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Twit dies in bathub while Twittering

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Darwin Award nominee?

http://ca.tech.yahoo.com/blogs/the_gadget_hound/rss/article/3656

People, people, people. Web 2.0 can do a lot of things, but it doesn't change the laws of physics, particularly in regards to the transmission of electricity.

To wit: A teenage girl was discovered dead this weekend, electrocuted after dropping her laptop in the bathtub.

Why did she need a computer in the tub? So she could update Twitter. About what she was tweeting remains unclear, but it was hopefully something more meaningful than the soap she was using.

Maria Barbu, 17, of Brasov, Romania, is said to have been plugging her laptop into wall current at the time, after "the battery died during a long session on social networking site Twitter as she took a soak."

Additional details are lacking, and are unlikely to be forthcoming anytime soon. And it's unclear whether the laptop slipped from her hands or if she was so wet that the water dripping off of her closed the circuit and caused the shock.

Either way, any technology user should know by now that computers and bathrooms simply don't mix. (If you aren't worried about electrocution, think of the germs, won't you?) While GFCI circuits were designed to prevent tragedies such as the all-too-common hair-dryer-in-the-tub accident, they aren't perfect, and they aren't universal, especially overseas.

And seriously, can't Twitter wait until you get out of the bathtub?

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I think a "Twat" is a more descriptive term for people who use Twitter, evidence here withstanding.

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Nomad said:

I think a "Twat" is a more descriptive term for people who use Twitter, evidence here withstanding.

I think so too.



I now challenge everyone else to discuss this topic without references to natural selection. :P

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Hm I do pity the person quite a lot. She'd have to be really desperate to use a computer as a means to 'socialise' while bathing. Or 'was'.. yeah. :/

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POTGIESSER said:

And it's unclear whether the laptop slipped from her hands or if she was so wet that the water dripping off of her closed the circuit and caused the shock.

The only way this could have happened is if the transformer box part of the power cable was dropped in the water. Dripping water on it or dropping the laptop in wouldn't have done this.

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Nomad said:

I think a "Twat" is a more descriptive term for people who use Twitter, evidence here withstanding.


"Twatter" (noun): One who uses Twitter?



It was just a thought.

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exp(x) said:

The only way this could have happened is if the transformer box part of the power cable was dropped in the water. Dripping water on it or dropping the laptop in wouldn't have done this.


Wouldn't you still get electrocuted if the laptop was plugged in to the power cable?

Uh, but yeah, that's a pretty stupid way to go.

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POTGIESSER said:

And seriously, can't Twitter wait until you get out of the bathtub?


I can imagine a reason why she'd want to to go on the internet while in her bath, but Twitter doesn't cover webcams, does it?

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Lizardcommando said:

Wouldn't you still get electrocuted if the laptop was plugged in to the power cable?

Power transformers operate on the principle of mutual inductance and there is actually no physical connection between the input of the transformer and the output. In order for the person to get electrocuted, there would have to be a physical connection to ground to complete a circuit though the person's body, and this can only happen on the input side of the transformer.

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The story smells fishy to me, too. Getting electrocuted from a low-voltage device with an isolated transformer is simply impossible, unless a wet path from the tub to the wall socket itself formed somehow. With the low-voltage circuitry of a laptop, at most you'd get some water electrolysis and that's it.

Of course, switching power supplies (especially the compact ones used in laptops and cell phones) are a wholly different beast than iron core transformers, and a direct electrical connection between input-output may occur, especially in malfunctions. Sounds more like water leaking into the PSU box and bridging input-output (especially if it was placed on the wet floor...ouch).

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Don't know what the AC mains reticulation system is like in Romania - or the quality of domestic electrical wiring - but I'd add floating neutrals to the list of potential shock hazards.

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Bathtub electrical hazards are not uncommon even in Greece or Italy, especially if there are electric heaters running while taking a bath/showers, so it could just have been another similar case, and the laptop not really entering into it.

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The news said she merely tried to plug the laptop after the battery went low, but herself and whatnot being all wet. Now I doubt it's about dropping the laptop, or taking the already plugged wire and inserting it into the laptop...

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What an idiot, she should have waited and thus could still be alive now.

Looks like Darwinism is alive and healthy in our world still.

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Looks like she was electocuted not by twittering, or not by the laptop, but by sticking her wet fingers near an electrical socket. Which should have flipped a breaker or blown a fuse, s-- something should have cut the circuit.

Wow. That's, I'm amazed this even happens, but since I'm so spoiled by the luxurious benefits of NEC regulations, I guess I really can't fathom such a scenario. this is the kind of thing mostly possible here by flying kites near power lines, NOT plugging a laptop power cord into a socket. But we teach this anyway, just in case the wiring isn't up to NEC code. Which then it would be illegal. So If this happened in the United States, it would very likely be blamed on the non-standards-compliant wiring.


I wonder if the power cord had a ground prong. That essential neutral could have stopped the current instantly.

But you can't stop idiocy, and faulty extension cords. Some people just don't get the fact that a circuit, while not being overloaded in the electrical sense, can still be overloaded in the physical sense.

