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Aluminum Foil Hats Will Not Stop "Them"

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the time-to-switch-to-a-poly-carbon-blend dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 433

Otter writes "A study at MIT has found that aluminum foil headwear ("Among a fringe community of paranoids..the protective measure of choice against invasive radio signals") actually amplifies certain frequency bands allocated to the US government, as well as a mobile phone range, and is largely ineffective through the rest of the radio spectrum. But we can we trust the study, or are They controlling the researchers?"

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433 comments

Now I'm scared (4, Funny)

Psionicist (561330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000613)

Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.

That was highly appropriate.

Re:Now I'm scared (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14000661)

Oh no! They got to Slashdot too!

Re:Now I'm scared (1)

BlogPope (886961) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000677)

That was highly appropriate.

This is clearly an attempt to get me to remove the tinfoil zucchetto (pope hat).

Re:Now I'm scared (1)

IAmTheDave (746256) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000750)

Or maybe, it was the man that perpetuated the myth of the protective tin foil hat in the first place!

Re:Now I'm scared (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14000762)

crazy cray cary. there is this sweet new tech blog, everyone should check it [therightcoast.net], so im not so anonymous...

Re:Now I'm scared (2, Funny)

c_fel (927677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000897)

But they said nothing about my aluminium foil condoms. I knew I'm safe !

frist post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14000617)

no aluminum hat can beat!

Editors! (0)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000620)

But we can we trust the study, or are They controlling the researchers?

What the hell?

Re:Editors! (2, Informative)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000731)

> But we can we trust the study, or are They controlling the researchers?
> What the hell?

Yeah. You know. "They". As in Them.

I will (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14000625)

still wear mine every day.

amplified? (4, Funny)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000627)

out of focus can be just the same as blocked for purposes of radio wave transmission.

two much gain means a lot of signal noise.

besides, I wear a lead skull cap myself, keep my hair shaved so that I can be in constant contact with the metal of the cap..

Re:amplified? (5, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000651)

besides, I wear a lead skull cap myself, keep my hair shaved so that I can be in constant contact with the metal of the cap.. ...and my cell phone reception has never been so good!

Re:amplified? (1)

Philodoxx (867034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000721)

two much gain means a lot of signal noise.

If both the signal and noise were amplied together, then the signal to noise ratio would remain the same (and SNR is what really matters when trying to retrieve intelligence).

Re:amplified? (5, Funny)

Frumious Wombat (845680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000870)

You know, a lead cap doesn't really get good enough contact with your skin unless you smear some mercury around underneath it first....

They are behind this (5, Funny)

Jupix (916634) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000628)

I knew it all along. They WANTED us to wear foil hats to amplify their spy rays.

Re:They are behind this (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000734)

On the other hand, They might have released this information to get me to STOP wearing my tin foil hat!

This dilemma is going to give me an aneurysm!

Re:They are behind this (5, Funny)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000849)

"This dilemma is going to give me an aneurysm!"

Maybe that's what THEY really want after all.

Re:They are behind this (1)

gol (635335) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000792)

No no no... aluminium is NOT the right material, just ask this guy : click [stopabductions.com]. The right material is clearly 3M's "Velostat".

An interesting thing (3, Interesting)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000635)

Certain psychotic people seem to focus on the aluminum hat / radio waves are controlling me thing. It is quite universal. What is it that makes it a common theme ?

Still is the masons (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000757)

The masons are part of the Illuminati and we all know they control the CIA. Good grief man get your facts right.

Re:An interesting thing (3, Insightful)

black mariah (654971) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000770)

Probably has to do with the 'someone else is controlling me' factor. With the advent of radio, this unseen force that somehow manages to transmit audio and video, the shift in focus for psychos has merely transferred from things such as devil posession and witchcraft to radio waves.

Re:An interesting thing (5, Interesting)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000794)

When I was doing my psychiatry rotation they explained that paranoia is usually relative to the cultural environment in which the person was brought up. For people who grew up in cities, the "government conspiracy" paranoia is most common. For those who were brought up in rural areas, the "aliens" conspiracy is most widespread. And obviously for those who were brought up religiosly, "demonic possession" is the price element of paranoia. Obviously most real cases are mixes of these, but it is easy to see that people get their paranoid ideations from the fears that are most prevalent in their environment.

Re:An interesting thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14000865)

Oh yeah, you psychiatric "specialists" sound alike. It's all "paranoid ideation" this and "are you still hearing voices?" that. Oh, but you just wait, buster. One day the mothership will come and suck you up for an anal probe too... just you wait!

