Making Easy Things Part 15 – Just For You 2

Feb 26

There is a lightbulb in a California fire station that has been burning for 110 years. The secret to the bulb’s longevity is its thick, black, superconducting filament. Years of use has caused the filament to develop thin, nearly invisible crystalline threads that splay out in all directions within the bulb. These strings vibrate — imperceptibly — in the presence of humans and animals. It has been found that the movement of the microscopic strings is affected by the personality type of anyone who enters the garage where the bulb is lit. If someone of melancholic temperament enters, the crystal strands waver with a sine-wave shape; they emit a barely perceptible tone at 468 Hz (just above a Bb). When in the presence of a phlegmatic individual, the threads vibrate in a jagged dance, emitting a quickly oscillating (but still very quiet) sound. Sanguine people cause the crystal strands to spin in circles, waving and whirring with an atonal noise that, if amplified, can cause a long-lasting delirium.