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Do Your $20 Bills Explode In the Microwave?

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the met-alex-once-at-the-branch-davidian-compound dept.

The Almighty Buck 1165

msaulters writes "After repeatedly setting off RFID scanners in a truck stop, the author discovered the culprit was a wad of $20's in his back pocket. In a paranoid attempt to keep the government from tracking him, he attempted to fry the embedded chips in his microwave, with interesting results." Alex Jones has interesting theories about a number of things, but evidently a lot of readers were interested in this one.

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'Quotes' (5, Funny)

zedmelon (583487) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437703)

The part of the 'article' that should probably be 'most' ignored is Denise's 'compulsory' use of 'punctuation.'

And GEEZ. I remember being 12 and having a twenty burn a hole in my pocket, but...

*smacks forehead* Sorry.

Re:'Quotes' (4, Funny)

nick0909 (721613) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437718)

Did he learn from GRC [grc.com] ?

They've gotten to my eggs too (5, Funny)

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437776)

hey, I just put some eggs in the microwave and they exploded - damn chickens have started putting RFID tags in their eggs already!

Re:They've gotten to my eggs too (1, Informative)

longhairedgnome (610579) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437819)

FYI, if you take a green grape and slice it down the middle the long way, and leave the two halves still connected, it'll spark

my theory (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437706)

ani-slash.org: sacred jihad against slashdot

Terrorism (1, Funny)

Rupan (723469) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437710)

..."And he came in wielding this huge wad of 20's and a microwave transmitter!!..."

Re:Terrorism (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437778)

..."And he came in wielding this huge wad of 20's and a microwave transmitter!!..."
Isn't that how all the stories start on that Mike's Apartment porn site?

Yeah...that's right...interesting... (1)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437711)

I guess this guy just has money to burn. The article should have been from the <twilight-zone-music> do-do-do-do </twilight-zone-music> dept.

no dice (5, Interesting)

Catskul (323619) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437757)

I tried it... it didnt work.

Re:no dice (2)

zedmelon (583487) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437802)

See the post below [slashdot.org] by Robotech Master. I'll bet it'll work if you try it with about forty bills stacked.

Mobile phones (2, Interesting)

noelo (661375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437712)

I wonder what will happen to these notes when the come into long duration contact with a mobile phone

I found this article (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437716)

interesting!

Someone had to say it... (-1, Redundant)

SonicSpike (242293) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437717)

Talk about "burning your money"!

The most cursory inspection (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437724)

The most cursory inspection of a $20 bill shows there's no RFID tag in Jackson's right eye.

Has anyone tried a control experiment of plain inkjet paper in the same form factor?

Re:The most cursory inspection (5, Funny)

anotherone (132088) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437790)

Has anyone tried a control experiment of plain inkjet paper in the same form factor?

What, are you kidding? And ruin a perfectly good crazy conspiracy theory?

Just look at it! (5, Funny)

NotAnotherReboot (262125) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437725)

I always knew Andrew Jackson was giving me the evil eye.

illegal? (3, Funny)

acoustix (123925) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437726)

Isn't destroying US currency against the law?

Seems pretty smart to me: 1)Committ a federal offense. 2)Post the proof on the internet.

-Nick

Re:illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437780)

oh no, come and arrest me.

(the police dont sit and comb the internet for every idiot that commits a minor offense.

(federal offense or not).

insightful my ass

Re:illegal? (2, Interesting)

Goldfinger7400 (630228) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437848)

Well, he did remove $1000 dollars from circulation (not exactly pennies in a fountain) so maybe the government would be bothered by that.

Re:illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437784)

It's not destroyed, it's just damaged. If over 50% of the bill is still intact, it's still legal tender, and destruction of currency has therefore not occurred.

Re:illegal? (4, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437831)

In fact, there's an address in Washington D.C. to which you could send the remains of destroied bills and they'll do their best to piece things together and redeem the value of the pile... yep, it really exists. [ustreas.gov]

Re:illegal? (5, Informative)

SeinJunkie (751833) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437791)

No, that's a myth.
The only thing that would be against the law is defacing currency and attempting to use it in commerce. So we learned in Business Law.

Re:illegal? (-1)

longhairedgnome (610579) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437793)

i beleive thats an old wives tale. YOU own your own(legal) money, though the government will probably get it in the end

Re:illegal? (1)

freeslacker (701452) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437795)

Do you really think that he's going to be prosecuted for this? How was he supposed to know the money would start burning?

