If you tune a whole PIANO with 'em...

Remember those "haunted" dolls and other things on eBay?

I just randomly found another whole depressing category of metaphysical eBay BS:

Magic tuning forks.

And yes, a Completed Items search confirms that the dealers do quite often actually sell their "Professional 11 Planetary Tuning Forks for Prosperity", "Tuning Fork set Chiropractic Physical Therapy CHAKRA", "Heal-HUMAN Intestine-INTESTINAL ORGAN TUNER Tuning Fork" and so on. And, also as usual, it's not just one nutty seller - though there is only one who's responsible for most of the current listings.

Apparently many of these forks are meant to have something to do with the "sacred Solfeggio scale", which I am delighted to say my entertaining friends at Life Technology have a page about. "These previously secret sound frequencies are thought to be the tones of creation and destruction"!

(I don't know whether their Solfeggio CD works better than a set of tuning forks. You'd better get both, to be sure.)

Various other independent thinkers will also be pleased to tell you all about the Sacred Solfeggio Scale. Apparently, you're going to have a hard time "activating" all of those extra strands of DNA without the help of the Sacred Solfeggio!

Solfeggio, or Solf├Ęge, is actually just a name for perfectly ordinary do-re-mi scales. The frequencies of the six notes in the Sacred scale (I think six is all you get) don't seem to have any particular mathematical relationship, so the "Sacred" scale doesn't really seem to qualify as an actual temperament or scale. But, y'know, if it doesn't seem to make any sense, that's just more evidence for how transcendental it must be. So I suppose the Super Secret Sacred Solfeggio Scale is every bit as special as everything else that's supposedly sacred.

Tuning forks do actually actually do something without the assistance of the human imagination, which is more than can be said for magical crystals and haunted costume jewellery. But I still can't escape the feeling that I should start selling large ball bearings as haunted scrying globes, or something. There are idiots out there who're determined to spend their money on some sort of crap, after all - as I've said before, I, or almost anybody for that matter, is likely to be more deserving of that money than the people who usually get it.

17 Responses to “If you tune a whole PIANO with 'em...”

  1. Daniel Rutter Says:

    Incidentally, large ball bearings are very satisfying objects, once you manage to get past the "playing with my balls" jokes, which may take a few years. I got some very nice ones from this seller - here on eBay Australia. Seven 1.5-inch balls fit in one cheap international envelope. Two are now my desk ornaments, and the others wait, covered with oil in a Ziploc bag, for a recipient who does not express mystification when I say stuff like this.

    They work very nicely for that burning-holes-in-paper physics demo; I think 2-inch balls, of which I also have a pair, are actually too big.

  2. Dustin Says:

    That comment made me grin several times because of the multiple references to balls.

    Seriously though, I know exactly what you're talking about when you say that such balls are satisfying. I used to have one that was around 1.5 inches on my desk as well. Picking it up was just satisfying.

  3. TwoHedWlf Says:

    When I was a kid I found a couple MASSIVE(I was like 7 so maybe not so massive) iron balls near a train yard. I suppose they were probably only 3-4" diameter, but at the time I could barely pick them up. They made very satisfying sparks when you'd drop them on each other.:) Wish I'd tried to keep them, but since I was on vacation I kinda doubt my parents would have let me take them home on the plane, hehehe.

  4. Bern Says:

    I'm still kicking myself that I didn't pinch the roller bearings from that burnt-out 1.4MW motor when I was on work experience in a mine back in the 90s. Imagine a roller 1.5inches in diameter, and about 8 inches long. Next imagine it's made out of plasticine, and dropped from a meter onto a hard floor. That's what they looked like, except as you can imagine, they were rather hard steel.

    Believe it or not, that motor lived to turn again...

  5. origina1 Says:

    Beware of the intestinal tuning forks... Emergency room surgeons around the world remove a few of those from people's backside every year.

  6. hubris Says:

    I can't believe that we're here on a blog with the word "psychopath" in the title, we're talking about the delights of steel balls, and _I_ have to stop my lurking, find my login and type:
    "Has no one read The Caine Mutiny? I thought Dan's audience were a more widely-read group than that. Captain Queeg ftw! Watch out for the tow-rope, Dan!"
    Now back to my lurking.

  7. awollangk Says:

    I have a set of "exerballs" (or ExerBalls if you submit to their vanity caps or just have a particular fondness for PascalCase) that I find similarly satisfying to handle.

  8. RichVR Says:

    Who stole the strawberries?

  9. Nikola Says:

    Am I the only one impressed by Dan's alliteration abilities? "Supposedly Special Super Secret Sacred Solfeggio Scale" is too good to have arisen by accident;)

  10. Daniel Rutter Says:

    That part started out with only a little alliteration, which looked weird, so I beefed it up a bit :-).

  11. Daniel Rutter Says:

    Oh, and I like those mysterious Chinese chime balls too, but plain ball bearings are less chimingly judgemental about less-than-perfect ball-rotating skills (especially in the harder right-hand-anticlockwise, left-hand-clockwise direction), and it's probably a bad idea to smash chime-balls together with paper in between.

  12. RichVR Says:

    Has anyone ever cracked one of those chime balls open? I'd love to see what it looks like inside.

  13. RichVR Says:

    Hmmm. A superficial googling doesn't bring up any pics. I have several sets. Guess it's up to me. More will be forthcoming after the weekend.

  14. Major Malfunction Says:

    Balldacious! But the real mystery is, which to answer will open the portal of Nirvana before you, "How do the chimes get in there?"

  15. TwoHedWlf Says:

    The chimes grow in there, those balls are the seeds of the ironwood tree.

  16. solipsistnation Says:

    When I was at Burning Man last year (...yes, there's a good way to begin lots of stories) there was a guy camped out near us who had a bunch of giant tuning forks with him. He had various sizes from giant forks wide enough to pass around an average-sized person with one tine on either side to smaller ones that you could hold around a leg or an arm. He'd wander around with a fork or two and a rubber mallet and if you seemed, I dunno, out of tune or something he'd take a fork of the appropriate size for what ailed you (whole-body fork for general malaise, limb-sized for for, I dunno. sprained ankle? sore muscles?), whack it with the mallet, and then pass the vibrating tines around the appropriate body part. Or he'd hold the handle end against your back or whatever, which probably felt pretty nice. Also if he was holding against your upper back I bet you could open your mouth and make "wow wow wow" faces and get a sound out, but I don't think anyone tried it...

    He was a nice guy, but I don't think anyone took him very seriously.

  17. slashme Says:

    Wow, the linked Wikipedia article on Alex Chiu was !unanimously! voted for deletion. That's quite unusual.


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