Why would one ...
... turn a toaster oven on its side to cook pizza?
I'm trying to picture this, but my brain says no.
I'll bring the beer, though.
Welcome once again, gentle reader, to the quiet corner of The Register we call Who, Me? in which readers unburden themselves by confessing tales of work-related mishaps and narrow escapes. This week meet "Raj" who was a young man in his very prime back in the 1990s, working for a firm that, among other things, manufactured air …
A countertop oven that just toasts the bread, melts cheese, that kind of thing. Hence, toaster oven.
They are very rare in corporate kitchens now for the exact reason I think is described in the story - lots of smoke when someone somehow fails to work the idiot-proof device and lots of smoke is emitted.
A Combi Micro-oven/grill has largely replaced these standalone units…. Which are more commonly today being replaced by the microwave-less ‘air fryer’.
A toaster is for toasting bread, vertically. There is no such thing as a toaster oven.
Toaster, counter-top grill (broiler), oven or air-fryer.
And I supposed there was never such a thing as a phone with a spinning dial with 10 holes?
Yes Virginia, there is a toaster oven.
After a little trial and error, we figured out how to set a 40 foot multi-zone belt furnace (nominally used to cook hybrid circuitry) to make chocolate chip cookies. Including the mandatory cooling time ... when they came out the far end they were just warm to the touch, and ready for eating :-)
Elfin safety can kiss my pasty white butt; I don't need protecting from myself.
Hey, hold my beer & watch this! ::sweeps cookie crumbs off floor with liquid nitrogen::
People who sarcastically write 'Elf N Safety' or variants thereof really grind my gears, having seen or heard of accidents resulting in injury, disability and in one case, death, all from ignoring H & S requirements in some way. Most safety rules are written in peoples' blood.
“Most safety rules are written in peoples' blood.”
Depends on the workplace. In my case I would say “some”, not “most”. Because with every H&S inspection they find something, even after all comments from the previous inspection were dealt with. I’m not even talking about the heavy machinery, or necessary precautions when dealing with high voltage stuff. Not even about putting stickers on glass sliding doors. But comments regarding the *speed* with which said doors slide open. Apparently it was too fast, in case someone had there fingers in between the sliding door and the wall. So they changed it. I scored a nasty bump on the head from that one, since I’m a fast walker.
H&S is important, but in some cases the rules seem more about bureaucracy than actually checking if the current rules are followed.
A very, very, long time go a Civil Service safety officer (he also did "real work") gave me some advice. " Leave something that is easy to find, because I'm going to keep going until I find something to write up" .
It turned out to be: Me leaving an ether bottle out on the end of the bench - Meaning he didn't have to keep looking until he found that the 60 year old solvent store, that it should have been in, was "inadequate" and should be replaced by one further away from the building.
And some are daft as can be - and some get changed, telling you how daft they were...
Consumer units used to be plastic, now they must be metal.
Turns out that being conductive is only a minor inconvenience compared with the consequences of a consumer unit melting in a fire (particularly the bit around the incoming tails).
>And some are daft as can be
We (breifly) had a rule about 'no cardboard boxes on top of cupboards' - the stated reason being that heavy boxes might fall off and hurt someone.
I'd stored a couple of (empty) boxes on top of a cupboard (to stop people tripping over them while I was doing a server build - the server was going back into them post-build for dispatch to a remote site). I was told to take them down as they might fall and hurt someone.
We had no storage for them so I lifted them down and put them back in the corridor. I was told to move them as they were a trip hazard so I put them back on top of the cupboard again.
I got Talked To. Apparently, I wasn't taking health and safety seriously.. (I had even pointed out that the intent was so that heavy boxes wouldn't fall and hit someone - these were not heavy boxes so the rule didn't apply).
That policy went away when we had a change of manager to one capable of understanding IT operations and possessing common sense.
At my last place we had a policy of nothing to be stored above head height. I queried who in the office was to be used as the official measure of head height given there was a good 18" difference between shortest and tallest. I was met with the 'stop picking holes in my policies and making my life hard' glare from the safety manager.
For many years after that I had 2 empty boxes the top shelf by my desk, neither above my head height, marked 'Cannon Balls' and 'Anvils'. No-one ever commented.
More importantly it is likely to increase compliance if the rules are shown to have a reason.
I mean we all know that there is some maximum gap allowed in banister/landing/balcony railings, but it's easy to remember the 10cm rule when you remember that it's that so that an infant's head can't fit through.
"More importantly it is likely to increase compliance if the rules are shown to have a reason."
You might think so, but look at it from the perspective of an unreasonable person. In their mind, every fact or reason is another opportunity to raise an objection. So to them, trying to show a reason is likely to increase arguments and reduce compliance. That's why they never give any reasons for their own decisions -- that and the fact they don't have any good reasons.
I'm after the 'legislative or regulatory requirement' that says you can't have a wheeled office-type chair in the workshop (lino on concrete floor) meaning you have to drag a backbreakingly-heavy lump just a few inches across the floor because that cable just doesn't reach... then back again because the next cable doesn't reach in the other direction
I'm guessing its something in the BOCRA (British Office Chair Racing Association) rule book
(luckily I'm in an ex-manager's office, with carpet tiles covering the concrete, so I can use a wheeled chair to scoot back and forth)
Actually, being pedantic they don't have to be metal (or more correctly, ferrous metal).
Reg 421.1.201 says that CU's must "have their enclosure manufactured from non-combustible material" without specifying any standard against "combustibility" can be measured. If they left it at that, then there would be no material which could be used - I guess there may be some exotic material that's non-combustible under any circumstances, but I'd hazard a guess that it would be both expensive and not have properties that make it practical to use.
"Fortunately", they added the note that "Ferrous metal, e.g. steel, is deemed to be an example of a non-combustible material." Since they've said that steel is deemed to be non-combustible (despite it being clearly combustible under the right conditions), then that's what people now use. Many other materials, including I suspect the good old Bakelite already mentioned, would be "non-combustible" if a standard were specified - but because the authors of BS7671 declined to specify a standard, then they can't be used, or more correctly, they can't be stated to be "non-combustible" without referencing some standard of test and no-one wants to be the test case for what amounts to "non-combustible".
And it's not like they haven't been told (I've personally had an email exchange over this) that this was a monumental cock-up of rule making, and it's not like they haven't had an opportunity to fix it (there's been at least one sizeable amendment since 421.1.201 appeared) - it seems like the JPEL-64 committee are happier making sales for the commercial interests than fixing bad regulations.
And from a safety perspective it sucks too. As hinted at, in some situations having a conductive case is in itself a safety risk. And it's generally accepted that this was brought in by those well known electrical safety experts, the London Fire Brigade after observing a significant number of fires started at the CU - while others think that the root cause is down to slapdash meter fitters leaving bad connections when fitting the so called "smart" meters and perhaps having competent people do that might be a better investment.
