Thursday, July 30, 2015

How Exactly Do Walkie Talkies Work?

DISCLAIMER - Usually, we’re a pretty mild-mannered bunch, but every so often, we get a question that we’ve answered so many times that we just don’t know what to say in response to it anymore. For my part, I’m tempted to say ‘magic fairy warriors’, ‘pixie dust’ or just ‘spit and happy thoughts’ â€" but no, I’m not going to do that. In any instance, this is the last time I will be answering this question. So, after this, you guys will have to look into the archives for answers (still, you might be able to find some good stuff back there).



All joking aside, the science behind the walkie-talkie is fairly simple to grasp (which is good, because otherwise I’d be out of a job!). I’ll render it here as a series of steps.

STEP ONE â€" Having tuned the walkie-talkie to the appropriate frequency (and charged the battery), you push the PTT (Push To Talk) button and speak your message.

STEP TWO â€" The vibrations of your voice shake a small membrane inside the walkie-talkie’s microphone.

STEP THREE â€" The radio’s processor then converts those vibrations into an electrical signal, which it pushes upward towards your walkie-talkie’s antenna.

STEP FOUR â€" The electron particles housed inside the antenna become excited (they will only respond to the set frequency) and this, in turn, ‘pushes out’ the message in the form of a radio signal.

STEP FIVE â€" The radio signal is then intercepted by your partner’s walkie-talkie antenna, where the incoming signal excites their electrons (which are attuned to the same frequency, of course). These electrons then in turn translate the signal into an electrical impulse, which is subsequently decoded by the processor and played out via your partner’s speakers. It is exactly the same process as you just experienced except that it has been reversed.

The fact that walkie-talkies do this practically in real time is actually nothing short of amazing, when you think about it.

Part of the reason that walkie-talkie technology has been so very successful since its initial inception is that it works very well and is very easy to use. In fact, you’d be hard pushed to find a simpler, more useful and more user-friendly technology this side of the wheel!



Thanks for your question (and I’m sorry about the rant earlier, Claudia!), hope my answer helps. If not, then I’d go with the magic fairy warriors.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Haunted Mirror Nets £100 On eBay

A supposedly haunted mirror has been sold on eBay for the princely sum of £100 (I have no idea if that includes PP).

The London-based pair selling the item claimed that it possessed strange powers, in particular the ability to cause intense pain, a constant feeling of being watched and a “sense of impending doom”.



Joseph Birch, a 20-year-old student and his flatmate, painter Sotiris Charalambous (34) put the mirror up for auction after finally having enough of the paranormal phenomena that apparently accompanied it.

The sale had nothing at all to do with the fact that a student and his painter flatmate live in the enormously expensive centre of London and needed a little extra spending and/or food money. Probably.

The mirror itself is actually quite nice, being described in the item listing as a “beautiful Victorian style mirror” that enjoyed “pride of place in our North London studio apartment for several months”. However, not long after putting the mirror up, the couple began to experience “strange phenomena”.

According to the item listing, "Many times since putting up the mirror, both myself and my flat mate have woken in the early morning hours screaming in pain (...) The mood in the flat turned sour. I felt constantly as if there was a sense of impending doom upon us... Both of us began to feel zombie like, as if drained of all our energy."

As if all that wasn’t bad enough, the mirror is said to cause leg cramps, things going missing, bad luck, misery, financial problems, illness and the aforementioned sense of impending doom.

If I remember my own student days correctly (and I’m sure I do, because they actually weren’t THAT long ago), I endured quite a bit of bad luck, as well as things going missing, misery, financial problems and illness â€" and I think any University student with an oncoming exam or deadline can relate to a feeling of impending doom...

As for screaming in the middle of the night â€" it might be a flashback from living in halls. You try sleeping when your neighbors are partying all night, every night and then setting off the building fire alarm every fourteen minutes â€" you’ll scream too.

Dunno about the leg cramps, though. That part’s a little spooky.

The eBay listing concluded with the words, “I would ideally like it to go to somebody who has experience with the paranormal/supernatural and knows what they are getting themselves in for."

Apparently, that includes paying well over the market value for an item in the hopes that it will cause them pain, financial problems and abject misery. Well, I think its safe to say, that by the time the ‘magic mirror’ arrives at its new home, the pair will have found a satisfied customer.

...Unless the nasty mirror begins to reveal the image of a poor sucker with too much money, that is. Then, he/she might be somewhat disappointed, but as soon as the mood in the house turns sour â€" they’ll have gotten their money’s worth once again.

Anyway, I digress, if you’re upset that you missed out on this ‘one of a kind’ item, head on over to eBay and type in the word ‘haunted’ â€" you’ll be surprised at some of the weird (and wonderful) stuff you can find.