141. All Bite, No Bark
A New York City entrepreneur is seeking investors for his "No Bark" startup. With enough investment money, Ty Cobb says, he will be able to discover the melodies that, when played, will instantly quiet barking dogs. Because dogs hear sound frequencies that humans cannot hear, the melodies will be unheard by humans.
"There's a huge market for this service," Cobb declared. "There's about 30 million dogs in this country, probably 2 million right here in the city. And what do these dogs love to do more than anything? Bark, that's what! And what do people hate more than anything? Barking dogs, that's what!"
Cobb says that he went to India to study how snake charmers control the deadly cobra with music. He figured that if they could use music to prevent a deadly cobra from striking out at humans, he could use the same music to prevent a dog from barking. So he learned how to play the pungi, the snake charmer's flute. And he learned many of the same tunes that the snake charmers played.
He returned to New York, where he practiced the tunes on his dog. At first, his dog simply barked along with the music. After hours of modifying tunes, Cobb discovered one that actually caused his dog to stop barking.
He was jubilant. He had discovered a melody that would shut dogs up. He would be rich beyond his wildest dreams! Unfortunately, the melody worked on his dog, but not on his neighbor's dog. Nor on several other dogs in the neighborhood.
Cobb figures that computers will help him find the right melodies at the right frequencies to shut up any dog on Earth. "My dream, of course," he said, "is to discover one melody that will shut up a whole block of barking dogs. That might rank right up there with the discovery of penicillin!"
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