OT: Combination Lock for Calculators



#40

If this article is to be believed, the US congress is considering requiring all consumer products that use button cells to be childproof.

Are we going to have combination locks on our calculators in order to get to the battery compartment? Congress does some incredibly stupid things.


#41

If anything, it'll probably just be a small Philips screw. I have a number of old electronic games with such a "lock" (more than one of which is now missing the screw).

I don't have any kids, but I wouldn't want to drop a calculator and have one of the cats swallow a stray LR44. Is it worth mandating? Probably not.

#42

As long as the feds keep their hands off my balls!

#43

Fourteen dead children between 1997 and 2010 is a miniscule number, not worth worrying about. There were probably many more than that drowned in swimming pools and bathtubs in the same period.
The old remedy for children who'd swallowed small silver coins was to hold them by the heels and shake them until the coin came out. For larger denominations you could administer a dose of castor oil and wait to see if there would be any change.


#44

Though I have two kids in "critical age" (2 and 5), I can think of a thousand more dangerous things (or more common dangers).
Will they prohibit peanuts as well?

Then again, screwed battery compartments for button cells is a good idea and not too difficult to implement; I wonder if this is already legally required in Europe (I can't remember seeing any non-screwed compartments for a while).


#45

There are some devices where easy access to the battery compartment is critical to its usage, hearing aids come to mind, clearly an exception has to be made for these. Aside form that, many elderly people often have a hard enough time changing batteries in devices. Protecting a relative handful of children verses making life more difficult for (in some countries) the majority of the population isn't such a clear cut trade-off.


#46

Screws on battery compartments for childrens toys have been around for decades. I think this definitely falls under the "be a responsible parent" category. Katie is right. Why should we make life more difficult for our senior citizens.

#47

Quote:
Fourteen dead children between 1997 and 2010 is a miniscule number, not worth worrying about.

Oh my! Are you serious? 14 lives (and some 4000 hospitalizations) aren't worth worrying about? When it could have been avoided with a screw???

These ones aren't inert coins, but lithium batteries with low internal resistance in an electrolyte medium (human bodies are full of that...) Electrolysis products can destroy tissue and cause internal fistulae. Wikipedia links to this paper, please read.


#48

With all the potentially harmful items around the average home it would be better to teach children from an early age not to fiddle with things, rather than try to make everything child-proof.
I grew up in a house where there were numerous bottles and containers of chemicals for film developing as well as bleach, formaldehyde and miscellaneous solvents such as xylene and acetone. None of these had child-proof lids but I never once tried to sample any of them. That was back in the days when corporal punishment was an accepted deterrent of course.
I think if an infant was able to remove the batteries from an HP28S with ease he should be encouraged to become a product designer.


#49

Quote:
That was back in the days when corporal punishment was an accepted deterrent of course.

I'm personally very happy that those days are over. Education by fear brings with it the risk that the child learns the wrong lesson, like "don't drink the hydrochloric acid because dad will beat you senseless" instead of "don't drink the hydrochloric acid because it will severely burn you and quite possibly even kill you". The former lesson is powerless when the child figures they can do it when the parents aren't looking and get away with it; the latter is the one that the child *actually* needs to know. (And that's the strategy my non-coporal-punishment-weilding parents used, and which worked perfectly.)


#50

There was a effective discipline in schools when there was corporal punishment in place. It wasn't used often, but was applied when all other attempts to get a miscreant to behave in an acceptable manner. Now the ones living in fear are the teachers in many of the inner city schools where there are violent pupils who may be carrying concealed weapons who know that the teachers daren't lay a finger on them for fear of being sued. That doesn't seem to be a suitable atmosphere for educating the rest of the pupils who want to become something better than juvenile offenders and drug dealers.


#51

Eh. Nobody but a hard-core Amish would deny that physical force is necessary to defend against or deter physical force, but I thought we were talking about how to prevent kids from hurting *themselves*.

#52

Quote:
I think if an infant was able to remove the batteries from an HP28S with ease he should be encouraged to become a product designer.

I don't agree. But, if anyone can put the battery cover back on with ease ...
#53

About one death per year? Compared to four thousand fatalities a month just on US roads (I don't know the worldwide stat on this)? I know which one isn't going to keep me awake at night.

#54

Just think of it as natural selection. Whether it's a shiny pebble, coat button or a button cell, infants who insist on crawling about swallowing everything in sight probably came from the shallower end of the gene pool.


#55

Spartan mood is preposterous... I think more of it as bad parenting.

I can't see the logic in stating that as there are riskier things out there, there's no need to deal with this.

#56

Quote:
[deletia]
The old remedy for children who'd swallowed small silver coins was to hold them by the heels and shake them until the coin came out. For larger denominations you could administer a dose of castor oil and wait to see if there would be any change.


Was the last phrase intended to be a pun?

Unfortunately, it seems a lot of people missed it (coins/change)

Ren

dona nobis pacem

#57

Hmm, life in Disneyland. Better think about the locks on guns.

Damir


#58

I fullheartedly concur!