Re:An interesting thing (5, Funny)

Hinhule (811436) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000901)

Obviously most real cases are mixes of these

So, most real cases are governments controlled by demonic aliens? Now I'm scared!

Re:An interesting thing (1)

TheRon6 (929989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000815)

From the Wikipedia article: A tin-foil hat, also tinfoil hat, is a general term for a piece of headgear made from one or more sheets of tin foil, aluminum foil, or other similar material. Some people wear the hats in the belief that they protect the brain from such influences as electromagnetic fields, or as a shield against mind control and/or mind reading. Hats made from foil are very rarely used, since the injuries they might guard against are highly speculative, and their effectiveness in preventing such harm would be dubious even if the danger were plausible. Instead, the concept has become a popular stereotype and term of derision; in Internet culture, the phrase (sometimes as the abbreviation "TFH") serves as a byword for paranoia. Please realize that any views expressed on the validity of the use of aluminum foil hats are all purely opinion. You can't prove that they don't work!

Re:An interesting thing (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14000826)

It's just a convenient way of explaining how somebody else should be accountable for your actions. A century ago, it might have been demons controlling you through the aether. Aether is pretty much disproven and lots of people don't believe in demons, but most people believe the government and radio waves exist, and they are the obvious choice for "they" and "how", space aliens and implants being the next most obvious choice.

Duh... (5, Funny)

ferrellcat (691126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000638)

It has to be TIN foil.

Re:Duh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14000890)

It has to be transparent aluminum that is at least 8 inches away from the object to be protected, the index of refraction will keep it from coming in contact with the subject and heading back toward where it came from...

This is the kind of info I come to Slashdot for! (4, Insightful)

mdman (846276) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000640)

Now, this is the type of information we all come to slashdot for.....

It's been on Fark all day.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14000784)

www.fark.com

not to worry citizen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14000652)

The aluminum hat is part of our comprehensive new anti-terror methods. You never know where they will strike next! Anyone could be a terrorist--your neighbor, your grandmother, even your dog! That's why we're encouraging every Patriotic American to give these little hats as presents to anyone they think might be suspicious this Christmas. Pay special attention to anyone mumbling incomprehensibly, as this could be the dreaded Muslim prayer before attempting to destroy small town America!

Yes! (4, Funny)

robpoe (578975) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000654)

Yesss!!! But .. uuh .. did they paint their hats an off shade of GREEN??!?!

Then the signals think that I'm a tree .. and.. and .. bounce off of me..

Kinda like my WiFi connection..

Re:Yes! (1)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000797)

Ahhh, but if you use a felt tip marker to put a ring of green around the edge of the hat, it helps to enhance the signal quality.

mmmmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14000656)

Brains....

We already knew that Al foil was insufficient (4, Funny)

ENOENT (25325) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000657)

That's why we need to protect our precious bodily fluids.

I'm not sure what disappoints me more (4, Funny)

indros13 (531405) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000665)

...that MIT spent time and money actually researching this or that my tinfoil hat collection is now verifiably useless.


-John

Re:I'm not sure what disappoints me more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14000810)

The study was about aluminum, NOT TIN. I don't think you even own a tinfoil hat after that oversight. Their radio waves are obviously scrambling your mind.

your TIN-foil hats are still good... (1)

gonar (78767) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000839)

it's the ALUMINUM ones that don't work!

the study is very misleading, implying that aluminum-foil hats (which everyone knows are useless) are equivalent to tin-foil hats.

you see? it's TIN-foil hats that protect you from the government's spy rays and the RFID chip they planted in your skull when they kidnapped your pregnant mom.

Shiny side! (4, Funny)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000669)

Everyone knows that you need to put the shiny side on the outside to reflect the signals. Obviously, this guy put the dull side out and it absorbed the signal...

Re:Shiny side! (1)

Bender0x7D1 (536254) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000896)

To handle all scenarios my foil headwear are two-ply. One has the shiny side out, the other has the shiny side in.

Help Me!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14000684)

I've tried to stay low, but They kept finding me. I've got one last trick up my sleeve though-my cling wrap skivvies. Let's see them beam through those...

Causation in the other direction (1)

karzan (132637) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000688)

Maybe it's not that people wear tin foil hats because they are paranoid, but that they turn paranoid after wearing these tin foil hats. After all, anyone who believes much of what the US government has been saying for the last few years is bound to be so paranoid they're living in a bunker by now.

