Damn, natural selection was thwarted again by society ! These genes will now probably be passed on to the next generation. Human Devolution continues apace ....
An Illinois bright spark, who decided the best way to check the level of combustible fluid in a petrol can was by using a cigarette lighter, ended up with a torched car and second-degree burns. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the unnamed 27-year-old woman was in a gas station in Joliet last week and "was filling up a gas …
> natural selection was thwarted again
Far from it! Natural Selection = Survival of the Fittest. This woman survived a petrol bomb, despite being just inches away, got back up onto her feet and then pushed a car across a forecourt. And remember, this is the US. That won't be a Renault Clio or a Fiat Panda. That'll be several tons of steel!
This woman appears to be an evolutionary leap forward. All hail!
I'll kick off: In my very first job (in an office) a plug fuse needed changing; so not knowing there were building services people for that sort of thing I set about it myself. But I had trouble pushing the new fuse into the clips in the bottom half of the plug... So I plugged that bottom half into the socket so it would stay firmly in place when I pushed down on both ends of the fuse with my thumbs...
(NB: to international readers; this is in the UK; 240v mains supply)
I have to agree with Colin 4, natural selection was thwarted as the fittest in the case of humans are not those with the best physical capabilities (Though those are a plus), but those with the better intelligence. We evolved away from brute force a long time ago and have lots of tools to help with that now. All we need is the brains to use 'em.
..some sort of standard practice in America? Would either knowing your fuel tanks capacity or just getting back in the car and looking at the fuel-meter not just be enough?
Whilst Sarah Palin was completely wrong (but funny) with her death panel arguments I really wish the NHS just had a 'no, you're too stupid - you deserve to die' policy - they're not giving that kid who caused his liver to fail after a weekend binge drinking a transplant so why should we save prime Darwin award candidates who, in all likelihood, will do something equally stupid within the next few years.
... on a very rainy day. Stories about life in the Navy in centuries past. The book opened on this one.
An officer overheard one of the men say that he'd left a candle burning below decks, "in a barrel of black sand". Black sand? ...?? ...???? Gunpowder!!
The officer immediately went below and found the candle flame burning level with the gunpowder held back by a ring of wax. Very carefully, he pinched the flame out with his fingers.
Years ago I worked for an American company in London. It was quite difficult dealing with head office because not only was there only a small time overlap each day but they treated us like we lived in some really hick backwater with no idea about technology or tools or suchlike. One of the Londoners I worked with used to take the piss out of them by drawling things like
In bad US accent: "Do you have electricity over there in Ingland?"
We had a recurring problem with the frame relay to the US and head office would not believe that we could troubleshoot something like that ourselves so they sent us a "real engineer" out to fix it for us.
Guy arrives one morning and disappears into the comms room to get on with learning us about technology, all is quiet for a few minutes and then we hear an almighty bang and all the electricals go off, along with the comms room alarms.
Turns out the guy had plugged his 120v power adapter into the 240v mains which sat there for a minute or so and then exploded in a most amusing way. Guess he learned the hard way that we actually *do* have elastic trickery over here.
My Bonnie looked into a gas tank.
The height of its contents to see.
She lit a small match to assist her.
Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me.
Oh and @ Northern Monkey:
Kinda ironic of you to make fun of all we Americans, where if you'd read the full article prior to posting, you'd see the tank was not the cars, but a portable tank in the cabin-like for a lawnmower. Still incredibly stupid of her- instructions even posted to place all containers on the ground for filling-but read before posting.
Vacuums are key anti-Darwin device, as seen in casualty departments across the globe. 6th form friend was late for a date and had no petrol in his car, so decided to try to syphon some from his parents to his. Using a vacuum cleaner as an improvised fuel pump. Needed new garage, cars, vacuum and hair after that, but kept the girl.
> How long until she sues the gas station for not warning that checking the fuel with an open flame could lead to the gas exploding?
Gas (petrol) pumps here have instructions telling (or warning) you to fill cans by placing them on the ground. And no open flames, etc., etc. If she couldn't follow those instructions, a warning to not check the level with a cigarette lighter probably wouldn't have done any good.
