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Building a Better Tin Foil Hat 68

An anonymous reader writes "Now you can wear a Tin Foil Hat and not be subject to ridicule or discomfort." From the article: "This hat -- made from cotten fiber, silver and copper -- will help reduce your brain's exposure to EMF. LessEMF also sells shirts and cell phone covers to accomplish the same thing."
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Building a Better Tin Foil Hat

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  • They don't work (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PunkOfLinux (870955) <> on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:19AM (#14963095) Homepage
    Didn't they know that it's been proven that tinfoil hats simply don't work?
    • by edgr (781723) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:25AM (#14963130)
      Don't be silly. Everyone knows the people who did this study [] were government operatives, to reduce the use of tinfoil hats, so their mind control satelites could get to us.

      Don't succumb. Keep wearing it.
      • The MIT study has been addressed here: []

        See the news section.
      • Not their fault! They didn't KNOW they were governement operatives.
        The governement was influencing the study through RF based mind control. They made them see results that were contrary to reality.
      • That study is misleading, since it uses aluminum foil, not tinfoil.
      • While I certainly don't claim to be an expert on such matters, even I can point out the obvious flaw in the study -- it's focus on radio waves. I only ever knew one character who wore foil hats, and he didn't even bother with them inside because they were made to defend against the "Orbital Mind Control Lasers" (OMCL) mounted on satellites. They aren't supposed to be providing an (obviously non-functional) Faraday cage around the head -- they're supposed to be blocking the "lasers" via their optical prope

    • Yeah, but who funded the research? I'm going to assume it must have been the US government and/or various large corporations, all of whom have a vested interest in polluting your brain with mind-control electromagnetic EMF wave thingys for their own profit... or world domination... something like that... whatever.

      The point is, trust no one!
    • That's just the usual FUD, everyone knows it's based on the confusion between alumin(i)um (usually employed in "tin" foil hats) and real tin... :-P
    • that's what they want you to think.
    • That's because they used aluminum foil instead of tin foil!
      • The horror! (Score:5, Informative)

        by Frozen Void (831218) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @08:16AM (#14963362) []
        The effectiveness of the tin-foil hat as an electromagnetic shield for stopping radio waves is greatly reduced by the fact that it is not a complete enclosure. Placing an AM radio under a metal bucket without a conductive layer underneath demonstrates the relative ineffectiveness of such a setup. Indeed, because the effect of an ungrounded Faraday cage is to partially reflect the incident radiation, a radio wave that is incident on the inner surface of the hat (i.e., coming from underneath the hat-wearer) would be reflected and partially 'focused' towards the user's brain. While tin-foil hats may have originated in some understanding of the Faraday cage effect, the use of such a hat to attenuate radio waves belongs properly to the realm of pseudoscience.
        • Indeed, because the effect of an ungrounded Faraday cage is to partially reflect the incident radiation, a radio wave that is incident on the inner surface of the hat (i.e., coming from underneath the hat-wearer) would be reflected and partially 'focused' towards the user's brain.

          What, are the mind-control rays being sent from subterranean agents?

          Really, though, if you want to prevent government mind-control by radio waves - turn off Fox News. And stop the administrtion from buying journalists.

    • Actually, its aluminum foil hats that don't work. It is hard to find, but if you can get real tin foil it does work. It also keeps the V-Chip [] from spying on you if you line the inside of your TV with it.
  • by pryonic (938155) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:21AM (#14963112)
    Do they do one in Burberry?
  • by thatshortkid (808634) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:33AM (#14963177)
    Rather than link to gizmodo's blog, manufacturer's link [].

    $64 for tin foil boxers. now that's an investment!
  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <> on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:34AM (#14963183)
    They are selling something called a 'Schumann resonator'. Schumann resonance is an extremely low frequency (2-20Hz) standing wave pattern observable in the ionosphere. What is amazing about these waves is that they are key to our survival. Much like how oxygen is required to breathe, Schumann resonance is required for life (or at least inasmuch as something like Vitamin D is required). We evolved with these resonances, so we are evolutionarily attuned to them, whether we know it or not.

    Modern society bombards us with very high frequency electromagnetic waves that drown out the natural environmental electromagnetic waves that we are evolutionarily accustommed to. Therefore, our health at times will suffer due to a lack of these natural ELF electromagnetic signals.