Re:illegal? (0)

kewsh (655090) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437800)

but without a caution or warning label how were they supposed to know that the microwaves would make the money go up in flames? for all you know the rfid tag doesnt even exist...if you/we did then this article wouldnt be needed.

Re:illegal? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437816)

Why should it be illegal?

A $20 bank note is your receipt for lending $20 to the government with no interest.

If you'd like to lend $20 to the government and then not claim it back later, I'm sure that the government will be very happy.

Re:illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437832)

Uh, no. Ever see one of those penny-smashing machines at a tourist place? Stick a penny and a couple of quarters in, and you get an oval smear of copper with Mt. Rushmore (or some other tourist trap) on it. Perfectly legal.

My understanding was that it's only illegal if you deface it and then try to spend it. Not that I've ever heard of someone getting punished for drawing on their money...

Re:illegal? (5, Informative)

Mastadex (576985) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437835)

Once you aquire the money by legal means, it becomes yours so you can do to it as you please.

I once worked at a cutlery corporation where they demonstrated scissors by cutting up coins. and they told us its legal, so if the company gets fried for that, not my fault.

Re:illegal? (2, Interesting)

jasonditz (597385) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437854)

It used to be... not anymore.

Back in the late 70's melting coins was a federal offense.

Obligatory (1, Funny)

Paul E. Loeb (547337) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437727)

In Soviet Russia, money burns you.

Idiot. (5, Funny)

Daleks (226923) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437729)

This person isn't very smart. Why didn't he try it on one $20 bill to start with rather than all of them?

Re:Idiot. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437752)

Heh, you know what they say, "In for a penny, in for a pound!"

I'm skeptical. (5, Informative)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437731)

First off, having worked at a Kmart for several years, I have a pretty good idea how the antitheft systems currently in place in most stores and libraries work, and they don't yet use RFID tags; they use some sort of magnetized strip that is then demagnetized by a magnetic pulse or a powerful magnet at the counter (thus the warning not to set credit cards on or near the demagnetizers, lest they be demagnetized too). In fact, RFID tags as the retailers are thinking of using them are partially intended to replace such a system (and partially to replace bar code scanners). Given that RFID tags are barely even starting to be used by distributors, you're not going to convince me that a truck stop of all places is at the head of the technology curve using this expensive equipment that almost no manufacturers even support anyway. Thus, even if an RFID tag was embedded in the money, that shouldn't set off a magnetic antitheft system at all, because the system is looking for something entirely different altogether.

Second, these magnetic antitheft systems are capable of being set off by odd things, such as items of personal electronics or odd bits of metal. (Heck, I even remember seeing one recent news story about a kid who sets off those scanners just by walking through them without anything in his pockets at all, just because his body happens to generate the precise frequency of electromagnetic energy they're keyed to.)

Third, RFID tag or not, those new bills do happen to have a strip of metal foil running through them, right at about the point of Jefferson's left eye...to make counterfeiting harder, you see. And when you subject metallic material to microwave energy, it heats up quickly...that's just basic physics.

So I'm willing to believe that the bills set off ordinary electromagnetic anti-theft detectors just by reflecting the microwaves in some funky way. (Or heck, maybe they even are magnetized in a way that anti-theft detectors can pick up...or at least can become so magnetized, since I doubt that they're all that way...if everybody shopping with new twenties was setting off anti-theft systems, we'd be hearing about that on the news, and the anti-theft system manufacturers would be making hasty adjustments or going out of business.) I'm even willing to believe that those foil strips will cause the money to scorch in the microwave. But it's one heck of a leap to conclude that this is because of Evil RFID Tags That The Nasty Gum'mint Is Sneaking Into Our Money.

Re:I'm skeptical. (-1, Informative)

anotherone (132088) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437769)

they use some sort of magnetized strip

It's an RFID thing, and swiping it over a big electromagnet kills it.

Re:I'm skeptical. (0)

anotherone (132088) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437818)

actually, on further investigation, I could be mistaken...

Re:I'm skeptical. (2, Insightful)

zedmelon (583487) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437774)

Good point. And since they claim there was $1000 in twenties, that many metal strips packed together would reflect even that much more crap back at the AF detectors.

