It is tempting to confuse pop music with popular music . The New Grove Dictionary Of Music and Musicians , the musicologist 's ultimate reference resource, identifies popular music as the music since industrialization in the 1800s that is most in line with the tastes and interests of the urban middle class. This would include an extremely wide range of music from vaudeville and minstrel shows to heavy metal . Pop music, on the other hand, has primarily come into usage to describe music that evolved out of the rock 'n roll revolution of the mid-1950s and continues in a definable path to today.
In the Tan Kah Kee Young Inventors' Award 2003, this very smart caning machine for schools won a commendation award for its inventor, Tan Song Koy of Yuying Secondary School. The entries in this annual competition are entirely serious and useful gadgets. This one was up against a cockroach catcher and an improved helmet for cyclists, among other things. Its aim is "to deliver even and consistent caning strikes to all offenders".
Song Koy had witnessed the punishment of six boys at his school, and felt it was "unfair when his friend, being the first to be caned, received the hardest strikes ... The discipline master (DM) was tired by the time he caned the last offenders, therefore his strike is lighter in comparison". (This is, in part, the argument put forward by Jeremy Bentham in the 18th century in the quote at the beginning of this article.)
The offender stands on the yellow platform with his front against the red pad, and bends over the pillar, grasping the red handles low down on the other side. In so doing, he presents the tautened seat of his pants to the cane, which is on a spring and which strikes when a catch is released, unfortunately not clearly shown in the pictures. The machine folds up when not in use, and has two wheels at the base enabling it to be pulled easily from one classroom to the next.
There is no word on whether the machine was ever put to actual use, but anecdotal reports from the school where it was designed and built are of traditional canings by a human DM. I am pretty sure that in practice it would be very difficult to get a machine to replicate the accuracy, power and timing (and especially that crucial flick of the wrist at the last moment) of a skilled discipline master, such as is employed by most secondary schools in Singapore. An easier way, perhaps, to solve the problem identified by Song Koy would be not to punish six students all at one go, but instead to give the DM a 10-minute break between canings.