Scientists ploy to get sharks in the mood
Aquarium will play Mozart, Puccini to warm up cold fish
LONDON—Scientists desperate for reluctant sharks to mate and produce offspring at an aquarium in England plan to pipe the romantic music of Mozart, Beethoven and Puccini into the tank. Bloodnose, a 20-year-old male brown shark, has spurned the advances of 15-year-old Lucy since they were introduced a year ago at the Blackpool Sea Life Centre, aquarists said. Other sharks have also turned out to be cold fish.
“We want to play them the kind of soft and emotional music that inspires powerful emotions in humans,” display supervisor Carey Duckhouse said. “We hope it’s going to put them in a passionate frame of mind and get them mating.” They will be serenaded with classical greats such as Mozart’s Romanze, Puccini’s Nessun Dorma and Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, which will be played through speakers over the open-topped tank.
The aquarists turned to classical music after having failed to put the sharks in the mood to mate with love-songs of the late soul singer Barry White. His greatest hits include Can’t Get Enough and I’ve Got So Much to Give. Although the attempt appeared to be “a little bit nutty” and “a long shot”, Duckhouse cited a study at the Rowland Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that found fish could listen and process melodies like human beings.
“We will be looking for any noticeable change in behaviour to see if Bloodnose gets a little more amorous towards Lucy,” Duckhouse said. “Hopefully they’ll mate and maybe this time next year we will be caring for six or seven little sharks,” she added. Bloodnose may be slowing down with age as brown sharks usually live for around 25 years. They are found in the tropical waters of the west Atlantic and Mediterranean, but are not considered man-eaters and are rarely involved in attacks on humans.
The news comes after researchers in the United States and Northern Ireland announced that a female hammer-head shark gave birth without mating.
— The Vancouver Sun - Agence France-Press
Editor’s questions: Could the sharks speak, what would they say to having that serenading imposed on them? Would Bloodnose engage with Lucy in a natural habitat without this human interference? Is it known if he is heterosexual? Is that species on the brink of extinction that they urgently need to breed in captivity, or is that only to satisfy a human desire? What bright future would any possible offspring of these sharks in captivity have?
Music used to psych up soccer fans
By Ayala Ben-Yehuda
NEW YORK—Major League Soccer (MLS) and sponsor Adidas hope David Beckham’s stateside arrival will shine a light on the sport—and that they can rally fans with music.
Music-branding company Rock River, which has customised Latin compilation CDs for Pottery Barn and digital marketer EVB, has produced a campaign called MLS Represent. They commissioned songs for each of the 13 MLS teams by acts with strong local followings. Rock band Kinky and urban regional duo Akwid recorded themes for the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA, respectively.
The songs incorporate existing team chants. They are available as free MP3s at www.adidas.com/mls, and will get in-stadium play to psych up the crowds. Live performances (such as one already done by Kinky) are in the works by participating bands on the home fields, Rock river president/CEO Jeff Daniel said. Also, talks are underway with ESPN and other national networks to incorporate the team songs into the MLS broadcasts, Daniel said.
— The Vancouver Sun - Reuters/Billboard
One innkeeper believes in shrill sounds
An innkeeper in Lower Saxony, Germany, counteracts the loitering of youngsters with a “teenager dispersion machine.” Axel Torbecke (40), manager of the “Strandarena” (Beach Arena) in Osnabrueck, says the gadget emits a shrill, high-pitched sound. Adults over about 25 years allegedly are not being bothered by that sound, due to their reduced hearing capacity through aging.
He used the gadget called Mosquito since July, after youngsters frequently made noise on his property. “They were drunk and made noise around here,” said Torbecke. “The following morning the place was scattered with broken glass.”
According to the statement of the manufacturer, the “system for the dispersion of gatherings of youngsters” works with sounds over 16 kHz. “Although the sound doesn’t cause pain, its effect after a 5 to 10 minute period is extremely unpleasant,” states the company from Vechta, advertising the Mosquito.
Ostensibly, this gadget is already successfully used in England and Switzerland. However, also in the Alpine Republic there were already the first successful applications filed by politicians to prohibit that implement.
— Darmstaedter Echo - Associated Press