Yep - the safety of a consumer unit (distribution board, fuse box, call it what you will) is, like so many things, a compromise.
I think the requirement not to lose structural integrity under "normal" domestic fire conditions is quite high on the list, but if the monkeys with insulated screwdrivers don't torque the connections decently, and with the cable/busbar in place, then it all counts for naught.
The actual history of this (in the UK is all I know) was that too may MCBs (of whatever function) were total crap. Too much history of overheating and so being the cause of the fires. Banning the brands concerned (by country of origin) would have been seen as a restraint of trade...
People who sarcastically write 'Elf N Safety' or variants thereof really grind my gears, having seen or heard of accidents resulting in injury, disability and in one case, death, all from ignoring H & S requirements in some way. Most safety rules are written in peoples' blood.
I fully understand where you are coming from, but I disagree. When I use "elf-n-safety" in such a way, I'm using it to refer to those who apply rules with no thought (or in many cases I suspect, any clue) to the purpose or applicability. The sort of people who insist on the wearing of hard hats "because it's a construction site", without stopping to think that there's a roof a couple of feet above my head (so no chance of someone dropping a hammer on me from 3 stories up), and wearing a hard hat makes the difference between missing the steelwork or hurting my neck because my brain forgets to adjust for the extra couple of inches of height when walking under some steelwork*. Or the people who insist on hi-vis wear in situation where someone would have to be seriously visually impaired not to be able to see you - or where it would actually make you less visible.
As others have already written, people will engage more when faced with realistic rules where the rational can be explained - not some blanket rule such as (to pick an example given here) "no boxes on top of cupboards" and refusing to accept that it might actually be the best place to put them.
* Yes, I know they make a big difference in many situations. But personally my score is things dropped on me, nil (I rarely work in situation where it's possible); hurt neck through catching hat on something I'd have otherwise missed, lost count.
"People who sarcastically write 'Elf N Safety' or variants thereof really grind my gears,"
To be fair, its just become a catch-all term but now incorrectly used. Originally that term was for insurance companies or small-minded local government officials using "health and safety" as an excuse to say no to everything when they really meant they can't be arsed to carry out a risk assessment and/or can't be arsed to check if the insurance will cover the activity.
REAL H&S is important and ought to be respected. We just have to be aware of jumped up PHBs who will "use" H&S "rules"[*] for their own purposes.
* often made-up rules.
And to be honest, if asbestos were baked into food, it would be pretty much harmless.
Asbestos fibres are harmful if inhaled, because they lodge in the lungs and cause scarring (asbestosis). It is used as a mineral fire retardant because it is chemically inert in a fire, and doesn't conduct heat well. This would also mean it is pretty much chemically inert in the gut; apparently you might get some magnesium ions diffusing out of it under strongly acidic conditions (in the stomach), but magnesium is a trace nutrient anyway, so arguably it is good for you in that regard.
It probably wouldn't do you any good, or harm, to eat it, and would likely pass right through you without becoming lodged in your gut in any meaningful way (and gut epithelial cells are frequently shed anyway, unlike the lining of your lungs). Asbestos in food would present a very low inhalation risk, unless the food it is baked into is also light and powdery in nature. If your cookies are powdery, you've forgotten some important ingredients, like everything that isn't flour. Incidentally, inhaling flour is bad for you too.
So, in conclusion, if you get some asbestos baked into your food, it will likely do you no more harm than any other dirt that gets into your food. People just go crazy because of asbestosis, which is a lung disease from inhaling (not eating) it. For reference, inhaling pretty much anything you'd normally eat, rather than eating it, is not good for you. See also: choking, drowning.
Please tell me you're not in medicine. Okay, you don't need to tell me.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma is not common, but protracted consumption of asbestos, such as that from tainted cooking utensils or drinking water, most certainly is a health risk. A one-off, harmless, true enough.
"After a little trial and error, we figured out how to set a 40 foot multi-zone belt furnace..."
In a similar manner, we used a paper coater (think putting silicone or glue onto paper to make labels) that used to cook a pizza to perfection in less than 30 seconds. You used to pop it on just before turning the coating tap on. It even had a handy roller that allowed you to slide the pizza onto a plate.
The two 4" gas mains feeding this give you a clue to the output of this rapid meal heater.
"...used to cook a pizza to perfection in less than 30 seconds."
Is that with a pre-cooked or raw base?
A proper (usually wood-fired) pizza oven operates a a far higher temperature (around 350-400 C) than a normal home oven (which usually top out at around 240C).
At 350C a pizza is nicely done in 90 seconds from a raw base. My cooking sense tells me that higher temperature and shorter time would result in crisp outside and still-raw inside of the base, but any new information / tips are always welcome.
Ideally, my pizza oven gets up to around 950F (floor) or 1200F (dome) when burning oak.
That's 500C and 650C (close enough). Cooks a standard 12-14 inch pie in about 60 seconds, from raw. Crack an egg on top of the cooked pie, and then dome it for about a count of two for perfectly cooked white and very warm, yet still runny, yolks.
Yes, much higher a temperature will incinerate the outside, leaving the inside raw.
Just to clarify, this is a toaster oven:
And this is a toaster:
Completely different beasties.
I don't know why you would want to turn a toaster oven on it's side to cook a pizza. The ones I've seen are large enough to cook at least a small pizza while the right way up.
Still, we are talking about a society where the Fire Brigade have had to ask students not to cook cheese on toast in toaster.. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/toaster-grilled-cheese-fire-avery-hill-jamie-oliver-b1060242.html
Next you'll be trying to tell us we shouldn't have tried to cook soup in a kettle.
Actually, from how every cup of tea after that tasted I think we learnt our lesson, which was "trying to cook things when you get back home hammered at 4am is not always a good idea..."
If you regularly have a need for a cup or two (a liter or so) of boiling stock, the investment in a second electric kettle for the purpose is worth it. Ask anyone who know how to cook.
Mine is painted bright yellow with red & orange flames, and a warning "not for water" stencil.
In the factory where I worked in the Drawing Office, every department had a tea boiler, essentially a large electric kettle, from which the shop floor used to make their tea at break times. One department complained that the tea tasted greasy, and had blobs of liquid fat floating in it. Someone from Site Services was sent to investigate, and they replaced the faulty boiler. Next day, same complaint. That night, the Site Services person camped out while the night shift were occupying the department. Just after midnight, one worker was seen to remove the lid and hang a chicken carcase wrapped in a nylon stocking into the boiling water. Some ten minutes later, he removed it and carried it back to his work station, where he proceeded to dismember it and eat it. Later that day another new boiler was installed, complete with a padlocked strap to prevent removal of its lid.
