h a l f b a k e r y
I think, therefore I am thinking.
add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random
news, help, about, links, report a problem
or get an account
Let the power run down on a battery powered tape
The tape can be of anything, mine was of distorted bendy
string guitar sounds. Put the tape recorder next to a sink
with a disposall. Shove a pineapple into the drain until just
its fronds are sticking out. Turn on the disposall.
recorder will come back to life sounding as if it is screaming
pain. It is the most haunting and painful thing I have ever
heard. The fronds of the pineapple act as an antena
conveying the "emotion" that the pineapple is feeling while
being disposalled. A fruit, and I guess this goes for any
organic body, must be wound up in some sort of
electromagnetic way, so that when you change this wound
state, for instance by unwinding it quickly with a disposall,
the varying electromagnetic signal will run any sensative
enough instrument in the immediate vicinity.
be able to make the tape player convey a pineapple
you rubbed it the right way. I wonder what that would
like. Unfortunately the tape player I conducted this
accidental experiment with now shuts off whenever the
get low. I wonder how hard it would be to rig a tape player
it doesn't shut off when the batteries get low, so that it just
plays slower and slower -- when it is like that you can hear
disturbances in the electromagnetic field like a pineapple
Islamicconcern.org weighs in on whether plants feel pain
[JesusHChrist, May 07 2005]
newspaper article about plants screaming
[JesusHChrist, May 08 2005]
Plant identifies killer -- Clive Backster
[JesusHChrist, May 09 2005]
The Secret Life of Plants
Thirty-year-old electrophysiology of plants extrapolated to who knows what? [csea, May 09 2005]
Plant Music -- look 3/4 way down the page for "Stereofernic Orchidstra"
For anyone in the DC area: there is a talk on Plant Music at the Library of Congress Pickford Theater on July 25th at 7pm. [JesusHChrist, Jul 19 2005]
The Thwarted Pineapple
Has been awarded to you. [Hive_Mind, Aug 16 2008]
Skeptic's dictionary: plant perception
(a.k.a. the Backster effect) [jutta, Jun 15 2009]
||this will never catch on.
||um..mabey the "electro magnetic energy" did not come from the pineapple, but mabey it was the disposal.
try frozen pineapple, its really good.. here are instructions for making frozen pineapple:
1.place (cut or uncut) pineapple in freezer.
2.wait several hours or until pineapple appears frozen.
3. remove from freezer.
4. eat pineapple.
||<Quietly restraining myself from responding to that last anno>
||Actually the reason why I was putting the pineapple in
the drain was that I was trying to be elaborate about
cleaning the drain with natural and healthy substances. I
figured that the equivalent of the vineagar and baking
soda thing with regular good-smelling foods would be
garlic and baking soda, and then if you wanted to move on
up the line it would be vegetables of less and less acidity.
I started with garlic and moved on up to strawberrys
when I saw the pineapple. I'm not sure why the signal
from the pineapple was so strong -- strong enough to turn
the tapeplayer on -- maybe because the fronds and the
sink together were acting as a dish antena. But I'm telling
you, it was the most beautiful and scary thing I have ever
heard, especially because it was so unexpected. And that
I had distorted bendy guitar feedback on the tape, that
made it cool too.
||JHC - words fail me. You either have
the oddest sense of humour of anyone I
have conversed with recently, or you are
further removed from reality than
anyone I have conversed with recently.
