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Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

Posted October 14, 2007 5:01 PM
Pathfinder Tags: challenge questions

The question as it appears in the 10/16 edition of Specs & Techs from GlobalSpec:

Both my father and son were given pieces of chewing gum which were wrapped in a paper/foil laminate. Of course my father unwrapped his piece of gum before chewing it but my young son, not realizing the wrapper was inedible, put everything in his mouth. My father winced, sure my son would soon squeal in pain. However, my son was unaffected by the wrapper, leaving my father to wonder why his grandson would not feel the same awful sensation that he would. What's the explanation?

(Update: Oct 23, 8:43 AM EST) And the Answer is...

My father has metal fillings in his teeth whereas my son has no cavities. When my father would, unknowingly, bite on a piece of aluminum foil, he would create an electric charge similar to a battery. The aluminum foil, metal fillings and saliva separator would create a shock that he would feel in the nerves of his teeth and gums. With fluoridation and better dental care, my son has no cavities or metal fillings and, therefore, would not create the flow of electrons in his mouth; but wait till he gets braces!

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#1

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/14/2007 9:04 PM

The acid in your saliva along with the 2 dissimilar metals (the wrapper and your fillings) creates a miniscule electric current.

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#2

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/15/2007 4:10 AM

Your son, brought up with good dental hygene practices (including low sugar chewing gun=m) has no fillings, and hence no pain.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/15/2007 5:29 AM

I think you are right that no assumptions should be made about age and their dental condition, though I think that age will be part of the answer, after all the papa may have left his false teeth out.

Regards JD.

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Anonymous Poster
#55
In reply to #2

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 9:03 PM

Sugar is still the food of choice for children.

So I think rather it is the dental practice of using Ceramic fillings instead of Mercury fillings.

tom

=-==

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#4

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/15/2007 7:59 AM

The question poses the idea that there will be pain but does not describe the source of pain. One respondent suggested an electrical reaction as the source of pain, but this is highly unlikely. I would expect the pain referred to, is a product of the force of the teeth hitting the solid wrapping layer over the gum. In this case the expected pain proposed by the question, could be considered coming from the older heavier wrappings which do not give as much. The newer wrappings are thinner and less of barrier to the impact of the teeth. When I have bit into foil, like when eating a Gyro, I get no such pain, but I am only annoyed by the odd sensation that there is something inconsistant in my mouth.

Though, I am surprised that the boy is not annoyed by the paper swimming around in his mouth.

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Anonymous Poster
#6
In reply to #4

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/15/2007 8:26 AM

Try bare aluminum foil. If you have any metal fillings and the foil comes in contact with the filling you will reverse your doubt.

AH

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#26
In reply to #6

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 7:38 AM

Yes, I have fillings. Never experienced anything.

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#27
In reply to #26

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 7:42 AM

Are they metalic fillings? Or did you have root canals done on every tooth?

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#59
In reply to #27

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 7:44 AM

Yes they are indeed metalic fillings, 4 of them originally. Had two of them fail with age, replaced and eventually the tooth died, but originally 4. Had one which after being replaced was sensitive to hot & cold for about 8 years before it died. Got me to stop using ice in beverages. Discovered how good cola tastes if it is not ice cold.

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#62
In reply to #59

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 8:03 AM

I'd hope that you'd have learned to enjoy or enjoyed more than the past, the cool basement temperature of real beer. Now Guiness is iced in the US. Where will we learn that ours is not the only way?

Rich

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#28
In reply to #26

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 7:47 AM

That's interesting Rick. Being of 'a certain age', I still have some amalgam filings. On very rare occasions, metal comes into contact ( maybe foil from a chocolate bar, that kind of thing) and the feeling is very real, and definitely not pressure induced. The science behind electrolytic reaction seems sound (?). It certainly makes me wince, and leaves that 'metallic' taste. On the other hand, maybe all that mercury has just got to me ! To put that in perspective here, my interest will not extend to chewing some aluminium foil - the very thought makes me suck my cheeks.

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#36
In reply to #28

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 11:39 AM

On the other hand, maybe all that mercury has just got to me !

Now Chris, the American Dental Association says that Mercury Alloy amalgam fillings are perfectly safe. Therefore, with my mouth full of amalgams, I must be perfectly sane!

Hmmmm, maybe that only applies to American amalgams. Your British amalgams are probably quite toxic and you are really Mad as a Hatter!

