Slinky, TV, Shimmy

In this column about changing channels with a Slinky, there’s a follow up about vibrating chopsticks in your teeth causing the TV picture to shimmy.

I can report via firsthand experience the same phenomena: if I look at my digital clock while brushing my teeth (electric toothbrush), the digits on the clock warp and wobble in a highly entertaining way.

In the Slinky/chopsticks article, your comment about “not doing it in a darkened room” brought back a long-forgotten memory. (I’ve just discovered your website for the first time today, so please forgive me if this is a duplication of something previously discussed.) Have you ever tried the trick with generating light by chewing Certs?

Apparantly the same process by which chlorophyll can store light energy can be used in reverse. By applying excess kinetic energy to chlorophyll you can produce visible light. The light is very dim, of course, so you won’t notice it if there is competing external light. But in a thoroughly-darkened room, you can produce noticeable amounts of light by chewing Certs or other things with concentratied chlorophyll.

I’ve never tried Certs, but Wint-O-Green Lifesavers works, too.

Chlorophyll is irrelevant to the discharge process, though the chlorophyll in the original plant that produced the sugar for the Life Savers was responsible for storing the energy in the first place. See Cecil’s column Why do wintergreen Life Savers spark when crunched?

Okay, so it was just a duplication. Sorry…:frowning: