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Ball And Chain To Force Children To Study 346

Posted by samzenpus
from the school-chain-gang dept.
You haven't tried everything to get your kids to study until you've tried the Study Ball. The Study Ball is a 21-pound prison-style device that locks onto your child's leg and only unlocks after a predetermined amount of study time has passed. The homework manacles can't be locked for more than four hours, and come with a safety key. The product website states, "Quite often, students who are having problems concentrating tend to get up every ten minutes to watch TV, talk on the phone, take something out of the fridge, and a long list of other distractions. Were they to dedicate all this wasted time to studying, they would optimise their performance and have more free time available. Study Ball helps you study more and more efficiently." Stop Teasing Your Brother Pepper Spray coming soon.

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Ball And Chain To Force Children To Study

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  • Laughably Medieval (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Monday May 18, 2009 @02:15PM (#28000475) Journal
    Make the act of studying have a negative association with it in the child's mind. That way when they depend on themselves to learn things later in life, they'll be reminded of your horrible freedom inhibiting imprisonment technique.

    This should work exactly as well as physically abusing your child when he or she does something wrong. That way when they are faced with conflict later in life, they follow in your steps and resort to violence.

    Oh, by the way, 9.5 kg (21 pounds)!? What kid is that going to inhibit? I was walking up and down fields picking up rocks heavier than that by the time I was in grade school! If that stops your kid from moving, you've got other parenting problems to worry about ... or is this just about wearing a red letter 'A' around so everyone knows you should be studying right now?

    Were they to dedicate all this wasted time to studying, they would optimise their performance and have more free time available.

    Not always true. Read this article [slashdot.org].

    • by Tablizer (95088) on Monday May 18, 2009 @02:20PM (#28000571) Homepage Journal

      Make the act of studying have a negative association with it in the child's mind. That way when they depend on themselves to learn things later in life, they'll be reminded of your horrible freedom inhibiting imprisonment technique.

      Wouldn't the biological alternative, "parents", also trigger such an effect?
             

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Presto Vivace (882157)
      Does child protective services know about this?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18, 2009 @02:30PM (#28000761)

      Make the act of studying have a negative association with it in the child's mind. That way when they depend on themselves to learn things later in life, they'll be reminded of your horrible freedom inhibiting imprisonment technique.

      Actually, this is why I still resent my 3rd grade teacher, one of only two people in my life that I still hold some sort of grudge against. Not only did she practice collective punishment for the actions of a single student, but her favored form of punishment was extra homework, and she didn't assign homework on the weekends because she didn't want to "ruin" our weekends.

      It was the first time in my childhood that I was introduced to the idea that homework wasn't fun. What a great life lesson, huh? I wonder what kinds of things I might have accomplished later in life if I hadn't had the joy of studying drained out of me at that age.

      • by amilo100 (1345883) on Monday May 18, 2009 @03:33PM (#28001755)
        Not only did she practice collective punishment for the actions of a single student,
        Collective punishment is a bad thing. But in a large way teachers are forced to do this because they are backed into a corner. There is simply no way to punish a problem child â" the best thing you can do is to phone their parents. But the sad fact is that the parents did not raise the child with discipline and that is why it is the teachers' problem.
        Some teachers try to do the collective punishment so that the other kids resent the guilty kid. This is extremely bad and it can completely alienate an already problemed child.
        In my experience children usually form strong relationships with a strict but fair teacher. They quickly see a strict teacher as a father figure. Maybe this is just in my country where most people often grow up without a father figure.

        I wonder what kinds of things I might have accomplished later in life if I hadn't had the joy of studying drained out of me at that age.

        The right way is to have negative reinforcement at the very bottom and positive reinforcement above that. It is sad when I see people who screwed up their life and limited their opportunities just because they couldn't be bothered to do their homework.
    • The sons Harry Harrison's famous sci-fi super-criminal, the "Stainless Steel Rat," were sent to the harshest military academy in known space, because no other institution would be able to get them to do even a little of their studying. Apparently, the boys did do their studies because the instructors kept recapturing them and chaining them to their desk. As a side effect, they also became expert lockpicks.

      http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Stainless-Steel-Harry-Harrison/dp/0441004229/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8& [amazon.com]

    • Indeed. I think more modern techniques should be offered.

      Home Waterboarding?

      Nothing inspires the will to learn in a child like the fear of drowning.

    • If I may... (Score:5, Informative)

      by denzacar (181829) on Monday May 18, 2009 @03:39PM (#28001855) Journal

      Let me try and describe this device [curiosite.com] as if it were a topic of an article at Telegraph.co.uk.

      Gun Camera to make people stop killing
      To end all gun violence once and for all, guns will be replaced with gun cameras.