Re:I'm skeptical. (4, Informative)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437836)

those new bills do happen to have a strip of metal foil running through them, right at about the point of Jefferson's left eye

Jackson. Jefferson is on the two dollar bill.

Re:I'm skeptical. (5, Interesting)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437837)

A couple more quick points I just thought of:

1) Even if the money was designed to set off anti-theft systems (which would be dumb, for the reason I parenthetically enumerated above) it could only deliver one bit of data: on or off, yes or no, it was or was not tagged with a theft prevention device.

2) Even being able to track money at all is not new. [wheresgeorge.com] Why d'ya think mobsters need to launder it?

Re:I'm skeptical. (5, Informative)

wronskyMan (676763) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437855)

just because his body happens to generate the precise frequency of electromagnetic energy they're keyed to.
Actually, the tags work passively (not requiring onboard battery) because inductors and capacitors can be printed on foil/similar materials, so a LC (or RLC) circuit can be designed to resonate at whatever frequency the antitheft system uses. When this resonant circuit passes between the detection gates (a receiver and transmitter), it resonates, causing a change in the received signal intensity at the gate (the circuit is now picking up energy originally flowing to the transmitter). Small electronics could set it off if some random connected inductor and capacitor on the circuit board form a resonant circuit - clothes or someones body could conceivably do this as well. The magnetic pulse in the store either permanently breaks the circuit (used in stores, etc) or bends a foil-type contact open (used in libraries so they can bend the contact shut again to activate the tag when the book is returned).

No. They don't. (5, Insightful)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437732)

From the article:
So we chose to 'microwave' our cash, over $1000 in twenties in a stack, not spread out on a carasoul.

Now, looking at the second picture, and knowing a bit about how microwaves heat stuff... looks to me like the approximate center of the stack charred up nicely in the microwave. Notice the bills near the top and bottom of the stack are nearly untouched. The reason the center of the bills charred in the same place in all the bill is because it was the center of the stack.

I sincerely hope this article is intended as a joke, or at the very least "we did something really dumb and we're going to at least make it funny" situation.

And for the record, I just zapped a $20 bill for 20 seconds and it's barely even warm, on Jackson's right eye or anywhere else.

Re:No. They don't. (5, Funny)

the_Upsetter (257937) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437786)

And for the record, I just zapped a $20 bill for 20 seconds and it's barely even warm, on Jackson's right eye or anywhere else

Well, I can't fault your methods, you've got every base covered. It would appear that you've conclusively proven this experiment to be a hoax!

Another peer-review success story.

Re:No. They don't. (1)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437820)

Well I didn't really want to burn my only $20 bill just in case these guys were right. But if there is some kind of metallic object that explodes hidden in Jackson's right eye, it should have at least heated up in that amount of time.

Another legitimate use for making copies of money (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437733)

Putting together Internet hoaxes! If they were using the latest versions of Photoshop they wouldn't have been able to make all that fake cash to singe.

I'm claiming (0, Offtopic)

edrain (658393) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437735)

bullshit.

Hey everyone.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437736)

I'm broke. I just burned up $1K in the microwave, now please COME SLASHDOT MY SERVER AND MAKE MY HOST COMPANY CHARGE ME EXTRA FOR THE MONTH. ;)

Boy, when it rains, it pours.

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437737)

$20 bills definitely do NOT have embedded chips. Place your bill in front of a strong light, you'll see that it is just PAPER. Has Slashdot been trolled?

Then would these notes be classified as... (3, Funny)

noelo (661375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437738)

Explosive devices and would you be allowed to take them onto planes. 'I'm sorry Sir, we're going to have to confiscate your bank notes'...

crazy coworker (1)

anotherone (132088) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437739)

I used to work with this old lady who never carried any cash besides coins because she swore that the government could track you with satillites, due to the embedded security thread that says "USA 20 02 ASU" etc.

Re:crazy coworker (1)

MrP- (45616) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437812)

But its true.. they also like to look at your privates... thats why i wear tin foil underwear

Re:crazy coworker (2, Funny)

martinX (672498) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437830)

Was she the funny smelling one with all the cats?

Re:crazy coworker (1)

anotherone (132088) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437849)

how'd you guess??!?

Re:crazy coworker (1)

turtlexit (720052) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437843)

LOL. I'd suspect that it would be easier to embed some type of tracking device in a coin anyway, assuming that you believe the government does that.

