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Uh, he specifies isopropyl alcohol which is available at any drug store or Walmart.
The reason you don't feel the discharge is because the current generated in the plasma ball is very high frequency AC and this is subject to the Skin Effect. AC tends to travel on the outside of conductors. That is one reason why stranded wire is prefered for AC. It has more surface area than solid wire. See this link for more info.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skin_effect
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