Already been said, but it bears saying again; that one reference from Homer, οἶνοψ πόντος, is generally translated as "wine dark sea", but the literal translation is closer to "wine-faced sea."
Just because some scholars came along later and thought this meant the ancient Greeks thought wine and the sea are the same colour doesn't mean that is correct.
Personally, I think it's more likely to be talking about the turbidity of the sea, compared to wine, rather than the colour. This does imply that the wine Homer was drinking was shitty and hadn't been racked properly, which, to be fair, in my experience, is true today for a lot of home-made wine, or was very dark, and fermented with the skins left in.
Students cooking cheese on toast in a toaster is nothing new, I recall having to remove burnt cheese from one of the side panels of my sisters old toaster when she came back from Uni back in the mid 1990s. She had no idea how it got there, took about 5 seconds to guess which housemate had done it (they later confirmed that it was them). At least back then toasters were very solidly built of metal with a spring that could fire toast at least 6 feet.
I have also since confirmed that despite this at least one major manufacturer of toasters (the same one as above) did not have any testing around using the toaster on its side or trying to cook cheese on toast via this method, so even after 30+ years of students doing this the manufacturers don't test against this type of abuse.
I can remember at least one local cafe that did cheese toasties in a "normal" toaster. Well, it was a commercial one where you put the cheese sandwich in a holder with handles and dropped it in, then lifted it out when done. But they did put the sandwich in a heat resistant plastic bag first and it cooked pretty fast so cheese melted but not enough to go runny and leak down. Annoyingly, they just put the toastie, still in the bag, on a plate, leaving you to choose whether you were hungry enough to risk burnt fingers by not letting it cool a bit first before trying to remove the bag :-) That also reminds me of a local chippy that started offering pizza'n'chips many years ago. Oooh, must try that. Disappointed is an understatement! A 4-5" McCains frozen pizza, microwaved still in the individual clear plastic wrap. Soggy and horrible!
From that linked story, it's not the using a toaster to make cheese-on-toast that's unsafe, it's the turning on a cooker THEN LEAVING THE ROOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I had a lodger who did exactly that. Put bread under the grill to make toast, then, I have no idea how, simply walked out of the kitchen and into his bedroom.
I was cramming in an 'O' Level CDT project the night before it was due in (naughty me!). Around 6 in the morning sleep deprived me needed some sustenance, so I made some Marmite on toast, using one of those grills that's above the hob. I used the last of the butter, so once I'd finished I put the next block of rock hard butter on top of the now cooling grill to soften it up. The first sign that I'd forgotten to turn the grill off was the appearance of two foot high flames shooting out of the grill, as the entire block had melted and ignited. That took 16 year old me a good long time to clean up! Muppet!
so I made some Marmite on toast
Aha. You're one of Those People!
(I am too but my wife issued a 3-line whip that that and related substances are forever banned from the house.. I sometimes was able to smuggle in some Twiglets  but that's about as far as I could go..)
 Is it just me or do the modern version not actually taste of Marmite?
I most certainly am one of Those People!
As well as the XO mentioned by Missing Semicolon there's also Marmite Dynamite - although TBH I can't tell the difference, as well as putting half a jar of Marmite on a slice of toast I'm also a major chilli head! Some abuses are gooood!
My college culinary mistake was staying up way too late cramming for a calculus exam the next morning. As I was dozing off, I figured I needed some caffeine, so I popped to the on-campus convenience store. Hey, they have Jolt Cola! So I drank that 20-ounce Jolt on an empty stomach.
Never again. Ever ever.
I had no idea it was possible to get high on caffeine. After half an hour of blankly staring at a page, I finally gave up and tried to go to bed. The sensation of seeming to float a few inches above the bed has stuck in my memory even this quarter century later. Having neither properly studied nor gotten a good night's sleep, I don't think I did well on the exam. (But not badly enough to have to repeat the course.)
A college acquaintance picked up the nickname Torch. He had come home somewhat intoxicated and thought that some bacon would be just the thing. It might well have been, only he passed out on the kitchen floor. When the neighbors smelled and saw smoke, they called the fire department. The Torch woke on his back in the snow, with a lot of flashing lights around him.
I once put a pan of water on to boil some eggs, forgot about it, went out for a walk and then had the "oh fuck" moment about 20 minutes walk away from the house. Fortunately, when I had got back, the pan, which had boiled dry and was nicely discolouring (stainless steel over a copper base), had not melted or set anything on fire. It was a good year or two before the base of the pan (which thankfully had not warped or delaminated) returned to a normal colour again.
We can all be idiots sometimes...
My first year at University, the only year I spent in student accommodation. Someone had left one of those boil in the can puddings on the hob and it had boiled dry, then exploded. Judging by the aftermath the can had launched out of the pan, spraying chocolate pudding as propellant and leaving a line of pudding fragments up the wall, smashed the overhead light fitting, sprayed the rest of its contents across the ceiling and down the opposite wall, and finally ended up neatly in the sink. The pan was enamelled and the coating had melted onto the electric ring, which was out of action for the rest of the year.
the only year I spent in student accommodation
ah yes.. I shared a Polytechnic Halls with some one with (apparently) no sense of smell or taste. He was from the Welsh valleys and seemed to have a diet that consisted of fish fingers, beer and chips, cooked in lard (not the beer though - that would be weird). Now, stuff cooked in lard can be really, really nice - but not if the lard is very much on the far side of rancid..
I suspect the only reason he didn't die of food poisoning is the fact that he used the same pan every night and the head killed the bugs. Either that or the superbugs that lived in the lard killed any invading bugs.
We eventually got tired of the stench and him not reacting to us asking him to change the lard and threw out the pan, congealed lard and all. And threatened to do the same to any replacement pan.
When I was a kid, and Baked Beans were a new phenomenon, my Mother used to immerse the can, on its side, in cold water, then turn on the gas ring. When the can went "Boink", she would turn off the gas, wait until the water stopped boiling, then open the can and serve.
One day, while she was out, my Grandfather decided to heat a can for himself, but he stood the can vertically in the pan, lit the gas, and went off to do something else. There was a loud "Bang!" and the contents of the can were projected up and splattered across the ceiling, slowly dripping down over the cooker and surrounding floor.
Mum was furious, and banned Grandad from the kitchen. The ceiling remained slightly orange for years, until Dad and I were tasked with redecorating and modernising the kitchen.
"my Mother used to immerse the can [of baked beans], on its side, in cold water, then turn on the gas ring"
Hmm, I can almost see the logic of doing this (a bit like an industrial strength version of those lazy ready meals for camping that come in a foil pouch, where you just simmer the pouch in a pan over your camping stove to reheat), but I'm sure it must be far less efficient than just emptying the beans directly into the pan first (not to mention the explosion risk)!
