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about 7 months ago
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THON in Decibels: Quest for 137.6

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THON can get loud. When the crowd is at capacity and the clocking is counting down (and especially when Go Go Gadjet gets the dancers rocking), the noise can be almost deafening in the best way. But how truly loud does the Bryce Jordan Center get during THON weekend?

On December 1st 2013, fans at Seattle’s CenturyLink field set the Guinness World Record for Loudest Crowd Roar at a Sports Stadium at 137.6 dBA, beating the record set just a few months earlier by Kansas City Chiefs fans at Arrowhead stadium. That was done using an official, perfectly calibrated decibel meter and with Guinness representatives present. We were going to do that, but an excellent decibel meter is expensive and the people at Guinness stopped returning our emails when we applied for “Sexiest Managing Editor” to be an official record. So we improvised.

Using a calibrated version of the Decibel Meter Pro app for iPhone, we’ll be seeing just how loud THON 2014 can get from various locations throughout the weekend, and see if we can come close to unofficially topping the Seahawks. We’re recording for all noise, not just voices. The feasibility of it isn’t too strong, but hey, redefine the possibilities, right?

As of 7:00 a.m., the average decibel level of the BJC has been between 60-70 dBA, maxing out at 99 at the very beginning. We expect the final four hours to produce some serious noise, however, and we’ll keep you updated throughout the weekend. Remember, being directly on the speakers at a rock concert will produce something like 135 decibels, so use that for reference.

THON - The IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON), the most ubiquitous event on campus, has been in existence since 1973. THON currently benefits the Four Diamonds Fund at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Children’s Hospital and has raised over $100,000,000 since its inception. Read more