As the guy said... (1)

opec (755488) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437741)

He went to the bank to have the bills replaced free of charge. It's only paper.

too bad the article didn't mention... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437742)

...if they smelled like "old hickory" afterwards

+1, Corny, But Made Me Laugh Anyway (0, Redundant)

zedmelon (583487) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437856)

*gag*

Gee, where's the logical problem here? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437743)

$20 bills burn in a microwave.
Ergo, $20 bills have embedded RFID tracking chips.

More likely, the metallic anti-counterfeting strips just formed a dipole resonant near the frequency used by the truck stop's anti-theft tag scanners.

Move along, nothing to see here, just some idiot with more money than brains.

Who the fuckity fuck (-1, Troll)

dzym (544085) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437744)

Who the fuck carries around $1000+ in $20's (or otherwise) in a wallet?

I mean, even big burly truck drivers might figure they might be robbed or maybe the wallet stolen/lost, right?

Re:Who the fuckity fuck (1)

photonX (743718) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437803)

Poker players. Drug dealers. Rich people.

Re:Who the fuckity fuck (5, Funny)

rholliday (754515) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437807)

$1000 in cash? At a truck stop? Worried about government tracking?

Sounds like smugglers to me. :)

The artical's main point (-1, Troll)

iplayfast (166447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437745)

The article's main point isn't about burning money, or that money will pop in the Microwave. It is the fact that with rfid tags, the government can track money.

(The land of the free?)

Re:The artical's main point (3, Informative)

iplayfast (166447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437783)

Of course, as a previous poster pointed out... There are not RFID tags in money! It's just a bit of wire to help stop counterfiting.

Re:The artical's main point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437828)

and the point of most of the comments, inlcluding those who actually understand the science of metallic strips in bills and/or microwaves is that the article is dumb at best.

Re:The artical's main point (1, Insightful)

TJmoney (754109) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437853)

Even if they know where the money is, is it really possible to figure out who had it, and what it was spent on? As far as I can tell, the only way RFID tags could be useful to the govt is if there are A LOT of them in a concentrated area, but wouldent the metal briefcase they always keep the money in in movies block the signal anyway? I really dont see any benefit to big brother from having RFID tags in money.

One Liner (4, Funny)

Entropy248 (588290) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437747)

The Department of Homeland Security would like to remind you that you love Big Brother.

Re:One Liner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437810)

HAHHAHAAM thats soooo funny.

can you please teach me to write insightfully hilarious, i mean baazzzzziiiiinnnnggg.

Eh. (1)

anderm7 (68050) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437751)

I'm skeptical. Anything could have caused those burn marks. It doesn't have to be an RFID tag.

Magnetics (1)

Emperor Tiberius (673354) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437756)

So, in theory we should get out those large demagnetazation units that the stores have and start swiping our "money." Perhaps, what the government is simply trying to do is to track down counterfeits. Maybe, it's more than that, someone should inquire with the FOIA.

...or, maybe, a third-party planted the RFID chips. *Cough,* Wal-Mart *Cough.*

Conspiracy theorists unite... (5, Funny)

Drakonite (523948) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437758)

So THIS is why conspiracy theorists never seem to have money.

Duality (3, Funny)

vawlk (14842) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437759)

While I can't believe this conspiracy theory made to to slashdot, I find myself wanting to experiment too.

B.S. (0, Troll)

powera (644300) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437761)

The likelyhood of this being true is about as slim as SCO winning their "sue a Linux user tommorow case". If anybody had $20's they'd be willing to microwave until vaporized to prove there are no RFID's, we will all be grateful (and hate you for being rich enough to "burn" money").

Invasion of Privacy, Tracking (1)

bahwi (43111) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437762)

Invasion of Privacy, Tracking purchases, cash not anonymous, blah blah blah. It's all true. But this is really cool.

I am so gonna go get a new $20 from the bank to try this out. =)

Jarhead Jones (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437763)

Alex Jones is a jarhead.

He also pressured his girlfriend into getting an abortion.

Notable quote from his local access tv show:

"Uhhh... I wanna go into space!... Uhh..."

Duck tape wallets (1)

Mysteretp (735556) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437764)

I take it if duct tape protects like aluminum foil then Duct tape wallets will come back in style?

