July 25, 2014 marks the date of 6-year-old Danny Nickerson, of Foxboro Massachusetts’, birthday. Danny is a 6-year old with an inoperable brain tumor. His only wish this year was to receive birthday cards on his special day. The Huffington Post wrote an article about Danny & it went viral. Random people, strangers actually, have displayed ‘random’ acts of kindness towards Danny and his wishes. How? They sent him snail mail. Each and every day Danny would go to the PO Box that his parents set up for him & was astonished by the overwhelming flood of mail & love received by complete strangers from all over the world; California, Alaska, Australia, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Norway & Sweden to name a few. Static Clean International, Inc. of Burlington, MA was one of those strangers. Danny has received over 15,000 snail mail birthday cards and still counting.

Word reached Patriots owner, Bob Kraft and he invited Danny and his family to the Patriots training camp this past Friday.  The team had a few surprises up their sleeves including all getting together at midfield to sing Danny happy birthday and present him with a very large birthday card signed by all the players.  Danny who is quite shy, sat there grinning from ear to ear as the Pats sang “Happy Birthday”.  It was a truly special moment for him and his family.

You’re probably wondering what snail mail for Danny and static have in common, right? Have you ever opened snail mail or an envelope or pulled sticky tape off of a surface and seen a flash of light? There is a name for this – triboluminescence; or in other words – a piezoelectric effect. When piezoelectric materials, like sticky or self-adhesive envelopes, are stretched – they generate electricity. When you rip an envelope open – the distribution of positive and negative charges across the envelope may become uneven. When the charges clump in one area – and are either highly positive or highly negative – and you continue to rip open the envelope, the electricity ignites the atoms in the glue & the energy created is released as light.

Not many people would try and solve a static on snail mail problem. However, if you were trying to control the piezoelectric effect from occurring – you may considering our Piezonizer ZAPP II nozzle. It’s a compact AC ionizer with an ultra-small built-in piezoelectric transformer. The excellent ion balance and fast static decay rates make this the ideal choice nozzle to reduce static elimination when space is at a premium.

Sources: http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=894.0

Written by: Julianne Patterson – julianne@staticclean.com