The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #151  
Old 08-29-2014, 12:23 AM
Measure for Measure Measure for Measure is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 10,098
Continuing this 2009/2013/2014 thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Measure for Measure View Post
If I had Vicory's problem, I would apply for the Randi $1,000,000. It would take some time. And I'm not sure he could come to an agreement with the foundation. But there's a big monetary upside and it would be a fun project regardless.
I'm not so sure anymore, since I don't think the protocol could be set up. It would be hard to place somebody under continuous observation for 3 months for example.

I located a 2005 thread on the subject at the Randi forum. This report was particularly interesting. The watchbreaker believed that most people unconsciously protect their watch in some way from shocks and the like. Those that don't end up buying cheaper watches, then breaking them even faster: it's a downward spiral.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #152  
Old 08-29-2014, 04:57 AM
naita naita is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by CherieBabe View Post
I think it has something to do with, not a magnetic field, but a electromagnetic field.
Then you don't know anything useful about electromagnetism, you're just picking words out of a hat.

Quote:
I've got another weird issue to throw into the mix too which I believe has to do with static electricity. There are times when I touch my car door to close it that I receive a shock of electricity. Many times I see the zap of electricity go from me to the door. It doesn't happen all the time. I think it's usually during the fall and winter. I don't understand why this happens but when it does start happening, I try to remember to use my sleeve to shut the door instead of my hand.
Yes. That's static electricity. Considering it weird is a bit odd, as it's a very well understood phenomenon. If it happens during fall and winter that's most likely because that's when you wear coats or jackets that generate static electricity when rubbing against the upholstery in your car.

It happens for the same reason that you can build up a charge by rubbing your shoes on a carpet, a balloon on your head or cloth on a plastic rod.
Reply With Quote
  #153  
Old 08-29-2014, 05:53 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 52,074
Quote:
Originally Posted by naita View Post
Yes. That's static electricity. Considering it weird is a bit odd, as it's a very well understood phenomenon. If it happens during fall and winter that's most likely because that's when you wear coats or jackets that generate static electricity when rubbing against the upholstery in your car.
And the air is often drier when it is cold - which means the static-producing materials are drier and create charge more effectively.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CherieBabe View Post
I have had this problem for decades. I took a very fine, brand new watch back to the jeweler to find out why it quit working after 2 months and I was told the battery wasn't really dead but actually overcharged. What the hey?
This doesn't sound like the sort of thing a high street jeweller would be equipped to determine.

Last edited by Mangetout; 08-29-2014 at 05:53 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #154  
Old 08-29-2014, 06:37 AM
naita naita is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
And the air is often drier when it is cold - which means the static-producing materials are drier and create charge more effectively.
I thought it was more about dry materials and dry air being worse at conducting the created charge back out of the body (or item).
Reply With Quote
  #155  
Old 08-29-2014, 07:36 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 15,895
Why do birds suddenly appear, ev'ry time you are near?

Confirmation bias.
Reply With Quote
  #156  
Old 08-29-2014, 11:36 AM
dunkleosteus dunkleosteus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
I'm sad to say that I don't have the patience to read every post in this article to check if this has been discussed before, but I've heard stories / seen pictures of rare people who can apparently conduct electricity with their bodies- they can hold a live wire in one hand and a light bulb in the other and the light bulb will turn on with no apparent damage to them personally. Another man allegedly cooked a fish he was holding via electrical current.

I'm not suggesting that everyone has this ability, but is it possible that if certain people had a similar, but much weaker property, a battery might actually drain slowly into the ground as they wear it? I'm not sure what sort of protection or insulation surrounds the battery and I don't know what the resistance of the circuit is or whether the energy would find a better path of least resistance, so I don't expect this to be the answer, but I thought I should bring it up.

Last edited by dunkleosteus; 08-29-2014 at 11:37 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #157  
Old 08-29-2014, 02:18 PM
naita naita is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by dunkleosteus View Post
I'm sad to say that I don't have the patience to read every post in this article to check if this has been discussed before, but I've heard stories / seen pictures of rare people who can apparently conduct electricity with their bodies- they can hold a live wire in one hand and a light bulb in the other and the light bulb will turn on with no apparent damage to them personally. Another man allegedly cooked a fish he was holding via electrical current.

