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How to (sort of) shock people like Emperor Palpatine

Seeking spark in your life? You might like a DIY anklet that lets you harness the power of static electricity through your fingertips (and possibly pester a would-be apprentice along the way).

Sand responds wildly to the high voltage charge emanating from the fingers of someone using the homemade static-electricity generator. Screenshot by Christopher MacManus/CNET

The dark side of the Force offers many benefits, including the power to electrocute those who oppose you. Unfortunately, force lightning remains a skill only available in the "Star Wars" universe, but YouTuber Nighthawkinlight dreamed up a static-electricity generator device that gives aspiring Emperor Palpatines the ability to shock someone (or something) with 7,500 volts through their fingers.

Building one of these electricity weapons sounds like a job for the truly nerdy (or Nikola Tesla), but Nighthawkinlight breaks down the build process systematically in a video mostly anyone could follow.

In some ways, the instructional guide almost plays like a Martha Stewart segment for villains. "A static discharge from this device creates a strong enough electric field that it can even disrupt electronics from a distance," the narrator warns. "Direct contact is powerful enough to potentially cause damage to circuitry or even corrupt data."

The materials and tools needed to create a static-electricity generator include a few things one would expect to see on MacGyver's weekend shopping list: a negative ion generator, an automotive power converter, a 9-volt battery, soldering iron, and a few other items (read the part list in the related video description). This combination of electronics powers the negative ion generator, which (supposedly) safely charges up the user like a capacitor, allowing them to discharge that electricity on grounded people or objects.

Instead of the old method of putting a static-electricity generator into a shoe, Nighthawkinlight recommends putting the device into a glasses case that one could attach to the ankle, while a connected piece of aluminum attaches to the bottom of a shoe to keep the user grounded. Not exactly the most stealth solution, but with a loose-fitting pair of pants, victims won't know what hit them.

(Via Hack a Day)