CPSC Micro-fiction #6

CPSC Notices 5/21/10

Chocolate Soup Recalls Children’s Hooded Sweatshirt Sets with Drawstrings Due to Strangulation Hazard - The sweatshirts have a drawstring through the hood that can pose a strangulation hazard to children. In February 1996, CPSC issued guidelines (pdf) (which were incorporated into an industry voluntary standard in 1997) to help prevent children from strangling or getting entangled on the neck and waist drawstrings in upper garments, such as jackets and sweatshirts. No injuries reported.

HP Expands Recall of Notebook Computer Batteries Due to Fire Hazard - The recalled lithium-ion batteries can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers. Since the May 2009 recall, HP has received 38 additional reports of batteries that overheated and ruptured resulting in 11 instances of minor personal injury and 31 instances of minor property damage.

Micro-fiction 5/21/10

Your chances of exploding are roughly one in fifteen-hundred.
Used to be far worse.
And one in fifteen-hundred? Yeah, it could be you that bursts into chemical flame while downloading data to your hoodie. But the vast majority of people will enjoy the fabric net, and will live their entire lives comfortably in their e-clothes, until the day they're hit by a bus, die of radiation exposure, or one of the other hundred ways to catch it in this day and age.
We need electricity. The info-blankets in which we shield our naked flesh require energy. Better lithium-ion covering your skin than fissile material, or soaking yourself in gasoline. Chance could be one in a hundred--could be one in ten. They'd still line up outside my shack for a battery swap, and then go off down the street, connected into the network, as they must be. As their employers must. As their friends must. As their sexual partners must.
Without these batteries pressing against their flesh, they would not be human beings. They would be monkeys with sticks. Neanderthals covered in hair. Peasants digging in the mud. Don't believe me? Look it up. Check out the pictures. See? Explosive-free living is as about as fun as dysentery. I said, look it up. It's all there.
You know what, kid? I'm busy. You don't want it, live your life trailing a plug behind you. Standing against the wall. I've got customers here. I'll have another thousand and five-hundred by 3PM.

For information about this series, please see the introductory post.

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