As we know, static electricity has been with us forever and has been the bane of many people's lives, mild electric shocks etc. to the funny side of it, when after a quick "rub" on your woolly jersey you can stick balloons to a living room wall.
Even the most adventurous of us have tried the same with hamsters. Not a great success I believe.
It seems however that the humble balloon sticking may be the fore runner to new technology developed in the US.
Scientists have discovered that static electricity can be harnessed in such a way that it is possible to send Morse code between two balloons.
Doctor Mildas Hock has experimented with this for the past 40 years and his discovery has been nothing short of poor, but this has not deterred him from his ultimate vision of seeing balloon communications in every house in the world.
Dr Hock explained the process. "…first you get the two balloons and rub them on something woolly and gently move them closer together until you can feel the pull between the two balloons and once you can feel the tension, start to tap your message with your fingers. The second balloon with vibrate and the person holding that balloon can feel this vibration and interpret what is being sent…"
Back at the office we tried this and although our rubbing efforts were fine, moving them together caused a spark, melting both the balloons in an instant. We put this to Dr Hock.
" Yes", he explained, "…we get this all the time, so we have improved the balloon by placing a lead sheet around the outside each balloon to dampen down the spark effect. This has proved invaluable and now there are no balloons destroyed during these experiments. The only problem now is when rubbing the lead balloon we cannot produce the necessary amount of static and after a while they get heavy, so we have to drop them…er, like a lead balloon..."
He went on to say, "…we are at the early stages of these experiments, so watch this space…"