Quick Links: Honesty, Graffiti, Hindu Goddess, and Mozart

Brits flunk honesty test
A credit-card protection firm, Affinion International, conducted an experiment in which they left items such as mobile phones, key, and wallets in city centres (Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, London, and Manchester). All the items were clearly marked with the owner's contact number, but most were never returned. Not surprising.

Obscene messages end graffiti experiment
Officials in Louisville tried to give graffiti artists a legal place to practice their craft, but abandoned the experiment after the concrete walls simply became filled with obscene messages. The walls will now be painted beige... and will doubtless soon be covered with illegal graffiti.

Man from Tooting becomes Hindu Goddess
Steve Cooper was just a run-of-the-mill unemployed guy in his hometown of Tooting, England. But when he moved to India he became known as the reincarnation of Bahucharaji, the patron of Indian eunuchs. I wonder how exactly he came into this new career. That's a story I'd like to know.

Mozart Effect debunked
A study commissioned by the German government has officially debunked the Mozart Effect -- which is the idea that listening to certain kinds of classical music will raise a person's intelligence.

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Posted on Tue Apr 17, 2007


The honesty test: did they check anywhere to see if the items had been turned in (as a mall lost-and-found, the police, etc.)? I'm sure plenty of honest people would have reasons not to feel comfortable contacting the person directly themselves. If I lost a wallet, I'd certainly go back and check to see if someone turned them in, and that's an assumption a finder could pretty well count on.
Posted by JoeDaJuggler  on  Tue Apr 17, 2007  at  07:06 AM
I guess those people who made their fortune off those Baby Einstein, Brainy Baby, etc. DVDs are practicing false advertising. I don't want a merely smart baby, I paid for a genius!
Posted by Lina  on  Tue Apr 17, 2007  at  03:45 PM
I second the question about whther they were handed in to police, to shopping centre management suites etc. In shopping centres some may have been picked up by penniless down-and-outs who thought they needed the money more than the person who had so much that they could carelessly leave such things behind. Some will get cleared up in the rubbish because cleaners rarely check these things.

My friend left her expensive iPod on a tube train last week and expected never to see it again. It got handed in to London Underground Lost Property and returned to her. I've returned a couple of dropped wallets, one directly to the owner and one to the police station.
Posted by Sarah  on  Wed Apr 18, 2007  at  01:55 AM
I'd guess it's not all greed/theft, that some of it is jadedness. I've had three experiences of returning lost property, all greeted by apathy or worse, and I've never had any lost property returned. The next time I see something like that lying around, I won't even bother to pick it up.

The first was a wallet in a busy park, I was accused of taking and keeping whatever cash was in it. I hadn't. Does the kind of person who takes cash from a wallet bother to return it? I doubt it.

The second was another wallet, found in my jacket pocket when it was returned from a cloak room. I didn't even get a thank you, just a few tuts and a scowls at his watch as I was 5 minutes later than the time we'd arranged to meet. I was obviously putting him out by returning a wallet which contained not only his credit cards, but also what looked to me like a spare car key on a Mercedes keyring. Oh, and did I forget to mention, the address of the house outside which it is reasonable to assume that it was parked? I'm not a mercenary, I don't want or expect a reward for things like that, but two words and the pleasure of dealing with someone with an IQ of over 3 would have been nice.

I have saved the best until last. A mobile phone on the back seat of a bus I got onto. I phoned 'home', and the person I spoke to expected me to deliver it to his house, which was on the other side of town. He was really quite agressive about it, and that coupled with the prospect of trying to reason with somebody that stupid meant I didn't want to give him my address when he offered to 'send his mum round to pick it up'. I said I could meet him in the centre of town (where that bus went to and from, but it's half-an-hour out of my way) and then he starts again about me bringing it to him and making threats about various bodily harm that he'll perform if I don't. Hinting at first, then just straight out. I'm trying to do him a favour, and he hasn't got a clue who I am and no way of finding out (I'm using his phone after all) and that's what I get? I laughed, hung up, turned it off and chucked it in the bin.

So there you go. I'd fail affinion's test, but not because I'm the kind of person they assume. Quite the opposite, and fed up of it.
Posted by Anon  on  Wed Apr 18, 2007  at  02:08 PM
Steve Cooper was unemployed and could afford to move to India? Don't they have enough unemployment problems? Did they really need some unemployed Brit taking their deity positions away form them?
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Wed Apr 25, 2007  at  06:37 PM
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