To be fair, the colour of the bottom of the pan doesn't bother me, as long as it's clean. It had some pretty birefringence-type patterns from the oxide layer, the thickness of which must have been a few thousands of atoms to produce that. Sadly it gradually faded over time to be replaced with the normal metallic colour.
My wife once was in the kitchen cooking a stir-fry, and popped briefly into the living room to say something to me. I was playing a game on the computer (in the living room, small apartment). Interested, she watched for a few minutes, until an errant wisp of smoke drifted across her vision. That was how we learned the smoke detector didn't work.
A couple of friends of mine came back from the pub, stuck a pizza in the oven, then sat down on the sofa to wait for it and fell asleep.
They were shaken awake by a fireman, who had been called by a neighbour who had seen the smoke, and they'd arrived to find the front door wide open. They'd walked in, turned off the oven, put the fire out and somehow* my friends hadn't ever woken up.
* spoiler, it was the booze.
I think this is probably a "lost in translation" incident, with people thinking that English (UK) and English (US) are the same language.
A toaster (UK English) is a device where you put bread in a slot in the top and depress a handle.
A toaster-oven (predominantly US English) is small oven with a heating element above the food (what we would call a grill in the UK, but in the US, a grill is more like an indoor barbecue, let's not go there).
Putting a pizza in the latter would be a reasonably sensible way of heating it, although you would expect to get a burnt top and soggy base. Putting a pizza in a toaster is not 100% daft, if you were to use a "toaster bag", although it's likely to be messy unless it's one of those horrid frozen cardboard things you're cooking, but putting the toaster on its side is just next-level creative stupidity.
Putting a "toaster-oven" on its side is something that would require a special brand of idiocy.
I suspect actual toasters are a rarity in the US for the same reason that electric kettles are; drawing sufficient current for the heating elements at 110V is going to require extra-thick power cables, or result in a lot of resistive power loss, and a fire hazard.
"I have one because I DO drink tea."
DO you call it a kettle or a tea kettle? When I hear American calling them "tea kettles" I have visions of them ruining tea by assuming "tea kettle" means putting the tea, probably tea bags, in the kettle full of cold water, turning it on, waiting for it boil, and then wondering how those stoopid foreigners could possibly enjoy drinking that mess. :-)
Reminds me of touring holidays in France in the 80s, if they did make tea it was with warm water, yuk!
Hot water was only possible by boiling a pan. I still remember seeing a kettle in a shop window in France back then - complete with large illustrated poster explaining what it was and how it worked.
"A toaster (UK English) is a device where you put bread in a slot in the top and depress a handle."
Also US English. Common as muck over here on the Left side of the pond. I can not remember ever seeing a kitchen without one.
"A toaster-oven (predominantly US English) is small oven with a heating element above the food"
Usually the heating elements are both above and below, and switched separately depending on what you are cooking (and how). The good ones also have a small fan to distribute the heat evenly when being used in the "oven" mode.
"(what we would call a grill in the UK, but in the US, a grill is more like an indoor barbecue, let's not go there)."
Going there anyway ... "grilling" is just applying heat directly to food via radiation. It can be under-shot or over-shot. Here in the US an over-shot grill is usually called a "broiler" (for historical reasons), although industrial sized ones in the 65K BTU range are usually called a "salamander". Under-shot is a grill (electric, wood or charcoal, usually), UNLESS there is supposed to be a pan of some kind between the food and the heat source, in which case it is an oven or a stove. Usually.
"I suspect actual toasters are a rarity in the US for the same reason that electric kettles are; drawing sufficient current for the heating elements at 110V is going to require extra-thick power cables, or result in a lot of resistive power loss, and a fire hazard."
You suspect wrong. Electric kettles are not as common here for one reason. We don't drink tea. We drink coffee, and coffee pots are self-heating. And as a side note, the power cables are actually SMALLER than they are in Blighty, because we have different rules and regulations on same. No, nobody dies. Sorry.
This round's on me :-)
Fair enough. For reference, we drink coffee too, and there are as many ways of making it as there are people to argue about them. I've never seen an electric coffee pot, though, unless this refers to a filter coffee machine (water drips through the coffee and filter paper into a, usually, borosilicate glass, jug, with a small heating element underneath to keep it warm).
In the UK, a grill refers to what you would call a "broiler". The verb "to broil" pretty much doesn't exist in British English. If "grilling" from underneath, we wouldn't use the verb "to grill", and wouldn;t call the appliance a grill. Depending on the heat source, it would be a hot-plate, or barbecue (if used outside). If used inside, which you'd only ever see, rarely, in a restaurant, we might call it a gas grill, or charcoal grill, but never just a grill. Usually, though, if it's a surface used directly for cooking, without the use of a pan, it's a hot-plate here, and (I think), a grill there. You'll pretty much never see one in a domestic setting.
Also, with toaster ovens, you'll be very unlikely to see them here, certainly not in a domestic setting, but possibly in a shop selling heated food to keep pies or similar warm, so the bacteria can grow nicely.
Once again, we are two cultures divided by a common language...
I make my "proper" coffee in an electric "Italian cafetiere" where the water is forced through the coffee grounds as it boils. Don't ask me why but I find it tastes much better than a "french cafetiere" where the water and grounds just mix, or a filter coffee which gives me a bad stomach while I can drink cappuccinos all day no problem.
Most Italian cafetieres are non-electric stove top devices and for some reason the electric ones are almost impossible to source in the UK. I got my previous Bialetti on Amazon via Bulgaria if I recall correctly.
Versions now seem available as "Moka pots" as well. Instead of watching a stove top boil, just put in the water and coffee, switch it on and walk away. Keeps the coffee warm for up to 30 mins after it's been made as well.
We'd call that an espresso maker, or moka pot. A cafetière (also known as a French press in the US) is always the thing with the plunger.
It depends on the type of coffee you are trying to make. I typically use a cafetière, with normal ground coffee, but sometimes an espresso maker (with Italian coffee), ground much finer, and sometimes a μπρίκι for making Greek coffee. The former is best for making a big mug of coffee quickly to wake me up in the morning, and the latter two are good for making a much stronger "pick-me-up". Not that I don't make the cafetière coffee strong too. I fail to see the point in weak coffee.
Left-pondian here. You're spot-on for the electric coffee pot; the electric element that keeps the glass jug ("carafe") warm is also what boils the water in the back, causing it to go up a tube and drip onto the coffee in a filter, and once through the filter into the carafe.
For us, a "grill" (kinda short for barbecue grill) is an outdoor cooking device. Most are gas (typically using a basketball-sized propane tank mounted on the grill itself), but many use charcoal and some wood.
