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Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Biefeld-Brown Effect

A single light shines down on a dusty battered soapbox.  A small bespectacled figure with rumpled clothes and tousled brown hair steps up and begins to address the audience.

"Would you be able to describe the Biefold-Brown effect if somebody asked you?  Have ever heard of it?  Not many people know about it, and those that do dismiss it as science fiction, or worse.  They call it a curiousity and a waste of time.  Did you know that archaeologists found an ancient battery in a pharoah's tomb?  Someone figured out how to generate an electric current with metal plates in an acidic medium in a clay jar.  Batteries have existed for thousands of years but they were a curiousity, of no practical value, back then, a dust collector, a secret toy for the most powerful man in the world, a rich man's private distraction...
Biefeld-Brown could be just that today, but I'll tell you in a thousand years Biefeld-Brown will be as common as batteries.  Maybe sooner.
How long do you think people have been generating electricity?  A very long time.  Before Ben Franklin, even before that pharoah's battery.  The Biefeld-Brown effect is just as old, and soon everybody will get to see it."

A shrill female voice interrupts the monologue.  "Jimmy!"

Jimmy:  "What!"

Melissa: "Get upstairs now!  Food is ready!"

Jimmy: "In a minute!"

Melissa: "Now, or I will come down there and beat your ass on every step on the way up!"

Jimmy:  "But"  He is interrupted by the sound of footsteps over his head.  He looks up.  A door bursts open at the top of the stairs behind him.  He jumps off of the box and runs to the stairs shouting, "I'm coming! Dammit!"
Exit

A spotlight shines on a dark curtain.  A bespectacled figure with tousled hair enters the light.  He is wearing a coat one side of which looks like a professor's lab coat, the other side looks like a circus ringmaster's.  As Jimmy delivers his monologue he turns so the corresponding side of his jacket faces the audience.

Professor:  "The Biefeld-Brown effect is, in fact, the principle behind levitation!"

Ringmaster:  "Heyya, heyya, heyya!!!  Come one, come all and see the amazing talents of Biefeld Brown!!!  This young man will astound you, he will amaze you, he will make you question the laws of the Universe!!!

Professor:  "It was first described by two researchers, Dr. P.A Biefeld, and Thomas Townsend Brown, who observed capacitors, when highly charged, move, in relation to gravity.  They could make things float and they used simple experiments to demonstrate this."

Ringmaster:  "You won't believe what your eyes are seeing but I personally vouch for the veracity of what you are about to witness...When I pull back this curtain you will receive a full demonstration of this young man's ability...The power to defy gravity... Watch and be amazed."

Professor:  "The researchers used a balance, with a capacitor on one side, and charged the capacitor, and as the capacitor charged the balance moved on the capacitor's side...in the direction of the positive..."

Melissa:  Shrill, almost screaming, calling from upstairs.  "Jimmy!!!"  The light widens and show Jimmy is once again in his basement workshop.

Jimmy:  Impatient.  "What?!!"

Melissa:  "Don't even think of talking to me like that or I will come down there and smash whatever toy you think you're playing with!"

Jimmy stays silent as the upstairs door opens.

Melissa:  Suspicious and taunting.  "Who're you talking to?"

Jimmy:  Cautious.  "No-one."

Melissa:  Warning.  "Jimmy."

Jimmy:  "No-one!  Myself, I was talking to myself."

Melissa:  "You're a little freak Jimmy.  You know that?  Why don't you get a friend?  Or a life?"

Jimmy:  "I have friends, Melissa."

Melissa:  "You have problems you little pissant...Billy's here."

Jimmy:  "Bullshit."

Billy walks-in and pushes past Melissa on the stairs.

Billy:  "Fuck off Melissa."

Melissa doesn't confront Billy.  Instead she stomps through the door and slams it shut.

Billy:  "Your sister there's a real piece of work, you know that champ?  Hey, you still working on that flying thing?  I'd love to see it."

Jimmy:  "Yeah, it's not ready.  I had to sneak a generator in here.  I was going to patch into the house current but...That was problematic.  As it is I had to build a muffled housing for the generator and run an exhaust vent out the window."

Billy:  Surprised.  "No-one's noticed?"

Jimmy:  "They don't care.  I brought the generator in in pieces...reassembled it down here."

Billy:  "Where is it?"

Jimmy:  "See that box?"  He points at the soapbox he was standing on earlier.

Billy:  "Yeah?"

Jimmy:  "That's it. The exhaust ducting's behind it.  It can be broken down and stored when I'm not using it.  It hooks up to the exhaust port and runs up to there.  Those heads carry the current."

Billy:  "Can you start it up?"

Jimmy:  "Just pull that cord, but wait!  Here I'll show you the unit.  The generator is just to charge the condensor."

Billy: "Cool."

Jimmy reaches behind the curtain and pull out a complex pyramid of tinfoil wrapped around a lightweight frame.

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