Re:Duck tape wallets (1)

Emunix (135320) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437840)

They went out of style?

this is one (1)

katalyst (618126) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437765)

of the better conspiracy theories i've heard in recent times.. i remember there also talk of folding a bill to get an image of the twin towers being hit by a plane
how true can this notion be? rfid embedding can have a few pros.. easy to trace actual bills and thus stolen money, easy to isolate fake bills... but then again... ransom money, thefts will all become passe..
but then again.. all this is just an extension of the conspiracy theory

I can remove the RFID Tags for Free (4, Funny)

netfool (623800) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437766)

Send all of your $20s to: PO Box 7565 Jackson, Wyoming 88096

Re:I can remove the RFID Tags for Free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437844)

Hi,

I was wondering: Would it be necessary to send any return postage?

Mirror... (5, Funny)

Megaslow (694447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437768)

...AKA karma whoring for fun and profit

Mirror w/ pictures [cox.net]

According to NetCraft [netcraft.com] , Alex Jones' site is hosted at EV1Servers.net... I wonder if the sum total of the ruined money is $700? I guess it would save a lot of time to just burn the money rather than give it to SCO, yet you would still have the same end result: out $700, and nothing much to show for it.

Re:Mirror... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437808)

hi i have only recently started visting slashdot and was wondering what a karma whore that people refer to is .

thanks

Well as the old addage goes... (1)

re-Verse (121709) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437772)

"That money will burn a hole in your pocket"
But the part that was left out is "if you stand near that microwave tower".

Does anyone know if the money is still legal tender if its been fried like that? And if blowing up the photo of presidents face like the photo illustrates could get you landed in jail for 'terrorism'. Heh.

Canadian money (1)

PoprocksCk (756380) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437775)

Damn, I'm Canadian. Does that mean I'll have to wait to explode my money?

some on /. try this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437777)

Could be the placement of the money in the microwave (microwaves are a few centimeters in length ..thats why u need that rrotating table thingy to make sure food gets cooked evenly.

Or, maybe it's a reaction with ink. Who knows?

Convert your tin foil hat to a wallet? Not yet... (5, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437779)

Nothing like a Slashdot post to jump to a conclusion.

Clearly, there's something funny going on with the microwaved bills... but stores don't have RFID scanners at the exits yet. They have an acousto-magnetic [phonelosers.org] sensor that gets deactivated by a pad at the cash register so that paying customers aren't supposed to set them off. Big difference here is that the tags in a store system don't yet emit an identifying signal... they all emit the same reply. The store doesn't know what a shoplifter did to trip the alarm, just that they did trip it. There's not quite proof that each bill is emitting its serial number yet.

Also, having microwaved everything in a stack makes things a bit unclear. Did every eye burn on its own, or did just one or two bills in the middle of the stack catch flame which in turn burned all of the bills above and below in varying degrees. Notice that the top and bottom bills were unharmed. Could one bill alone be microwaved safely?

And, BTW, if you so much as put slightly crumpled tin foil in your microwave, you get a similar effect. Could there just be a small metal content in the bill designed so that somebody who has $1000 worth of $20 bills (rather than simply 10 $100's) in their wallet is sure to set off an airport security alarm until they show their wallet to make sure they get an extra security questions?

It's interesting, but I think more research needs to be done. Microwave carefully, people.

Very cool (0, Redundant)

Turismo86 (753224) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437787)

Personally I can't think of a better way to use my 20 dollar bills, I'm going to empty my bank account tomorrow, this will be hours of fun.

ya don't say (1)

rabidcow (209019) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437788)

So we chose to 'microwave' our cash, over $1000 in twenties in a stack, not spread out on a carasoul. Do you know what exploded on American money?? The right eye of Andrew Jackson on the new twenty, every bill was uniform in it's burning... Isnt that interesting?

So you stick them in a pile, so that the corresponding places on each bill lines up and they all burn through in the same place? No way!

intentional defacement of US currency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437792)

intentional defacement of US currency ..it's gotta be a crime ..isn't it? With the PATRIOT act who knows??

Boarder Crossings (1)

Pyro226 (715818) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437797)

These RFID tags could be really useful for boarders. (Useful to the US government, that doesn't make it good for you). Whenever someone enters the country they are asked if they have $10,000 US or the equivalent or more in cash, travelers checks, etc. With this technology, boarder officers could scan you (and your vehicle) to see if you were lying. The system would obviously be flawed, as aluminum foil seems to block the signal, but many people try to smuggle things over boarders just by looking inconspicuous. (I'm reminded of the scene from Blow).