#59

Agreed.

By the way how many sons and daughters dead by guns every years?

Patrice


#60

Everyone is someone's child.

Damir

#61

I teach my kids not to do stupid crap like putting things in their mouth that do not belong there, then I teach them what does not belong there. I'm sorry, but "Caution:Hot!" on the McDonald's Coffee Cup...."Do Not Drop In Water!" on the electric hair dryer...."Warning! MAY contain peanuts!" on the jar of PEANUTS for crissakes!. I am a firm believer of throw away all the labels and let nature do its thing. Sorry.


#62

The "warning, may contain peanuts" labels exist because there are people who have peanut allergies that are so severe that ingesting even a few fragments can send them into an anaphylactic shock that can kill them. I think that warning label is a small price to pay for preventing that kind of unnecessary suffering and death.


Maybe you really are so indifferent and cold that you don't care if someone dies from electrocution when they reach for a hair dryer that they accidentally dropped into the tub (or used a hair dryer while sitting in the tub without knowing how dangerous that is). Maybe it's a lot of fun to mock people who try to prevent such tragedies in ways that you don't agree with. Me, I prefer caring parents over your indifference.


#63

Anyone stupid enough to use a hair drier or other device powered from the AC mains while in a bathtub deserves to be electrocuted. Individuals should take responsibility for their own safety and not expect every consumer product to come with warnings designed to cover every possible way that the user can screw up and hurt themselves.


#64

Those labels are put there by lawyers. They aren't there to protect/save anyone. I once saw a label on a snowblower. "Do NOT use on roof"

CJ


#65

Quote:
Those labels are put there by lawyers. They aren't there to protect/save anyone.

Ah, *that's* the reason why they are not on rifles [:-/
#66

Quote:
Anyone stupid enough to use a hair drier or other device powered from the AC mains while in a bathtub deserves to be electrocuted.

Try replacing "stupid" with "ignorant" in that sentence. Does that still work for you then? If so, do you think that ignorance is something that is inherent in people, or is it a lack of information? I'd love to see you watch your child walk into the shower stall with a hair dryer in their hand and just shrug while saying to yourself, "if they electrocute themselves, they were just too stupid to live".


#67

IMHO you're confusing topics now. A printed warning won't save that child, I'm afraid. Heard anything about parental responsibilities?

Edited to correct an error in a foreign language.

Edited: 11 Sept 2012, 2:49 a.m.


#68

"Heard anything about parental responsibilities"? What? Did you actually read a word I said? I'll just repeat it now:

Quote:
I'd love to see you watch your child walk into the shower stall with a hair dryer in their hand and just shrug while saying to yourself, "if they electrocute themselves, they were just too stupid to live".

This was in response to Nick R's statement that --

Quote:
Anyone stupid enough to use a hair drier or other device powered from the AC mains while in a bathtub deserves to be electrocuted.

Please, go ahead and enlighten me as to "which topics I am confusing now".


#69

AFAICS this branch of this thread started with Les' remark about insensible labeling:

Quote:
I teach my kids not to do stupid crap like putting things in their mouth that do not belong there, then I teach them what does not belong there. I'm sorry, but "Caution:Hot!" on the McDonald's Coffee Cup...."Do Not Drop In Water!" on the electric hair dryer...."Warning! MAY contain peanuts!" on the jar of PEANUTS for crissakes!. I am a firm believer of throw away all the labels and let nature do its thing.

You, Thomas, reacted explaining why you think the peanut label makes sense. So far so well, but then you continued:
Quote:
Maybe you really are so indifferent and cold that you don't care if someone dies from electrocution when they reach for a hair dryer that they accidentally dropped into the tub (or used a hair dryer while sitting in the tub without knowing how dangerous that is). ... Me, I prefer caring parents over your indifference.

IMHO Les did talk about caring parents, so there's no reason for your last sentence in that post. Anyway, with your post the hairdryer topic went banana. Please remember it started with a remark about insensible labeling. Yes, I think your government and/or your lawyers (I really don't know who started that) treat adult people like completely ignorant children (but able to read English, however). No child educated by Les or similar responsible parents will ever come to the mere idea of taking a hairdryer into a shower anytime in his/her later life. And no child suffering from peanut allergy will ever buy a can of peanuts for his/her feeding (may there be a label confirming that can may contain peanuts or not) as soon as (s)he can read. And I dare saying even the very dumbest citizen knows that steaming mugs contain hot liquids. So, yes, 95% of the world population laughes about the prints on your coffee cups and will continue laughing about "objects in mirror are closer than they appear" and similar nonsense written for people who are educated (at least that's the basic assumption in 95% of the world). Kids under six are a completely different topic - but written labels don't apply there.
#70

I believe it's possible to get insurance on children that will provide consolation after such events.

#71

But ON a can of PEANUTS!?!?! Next time I see one (I have seen several) I will take a photo. I understand it on any other food product, but ON PEANUTS?!?!?!


