Today the Van de Graff generator from Edmond Scientific arrived via UPS
I didn't have the resources to purchase a discharge the discharge electrode,
so I just started playing with moving my hands around the "cloud"
surrounding the polished aluminum.
Amazing beyond description! Kind of a cute little widget. Looks like a
little household robot!!
Anyway, it's a wonderful feeling to play with the electrostatic cloud. It's
fun to be not so close as to arc, close enough the keep a good flow between
the body and the unit. As the cloud grows, the body move farther and
farther away from the ball and feel the cloud following and clinging. Of
course, moving too quickly breaks the circuit between the body and the
generator and the cloud "withdraws" and that invisible touchy-feely
sensation drops dramatically.
It's bizarre! I'd swear that there's some kind of intelligence in the
Even when using my finger as a wand and doing the little lightning bolt
thing from 13" away, the rythm of the snapping sound is almost musical.
Like morse code.
--.. (hard to express with plain text). Wierd how that fuzzy "spider web"
sensation follows me around the house.
I'd swear I have an electrode in my pleasure center that stimulates the
nucleus accumbens whenever I'm in the best posture for the maximum
continuity of the cloud around my body. Also I've noticed that the cloud
changes as I change the pressure of my lower teeth against my upper teeth.
Have you ever tried biting "down" on only one size of your mouth, then
switching to the other side? The sensation of the cloud is similar and
seems related to my eyeball movements as well as posture.
What the heck is going on? Is this the "best kept secret" or what!?
I like licking 9 volt batteries with the tip of my tongue. Seems perfectly
safe. Went ahead and started using my tongue as a discharge electrode from
about 1 foot from the ball. Freaky. Looks cool with the lights out.
Major question for you scientists: could I use my eyeballs as well? It's be
kind of cool to look a lightning bolt in the eye as it travels a foot
through the air straight into the center of the cornea! Anyone tried this
yet? I'm itching to give it a try but haven't gotten up the nerve; it'd
bite to have blurry vision.
Since playing with the thing, I can feel my mother from across the room when
she walks into the room. Enchanting and heart warming. She's got some good
I get absent-minded at times (careless, I suppose). I went straight from a
one-hour session with the Van de Graff and sat down at the computer and put
my hand on the mouse. Pop-snap! Suddenly the X-axis on the mouse arrow
stopped working. Cleaned the rollers, but didn't fix it. Y-axis worked
fine, though. Replaced it with an optical mouse, but will try to correct
the root cause of the problem by installing a grounded-discharge pad
somewhere near the computer.
Have a nice day!
my inner geek
p.s. (I've given the nickname 'ing' to my stealthy other.)
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:17 MDT