and requires the vehicle to be used somewhat frequently to work at all. This means that simply by not using the car for 4-5 months, my dad returning to it and turning it on for < 3 seconds resulted in the motor starting with the tensioner not working, resulting in timing chain failure which irreparably damaged the valves and motor to the extent the vehicle was written off.
I don't have much automotive expertise by any means, but my understanding is that tensioner design in other makes of car generally do not experience critical failure when presented with "being used seldomly".
if your dad regularly lets a car sit for five months without driving it, he's going to have a lot of car troubles. ought to at least take it out a couple times a month, just for 20-30 minutes (ie, long enough to get fully warmed up).
I went to visit the shop while they were working on it. Wow, I do a bit of car work, but if I ever had my car in so many pieces I would never have gotten in back together again.
Thank god for extended warranties. I’ve never made out on a warranty so well, but one thing is for sure, I will never own that car out of warranty.
I'm not sure how reliable this site is but in general, it is accepted that most luxury German cars have reoccurring issues. The reason why I say "accepted" is because in most cases, they are pushing cutting edge technology and with so many parts, something is going to give.
I do not know common Mercedes issues but with BMW SUVs the most common issues are plastic parts near gaskets (leaks), electrical systems, and ventilation (especially in X3).
Of coarse there are exceptions and not all cars are created equal but this seems to be the consensus year after year.
I'm not gonna comment on the Mercedes because while they definitely have earned their reputation for being expensive in old age I'm not familiar enough with them to pass a value judgement.
There is a big difference in build quality and longevity between modern Mercedes cars and the ones built in the 1970s and 1980s. They used to feel substantially better than other cars. Now they don't really, except for the S class.
It also may be that because Mercedes and BMWs are "local brand" vehicles, there are more of them, and more mechanics out there able to service them? Whereas (to them) foreign cars like American vehicles you have to take to special American automobile repair places (like we have European auto repair places here that specialize in those makes/models)?
Again - guesses...
As others have said older Mercedes had very good reliability, so that probably still rubs off on how people feel about cars today. I'd consider BMW more sporty than luxury.
For instance, the base A-CLass (small/mid size sedan) sold in Germany has a 110hp engine and cloth seats, and very few standard features. Base price (w/o VAT) is ~$24,000US.
The base US A-Class has a 190HP engine, leather, more standard features, and starts at $32,500.
Of course, it helps that most low-powered cars sold in the EU will have manual trans, where all US MBs are autos...
Also, US buyers will run the AC a lot more, and AC eats a lot of power...potentially as much as 15-20HP... that's a lot more noticeable with a tiny engine.
The US is a mature product.
High end brands don't sell sub-lowend products.
That's been true for taxis in the US for a long time --- which are usually full-size Chevrolets and Fords. They're also much roomier and thus give a more comfortable ride than the average import econobox, with extra capacity for luggage.
There have been going down market in the U.S with the C class, then the CLA and now the A class, but these are still low-end luxury cars.
Citation needed. The little seatbelt tightening thing is cute but probably doesn't increase safety at all, and some cars in the 90s had a feature that would put the whole seatbelt on for you.
Pre-Safe occupant protection including pretensioning reduced stress to the head and neck by 30-40%: https://media.daimler.com/marsMediaSite/en/instance/ko/The-P...
The comment is about safety, not just luxury, and Mercedes has been on the cutting edge for over a century. You can read about their list of innovations including being the first to have crumple zones, airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control, and more: https://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/benz/safety
> "and some cars in the 90s had a feature that would put the whole seatbelt on for you"
Are you referring to the belts attached to the A-pillar that would slide up when you sit? Those didn't handle the lap portion and were proven terrible by safety testing and consumer response.
The pre-safe sound linked here is another example.
See also: Peril Sensitive Sunglasses™
Back where I was sitting, it was much much lower, and definitely didn't affect my hearing.
That's one long domain name...
It's up to the consumer: if you want a safe winter car, both BMW and MB will sell you an all-wheel-drive vehicle.
If you want to spend less, save weight, and have an enjoyable oversteer experience, they'll sell you a rear-wheel-drive vehicle.
These days the electronic stability control systems in new cars make it almost irrelevant whether a car is RWD or FWD, unless you are on a racetrack. The cars will usually take control from the driver before serious oversteer becomes a problem.
And if that's not good enough, Mercedes and BMW offer a lot of AWD models.
FR (front-engine, rear whe drive) cars do have less traction in snow because there is less weight over the rear wheels. This is correct.
But there is nothing unsafe about FR. It has been around since the dawn of the automobile and continues to be the layout of choice outside of econoboxes and mid-engine sports cars.
Mercedes-Benz also manufacture front wheel drive cars too, so feel free to purchase those instead.
But then the only advantage you get in winter driving comes from fitting tyres (or tyre chains) appropriate to the conditions.