Why do radios get better reception when you hold or touch the antenna?
-- Breaking Up, San Diego
All the world's a big radio wave receiver. Figure a way to hook an amplifier to your refrigerator, vacuum cleaner, or the fillings in your teeth, and you'd be able to ditch your radio completely. You could turn the family pet into an entertainment center. Your body too makes a reasonable FM receiver antenna, as does the radio's power cord. For maximum listening pleasure, grab the cord and raise it up to find the optimum position, and hold it there, then grab the antenna with your free hand, and you're in business. Come to think of it, add the endless repetitive pop-crap programming to the mix, and this could be a recipe for torture. But sort of a cool physics lesson anyway.