Either way, I am placing a pineapple
next to my computer so that it can
transmit a psychic bun to you.
||I had the same experience with a sack of cherries. My tape deck sprang to life at the end of its track, and I heard the eerie rattle of .... applause?
||If you can modify this as a feature on an mp3 player, grocery shopping will never be the same
||Is it possible that the noises, if they exist, are to do with interaction between two different metals in the waste disposal unit and the oxalic acid in the pineapple leading to an electric current, like a battery?
||/this will never catch on/ - that is pretty funny, [bf].
||I can imagine that a garbage disposal might emit radiation
which could be heard on a tape recorder. A lot of
unshielded motors do. I used to be able to see my
clothes dryer come on via the waves it put on the TV. I
can hear my windshield wipers if my car radio is on the
||Instead of running the machine down, you could get an
ac/dc converter but run it on a DC strength less that the
radio wants. We used to have a hoot doing this with the
old battery powered "Merlin" - at low voltage it would
make all sorts of pathetic sounds.
||As regards the pineapple in particular, I am not sure what
to say. But if this idea does not qualify as first rate
halfbakedness, I do not know what does.
||Thank you [Basepair], thats the nicest thing anyone has
recently said about me. And thank you [bungston] for the
ac/dc tip - that will make the instrument.
||A little googling says that fruit emits ethylene when
distressed and that this sound if amplifyed sounds like
screaming. I also remember when first researching this
that I read a story about a court case in which the
prosecution used plants from the murder sceene hooked
up to a lie detector so that they screamed when the
murderer entered the courtroom -- in response to the
memory of his electromagnetic signature and the
electromagnetic signature of the murder. Can't find that
story now though.
||Why would the emission of ethylene rather than something else make a distinctive noise?
Some plants in the pineapple family are carnivorous, so maybe they deserve to suffer.
||[nineteenthly] Maybe plants evolved the ethlyene noise
thing because sound is faster then purely chemical
communication -- so to be able to communicate distress to
eachother more quickly than other types of purely
chemical communication that they do.
||Hey, it works for sentient beings, animals, and humans ... I suspect the same evolution occurred in flora for whatever reason.
||Why would they communicate distress to each other? It's not like they can do anything about it.
||With the exception of runner beans, of course.
||They could do something. If an army of caterpillars is gradually devouring a patch of plants, after a while they might start to produce more of a chemical that is harmful to the reproduction of the pests, such as particular insect hormones or something actually poisonous to them, which would otherwise be too metabolically expensive for the plant to produce.
Actually, i accept that bromeliads are just doing what they have to in order to survive and i don't blame them for being carnivorous. However, would it be OK for a vegetarian to eat a carnivorous plant, or for that matter a screaming pineapple?
||//Why would the emission of ethylene
rather than something else make a
distinctive noise?// Well, in my
experience, the emission of methane
often makes a distinctive noise. Is it
possible that we are mistaking the
desperate cries of slowly-digested
intelligent sweetcorn for mere farts?
JHC, ethylene is a gas. A gas is not a
noise, it is a gas. This is why we have
distinct words for 'gas' on the one hand,
and 'noise' on the other. They are
different lengths to help tell the words
||[Basepair] Ethylene making a sound doesn't make any
sense to me either, its just what they say on the
internet. My experience was that a just-barely-dead tape
player was brought back to life with the distinct
varriences in power so that is sounded like a human
being, not a lion or a tiger or a pineapple, being shoved
into a disposall. It was that real, seriously. Except that it
was coming out of a little tape recorder speaker. And
when I plucked and manipulated the fronds of the
pineapple the sound of the human voice screaming was
bent impossibly into the high and low registers, after
which it would return to moaning realistically, making it
sound, well scarrier than anything else I've ever heard.
||All that says to me is that dismaying a pineapple causes
disturbances in the electromagnetic field surrounding the
pineapple, enough so that it will turn on a just-recently
dead tape player. I don't know about the ethylene thing,
I just found that on the internet by googling "plant
||The links both say something about an actual sound being
produced, but in my experience it was just the
tapeplayer being manipulated by a varience in an electro
magnetic field. I just want to make that clear, I am
making no claims about plants emitting ethylene, I am
only saying that a tape recorder that was near a
pineapple that I was shoving into a disposall started
screaming like a dying human being, and then responded
with impossibly acrobatic jumps into the high and low
registers when I plucked the fronds. I don't want anyone
to think I'm crazy.
||//I don't want anyone to think I'm
crazy.// Heaven forfend.
