The moral of this story holds in so many contexts

Snipped from a small mailing list.
You can use fruit and vegetables’ as a voltaic battery but they could only power something like a small LED bulb, no way would there be enough power to charge an iPod :)

Depends on how many you use… you need to have enough in series to give a high enough voltage, and then a heap in parallel for more current.

This reminds me my “electric snail fence” when I was a child… I was making batteries using lemons, brass screws, and nails to power a small electric fence using a pair of copper wires wrapped around matchstick “fenceposts” to keep snails in an enclosure (I was studying them).

At first, a single lemon seemed to be enough to discourage them from attempting to cross both wires… on touching both they would quickly retract and turn back.

However, snails kept leaving my enclosure… somehow when I was not looking they seemed to be able to cross the fence. So I started bumping up the voltage with more lemons in series. This clearly had an impact on the snails… now when they touched both wires of the fence they would rapidly fully retract into their shells and take some time before they even considered moving again.

But somehow, they still kept leaving… after adding more and more and more lemons and having no success, I decided to pull out the big guns and swapped the lemons for a 9V battery. Now the snails seemed to nearly have a heart-attack when they touched the fence; they would snap back into their shells and spew out a green froth, taking ages to work up the courage to come out again.

But they still kept leaving the enclosure… I was at a loss trying to figure out how these cunning snails were defeating my high-powered fence when I was not looking… and then I noticed all the bird tracks inside my fence.

Posted in slice-o-life
One comment on “The moral of this story holds in so many contexts
  1. Bryan, you are not alone in solving a scientific mystery caused by some animal doing something when you are not looking. I know two examples:

    * Scientists had trouble finding the cause of dust allergies, because the dust mites ran away while they were preparing the slides.

    * DNA testing showed that half of wild chimpanzee babies have out-of-troop fathers, even though scientists observing the troop never saw the mothers getting together with the alleged fathers.

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