> And remember, this is the US. That won't be a Renault Clio or a Fiat Panda. That'll be several tons of steel!
One article I found said it was a 1970 Chevrolet. That could be a Chevy Vega. Even if it's not a Vega, most other American cars of that vintage weigh 3500-4000 lbs -- two tons perhaps, but not several. (Versus the 2800 lbs of a 1971 Triumph 2000 sedan/saloon.)
That's why they make fuel caps and filler inlets from materials that carry a low risk of sparking along with explosion resitant tanks.
The sparks inside the drill are another matter....
Anyway, off to adjust my tv ariel as the lightning storm seems to be affecting it....
Birmingham Airport car park.
I guy asks me if he can have a jump start as his battery is dead. "Sure", I say and get my leads out of the boot / trunk. I open the bonnet / hood and he proceeds to attach the both leads to my battery. I say, "You're supposed to connect one at a time to each car in turn." He says, "It's OK" and touches both eletrodes together sending a shower of sparks into the air in front of his face. He could have quite nicely killed himself in front of me.
Moral of the story? There are a lot of stupid people out there, but not all people are stupid. Even in Blighty.
Warning stickers? Are you kidding? This happened in Joliet, Illinois, which is in the United States of Litigation. There are warning stickers about this EVERYWHERE at the gas station.
As I've often said, some people are just beyond help and should have been eaten by wolves years ago. As great as civilization is, it's too bad it so effectively trumps evolution.
Hmmm..... nothing I would want to admit in public, but no need to spare others' blushes! The following are from "valued colleagues" from several different IT jobs:
Item 1 - The head of IT at a famous London uni, when there was a recall on rack PDUs with suspected faulty earths, decided he should not wait for an engineer but test the units himself. Cue big sparks and a trip to A&E, only being saved from a Darwin Award by the prompt action of another member of staff. This was despite his repeatedly having told me what a computing genius he was, that thirty years IT experience meant I could never be as clever or experienced as him, etc, etc....
Item 2 - Faculties manager that decided to check the integrity of a fire escape by jumping up and down on the landing whilst it was wet from rain. He slipped and fell down a flight, breaking his leg and giving himself concussion. We did discuss pushing him down the remaining flight to finish him off seeing as what a monumental pain in the prosterior he was.
Item 3 - Salesman that decided he could use his estate car as a delivery van despite it not having any means of strapping down the large number of small but heavy boxes. When he braked heavily the kit came forward and hit him on the back of the head, squashing him against the wheel and causing him to drive into another vehicle. The funniest bit was the company car insurance expressly excluded the carriage of goods!
Item 4 - HR manager, desperate to get home in time to catch Eastenders (I kid you not!), who got tired of waiting for the AA (paid for by the company) and decided to jack her car up on a muddy bank to change a punctured wheel. The car slipped off the jack and came down on her foot. She was a bottle blonde.
Though the minority are what might be called a few bricks shy of a load, the Majority still like to watch and laugh at it and say they would never do it, even though they too have their moments. I also don't care what country you're in... every country has their unfair share of dupes and slackers that don't educate themselves (reading warning signs? bah! hold my beer and check this out!).
If anyone saw the last Episode of Top Gear, their segment on drivers of crappy cars points out more than a couple cases of idiots in Jolly ol' England as well as the American grease monkey wrecking a customer's car in the oil change bay. And if you ever wanna see proof that idiots are everywhere... just browse youtube for a while.
Idiots that claim superiority without the facts to back it up (and even then) are just setting themselves up for the fall (pride comes before and stuff).
"He says, "It's OK" and touches both eletrodes together sending a shower of sparks into the air in front of his face. He could have quite nicely killed himself in front of me."
By swallowing the battery, maybe. Unless UK car batteries produce a much higher voltage than those here in the US, there's not enough to hurt him.