That wasn't the point? (3, Funny)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000690)

I thought that the whole point of the exercise was to submit to control.

You really should try it. It's quite liberating to submit to anothers control.

Don't you feel better whenever you hit the 'Submit' button on Slashdot?

SUBMIT DAMN YOU! I TOLD YOU TO SUBMIT!!

Re:That wasn't the point? (1)

Admiral Frosty (919523) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000800)

Whoa, that was weird. I just had this impulse to submit something. But WHAT, darnit? What do I submit oh master!?!

No Duh (4, Funny)

Wireless Joe (604314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000705)

I posted this the last time aluminum foil hats was brought up. [slashdot.org]

Everyone knows that aluminum did not exist before 1992. It was at that time that the Reynolds corporation made a bid to take over the US Government. Reynolds, an alliance between the city of Marina Del Rey and Tom Arnold (look it up, I don't use Google because they track my searches) began producing "anti Illuminati medium" or a-lumin-um by extracting the "conductivity" from steel, a naturally occuring mineral.

Reynolds knew that the CIA and FBI were using mind control through the "cable networks" to persuade the population to upgrade to HBO, the mouthpiece for the Masonic Order of the Illuminati.

You all just think you remember aluminum existing before 1992 because you do not wear your beanies, and have been influenced by HBO. Still need proof? Consider these facts:

1. If you travel outside the US, you will find that no other countries use or have heard of aluminum. (England has something similar called aluminium, which was developed in tandem by Margaret Thatcher's shadow government.)

2. If you travel to another country and they say that they have aluminum, you have not actually travelled to another country, but are on a HBO-enduced mind control trip.

3. Aluminum does not get hot in the oven. I've made thousands of fish sticks in the years after 1992, and no matter how badly I burn them, I can always lift them by the corners of the aluminum foil I placed them on.

Thanks, but... (1)

spxero (782496) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000706)

I'm not taking mine off until more research is done!

(Not that I'll trust that research, either)

Don't block the signals, jam them! (1)

CTO1 (850830) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000710)

Just make some sort of hat out of old cell phones that are modified to transmit at full power. Seems pretty safe to me.

By "Them" we mean... (1)

Orrin Bloquy (898571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000717)

Those two researcher chicks from the Reynolds Wrap commercials (in actuality the R&D architects for Area 51, deploying the "Hide in Plain Sight" tactic).

Text in case it gets slashdotted+farked (0)

billstewart (78916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000725)

The pictures really make it worthwhile, but here's the text in case it dies (FARK [fark.com] got it this morning, which is probably how the Slashdot poster found it.) The article's actually from February 2005.



On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets:
An Empirical Study
Ali Rahimi1, Ben Recht 2, Jason Taylor 2, Noah Vawter 2
17 Feb 2005

1: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department, MIT.
2: Media Laboratory, MIT.
Abstract
Among a fringe community of paranoids, aluminum helmets serve as the protective measure of choice against invasive radio signals. We investigate the efficacy of three aluminum helmet designs on a sample group of four individuals. Using a $250,000 network analyser, we find that although on average all helmets attenuate invasive radio frequencies in either directions (either emanating from an outside source, or emanating from the cranium of the subject), certain frequencies are in fact greatly amplified. These amplified frequencies coincide with radio bands reserved for government use according to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Statistical evidence suggests the use of helmets may in fact enhance the government's invasive abilities. We theorize that the government may in fact have started the helmet craze for this reason.
Introduction
It has long been suspected that the government has been using satellites to read and control the minds of certain citizens. The use of aluminum helmets has been a common guerrilla tactic against the government's invasive tactics [1]. Surprisingly, these helmets can in fact help the government spy on citizens by amplifying certain key frequency ranges reserved for government use. In addition, none of the three helmets we analyzed provided significant attenuation to most frequency bands.

We describe our experimental setup, report our results, and conclude with a few design guidelines for constructing more effective helmets.

Experimental Setup

The three helmet types tested
The Classical The Fez
The Centurion

We evaluated the performance of three different helmet designs, commonly referred to as the Classical, the Fez, and the Centurion. These designs are portrayed in Figure 1. The helmets were made of Reynolds aluminium foil. As per best practices, all three designs were constructed with the double layering technique described elsewhere [2].

A radio-frequency test signal sweeping the ranges from 10 Khz to 3 Ghz was generated using an omnidirectional antenna attached to the Agilent 8714ET's signal generator.

