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Can someone explain why this works?

by Ms Music
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Evo
#19
Jan2-12, 04:15 PM
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Quote Quote by Ms Music View Post
I have today off as holiday, so I have been doing some research online of infrared thermometers. The majority of them, whether they are meant for medical or other purpose, seem to have an accuracy rate of +/- 2%. That doesn't seem close enough? Or is it?

I have a coupon for this puppy at 29.99 http://www.harborfreight.com/non-con...ter-96451.html which is tempting because I do prefer to buy things physically, as I have had too many returns from online purchases... Yet I am not sure if it would register a tenth of a degree F change? Or if it even reads in tenths. I will go look at it today.

Here is another one from the Walgreens website: http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/alc...079591-product While the Walgreens website claims "Accurate to +/-1F", Amazon website claims "Accuracy reading, +/-2.5%"

I would think a medical infrared thermometer would provide a more accurate reading (to the tenths), but all the reviews seemed rather upset at how poorly they were on accuracy vs touch thermometers. While these sound like they would be a very fun tool to own, I am not certain it would provide the needed information. Any advice?
Probably not. I want one anyway.
zoobyshoe
#20
Jan2-12, 08:41 PM
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Quote Quote by Ms Music View Post
I think when I start using unsuspecting victi... uhhh, I mean when I start using study participants I will not even show them the "wand" (the real one or the fake/placebo ones) before doing anything to make sure they don't somehow have any preconceived ideas of what I will do to them. I definitely had not knowingly seen or heard of anything like a "wand" when she made me close my eyes, but who knows, maybe somewhere in the back of my mind I had. I still find it highly unlikely that I would have known that she would wave this over my palm in slow circles, and that I would be able to feel the exact speed and circle size as what I saw when I opened my eyes... Heck, even Harry Potter doesn't do that.
Good. No one had explicitly asked, but I assumed you neither saw the wand nor had heat suggested to you before she did it. I think other's assumed you both saw it and had had heat suggested, which lead them to the obvious conclusion of a psychological effect.
Carran Boey
#21
Jan4-12, 08:38 AM
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I do notice that there were many people saying that they have magical powers/abilities and so on. Should i suggest that its a placebo effect from you yourself? Perhaps you should look up on in formations of those 'witch doctor' and read up on the reasons behind the mystical effect. That is myth wise. For scientific answers,what i could say is that i have no evidence for my thoughts. Electromagnetism might be one of the cause and as you felt the resistance,i am speechless. Perhaps you could ask a professional who says that he and he could do some mystical stuffs. My knowledge for this is limited,but i hope that it helps!
Ms Music
#22
Jan6-12, 03:49 PM
P: 173
Quote Quote by Evo View Post
Probably not. I want one anyway.
I know! I can't wait to get it and play with it, the uses are endless.

And due to Zooby and Carran's responses, I went back and read my comments and I really wasn't clear. I will re tell my story to better clarify the psychosomatic responses. I know you can never write that off completely, but it does help to understand my experience and why I minimize that as a possibility. So here goes...

I had never seen anything like that wand before, had no knowledge of metaphysical stuff, so in my mind I went in completely blind. She told me to close my eyes and hold out my hand, never suggesting that I would feel heat, or that she would wave this over my palm. An assumption can be made that SOMETHING would be done to my hand, but I had no idea what would be done. But with my eyes closed, I felt the circle, the speed, and this "dragging" without looking. I opened my eyes when I wanted to, not on her cue. So that should practically eliminate the thought that she did something with my eyes closed, then changed what she was doing when she told me to open my eyes.

If further clarification is needed, I will. But I don't want to get too wordy right now.

Carran:

Placebo effect is always a possibility, but I believe I had only heard of crystals being used in healing once before. My mother in law had been given a tumbled rose quartz rock and was told to keep it in her pocket for some healing purpose. I laughed at her as I had never heard of healing stones before. But still, that is always a possibility that I had read something in some book at some time. I never got into magic stories that I can remember, until I borrowed my daughter's Harry Potter books (oh, and Lord of the Rings). I really am naive and a total disbeliever about anything magic. But it is good to hear all the possible psychological possibilities and mull over them.

But this one sentence of yours confuses me (and I don't mean the word repeat) "Perhaps you could ask a professional who says that he and he could do some mystical stuffs." Are you suggesting I find a professional that is willing to test these theories with me? (which I would love to do) Or are you suggesting that there are professionals that believe in mystical stuff that I should seek out?

