Echo chamber

“A bad word whispered will echo a hundred miles” – Chinese proverb

A few weeks ago I was walking through the Weber Point Event Center in downtown Stockton looking for an enterprise feature picture. Having no luck, I started to leave. A young man walked up to me and asked me if I knew were the maze was. I answered yes. There is a labyrinth path made of yellow and red bricks set in the concrete at the west end of the park. The color has faded over several years of weathering and most people pass it by without noticing as they walk the park’s circumference.

Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 24mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 100)

The young man, a stranger to me, said that if you stand in the center of the of the feature, turn back to the east and speak, your voice would be amplified. He said that he thought it was cool and just wanted to tell someone.

Well I’ve been around the block a few times and haven’t just fallen off the turnip truck, you know. I thanked the young man and went on my merry way, thinking that it was some sort of practical joke or some scheme to con me out of some money. “Hah!” I thought, “you didn’t get a dime outta me!”

Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 100)

A week or so later I was back in the park when I approached the labyrinth. I looked around and no one was near, so I walked to the center of the maze. I turned around and spoke in a normal tone and it was if I was listening to a quadraphonic sound system. There are a series of three curved and tiered concrete steps at the east end of the maze and they must reflect the sound back toward the speaker. It was pretty cool, but I resisted the urge to perform karaoke-style in the park. If you’re ever at the Weber Point Event Center, give it a try.

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