Is there room in the Para/Crypto/Fortean world for a gun-toting, paranoid, bipolar, opinionated bastard? A lonely romantic in search of his lost soul? A knight, Samurai, gunslinger, born in the wrong century? A self-destructive, doom-driven survivor seeking redemption? A heavy drinking gonzo outlaw cryptozoologist whose ego is exceeded only by his libido?
No, there isn't. That's why I'm here...

30 October 2010

Slip SLIding Away

I'm sure at one time or another, maybe even quite frequently, we've all experienced this phenomenon: you or your group are walking along the sidewalk at night. You notice that whenever you or y'all pass a streetlight, it turns off (or occasionally on). Maybe a lightbulb near you decides to "shoot" at the precise moment of an angry outburst, or maybe you have difficulty with wristwatches, or cellphones, or tv's and stereos go haywire when you approach.
I've experienced these a few times in my life, and some of them are explained (or explainable) as nothing more than the electronic device's response to our bodies' electromagnetic field, or chemical makeup,
What I never knew is that this phenomenon is pretty common, and it even has a name. It's called Street Light Interference (SLI) and persons who cause or experience it are referred to as SLIders. Here's an article describing it.
It has also been pointed out by sceptics that the phenomenon may be nothing more than a trick of human perception. We just don't notice it when things work as they should. We don't remember all the times we've passed by streetlights with no result, but when one goes out or turns on, it sticks in our minds. We naturally tend to assign a pattern to random events.
So, how about it? Do you or anyone you know SLIde??


Autumnforest said...

That's wicked! I can't wear watches, never could. I kill them in the first day, usually within hours. I also make streetlights go out whether walking or in a car. My son used to be entertained by this ability to no end. There's really a name for it? That is too cool! One time, I managed to make 3 lights in a row go out. That was a record.

Gummerfan said...

Yep, when I was reading up on the subject I remembered that you had mentioned your problem with watches. I've had lights go out on me before, I've had lightbulbs shoot during arguments, and a lot of radios will increase their volume or signal strength when I'm near.
One case I read about involved a woman in England who would shoot almost every lightbulb in herapartmentbuilding when she got upset.

Jeff said...

I think I vaguely remember reading something that said streetlights turn off on their own sometimes for some reason (but I don't remember why or if that's even accurate). That wouldn't necessarily explain them turning off consistently when the same person approaches them though. I read about this phenomena years ago, and I remember noticing one particular streetlight that I would walk under that would turn off a lot of times when I walked under it. It may not have turned off every time I walked under it, but it happened often enough for me to take notice of it.

Gummerfan said...

Yeah, they do cycle on and off on their own, especially as the bulbs get older.
It IS indeed an interesting case of cause and effect or cognitive dissonance. A car I used to have would ALWAYS knock out one particular streetlight. Never could figure it out. Maybe the angle of the windshield reflecting light to the senor, the pattern of the headligh beam, I don't know. But it did it consistently.