I'm not suggesting that everyone has this ability, but is it possible that if certain people had a similar, but much weaker property, a battery might actually drain slowly into the ground as they wear it? I'm not sure what sort of protection or insulation surrounds the battery and I don't know what the resistance of the circuit is or whether the energy would find a better path of least resistance, so I don't expect this to be the answer, but I thought I should bring it up.
What you've heard stories about and seen pictures of are tricks. People in general conduct electricity, though, so some of those tricks are just using the ordinary properties of the body to do something the audience doesn't expect to be possible. Other tricks are just plain old trickery and cheating.
Reply With Quote
  #158  
Old 08-29-2014, 03:21 PM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 52,074
Quote:
Originally Posted by naita View Post
I thought it was more about dry materials and dry air being worse at conducting the created charge back out of the body (or item).
Yes, I think that's the mechanism of it.
Reply With Quote
  #159  
Old 08-29-2014, 03:22 PM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 52,074
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
Why do birds suddenly appear, ev'ry time you are near?

Confirmation bias.
I want that on a T shirt.
Reply With Quote
  #160  
Old 12-09-2014, 11:51 AM
bachsmom bachsmom is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
New watches stop and never recover

So clearly most posters on this board believe people like me have lost their minds, or believe we believe we are something special out of a science fiction motion picture. HONESTLY I currently own 163 watches. 72 are very very nice, pricey watches ($1200+), some are mid range and some are cheap. It doesnt matter. I wear one three or four times and it stops. I wear another and it does the same. I buy another and it does the same. I am a professional person and am careful with my accessories. I spend the $ so I am very careful no to damage in any way. I routinely take the watches in bulk to a jeweler where I spend several hundred dollars having the batteries changed out JUST SO I dont do it incorrectly myself, and THAT be the reason it screws up. But there have been times when the jeweler looks at me and says, sorry, it isn't the battery. It's something within the watch.. that they cannot explain. Bulova is a fairly inexpensive watch. I can wear it til it falls off and it keeps time perfectly. A Patek or an Omega will give out in 8 wears. So, I am not sure why so many of you believe anyone whose watch won't keep ticking for ten years is somehow inept when it comes to taking care of their valuables. There is a reason this happens. Maybe the same reason my sterling silver (I was going to say white gold, but it is softer and that will be most posters' excuse) wears down extremely quickly even if I do not wear it terribly often. I was seeking a real reason for this and most of you blame the person wearing the watch for being clumsy or not knowing when they bang their arm into a door frame so hard that they don't even notice (????). No answers here. Too bad ya can't find a forum that takes anyone's issues seriously. Everyone has to be sarcastic and blame the person. Thanks for not being different. At least I know to stop wasting my time trying to find answers in places like this.

Last edited by bachsmom; 12-09-2014 at 11:54 AM.. Reason: mostly left out a word or two
Reply With Quote
  #161  
Old 12-09-2014, 12:09 PM
Arkcon Arkcon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
You know, for this multipage thread, I'm going to do something I probably shouldn't do. I'm going to quote myself, and ask the revivalists what, in particular, I initially said that is so evil ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkcon View Post
I'd heard this before, on another forum, basically, someone was sure that a person was generating a massive, watch ruining magnetic field. And I said that I didn't believe that there is a good biophysical model for explaining how a human could generate a significant one, and I wouldn't be surprised if there is a lack of peer-reviewed research to search for one. I have no citations available.

My WAG at the time was that I tended to chew up and spit out watches rapidly, back in the day. I bashed more than a few crystals, because I wasn't careful with how I swung my arms. So I have an idea why the watch stopped, and maybe the same thing, on a lesser scale, is happening in your case.

I'd heard people say how psychics can restart stopped watches, by warming them in their hands, the heat thinning gelled lubricating oil for a time. Or something like that.

I'd also have you ask them, if they believe they have mystical body chemistry or magnetic blood that stops watches -- do they stop alarm clocks if they hug them? Can they affect other electronic devices they're near -- computers, other timers?

Maybe the whole thing is a personal confirmation bias.
I'm going to submit bachsmom:'s that I didn't say what you claimed I said, and that you're the one with the closed mind.

I never said you hit the door jamb, I said I did it, and maybe you're doing the same.

