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I'm shocked, shocked I say!
February 17, 2010 2:54 AM   Subscribe

It feels best at 220 volts. But with the provided replacement plugs, the Vilcus can also be used at 110 volts. Makes a great gift for those special friends. (from the people who brought you the LCD keyboard)
posted by klausness (54 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Does it have an adapter to work with Danish outlets? Because they are clearly the best standard for power outlets in the world. For values of BEST that may be equivalent to HAMBURGER
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:12 AM on February 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Is it April 1 already?
posted by tim_in_oz at 3:12 AM on February 17, 2010


Think Geek must think well of their "smart masses" target market to include that disclaimer.
posted by Throw away your common sense and get an afro! at 3:14 AM on February 17, 2010


I was worried about being able to continue my hobby on an upcoming trip to the Netherlands. Problem solved!
posted by Turtles all the way down at 3:16 AM on February 17, 2010


Because they are clearly the best standard for power outlets in the world.

*clicks link*

THAT IS FUCKING ADORABLE!@
posted by Throw away your common sense and get an afro! at 3:18 AM on February 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


I'm guessing that the Danish socket is just the standard Eurasian 2-pin socket with the earth pin in a specific place, which suggests that it would work.

On a tangent: there is now an international standard for 220V sockets, which liiks like the Eurasian socket only with smaller pins slightly closer together (enabled by more modern materials than when the European socket evolved). Though the only country which has adopted it so far is Brazil, about 10 years ago.
posted by acb at 3:30 AM on February 17, 2010


Is it April 1 already?

From the company website: Release date: 01.04.2007

Yeah, they were definitely very serious about this.
posted by daniel_charms at 3:47 AM on February 17, 2010


Here is a limerick: There was a small girl indiscreet / Who asked her mom for a sweet. / Mom said, “Aye, it’s here in my pocket!” / “Go stick your lil thumb in a socket!”

wut
posted by biddeford at 3:53 AM on February 17, 2010


Bring me the hippy who throws this "peace" sign.
posted by hal9k at 4:07 AM on February 17, 2010


On a tangent: there is now an international standard for 220V sockets, which liiks like the Eurasian socket only with smaller pins slightly closer together (enabled by more modern materials than when the European socket evolved). Though the only country which has adopted it so far is Brazil, about 10 years ago.

The Euro standard plug will fit into a ISO 220V socket, it is just that it will not come back out without destroying the faceplate and/or pulling the whole socket out of its wall mounting. So if you are going to Brazil you don't strictly need a converter, just a "use once and fuck it" mentality with regards to the host infrastructure.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:21 AM on February 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm hurt and angered that they don't have once designed for my penis.
posted by clvrmnky at 4:52 AM on February 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sometimes retro technology really is best.
posted by caddis at 4:53 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:54 AM on February 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


I'm hurt and angered that they don't have once designed for my penis.

Dude, they designed it for both you and your dad's penises!
posted by eriko at 5:45 AM on February 17, 2010 [7 favorites]


Galvanizing.
posted by pracowity at 5:49 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


How could we get the message out to Teabaggers, Palin supporters and Right-wing AM talk show hosts that the Obama administration wants to ban this practice?

I want to see mass rallies featuring all of the above folks openly exercising their God-given Constitutional RIGHT to STICK THEIR FINGERS IN ELECTRIC SOCKETS!!!
posted by kcds at 5:55 AM on February 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Galvanizing.

If you think this is shocking, wait until you see your electric bill.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:25 AM on February 17, 2010


I think I'll stick to getting my juice on by licking 9-volt batteries.
posted by Goofyy at 6:36 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't get or like the practice of starting your "april fools" project (or i guess releasing it) two months early with a subtle hint about the fact that it's fake.

It's one day out of the year, and no, it's no funnier if it's out early. If nothing else it's just more misleading.

Also, who the hell would do this for fun. Story that makes me sound stupid, when i was 5 i dared a girl to put a hair[pin in a socket, and for some reason when she turned the dare back on me i did it, and ended up with some burns on my hand. I think i had compulsion issues as many 5 year olds do.
posted by djduckie at 6:58 AM on February 17, 2010


Is this as much fun as putting a 9V battery on your tongue?
posted by Karmakaze at 7:10 AM on February 17, 2010


I don't get or like the practice of starting your "april fools" project (or i guess releasing it) two months early with a subtle hint about the fact that it's fake.

It's from 2007. I'm surprised it hasn't made it here yet.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:24 AM on February 17, 2010


When are they going to come out with one in infant size?
posted by strangeguitars at 7:31 AM on February 17, 2010


I seem to remember some talk-talk about the healing properties of current. But it was more in relation to everyone's favourite mad scientist, Tesla, and his attempts to counteract Edison's work at discrediting AC power. After that, though, the crazies kinda got in there.

Sticking your fingers in a socket, unless on some sort of heavily electrically resistant circuit, seems like a step in organized eugenics. Kind of like the Dummies Guide to Free Climbing (which I swear I've seen, but can't find anywhere).
posted by LD Feral at 7:41 AM on February 17, 2010


from the ThinkGeek page:

"Become more alert through free electroshock therapy."