I think what you need to do here, JHC, is
consider which of these is more likely:
a) Pineapples, contrary to all known
biology, are sentient beings that
scream; that they scream like humans;
and that they choose to convey this fact
to you (and you alone, btw) via a tape
recorder's speaker, using some hitherto
unsuspected new physical
b) Your tape
recorder made some funny noises when
you put it near your garbage
Now, I'm not saying
that my money is the smart money, but
I know where my money is on this one.
And remember, just because everyone
thinks you're crazy doesn't mean that
you're not crazy.
||This whole thing piqued my interest enough to prompt me to replicate the experiment. I didn't have a pineapple handy, so I decided to substitute 3 small limes. Also, I don't have a cassette recorder or bendy guitar music, so I have substituted with an 8-track player and salsa preformed by Pablo Perez. After stacking the audio equipment next to the sink, I realized that I don't have a disposal. Not one to let this stop me, I stacked an electric blender on top of the 8-track player. Also remembering the blender's owner's manual prescribing to always add liquid, I added vondka and ice.
||Sure enough, those limes screamed like a bunch of screaming limes, plus static. Torture tastes suprisingly good.
||As much as this idea sounds like pure insanity to me, it's growing on me too...
||Still witholding +/- judgement though.
||There are much more senstitive (and repeatable) instruments for measuring plant electrophysiology than borderline defective consumer electronics. (Not that I'm against new and innovative uses for old junk, quite the contrary!)
||Where it all started... see [link]
||This is the second time that I've read this idea. The first time I read the summary and dismissed it as a silence of the lambs vegetable satire. I am very thankful for re-reading it.
\\the prosecution used plants from the murder sceene hooked up to a lie detector \\. What good would a lie detector do? Check for unscrupulous foliage?
||I think galvainc skin response lie detectors jump when the
ethylene is emitted from the skin of a fruit or plant.
||Some scientists you lot, going around assuming, because the noises sound that like of human distress and because the pineapple was being eviscerated, that the noises emitted are ones of pineapplean displeasure. If we set asside this shaky assumption, and if we consider what we know about the psychological make up of the pineapple - nothing - it is perfectly possible that the noises were indeed the cries of pleasure of a masochist death-wish pineapple reaching final, life-ending orgasm.
||That would be true if the fruit were
||The fact that limes did the same thing supports my oxalic acid hypothesis because limes are unusually acidic. In fact, i think they're probably the most acidic fruit that's actually eaten.
I would suggest, and i may try this myself, taking a sponge soaked in vinegar, sticking it in a blender, and seeing if that does anything.
||//I read a story about a court case...//
The key word here, I think
you will find, is story. Get a grip.
||I read on the internet that this really happened!
||I can't remember where on the internet exactly, but I think it was the "havebakery" or something....
||ity placing a lemon on top of a turn table and cutting it ip and if the turntable does anything other than what you would expect a turntable to do in that situation, it may be true that fruit can scream, it may also be true that you have false expectations of what turntables will do if they are ever in the aformentioned situation.
hmm, i wonder what frozen lemon would taste like...
I award you the Thwarted Pineapple.
||This idea is a hashish induced delusion.
However I did once have an interesting
experience with a fermenting pineapple
that whistled and nearly drove me crazy
until i figured it out.
