Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Drat, foiled again.
  [vote for,

My wife and I had some friends and their kids over for a BBQ last night and after dinner the hornets started snooping around.
We get them pretty bad out here so there are about five of those electric swatters kicking around the house and as usual everyone has one close to hand. The difference this time is that there is also a ball of tin foil on the table.

Dusk descends as the impromptu game of scrackball begins, with up to two inch lightning bolts arcing between the ball and our rackets each accompanied by its own mini thunder clap.
Our eyes dance with green after images of the flashes as we try to keep track of the foil ball.
It was a blast.

This game would be best played after dark but it is almost impossible to see the ball, so a ping pong ball with an LED inside and coated in a clear, or glow in the dark, metallic paint would increase the visibility and of course the rackets need larger capacitors.

Rule 1: You can not leave your chair
Rule two:...well that's about as far as we got with the rules, but as for safety, you can touch the foil ball to the racket with your fingers and not receive the slightest shock, and after a few drinks you can even, if you are dared, touch it to the racket with the ball held in your mouth and not get a shock


       I'm not sure how would this work.   

       why would an arc form between the ball and the racket since the ball is not grounded? wouldn't the path of least resistance be between adjacent wires of the electric fly swatter?   

       and a 2 inch arc! that's 150 kV isn't it?
xaviergisz, Sep 10 2007

       // after a few drinks // I think this might explain the recollected length of arc lightning.   

       Great game though [+]
marklar, Sep 10 2007

       I could be wrong as to why there are arcs but they're there, and I did not exaggerate the...ok maybe, inch and three quarter zaps but only when it is dark enough to see them.   

       I think the rackets contain small capacitors, and since you continually hold the button down the approaching foil ball draws a current and equalizes with the racket an instant before it hits, like when an ungrounded helicopter repairs power lines and the guy on the tools holds out a rod as they get close to equalize the electrical potential, so for that instant the racket is at half power and so gets charged a little bit more than it would have been once the ball has departed.
When the button is finally released The racket is still packing one heck of a wallop.

       The rules remind me of a makeshift shifty brained game of pingpong I once played which required one to only keep the ball "alive", bouncing on anything and everything. This would go good with that, methinks, along with some metal figurines on the mantle.
daseva, Sep 11 2007

       i heard you can get sparks to fly in your mouth from chewing a certs after dark. (or was that a breath saver?)   

       sounds cool. would also help you to know if the ball was near. does it make your hair stand on end? added bonus.
k_sra, Sep 11 2007

       It doesn't make your hair stand on end but sometimes it arcs when you have a close swing but miss.   

       The alternate wires are held at plus and minus high potential - the ball (or fly) shorts two or more of these with a satisfying craack!
Karnuvap, Sep 11 2007

       I call the phenomenon Flux Capacitance.   

       I've seen somebody get zapped by one of those things as he was coming out of the bathroom after taking a long shower (yes, he had a towel on), and we all thought it was hilarious when we held him against the wall and zapped him on the shoulder like 5 or 6 times. Although, getting zapped in that manner really does hurt bad, and I wouldn't quite recommend doing that to anybody, but it was a hilarious to see it happen though.   

       Oh, by the way, <+++++>!
quantum_flux, Sep 13 2007


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