I lost a house this way. The wiring was amazingly compliant even after 1975, yet there was one plug that wasn't so my grandpa could use a certain appliance he had until he replaced it with a higher amp switch. He never got around to it, and some moron I rented it out to decided to put a shitload of power strips and extension cables on that wire and had one extension cord leading to the bathroom. He kept complaining about "being shocked" while taking a shower. so I had the house rewired. while that was going on I took all the guy's extension cords. I know the tenant noticed, because he had some I didn't manage to spot, and they were frayed as all hell from his previous setup where the bathroom door had frayed the wire. plus, that day he brought a puppy to the house, which wasn't allowed at all.

So he, being retarded, plugs everything up into one outlet, AGAIN, instead of using the new outlets we had put in. And while the old outlet had been redone, and was now NEC compliant, the power cables and power strips were so damaged from his previous exploits (apparently he had issues with a fire before and didn't tell us until after the fact) that it didn't matter if we had rewired the house or not. He then left the house leaving the puppy inside. the puppy was known to be a chewer.

5 hours later, as we picked through the charred remains, we notice the dog somehow managed to get out in time, hiding under the house next door. Chewing on a charred wire.

Guess you can't idiot-proof everything.

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Gokuma said:

Twitter kills.




OMG BAN IT!


YES

Seriously the way the service is advertised drives me insane sometimes.

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Csonicgo said:

Looks like she was electocuted not by twittering, or not by the laptop, but by sticking her wet fingers near an electrical socket. Which should have flipped a breaker or blown a fuse, s-- something should have cut the circuit.


The circuit was probably cut in the end, but only after it was too late. I once tried a faulty PSU in a live socket after replacing some obviously failed components, including the 5A main fuse. Not really trusting it, I plugged it in a switchable extension cord, put it in the mid of an empty room, and flicked the switch covering behind a closet.

The result was a fountain of sparks that lasted 3 seconds, and managed to trip not only that room's safety relay, but also the apartment's fuse and the central power relay for my apartment (I had to go down to the external fuse boxes to restore it). Needless to say the 5-amp PSU fuse (slow acting, d'oh!) was also blown, but not before "damage" occurred.

Unless a house is fitted with those active super-sensitive ground sensors that can trip on currents as low as 5 mA, normal fuses and relays may just not be quick enough for certain loads that build up gradually enough...including the human body, unfortunately.

Laptop PSUs are even nastier beasts since in general they are not grounded. I also read somewhere that the 110V mains used in the USA is somewhat more survivable even in case you stick your fingers in the socket, but the 220-250V one used in Europe is not as forgiving.

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yeah, most things flip at 5 mA surge here. Thank God for that.

All I can say is that my tenants are going to start knowing the super. Because after this, and half of my tenants being young, plugged-in and absolutely retarded, I'm never so sure anymore. That, and I am supposed to be doing my job in the first place.


Edit: I wonder if Gigantor had anything to do with this.

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Mr. Chris said:

What an idiot, she should have waited and thus could still be alive now.


Oh is that what she should have done to survive? I guess that makes sense. Thanks for the input.

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This is a good thing. Imagine how much cleaner the gene pool will be after all these Twitter-assisted accidents.

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Mr. Chris said:

Looks like Darwinism is alive and healthy in our world still.


udderdude said:

This is a good thing. Imagine how much cleaner the gene pool will be after all these Twitter-assisted accidents.



Fail.

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By looking at the OP, it looks like you fail:

POTGIESSER said:
Darwin Award nominee?

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Darwin? Natural selection? Who cares? It's just another dead idiot. There are 6.6 billion others to take their place. I guess this one will get their (posthumous) 15 minutes of fame via the Twitter related headlines that it will generate in the press.

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Aren't electrocution deaths common and all over the world, anyway?

The person could have used her laptop for anything, really, before doing the unwise act of manipulating uninsulated electricity. I totally agree that the act of bringing an electric appliance to the TUB (not the toilet seat, but the full-of-water tub) is ultra-dumb in itself and a definite no-no, but the victim was a minor and teenager. Not deliberately retarded, moreso immature/uncontrolled/inexperienced/untaught. From what I've seen, it's more a case of not teaching the kids enough, than worthless addicts getting what they deserve...

Honestly I don't even know how this natural selection theory applies to humans. With all the ongoing conspirationist theories that humans are going into idiocracy, then the reason is that natural selection is determined to wipe us all equally :P

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printz said:

Honestly I don't even know how this natural selection theory applies to humans. With all the ongoing conspirationist theories that humans are going into idiocracy, then the reason is that natural selection is determined to wipe us all equally :P


Well, if we're going to appraise human deaths for their effect on the gene pool, I'd say that the loss of a few sub-average-intelligence individuals does nothing to fight the overall theoretical trend towards stupidity, as the less educated you are the more children you have, and sooner. I say theoretical because, so far, any average drop in genetic quality that exists is being offset by average increases in the quality of education. I prefer to believe that this positive trend will continue and is sufficient to keep our species out of the gutter, because dangers arise when one considers eugenics as tempting.

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