February 18, 2007

Odd Bods

Dr Stephen Juan’s latest The Odd Body, part 3, reveals:

Each year three people in Australia die while using their tongue to test if a 9-volt battery still works.

Don’t try the tongue test at home folks, and don’t be stingy, just buy a new battery, okay.

In 1997 eight Australians cracked their skulls after passing out while throwing up into the toilet.

Seems the bucket may be a safer option.

Via The Age, book reviews, February 17, 2007

5 comments:

  1. Are the deaths directly caused by the battery? Or is it via some peripheral object? Say, touching your tongue to the tip of the battery gives you a little more of a shock than you were expecting, making you stumble and trip over that inconveniently placed Ming vase and, as a consequence somersaulting down the stairs?

    Or maybe breaking the Ming vase and committing suicide because you can't live with the loss? I reckon it'd be fair to chalk that one up to the battery, too.

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  2. By the way, new Blogger does suck. I wish I could go back in time and slap my hand away from the mouse just before I clicked that "Switch to the new Blogger" button.

    Some dramatic music while that's all going on would be a nice touch, and maybe me diving in slo-mo towards the mouse, yelling "noooooooo" in a deep slow-mo voice would work, too.

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  3. I was interested in why people feel compelled to use their tongues to test 9-volt batteries James.

    Do they not test AA batteries in the same manner?

    Or are 9-volt batteries more lethal than, say, a D-size battery?

    Your "whoops" theory is intriguing, but it only works if there happens to be a a long stair case handy, and a conventiently placed Ming vase.

    Do people who own stair cases and Ming vases own more 9-volt battery appliances, for example, yet prefer to spend their money on vases, and keeping the stairs polished, than on new batteries?

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  4. Caz, the terminals of 9v batteries, as distinct from AA to D batteries, are conveniently configured for access by tongue. 9v battery powered appliances seem quite rare these days.

    As a kid I often did that tonguey thing with 9v batteries. (Required behaviour for the then-emerging trannie generation.) Maybe I've a stronger metabolism than some, but it never seemed to knock me about all that much.

    I can see a devilishly ingenious episode of Jonathan Creek where our hero is called in to investigate just such a death-by-misadventure.

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  5. I see James.

    Explains a lot.

    Smoke alarms.

    That's about the only place you find a 9-volt these days.

    Now you stay off ladders James, and step away from the fire alarm, 'kay?

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