      Your boss asks you to do the impossible, your mom tortures you to get you to clean up your room, your friends stand you up, your girlfriend cheats on you... instead of taking out your aggression on the first innocent victim you find, we suggest you get one of these 100% harmless guns.
      It'll take a picture each time you press the trigger.

      Aimat is a very basic, utterly unsophisticated photo camera. It was designed by Franziska Dierschke, a German student at the Bauhaus Academy in Weimar.
      Two years ago, she presented it at Desifnmai, a design conference held in Berlin, but it's only now started catching on over the Internet.

      It's a pinhole camera, the kind anyone can make at home because they don't require any sort of extensive understanding of photography.
      These cameras produce an image using light that passes through a tiny hole.
      Any sort of container can be used to make a pinhole camera; all you have to do is drill a hole in it.
      And what better way to "shoot" your photos than straight out of a gun?

      This camera has no focus, viewfinder, or lenses and makes very interesting photos, with a darkened frame around them like you get with the Lomo.
      A camera/toy that will help you reduce tension and also have fun running after your girlfriend, your mother, your boss, and your friends.

      Why am I mentioning this?
      Because they (Telegraph.co.uk) found the Study Ball [curiosite.com] at that same site.

      IT IS A JOKE ITEM!

      Not actually intended as a study device.
      You know... like the Periodic Table Shower Curtain. [thinkgeek.com]

    • by w0mprat (1317953)
      This is why kids don't eat enough vegetables as adults, they remember being forced to eat all their greens under threat of punishment. This psychological association is a stark contrast to the strong reward from tasty sugary fatty treats with bright colours, oh and these are given to kids as rewards, when the parent was in a good mood. So kids learn to hate vegetables and love junk food, and when they become adults junk food becomes a comfort.

      Thus, the obesity epidemic.

      The same applies to education, c
  • Phew! (Score:5, Funny)

    by thewils (463314) on Monday May 18, 2009 @02:17PM (#28000511) Journal

    For a moment there I thought you were talking about the old trouble and strife!

    • I don't know... I'm thinking four of these, some tasty libations, a feather, some lube, some kind of electrical device (both vibrating and with conductive pads), and one could have a pretty good time! ;-)
  • ADD/ADHD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bradgoodman (964302) on Monday May 18, 2009 @02:19PM (#28000559) Homepage
    As a [former] child with ADD, and the parent of a child with ADD, I can say without doubt, that this device will do nothing to force someone of the sort to focus and study.

    And it is quite apparent by the nature of the device, that it was either designed to - or would strongly appeal to be used in such cases.

    • Re:ADD/ADHD (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Monday May 18, 2009 @02:25PM (#28000661) Homepage

      As someone who has followed the career of the Yes Men [wikipedia.org], I sense a merry blend of social satire and commentary in this product announcement.

    • by cayenne8 (626475)
      From the article: ""Quite often, students who are having problems concentrating tend to get up every ten minutes to watch TV, talk on the phone, take something out of the fridge, and a long list of other distractions."

      Hell, doing that stuff on multiple breaks was about the ONLY way I could study. Sitting still in a totally quiet room would not get anything done for me studying or writing papers.

      Even while working I had to have music and/or the tv on at least in the background. If I'm in a totally quiet r

  • by scubamage (727538) on Monday May 18, 2009 @02:19PM (#28000565)
    ...to help me study for my CCNP exam. I keep finding ways to get distracted by more exciting material (squirrels, birds, my girlfriend, my rabbit, watching grass grow...)
  • by alta (1263) on Monday May 18, 2009 @02:20PM (#28000577) Homepage Journal

    Everybody RUN!

    1 hours later...
    Fireman: WTF do you mean your child had a ball and chain strapped to their leg?!
    Retarded Parent: It was to help them study, and it was easily heavy enough for them to lift.
    Fireman: But it got stuck under the table because of the panic and now your child is a crispy critter.
    Policeman: Sir, please put your hands behind your back.

    Heh, no I'm not some liberal pansy that doesn't believe in doing things that are harsh. I just don't care for stupid. If my kids dont' study I beat them with the ball and chain, not strap them to it!

    • I have a better plan sit there with them while they study instead of watching tv surfing the internet etc. Traditionally this is what the kitchen table is used for. I know I know advocating parenting over some device so you can have more free time, if you wanted free time you should have skipped procreating.

    • by thewiz (24994)

      For shame! Beating your kids with your wife is child and spousal abuse! And it's your own fault for getting married!

    • by Haoie (1277294)

      Funny or not, I can seriously see this happening.

      Maybe not a fire, but some other dangerous situation.

      You hardly want a ball and chain attached when it happens.