Thanks for all the suggestions from everyone so far!
Ryan_m_b
#23
Jan6-12, 05:28 PM
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Quote Quote by Ms Music View Post
She told me to close my eyes and hold out my hand, never suggesting that I would feel heat,
This is very pertinent. Please don't think I'm accusing you in saying this (I in no way mean to!) but there's a chance that because she said this you expected to feel something in your hand as when people normally say "close your eyes and hold out your hand" something is put in it. Expecting this you were sensitised towards something coming towards your hand and may have detected her motion, air movements etc and consequently had some sensation. After this was revealed you and your friend would have swapped stories of what happened and both built up on the expectations of the other laying 'false' memories. I.e. you felt something, your friend admits it was in a circle motion, you say "yeah that makes sense" and a false memory is created that you felt a circle motion.
Quote Quote by Ms Music View Post
Placebo effect is always a possibility, but I believe I had only heard of crystals being used in healing once before. My mother in law had been given a tumbled rose quartz rock and was told to keep it in her pocket for some healing purpose. I laughed at her as I had never heard of healing stones before. But still, that is always a possibility that I had read something in some book at some time.
Healing crystals and all woo like that is completely bunk (it's been tested time and time again). I would think it is unlikely that you would have associated the crystal with the phenomenon unless you knew it was a crystal before hand.
Quote Quote by Ms Music View Post
But this one sentence of yours confuses me (and I don't mean the word repeat) "Perhaps you could ask a professional who says that he and he could do some mystical stuffs." Are you suggesting I find a professional that is willing to test these theories with me? (which I would love to do) Or are you suggesting that there are professionals that believe in mystical stuff that I should seek out?
I'm not sure but I think the suggestion is to find someone who specialises in studying mystic claims rather than someone who believes in them. Someone like Randi springs to mind who is an expert in magic, stage psychology etc.
ThomasT
#24
Jan6-12, 11:07 PM
P: 1,414
I don't know the answer, and have found the replies interesting. I'm wondering if the quartz crystal has anything to do with it. Copper is a good electrical conductor. Hands have magnetic properties (I'm assuming). We know that moving a conductor about a magnet, or vice verse, produces measurable effects. Is that all there is to it? I have no idea.
zoobyshoe
#25
Jan7-12, 03:25 AM
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Quote Quote by Ms Music View Post
I had never seen anything like that wand before, had no knowledge of metaphysical stuff, so in my mind I went in completely blind. She told me to close my eyes and hold out my hand, never suggesting that I would feel heat, or that she would wave this over my palm. An assumption can be made that SOMETHING would be done to my hand, but I had no idea what would be done. But with my eyes closed, I felt the circle, the speed, and this "dragging" without looking. I opened my eyes when I wanted to, not on her cue. So that should practically eliminate the thought that she did something with my eyes closed, then changed what she was doing when she told me to open my eyes.
The fact you saw the wand shifts the probability over into it being a psychological effect IMO. But maybe having nothing to do with associating crystals with magic energy:

Since a quartz crystal resembles glass or ice, it would automatically carry a "cold" association. The heat one feels might be a psychological "preparatory mode": a surge of psychosomatic heat sensation in protective response to the thought you're about to be touched with something cold. The fact the people you tested all felt heat, as opposed to anything else, lends some circumstantial support to this (provided they all saw the crystal before closing their eyes). I'm not stuck to that exact idea. It's meant to represent some response to the crystal, and things suggested by it's appearance as a substance, that may actually be more common than anyone has noticed. If crystal suggests glass, then maybe the automatic response is an unconscious fear of being cut or stuck by it that causes the 'endangered' area to feel hotter. Anything along these lines that leads to the common reaction of a heat sensation as reaction to the crystal's resemblance to ice or glass fits.

The sensation of circular motion could be explained by priming you don't remember or even recognize as priming by what must be the thousand cartoons and movies where a magic wand is moved in a circular motion. (I can't remember, does Glinda, the Witch of the North do this with her wand in Wizard of Oz at some point?) It could be that 87.34% of people are primed such that this is the gesture they'd make if you handed them anything that resembled a magic wand and told them to demonstrate how they're used. (Easy enough to test.)

The first idea is supported any time anyone seeing the wand reports heat when they present their hand and close their eyes, as opposed to any other sensation (or lack thereof). The second could be tested by just drawing straight lines over their palms instead of circles (these subjects have seen the wand, of course). If they report the sensation of circles, it indicates they're actually just being influenced by priming concerning how magic wands are generally waved.

