On Scott’s side of the bed, he has a little “touch” lamp with a three-way bulb. You just tap its base to turn it on the dimmest setting and then each additional tap brightens up the light a bit.

Our bed comforter is rather lightweight and happens to be made of polyester. It’s great in the summer, but in the winter we add a heavy cotton quilt underneath it. I’ve noticed over the years that when I change the sheets in the winter, if I yank the comforter off too violently, I can actually create blue sparks with the static electricity. Since I know from experience that any exposed appendage (finger, nose, etc.) can get shocked, I am now fairly careful when I pull the comforter off. I don’t like being a human lightning rod!

This morning I decided to strip the bed and get the sheets washing while we were at church, but I must say that what happened in our bedroom had never happened before. Standing at the foot of the bed, I pulled the comforter off, and it crackled a little bit, but get this: When the comforter crackled at end of low end of the bed, the touch lamp turned on at the head of the bed! I thought it was just some weird coincidence (or as my dad used to say, “co-inky-dink”), so I turned the lamp off and tried it again – with exactly the same result!

Moral of the story: A static electrical charge can travel at least six feet through the air inside a very dry 105-year-old frame house.

Feel free to indulge your curiosity and try this at home. I actually think someone should figure out a way to harness the power of sheet-changing (or some other means of rubbing polyester against cotton) to charge a cell phone or something.


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