I'm going to ask you directly, do you stop other clocks? Electronic timers? Other timing devices? If you don't, maybe it has something to do with the design of watches? Including how they're made, how they're word, regardless of cost or how you claim to be able to treat them.
Reply With Quote
  #162  
Old 12-09-2014, 01:56 PM
naita naita is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by bachsmom View Post
So clearly most posters on this board believe people like me have lost their minds, or believe we believe we are something special out of a science fiction motion picture. HONESTLY I currently own 163 watches. 72 are very very nice, pricey watches ($1200+), some are mid range and some are cheap. It doesnt matter. I wear one three or four times and it stops. I wear another and it does the same. I buy another and it does the same. I am a professional person and am careful with my accessories. I spend the $ so I am very careful no to damage in any way. I routinely take the watches in bulk to a jeweler where I spend several hundred dollars having the batteries changed out JUST SO I dont do it incorrectly myself, and THAT be the reason it screws up. But there have been times when the jeweler looks at me and says, sorry, it isn't the battery. It's something within the watch.. that they cannot explain. Bulova is a fairly inexpensive watch. I can wear it til it falls off and it keeps time perfectly. A Patek or an Omega will give out in 8 wears. So, I am not sure why so many of you believe anyone whose watch won't keep ticking for ten years is somehow inept when it comes to taking care of their valuables. There is a reason this happens. Maybe the same reason my sterling silver (I was going to say white gold, but it is softer and that will be most posters' excuse) wears down extremely quickly even if I do not wear it terribly often. I was seeking a real reason for this and most of you blame the person wearing the watch for being clumsy or not knowing when they bang their arm into a door frame so hard that they don't even notice (????). No answers here. Too bad ya can't find a forum that takes anyone's issues seriously. Everyone has to be sarcastic and blame the person. Thanks for not being different. At least I know to stop wasting my time trying to find answers in places like this.
Sorry this thread wasn't what you were looking for. But if you're actually corroding metals faster than other people you should probably start there. How is your sterling silver "wearing down"?
Reply With Quote
  #163  
Old 12-09-2014, 04:57 PM
tellyworth tellyworth is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by bachsmom View Post
A Patek or an Omega will give out in 8 wears.
Patek Philippe watches cost tens of thousands of dollars. You're telling us you spent 5 figures on a watch, and it stopped after 8 days?

Did this Patek watch have a battery, by any chance?
Reply With Quote
  #164  
Old 12-09-2014, 05:14 PM
Arkcon Arkcon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by tellyworth View Post
Patek Philippe watches cost tens of thousands of dollars. You're telling us you spent 5 figures on a watch, and it stopped after 8 days?

Did this Patek watch have a battery, by any chance?
The vendor had to have had something more to say to you besides, "Oh, well". Seriously, doesn't the battery change take place in a dimly-lit salon, with a complimentary Expresso? To the tune of chamber music?

OK, I shouldn't be so flippant, given how harsh this thread has been. But really, the most elite watchmakers have to have a better explanation for the small subset of watches that don't last an entire human lifetime. Maybe they're the one's accusing people of banging their wrists on doorjambs or something.

Uncle Cecil and his army of helpers may have to get in on this, now that this tread has become endless. Surely one elite watchmaker has something to say about this. What do these broken watches look like, inside, relative to the exacting standards they usually hold their time pieces to?
Reply With Quote
  #165  
Old 12-09-2014, 09:18 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Marmite Free Sector
Posts: 17,796
In the case of my skeleton self-winder, it was because a tiny little hand in one of the "eyes", or small dials, broke loose and jammed the works. I wasn't too disappointed as it was only a cheap thing I bought at a Big 5 sporting goods store, but even so the eyes were rather a waste. I don't need a watch to tell me the date, or whether it's daytime or nighttime.
Reply With Quote
  #166  
Old 12-09-2014, 09:32 PM
johnpost johnpost is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
zombie or no

people who stop watches should use wall clocks.
Reply With Quote
  #167  
Old 12-09-2014, 10:00 PM
FlikTheBlue FlikTheBlue is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
I used to have to replace either y whole watch or the battery every few months. About 10 years ago I bought a Seiko eco drive watch that uses solar energy to recharge. I've never had any trouble with it and the only maintenance I've done over the past 10 years is adjusting the time twice a year with the time changes.
Reply With Quote
  #168  
Old 12-10-2014, 12:45 PM
Mithras Mithras is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 486
The biophysical objections are a red herring. This is actually a conspiracy by watchmakers who sell defective products to people who would rather rebuy something broken over and over again rather than return it.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.