Could Humidifiers be the Key to Stopping Real Life Magnetos?Written by Duncan under Dehumidifiers, General, Humidifiers | No Comments
The ability to control electricity with your mind may seem the stuff of science fiction, but Debbie Wolf, who hails from Telscombe Cliffs, near Brighton, says she is one of Britain’s growing number of “SLIders” – people who believe their presence interferes with household appliances, radios and light bulbs. She claims she can bust light bulbs, send digital clocks haywire and even defrost her freezer.
Her supposed ability (dubbed Street Light Interference Syndrome – or SLI) has earned her international fame. In Japan, she has been likened to heroines from cult Manga comics and she has been compared to characters from the BBC2 show “Heroes”. For a woman who believes she interferes with electrical equipment, Debbie has chosen a risky job as a pathology support officer at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, although to date none of the hospital equipment seems to have been affected.
So is SLI a genuine paranormal phenomenon or merely coincidence?
In true Derren Brown expose fashion, we present a possible and plausible explanation. Apart from temperature and air purity, the third important factor in the maintenance of an ideal room climate is the moisture content of the air. With central heating and double glazing, you can experience excessively dry air indoors. The consequences of dry air are severe. It can lead to discomfort, tiredness, and sickness as well as greater susceptibility to colds and increased levels of dust created by the thermal currents from radiators.
However, one other consequence of very dry air is increased levels of static electricity. Large data centres for example have banks of sensitive electronic equipment producing huge quantities of heat and need humidifiers to stabilize the fluctuation of relative humidity (RH). Low humidity can lead to excess static electricity and electrostatic discharge (ESD) that can fatally damage components. Even without ESD, fluctuations in humidity can cause circuit boards to expand and contract, damaging the circuitry. What’s true in an industrial application can also be true in the home.
Higher humidity reduces static problems, so what Debbie needs is a decent humidifier to stop her contact ESD. It’s likely that her hospital workplace already has a humidity controlled environment, which could be why she doesn’t fritz the medical gear. On the other hand of course, Debbie could be a genuine Magneto in the making, in which case we would recommend a dehumidifier if she ever wants to boost her powers!