A lot of science museums and parks feature something called an acoustic mirror. The one at Houston’s Discovery Green park is called the listening vessels. [Doug Hollis] created two acoustic mirrors 70 feet apart, pointing at each other. If you stand or sit near one of the vessels, you can hear a whisper from someone near the other vessel. The limestone installations (see right) are concave and focus sound like a parabolic mirror will focus light.
Just a science curiosity, right? Maybe today, but not always. The story of these devices runs through World War II and is an object lesson in how new technology requires new ways of thinking about things.