Sunday, October 21, 2007

Search for Safety Borrows Ninja Tactics

A fashion designer in Japan is working with ways to keep folks on the street safer. By disguising themselves as a vending machine.

Read this article in the October 20, 2007 issue of The New York Times.

Designer Aya Tsukioka is reported to have gotten the idea from an ancient ninja trick of cloaking themselves in black blankets at night.

Just the thought that you can don a printed sheet to simulate a vending machine on the street and actually fool anyone puzzled me at first. And while it does still seem farfetched, I thought about how unobservant most people really are most of the time. As a thought experiment, at least, it could work. Until the wind picks up and the "vending maching" begins whipping in the wind.

The other puzzle for me is that, also according to this article, the crime rate in Japan is low, and still dropping. Yet concern over personal safety is increasing. Apparently that concern reflects more of a current sense of social instability rather that street assault. Which, once again, illustrates how perception is often more powerful than reality.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Real Safety Improvement or Publicity Ploy?

The University of Washington in Seattle has announced that it's trying to remove all sex offenders from the residential area just north of campus. Read this article from The Seattle Times for more info.

Will this improve the area's safety?

Given that the vast majority of sexual assaults on college students are committed by acquaintances, by peers, by friends of friends, how much impact will this request really have on the University community's safety?

What do you think? Please click here to answer a VERY short survey.