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What is the point of "the outlet challenge..."

Old 01-24-20, 12:51 AM
  #1  
genec
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What is the point of "the outlet challenge..."

...to see if you are stupid enough to do it?

Ruins a charger, could start a fire and may fling molton metal at you.

People are obviously stupid enough to do this... warnings are going up across the nation... the question is why, what is this fascination with stupid stunts?

What's next, stand in front of a bus, or ride your bike into a brick wall?
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Old 01-24-20, 02:25 AM
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It's a variation of the same old trolling and hazing games kids have played since kids were kicked out of the cave by mom and dad and told not to come back until dinnertime.

Having done plenty of stupid stuff as a kid, and watching how the same games have evolved online, my best guess is it's a combination of...
  • Fearlessness. Many kids think they'll live forever and any injuries will be minor and temporary. That's a timeless theme across generations.
  • Nihilism and fatalism. Some generations are plagued with overwhelming anxiety from relentless bad news, wars and rumors of wars, broken families, watching peers die from gang violence, random violence and overdoses, social pressures, the works. We're in a particularly difficult period right now, not only in the US but worldwide. From the perspective of some kids, they don't expect to live long enough to become adults, and even if they do there won't be anything for them -- no jobs, no opportunities, a lousy economy, not much to look forward to other than joining the military and risking death and injury for someone else's benefit.
  • Elitist trolling. One way for nerds to get revenge for being picked on is to trick gullible and less intelligent or educated kids into doing stupid, dangerous stuff that would be obvious if they bothered to read a book or spend 15 minutes Googling around. Over the past 15 years or so I've seen dozens of these pranks and trolling, ranging from encouraging people to make household cleaners better by mixing bleach and ammonia, or "delete System 32 to fix your Windows PC problems". They figure anyone stupid enough to fall for these pranks deserves whatever happens. Just another variation of snipe hunting.
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Old 01-24-20, 06:01 AM
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Wait, snipe hunting isnt real?
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Old 01-24-20, 09:09 AM
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We would pay this kid marbles to do self destructive things for our amusement. Being kids we had no concept of consequences. One time he jumped off the football field bleachers and broke his arm. And of course we all laughed. We got called into the principals office and he explained in not so many words is that this kid is just plain stupid quit paying him marbles to pull stupid stunts. I mean how could he punish all of us for another kidís stupidity. We complied because he was in a cast the rest of the year. This was around 1977 pre social media anything the day of rotary phones and if you liked a girl you passed that age old corny note: Will you sit with me in the cafeteria at lunch? circle Yes or No
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Old 01-24-20, 09:33 AM
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Seems like it will make a lot of business for electricians and ER doctors.
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Old 01-24-20, 09:35 AM
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Kids need more science/tech education. Mine is taking electronics and of course they learn about safety in the first class(es)

This morning the very first question he asked/said me was "Dad, what is the difference between an 'astable and bistable multivibrator?"
"Ummm, uhhh I think I'd best look it up to be sure" as I was starting to make coffee...
"But I thought you were an engineer?"
"Well I am but engineering has many disciplines". (Plus I've forgotten more than I've learned) "What has drawn your interest in this?"
"Well I am building a circuit to turn on and off an LED and need to make a bistable vibrator with my 555 chip"
"Oh, sound like you know more about this than I do. Let's sit down and work on this after school"
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Old 01-24-20, 09:52 AM
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oh how i long for the simpler days of tide pod challenges.
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Old 01-24-20, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
Kids need more science/tech education. Mine is taking electronics and of course they learn about safety in the first class(es)

This morning the very first question he asked/said me was "Dad, what is the difference between an 'astable and bistable multivibrator?"
"Ummm, uhhh I think I'd best look it up to be sure" as I was starting to make coffee...
"But I thought you were an engineer?"
"Well I am but engineering has many disciplines". (Plus I've forgotten more than I've learned) "What has drawn your interest in this?"
"Well I am building a circuit to turn on and off an LED and need to make a bistable vibrator with my 555 chip"
"Oh, sound like you know more about this than I do. Let's sit down and work on this after school"
Odd thing about this is I'm over 60 yo and know what a 555 chip is.
Seriously, we used to make our own fireworks back in my youthful days. The library had plenty of chemistry books that told what to mix (a lot is on the internet now), and the chemicals were available over-the-counter at the local drug store, gardening center, other supplies at the hardware store. We were smart enough to set them off at the end of the cul-de-sac we lived on (small practice devices), or in a vacant parking lot. The police caught us once, but we were just turned over to our parents for a good scolding. Sadly the chemicals are gone from the shelves, and I'll bet anyone caught doing what we did would get arrested and sent to juvenile hall/counseling. (start humming Warren Zevon's 'Excitable Boy').
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Old 01-24-20, 10:57 AM
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We've gotten to the point where high school age kids don't understand what electricity is, or how it works.

