Lately, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how to make myself heard around our house. I’ve also been giving lots of thought to making myself understood around the house, but combining these two expectations seems to be a lofty goal – especially as the school hiatus and listening skills seem unequivocally correlated – so am starting out most humbly. I do know that sound (stuff we hear) is created by a vibration (stuff that happens) and how loud this vibration is depends on its frequency (how often the stuff vibrates) . It’s pretty amazing the fancy physics I can remember from high school solely due to the fact that I had a huge crush on my high school physics teacher. Anyway, frequencies between 20 and 20,000 Hz are audible to most humans. That why, once in a while, you see or hear emergency information on the road or radio. Information like ‘For traffic information, tune into 980Hz” or “ … for marine emergencies, 2182Hz”.
You may have heard about these devices, “mosquito” devices they’ve been called, that emit a high frequency sound that only young people, teenagers and young adults included, can hear (like, above 20,000Hz). The sound really annoys them so they try to avoid the area, which presumably reduces bad or even criminal behaviour. Their use, however, is being challenged by human rights activities for both their ethics and their legality as a means to deter loitering in public spaces. Forget human rights, am I the only one who thinks this is pure genius? Even aside the potential for some impressive Cialis commercials, think about how useful this device would be to get them to move out after high school or university. Did these activists ever wonder if parents had perhaps installed them in their homes and that’s why they’re out loitering at public parks in the first place??
Let’s consider the anthropological applications of the mosquito device on a much larger scale. Would it not be helpful for parents to be outfitted with a voice transformer that morphs your otherwise normal voice into one that teenagers just can’t ignore? But don’t stop there! If scientists have now figured out what is the frequency at which most teenagers hear, we’re only one scientific breakthrough away from creating a communications decoder that allows parents to de-scramble and interpret teenagers’ verbal communications. The grunts and growls mean something for sure, but what? I don’t know about you, but I sure need some sort of communication interpreter.
I’m sure I’m not the only one getting a little frustrated with having to leave easily-ignored Post-It notes on the refrigerator or toilet seats, not to mention constant text reminders about something they have to remember (or remember to remind me). I am never sure if they saw that note or that text so I endlessly pester them. Then after I repeat myself for the 12th time, I am rewarded with a grunt, which only baffles me even more, because I can’t be sure that this grunt means, ‘I hear you and I’ll take care of that’, or ‘I’m not listening, and have no intention of doing what you just asked me to do’.
There needs to be more research on ‘mosquito’ devices and it needs to happen now. I urge you to speak to your local member of parliament to ensure the proper financial resources are allocated to the appropriate academic research foundations. And while we’re at it, we should come up with a new name for the device too. I mean mosquitos come along and stick to you and suck the life right out of you. Teenagers on the other hand – well – never mind. Maybe ‘mosquito’ is a good name after all.
Now, if only there was a device that emitted noise on a frequency that only husbands can hear. I’m pretty sure TSN and ESPN are all over this …