For indoor cooking, typically an oven is used, which has an electric element (usually under a pan) in the bottom for regular cooking, another element in the top for broiling, and wire racks (usually height-adjustable) to put the cooking dishes on. It can be set to "bake" (bottom element) or "broil" (top element). Some have a fan for convective heating as well.
Toasters are so common that it's rare to see a home without one. Toaster ovens are less common but pretty normal in homes.
I think that's another US/UK difference. I can't think of many kitchens I've been in that have more than one oven (unless you count a microwave, "air fryer" or slow-cooker).
Typically, a UK kitchen will have a single oven, and a hob (electric hot-plate, gas burner, or electric induction). The oven will usually have a built-in grill in the top.
Many years ago, when I was a young-un, we did have an old fashioned all-in-one cooker unit, which had a gas oven, gas rings on top, and a gas grill above that, like one of these bad-boys
This makes me wonder if this is a matter of there being more than one definition of toaster oven. In NA this is what we'd call a toaster oven, I picked a particularly large one because the promo photo literally shows a full size pizza inside it:
The ex got custody of the microwave & grill.
This appeals to my inner talky-toaster.
Why would one ...
... turn a toaster oven on its side to cook pizza?
I'm trying to picture this, but my brain says no.
I'll bring the beer, though.
There’s always the story of how the Euston Tower who amongst the tenants had Capital Radio plc. (now Global Radio) on the bottom two floors had to be evacuated one morning. All the fire alarms were linked in the building and despite Capital effectively being a separate ring around the base if the tower alarms went off they were supposed to evacuate. Well one morning someone allegedly burned the toast in the Capital Staff Restaurant. This set the alarms off everywhere and everyone from the breakfast show presenters to BT staff to the MI5 communications lot were supposed* to leave. Fire Brigade were in attendance as well I believe.
Apparently no one was certain whether MI5 actually evacuated the building with everyone else or assumed it was just burned toast and stayed put.
Had something similar happen, but it was cleaners who kept forgetting about the alarm to the front door of the building that contained the DC. Each time it went off, the police would get a call and they would have to come out to see what's happening. After a while, they just stopped attending.
They never brought Pizza with them though - they just used to try and get food/drinks off us!
Each time it went off, the police would get a call
Previous orkplace we had an interesting combo of low-level radioactive sources and large quantites of very flammable solvents.
If our fire alarm went off, the Fire Service would generally turn up within a couple of minutes. We used to warn the head of station if we were doing a drill so that they didn't have to turn up but apparently, they would use it to do an emergency drill as well.
I used be a sysadmin at a university. One day the fire alarm went off in the IT building, and as we started to move outside one of the two stairwells began filling with smoke — at which point people suddenly started taking the evacuation a lot more seriously. We got to our assembly area to find the occupants of the adjacent Chemistry building, and a number of worried-looking city firefighters suiting up while being briefed on the potential hazards before being sent in.
The safety officers for IT and Chem, and the commander of the local fire station, were the only three people involved who knew that this was a carefully-coordinated fire drill and training exercise.
Hold on, doesn't everybody glance around in a new building to check where the emergency exits are? There was a fire drill in a building I'd only been in four days, and I went straight onto automatic and trotted out down the stairs to the evac point. I was later told off for bringing my cup of tea with me - but I'd been walking from the kitchen back to my office with it when the alarm went off. So, naturally, I didn't continue into the office just to put my tea down before leaving the building.
"I wonder if popcorn in the kettle might work?"
Not an electric kettle, no, but one for the hob should work nicely ... assuming the "water in" opening is large enough to properly vent steam.
NOTE! That is NOT how kettle-corn is made! Don't say I didn't warn you & etc.
cooking rice in the kettle
I now cook my Basmati  rice in an Instant Pot on pressure cooker setting (6 minutes then 10 minutes of natural pressure reduction). Makes amazing rice. My wife likes saffron (she's of Cornish descent!) so I add a pinch of that sometimes..
Equal volume of rinsed rice and water. Small knob of butter and a bit of salt (plus any additions like saffron. Good to either eat as-is or to use later in fried rice!
 Two reasons - I like the taste and the starches absorb more slowly in the gut so the blood glucose peak is longer and lower than long-grain rice. Much better Glycaemic Load.
Icon for effect. Old boss story. (Really).
Weekend change window to change some card in a customer data centre router. Brings his 3yo in for the quick 5 minute swap job. Boss (yes, boss) doing his thing then all of a sudden there was a disturbance in The Force. Hundreds of racks, initially crying out in terror and were suddenly silenced (all of the devices in the DC all went quiet).
3yo boy decides the facility emergency power off button was pretty and needed to be pressed.
Upvoted as I just received a video of my 2 yo grandson undoing the child "lock" on the under-sink cabinet, throwing something in the trash, closing the cabinet door, and with a huge smile, proudly reattaching the child "lock".
They're always cleverer than you think they are!
Given sufficient levels of arthritis in the hands the only way to open a child-proof medicine container is to outsource the job to a child
Or buy a gripping hand^W device - I have a screw-top opener that has several sizes of grippers to use. I'm now looking around for a new manual can opener (don't want electric - expensive and prone to breaking) can opener as my fingers are now finding it difficult to turn the cutter handle.
Found one that has a long crank connected to the cutter so I might try that.
(Co-incidentally - just as I was typing about age and arthritis my playlist changed to "When Age has done it's Duty" by Cosmograph - based on Matthew Arnold's poem "Growing Old" - well worth reading. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/52311/growing-old)
>I'm now looking around for a new manual can opener
Don't know if it's the same brand in your country but the Starfrit (sp?) ones that cut around the side of the can, leaving a top that just pops off, with no sharp edges and can even be put back on to (mostly) reseal it. They have a big handle and a gripper to lift off the cut bit.
@CrazyOldCatman …. we’ve tried all the tin openers in our local Sainsbury’s. None will open a tin of tuna from same store. Sais supermarket need to take a good look at themselves…
We had to buy one from the Cash & Carry (catering supplies for left pondians, I suspect).
Cash&Carry is now called "Chef'store".
They are a (mostly) left-coast restaraunt supply chain that is open to the general public.
Everything from bulk dry goods to cleaning supplies to service items to take-away packaging to fresh fruit & veg to meat to dairy etc. etc. ... and all at near wholesale prices. Recommended, if you have one near you.
When my oldest grandson was a toddler, we put hook and eye latches high up on the exterior doors. (He'd already figured out how to unlock the doors) Easily reachable for us but (we thought) not him.
One morning we wake up to him playing on the swing set in the back yard. Hmm, how did he get out? We must have forgot to latch the door.
Another morning I was up and heard the closet in the kitchen open, I go onto the kitchen to see him using the broom handle to pop the latch off the door.
