Welcome to the 3rd annual Halloween episode, Episode 26. This time around we pay tribute to Harry Houdini who left this mortal coil on Halloween back in 1926. In addition to the stupefying feats of conjuring and illusion he was best known for, Houdini spent 30 years exhaustively researching spiritualism and the paranormal. Sitting with and studying the techniques of the best known mediums of the day, and ultimately being unconvinced that the were capable of their grandiose claims.
Two graduate students at MIT have determined that the human energygenerated by simply sitting on a stool will power 4 LED lights. They have extrapolated that out to harnessing the energy of concert crowds, commuters and general hustle and bustle of urban life into real life sustainable energy. Calling them “crowd farms,” they see it more as an example of potential than as a genuinely dependable source of power. The process involves pressure sensitive surfaces that use crystals or ceramics to translate that pressure into energy. That energy would be transformed into usable electricity by rotating coils and electromagnets. So the pressure of the stirring masses shuffling over the globe would ultimately be turned into the electricity they needed to power the places they were shuffling off to. The logistics of making something like this work beyond a controlled environment appear to be a long ways off however.
If you were to construct a “crowd farm” that was populated enough to generate a substantial amount of energy, it would seem to me a prison would not only be ideal, it would also be minimally objected to and easier to fly under the radar all together than a stadium, airport or shopping mall might be. It is a densely populated, controlled environment that the general public has little access to, and whose inhabitants lives have already been largely disregarded. There is no question the current prison system is overcrowded and new prisons are needed. The public doesn’t however want that to cost any more than it takes to keep their house from getting robbed or their kids from being shot. An eco friendly, energy efficient prison would be lauded as a grand achievement.
Electromagnetic fields are often pointed to by paranormal researchers as possible explanations for ghost sightings and other unexplained visions or hallucinations. The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomenon (ASSAP) is researching this very thing. They refer to the magnetic disturbances as Experience Inducing Fields (EIF) and have in early research found them to be quite common in the average house at low levels and have several witnesses reporting the same hallucinations at the site of an allegedly haunted bed at Muncaster Castle in Cumbria that has quantifiably strong EIF activity. What would turning the ground beneath our feet into an active circuit do to the electromagnetic fields around us? Would that lead to mass hallucinations that could be used as a means of control or incapacitation? Self contained environments away from public view turned into warped realities for anyone deemed worthy of incarceration? It is all speculation at this point, even the science, but curious to ponder none the less.