    • by agrounds (227704)

      I love how "liberals" are to blame for pretty much everything now, including gag items in online stores like this one.

      I don't know if you are an actual conservative or just a Limbaugh-mouthpiece, but there is so much more to the world than red vs blue, conservative vs liberal, etc. You should really try unplugging from everything for a while and maybe going outside for a bit.

      Politicians and the media in general have been getting away with false dichotomies for far too long. People need to get some perspec

  • by pwnies (1034518) * <j@jjcm.org> on Monday May 18, 2009 @02:21PM (#28000589) Homepage Journal
    Ball and chains are my fetish, and good luck trying to get it to stop me from alt+tabbing to my cowboy neal porn.
  • What?! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by symes (835608) on Monday May 18, 2009 @02:21PM (#28000601) Journal
    Surely making the subject fun, interesting would be a better way of encouraging students? I guess if you're a parent who can't be bothered and a teacher that can't teach then, sure, get the stocks out... but really. This must be a joke.
    • by hey! (33014)

      Let's not get hasty and overhaul our entire academic system. Surely getting rid of telephones and televisions would be less drastic.

    • Re:What?! (Score:4, Informative)

      by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Monday May 18, 2009 @03:15PM (#28001493)

      Surely making the subject fun, interesting would be a better way of encouraging students?

      Not really, no. I have a friend who used to teach at the middle school level. She was a good teacher, but there are just a lot of kids who don't care about education, are raised by parents who don't care about education, or come from subcultures that don't care about education. Generally, all three are in play, enforcing one another. There's nothing to be done from the outside about that, and the kids who do break out of the vicious cycle do so mainly through their own efforts, and a few who are just flat out intelligent enough to never get trapped by it. She helped the ones she could.

      The ball and chain won't help, and it's only use is in being totally and completely hilarious.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday May 18, 2009 @02:22PM (#28000611) Homepage

    It just needs a slight modification is all!

  • First time someone doesn't get out of a burning building, or tumbles down the stairs will spell the end of this company...

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday May 18, 2009 @02:22PM (#28000627) Homepage

    Use your pickaxe to dig a pit in the floor, drag the ball into the pit, and push a boulder into the pit.

    Oh, wait, real life doesn't work quite like Nethack.

  • Cell Phone (Score:2, Informative)

    Don't most kids these days have cell phones? I really don't see this being very effective It isn't that hard to move with a 21 pound ball. It would prevent most physical types of activities, but just sitting around or moving the ball to the TV and watching TV really isn't going to be very difficult.
    • by Andy Dodd (701)

      Also, nowadays even for middle and high school, kids are going to use a computer to do work and study.

      Ball or not, they're gonna alt-tab to Facebook, etc.

  • Price: 75 Pounds?? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Cornflake917 (515940) on Monday May 18, 2009 @02:30PM (#28000771) Homepage

    TFA said it costs 75 pounds. Not only would you be a retarded parent for torturing your kid and making him associate studying with confinement, but you would be retarded because even if you wanted to such a stupid thing, you could do it for much, much cheaper.

    • If only it weighed 75 pounds, too. By the time I reached middle school, I had no problem carrying around 30lb+ computers and monitors. Now, to be fair, I'm more athletic than most geeks, but a 20-pound ball isn't gonna do shit against kids.

      • I'm more athletic than most geeks, but a 20-pound ball isn't gonna do shit against kids.

        True, but the kid can use it to knock some sense into the parent for making them wear the stupid thing.

      • If only it weighed 75 pounds, too. By the time I reached middle school, I had no problem carrying around 30lb+ computers and monitors. Now, to be fair, I'm more athletic than most geeks, but a 20-pound ball isn't gonna do shit against kids.

        Uh, its price is 75 pounds-sterling, as in the currency that's used in the UK. The thing actually weighs 21 pounds.

  • that it comes with diapers!

  • by Volda (1113105) on Monday May 18, 2009 @02:38PM (#28000919)
    Have you ever tried simply turning off the TV? Sitting down with your children? And hitting them?
  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Monday May 18, 2009 @02:39PM (#28000931)
    Do not taunt happy fun ball and chain.
  • fun, fun fun (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jd142 (129673) on Monday May 18, 2009 @02:46PM (#28001019) Homepage

    Shoot, I'll pick up a couple just for weekend fun in my dungeon.

    • by Chris Burke (6130)

      Shoot, I'll pick up a couple just for weekend fun in my dungeon.

      And this "fun" involves enforced study time??

      Worst. Dungeon. Ever.

  • It would have taken me about five seconds to smash a contraption like that to bits.

    -jcr

  • ...or you'll be wearing concrete galoshes.

    Parenting tips from (old school) Scotty.

