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Friday, March 23, 2012

Watch This!

"Watch this!" is a phrase often heard on countless Internet videos. It's often heard just before someone hurts himself while attempting some silly stunt.

While it's easy to laugh at such slapstick antics, I do sympathize with the would-be Knievels, for I too have felt the clarion call of danger. To wit: our car's console features twin power outlets.

Ever since we bought it last August, I've wondered what would happen if I stuck my finger in one of the sockets while the car was running. Would I be shocked? Or are there built-in safeguards to prevent curious fools from hurting themselves? What if I stuck a finger in each socket at the same time?

I'm not dumb enough to try the experiment for real, but I remain curious.


"Jeffspiracy" said...

Your device plug is 12V. Twelve volts is not enough to electrocute you. Unless your fingers are wet, you likely would not even feel anything. That's probably why Toyota didn't worry about making power couplings the exact size of your finger.

Wait, though. Just a minute. "I Can Stick My Finger In The Wound" did not actually become a worldwide smash hit song, did it? Didn't it just slip into total obscurity? Then it isn't the second national anthem of Japan after all. So maybe this is Toyota's gentle way of telling you you should have bought a Ford.

Some caveats. One reason you should be safe is that the ohms in your car's aux system are low. Ohms measures resistance. The human heart will fibrillate (that's bad) if exposed to current that exceeds 500 ohms. Your skin has at least 2,000 ohms resistance at its thinnest, and at least double that in your finger. So absolutely avoid exposing broken skin to electrical current, or you could easily die. You are probably better off not sticking your fingers in the sockets. But if you do, and kack, can I have your computer?

Stephen Fitzpatrick said...

I don't expect you to believe this without trying it, but there is a button hidden at the back of that port that will disengage your catalytic converter and engine governor giving you an additional 12-15% additional horsepower. Especially good for passing people while going uphill!