The little buggers are ingenious!
He's now a student at Florida Polytechnic Institute studying to follow Gramps into the IT profession!
My childproofing has involved:
Taping windowscreen to the underside of the in-floor air registers/vents
Using hex-head (no screwdriver slots!) screws to bolt said vents to the floor
Putting a safety hasp, at my head level. that you have to TURN to open on the laundry room doors
Putting a small bit of upholstery foam behind said hasp to prevent little ones from shaking the door until it turns itself and opens
Covering a standard wood baby gate with posterboard so the kids won't reach through to open it
Putting "arms" on the sides of a standard wood baby gate so it could fit into a bookshelf to protect the contents
Yes, they're quite clever.
Many moons ago I took my daughter to SLAC on take your kid to work day. At the ripe old age of 9, she had been there many times before and knew the ropes, but I figured she deserved a day out of school.
She told me as we were walking in that it'd cost me ten bucks for her to not push any buttons. I gave her the money.
On the way back out, I told her that it'd cost her ten bucks for me not to tell her mother she was running a protection racket. She made a face and paid up ... and promptly told her mother as soon as we got home. They both still laugh about it :-)
If I re-post something, it's because it fits within the context of the thread ... I suppose you have never told the same joke twice? Ever re-posted a HHGTTG or similar reference?
Also, remember, some people arrived here after I posted it last, so have likely never seen it. And some people might not have seen it in the first place I posted it. Hard as it might be for some to believe, not everybody reads every comment that every commentard makes. To tell you the truth, I'm not sure anyone COULD, at least not in this format ... not enough hours in the day, and I read faster than most.
I don't see my upvotes (or downvotes). I turn them off as meaningless noise, unless something prompts me to turn 'em on for some reason (rare).
You do know that ad-blockers work on more than just adverts, right?
Fair point, fair point. My partner often rolls her eyes when I start out on what I think is a novel anecdote...
As for hiding things with an adblocker – that's a good point. I reckon, given a small amount of time and motivation, I could set a rule for uBlock0 to make it seem like posts from certain users aren't even there! Certainly worth considering for some (not you – you can be entertaining). Might get confusing though, wondering what people are replying to.
Ha! Not an IT emergency, I can go one better on that, and I was the young boy in question. Back when I was a young boy, my dad was going to school full time, and working full time. This made for little time for recreation and spending time with me. One Saturday he combined both, we ended up at the local liquor store... Liquor in the front, poker in the back! My dad got sucked into a few hands of poker with the owner and some locals, I was free to roam the stock room. Being bored, I popped the tops of a case of canned beer while the guys played cards. Needless to say, my dad and his friends had a case of beer to drink before it went flat... I don't remember doing the deed, but I was reminded of it by Johnny, the owner of the shop many times through out my advancing childhood. However, this gave me the sense to keep my hands in my pockets when I first entered IT...
Also similar, we couldn't work out why the intruder alarm was going off occasionally between 06:00 and 06:30 on weekdays. We tracked it down to happening in the main office then realised they'd hung a world map (one of the ones with a batten top and bottom, hung with a bit of string) above a large radiator. When the heating came on the rising warm air would sometimes be sufficient to lift the bottom of the map and trigger the motion detector. As we'd reached the end of our unofficial "free police call out" allowance, i.e. next time they wouldn't attend, we were relieved to solve the problem.
The burglar alarm at the local primary school kept going off at various and multiple time whenever the school was locked up and not in use - oftentimes too frequently for any (team of) burglars to be the cause.
The culprit was eventually discovered to be the school's pet hamster doing hamster-y things in it's cage...
(posting AC because this could identify my workplace, if not me)
One of our former directors (now retired) once got called in, in the small hours of the morning, to our office, because the motion sensor had been tripped, and had to spend half an hour trying to eject a bat from the premises.
One place I worked had so many false alarms, mostly due to easily contained toaster fires, the fire brigade refused point blank to turn up until someone had visually confirmed there was an actual fire.
As a reuslt, every time the alarm went of, several trusted memebers of staff would run to the area noted on the panel and look for smoke...
That toaster incident seems to resonate: I remember an evacuation of our clean room production facility (this is a costly exercise...) due to a gormless employee cooking something in a toaster that had no place in there, I believe it was something unhealthy inside its plastic wrapper.
The stink lingered a while in the lunch room even after the incident.
I worked in a shared office many moons ago and late one morning the faint whiff of starting to burn bread product wafted into the office shortly followed by the fire alarm going off. Of course everyone did as they should and got out leaving whatever slightly charred bread product in whatever was charring it. The fire brigade turned up and finally put it out of its misery but by that time it was now fully charred. You could smell it in pretty much every common area of the floor for about a week after.
Worked with a dev who couldn't quite work out how to use our toaster. After he set off the fire alarm for the second time, causing the building to be evacuated for the second time and the fire brigade to be called out for the second time, we confiscated the toaster. Problem solved! Oh yes, his code was cr@p too.
Where I work, we have a couple of full size server rooms. These are large, air conditioned (kept at around 4 or 5 celsius all year. Thankfully, the company provides branded parkas for the techs working in there.
Apparently for security, and (I assume) to prevent Halon escapes, each room is protected by a sort of airlock arrangement. We enter the server room through a small room, where the parkas are stored. We use our swipe card to open the door from the corridor into the small room, then have to push a button to open the door to the server room. Neither door will unlock if the other is open. These server rooms are in other buildings.
We also have three servers in our own data/patch room. Two are hooked up to a network that, for security reasons, is only available in our building and has no outside access. The third runs the CCTV cameras in the building.
One day, we had a power failure. The power was out for a couple of hours, which was actually quite boring. Working in tech support, there isn't much of my job that doesn't require electricity.
When the power came back on, me and my team spent the next hour or so bringing everything back online, and making sure it was working (we don't usually power most of our computers down)
After we finished, I went into our data room for something else. I noticed the servers were off, so I turned the ones I knew about on. Then, I found a server I didn't recognise, and it was displaying "Keyboard not found: Press F1 to continue". As I didn't recognise it (I'd been off work when it was installed), I asked around. My boss said he didn't know what it was, so, getting worried now, I asked one of my colleagues. After all, while the room was as secure as we could make it, if you don't recognise any machine in a server room, that *is* a red flag.
My colleague asked for a photo, as he wasn't in the building so couldn't just pop in to see it. When I sent him one, he replied. "That's your CCTV server" and mentioned that my boss was directly responsible for it, so should have made sure it was working. I went to get a keyboard, plugged it in, pressed "F1" and it booted. No idea if we had anything stolen that day, but if we did, the CCTV cameras would not have caught it.
