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Fatality

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MatC
285769.  Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:02 am Reply with quote

Lack of health insurance is the sixth leading cause of death in the USA - below cancer, heart disease, injuries, suicide and stroke; but above diabetes, respiratory disease, liver disease and Aids.

S: John Lister, information director of London Health Emergency (a pressure group), writing in the Morning Star, 22 January 08.

 
MatC
287301.  Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:44 am Reply with quote

I have the basis of a possible Gen Ig here, but ... um ... sorry, what I’ve done is scribble a note to myself some months ago, put it in my QI box, and now have no idea where the alleged fact came from.

Someone here might know, anyway, so I’ll put it up:

“You can’t electrocute someone by throwing an electrical appliance into their bathwater.”

Anything in that?

 
dr.bob
287467.  Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:11 am Reply with quote

Apparently Mythbusters covered this in one episode and found that pretty much any electrical item they dropped in the bath registered a fatal shock.

I can't find the clip anywhere useful like youtube, though.

 
Flash
287491.  Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:34 am Reply with quote

A possible discursion would be: why aren't fish always being killed by lightning? Or maybe they are.

 
MatC
287502.  Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:39 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
Apparently Mythbusters covered this in one episode and found that pretty much any electrical item they dropped in the bath registered a fatal shock.


Is that a US programme? If so, might the electrical protocols be different?

 
dr.bob
287506.  Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:48 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
A possible discursion would be: why aren't fish always being killed by lightning?


For electricity to kill you, there has to be a potential difference, or drop in voltage, across your body which induces a current to flow.

When you drop an electrical item into a bath, the majority of the current flows from one terminal to the other through the conducting water. However, I believe the fatal aspect comes from the fact the some of the current can also flow through your body in parallel to the majority of the current just taking the shortest route. This would especially be likely if part of your body was in contact with something earthed, such as the taps or the plughole.

I would assume that, since fish are completely surrounded by water and not earthed at all, they would be safe since all of the water around them would be at the same voltage and there would be no potential difference to speak of.

Though I may be wrong.

Matc wrote:
Is that a US programme? If so, might the electrical protocols be different?


It certainly is, so they would indeed be. Though I can't say whether this would cause a major difference in the behaviour of submerged electrical devices. Suggest you take a toaster into the bath with you and report back.

 
MatC
313875.  Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:37 am Reply with quote

Q: Why were newspaper obituaries censored during WW2?
A: To prevent the Germans from using them to work out where their experimental rockets were landing in London.

Details to follow.

S: ‘London 1945’ by Maureen Waller (John Murray, 2005).

 
MatC
334430.  Mon May 12, 2008 6:20 am Reply with quote

There are only four ways to die:

oxygen starvation
high temperature
chemical toxin
physical damage.

Every circumstance of death leads to one of the above; eg, if you bleed to death what actually kills you is oxygen starvation.

S: Focus magazine (June 08)

 
dr.bob
340947.  Wed May 21, 2008 8:06 am Reply with quote

I wonder if that's one of those situations where it depends on how you define dying. I remember having a (not very serious) conversation with a friend once where he said that all death was due to heart failure. It quickly became clear that, at some stage during death, the heart would stop beating, and he was using that as the definition of death so it was a pretty tautologous argument.

 

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