No money lost (4, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437805)

They may have exploded, but they're still valid currency. The treasury has an entire department which is solely for processing damaged money. I remember seeing an interview with one of the inspectors. I believe the essential part of it was that you had to have more than the majority of the bill material in OK condition to prove that you didn't just cut it up and try to claim all the pieces.

Since the bills are intact all the way around and it looks like in many cases the serials are OK, I'd say he's OK, and can get them exchanged for non-exploded ones. Of course, he better not go saying he microwaved them, as destruction of currency is a federal crime(the penny-mangling machines are 'licensed' to do it, to nip one question in the bud...)

What is interesting is that they burned so readily- US currency is supposed to be decently non-flammable(it's one of thousands of tests done on the paper and ink- that's why your bills make it through the laundry OK, for example). It's probably the toughest paper in the world, able to survive virtually anything. Except microwaving, apparently :-)

BS i tried it (1)

cyrax777 (633996) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437806)

Just Microwaved a 20 for a couple minutes other then having a hot piece of paper nothing happened. since when is the offical /. tin foil hat coming out?

two words (4, Informative)

swschrad (312009) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437811)

metallic ink. same thing will happen if you microwave checks, I expect, around the numbers, which are printed in magnetic MIRC ink.

Uncle Sam says... (-1, Offtopic)

n()_cHIEFz (203036) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437815)

...all you're $20's are belong to us.

Way to find the the microwave's focal point, Mr. J (5, Interesting)

sailracer6 (262434) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437823)

Get yourself some thermal fax paper and put it in the microwave for a few seconds. The parts hit most strongly will turn brown. I am fairly certain the same thing is happening here, although one shoud just try it with a $20-bill shaped piece of paper to be sure. Microwaves are far from uniform in their energy output -- that's why the carousel has become so ubiquitous.


Now, you should go look at Alex Jones' apparent infiltration of Bohemian Grove [infowars.com] , an annual meeting of powerful people -- now that's intriguing.

Hmm. (4, Insightful)

Phroggy (441) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437829)

What we resent is the fact that the government or a corporation can track our 'cash'. Credit purchases and check purchases have been tracked for years, but cash was not traceble until now...

I'd just like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that there have always been serial numbers printed on bills, for the purpose of tracking them. An RFID tag would make it easier to do so electronically, but being able to uniquely identify a particular bill is nothing new - in fact, see Where's George? [wheresgeorge.com]

Having said that, the possibility that someone could scan the contents of my wallet while my wallet is in my pocket is rather disturbing for a number of reasons. If I were carrying $1,000 in twenties, I wouldn't want to advertise that fact to those around me.

Hmm... (3, Funny)

StupaflyD (729788) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437838)

Okay... got brand new twenty... (loans are up $20! yeay!)
- putting it in microwave now...
- you can now see my proof on www.___.com
- [clatter]
- thats a white van pulling up
- secret serv..aisdjfl;fjal;rrfrawwef;

[Dons tinfoil hat... and tinfoil jimmy hat for money.]

No tin foil hats here (3, Informative)

Valar (167606) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437839)

Umm, either my twenties are borked or my microwave... or... these guys are full of shit!! I can't reproduce the effect at all here. There must be something else going on here. Like an attempt to create an urban legend...

groan... (4, Insightful)

SmokeSerpent (106200) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437841)

  1. Maybe it was the wallet which had a hidden rfid, not the money. This possibility was not even broached.
  2. Aside from any exploding rfid tags, and aside from the fact that the money was microwaved in a stack, all twentys would likely burn in the same pattern when microwaved simply due to their identical ink distribution.
  3. Is this the Art Bell show now? Can we expect an interview with Hoagland tomorrow?

Behind the Iron Curtain (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437845)

In Soviet Russia, the money scans YOU!

Is this Illegal ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437850)

Is it illegal to deface currency in the US?

Hey! HEY NOW! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8437851)

Hey! We could've used that money!

Sincerely,
The Mozilla Foundation

Things I've learned from this article (2, Funny)

Westacular (118145) | more than 10 years ago | (#8437857)

1. If I ever shop lift, I'll be sure to get a roll of tinfoil while I at it.

2. If I ever decide to microwave American money, I won't microwave $1000 all at once.
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