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Who is behind this project?



This news and research blog augments the World Hum Database and Mapping Project located http://www.thehum.info

Dr. Glen MacPherson lectured for 16 years at the University of British Columbia (UBC), training mathematics teachers in the Faculty of Education, and now works with UBC Robson Campus with its GMAT and GRE curriculum program. He is also an ethnographic researcher, and high school teacher of physics, mathematics, psychology, general science, and biology. He lives and works on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. His books, articles, and speaking engagements focus primarily on mathematics education.

After first noticing the Hum in spring of 2012 and discovering the Hum community, he sensed the need for a unified, moderated, and serious place for discussions and research surrounding the world Hum. This led to the World Hum Map and Database Project.

The leading theory is that the world Hum is an internally generated audiological phenomenon, possibly related to otoacoustic emissions.  (Note that tinnitus is also a self-reported audio effect, although it manifests quite differently from the Hum.) There are four competing theories.

This is a place for disciplined inquiry, and not for wild speculation and conspiracy. There are many entertaining and interesting websites available for those who want to indulge in those activities.

Contact Glen at glen.macpherson@gmail.com



  1. Lisa Allen says:

    Derek, I hope you never hear what we hear, but if you did, you would understand why it bothers so many of us. Loud, constant, low frequency noise can be very irritating, especially when it gets much louder at night just when you’re trying to go to sleep.

  2. Lisa Allen says:

    In case anyone is interested, I wanted to say that I ordered and received the ballistic gel from a medical company online that sells it for the purpose of training medical personnel (since it is similar to human tissue). I bought it because my finger is the only thing that can block out the hum when it’s loud, so I wanted to see if something made from a material that was similar in density and viscosity would also block it. Well, when i press it against my ear I cannot hear anything. I have tried it several times. When I hear/feel that pulsing hum when I put my head on the pillow, and then press the small sample of the gel against my ear, it is silent. This is the only thing that has blocked the hum for me. I am afraid to put it in my ear, however. But if these can somehow be made into earplugs they would block the hum. I can melt them down, shape them into small ear plugs, and then insert them into a foam earplug that the middle has been cut out of. I don’t know if that will work but I’ll try it when I have time. This is what it looks like (still in plastic wrap):



  3. Lisa Allen says:

    Annamae, I bought it from Hominics Medical. I bought a bag of gel samples (photos in prior post) and also a bag of the #1 gel cubes. I recommend buying the bag of samples. It’s only $10.00 and you can experiment with them and see which works the best for you. Gel #1 is the most dense and most like human tissue. Gel #5 is the softest but it still works ok. I haven’t tried #2, 3, or 4 yet (maybe tonight). Last night I was trying to sleep and heard that pulsing noise and put the #5 sample between my ear and the pillow (inside the plastic bag it came in) and it blocked the hum enough for me to fall asleep. Gel #1 works better but isn’t as comfortable because it’s harder. Anyway, I hope it works for you. Let me know how you like it.

    • It’s probably a good time for me to mention that in no way do I endorse this product or any claims associated with it. This product is being suggested by a blog member. Glen.

      • George G. says:

        If you allowed my Aeroplane Jelly crack to get through the filter, you would not have had to worry about endorsement rules.

        They would have loved the publicity, and who knows, they may even have offered some funding.

        (I am an eternal optimist)

        Ha ha and cheers.

  4. Lisa Allen says:

    Correction: Gel #0 is the most dense (not #1).

  5. Lisa Allen says:

    George, you piqued my curiousity and I had to look up Aeroplane Jelly – I never heard of it before. Well now I know something new, thank you! It’s a jello type dessert in Australia I guess. Maybe one day before I die I will actually have an oppornity to talk about Aeroplace Jelly with someone. 😉

  6. George G. says:


    I owe you an explanation.

    Yes, it is a jelly desert which dates back to the time when aircraft were becoming popular, especially with youngsters, so the manufacturer decided to marry the love of aircraft with their product. They even had a theme song for it.

    Aeroplane Jelly is fruit flavoured gel crystals. You simply add hot water and let it sit in your refrigerator till it sets.

    When I read your comment on ballistic gel, my initial thought was something toxic entering your ear canal.

    After researching ingredients of ballistic gel, and what it cost, I figured you could make your own much cheaper. So, I commented that perhaps you should use Aeroplane Jelly instead of ballistic gel, that way if it did not achieve the desired affect of blocking the Hum, at least you could enjoy eating the rest.

    Moderators, in their wisdom, decided to block the post.

    I had a few beers, (as Australians do) and I was being silly.

    Hope we are still friends,


  7. Lisa Allen says:


    I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but below is an article about your segment on Inside Edition:


    I think it may be on tomorrow night based on the previews that were on at the end of the show tonight.

  8. Lisa Allen says:

    George – Lol, that is a funny story! I have posted a few times myself after having some wine so I understand. I heard that Aeroplane Jelly theme song – it’s very cute and catchy. I guess what we call jello in the U.S. you call jelly? What you described sounds like jello. Jelly is what we spread on toast here. About the ballistic gel, or medical gel (same thing used for different purposes) I wouldn’t put it in my ear – I’d put in inside of something first. But right now it’s still in the plastic packaging and I’m just putting that between the pillow and my ear. Anyway I enjoyed reading your explanation – gave me a good laugh!


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