Spy Training Mission:
Eavesdropping

As you may or may not know, eavesdropping (listening in on someone without permission) is probably the oldest act of spying. And it's still one of the most important skills a spy can possess.

Can you focus enough to understand muffled voices in another room?



This training mission is about honing the skill of eavesdropping.


The Keyhole Listener

Spies do it all the time. Listening on the keyhole.

It may be a small hole, but if you keep in mind that it's likely the only place in the whole door where the sound of spoken voices are not stopped by wood. So if you think about it, it's not without logic to put your ear next to a keyhole.

So here's the training. If you're with a friend (he'll be the 'subject'), let him go in a room with a door that has a keyhole. The subject should tell a story in a normal voice (not particularly loud, nor whispering), while you (the spy) put your ear next to the keyhole.

Can you make out what your friend is saying? Keep practicing until you do! (it'll get easier with time)

Don't forget to switch with your friend, so he can train it too!

Glass to the Wall

Eavesdropping with a glass

Ok, now a bit harder. There is no door with a keyhole. Now how do you listen in on the conversation in the other room.

Here's an old trick. Use a thin glass, and put it against the wall. Now you can hear what they're saying in another room.

How it works?

Well, I'm not a physics student, but this is how I understand it: the sound in the room decreases in speed as it goes through the wall (since a wall is denser than air. Don't believe me? Walk through air... now walk into the wall. QED). By putting a glass on the wall, you do 2 things. You contain the sound in a closed chamber. Plus, the glass helps amplify the sounds.

Don't understand what I said? No problemo. It works anyway.

Now you try!

These are 2 tried and tested ways of eavesdropping. Now you know how to listen in on conversations that are not meant for your ears!



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