Good Idea/Bad Idea: Use A Stun Gun To…

Guess which is which! Hint: one gets you stun-gunned.

Good Idea: Lift Fingerprints

On a hunch, crime scene investigator Richard Warrington, now retired, found a new way to fight crime with a stun gun: lifting prints. Warrington’s hack involves placing a sheet of sun-blocking film over a freshly dusted print. He attaches the loose end of a wired probe to one outer contact of a stun gun. While holding the wire’s probe one quarter inch above the film, he turns on the gun and slowly guides the electricity-shooting probe around the perimeter of the film, electrostatically charging it. Then Warrington turns off the gun, waits 10 to 15 seconds, and glides a foam brush across the film’s surface to attract a reverse image of the print for forensic analysis.

Bad Idea: Remove Poison From Wounds

For two decades, survivalist forums and even some doctors have recommended shocking snake and spider bite wounds to neutralize venom. Science says this idea bites: You’re most likely to get burned—and remain poisoned.

_**WARNING: Stun guns are very dangerous, so try the “good idea” at your own risk. And by “bad idea,” we mean never attempt it! **_

This article originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of Popular Science.