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#42
In reply to #36

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 12:27 PM

...you are really Mad as a Hatter

Oh, it's so true ! I wonder if we have more mercury in Brit amalgams ? I don't have that many, but I do feel an inclination toward felt hats. The only reason, of course, is having read That Newton was similarly pained. Possibly if I get enough madness I may become the next Newton. A Newt is more likely, but I live in hope !

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#44
In reply to #42

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 12:46 PM

Possibly if I get enough madness I may become the next Newton.

Fig Newton is probably more like it! As Nabisco says, "A cookie is just a cookie, but a Newton is fruit and cake."

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#46
In reply to #44

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 12:55 PM

'Dead -fly' biscuits ! That's where it's at ! ymmmmm.

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#93
In reply to #4

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/24/2007 8:30 AM

You obviously do not have any metal fillings. From experience, I know for a fact that the mini-battery effect is correct.

Signed - Metal Mouth

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Anonymous Poster
#5

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/15/2007 8:23 AM

Look Ma, no cavities!

Actually, he just may not have any amalgam or metal based fillings. Now the composite resin fillings are replacing the old metal fillings.

The older metal fillings, as I think the first poster noted, causes a minute electrical current that adversely stimulates the nerve endings of the tooth, which are accessible through the porous dentin portion of the tooth. When the tooth is routed out for a filling the dentin is exposed and provides a channel for stimulating the nerve.

Anonymous Hero forgets his password again....

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#7
In reply to #5

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/15/2007 9:29 AM

Kudos, AH. Best, most complete answer so far. Now what will we do the rest of the week?

Pardon my rant, but is this the best that CR4 can come up with? I submitted what I thought was a very clever challenge several months ago, and have heard nothing back since the guy said he would approve it and pass it along to the editor. He did have an objection that it was too vague and could lead to multiple answers. On the other hand, we get junk like this that is just WAY too easy, so easy that it is completely answered in less than 5 postings. Even the first two postings got it mostly right, but you put it all together and added the bit about the nerve endings. Bravo!

When will we see some REAL challenges? C'mon, guys, I know you are out there! Step up and submit them to Chris at CR4, but keep it short, or it will get kicked back to you. Also, your challenge should have only one unique answer, or so they say, although we have all seen plenty that were vague and had multiple possible CORRECT answers.

Hey all you CR4 readers: I am wondering, what would you rather see, a question that had multiple possible correct answers, or a challenge with only one possible answer, but was so easy that it was answered correctly within the first few minutes of being posted?

For your consideration, and since this one is basically already solved, I will post my challenge question below, since it apparently is not going to be posted in the Newsletter.

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#18
In reply to #5

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 6:11 AM

Nice one Guest. You've given an almost indisputable answer to the question as put. Hopefully this will descend into discussion of voltage generated etc. It still has lots of potential ( sorry, the puns just seem to happen). For those interested, Del the Cat has launched a new discussion/competition for home-made batteries. Whoops, sorry Del, 'cells'. I have no idea how many volts or amps I can get in my mouth. I'm looking forward to taking notes here for when I attend my next check up in early November.

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#8

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/15/2007 9:49 AM

OK, as promised in my posting above, since this challenge was basically wrapped up (pardon the pun) in the first few postings, and leaves us nothing to do with this challenge the rest of this week, I am submitting for your approval, answers, speculation, and criticism (go ahead, I can take it) a "Challenge Question" which I submitted months ago, but has yet to see the light of day in CR4. You can tell me if this is too vague (possibly), or too easy (could be for some of you). But this really happened to me, and I thought it interesting and worth sharing in this form with the rest of you. And so, without further ado, but without giving the answer just yet, here is my question as originally submitted it (with Chris' response preceding the question):

To: STL Engineer

Hi STL,

A good one, as always. I'll kick it over to the Challenge Q team.

Thanks,
- Chris


From: STL Engineer
Sent: 07/31/2007 4:12 PM
To: Chris Leonard
Subject: Challenge Question for your consideration

Ooh! Look at the pretty lights!

You are in the lobby of a major corporation. Hanging on a wall is what appears to be a modern sculpture, around ten feet or so long. Its primary features are twelve red lights, lined up horizontally in two groups of six each. Some are on, some are off, in an apparently random fashion. When you look back at it later you notice that some of the lights have changed. After you conclude your business, as you exit you notice that the lights have changed again, but with no easily discernible pattern.

