n my household and cadre of friends, the phrase "Broke his/her brain" stems from all the times one of us will say something so outrageous that we are at a loss to respond to it. This also works when we show someone a movie, television show, or YouTube or other video clip that is so over the top that again one has a complete inability to respond to it.
It's when we have them in that state that we refer to it as having broken their brain.
In this case however, I saw someone wearing a tinfoil hat. Yes, this person was totally convinced that the government was trying to beam signals into their head to control their thoughts. He was attempting to convince the store clerk that he wasn't a nut and that the tinfoil hat really works. The guy then saw me and tried to get my opinion.
I gave it.
I said that the concept of a tinfoil hat does have some merit and a basis in scientific fact. One could take aluminum foil and encase an object and could create a Faraday Cage. Something that the United States uses for really secure computer sites as no signal can get in nor can a signal get out. This was really important for them back in the days of the older CRT (Cathode Ray Tube or TV-like monitors) monitors where it is possible to take the signals that the monitor is throwing off and use it to reconstitute what is being displayed on the screen.
But a true Faraday Cage needs to be enclosed on all sides and needs to be grounded. The signal hitting it needs to be send via ground to prevent the signal from getting through. Now a tinfoil hat won't work because it's not grounded nor it is completely enclosing the head.
The man argued with me and I countered. "If you take your foil off, what shape is it in?" to which he replied that it was in the shape of a bowl. "What shape is a satellite dish?" I then asked him. Again he said that it was in the shape of a bowl. As he said that, a look of dawning realization was forming on his face.
I pressed on with my train of reasoning. I further asked "What is the purpose of the bowl shape on a satellite dish?" and he gave the correct response and stated that it was to reflect the signal to a central point. Still further I pressed, asking "And where would be the focal point of the signal?"
I got no response, just more concern.
I then drove the final nail home by saying "You know. If *I* were the government and I wanted to get signals to the brain, I'd have some people act like they were a group trying to act against the government so people would follow the advice of making tinfoil hats and thus in reality help the government beam the signals into their own heads."
Mr. Brain broke and the guy screamed and ran out the door, one hand tearing off his tinfoil hat, the other still clutching the new box of foil he had in his hand when the conversation started.
The clerk and I busted out laughing for a steady 5 minutes before he looked at me and said "You know, he hadn't paid for that foil yet." I handed him two dollars and said "It was worth it."