HA
posted by mwhybark at 7:45 AM on February 17, 2010


ThinkGeek says they're actually shipping Optimus Maximus keyboards. I didn't think that was ever going to happen.
posted by Nelson at 7:52 AM on February 17, 2010


I love Art Lebedev. Everything he/they do is a kooky kind of genius that occasionally leads to actual products. I have their Tetris magnet set on my fridge.
posted by zsazsa at 8:11 AM on February 17, 2010


Art Lebedev + team are super-talented.
My dream is to see thousands of Fuck the Rain umbrellas parading down metro streets, one in the hand of every commuter.
posted by prinado at 9:06 AM on February 17, 2010


What, this is fake? I guess I really am the only person who doesdid this.

I wish I was kidding.

When I was a wee little kid - as early as a year or two old - I used to have a habit of randomly taking things apart. One of the things I used to take apart on a regular basis very early on was the cover for the power outlet next to my crib. I'd just jam my arm down there between the wall and the crib and unscrew the cover plate with my thumbnail. Half the fun was just getting the plate off.

The rest of the fun was playing with the exposed wires behind the outlet. They tickled. A lot. I liked it. It was different. I remember thinking about it like it was candy or something. Hand candy? Weirdo.

In hindsight the only thing I can figure is that I wasn't very well grounded because I was primarily doing this while I was still in my crib/bed thing, making it so the electricity just passed over my hands instead of through my whole body. It wasn't anything like the few adult experiences I've had grabbing a live circuit on accident where your whole body tenses up - and if you're lucky - bodily thrown free of the circuit. It just tickled my hands.
posted by loquacious at 9:07 AM on February 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


I will now go and Rule 34 the hell out of this.
posted by quin at 9:07 AM on February 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


/me watches every nerdy parent in the thread gasp at his and go pale.

Yeah, if you have nerdy or weird kids you probably have no idea what they're actually up to.
posted by loquacious at 9:09 AM on February 17, 2010


I will now go and Rule 34 the hell out of this.

A quick google suggests kink.org got there first...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 9:32 AM on February 17, 2010


I think I'll stick to getting my juice on by licking 9-volt batteries.

Is this as much fun as putting a 9V battery on your tongue?

Pikers.
posted by Splunge at 9:36 AM on February 17, 2010


I took physics over the summer the year before I started high school. Extra science for me please! That's just the kind of nerd I was. Anyway, one day near the beginning of our electricity unit, they gave us little cheap multimeters and told us to pull down the outlets that were hanging from retractable reels above our heads. And then the teacher went on to explain what we were supposed to be doing that day.

Here's the thing, though. On the plastic packaging of the multimeter, it showed some possible uses in outline drawings. No instructions, just drawings in that kind of "universal language" designers use to dissuade you from, say, putting your hand under running acid. Place on the two contacts of a battery, the drawing implied. Stab around at a circuit board. And then there was one, showing the two prongs of the multimeter stuck into the two sides of an electrical outlet.

This is impossible, my lab partner friends and I said to each other. You can't just stick stuff into outlets. Can you? It'll shock you, and you'll die. What could be more obvious than that? This was what we always understood to be true. But here, this was a machine meant to test electrical strength! Maybe it can stand up to it! Maybe all that we knew was wrong. This was a portal into the true world of electricity! Of being grown up, in a way! Think of the things we could learn! Think of the thrill of doing something so strenuously forbidden.

Eventually we convinced ourselves that as long as we didn't touch anything to the third hole, "the ground", we would be fine. I am not sure how we decided that. A little knowledge can be worse than none. Slowly, making sure the teacher wasn't looking, we put one probe into the left side of the outlet. Nothing. The bravest among us volunteered to actually hold the device as he pushed the probe into the other side of the outlet.

A blue spark as big around as a pencil arced from the outlet to the prong just as it touched the hole. There was a loud pop, a thin bit of smoke, and our friend leapt back shaking his hands like he'd picked up a hot pot. And there, in the outlet, was the tip of the multimeter probe, sheared clean off, stuck inside, fused to the metal. Melded. The electricity took that metal tip off like the end of a carrot.

We boxed up our multimeter, now useless, in silence, and returned it to the storage room. Got another. And all four of us solemnly swore to never tell anybody else what had happened, for fear that we would be forced to pay for the outlet (now unuseable, like a lock with a key broken off inside) or the multimeter (which we had been told were very new and very expensive), or to confront how close Niladri had come to dying.

For the rest of high school, we only spoke of it amongst ourselves, and in whispers, and we called it "the Blue Sky Incident."
posted by penduluum at 9:38 AM on February 17, 2010 [9 favorites]


I think I'll stick to getting my juice on by licking 9-volt batteries.

Is this as much fun as putting a 9V battery on your tongue?

Pikers.


Naw, just in-jokers.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:38 AM on February 17, 2010


BRB, reading interesting 4 year old post...
posted by Splunge at 9:46 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


An electrician doing some work here once just licked his fingers and started touching the circuits in the mains box, "110, 110, 220, 110, 220, 110..." etc.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:50 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Here is a limerick: There was a small girl indiscreet / Who asked her mom for a sweet. / Mom said, 'Aye, it’s here in my pocket!' / 'Go stick your lil thumb in a socket!'"

