Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Powered down, power up:

Electricity is one of those things that I'll never full understand. All right, I "get" it, but it's a textbook understanding of wiring diagrams, those little broken lines for switches, little zig-zag lines for resistors, and what have you. Briding the gap between that and an actual comfort with what's invisibly happening is going to be impossible for me.

Anyway, the buzzword of the week is Vampire Power. Somehow, I actually did not know about this until quite recently. Simply put, when almost anything electric is powered down, but still connected to a live socket, it's still using power. Unplug it, save a penny, save the world.

For instance, on my bedside table is my cellphone charger, and previously I simply left the thing plugged in all the time, and connected my phone to it every night for a top-off. Now, I unplug the charger, and since I can get about three days on a charge, I plug in every other day. Likewise, the coffee-slasher and cheap drip maker on my kitchen counter, reserved for use when I run out of French press-ground coffee, are now unpluged. I have no idea how many pennies and how many worlds I am saving by doing this, but if we all did it, y'hear?

Powering up when powered down:

Also, what gives with batteries doing sort of the opposite? I think it's temperature-related, but that's about all I know. Specifically, has anyone ever noticed that if you take a battery -- especially a rechargable NiCd, but any battery -- that is out of juice, cannot operate the device it's in, and leave it sitting for a day, it will have just a bit of power when you get to it? I have a whole handful of "discharged" AA batteries that I can put in my digicam and get two or three more pictures out of. How does this happen?

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