We commissioned a large set of equipment at a big water-treatment works. Big job, full day so we started very early and I had a plan for breakfast on-site as they had a good kitchen. I had a student/trainee with me who was keen to help and we set him off to buy the necessary foodstuffs from the local shop. There were four people in our team.
He returned with ten packs of bacon, four packs of butter, eggs galore and a bread-van load equivalent. A few fishes and we could have fed the region. We started cooking our well-deserved breakfast.....the aroma was unmistakable. It was surprising how many of the site staff 'were just passing by' and helped themselves to a breakfast 'snack' or two. The toaster needed a full-time attendant.
The site staff were keen on us prolonging our site presence or perhaps 'visit again next week to check everything is OK?'
One of my former employees had a DC where a couple of staff worked at a desk within the DC itself. It was quite noisy in there but not deafening, however the white noise could be a bit irritating at times. Especially if you were working in there on your own. Normally the place was unstaffed on a weekend, but one member of staff had some overtime to do. Since he was in the building alone he decided to listen to some music. He was wearing a set of cans with the volume turned up nice and loud. Unknown to him the fire alarm sounder in the DC was broken, otherwise he'd have been able to hear the fire alarm over his music. Yep the fire alarm was going off.
He noticed a flashing light over by the stairwell. The light was the doorbell for the back entrance to the DC. Nobody ever rang that doorbell so it took him a while to notice it and then to realise it meant there was somebody at the door. He got up and wandered downstairs, when he opened the stairwell door the fire alarm was audible even over Metallica. He trotted downstairs and opened the door to find a fire fighter about to take the door down with an axe.
Turns out that the alarm was bogus. According to the fire alarm company somehow the failed sounder had triggered the alarm.
Once had the fire chief burst into our office and announce "didn't you hear the fire bell?"
We explained that when the doorman was away from the front door he would lock it and any field engineer with arms full of tools and kit wanting to get in would tend to lean on the doorbell until he got back.
The fire bell was changed to a siren within the week
Not very IT related, but it was just before going off to UNI in the mid 70's. I had a job as a night porter in a large hotel in Norwich. At one point we had a film crew in and they all appeared one moring at 5am demanding breakfast. The duty manager had sloped off with his girlfriend so it was left to myself and another raw recuit to fry up bacon, eggs and make some toast. There was a huge toaster machine that would do a couple of dozen slices at a time that I asked the other guy to start up and get the slices ready for the crew. Sadly he thought it would be quicker if he moved it to to the middle of the kitchen - just under the fire detection system. Cue a whole hotel fire alarm, fire engines, police and lots of very angry guests in night clothes milling around. We had a talking to and actually thanked for trying to help out but that we shouldn't have had to try to make breakfast and never saw that manager again.
I think it was Ben Elton many moons ago did a skit about a disgruntled graduate who ended up designing toasters while all of their friends from uni went to cool jobs. Their revenge on the world was if you set the toaster to anything over 4 it will burn your f-ing house down!
My wife and I stayed at a B&B outside Gothenburg a couple of years ago. There was a sign on the inside of the bathroom door that stated (and I quote verbatim from the photo I took of it):
In order not to activate the fire alarm while using the shower, please keep the toilet door closed!
That doesn't sound right to me.
That is correct. Steam (or high humidity) can easily set off most modern smoke detectors.
Most of them have a radioactive source (generally Americium) that fires into an ionisation chamber. Smoke particles (or water molecules) get ionised, and then drawn to the side of the chamber by an electric field. The 'flow of current' is detected and sets the alarm off.
This is the reason that you can't fit this type of alarm in kitchens. The high steam levels produced by cooking will set them off.
What you have to do is place the detector away from doors into kitchens and bathrooms to allow the humidity to disperse enough so that the alarm doesn't get set off by the normal use of those rooms.
I recently replaced two of these and set out to dispose of the old ones. My local council website does not differentiate different types of detector and says to use the metal and plastic wastebin.
When I phoned them I got the same answer; I tried to explain that they have a little radioactive warning sign on them but I don't think the lady believed me.
They're still in my garage.
They're probably right, as long as you remove the battery first. It's not very radioactive at all, but the battery can cause fires in landfill.
That said: if the manufacturer still exists, you should be able to return it to them for disposal like any other electronic good.
That is correct. Steam (or high humidity) can easily set off most modern smoke detectors.
As the tenants in both of our properties found out after I'd replaced the smoke alarms with nice new dual-sensor types. In the flat they got reminded (again) not to turn off the extractor fan. In the house they quickly learned that cats don't like smoke alarms - especially when it's open-plan(ish) and there's two of them, plus a CO, plus a heat detector in the kitchen all interlinked so there's four heads all sounding.
> Most of them have a radioactive source (generally Americium) that fires into an ionisation chamber.
ONLY leftpondian. Europe, for example, banned those ionization driven smoke detectors since they create WAY too many false alarms. Too many false alarms means they get ignored. As you wrote: High humidy, water vapor, a non-smoking candle nearby... Only the visual smoke detector types are allowed in Europe.
But this is typical US: Instead of ditching the useless-constantly-false-alarm detectors since there are still some hypothetically pros, like an alarm before actual smoke is there, they load the responsibility off to the people themself with the usual "freedom of choice" excuse. Yes, I say excuse. A lot of things still allowed in the US and banned in Europe exist only because companies use the "freedom of choice" excuse. Extreme high sugar-fat-salty content food, for example. UK did the right thing for high-sugar drinks there, I hope Germany will follow the next years. And don't start the "Coke Zero" stuff - those artificial sweeteners are not healthy and don't work as expected.
It's related to the type of fire - ionisers are better for detecting quick-burning smoke from wood fires, and guess what America and Canada build houses out of?
European houses are far, far more likely to be stone or brick construction, so yes, we get more false positives from them over here. In wood-dominated areas the advantages are stronger.
halon being a very bad thing for humans
I might be wrong, but halon as such is not really harmful for humans. Of course, some products from reactions between burning stuff and halon I wouldn't want to breath in, but there'd usually still be enough time to safely escape a danger zone after the release of halon. However, I wouldn't necessarily want to experience the release of high pressure halon as this might be rather unpleasant (even if not terribly harmful).
I worked in a large data centre that was protected by Halon. It was quite the thing at one time. This one had halon globes in the roof and floor voids, Each globe had a pyroelectric charge attached. There was a trickle current through the charge just to show it was connected - any break in the circuit would show up as a fault. To trigger the system in manned hours an alartm would sound and everyone rushed to the exit, to be counted out, and when everyone was confirmed out the system would be fired. Sound good.
Until the control unit failed in the middle of a day and sent a "Fire" voltage down the circuit. The globes expploded whilst people were in the room. One went off under the airvent by the main fram consoles. This knocked the senior operator off his chair, against a rather unforgiving desk and broke his arm. Another went off in teh take room, where by chance, a femail tape operator was changing a 2400' tape. This one simply shredded her dress and left her wearing bra and panties.
