Can-do phenomenon

May 22, 2008

The way five metronomes synchronise over two empty drink cans, and the fact that the same principle explains how crickets sing in time ("A beat in time strikes a chord on YouTube", 15 May), is simply fascinating. I too have witnessed (with an amazing regularity) the same phenomenon in the street where I live: groups of young people start the evening shouting randomly at each other but, when they find themselves over a few empty cans, they start singing in time! However, contrarily to the metronomes, it normally takes them more than two empty cans to synchronise. Perhaps a matter of not-so-good vibrations.

José Luiz Fiadeiro, Leicester.

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