What is the real purpose of this "sculpture"?

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/15/2007 10:05 AM

where I come from we call the red thingy lights on the top the "up arrow"

and the down thingy lights on the bottom the "down arrows"

and they make the boxes with the slidey doors go "up" and "down" respectively.

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Anonymous Poster
#10
In reply to #8

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/15/2007 10:10 AM

Good one! My first inclination was that it was a clock, but 2 to the 6th = 64 and 2 to the 12th = 4096, which have no relation to seconds, minutes, hours or days. So, I think not a clock in the classical sense.

My second thought not arrived, at least not yet...

AH

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/15/2007 10:23 AM

My second though has arrived. Why not a clock? There is enough binary information for a clock in both hours (12, not 24) and minutes on a per day basis.

Not a very user friendly clock arrangement! Usually the LEDs are arranged so that the digits they represent are segregated. For instance, one LED represents the tens of hours, then there would need to be 4 LEDs as a group that represent the hours, 3 LEDs in a group for the tens of minutes, and 4 LEDs for the minutes.

AH

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#29
In reply to #8

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 8:32 AM

Hi STL

It is a binary digital clock. The first six lights can show the hours and the second 6 are just enough to give the minutes. If all 6 are lighted they represent 63 minutes; for 59 minutes you will have 111011.

Try again.

Sarel

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#39
In reply to #29

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 11:48 AM

Try again.

Yeah, too easy. Anonymous hero got it early yesterday and I posted the full answer right after that, which make me wonder why you are posting an answer a day later, with nothing new to add. So what is the point of your post? Is "Try again" meant to be an encouragement or a sarcastic criticism?

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#56
In reply to #8

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 9:09 PM

far too vague

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#67
In reply to #56

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 9:39 AM

far too vague

One man's vagaries are another man's specificities!

AH got it within minutes (see #11).

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#65
In reply to #8

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 9:22 AM

In answer to the 'light sculpture' question.

Are the lights a silent 'paging system'?

Each person has his/her own pattern of lights to respond to.

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#89
In reply to #8

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/19/2007 9:20 AM

First impression is twelve lights could represent some type of time piece and being in a lobby of a major corporation, this could be a practical application as well as making an artistic statement. I'll continue to think on this a while.

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#90
In reply to #89

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/19/2007 9:40 AM

I'll continue to think on this a while.

Well, don't think too long. I already posted the answer in #12, 4 days ago, since someone guessed correctly shortly after I posted it.

By your screen name, UMR 70, I am guessing you went to engineering school in RollaMO, correct? The event described in my answer was an ASME field trip. Did you grad in 1970 and what major? Send me a private message via CR4 by clicking on my screen name (STL Engineer) if you want to discuss UMR.

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#94
In reply to #8

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/30/2007 9:22 PM

An alternative use might be something to replace a public address system.

When it is desired for someone in the building to phone reception, a certain pattern of lights occurs, which are uniquely assigned to one individual. I saw such a system in use at one research institution many years ago.

Its not quite what you describe, but similar.

Cheers, BobT

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#12

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/15/2007 10:42 AM

Well! Either Mr. Anonymous Hero (AH) is just too good, or this "challenge" of mine was just too easy, like the Gum Wrapper challenge. Here is my Answer, and I guess I better start working on a harder challenge that has a unique answer also!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ooh! Look at the pretty lights!

You are in the lobby of a major corporation. Hanging on a wall is what appears to be a modern sculpture, around ten feet or so long. Its primary features are twelve red lights, lined up horizontally in two groups of six each. Some are on, some are off, in an apparently random fashion. When you look back at it later you notice that some of the lights have changed. After you conclude your business, as you exit you notice that the lights have changed again, but with no easily discernible pattern.

What is the real purpose of this "sculpture"?

Answer:

The "sculpture" is actually a truly digital clock. Each set of 6 lights is a binary representation of a two digit number, one group is hours (24-hour format), and the other is minutes. So that if "- " is off (zero) and "*" is on (one), then:

( - * - * - - - * - - -** ) would represent 2035 hours, or 8:35pm. Apparently, the first light on the left would never be used, since it would represent 32 hours, and is only there for symmetry, so it is somewhat artistic after all!