That is the worst fake limerick I have ever heard.
posted by hermitosis at 10:52 AM on February 17, 2010


Then there's this guy who seems to have a tolerance for the stuff.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:54 AM on February 17, 2010


That thing would only reliably kill you if you stuck in fingers from opposite hands, in which case the 220 version could easily be lethal.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:24 AM on February 17, 2010


Our aquarium in Sandy, Utah has a display hooked up to the electric eel exhibit so you can feel the current being generated. There were two small, metal contact points. My daughter and I hung out by the display, and when it didn't appear to work, encouraged visitors to lick their fingers first. Watching little old ladies shock themselves was so much fun, I could have been in a Milgram experiment.
posted by mecran01 at 11:31 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


That thing would only reliably kill you if you stuck in fingers from opposite hands, in which case the 220 version could easily be lethal.

Yeah, if you just stuck one hand in it it might feel like someone whacked your hand with a crowbar, but opposite hands would give a nice circuit bridge across your chest cavity. 110 would also do the job fairly easy given proper humidity, clothing, etc.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:34 AM on February 17, 2010


Something tells me that they just don't know how dirty trucks get and that trucking companies are total cheapskates. Nonetheless, it must be nice to get paid to dream.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 11:36 AM on February 17, 2010


That would easily kill you with a single finger inserted. If the path of least resistance is through your feet and the amperage surges to the circuit breaker limit, you're toast.
posted by gigbutt at 12:53 PM on February 17, 2010


It wasn't until this year that I actually saw a child try to stick his fingers into a light socket. Too bad his birthday was last week. Sorry, bud. You're going to have to wait until next year for the finger-light-socket-adapter.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:32 PM on February 17, 2010


Nonetheless, it must be nice to dream

My coworker and I were talking about this earlier: I think for as many good times as you'd have photoshopping up real trucks, there's gonna be work you get -paid- for. How many times do some of those industrial designs go through revs? I'm sure there's hand-wringing bullshit in that profession as there is in every.

Then again, blowing off steam with a Gridus is awesome. As is faux latin product names! Moar!
posted by Ogre Lawless at 1:34 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


a) the holes are much too small.
b) I don't get why their are two of them.
posted by alms at 5:29 PM on February 17, 2010


penduluum: "A blue spark as big around as a pencil arced from the outlet to the prong just as it touched the hole. There was a loud pop, a thin bit of smoke, and our friend leapt back shaking his hands like he'd picked up a hot pot. And there, in the outlet, was the tip of the multimeter probe, sheared clean off, stuck inside, fused to the metal. Melded. The electricity took that metal tip off like the end of a carrot."

I can verify the veracity of this, having shorted out the circuits in my fifth-grade classroom with a paperclip on a string. Nice, melty, sharp blob.
posted by mwhybark at 6:32 PM on February 17, 2010


Pendulum, am I missing something, or did the multimeter fail at doing what it was designed to do? Any multimeter I've seen is able to handle up to several hundreds of volts. Electrical outlets should be no problem for them.
posted by ymgve at 7:00 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


am I missing something, or did the multimeter fail at doing what it was designed to do?

Hey, you tell me. I've since looked it up and, yeah, it seems like the packaging was telling the truth. You should be able to do it. Put the probes in a live electrical outlet, get a reading. And that's as may be. But here are some things I know empirically: (1) I tried that shit in like 1994, (2) electricity is whitish-blue, the color of one of those insect zappers, and (3) as far as I know there's still a socket in my high school with about 3 millimeters of metal fused inside the neutral.

Did we plug the prongs into the multimeter wrong? Was our multimeter just defective? Was there something wrong with the outlet? Mysteries all. But it gave four 14-year-olds a pretty great secret to share. I own a multimeter, and I have access to electrical outlets, but I sure as hell am not going to go about trying to recreate the Blue Sky Incident.
posted by penduluum at 8:03 PM on February 17, 2010


Probably the multimeter was set up to measure current, so that it was a direct short across the outlet. It should have had a fuse inside that blew, however.
posted by pombe at 10:08 PM on February 17, 2010


That would be my guess too. I've certainly measured AC line voltage numerous times with a (reasonably good) multimeter without mishap. (My electrical outlet "mishaps" were mostly paperclip-related.)
posted by hattifattener at 11:39 PM on February 17, 2010


Little-known factoid: many older multimeters have (had? Been a while since I looked at cheap meters) a separate socket for the 10A range.

This is usually unfused, because the small resistance across a fuse becomes significant when compared to the equally-small resistance of the shunt needed to measure high currents.
posted by Pinback at 12:21 AM on February 18, 2010


If you put that thing into current measuring mode and then put it into the wall outlet you have just created a short, and hence no wonder the sparks. In current measuring mode it goes in-line and you have to have a proper load on the circuit such as a lamp etc.
posted by caddis at 4:27 AM on February 18, 2010


My professor stuck a multimeter in an outlet just to show us it could be done. Here.
posted by IndigoRain at 1:37 AM on February 19, 2010


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