Electricity

Shock talk with special guest Derek Mack. We discuss the different kinds of burns and bodily harm caused by electricity, the war of the currents, macroshock vs microshock, electric eels, plus the usual news & pop culture. Note: “Lightning” and “Electric Chair” will be covered in subsequent episodes.

Music: “I’m Beginning to See the Light” by The Ink Spots and Ella Fitzgerald

Images

Videos

Movies
The Prestige
Toren: 7/10
Kevin: 8/10
Joe: 7/10

The Running Man
Toren: 4/10
Kevin: 6/10
Joe: 5/10

Shocker
Kevin: 3/10

Frankenstein
Kevin: 1/10

Ernest Goes to Jail
Kevin: 6/10

32 Responses

  1. In “Arkham Asylum; A Serious House on Serious Earth”, Maxie Zeus becomes a coprophiliac who becomes addicted to electroshock therapy. Probably more related to the psychotherapy episode

  2. My husband is an electrician and gets electrocuted periodically (always due to someone else’s errors or shoddy work) but last year he was hit with an arc flash which was due to debris being inside an electrical panel that no one knew was there. The panel had been checked by numerous different groups (electric company had put their tag on it, inspector had viewed it) but no one saw the bolt that was hidden in some dark recess of the panel. When he energized the panel to inspect some work they had done, the bolt caused the panel to short and a big flash of flame shot out hitting him in the stomach, arm and face. Thankfully, he’s a very careful person and had been stretching his arms forward but had his face and body turned to the one side so he didn’t get hit full on. Either way, because electrical burns aren’t like regular fire burns, the burns ended up being deep enough that he needed about 3/4 of his arm below the elbow grafted and a section of his stomach skin removed. Thank God he was wearing gloves or his hands would have been completely destroyed. Anyway, I just thought I would pass this along as everyone always thinks electrocution is the worst thing that can happen from working with electricity but in reality, electrical burns from being electrocuted, or from arc flashes are actually worse. The doctor’s told us if he had been electrocuted instead of burned as he was that the burns would have been inside his body instead of on the outside and would have caused much, much more damage and quite possibly death. Search Youtube for Arc Flash and you will be “shocked” at what can happen when one of these situations occur. Love the podcast!

  3. My husband is an electrician and gets electrocuted periodically (always due to someone else’s errors or shoddy work) but last year he was hit with an arc flash which was due to debris being inside an electrical panel that no one knew was there. The panel had been checked by numerous different groups (electric company had put their tag on it, inspector had viewed it) but no one saw the bolt that was hidden in some dark recess of the panel. When he energized the panel to inspect some work they had done, the bolt caused the panel to short and a big flash of flame shot out hitting him in the stomach, arm and face. Thankfully, he’s a very careful person and had been stretching his arms forward but had his face and body turned to the one side so he didn’t get hit full on. Either way, because electrical burns aren’t like regular fire burns, the burns ended up being deep enough that he needed about 3/4 of his arm below the elbow grafted and a section of his stomach skin removed. Thank God he was wearing gloves or his hands would have been completely destroyed. Anyway, I just thought I would pass this along as everyone always thinks electrocution is the worst thing that can happen from working with electricity but in reality, electrical burns from being electrocuted, or from arc flashes are actually worse. The doctor’s told us if he had been electrocuted instead of burned as he was that the burns would have been inside his body instead of on the outside and would have caused much, much more damage and quite possibly death. Search Youtube for Arc Flash and you will be “shocked” at what can happen when one of these situations occur. Love the podcast!

  4. Another couple of pop-culture references for you are episode 3 of series 3 of the X-Files, “D.P.O.” about a kid who get shocked by lightning and can then zap other things and people, which starred Giovanni Ribisi and Jack Black (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0751095/), and I seem to remember lots of electricity in Weird Science (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090305/), which was just an awesome film for teen boys. Looks like someone made it into a tv series too in the 90s (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108988/).

