Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Tinfoil Wallets

I was pointed to this article today, about a guy who microwaved a stack of fifty new twenty dollar bills, claiming that this wad of twenties ($1000 all told) set off a theft-detector in (of all places) a truckstop.

He claims that by microwaving the bills in a stack, it caused the "rfid" tags to explode. I'm not sure just what he's smoking, but there's a lot of problems with this story, besides the fact that the "rfid" tags are the security strip that runs the entire height of the bill down the left side. Please, read on.

A). He claims that there's a "uniform" burn mark eminating from the right eye of every single Andrew Jackson. Just looking at the photograph, anyone can tell that the burn marks aren't uniform. Some are small. Others are large. Others aren't even on Andrew Jackson's right eye. This is fairly telling. Just from my experience burning and blowing up tons of shit when I was a young boy, I can tell you that there was a singular device planted inside that stack of twenties which burned through them all when it exploded. A single explosive device would burn strongly in the center of the stack (the bills with the largest burn marks), and hardly at all towards the end of the stack (the smaller burn holes on the other bills). Even the way they're laid out on the table indicates that they were pulled right off the stack (small burn to large back to small again). I'm not even going to go into how there's other heat-induced burn marks further out from the original burn on some of the more nastily burnt bills, which would indicate that there was possibly a fuel source which was burning in close proximity to the burn mark (i.e. explosive device larger than the ink in the right eye of Andrew Jackson).

Now, if there were a similar device planted in exactly the same spot (the right eye) in every bill, then every bill would have roughly the same sized burn mark. Even the bills at the top would have a larger burn mark from burn-through from the bills on the bottom. I'm pretty sure there was an explosive device in those bills, but it wasn't any "rfid" tag. Furthermore, the burn marks would at least all be on the right eye, and not on the left eye as is evidenced by the top-left bill in the top photo.

B). If you're going to make a case for "uniform" burn marks through $1000 worth of twenty dollar bills, you could at least do the proper math when you publish your hoax, and you know, count to fifty. There's only thirty twenty dollar bills in the photograph. That comes to exactly $600.00 Where's the other twenty bills? What's the matter? Your planted explosive device not burn those well enough?

C). Your experiment should be repeatable. Seeing as you're talking about something as easy to get as a twenty dollar bill, and a microwave, I decided to try your little experiment at home. No, I didn't have a stack of fifty twenties (and neither did you, evidently), so I just put a new twenty and an older new twenty (what's that??? A control group?!?) on a plate in the microwave and let it run for three straight minutes.

You know what happened? Nothing. Nothing happened. There wasn't even so much as a spark. I've put metal in the microwave before, and let me tell you, you'll know when it's there. It blows sparks up to the roof of the microwave. There isn't any in the twenty. In fact, there's nothing in the twenty (new or old) that makes it heat up any more or less than any other part of the currency.

At first I thought maybe I was on to something, and needed to throw the bills in for even longer, because they came out extremely hot. But then I noticed that the glass plate (and the glass turntable the plate was sitting on) had become so hot that I could have cooked on them, thus the bills heated up due to conductive contact with the plate. I would love to even entertain the idea that maybe someone left a greasy stain on Andrew's right eye in the middle of the stack, but then everyone knows that microwaves heat things from the outside in, so even that wouldn't plausibly happen.

So, in short, you're full of it, but I suspect that your entire site is full of it, now that I've taken a short tour of the place. Keep your tin-foil hats on, and make sure you've got your wallets lined with lead, because you never know when someone's out to plant a lady-finger in your wallets guys.

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