#1  
Old 01-02-2017, 10:35 AM
aldiboronti aldiboronti is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Troynovant
Posts: 7,896
The man charged with electricity

Has to be a hoax but it sounds a pretty elaborate one. The link below leads to an image of an article from an unnamed American newspaper dated 25th September 1929.

Image

I give the text for those who would prefer not to click links.

Quote:
Man is Charged with Electricity, Can't Drive Auto

Plymouth, England: Frederick Stone, a chauffeur at Holsworthy, north Devonshire is so charged with electricity that:

1. He cannot use a telephone or wear a radio headphone without receiving a shock and

2. He cannot drive his automobile or walk without wearing vulcanite insulation pads in his shoes and

3. He can locate buried gold, silver and copper.

This strange "electrical" man has spent twenty of his forty-nine years in hospitals puzzling doctors.

A public test of his divining power has been held at Plymouth Municipal Museum under the supervision of the curator. The electric man located without trouble buried nuggets of gold, gold-bearing quartz and even gold jewelry.
Can't find a trace anywhere else on the net. The BS about divining is way over the top but is it all possible for people to have an electrical charge that, however small, interferes with electrical appliances?

Last edited by aldiboronti; 01-02-2017 at 10:35 AM.
  #2  
Old 01-02-2017, 10:37 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 73,065
It is possible to have such a charge, until the first time you touch something grounded. Then you lose the charge, and in the process get a shock. There's no way to maintain a charge and shock repeatedly with it.
  #3  
Old 01-02-2017, 11:04 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: the extreme center
Posts: 28,670
"Newspaper Is Charged With Bullshit, Can't Be Taken Seriously".
  #4  
Old 01-02-2017, 04:53 PM
usedtobe usedtobe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 7,411
"If it's in the Newspaper, it MUST be true - they wouldn't print it if it wasn't true!"

"Fake News" is not new - it just gets a world-wide distribution to a subset of people who desperately WANT it to be true.
  #5  
Old 01-02-2017, 07:29 PM
Space Vegetable Space Vegetable is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 219
The newspaper in question seems to be the Oakland Tribune of Oakland, California. Its last daily edition as a separate paper was April 4, 2016, so it may be too late for a stern letter of complaint to their editor.
  #6  
Old 01-02-2017, 09:23 PM
BigT BigT is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: "Hicksville", Ark.
Posts: 32,962
Tabloid news is not the same thing as fake news. Tabloid news was obviously fake. They're closer to the parody news sites than anything. They also limited themselves to shit that didn't matter, like some alien being found or celebrity gossip.

The worry is that fake news was posted about something important--the election. And that people don't seem to be able to spot it.

Though I do wonder if this was already happening anyways, but we just didn't know about it before everyone was on social media. The only new issue are sites specifically set up to make fake news, which honestly shouldn't be a hard problem to stop.

New site? Verify with older, trusted sites. Earn your reputation to be trustworthy.

Last edited by BigT; 01-02-2017 at 09:23 PM.
  #7  
Old 01-02-2017, 11:51 PM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is online now
Uncharted
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Somewhere in the Potomac
Posts: 31,847
The Canberra Times picked up the story as well.
  #8  
Old 01-03-2017, 12:32 AM
Snooooopy Snooooopy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Charlottesville, Va.
Posts: 10,138
I thought this thread was going to be about me. When the weather gets cold, I get shocked so often I think I'm turning into a mutant supervillain.
  #9  
Old 01-03-2017, 02:22 AM
naita naita is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Norway
Posts: 4,896
Quote:
Originally Posted by aldiboronti View Post
Has to be a hoax
It's a story in an American newspaper about a man in rural England, written when people could still personally remember the invention of the telephone and the introduction of electricity. No need for it to be a hoax, just a tale the grew in the retelling by journalists far away.
  #10  
Old 01-03-2017, 02:42 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 56,733
It could be accurate (albeit credulous) reporting of some fakir doing his stuff. Even (especially) with the advent of video recording, there are still people who make claims about their bodily ability to control electricity, and there are still people who believe them.

For example, this guy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ganoF0akVig

(tricks explained here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh6Ob1HFC6k)
  #11  
Old 01-03-2017, 03:35 AM
PatrickLondon PatrickLondon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: London
Posts: 2,219
There are a number of reports about this man in local papers in the British Newspaper Archive online, from the Hull Daily Mail, and the Nottingham Evening Post, in August 1929, and the Taunton Courier a couple of weeks later. Rather a lot of "it is said" reporting, but you have to pay to read the whole articles, so I don't know what the source is.

What looks like the same person was in a court case in 1934, and described as a water diviner, and apparently chose to go to prison rather than pay a fine in some dispute with a local garage owner.

Doesn't help with any science involved, if there is any, but it might be of interest.
  #12  
Old 01-03-2017, 10:07 AM
BubbaDog BubbaDog is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: KC MO or there abouts
Posts: 5,468
I was once charged to 345kV.
I got over it.

The article is BS. People can briefly hold a static charge. We do it all the time when we catch a shock from the carpet and then touch a door handle.

My first line in this post is true. While wearing a Faraday suit (metal mesh sweatpants and sweatshirt) in a high voltage lab I climbed an insulated fiberglass ladder and barehanded a high voltage line. But then I released and the charge dissipated as I climbed back down. I survived for the same reason that birds can survive while sitting on a power line.

There's no way I could have continually kept a constant charge and neither could the subject of that article. It's fiction.

Last edited by BubbaDog; 01-03-2017 at 10:08 AM.
  #13  
Old 01-03-2017, 10:28 AM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Challenger Deep
Posts: 10,412
Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbaDog View Post
While wearing a Faraday suit (metal mesh sweatpants and sweatshirt) in a high voltage lab I climbed an insulated fiberglass ladder and barehanded a high voltage line. But then I released and the charge dissipated as I climbed back down. I survived for the same reason that birds can survive while sitting on a power line.
Given that you were isolated from ground when touching the line (and your charge dissipated before you stepped off of the ladder), why was the suit necessary?
  #14  
Old 01-03-2017, 11:03 AM
naita naita is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Norway
Posts: 4,896
Quote:
Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
Given that you were isolated from ground when touching the line (and your charge dissipated before you stepped off of the ladder), why was the suit necessary?
In case it for some accidental reason dissipated all at once?
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 06:41 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, 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 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017