You may have seen similar clocks. I saw this one on the wall in the lobby of McDonnell-Douglas Automation Company in St. Louis over 25 years ago. I was there with a group of Mechanical Engineering students to see a demonstration of their brand new CAD system, which was later to become Unigraphics. I noticed the "sculpture" and when I realized it was actually a clock I asked the other ME's if they had any idea what it was. They all studied it for a while, and then seemed to lose interest, but no one said a word to me if they did figure it out!

Later, I got a chance to ask our two sponsors, one an ME professor and the other a Robotics / Computer Science professor. I asked if they noticed the sculpture with the red lights on the wall. The ME Prof. said he had and was amused to learn it was a clock. The CompSci Prof. replied, "Oh, do you mean the binary clock?"

Just shows how some minds think about things differently!

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/15/2007 11:03 AM

Not an easy challenge! Actually a good one because the layout was not what I would have expected, but it makes perfect sense now.

By the way, gum is outlawed in Singapore, so anyone living there would have been at a disadvantage.

AH

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#14

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/15/2007 1:59 PM

Yes, these too easy questions leave us with a sticky situation of what to do or say for an entire week. As STL has pointed out, such threads become inflated with off-topic comments. The worst part is when fans of the Challenge Questions dial in and expect to find a real challenge, but find none, and their bubble gets popped!

Maybe we can persuade CR4 to give us real challenges by boycotting this blog, but I don't see that happening. Instead, we could stay on topic, but get as riduculous as we can. I know my suggestion itself sounds ridiculous, but it is something to chew on.

Anyway, here's my ridiculous answer to this "challenge": The boy's father married an extraterrstial, so the boy is half alien. The foil is actually a nutrient to him!

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#19
In reply to #14

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 6:24 AM

but get as ridiculous as we can

Hey, I'm with you on that ! Kudos to STL for taking the time to submit questions etc, but I don't think poor old Chris Leonard has final say here. Anyway, it's far too early to give up on mangulating a question. Somebody must have strange anecdotes of electrical happening at the dentist, then there are values for current and so on. What about the folk who leave their chompers in a glass beside the bed at night ? Nobody has even mentioned George Washington's teeth yet, and what about the dude in James Bond with the metal teeth ? This has got loads of mileage for trivia and fun ! See, they even gave us a smiley for it. And the toothless. Nah, some things will never happen.

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#33
In reply to #19

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 11:27 AM

Actually, I know that Chris reviews the questions and sometimes makes suggestions to the writer before forwarding the Challenge on to the "team" (who was just one guy, or so he said at the time), who then can also make or request changes before deciding whether or not to send it on to the newsletter editor who makes the final decision whether or when to put it in the newsletter.

So, yes, there are several hurdles that a Challenge question has to pass before it is accepted. That leaves me to wonder why the quality has been so poor lately (The main exception being Fyz' Pyramid question).

Are there just not enough quality Challenges being submitted? Or are the judges using the wrong (IMHO) criteria in deciding what gets accepted or rejected?

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#38
In reply to #33

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 11:46 AM

Fyz' Pyramid question

Now you've caused me to break out in a sweat guy ! I instigated a question to spread knowledge about how to present ideas, visual stuff and all that. By the time CR4 people had finished offering suggestions I didn't know if I was coming or going, never mind what the original point was- so much useful stuff was input . ( well , OK, nothing new there- I'm still trying to figure it all out !). Next time you have a good question submitted and the official one is as lame as this, post it as 'STL says...' and I'll be there - you've made plenty of good contributions to the CQ's . It can be heckish good fun when a known member like yourself puts up a good question - not subversive, just all the regulars enjoying a bit of fun. Maybe we should lobby for a new section in CR4 called ' Puzzle Corner' ?

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#34
In reply to #19

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 11:29 AM

Kudos to STL

Oh, goody! More Kudos for my collection!

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#41
In reply to #34

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 12:19 PM

Don't get carried away STL -you know I will eventually take the ****. Anyway, how many Kudus do you need before you have to get a license ?

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#43
In reply to #41

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 12:38 PM

Anyway, how many Kudus

Kris! We have been over this before. It's KUDOS, man. Not KUDUS!

And what do you mean "take the ****"?

