Don't Try This at Home

July 16, 2012

I just bought a new battery for my laptop, and for some reason I decided to read the single-page instruction manual it came with. I learned:

Never throw the battery pack into fire, as that could cause the battery pack to explode.
Never short-circuit the main battery pack by either accidentally or intentionally bringing the terminals in contact with another metal object. This could cause personal injury or a fire, and could also damage the battery pack.
Never hammer a nail into the battery pack.
Never hit a hammer on the battery pack.

You know someone, somewhere has done each one of these things. Possibly my son.

What I want to know is…why?

Why would you want to throw a laptop battery into a fire? Hit it with a hammer or pound a nail into it? The only reason I can think of is to find out what happens. Personally, I can’t imagine anything good coming from those actions, but that’s just me. I’m pretty cautious about experimentation.

But thankfully, not everyone is like me. We need people who are curious and test boundaries, or we’d never have inventions like the laptop and its battery-that-shouldn’t-be-hammered. People who step outside their comfort zones to try experiments the average person wouldn’t dream of have made the world an immeasurably better place, often at great cost to themselves. I’m grateful for the men and women who want to find out what happens. (All I ask is that they pause for a moment to ask themselves what could go wrong, and how they’re going to cope if it does.)

Once again, I guess people can be divided into two categories: Those who put their laptop batteries in their computers and those who come at them with a hammer. Which one are you?

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  1. I am most definitely the type to put my battery in the computer. I would never hit it with a hammer. I don't think that even qualifies as an experiment - it sounds more like stupidity to me. ;)

  2. On occasion, I have WANTED to take hammer to my computer but that's another story!!

    I enjoy your insights......

  3. To me, too! There must be a line between stupid experiments and worthwhile ones!

  4. Thanks, Cathy. I occasionally want to take a hammer to mine, too! :)

  5. LOL ... these must have been the things that they thought of right off the bat to avoid lawsuits.

    I am grateful for those who think outside the box too ... if it weren't for them, we wouldn't have laptops!

    Glad that you are enjoying your July too.

    Kathy M.

  6. Kathy--You're probably right! Perhaps beer was involved as well??

  7. You do those bearing a hammer an disservice—how else would you/could you learn how strong the casing is for the battery? How else could you learn the results of the occasional dropping of the battery (which would be similar to hammering)? Oh, you mean, besides dropping it? Well, by hammering on it!

    As for fire, many folks used to burn their trash...many still do in rural areas. My guess is that it's highly flammable, but since some folks may not know what that means, the simple thing to say is do not put into fire.

    Never underestimate the human for folly!!

  8. Well, see...finally someone with a good explanation!

    And believe me, I do not underestimate human folly--I have a teenage son!