  • Now this might not be feasible for use by children, but I'm certain many of managers out there would love to implement it in their office.

  • This is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

    Was this designed by a Concerned Parent (TM) or a dominatrix?

    • what makes you think it wasn't designed by a concerned parent who is also a dominatrix? They're not mutually exclusive, you know!

  • +Okay so this seems cruel and barbaric, but c'mon nowadays most parenting techniques involve a parent getting emotional and then going out and buying their child something because they feel bad they were upset at their child. Exactly how did your parents get you to study, if you were one who didn't want to stay put? I know there were times when this particular ball n chain solution was quite a bit more humane. And sometimes children need a little humiliation to choose something that's better for themselves
    • Re:C'mon Fess up. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Malenx (1453851) on Monday May 18, 2009 @03:18PM (#28001545)

      Most parenting techniques these days are stupid. It's about spineless parents who can't say no to a child.

      My Dad used to spank me with a belt if I acted up too much. But situations like studying, I'd just start losing all privileges until I was bored out of my mind. Give that a few months and you'll study just to be entertained.

      When he did spank us, he'd send us to our rooms until he could calm down and think about it. Usually 1/2 hourish later he'd have us come in and talk about what we'd done. Then he'd have us pick a belt. His belts were arranged by thickness and hardness. If you picked too pansy of a belt then he'd make you get this thick huge rhine-stone covered cowboy belt that hurt like crazy. If you picked a heavier belt, you'd usually get off with less punishment.

      Man, I didn't realize my dad was doing psychological warfare until I was twenty.

      Oddly enough, I think he did the best he could, and the fact that he's never hit us while angry or unfairly made me really respect that form of punishment.

      It wouldn't work for every kid, and I hope I'll never need any kind of punishment for my future kids like that, but for me it was probably the only punishment they could do. (ADD incarnate)

  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Monday May 18, 2009 @03:10PM (#28001399)

    I wholeheartedly endorse this product.

  • by earlymon (1116185) on Monday May 18, 2009 @03:11PM (#28001411) Homepage Journal

    From Working Class Hero:

    They hurt you at home and they hit you at school,
    They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool,
    Till you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules,
    A working class hero is something to be,
    A working class hero is something to be.
    When they've tortured and scared you for twenty odd years,
    Then they expect you to pick a career,
    When you can't really function you're so full of fear...

    Entertainment my ass - this is just sad.

  • I say go with Shock Pants [tv.com]... Works on employees too!

  • battle-axe and frigid-bitch unavailable for comment as both were found locked in heated honeydew debate.
    • by genner (694963)

      battle-axe and frigid-bitch unavailable for comment as both were found locked in heated honeydew debate.

      Why would yuou heat a honeydew?

  • by gilgongo (57446) on Monday May 18, 2009 @04:06PM (#28002233) Homepage Journal

    America is the richest nation on earth, with the most riches available for those who can pay for them. So:

    Introduce an educational pay scale for students, starting aged 8, with remuneration based on performance and attendance. The scale is designed to ensure you are at least financially independent from your parents by the time you leave college, provided you have managed your education well enough: hounded out bad teachers, rejected time-wasting crap like sports, ensured you have plenty of teaching in things like mechanical engineering, bio-tech and accounting. You'll be able to afford the finest recreational sex, electronics and politicians by the time you are 20 -as long as you keep up the good grades and attendance. At that point, you should not only want to get a high-paying job in order to keep you in the style to which you have become accustomed, but be able to so so.

    America then becomes the world's most highly-educated nation, and the world's most successful economy, in one generation.

    Best of all, it would probably cost the country about the same as it does to pay for recreational "incentives" like balls on a chain.

  • The website [curiosite.com] that appears in the product photograph seems to list the product as unavailable. It doesn't say if it is out of stock or if there is some other reason. And the product page seems to indicate it is targeted at older student (college, for instance) to help them study rather than for parents to use on their kids. I'm not sure if it is meant as a joke or not.
  • by ThanatosMinor (1046978) on Monday May 18, 2009 @04:10PM (#28002297)
    When I was a kid, if I was locked up against my will and given something to swing, they would have had to take me down with a tranquilizer gun, and by then half the house would have been broken. This is not how you motivate people to do well.
  • So does the company offer a warranty for my flooring?
  • by JustNiz (692889)

    Just nail your kid's foot to the ground.

  • It's got to be a hoax, expecially covered in a UK news site.

    Either it significantly impedes a child's movements, or it doesn't. If it doesn't, what's the point? If it does, it's prosecutable criminal child abuse. End of story.

    Gotta be a hoax.

  • If we start chaining them down, kids will start having sedentary lifestyles!

    Hang on...

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