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#45
In reply to #43

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 12:53 PM

NO, no, no.... collect Kudus - they're in need. West African Giraffes too ! I'm not sure if they can graze in St louis though ( unless they trip over )

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#47
In reply to #45

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 1:24 PM

I'm not sure if they can graze in St louis though ( unless they trip over )

Kris,

Where do you think St. Louis is, the desert or wide open prairie? We have plenty of tall trees that giraffes would just love to nibble on. The St. Louis Zoo already has some excellent specimens, as well as their own collection of Kudus.

http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2703182570014478392sRaGrb

Besides, you imply that giraffes cannot bend their neck to graze on ground cover. Au contrere, mon frere!

http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2538021100014478392tHPBZY

And here's some Kudus for you at the St. Louis Zoo:

http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2945874000014478392PDFZfJ

In fact the St. Louis Zoo has adopted the Lesser Kudu (oh, boy, here come the jokes) as its symbol to represent all its exotic animals.

http://www.stlzoo.org/animals/abouttheanimals/mammals/hoofedmammals/lesserkudu.htm

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#51
In reply to #47

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 4:54 PM

Me and my big mouth ! I make the stupid mistake of leading you off topic when the question is already heading that way. < excuse me while I bang my head on the desk>

< ah, that's better>

Now, where were we. Oh yeah, Giraffes. I can't even remember why I mentioned it now ! "*^!* There was a story in the news recently about West African Giraffes being endangered ( ironically by their own success - encroaching on 'urban' areas). What that has to do with gum I've long since forgotten < by way of circuitous reference, somebody on CR4 wants to send them to Mars - I'll leave you to puzzle and find that ! It really does stretch belief). I'll forgo more Giraffe trivia for now until I've read those links. Payback will occur in due course !

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#52
In reply to #51

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 5:09 PM

Who's on first. I don't know. Third base!

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#53
In reply to #52

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 5:17 PM

Now you've done it fella - ER and Fyz will be on your case now. Thats not even to mention 3Doug. In England we call it 'Rounders'. Girls play it.

LOL. Kidding with you ! It's a great game. Baseball that is.

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#87
In reply to #53

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/18/2007 12:25 PM

Now you've done it fella - ER and Fyz will be on your case now. Thats not even to mention 3Doug. In England we call it 'Rounders'. Girls play it.

LOL. Kidding with you ! It's a great game. Baseball that is.

I've thought that you could find players with names similar to those used in that famous routine.

Hu, Watt, Tom Morrow, Nat Cherally, Idano...

FWIW, the World Series should be interesting this year. The AL team (could be decided tonight) will come from a city that is either at sea level or a very low elevation right next to Lake Erie, and the Rockies come from the Mile High City (not to be confused with the Mile High Club!). The AL players might have a hard time adapting to the mountain air.

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#88
In reply to #87

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/18/2007 3:47 PM

Hu, Watt, Tom Morrow, Nat Cherally, Idano...

"Hu is in China"

ROFLMAO!

Oh, you have GOT to see this clip on YOU TUBE with Bush and Rice doing Abbot and Costello. It is a SCREAM!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KlcgegOlow

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#61
In reply to #47

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 8:02 AM

Kudus!

In Boy Scouting the adult premium training course called Wood Badge is modelled after the British program which uses the Kudu's horn in the ceremonies. This harkens back to Sir Baden Powell's initial introduction of the program. Baden Powell got the idea from his work in Africa during his time in the foreign service. In this day and age, though it is getting difficult to find horns as the Kudu is becoming somewhat rare.

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#64
In reply to #61

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 9:13 AM

In this day and age, though it is getting difficult to find horns as the Kudu is becoming somewhat rare.