    To counter that, it is possible to buy a Shumann resonator which plugs into a wall socket and broadcasts in the Schumann frequency range. It helps by balancing out the daily hazardous bombardment of modern EM fields with healthy and wholesome natural ELF fields. You can experience better health and more vigor just by having these near you (and turned on!) for several hours each day.

    I can believe that someone would be duped by that kind of logical pseudoscience. It all sounds credible to someone prone to neophobia.
  • by jbarr (2233) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:39AM (#14963215) Homepage
    According to this article from MIT [], aluminum foil hats may actually amplify some signals...notably, amplification at 2.6 Ghz and a 20 db amplification at 1.2 Ghz.

    Gmail Tips []
    Jim's Tips []
  • by Malor (3658) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @08:09AM (#14963333) Journal
    Covering your cell phone is definitely important. If it were exposed to RF, it could accidentally function.
    • But these covers don't completely block RF, they just attenuate it a few dB. Introducing loss between the handset and the tower simply means the handset will crank up its transmit power to achieve reliable communication. You'll see less standby time, less talk time, more dropped calls, and more out-of-service time.

      Now, if your phone-sock is completely symmetrical, this'll mean your personal RF exposure is essentially unchanged, because the phone will adjust until the tower reports an adequate signal:noise r
  • Didn't they take any basic physics class? Putting your mobile inside a radiation shielding cover, will:
    • Make it harder if not impossible to receive phone calls.
    • Increase the radiation power of the mobile even outside the cover, because the power is adjusted to environmental conditions!!!
    • Increase battery consumption.
    • Make you look like an idiot (like those people with magnetic shoes and similar crap).

  • by Mike deVice (769602) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @08:36AM (#14963450)

    I'm a little bit surprised that nobody has linked to this site yet. ;) It's been a fav of mine for many years.

    Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie []
    An Effective, Low-Cost Solution To Combating Mind-Control

  • Now I admit that I have only done one year of real physics study and am therefore nowhere near an expert on this, but it seems to me that the computer shields they manufacture could actually have a purpose - TEMPEST shields. You know, keep EMF in rather than blocking it out. Of course, they only make monitor ones, but still, a step in the right direction, no?
  • The Mythbusters have done a couple of episodes where they construct a faraday cage for testing stuff. I get a lot of radio noise over my computer speakers and have been pondering getting enough brass mesh to cover that entire ROOM. Then I'd just have to figure out how to keep the cell phone from burning a hole in my pocket if I ever walked into the faraday room with it on...
    • You can also do it with copper sheet. The tricky part is doing the doors, windows, ventilation ducts, AC outlets, etc.
    • I was in IBM's Toronto lab buildings last year - amazing: five buildings, each five stories, linked with hallways, and all are fully grounded faraday cages. No cell, am, fm, tv, nothing. They're a bit picky about security, it seems. There are designated areas you can go where cellphones will work. Apparently, the "shadow" of the structure also blocks signals, so you have to get relatively far away from the building or stand in one of the "holes" that have been identified. Nice cafeteria, by the way.
  • Will the tin be solid or will it have tiny holes?
    • If solid, how will the sweat be able to leave your head? Fluid or as vapor?
    • If tiny holes, until which frequency will it filter?
    • Also, if tiny holes, will water molecules (sweat vapor) pass?
    • 1/2 wavelength diameter, I think. So the size of the hole is related to the maximum frequency blocked.

      You can see this in the attenuation (blockage factor) graph at the LessEMF website. As the frequency gets higher, the attenuation gets less, because the space between conductors becomes a larger fraction of the wavelength. Wavelength goes down as frequency goes up:
      L (meters) = 300/F (mhz) So, 10 GHz frequency means 15 mm half-wavelength, or about 1/16 inch.

      We actually bought some fabric from these guys a
  • by hey! (33014) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @09:34AM (#14963829) Homepage Journal
    If I can't see the shiny foil, how do I know it works?

    How do I know this thing won't insert a tiny cat whisker lead into my scalp, sending my thoughts out and putting their thoughts in?

    No thanks. I'll stick to homemade. It makes a nice family craft; I'm thinking of doing it as a Cub Scout activity with my son.
  • The new world of superconvenient RFID credit cards and Passport People Identifiers/Dissident Locators really could benefit from a wallet that gives individuals a modicum of control over what information about themselves is released to governments, corporations, etc.

    Of course, the better and harder thing to do is to make governments and corporations more transparent and trustworthy, but that's a much harder thing to do.

  • Now we can protect our brains from telepaths while still looking sharp!
  • Hey! What about my kids?

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