How many of you have heard the rumor that cell phones can make microwave popcorn pop? If I understand correctly, there was an email passed around that had a video attached in which four cell phones were pointed at some popcorn kernels, and they popped. I’ve never seen it, but it sounds like good material for a mass email.
Yesterday one of my coworkers was talking about the headsets that we use here at work. Everyone has a cordless earpiece, which means that we are all day walking around talking out loud and making everyone around us wonder “Is he talking to me?” According to my coworker, less dangerous radiation goes into the brain from a headset than from a traditional hand-held phone. Interesting. Well, not so much interesting as where on earth did you get that? Another coworker then said very, very seriously, “If you take four cell phones and put them together, the radiation will pop microwave popcorn.” I just want to interject here that I love using the word “radiation” when talking about phones, as if they are just like nuclear fallout for your brain.
The talk went back and forth until my friend Cheryl, always the voice of reason, said, “Well let’s try it.” Good idea! Because it is written into the mission statement of every company, corporation and office of all kinds that there must be somewhere within the office walls microwave popcorn available to all, we have a box of it and a microwave to pop it in. Cheryl and I and two others got out our phones. We ripped open a bag of popcorn and put a few kernels on the counter, and then set our phones around them, in a + sign pattern. Then, we all ran back to our desks and each one of us called our own phones. According to folklore, they have to be ringing to pop the corn. All four went off with their own ringtones, all set at the max volume, of course. What a lot of noise. We waited breathlessly. No popping… still no popping…still no popping… and all four phones went to voicemail. No popped corn. It didn’t work.
Some were a little disgusted, being duped by an email can be so irritating. Others were still holding on to the hope that it would work if only we did… I took my phone and went back to my desk, convinced once again that a person cannot believe any of the crap they get in a forwarded email.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is the COB’s contribution to science. You’re welcome.