A dog whistle for kids

Shopkeepers in England, annoyed by adolescents loitering around their stores, are installing a new device called the Mosquito. It emits an ultra-high pitched annoying noise—”eeeeeeeeek”–that people over 25 cannot hear. It drives away the kids while adults, with their deteriorating hearing, remain unphased. Read this: Merchants in Britain Give Young Loiterers an Earful.

Yes, some people in England are claiming that the device constitutes age discrimination. Still, young people have had their own version of the Mosquito for some time that drives away adults. It’s called rap music.

But still, isn’t the Mosquito a great invention? Don’t you just want one? I can imagine many other uses. I wonder if Mosquito technology could be applied to all boom-boxes and car stereos, once the windows are opened, so that only young people could listen to their music despite their good-hearted impulse to share it with the rest of us.

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About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Matt L

    They would not have my business. I can hear up to 18.8 kHz, which is one half step higher than the “mosquito” note… and I’m 27.

    Actually related to this was why as a very young child, I could not stand Montgomery Wards. Their light fixtures had a constant buzz. Every time we went there I go sick, and complained to my parents… who of course couldn’t hear the buzz.

    On another related note. Kids are using this to their advantage. Some higher end cell phones have pretty decent speakers, and so these ultrasonic tones are being used as ringtones. Just imagine, the teacher will never know if you are getting text messaged anymore… that is unless he/she still has good hearing.

  • Matt L

    They would not have my business. I can hear up to 18.8 kHz, which is one half step higher than the “mosquito” note… and I’m 27.

    Actually related to this was why as a very young child, I could not stand Montgomery Wards. Their light fixtures had a constant buzz. Every time we went there I go sick, and complained to my parents… who of course couldn’t hear the buzz.

    On another related note. Kids are using this to their advantage. Some higher end cell phones have pretty decent speakers, and so these ultrasonic tones are being used as ringtones. Just imagine, the teacher will never know if you are getting text messaged anymore… that is unless he/she still has good hearing.

  • http://www.hempelstudios.com Sarah in Maryland

    “On another related note. Kids are using this to their advantage. Some higher end cell phones have pretty decent speakers, and so these ultrasonic tones are being used as ringtones. Just imagine, the teacher will never know if you are getting text messaged anymore… that is unless he/she still has good hearing.”

    One of the kids in my Sunday School class has this ringtone. He told me that many kids are using it in school. I could hear it (I’m 30), but none of the other adults in the room could. I have extremely sensitive hearing though. Those florencent lights make me crazy as well.

  • http://www.hempelstudios.com Sarah in Maryland

    “On another related note. Kids are using this to their advantage. Some higher end cell phones have pretty decent speakers, and so these ultrasonic tones are being used as ringtones. Just imagine, the teacher will never know if you are getting text messaged anymore… that is unless he/she still has good hearing.”

    One of the kids in my Sunday School class has this ringtone. He told me that many kids are using it in school. I could hear it (I’m 30), but none of the other adults in the room could. I have extremely sensitive hearing though. Those florencent lights make me crazy as well.

  • http://necessaryroughness.org Dan at Necessary Roughness

    I was a Teacher’s Assistant in high school for the chemistry and physics teacher. During my T/A hour, occasionally I would be setting things up in another room. One of the physics rooms had a sound wave generator and an oscilloscope, and it was probably too much fun to start the frequency off very high and back it down every so slowly until a couple of the girls exclaimed, “what IS that!?” They never figured it out.

  • http://necessaryroughness.org Dan at Necessary Roughness

    I was a Teacher’s Assistant in high school for the chemistry and physics teacher. During my T/A hour, occasionally I would be setting things up in another room. One of the physics rooms had a sound wave generator and an oscilloscope, and it was probably too much fun to start the frequency off very high and back it down every so slowly until a couple of the girls exclaimed, “what IS that!?” They never figured it out.

  • Joe

    I hear lights buzzing all the time – that and the voices of course. ;)

  • Joe

    I hear lights buzzing all the time – that and the voices of course. ;)

  • http://viz.tumblr.com tickletext

    Speaking of avoiding children, here’s an article from Reason claiming that “according to happiness researchers, people don’t really enjoy rearing children”:

    http://www.reason.com/news/show/125163.html

  • http://viz.tumblr.com tickletext

    Speaking of avoiding children, here’s an article from Reason claiming that “according to happiness researchers, people don’t really enjoy rearing children”:

    http://www.reason.com/news/show/125163.html


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