As you can expect, the union had a field day, demanded c ompensation, danger money, etc.
At the inquest as to what had happened the scary part was not that the system triggered, but that half the globes actually didn't explode.
Fire icon - well, you know.
As I recall, Halon itself is not directly dangerous; however it works by displacing the O2 in the atmosphere which is generally considered A Bad Thing to anyone who requires O2 to keep functioning.
I had access to a big data centre once (I needed to set up some new servers in the DC at the time) and because the Halon system had a certain reputation for premature firing, a rule had been implemented where you could not go in without an emergency respirator - just in case Something Bad happened.
Halon doesn’t displace oxygen. It is safe to be around. That is a total myth that never dies. It functions chemically to prevent combustion from occurring.
The biggest dangers are what is described above, a huge inrush or gas will blow everything around violently.
Think floor tiles launching. What ever is on the ceiling. Etc.
Also if there is a fire, the stuff burning will be incredibly toxic. Halon can decompose in the fire to unpleasant chemicals you don’t want to breath either. The respirators are there for the output of a fire. You really don’t want to be around anything burning in a data center.
Depends very much on the Halon type and iirc there's only a single Halon type (1301) that's considered "safe"-ish for humans to be exposed to. And even that's only in concentrations below roughly 10%. The rest you really shouldn't be breathing. It's probably fine if you catch a wiff or 2, but not a few lungfuls. Not to mention the lack of oxygen
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"Witness the power of this fully LIVE and OPERATIONAL Fire Alarm!"
case in point... we were taking over most of a building. Previous incumbents assured us everything was disconnected. So we started hacking cables - anything that came in from next door got the chop and pulled out; we couldn't have unknown cables in our space.
Needless to say the fully live and operational fire alarm system summoned Trumpton as designed.
In the end it was not my problem - I had a CYA email stating the system was decomissioned and to go ahead with cable stripping as required. I think the PFYs also cut the BT main incoming as well (which didn't matter - other than lighting up the local BT exchange like a Christmas tree I guess - because that was analogue and we were getting a fibre; therein lies another tale of general incompetance for another day perhaps)
And sealed. You don't really want physical push button in an active kitchen since the steam and grease smoke will get in behind the buttons and gum everything up.
Unless you seal them properly - which costs more.
So yes, cheap. So the starving shareholders can have a few more kopecs in dividend..
who change the location of safety-critical controls - then blame the worker when the obvious result occurs.
Instead, we have all the stories about food prep (don't think you can justify some of those ideas as "cooking"!) ranging from the weird to the life-threatening.
Hardly a surprise, given the natural reactions of commentards, but you have to feel for the poor Reg scribe, who could have saved himself all that typing and just given us the one sentence about toaster ovens.
Reminded me of a building at my former place of work. Identical switches for the door release and lighting (for the floor) co-located in the same twin switch panel. Repeated shouts of "turn the lights back on" at the end of the day as people hurried out. Eventually someone made a cardboard surround to highlight the door release.
(though it did not make it clear it was the door release (so a second "fail") it did make the two switches more distinguishable so people learnt which one to use more quickly).
I also recall stories that at the 3-Mile Island NPP the operators decorated various blandly similar controls to make them more distinguishable.
It's as though the whole subject of cognitive ergonomics is ignored in favour of some subjective artistic styling.
A year or so ago (during the tail end of of covid), our local theatre was putting on one of those plays where every thing goes wrong. A theatrical flash went off on one side of the stage, and the genie appeared on the other side of the stage half dressed ... ha ha ha ... until the fire alarm went off.
We all dutifully trooped out, asking was this part of the play? We were half out - when we got told we could go back in ... so in we trooped - and we were told we >had< to evacuate.
If the fire alarm goes off and the fire brigade is summoned, you have to evacuate. etc.
Fortunately the lighting guy was a fireman and had been paged and could cancel the fire engine. We could then go back in... etc
The problem was caused by having additional doors to the theatre open for covid. Normally the over stage detector is disabled for an hour which is fine... but the wind through the open doors wafted the smoke into the corridor and so set of the alarm!
Take 6 robotic machine tools all exactly the same. all the switches and buttons in the same place and everyone knows about them.
Manglement then buy a new robotic tool......... sadly the buttons are NOT in the same place or even order........ hence why a £2000 probing tool got fired off a chuck because the setter relied on muscle memory when jogging the arm to the pick point...... spindle start is where the jog button was on the old machines..........
They had a collection of broken probes......
Dna I cdn only give you one upvote for thdt.
Interestingly, a while back I got to work for a very short time behind the scenes on what had been an Italian cruise ship built in the 50s. These days, starters (the things for turning motors on and off) have a green button for start, and a red button for stop. On this ship, they had red for start and green for stop - which to my way of thinking makes much more sense. So red is making something dangerous (running), green is making it safe (stopped).
Sounds like going to work in our French office, unsurprisingly replete with AZERTY keyboards.
They still get very confused when I go there and am then merrily typing away on their keyboards without any glitches.
At least until they notice I've set the input language to English and am happily touch-typing away without actually looking at the keyboard, and what is coming up on the screen doesn't correlate 1-to-1 with the keys I'm pressing on said keyboard...
This is also a standard problem for control rooms. One former co-worker had, over the years, been in charge of control rooms at different facilities with different programming standards, and this was one of them. At one facility, red = running/open (not safe) while green = closed/off (safe). At the other, red = closed/off (not in operation) while green = running/open (in use). I can't honestly say that either is invalid; it's only having to switch from one to the other that is confusing. (Though "closed" is not always the safe position for a valve. A drain, for instance.)
And then there's the issue of red-green colorblindness. Easiest way to solve that one is to either animate the icons (motor doesn't spin on screen when off) or put state-based labels on things, like "OPEN" by the valve.
It's especially annoying when directed to use a coloured button when the coloured buttons are on a mucky keypad, such as a phone. "Press the red button". Which one's that? The mucky puke coloured one, or the mucky puke coloured one. Just *****y say "left" or "right" dammit!!!!
'The button was on one of those membrane keypads, with little tactile feedback to indicate the positions of buttons. You were supposed to look at the keypad to see where to press'. Well that's a recipe for confusion and disaster straight away. I'd never design a safety system around something so crap. Membrane keypads are notorious for unreliability and having a single button for 'arm' and 'disarm' is asking for trouble.
Wanting to destroy a DVD I put it in the break room microwave. Don't do this. It emits a lot of smoke, fortunately not enough to trigger the alarm before I stopped it. And no I can't recall why it was marked for destruction, I remember thinking it would jam the shredder though.