Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Summers are glorious.
Except, of course, if you have to work. Or if your time is, for some other reason, not your own.
Working outside, especially at home, can be productive.
There can, though, be many irritations.
Hearing your neighbors drinking too much in their garden, for example.
Or having children constantly screaming, fighting and playing very bad football while you're sitting on your porch trying to read at least one of Bill Gates's recommended summer books.
Yes, you can play music. You can even wear headphones to drown out externalities. Well, at least some of them.
And then you get bitten.
No, not by an ill-disciplined child, but by a mosquito.
Summer evenings can be plagued, especially in certain areas of the U.S. and the world.
The itching can ruin a decent grilling.
I'm here, then, to offer a scientific remedy.
I happen to have bumped into a recent study that suggests a particular song can actually ward off mosquitoes.
It might even be one you know.
You might think this all bald humor.
But researchers in Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia and Thailand were deadly serious. They explained:
Despite evidence that mosquitoes respond to sound frequencies beyond fundamental ranges, including songs, and that males and females need to struggle to harmonize their flight tones, the behavioral impacts of music as control targets remain unexplored.
For reasons that currently escape me and perhaps always will, the researchers chose Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites by Skrillex to see if this piece might be, well, more effective than bug spray.
Should you be unfamiliar with this ditty, let's pause to catch you up.
Well, that certainly puts me off a few things.
Naturally, the researchers were interested in the effects of this music on copulation.
Mosquito copulation, of course.
Far more interesting for our purposes was this:
The occurrence of blood feeding activity was lower when music was being played.
It seems, then, that this Skrillex oeuvre was successful in encouraging mosquitoes not to bite.
Of course, it would have been even more edifying if the researchers had tried several pieces of music and discovered differing effects.
For example, what if Beethoven's 5th froze the mosquitoes in place, until they sank to the ground?
What if Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer singing Enough Is Enough made the mosquitoes fly in the opposite direction from the sound? (It's a very commanding ditty, this one.)
And what if the only music that didn't prevent the mosquitoes from doing their worst was Sting's?
I apologize, a little too late, for the last line.
I should add that the researchers specifically studied the Aedes aegypti or yellow fever mosquito.
But perhaps you could perform your own experiments over the summer with your own music and mosquitoes and let me know how it goes.
Me, I think I'll start with Black Sabbath's Paranoid.
That should scare them.