The experimental apparatus, including a data recording laptop, a $250,000 network analyser, and antennae.

A network analyser (Agilent 8714ET) and a directional antenna measured and plotted the signals. See Figure 2.

Because of the cost of the equipment (about $250,000), and the limited time for which we had access to these devices, the subjects and experimenters performed a few dry runs before the actual experiment (see Figure 3).

Test subjects during a dry run.

The receiver antenna was placed at various places on the cranium of 4 different subjects: the frontal, occipital and parietal lobes. Once with the helmet off and once with the helmet on. The network analyzer plotted the attenuation betwen the signals in these two settings at different frequencies, from 10Khz to 3 Ghz. Figure 4 shows a typical plot of the attenuation at different frequencies.

A typical attenuation trace form the network analyser
Results
For all helmets, we noticed a 30 db amplification at 2.6 Ghz and a 20 db amplification at 1.2 Ghz, regardless of the position of the antenna on the cranium. In addition, all helmets exhibited a marked 20 db attenuation at around 1.5 Ghz, with no significant attenuation beyond 10 db anywhere else.
Conclusion
The helmets amplify frequency bands that coincide with those allocated to the US government between 1.2 Ghz and 1.4 Ghz. According to the FCC, These bands are supposedly reserved for ''radio location'' (ie, GPS), and other communications with satellites (see, for example, [3]). The 2.6 Ghz band coincides with mobile phone technology. Though not affiliated by government, these bands are at the hands of multinational corporations.

It requires no stretch of the imagination to conclude that the current helmet craze is likely to have been propagated by the Government, possibly with the involvement of the FCC. We hope this report will encourage the paranoid community to develop improved helmet designs to avoid falling prey to these shortcomings.
Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank Andy (Xu) Sun of the MIT Media Lab for helping with the equipment, Professor George Sergiadis for lending us the antennae, and Professor Neil Gershenfeld for allowing us the use of his lab equipment.

Them? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000728)

Oh, you mean Dupes!

I swear I already read this, but I can't find it.
They must have removed the article.

*cower*

To debunk this research, they didn't do a proper study, just sat an emittor inside a beanie and tried to pick up the signal.
Brain waves are at a much lower level, so the thin shiny foil will reflect them back inwards.
I'm sure if they had done the same test using thicker foil it wouldve worked and blocked the signal properly.
Mind you, don't listen to my advice, do your own tests to be certain.

Coming Soon: Plastic Bag Helmets (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000732)

Yes, it's true tinfoil hat crowd, you were duped by the same Government in which you despise. Do not fear, I have a solution: the plastic bag helmet. This new plastic bag helmet provides an almost instant solution to your worries, a death induced by suffocation. This new technique is THE MOST EFFECTIVE means of ending anyone's paranoid delusions. Noone will want to spy on you if you are not alive. Just remember to 'follow the light' when you are slipping into the afterlife, in God we trust.

Quite the reverse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14000755)

The amplification allows the researchers to focus their brainwaves and uplink to 'their' satellites and subsequently back to what 'they' believe are 'their' own so-called command and control centers in order to control 'them.'

Unfortunately, the process itself renders 'them' incapable of recognizing the delicious irony of their newly inverted state.

Tin foil! Not aluminum foil! (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000776)

While tin isn't used much anymore food wrapping, tin is the prefered metal. They only tested aluminum in the experiment!

Faraday cage, I told you ! (1)

dindi (78034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000788)

Besides tin foil hats not looking cool - unless you are an ubergeek - now it turns out that they do not even work.

As expected. I you beleive in earth radiation - the bad one, cats like - you suspected that putting an upside down parabolic antenna is not a good idea.

Of course in that case you already have upside down plates under your bed, crystals on edges of furniture, and you unplug everything whenever possible.

Time to design a wearable faraday cage.
Imageine a faraday hat! Probably it would look like a darkage torture device such as the one in 13th Ghost on the big guy's head, but never mind.

Of course not. (2, Funny)

pavon (30274) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000801)

Only a total newbie would trust aluminum foil. Which is why us true paranoids always wear full copper-mesh body-suits. Faraday-cage appearal - the chain-mail for a new generation.

Researchers found a better way... (1)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000802)

Researchers found that a better way to prevent mind control came from a different alloy that can be permanently attached to the head. They have devised "tripods" that can "cap" children when they reach a certain age. Researchers believe this will sufficiently prevent any mind control.

Tin Foil Hats (2, Funny)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000818)

Any self-respecting paranoid knows you don't use aluminum precisely *because* it amplifies certain frequencies. That's why you use tin foil for your hats.

