Thursday, January 24, 2013

Notes for Problem-Solving

So the fine folks at Mental Floss found several things that playing certain kinds of music can do and they put them together in a list.

Some of them are pretty obvious -- No. 4 says that if you don't want teenagers hanging around your space, play some classical music and they will leave. But that's not just teenagers and not just classical music. A Fye Music Store I used to visit was frequently, for some reason, playing uniquely vapid tunes over its PA system (and often no other kinds of music, which would sort of make you wonder about their inventory). Unless I had a specific purchase in mind, I usually didn't linger when one of those albums showed up and left to shop another day. I recall one day cutting my browsing short and heading to the counter to check out. The clerk asked, "Find everything you were looking for?" and I answered, "No, but I can feel myself getting stupider with every second of that song." I of course can't remember the song, which shows you that brain cell death is not always a bad thing.

No. 10 is pretty interesting. Apparently a study from 1999 showed that playing German music on a PA system in a wine story boosted the sale of German wine, and playing French music did the same thing for French wines. Study subjects didn't remember anything about the music they'd heard, either, so it wasn't as if the strains of "Grossvater Tanz" made people consciously choose to reach for the wine from the vine of the Rhine.

Of course, other unofficial surveys have shown that playing bagpipes can make people drink Scotch. This is because many people are philistines wha' nae appreciate the pipes and they "can't find anything to make [them] pass out quicker." These people are, of course, to be pitied and kept away from sharp objects and matches.

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