One of the gifts I gave Kristin for Christmas was a pair of electric shoe driers. You plug them in, put the pods into the shoes and let them go to work. After a few hours your wet shoes will be dry. They were advertised on the Cozy Winters website as being "silent". Being the techno-savvy guy I am, I took this claim with a grain of salt. Nothing is silent in the true sense of the word. Right?
Finally, a few weeks ago Kristin got around to giving them a trial run. We plugged them in and... nothing. They were dead. Not only was there no noise whatsoever, but there was no vibration, no fan, no... anything. We searched for an on/off switch, something to twist, pull, or push. Nothing. They were as inanimate and motionless plugged into the wall as they were sitting on the table in their packaging. We called Cozy Winters and asked for an exchange. The ones they shipped us were defective.
The replacement package arrived the other day and Kristin immediately plugged them in. Silence. We were dumbfounded. Could they possibly have replaced our broken pair of shoe driers with another malfunctioning set? I looked at the packaging and read the description of how they're supposed to work for the umpteenth time and finally decided to just throw them into her running shoes and see what happens. Again, no noise whatsoever. No vibrations. No flowing air. Nothing.
Imagine our surprise when we returned an hour or so later to find the shoes nice and toasty warm -- and DRY! The driers somehow suck the humidity out of the shoes and push the dry hot air out the top. My guess is that it's probably related to one of the physical/chemical reactions we learned about in Physics 101. The stripping away of the humidity must be enough to create its own air flow, perhaps like how wind is generated over the cooling beach in the summer? I don't know. It's pretty wild though.
The Yin to the Yang of these shoe driers is, of course, the Xbox 360. I've always shrugged off the complaints about how noisy this console is as being your typical online whining. After all, I've had the system for nearly a year now and really never noticed much noise it generates. That is, until the other day when I turned it on with the wireless controller and the start-up startled my dog who was laying on the floor near it. He literally did a small little fright-jump, looked over his shoulder at the Xbox, then took off running into the other room.
So there you have it folks, you now have an answer for the next time someone asks you what an Xbox and a vacuum cleaner have in common.