||An update to this idea: this weekend I experienced
something along these lines with another pineapple. I
spent the weekend with a friend in Chicago and the friend
bought a pineapple in honor of my story about the
emoting pineapple. When we were just about to cut the
pineapple I turned on the laptop and brought up my sisters
myspace page and it automatically started to play one of
her songs. I walked over to the kitchen counter where the
pineapple was laying on its side on a cutting board. I
fiddled around with a big chopping knife a little getting
the perfect one handed grip on it. My friend was across
the kitchen, and I raised my hand exageratedly above my
head and stopped and looked over at her, to catch her
attention, as a kind of a joke as if I was about to sacrifice
the pineapple. My intention was to be just playing around
and joking -- I was not thinking of doing any experiments
on the pineapple. So I raised the
knife above my head sort of slowly and exageratedly to get
my friends attention and then brought it quickly down
jabbing the knife into the pineapple - you know joking
around that I was sacrificing the pineapple on an altar (I
checked later and the knife went just through the "heart"
of the pineapple). So the crazy thing is that at the exact
same moment that the knife entered the heart of the
pineapple the computer just stopped playing my sister's
song, right in the middle of the song. I went over to the
computer afterwards, after saying "what the fuck? what
the fuck? over and over in disbelief but also relief that at
least there was someone around this time to witness that
things were going strange for me and the pineapple - so
that I wouldn't have to go through the hell of trying to
explain to someone that the pineapple was emoting, I
went over to the computer and my sister's song had just
stopped in mid tune, not paused but had just switched to
the next song in the playlist of her myspace page and
when I tryed to click the play button the screen froze.
Now ok if there are any cynics out there there are lots of
other possible explanations for this, like for instance that
there are little green computer gremlins who very
carefully synchronized the jab of the knife with the
turning off in mid stream of the song, but I am not buying
any of them. I'm telling you I was there and this time so
was a friend of mine who is totally level headed and not a
freak and not someone who has a habbit of sounding out
of their mind. And you know this was not the pineapple
screaming in pain like last time, and it is not the pineapple
getting up and walking around the room and reciting the
lords prayer. This is just the computer basically crashing
in a really small way at the moment I stuck the knife into
the heart of the pineapple. And nothing else had changed
in the room, and it wasn't a vibrational thing, the knife
didn't go all the way through the pineapple and the
stoppage was instantaneous, you know so that basically
the only two things that changed in the room in that little
1 second frame of time, were the knife going into the
pineapple and the song stopping suddenly. So anyway, I
was there and I am telling you the pineapple stopped the
computer, which is not such a big deal I guess, I mean all it
says is that pineapples are electric, or that they have
some kind of electric field and they interact with other
things with electric fields. It doesn't say that pineapples
have emotions, for sure. But it certainly adds to my
speculation. So anyway it was cool and I am so happy to
have had someone there to witness this with me, and now
I dont feel like such a total dork bag or like I am crazy or
like I am not crazy but the world just hates me and wont
let me describe my pineapple emotion experience to
them without telling me that I am crazy.
||So Ok so the pineapple is electric. Not such a big deal.
But what I cant understand is why Clive Backster (you can
him) the plant emotion guy is not using the audio
interface described in the idea above to prove to people
that the plants are emoting. It seems to me that the
plant emotion people spend all of their energy trying to
convince people that these graphical lie detector readouts
are emotions, when it would be so much easier to give the
plants and audio interface of the galvanic "skin" response
effect that is going on on the plant.
||Oh jesus h christ. Oh jesus h christ. ooooooo
||//basically the only two things that changed in the room in that little 1 second frame of time, were the knife going into the pineapple and the song stopping suddenly.//
||Correlation does not prove causation. From the description, sounds like repeating the experiment multiple times might be in order.
||But if you did repeat the experiment - especially with adequate controls - you wouldn't get results! (As the people who refuted Baxter's bullshit more than 30 years ago noticed themselves.)
||How do you know it's not the knife that's crying?
||Null results (nothing happens) can be quite useful. I recommend judicious use of Occam's razor (simplest explanation is most likely.)
||// judicious use of Occam's razor //
||Very judicious - pineapple husks are tough, and you could easily ruin a good razor if you weren't careful.
||another interface for this i just discovered is to let a
flourescent light run out until it just flickers all the time,
either because or not because you are too disorganized
to go get a new light, and everything that you do that
surprises whatever field we are talking about here will
spark the flickering light into full flourescence. But it has
to be a surprise, so when I planned it out: "I am going to
stick this carrot in the disposall to see if the flickering
light will go on," it didn't work, but every time I think of
something destructive to some organic body all of the
sudden, the light turns on. pretty cool.