Battle over a library’s use of an Ig Nobel Prize-winning teenager-repellant

People are displeased that a Welsh town’s library installed an Ig Nobel Prize-winning device designed to repel teenagers.

mosquitoBACKGROUND: The 2006 Ig Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Howard Stapleton of Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, for inventing an electromechanical teenager repellant — a device that makes annoying high-pitched noise designed to be audible to teenagers but not to adults; and for later using that same technology to make telephone ringtones that are audible to teenagers but probably not to their teachers. The invention is sold under the brand name “The Mosquito.”

BACKGROUND: Stapleton’s company, Compound Security, also developed a version of that same technology for a sort-of opposite purpose — for teenagers to use against older people. This alternate product is a telephone ring tone so high-pitched that elders (schoolteachers, for example) probably cannot hear teenagers receiving telephone calls (in classrooms, in that same example). Compound Security thus became like the great armaments manufacturers of old, selling arms to both sides.

Now, the Milford & West Wales Mercury, reports:

A LOCAL campaigner is hoping a meeting this Friday (August 15) will result in a controversial anti-teen alarm being removed from outside Milford Haven Library.

Gareth Bromhall, from Milford Haven, is meeting with building owners the Port of Milford Haven at the site, to discuss the future of the ‘Mosquito’ alarm currently in place there.

The alarm was installed by the Port in 2012, following ‘thousands of pounds worth of damage to its property’ and complaints by tenants and members of the public about anti-social behaviour….

milford-haven-libraryDetails of the oust-the-mosquito-from-the-library campaign are online. Here’s the possibly-affiliated Facebook page.

The Milford Haven Library [pictured here] is having what it calls a “Summer Reading Challenge 2014“.

Here’s a TV report about The Mosquito, broadcast on the American “Nightline” program in 2009:

Here’s a British report, of roughly that same vintage:

  • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

    I am one of the “fortunate” few adults who can still hear such high-pitched noises well into my 30s, thanks to a lifetime of being a homebody who uses earplugs the rare times I go to concerts. There is (or at least was) a mosquito-like device at the King St CalTrain station in San Francisco, which is obnoxious. I can hear mosquito ringtones as well. And I really don’t see the point to either side of things.