I assume the people you tested this on were also naive of what they were supposed to feel? It was the same with them as it was with you? They saw the wand, and assumed something was to be done to their hand with it, but you didn't suggest heat?
zoobyshoe
#26
Jan7-12, 03:54 AM
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Quote Quote by ThomasT View Post
I don't know the answer, and have found the replies interesting. I'm wondering if the quartz crystal has anything to do with it. Copper is a good electrical conductor. Hands have magnetic properties (I'm assuming). We know that moving a conductor about a magnet, or vice verse, produces measurable effects. Is that all there is to it? I have no idea.
Hands don't have a magnetic field or any magnetic properties to speak of. In any event, you could test the idea you're suggesting just by waving any conductor over your hand. I tried it with a tea spoon, and a metal ruler. Nothing. I also tried a stack of neodymium magnets, which I get a huge Lenz drag from with aluminum or copper. Nothing from my hand.
leprechaun0
#27
Jan13-12, 07:05 AM
P: 12
Perhaps you are playing tricks on yourself. Someone once made the point that the easiest person to fool is yourself.

Or maybe your friend was wearing wool socks and scooting across carpet and the copper pipe accumulated a static charge and concentrated it on the surface of the crystal. The heat you felt could have been some kind of electrostatic interaction(a big IF).
Ms Music
#28
Feb1-12, 07:26 PM
P: 173
Just an update/FYI that I did not fall off the face of the earth, even if any of you wished it. :) I bought the laser thermometer last weekend, so I might be able to start working towards a setup, although so far I can't get a steady reading from this thing. Maybe if I put my hand on a solid surface, and the laser attached to something (so there is no movement) I will be able to test with that. But my first priority is to plant my ghost peppers. I haven't abandoned this thread!
jambaugh
#29
Feb1-12, 08:57 PM
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Quote Quote by Ms Music View Post
This sounds very hokey [...] It is nothing more than hard copper (water) pipe(maybe a foot long?), and a natural quartz crystal "point". But this thing creates heat?

When it was given to me, the friend made me close my eyes and hold my hand out so I couldn't see what she was doing. She swirled this thing over the palm of my hand slowly, about two inches above my hand. I could actually feel this hot spot going around, and I could also feel it "drag", like the spoon indentation when you stir pudding (does that even make sense?). I have done this same trick to several complete non believers, and they were stunned at the amount of heat you can feel.
[...]
... so please just scientific answers only?
The thing to do before wondering about mechanisms is to scientifically investigate exactly what is happening and what the causes are. For example can the same effect be experienced if you remove the quartz?

Is the effect real? Can you distinguish the effect from say someone just moving their fist around your hand without a wand? Can you blindfolded indicate which way the wand is going? CW vs CCW with a third observer there to verify and record? Try also having some modest volume white noise in the background to prevent subconscious audio cues.

Your friend made you close your eyes, can she create the same experience with your eyes open? (Is she doing some slight of hand or something you don't know about?)

Next see if you can reproduce both the effect and the device. i.e. go to the hardware store and see if any old piece of copper pipe works. Try different configurations and see if you get weaker or stronger effects. Try it with the pipe coming out of the refrigerator or out of a oven on warm. Try it with different metals and materials, and don't neglect painting the surface white or black to see if that has an effect.

Try it with different regions of your body, e.g. your face is a better sensor of radiant heat, also try different distances, try it with the rod grounded or connected to you by a length of wire (to eliminate possibility of static charges).

Try it with different ambient conditions, warm room, cool room, humid day, dry day, etc.

Finally if you can confirm an effect you may want to see if you can quantify it with e.g. a thermometer.

Once you get a much more specific set of conditions for which the effect occurs [If you do X then Y happens] you can then begin to consider mechanisms, since many will be eliminated by your observations.

I would wager good money that the Quartz has nothing to do with it. I'm inclined to think there's no effect at all but as I haven't tried it you can weigh that against your personal experience.
Mazulu
#30
Feb2-12, 08:28 PM
P: 28
Did you account for the other person's body heat? Does it still work if the other person has cold hands?
Mazulu
#31
Feb2-12, 08:33 PM
P: 28
By the way, don't ever let science ruin a potential romance.
zoobyshoe
#32
Feb2-12, 09:41 PM
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Quote Quote by Mazulu View Post
By the way, don't ever let science ruin a potential romance.
Word.
Redbelly98
#33
Feb5-12, 08:55 AM
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Quote Quote by Mazulu View Post
Did you account for the other person's body heat? Does it still work if the other person has cold hands?
Or have the other person wear heavy gloves, to insulate the copper from heat conducted by contact with their hands.


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