#72

Quote:
But ON a can of PEANUTS!?!?! Next time I see one (I have seen several) I will take a photo. I understand it on any other food product, but ON PEANUTS?!?!?!

Yeah, sure, when they passed that law that mandated warning people about peanut content, they should have added an exemption for foods that obviously contain peanuts.

Is this really a big deal, though? We have food labeling requirements anyway. Sometimes some of the information on those labels is going to be redundant. Sugar? Contains lots of sugar, duh. A jar of peanuts or peanut butter? Contains peanuts, duh. IS THIS REALLY A PROBLEM??? WE ARE TRYING TO KEEP PEOPLE FROM CHOKING TO DEATH BECAUSE OF PEANUT ALLERGIES AND YOU ARE UPSET ABOUT A REDUNDANT WARNING ON A JAR OF PEANUTS? *sigh* Maybe our lawmakers should have spent another few days hammering out the clauses that exempt such cases. Whatever.


#73

The world's population is rapidly outgrowing the resources to support them. Losing a few individuals through peanut allergies is not worth worrying about. Western society is getting far too safety conscious nowadays and expecting people to be protected from their stupid actions by legislation. I prefer to see those who have common sense survive rather than have the government extend the life span of idiots in order that they may propagate more idiots.


#74

Quote:
I prefer to see those who have common sense survive rather than have the government extend the life span of idiots in order that they may propagate more idiots.

That is an unambiguous statement :-)
#75

Quote:
The world's population is rapidly outgrowing the resources to support them.

I agree.

Quote:
Losing a few individuals through peanut allergies is not worth worrying about.

That's pretty cold. If all it takes is to print a warning about peanut content on food labels, would you really prefer easily preventable medical emergencies or deaths to happen, when it would cost next to nothing to prevent them?

Quote:
Western society is getting far too safety conscious nowadays

Speak for yourself. I like the fact that there are people working to make sure that food is safe to eat, bridges are safe to drive across, planes are safe to travel on, medical procedures are way more likely to make me better than make me worse, that buildings tend not to collapse under nominal loads, etcetera. I enjoy living; I don't get a kick out of being in easily avoidable unnecessary danger.

Quote:
and expecting people to be protected from their stupid actions by legislation.

I take it that "stupid" is the operative word here. So what's the difference between stupidity and ignorance? I'm thinking that there *might* be some inherent quality of stupidity that makes people do potentially lethal things, but there most definitely *is* a quality of ignorance, which can be fixed by providing information -- and this information could be provided by parents, by schools, by government-sponsored public information, or whatever other means.

Quote:
I prefer to see those who have common sense survive rather than have the government extend the life span of idiots in order that they may propagate more idiots.

Because everyone who ever finds themselves in a position where they need help is an idiot. Right?


#76

I think it's time this thread came to an end. I realize that I have a different viewpoint when it comes to product labelling and workplace safety. The latter is probably due to having spent too much time falling burning snags on forest fires with powersaws (or with explosives for the really nasty ones).
As I recall, the dynamite and other explosives I used didn't have detailed labelling as to what not to do with it (using blasting caps as earplugs for example). Presumably the idea was that if you did something stupid, you'd only do it once.

#77

Quote:
That's pretty cold. If all it takes is to print a warning about peanut content on food labels, would you really prefer easily preventable medical emergencies or deaths to happen, when it would cost next to nothing to prevent them?

The question is: where does it stop? After watching the 911 series, I could probably come up with hundreds of "warning" statemets just for a step ladder.

Somewhere in the future we could end up with calculators that have no manuals, but a huge book with warnings how *not* to use it.

In fact, I think such warnings are of little use, as they get ignored by those it is aimed at and provide entertaining reading for the rest of us (many times I have read "warnings" thinking "somebody actually tried this??")
#78

I just read the label on my Wal-Mart Great Value brand of Peanut Butter. PEANUT butter. PEANUT BUTTER for goodness sake. I turned the jar around and yes! There it is! An admonition for the masses that do not know....WARNING: This product contains PEANUTS!. OMG stop the presses, I am so glad they told me that. I may have eaten the PEANUT butter having no idea it contained PEANUTS!


#79

:-D

#80

That is so funny. Peanuts butter now has a label saying it may have peanuts. We are dumming down our population.


#81

Quote:
We are dumming down our population.

Point taken.

#82

After this law is passed, we'll probably see a steep climb in the number of emergency room visits due to infants swallowing screws. Then Congress will have to consider some measure to keep screws out of the hands--and mouths---of children.

#83

Quote:
If this article is to be believed, the US congress is considering requiring all consumer products that use button cells to be childproof.

Are we going to have combination locks on our calculators in order to get to the battery compartment? Congress does some incredibly stupid things.


While I agree that we need safety standards, Congress goes way too overboard with things like these. I think they need to stop assuming that people are stupid.


#84

Quote:
I think they need to stop assuming that people are stupid.

Assuming?

Many peoples have the legislation they deserve.

Edited: 3 Sept 2012, 2:46 p.m.


#85

Quote:
Many peoples have the legislation they deserve.

I agree.

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