Exploiting the Thermoelectric Effect

Back in the mists of time, as an avid student of physics, I was introduced to the thermoelectric effect.  This manifests itself in a number of ways, but at its simplest it says that if there is a temperature differential across a conductor then an electric current will be induced.

Some years later, I developed a potential application of this effect to provide an added fillip to couples (or potentially larger groups) during an amorous encounter.

At this stage, I should probably admit that I was a rather less avid student of biology, and dropped the subject altogether in the 3rd form.  As a result, I am fairly familiar with the respiratory and digestive systems – but may be on shakier ground elsewhere.

Talking of the digestive system, I always felt that the term “alimentary canal” involved rather a poor choice of geographical water feature.  Canals were very much designed to be the fastest way to get from A to B, whereas the digestive system strikes me as having much more in common with a river.  The alimentary river rises in the body’s uplands (the mouth as I recall) and at first flows swiftly downhill.  Later in its course, the alimentary river matures and meanders through the lowlands of the intestines.  I think this also helps to explain the appendix, it must surely be the digestive analogue of an ox-bow lake. I must admit I struggle to incorporate the estuary or delta into this scheme – but I’m sure this could be achieved.  In these days of public sector spending cuts, I believe this scheme could help as it would enable biology and physical geography to be taught simultaneously with a commensurate saving in teaching resource.  But I digress…

To return to the thermoelectric effect, it occurred to me that the human body is a conductor (hold very tight please).  During the act of physical lovemaking, those parts of the body most directly involved in the action are significantly raised in temperature.  If one participant was to place one (or more) of their feet in a bucket of iced-water, then a significant temperature differential would exist across the leg (or legs) in question.  As a result a current would flow along the leg, adding further nerve stimulation to the warmer areas of the participants.  I feel sure that this would augment the experience for the inamoratos (inamoratas?) as all pleasure is intermediated via our nervous system.

As yet, I have been unable to find any couples with sufficient scientific curiosity to put my theory to the test – so it’s over to you.  If nothing else, it would give you a perfectly valid excuse for getting cold feet about a relationship.


As a chap who visits a gym regularly, I see a variety of men in a state of deshabille and have thus had the current popularity of the tattoo brought to my attention.  Indeed, a lot of blokes are covered in so much ink that they look like my notebook at the end of a particularly long and boring business meeting.

Much of this “ink” (as I, probably erroneously, believe the current vernacular would have it) is in the form of text.  Languages which eschew the Roman alphabet seem a popular choice – Chinese and something that might be Arabic seem most popular. Disappointingly, I’ve yet to see any Egyptian hieroglyphs or, my own personal favourite, any Cuneiform.  Surely there must be someone out there willing to have an appropriate epithet indelibly etched into their epidermis in the argot of old Akkad or Sumer?

For those who stick with the Roman alphabet I observe a depressingly limited range of fonts in use.  (I also notice the curious number of men who have a man’s forename, presumably their own, permanently marking their flesh.  Is this supposed to help the local CSI or SOCO to identify their mutilated corpse after a particularly gruesome demise?  Or perhaps it is to aid self-identification after being struck with amnesia? Although, in either case, I can’t help feeling that a lone forename is not the best form of identification – but I digress).  Almost every tattoo I see seems to use the Gothic font.  Why no Helvetica, Genova or Lucida Grande?  I’d even be willing to overlook the normally unforgivable use of Comic Sans, Courier or Wingdings?  Is it that Gothic is safely out of copyright?  Or are other fonts just very hard to implant in the skin using a needle?

As I’m not willing to obtain a tattoo of my own,  I suspect I may never know the answers to these questions.  But, if I could start a craze for tattoos in Cuneiform or Helvetica, I will feel my life has not been lived entirely in vain.