December 8th, 2006

sparky Jilara

ZAP: solar flares and electronics

I don't know if anyone else had this problem, but Tuesday and Wednesday I had problems with the household electronics that made me feel like there were gremlins in the wires. Most the older stuff didn't have problems, but the answering machine somehow started answering with one of the programming instructional messages ("Please record your answer normal message...") and a lot of other stuff glitched oddly, too. The CD player stopped working, and took some serious futzing-with to get working again, at least as a CD player. (The radio was fine.) The TV had changed channels, but the cable box and DVD player were fine. I tried to turn on the light next to the TV, and it simply wouldn't function. I thought the compact fluorescent must be must be burned out, but didn't have time to replace it, so headed out. Without thinking, when I got back in, I turned the switch, and the light came on like there was never a problem. I also got a weird battery error message when I booted up the laptop, yesterday (I hadn't fired it up for over a week, and it wasn't even connected to anything...) But then, a battery-operated clock had some problems, too, and (coincidentally?) stopped working, only to start again when I took it down to replace the battery. The clock on the stove was also flashing the time.

I had commented at the time I felt like things had been hit with some sort of EMF glitch. I was wondering at first if it was another of the PG&E transformer blowouts, similar to the one that fried the neighborhood's electronics, a few years back. But that wouldn't explain the clock or the laptop... I kept thinking about how there are EMF bursts that can take out electronics remotely.

Well, apparently I was onto something. There were a couple HUGE solar flares, described as "solar tsunami," that went down in that timeframe. Zap. I've watched the animation on, and it's SERIOUSLY impressive. They are expecting some serious aurora activity from all this. And for some reason, my neighborhood seems to get weird electronic glitches, as it is...
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