New Anti-Teen Weapon: Harbinger of Bleak Future?So in an attempt to rid the outside and stairwells of the apartment building he manages of the pesky teens who hang out there, last week Sean Mann of Jamaica, Queens, became the first person in New York to install a device known as the Mosquito. A small wall-mounted box that emits a high-pitched screech only audible to people in their teens and early twenties, the Mosquito was created in Britain to deter teen loiterers, and so far, it seems to work. “It’s obnoxious, high-pitched and painful,” 19-year-old Kristin Hankins told the Post, when they tried it out in Washington Square Park the other day. Weird. While we’re not too bothered that someone has devised a way to shut up teenagers, what if this is merely the beginning?
in other news
HarperCollins, Still With the DecapitationsSpeaking of HarperCollins: Lit blogger Bookburger has notices a curious new trend in the design of covers for teen novels: Decapitation. More and more releases from HarperTeen — Bookburger cites three examples from the spring catalogue — feature cover images of teenage bodies with the attached head conveniently cropped off. It’s a strange trend, and an objectifying one, but it’s also sort of inexplicable to be coming from Harper right now. If nothing else in the last few weeks, hasn’t the publisher learned it might be best to stay far away from beheadings?
Headless Wonders [Bookburger]
Earlier: Our coverage of Judith Regan
in other news
Educators Want to Eliminate Middle School, PubertyToday’s Times is reporting on the newest wrinkle in radical school reform since Bard president Leon Botstein proposed doing away with high school altogether — doing away instead with its younger sibling, middle school. Performance is historically so abysmal in those three-year programs that the question among administrators and researchers is no longer whether it’s a good idea but rather whether K–8 or 6–12 is the better solution. But how do the children feel about it? For that we direct you to reporter Elissa Gootman’s accompanying photo essay on P.S. 105 in Far Rockaway (K–8) and Harlem’s Frederick Douglass High School (6–12). The mortified faces on the middle-school-aged students suggest an even more radical reform idea that would no doubt make the teens happy. Never mind middle school: Can they just do away with adolescence?
Photo Essay: The Middle School Dilemma [NYT]
Taking Middle Schoolers Out of the Middle [NYT]