Making The World Safe For Science - One Supermodel At A Time
The Science Of Freak Magnets
Know what I love most about science? We have been using magnets for years in all kinds of applications, even multi-billion dollar industries like semiconductor and microprocessing, but no one knows what a magnetic field is.
If you ask a physicist (ahem - a different physicist ) you'll get answers like "a magnetic field is a region in space where a magnetic force can be detected." I would say that's a logical fallacy, namely begging the question, except every journalist in modern America has transmorgified the petitio principii fallacy into something meaning 'demanding that the question be asked.' But kicking around journalists can be a topic for tomorrow. Or, if you simply must see me kick around journalists, try here and here and here. Go ahead. I'll wait.
So while we can't define what a magnetic field is, we can certainly define what it does, namely by the effect it has on its surroundings. Which is good enough because that's all we have for freak magnets too.
A freak magnet, at least according to those who claim to be one, is someone with an unnatural ability to attract crazy people. You're likely to dismiss the 'freak magnet' phenomenon as a bunch of cat ladies bragging about how much attention they get - namely because they go out of their way to get the attention. We all know girls ( and, let's be honest, it's always girls* ) who go out of their way to make eye contact with men only to pretend surprise when the men talk to them. The uglier the girl, the lower she will go. I have one friend who makes eye contact with a homeless guy that smells like urine and has a fake eyeball which is really just a ping-pong ball and a pupil he drew on it with a Sharpie. I'd have believed she didn't want the attention until I found out she gave him the Sharpie.
Obviously as scientists we don't want to dismiss this whole notion out of hand. There are chemical processes in play that make animals jump on some people more than others so there certainly could be a magnetic field that makes some people more attractive to total nutcases. Since we can't define what a magnetic field is it's certainly not possible to define all of the things it isn't.
And what makes supermodels so drawn to scientists? It's not regular Gaussian magnetism and it's ( mostly) not freak magnetism. I guess it's just animal magnetism, baby.
*Because if a man does it, it isn't out of the ordinary. It's just a guy trying to get laid.
posted by Buckaroo at 7:51 AM