In this day and age it should be fairly easy to reproduce a Kudu's horn out of any number of plastic materials, even with powdered bone or non-endangered animal horn filler to make it more realistic, then dye or paint it on the outside and carve it in a traditional way, to make a playable replica that even a South African Bushman would have difficulty telling apart from the real thing! If synthetic ivory can be produced and carved to make scrimshaw, there is no reason that a synthetic Kudu horn cannot be produced as well. Cost may be the only concern, especially if the volume desired is fairly low.

~~~

Well, after I wrote that above, I did a little web search and apparently Kudu horns are not that rare. This one lady has a webpage with a photo where she says she paid $90 on e-bay for a shofar (traditionally made from a ram's horn) made from a Kudu's horn.

More Kudu horn items on e-bay! http://tinyurl.com/ysjwdk

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#15

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/15/2007 2:27 PM

ROFL! Leave 'em laughing, eh 3D?

But you got it wrong, of course! No Aliens involved here, simply a case of mistaken identity, the treat that is. You know how parents have to constantly nag their kids to "chew your food, don't swall it whole!"? Well that is EXACTLY what happened here! If you re-read the Challenge, it only says that the boy "put everything in his mouth" and then was unaffected by the wrapper." Of course, he swallowed the thing whole without chewing!

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#16

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/15/2007 11:00 PM

No metal fillings.

Rich

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#24
In reply to #16

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 7:27 AM

Option 2,

The child does not have teeth yet

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#17

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 3:19 AM

The young one's teeth didn't have any filled cavities. The substance that dentists use to fill cavities contains some metal (silver I think), so that the Sn in the foil, the Ag in the filling and the saliva in your mouth form an electrochemical battery, the saliva being the electrolyte. The resulting current, although of small intensity, hits you directly in your teeth's nerve, resulting in the mentioned "awful sensation".

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#32
In reply to #17

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 11:19 AM

so that the Sn in the foil

So-called "tin foil" has not been made with tin for many, many, years. Metal foil produced for kitchen and commercial food packaging is Aluminum, Al, not Tin, Sn.

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#20

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 6:39 AM

What if the father has false teeth? Regards JD.

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 6:59 AM

He clamps them on a lemon at night, inserts some copper, and it all powers the teasmaid. Possibly.

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 7:16 AM

Do think that will work. FREE ENERGY. gosh? JD.

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#25
In reply to #22

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 7:29 AM

Who said 'free energy' ? I was refering to taking it. A bit like the urine from the pool.

Handy hint : pure porcelein teeth might not work. Some metal springs might help. I suspect that the big shiny thing up in the Sky ( 'down' if it's Australia) might help eventually, but I really don't know. Do share....

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#23

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 7:26 AM

The grandson did not have any metalic fillings in his teeth so there was no galvanic potential present to cause pain.

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#30

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 9:12 AM

Galvanic action between mercury amalgam fillings and aluminum is why many adults would wince in pain if they chewed on gum wrappers. Apparently, the kid doesn't have any fillings.

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#35
In reply to #30

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 11:32 AM

We have met the enemy and he is us . . . Walt Kelly

Hey, Bill! Friday the 13th done come on a Saturday this month!

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#37
In reply to #35

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 11:44 AM

Hey, Bill! Friday the 13th done come on a Saturday this month!

Wierd! I said almost exactly those words last Saturday! I used the past tense of "come."

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#31

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 9:25 AM

The son did not have filling made of electrically conductive material, which can cause pain when it comes in contact with another metal. When two metals come in contact they produce a voltage which can cause the nerves in the tooth to experience pain. The son may have no fillings or fillings made of a nonconductive material.

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#40
In reply to #31

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 11:50 AM

More repetition. Nothing new here. Move along.

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#48

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 1:46 PM

The young son doesn't have any cavity fillings like the grandfather. Therefore not causing the young boy any pain.

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#49

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 2:11 PM

The grandson doesn't have any metallic fillings in his teeth. The grandfather obviously does - when the metallic foil of the wrapper bridges two of his fillings, the acid in his mouth creates a mini battery with the foil and a small electric shock is imparted to his teeth accounting for his discomfort.

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#50

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 3:29 PM

The young boy did not have fillings to react with the aluminum foil and the saliva in his mouth.

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#54

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/16/2007 6:44 PM

Obviously your son did not have any metal or amalgam fillings. Dentistry has changed dramatically in the last decade and, despite what other respondants have written, the fact that most kids now have either no fillings (due to protective coatings applied in early childhood) or have fillings that are non-metallic. Not really much of a challenge. R.C. Beltz rcbeltz@comcast.net

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#57