  5. Another couple of pop-culture references for you are episode 3 of series 3 of the X-Files, “D.P.O.” about a kid who get shocked by lightning and can then zap other things and people, which starred Giovanni Ribisi and Jack Black (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0751095/), and I seem to remember lots of electricity in Weird Science (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090305/), which was just an awesome film for teen boys. Looks like someone made it into a tv series too in the 90s (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108988/).

  6. How could you forget “Earnest Scared Stupid”? Likely my favorite Earnest movie, if memory serves.

    I also remember the footage of the electrocuted elephant was used as stock footage between music videos in a Nine Inch Nails VHS tape in the 90’s.

  7. Metal Gear Solid 4 had a shocky knife that the protagonist would use to incapacitate rather than kill. Still seemed like a dick move, though. I mean after the guy woke up he’d be bleeding , burned and probably on the verge of infection….

  8. Years ago, I was loading a trailer when I worked at FedEx, and the florescent light was flickering in some annoying and random way. I wandered over to it, reached up and grabbed it in the hopes of screwing it in tighter. I’m not sure what I was really thinking at the time. The moment I gripped the thing, I got a surge that paralyzed me. I’m not sure if it was the rubber shoes or the florescent tube popping and shattering into 100 pieces that saved me. I screamed and fell down and it was about 10 minutes before I could lift boxes again. It was probably a full day before my arm felt normal again. I’ve also been (indirectly) struck by lightening, which was not a very different experience. I’ll save that story for the lightening episode.

  9. Here are a couple of potentially interesting videos; although possibly most interesting because I actually recorded them as it was happening to me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYYvzB1Ucw0

    Also, speaking of Nikola Tesla, can anyone remember a movie that very briefly featured Tesla announcing, “Free electricity for everybody!”? I think the scene may have been a sort of flashback, with a voice over as well.

  10. For more (fictional) Tesla fun, it’s hard to top Image’s ridiculous “The Five Fists of Science”, a very Batman romp with Nik and Mark Twain pacifying the world and sticking it to the nefarious forces of Thomas Edison, Marconi and J.P. Morgan. Who can argue with dialogue like “Look! Isn’t that millionaire playboy Nikola Tesla?”?

  11. For more (fictional) Tesla fun, it’s hard to top Image’s ridiculous “The Five Fists of Science”, a very Batman romp with Nik and Mark Twain pacifying the world and sticking it to the nefarious forces of Thomas Edison, Marconi and J.P. Morgan. Who can argue with dialogue like “Look! Isn’t that millionaire playboy Nikola Tesla?”?

  12. Small correction: Electromotive- not electromagnetic- force is measured in volts.

    Electromagnetic force is the term for the fundamental force, like electroweak or nuclear strong force. Electromotive force is the name for the voltage between two points in a circuit (usually represented with a curly capital E in physics equations; electrical/computer engineers just use V with subscripts rather than cursive E with subscripts). Easy mistake to make since professors usually just write the cursive E or EMF after they first say the name (since no one wants to write ‘electromotive force’ more than once).

    Source: Currently a junior computer engineering student (a field which requires some electrical engineering, which in turn requires some physics).

  13. Small correction: Electromotive- not electromagnetic- force is measured in volts.

    Electromagnetic force is the term for the fundamental force, like electroweak or nuclear strong force. Electromotive force is the name for the voltage between two points in a circuit (usually represented with a curly capital E in physics equations; electrical/computer engineers just use V with subscripts rather than cursive E with subscripts). Easy mistake to make since professors usually just write the cursive E or EMF after they first say the name (since no one wants to write ‘electromotive force’ more than once).

    Source: Currently a junior computer engineering student (a field which requires some electrical engineering, which in turn requires some physics).

    1. There are a couple other things that seem a bit off (I’d need to actually look stuff up to know for sure- at the moment I’m just correcting as I hear stuff I know is incorrect 😛 ), but additionally a DC to AC converter is called an inverter, not a rectifier.

      Rectifiers are the flip side; used to convert AC to DC.

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