What a time to be alive.
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Old 01-24-20, 11:59 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
One way for nerds to get revenge for being picked on is to trick gullible and less intelligent or educated kids into doing stupid, dangerous stuff that would be obvious if they bothered to read a book
Jesus, I wish I'd thought of that when I was 13...
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Old 01-24-20, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Wait, snipe hunting isnt real?
Real enough, I tell ya...lol

As a kid in the scouts one of the camps we stayed in had an older and newer side. The old side was pretty dilapidated and in need to being torn down, really, but made an EXCELLENT late night hike area to do some snipe hunting with the younger scouts. The trail/path led directly by the old cafeteria building with a set of windows just at head height that was really good for the "flashlight below the chin" scare technique. Myself and one of the older scouts ran ahead to get in position. The building had a Dutch door, of which the top portion had been open for possibly years. Just as we open the lower half to go in a very large barn owl flew past us both and skeered us pretty good. We come barreling down the trail at full tilt boogie screaming our heads off and scatter the entire troop. Took us a couple of hours to round everyone back up again in the dark.
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Old 01-24-20, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
We've gotten to the point where high school age kids don't understand what electricity is, or how it works.

What a time to be alive.
I still don't understand what it is and how it works. But I know it's dangerous and even more so because I don't really understand it.

Maybe the problem is that kids assume normal daily things are safe to the point of foolproof. Lots of people die because they are in bath with the phone on the charger. Previous generation didn't have safety warnings everywhere but maybe assumed things could be dangerous.
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Old 01-24-20, 01:17 PM
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I first heard of this 'challenge' from this thread and have so far resisted (no pun) the desire to look up what it actually is...
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Old 01-24-20, 01:24 PM
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Tide Pod challenge suddenly not looking that dumb.
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Old 01-24-20, 01:52 PM
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When I was in high school, the thing for bored kids to do was to fold up a piece of paper and use that to hold a staple to an outlet. It usually just made sparks, occasionally it would dim the lights or pop a ground-fault breaker.
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Old 01-24-20, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
Odd thing about this is I'm over 60 yo and know what a 555 chip is.
Seriously, we used to make our own fireworks back in my youthful days. The library had plenty of chemistry books that told what to mix (a lot is on the internet now), and the chemicals were available over-the-counter at the local drug store, gardening center, other supplies at the hardware store. We were smart enough to set them off at the end of the cul-de-sac we lived on (small practice devices), or in a vacant parking lot. The police caught us once, but we were just turned over to our parents for a good scolding. Sadly the chemicals are gone from the shelves, and I'll bet anyone caught doing what we did would get arrested and sent to juvenile hall/counseling. (start humming Warren Zevon's 'Excitable Boy').
I'm over 60 and figured they had stopped using 555 chips by now... especially with surface mount devices and BGAs out there.

Gawd the hours I spent with proto board (breadboard) and the old .1 inch center ICs...

Astable is basically free running, bistable is like a flipflop; needs a trigger to get it to toggle.

I got into electronics with vacuum tubes, went through transistors, then single circuit ICs (like a flipflop on a chip,) then LSICs, then ASIC, now SOICs (system on a chip).

Today what used to take a few refrigerator sized cabinets of transistors can be done in a chip the size of your little fingernail...

We used to charge up large electolytic caps and throw them at one another... "catch." Or hook one ip to a PS backwards... BANG!
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Old 01-24-20, 03:06 PM
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They're doing this now...My gawd! Keep up, Man!
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Old 01-24-20, 03:08 PM
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This thread is great! Brings back the memories.

South Texas is hot and we have a lot of gnats! We would put gnats in the ink tubes of our Bic pens and watch them slowly drown in ink. The science teacher said you guys are sick and laughed.
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Old 01-26-20, 03:02 AM
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Comedian/fake magician Rick Lax specializes in videos that are parodies of DIY tutorials, demonstrating faked experiments that range from merely stupid to dangerous if rubes actually try to recreate these stunts.


It's still less dangerous than getting suckered by the melodrama nations stir up to fight each other.
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Old 01-26-20, 10:48 AM
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There are 2 things I did in my heyday of 5th grade. Either of those 2 was stupid enough to have killed me if they had actually worked. I have a personal lifetime vow to never repeat or tell anyone about them. Honestly, I could have won an award (posthumously) for the stupidest stunt imaginable.

No, I won't tell you.
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Old 01-26-20, 11:45 AM
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All we did when I was in high school was set freshmen on fire.
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Old 01-29-20, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by hazetguy View Post
oh how i long for the simpler days of tide pod challenges.
Wasn't that a month ago?
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Old 01-29-20, 06:08 PM
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One year we put dissected frogs in a kid’s jacket on a cold day around 60 degrees Then wait for the reaction. Very stupid and very funny.
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Old 01-30-20, 08:10 AM
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Old 01-30-20, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
One year we put dissected frogs in a kidís jacket on a cold day around 60 degrees Then wait for the reaction. Very stupid and very funny.
60 degrees is cold??
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