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Did Donald Duck Inhale Helium?

I'm sure most of us have sucked back a quick inhale from a helium balloon and had a good laugh. Sounding like Donald Duck or the Chipmunks is enough to make anyone crack up. What is it about helium that makes us sound so funny?

No one will disagree that helium changes your voice, but not everyone believes it is helium that causes your voice to become high-pitched. What it does is change the timbre of your voice. This has nothing to do with falling trees. Timbre is what allows you to tell the difference between the same note played at the same volume on two different instruments. It also helps you hear the different parts of speech, like vowel sounds.

You need to know how sound works to understand what happens. When you talk, air travels from your lungs up through the larynx and out of your mouth. The larynx has a pair of vocal folds which form a V-shaped slit. When the air is leaving, it hits the underside of the vocal folds and makes them vibrate. Are you still with me? This vibrating excites air molecules in your vocal tract. By moving your tongue, lips, roof of your mouth, etc. you can create recognizable sounds. So that's how sound works. Let's get back to helium.

Helium is much lighter than air. Because of this, the speed of sound is much higher in helium. When you inhale helium you increase the speed of the sound of your voice. The shape of your vocal tract doesn't change. If you increase the speed of a sound you also increase the wavelength. However, on the way to the ear the sound travels thru air again and the wavelength goes back to normal. It's not the change in frequency that gives you the squeaky voice but a change in pitch. The sound has the same frequencies but helium causes a shift in your timbre. This means the higher frequencies are getting a higher enhancement than normal so the pitch changes. The end result? You sound like a chipmunk.

Although inhaling helium is fun it's not exactly healthy. Every time you inhale pure helium, you are not inhaling oxygen. Whatever you do, never inhale helium from a high pressure tank! Besides the serious risk of lung damage, you could end up with bubbles of helium in the arteries that lead to your brain. This can lead to stroke-like symptoms and, of course, death. Still laughing? Didn't think so.

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Who Has the Squeakiest Voice?

  • Michael Jackson.
  • Richard Simmons.
  • Renee Zelweiger (Gerry McGuire, Me, Myself & Irene).
  • Leslie Mann (Big Daddy, Cable Guy).

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esthery27 posted in Debating:
"simran88" wrote: "esthery27" wrote:I would rather be happy. It is much obvious that in this society nowadays smart people have the most advantages of being successful and socially acccepted based on their careers, position, personal success, fame, power and all that upper middle class stuff. But at the same time while being 'smart', they are also facing all kinds of stress and struggles such as trying the best at showing the perfect them to the society, mantaining all the success, fame and power all the time while the list goes on and on. But happy people on the other hand, or in other words, are happy because they live in the moment. They don't care , or don't need to care what others think of them because they are not living under the eyes and sayings of other people. They enjoy being themselves in their way. Although nothing is perfect, but they tend to make the best out of the many things. And they don't get easiy tired of trying to become the best of the bests, as most smart people tend to do.So if i would choose, i would rather be happy than smart. Well, then the 'smart' people you've spoken about are not really all that smart after all,  are they? Cuz if they were really all that smart they would've realised that they shouldn't care about what others think about them. Am I right? Great point ! Thanks for the reminder ! So what do you think about being smart or happy ? 
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unknownqueen posted in Debating:
"FroggyBurton" wrote:I would rather be Happy because I'm already smart XDAhahaha xD why haven't i thought of that? Same here same here
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unknownqueen posted in General:
Banned for using numbers to ban someone 
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HappyBaker posted in General:
Banned for posting 1309 times
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HappyBaker posted in General:
Lie on the floor and sing. He got it from me :PWhat am I?
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