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Old 12-07-2003, 06:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Location: Indiana
Why am I so charged?

This is a very weird question, but I'm wondering why I'm so electrically charged. Everyone gets shocked from time to time, but it seems like almost a dozen times a day I touch something metallic and a zap goes through my hand. I've even seen the sparks once or twice! What's weirder is I've been standing on concrete shutting my car door and it happens!
When I'm sitting on my couch there's a lot of static electricity, I can see my hairs sticking up like when you touched one of those static electricity balls.
This is all really weirding me out. If it's healthy, then I don't care, it's kind of cool. But the paranoia in me has me wondering if this might put me at risk for some sorts of disorders... having apparantly so much electrical sensitivity.
Can anyone shed some light on this? Is this normal? If it's abnormal is it safe? I think my college physics class just stopped short.
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Old 12-07-2003, 06:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
Insane
 
Location: Pennsylvania
Do you have a high salt, or other electrolyte, diet? The body is mostly water, so if you have high electrolyte content, you basically become a big capacitor. Little changes from socks on carpet to balloons on your head can add up. Also, look at the material of which your clothes are composed. Having taking Instrumental Analysis, a chemistry class focusing on experimental design and creation, I can tell you just how much difference this can make. Synthetic materials tend to produce a great deal of static electricity as they move, whereas, say, denim produces almost none. My professor had it on record just how much a person can influence an electronic system by stepping near to it.

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Old 12-07-2003, 07:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
Semi-Atomic
 
Location: Home.
I wouldn't worry about it until you start switching small appliances on and off just by being near them.
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Old 12-07-2003, 07:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Location: Indiana
I'm actually thinking I might be getting super powers. I will dig up my old Marvel comics and see what I'm supposed to do next.
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Old 12-07-2003, 08:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
Crazy
 
see if you can arrange being attacked by a swarm of radioactive fireflies and jellyfish.
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Old 12-08-2003, 09:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: The Kitchen
Quote:
Originally posted by Giltwist
My professor had it on record just how much a person can influence an electronic system by stepping near to it.
I used to own a horrible TV, it would only get decent reception when my arm was near it, I figure I was acting as a pair of rabbit ears for it or something.

Either that, or the TV just wanted to feel my touch.
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Old 12-09-2003, 07:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
Insane
 
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Hey man, I feel your pain. I likewise have super static powers.

I've noticed that 2 places in particular charge me up. My work seat is made out of this polyesterish mesh material. Every time I get up out of it I charge myself up.

Also, my car (Toyota Matrix) has mesh fabric. I get shocked on the car door whenever I leave it. I've gotten into the habit of touching the frame with my car key because it was starting to hurt like a son of a bitch.

I think the static shocks are training me to be scared when I touch metal. I now hit everything before I touch it because I'm scared of the shock. I must look like a fool to my co-workers.

Anyway, I heard if you rub a dryer sheet on your car seat (and I'm assuming my chair) this helps with the static charge. I continue to forget to try this, I'll let you know the results.
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Old 12-09-2003, 08:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: New England
I've killed several analog watches. I only wear digital now. And I can cause things to fail in very unexpected ways.
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Old 12-09-2003, 02:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
Insane
 
Mister B's Avatar
 
Location: Burbs of St.Lou
I also get shocked everytime I get out of my car. They are big ones too, the kind you can clearly see the spark.

I was thinking my harryness had something to do with it.
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Old 12-12-2003, 10:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
i wanna be just like you
 
Location: n to the j
i wouldn't be surprised if it's your shoes. i know that depending on your footwear, some shoes allow you to build up a much quicker charge then others. also, if you haven't already, you might want to use some sort of anti-static sheet in your laundry. i know it's probably an obvious suggestion, but it has been fairly effective for me.

another thing you can try is switching shampoo brands - depending on the type of and amount of residue it leaves in your hair, you could be a giant charged head every time you step out of the shower and dry off...
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Old 12-12-2003, 06:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
Insane
 
Location: Ithaca, New York
check the humidity levels in your area. I believe low humidity generally increases static buildup
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Old 12-13-2003, 01:55 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: Chicago
Quote:
Originally posted by Mister B
I also get shocked everytime I get out of my car. They are big ones too, the kind you can clearly see the spark.

I was thinking my harryness had something to do with it.
I think this is a very common thing - at least in the wintertime. I don't get shocked that often when getting out of my car but in winter I can count on getting shocked almost every time. Perhaps it has to do with the dry air in some way or another, but I don't know.
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Old 12-14-2003, 04:32 AM   #13 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Location: Nowhere
On a side note, does anyone know how to eliminate the static from a flatbed scanner? It's annoying to have photographs constantly slipping around.
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