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 4:32 AM

the explanation is that even if your son hadn't seen gum in a foil wrapper before, he should have known enough to unwrap it. What sort of a father are you? And maybe after a few hours at the other end of the wrapper's transit, he will squeal with pain. But then may be not as your son doesn't have piles either.

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#58

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 5:10 AM

Scientifically speaking I can see only 1 explanation:

1. Your son wanted to imitate Grand dad & stoically munched through the chewing gum hoping to get the same sensation . BTW how old is yr son?

But realistically speaking, I think yr dad should have had the common sense to stop yr son, instead of trying to wonder why your son is not complaining.

Steve

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#60

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 7:46 AM

The boy probably has his baby teeth. These teeth have no nerve endings. Gramps, on the other hand, has his adult teeth, which do have nerve endings. Hence the pain.

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#63

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 8:36 AM

Simply, the gum was old and hard like the father. The father either is not using teeth or broke a tooth because the bones are more brittle at an older age. Too easy! :)

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#66

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 9:32 AM

Both my father and son were given pieces of chewing gum which were wrapped in a paper/foil laminate. Of course my father unwrapped his piece of gum before chewing it but my young son, not realizing the wrapper was inedible, put everything in his mouth. My father winced, sure my son would soon squeal in pain. However, my son was unaffected by the wrapper, leaving my father to wonder why his grandson would not feel the same awful sensation that he would. What's the explanation?

What fun! I will play along, too. Let's see. How about this:

Grandpa's awful sensation was caused when the hardened gum (which we found when cleaning behind a couch that had not been moved in years) caused his denture's to slip, causing him pain, an awful sensation. Sure that the hard corners of the stick of gum would also cause some discomfort to the grandson's soft palate or gums, especially since the paper and foil would not allow saliva to moisten and soften the chewing gum, Gramps was surprised when the boy showed no discomfort.

In reality, the boy had thought, "Hey, no way am I going to chew this crud". But not wanting to hurt the adults' feelings, and being an amateur magician, with a little sleight-of-hand he was able to "palm" the gum, then pretend to be chewing it, while smiling up at Grandpa. After all, he had practiced this trick many times with vegetables and many other food items his parents had wanted him to try!

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#68
In reply to #66

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 10:42 AM

That's more like it. I'm surprised he wasn't worried about the gum getting wrapped around their hearts. That was the danger I heard about as a kid... maybe the kid left the wrapper on to prevent this.

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#69
In reply to #68

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 10:50 AM

And how should the gum travel from your mouth to your heart?

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#71
In reply to #69

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 1:42 PM

And how should the gum travel from your mouth to your heart?

Well, it could be that the gum would only be partially digested in your stomach, and reduced to very small particles of rubber, yes RUBBER!, the principal component of chewing gum, that would be absorbed in your bloodstream, but like cholesterol, would build up as a rubbery plaque inside your heart.

Originally, chewing gum was made from the natural latex of the Chicle tree, but in the 1960's it was replaced by synthetic rubber based on Butadiene, a polymer made from petroleum! Today it may even be made from other petroleum-based polymers.

We were also told that a full size watermelon would grow in your stomach if you ate the seeds!

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#73
In reply to #71

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 1:57 PM

I must have swallowed one of them seeds around the age of 30 cause my "belly" has been growing since !!!!!

PS. Can you believe some "guests" are still answering the challenge (see posts 71 & 73 below). I think they do it just to annoy you...

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#76
In reply to #73

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 2:13 PM

I wouldn't be surprised if some of our "regulars" weren't pranking us by doing that without signing in!

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#78
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Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 2:33 PM

Also what I was thinking...were you then "ignoring" them on purpose?

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#79
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Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 2:34 PM

yes

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#86
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Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/18/2007 8:01 AM

I wonder if those who reply directly to the newsletter, by hitting the link and sending an email, end up here as "Guest". After all, none of them reply to subsequent comments and it's obvious they haven't read the posts. Also, in most cases the phrasing looks more like an email message than a forum post.

Or am I reading too much into all this...?

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#75
In reply to #71

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 2:06 PM

LOL. Unless you're a flat-Earther or maybe one of those pedantic 3D ones, I think you made it all up.

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#77
In reply to #75

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 2:15 PM

Love, LOVE, L-O-V-E!!!! the square (cubed) watermelons!

I wonder if their watermelon patch has square (or cube) roots, too! <ROFL>

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#80
In reply to #77

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 3:25 PM