Do they have dive bars in the holodeck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14000822)

This has got to be the lowest rated thread in /. history.

Goes to show how many brilliant comics exist in the Tin Foil Hat community. Not many guys on the stand-up circuit with a phaser on their belt.

paranoia (1)

Anonymus Bosch (893140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000823)

The truly paranoid will disbelieve this research as conspiracy backed FUD/disinformation. Hearing voices coming from radios and TVs telling you to do stuff is classic paranoid schizophrenic behaviour..

People refusing to take responsibility for their own actions is one of the world's biggest problems IMO.. e.g. "It's not my fault I'm an angry/unhappy/crazy person. It was the government, it was my parents, it was my 4th grade piano teacher, Ms Thompson... it was my neighbour's dog Sam."

I envy paranoids; they actually feel people are paying attention to them.
Susan Sontag

Failzors? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14000830)

to keep up as geeting togetheR to it a break, if for election, I

Anyone old enough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14000833)

To have rabbit ears on a television knows this already.

Kent? (1)

Bodhammer (559311) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000841)

[Mitch Taylor speaking through the microphone so that Kent hears voices in his head]

Mitch: And from now on, stop playing with yourself.

Kent: It is God.

This is actually true - GPS tinfoil hat tests (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000845)

We actually had occasion to use a tinfoil hat when testing the Overbot [overbot.com] for the DARPA Grand Challenge. To simulate a loss of GPS signal, we put a tinfoil hat over the GPS antenna.

Our first hat was a stainless steel mixing bowl. GPS reception continued. We were even able to get WAAS and Omnistar HP lockup with the mixing bowl on top of the antenna. [overbot.com]

An actual tinfoil hat cut off more of GPS, but we could still get "single" GPS signals, although not the corrections for Omnistar.

So the radiolocation bands really do get through.

Congratulations, you're a winner (1)

peacefinder (469349) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000854)

Please let me be among the first to congratulate these researchers for winning next year's IgNobel prize for Physics.

Ground your foil hats, you fools! (5, Funny)

SysKoll (48967) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000860)

Ungrounded conductive layers do not properly shield you from radio waves. However, if you ground your aluminium foil hat, the electric field associated with a radio signal is attenuated dramatically.

Which is why the real paranoid can easily be identified from the chain or copper wire attached to his foil hat that trails behind him.

Synthetic fabric carpets prevent the grounding effect of the wire, and you'll notice these carpets are standard issue in government building. Coincidence? I think not.

The correct foil to use is (2, Funny)

bxbaser (252102) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000864)

In my extensive history of attempted blocking of radio waves i have found the best foil is
U.S. Foil Co pre 1924 manufactured foil.
This is a foil of a tin lead mixture.
It is very hard to get as I have scoured the united states for almost my whole life in search of this foil.
I only release this information now as I have stockpiles of foil to last me 6 lifetimes.

The following code is to disrupt the HBDFH scanners that the goverment implimented in 1988. Use this code in all your online messages
UYG8756obP(867rvI&O*&Z(*%*INLI&%%%%%%%%%888*888*88 8*

The experiment done in TFA is flawed. (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000903)

I recall a recent slashdot post explaining that the Tinfoil hats had to avoid DIRECT CONTACT with the head, otherwise they'd act as an antenna.

Do we see any kind of INSULATION between the tinfoil and the head in this picture [nyud.net] (taken from TFA) ?

No!

So I propose the following experiment:

Get an AM/FM radio with telescopic antenna. Turn it on. Make sure the antenna is completely vertical.

Get some electrically-isolating material around it, like cardboard or plastic, or polyurethane foam.
Put a roll of tinfoil paper over the cardboard and cover the antenna.

TOP-DOWN VIEW: ( . )

The . is the radio, the ( ) is the tinfoil

Now, for experiment 2, grab a small cable and connect the tinfoil to the antenna. If you can solder it, the better.
Is the signal amplified?

For experiment 3, disconnect the cable and touch the tinfoil. What happens to the signal?

Now for the tinfoil hat experiment:

Cover ALL the tinfoil with plastic, and then glue it to make the hat. Then cover the insides of your plastic+tinfoil hat with polyurethane foam, and THEN do the experiments in TFA.

Shame on MIT (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14000904)

Sloppy experimentation; they forgot to factor in the presence/absence of metal fillings... my Uncle always said that's how they were trying to control his mind.

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