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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Letter to a well-wisher(?)

Your mail (portions quoted in red, below) arrived on my desk as a 'Forward'. I hope the reason for not including me on your original list wasn't that you considered me expendable, and thus decided that I need not be warned, but was just due to your suspicion of my usual cynicism in such matters. To be fair, the report did raise some questions in my mind which, I am sure, must have also occurred to you as a lawyer. My comments are in italics.

This was on Pittsburgh's WTAE Channel 4 News. A few days ago, Actually in 2004 (in some Indian backwater) as Googling the incident revealed a person was re-charging his Cell Phone at home. Just at that time a call came in and he answered it with the instrument still connected to the outlet. OK After a few seconds How did anyone establish the time frame Electricity flowed into the Cell Phone un-restrained How is this deduced? It could have been that the batteries had been heating up (known to happen with many faulty batteries, including in laptops - several of which have even exploded or caught fire) and the young Man was thrown to the ground Would 'fell' have not described it adequately? 'thrown' would indicate force ... difficult to ascertain by one not present, unless the man was thrown a distance away ... one wonders if he was still holding on to the phone after this? with a heavy thud. OK. So that's why ... His Parents rushed to the room only to find him unconscious, with a weak heartbeat and burnt fingers. He was rushed to the nearby Hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival. Glad they did not do what many could have accidently done under the circs: Pick up the phone! Strangely, the story - wherever it, or its variations appear - contains no information on whether the phone was found burnt, whether the charger was checked, nothing - in fact - that would make sense if such a warning was to be really helpful and not just a scare. BTW, the Pittsburgh broadcaster's English is pretty suspect, but at least they pronounce their capital letters clearly!

My conclusion: 'Answering' the phone would have nothing to do with it. Just picking it up would have been dangerous enough! Like picking up any electrical object that was short-circuiting. In which case it must have happened the moment he picked it up!!!

Although the U S Consumer Product Safety Commission does not identify using a charging cellphone as an unsafe practice in its recommendations, here's some serious advice based on the incident (since it's always better to be cautious):

1. Switch off the socket power where the charger is to be connected.
2. Insert charger lead into phone
3. Insert charger plug into socket
4. Place phone away from self
5. Switch on socket power

1. Switch off power to charger
2. Disconnect charger from socket
3. Disconnect charger from phone
4. Use phone
The SECOND (in order to avoid the above 4 steps):
Get the nearest available mulla to pick it up and pass it to you!


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Blogger the olive ream said...

Extremely informative and unbelievably humorous to boot!

ZAK your post was a pleasure to read....and the end was hilarious.

21 April, 2006 14:42

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

21 April, 2006 15:40


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