It's great ingenuity. I think the basic concept was to ease packaging and transport, but like so much else the idea has downsides -extra handling and so on. Even though I think the taste is just the same, I get an overwhelming feeling that if I saw one in a shop I'd just have to buy and try one. It's like when you see an apple somebody has grown inside a bottle ( I never have), you'd just want to have/buy one for that 'hands-on' experience.

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#81
In reply to #80

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 3:56 PM

It's like when you see an apple somebody has grown inside a bottle

I don't know about the apple grown inside a bottle, but I have seen pears grown inside a bottle. That was in SW Germany, near the city of Offenburg. It is a grape and other fruit growing area (apples, cherries, and pears, oh my!). Most of the local wineries also produce more potent spirits and a favorite is a Pear Schnapps called "Williams", which includes a whole pear grown inside the bottle, then preserved with the pear-based alcohol. The trick I was told, is never to let the level of your "pear" bottle go below the top of the pear, or else air-borne bacteria will go to work and rot the pear. Always keep a spare bottle without the pear for refill, then bring out the special bottle with the pear to serve guests or keep on display as a conversation piece.

You can also buy very commercialized Pear Schnapps with the pear inside, but when you look at the bottom it is obvious that the bottom was cut out, pear inserted, then the bottom "welded" back in place. One customer of ours produced such a bottle to prove that the "grown-in-bottle pear" story was a fraud. Then we took him to the winery/orchard where the bottles were tied onto the pear trees with strips of cloth wit the minuscule baby pear fruit just beginning to grow, then into the back room of the winery where hundreds of pear-in-bottles half full of cheap alcohol (covering the fruit) were stacked on shelves, some still with pieces of the twig the fruit grew on, waiting for pruning, cleaning, and refill with "the good stuff" before labeling for shipping to market or putting on display in the winery's own shop. The ready-to-sell stock from the previous year was sold out, but we convinced the winery owner to prepare a few bottles of "the good stuff" for us. We waited while she finished her task and loaded up on several other products in her shop. I managed to snag one of the grown-in-bottle Pear Schnapps for myself and it remains in my liquor cabinet to this day!

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#82
In reply to #81

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 5:07 PM

Great detail STL. I'm now inspired to keep my eye out for interesting stuff like that. It probably doesn't equate in any way to the quality of the product, but it's really interesting to know this stuff. I'm no connoisseur, but I love it when I get the chance to share a glass with somebody who has made the stuff themself. Makes no difference if it's somebody who runs a commercial vineyard, or an old 'granny' type who makes stuff from nettles or whatever - hearing how it is produced is half the enjoyment. When I was a student we used to knock up huge batches of stuff in plastic drums. It tasted absolutely awful, but it worked at the time. The stench of all the fermenting gunk should have initiated a public health alert. Them was the days. If any of those films based on 'frat' type goings-on were based on what I've seen, they'd have been banned outright ! It's a miracle that any of us survived.

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#85
In reply to #69

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/18/2007 5:31 AM

it was a way to scare kids and dissuade them from eating chewing gum, I thought it was universal/

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#70

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 11:35 AM

The son did not have mercury amalgm fillings, which give have an electrical reaction with the foil to cause the pain. Newer non-metallic fillings do not electrically react with metals.

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Anonymous Poster
#72

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 1:56 PM

The son did not have any metallic/amalgam fillings.

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Anonymous Poster
#74

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 2:05 PM

The reason for this is because the child has had no cavaties and no fillings so their was nothing to cause him pain.

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Anonymous Poster
#83

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 9:51 PM

The son only had his baby teeth in, as these don't have nerves he did not feel any sensation from the 'current' created by the wrapper in his mouth.

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Anonymous Poster
#84

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/17/2007 10:34 PM

Hi fellas..

This is easy. You need to have teeth filled or capped with a lesser electro-negative element than aluminium to experience the pain/sensation. Perhaps the father had a gold crown or silver fillings. Mind you, the mouth has to be fairly acidic as well. Remember the high-school science expt. using a zinc and copper plate immersed in a jar of dilute acid. The aluminium foil and the tooth cap/filling would be akin to the zinc and copper plates respectively and body fluids will correspond to the acid. Sensation of pain would be due to current passing through the nerves at the teeth, below the filling.

Raj S. Iyer

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#91

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/20/2007 12:00 AM

I have rethought my original proposal.

I still say the child is half alien, but this time the foil is not a nutrient. His mother has implanted sensors in his mouth that detect when he attempts to ingest somthing dangerous. They then acitvate a teleportation device that removes the offending material before it can do any damage!

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#92

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

10/23/2007 1:47 AM

The foil wrapping on the gum raises hell with the metal in tooth fillings. Since the son had no fillings he had no pain.

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#95

Re: Of Gum and Wrappers: Newsletter Challenge (10/16/07)

11/06/2007 4:15 PM

Question was okay even though not complete , answer was awsome , tomarrow somebody could charge a cell phone through his mouth with chewing gum as catalyst generating electricity.. haw..what a battery , you enjoy the taste and create energy for free with little jaw exercise..., imagine person talking ..and chewing ..charging simulteneously....good posting.

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