I suggest that you buy Mookie a baton since he or she is a conductor.
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Sounds like you are the proud owner of an induction tester. Try rubbing it up and down your hairy arm. This device lets you know when voltage is present. It may not read through all power cords due to insulation thickness. Try all sides of the cord. The closer you get to the hot the better your chances. I don't know it's value in audio except to check for the presence of line voltage. This device can be misleading on such things as neutral or ground connections. It will also give false readings if a dead conductor is run in the same raceway as a live one. Always double check problem circuits with a voltage tester for accuracy.
PS- I am not an engineer but I play one on TV.