Friday, October 05, 2007

Halloween 2007 (WT 24)

This is a story about three college guys and their costumes.
In the Halloween folder:


Dave said...

The cast of characters:
a) Conner Pasquee Opaqua, a Seminole Indian, nicknamed BugHead for wearing a fishing cap with dead bugs impaled on fishhooks.
b) William Winston Rynton, a Yankee back to the Mayflower. His great, great grandfather fought in the Civil War. His Mother is related to Winston Churchill. Blueblood, blueblood.
c) Billy Ray Tyler, a jock with big muscles, nicknamed Boog

Anonymous said...

Hi, Dave. My apologies: this isn't about Halloween 2007. I came over here from EE's blog to ask you a science question.

There's a lava tube in my WIP and strange mental symptoms in some of the people who live nearby. I did a little bit of poking around and it looks like low level electromagnetic radiation could emanate from the tube and affect humans (and a dog).
Is this scenario possible and reasonable?
***Can the EMR be shielded? I hope to give my characters a solution so they don't have to move away. They've voted for a happily ever after in that particular spot.

Thanks in advance for any scientific advice!


Anonymous said...


Sorry--I forgot to leave my email. Let me know if you want it. thanks again.


Dave said...

An email is nice, but not necessary. I hope you come back here to read the answer.

A lava tube - meaning an underground passage that contains flowing lava. A magnetic field could be generated by flowing lava if it contained sufficient molten metal.

It would be a varying field due to the irregularity of the lava flow, but it could affect people and animals. It's not scientifically impossible, just improbably. But don't let that stop you, there's no evidence for unicorns, pixies, and werewolves, either.

There's a nice article here:

As for tin foil helmets, which are really funny, the people at MIT wrote a paper :

I always like nerds with a sense of humor.

I used to do "ask a researcher" and this is so like that. I retired BTW. And the people at work haven't preserved the column.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Who'd a thunk a simple two-ply mild steel sheet would block a magnetic field? Oh, yeah--all those people with the tin foil hats you mentioned. And I thought they were just being creative.

I could really use Ask a Researcher, even though I'm a reference librarian. Some of our best resources are human experts. But even Dr. Science Person must retire, so I won't make a habit of asking you for info!

I love the names and characters in your story.


Church Lady said...

Does tin foil mess up the radar guns in police speed traps? I heard, as a teenager twenty years ago, you can put aluminum foil on your rims and then you can speed to your heart's content...

Dave F. said...

Church Lady,
Oh hell no. The Mythbusters on Discovery Channel have done two shows on things that are "supposed" to screw up radar guns and cameras. Nothing worked.

Well nothing but the rocket car that hit over 200 mph and beat the shutter of the camera. And we all have one of them in the back yard ;)...