The broad-winged tree cricket calls day and night, his almost continuous trill like a more sonorous version of the sound that old-fashioned dial-up modems used to make. And in fact his main frequency of 3 kHz is just about the same as a telephone signal, but his pulse rate is a paltry 25 per second, which is less than a quarter as fast as the earliest true modems, the 110-baud Bell 101 devices developed in the 1950s to transmit data for the North American Aerospace Defense Command’s SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) system. If the cricket in my garden were a modem, he would take half a day to download the simplest, text-only web page.
As for the field cricket who’s made his way inside and now calls from a corner behind the couch, I think he’s saying sleep sleep sleep at a volume guaranteed to make sleep impossible. Jiminy! Maybe I’ll just stay up and surf the web.