Thursday, August 02, 2007

Classical Music As Gang Repellent, Part 2

Last year, I posted about the use of classical music as a deterrent to drug dealers in a Connecticut neighborhood; there was similar success in repelling gang-bangers at the downtown Dallas McDonald's. Now a similar tactic is being used in a transit mall in Tacoma, Washington:
City authorities, fed up with gang activity in public places, are taking Bach their bus stop.

Transit workers are installing speakers this week to pump classical music from Seattle's KING-FM into the Tacoma Mall Transit Center. The tactic is designed to disperse young criminals who make drug deals at the bus stop or use public transportation to circulate between the mall and other trouble-prone places.

The attack by Bach, Brahms and Beethoven follows the theory that prompted the city to stage pinochle games on dangerous street corners: Jolting the routine in such spots throws criminals off balance.

"It's based on routine activity theory and situational crime prevention. You mix different types of activities in locations that are crime-ridden to change the composition of the environment," said psychologist Jacqueline Helfgott, who chairs the Criminal Justice Department at Seattle University.
Some people are skeptical, of course, including a bus driver who thinks it will actually raise tensions, but the idea has met with success in other places, so it's worth a try. (And unlike the situation in my previous post, no riled-up musicologists--insulted by the use of music in this manner--are quoted.)

And if Bach doesn't work, there are other ways to get rid of a gang problem; some cities (including Ft. Worth) are suing them.

Department of the Obvious: Researchers have come up with a list of 237 reasons why people have sex. The number one reason? It's fun. (And someone probably paid them money to come up with that conclusion.)

Don't read this if you're about to eat (unless you're a fan of game): A list of recipes for squirrel (meaning that the squirrel is being cooked, not doing the cooking).

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Popeye vs. Anime

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