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What the hells going on with my toothbrush?

  1. Nov 19, 2004 #1
    So I was brushing my teeth with an electric toothbrush when I walked into the room where I have the computer, and the screen was moving as though you were looking at it under water. At this point I was about 3 meters away from the monitor, so I took the toothbrush out of my mouth and although it was still running the screen stopped moving. Even if I held the electric toothbrush while running right up against the monitor it did nothing, so is there something in my mouth that might be causing it to increase a distortion to the monitor? Such as my teeth or something? Can someone else please try this, and tell me if the same thing happens?
     
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  3. Nov 19, 2004 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    It must either be that you are acting as an antenna, which humans are very good at by chance, or the extra load produced by using the brush created the critical EM noise.

    I would: Try pushing the running brush against something [not you] and see if that makes a difference. Try running it in your mouth without loading down the motor. Try running it while pressed against your hand. Try cupping your hand around the device and loading it down.
     
  4. Nov 19, 2004 #3

    Moonbear

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    Don't listen to Ivan, just look at his avatar...he's one of those aliens that planted the microchip in your head that's getting feedback from the toothbrush! The only way to avoid the feedback is to wear an aluminum foil hat. :biggrin:

    I don't know the real answer, but you've convinced me to stick to the old-fashioned, hand-powered toothbrush. :approve:
     
  5. Nov 19, 2004 #4
    Nothing like that is happening, c'mon Ivan, your head as an attena? . Try this as an explanation: your toothbrush is imparting small pertubations to your head that is causing an "asynchronos" view of your monitor which makes it look all "wavy", in a way this is analogous to filming a TV or monitor except it is a mechanical effect. Trying using your toothbrush and looking your TV or digital clock, you should get a similar effect. You can also get the same effect by placing a massager on your head and looking at any of these things, I know because I too have goofed around and seen such effects!
     
  6. Nov 19, 2004 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    Absolutely. The human body can act very efficiently as an antenna. In fact some technolgies now make use of this fact. But...

    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

    okay, I was assuming that his head wasn't just vibrating!!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2004
  7. Nov 19, 2004 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    Since you all dare to doubt Ivan. :biggrin:

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/question42.htm

    I have seen this sort of thing affect my TV many times while working on open circuits.

    :tongue:
     
  8. Nov 19, 2004 #7
    of course it depends on how vigorously you brush your teeth, but I assure you I get the same effect with a manual powered tooth-brush (it is just your visual sense being quicker than your organ of balance)..
     
  9. Nov 19, 2004 #8

    Tsu

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    What is the 'organ of balance' I don't think I've ever heard about these?
     
  10. Nov 19, 2004 #9
    Well, it is in your ear, more or less, it can register the tilt of your head as well as quick movements of the head...

    Perhaps "equilibrium organ" is a better term?
    How do you summarise the "semicircular canals and otholyths" together as a sense organ?
     
  11. Nov 19, 2004 #10

    BobG

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    The cupula? http://www.newscientist.com/hottopics/alcohol/alcohol.jsp?id=22144500

    So much for my idea that the room must spin the opposite direction if you get drunk in the Southern Hemisphere.
     
  12. Nov 19, 2004 #11

    matthyaouw

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    The same effect can be had by watching TV while eating certain types of crisps. Unless I've been eating some crazy stuff, I think that debunks Ivan's theory pretty well.
     
  13. Nov 19, 2004 #12
    Its far morelikely that the tooth brush is causing your head to vibrate, making the screen appear to become distorted. Same thing happens when i play my saxophone.
     
  14. Nov 19, 2004 #13

    Tsu

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    Well, there's more to it than that, :smile: and there really is no single 'organ' of balance. Your sense of balance is controlled by several systems located within the temporal bone, including the vestibular system and the mastoid air cells.
     
  15. Nov 19, 2004 #14
    Yes, I know. I wanted to summarise all the structures in the the inner-ear that have an influence on your sense of balance. Because your head shakes when you brush your theet the images of the world move on your retinas. Your brain has to compare the shaking motion of the head with the motion on the retinas to determine whether you move or whether it is the outside world that moves. The movement of your head is registered by the structures in your inner ear. The signals from these structures are more sluggish (they are like a low-pass filter) than the signals form the retina so if you move your head very fast the "organ of balance" does not register all the movement that the retinas register and you get the impression that the world shakes instead of your head.
     
  16. Nov 23, 2004 #15
    Actually I just worked it out, and I wouldn’t of guessed if it wasn’t for someone else in the room telling me if the screen was moving or not. In fact I’m the only one whose seeing the screen wobble, so it is causing my eyes to see things.
     
  17. Nov 23, 2004 #16

    Like i said, same thing as when i play the saxophone, its just making your head vibrate.
     
  18. Nov 23, 2004 #17

    Moonbear

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    Another good reason to switch to the good old-fashioned, hand-powered toothbrush!

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Nov 24, 2004 #18

    Mk

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    I've seen this a lot, in fact I do when I'm bored:

    Stare at a digital clock, and... (what do you call it?) stick out your tounge, close your lips air tight around it, and blow air out of your mouth, "spit is it?" Its not really spitting though... tiny droplets of spit fly out chaoticly of your mouth... anyway, It works best when you are chewing "Famous Amous™" cookies. Stare at a digital clock, and chew a fresh cookie, I think its because the chewing/spitting is vibrating your eyeballs slightly, therefore causing things that rapidly project light, like a computer monitor or digital clock, to shake violently... An educated guess.

    Is your monitor a plasma, LCD, or CRT?

    Ok, newsflash, I just tried it with an electric toothbrush, and manual, and I tried it in front of my tv CRT, and my computer's LCD, nothing happened.
     
  20. Nov 24, 2004 #19

    Chi Meson

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    "Blowing a raspberry" is what it's called. My 1-1/2 year old son is good at it. Same effect by trilling your tongue while making a particular pitch noise. Change the pitch around and you'll get a good resonant frequency for maximal effect. You could analyze this frequency to find the refresh rate of your monitor, but I suspect we might have better things to do.
     
  21. Nov 25, 2004 #20

    Mk

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    What do raspberries have to do with it?
     
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