Yes, I know, it's current that kills, not voltage. If you apply Ohm's law you'll see that for a given resistance, the lower the voltage, the lower the current. 12v isn't enough to kill you. It's not enough to hurt you. You can hold one terminal in each hand all day and not feel a tingle, except the part where your arms go numb from staying in an awkward position too long.
If UK car batteries run at 96v, though, there certainly is a danger. 48v not so much though you might feel it. Maybe if your hands are wet. Skin resistance varies and I haven't done the numbers but I think 48v wouldn't be more than uncomfortable. Maybe somebody will correct me if I've got that one wrong.
Those sparks, now, are impressive. I always love watching movies where they torture the hero with electric shocks, and show you how nasty it is by first stroking the wires together to make those lovely sparks. THAT is high current through a near-zero-ohm connection, and said hero won't feel a damned thing unless they apply it to his tongue. Or other mucous membranes. Normally they don't show that because the other mucous membranes are X-rated. Well, not the nostrils.
The biggest dangers in hooking two car batteries together are 1) sparks igniting battery vapors (or fuel) and 2) exploding batteries or burning out circuits from hooking them together wrong. Hook up the ground last and hook it to the chassis. Make sure you know which terminal is grounded.
Lets see I guess a good one would be what happened a few weekends ago at parents house (Though not 100% sure this classes as stupid so much as accident)
Helping do some remodeling at parents house (Slab foundation), needed to drill a hole to set a new bolt. Out comes the 7mm 6inch masonry bit. Fast forward about 5 minutes worth of drilling to me wondering why water was coming out of the hole around the bit. Pull bit out to have a mini-Old Faithful in the bathroom where I was drilling. Turns out there was an undocumented water line buried in the slab.
That was a nice $800 for the plumber. Luckily my parents didnt make me pay for that one :)
If the woman had any experience pumping gas from US gas pumps she ought to know they have an automatic shut-off when the fuel level reaches the pump. So no need to see, nor light matches to see better. Just put can on ground, shove pump into opening in can (open cap first!) and pump till it shuts off, hang up, pay, put can in car and leave. Ought to be idiot proof, but apparently idiots have evolved since this feature was invented.
On a side note, I have to say this auto-shut-off leaves my motorbike with about half a tank if used indiscriminately since the filler neck of a car's gas tank is much longer than on a bike and the pumps reach too far into the tank.
Instead I have to carefully place the end of the pump about 1 cm. below the filler neck on the tank, then hold it still while pumping until it shuts off, check that the tank indeed is full (so I don't have to fill up too often) and at the same time make sure I don't fill over the filler neck since that can cause vacuum in the tank and problems with the fuel feed.
Despite these issues with filling up my bike I manage every time, even at night, to do it without the use of matches, torches, or lighters. Even though the bike is black.
Depends on the battery, the one I had one the jeep in Canada could punch out over 650 CCA (Cold cranking amps) and closer to 850amps in warm weather.
Sweaty hands could be enough to overcome the skin resistance and having that kinda of current discharge into you wouldn't be pleasant
Worse the battery could have exploded showering the idiot and the other party with acid
Or not as bad killed the ECU / other electronics in the car due to the short.
She doesn't qualify for a Darwin Award, as she survived and is (presumably) still able to reproduce. However, the Darwin Honourable Mention covers precisely cases such as hers: people who were life-threateningly stupid but lived to hear the tale told about them...
when I got the job of Safety Officer at a City Council , because the accident rate was high and the Insurance Co. warned them that their premium was going to get jacked up 30% each year if they didn't improve.
My primary job was surveying and designing Sewer Systems , and I am not sure why that made me
the one selected .
t was interesting , learning about the ingenious ways people found to injure , main and kill themselves at work.
I found that those who injured themselves or damaged their vehicle were the most resistant to changing their attitude and practices .
Also spent a few years as a Volunteer Ambulance Officer, and found that crashing your car at high speed , putting your head through a glass door , and other such things was done by those seemed to intent on doing dangerous things until they terminated themselves.
Mostly after the session of drinking brain numbing liquids.
This is in New Zealand, so it seems to be world wide .
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