Terrifying Moment As Teen's Laptop Bursts Into Flames 4 Times In A Row
Jay Dawson February 13th 2017 Technology
We don't know what we'd do without our smartphones or our laptops. They've become our best friends in this digital age, always there with laughs, jokes, and instant knowledge. But as Devon Johnson of California found out, these best friends can quickly become your worst enemy. When you see this shocking footage you may never want to own a laptop computer ever again.
Um, Is It Supposed To Shoot Fire?
It was an otherwise relaxing night. The 18-year-old Johnson was playing videogames with his buddy while his Dell laptop gently charged on the sofa. All of a sudden - and all caught on home security - his laptop explodes, blasting out a massive fireball from the back and scorching the sofa. The video you are about to see will absolutely shock you.
Without warning, his laptop exploded. One moment he's playing video games, the next moment he's almost burnt to a crisp as massive fireballs blast from the cooling vents on the side of his laptop. The sofa is ruined and both Johnson and his friend are stunned. The fire soon ended as Johnson put the flames out, but the laptop wasn't done with him. This was only the beginning...
And It Didn't End There
Shocked and (understandably) a little bit terrified, Johnson rushed to blow the flames out. He then took the laptop outside and put it on a glass table, assuming the worst was over. Wrong! Seconds later, a series of three huge blasts blew apart the laptop and almost caught Johnson in the crossfire.
Even though he's nervous, Johnson clearly assumes the worst of it is over. Unfortunately, Johnson is completely wrong. As he turns to go away, the laptop fires again. And again. And again. Three huge blasts come out in quick succession, tearing apart what little remains of the device. This time, Johnson is so close to the laptop that he very nearly gets caught in the crossfire, once again. Words can barely describe the scene - hold on tight and you'll get to watch this insane video.
Devon Johnson isn't the only one to have suffered from exploding technology - or as we like to call it, The Rise Of The Machines. The problem is with the highly volatile Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) batteries that power these devices and others like smartphones, digital cameras, and even electric cars. Too hot? Boom. Punctured? Boom. Charged the wrong way? Boom. Manufacturing defe- BOOM.
Lithium-Ion batteries are packed full of chemical energy, more so than traditional batteries. That's why they're used for these kind of high-powered devices, where space is at a premium. But mishandling of them - even short circuiting the terminals, which can happen with smaller spare batteries - can have deadly consequences. For current purposes, they're probably the best technology we have. But at what cost?
How Dell Responded
The manufacturer of Johnson's laptop, Dell, has been fully aware of the problem for a decade. In 2006, it was forced to recall over four million "at-risk" batteries, and had to set up exchange booths in airports when airlines refused to fly passengers with Li-ion powered devices. And as users of the unintentionally deadly Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will know, this is not an isolated case. Yet Dell is still trying to avoid blame for this incident, only saying that it will "conduct a complete investigation to validate its origin and understand its full history."
When they were first rolled out, laptops used Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cad) batteries, which provided more than enough power for those low-consumption models. However, they also suffered from a memory effect, where incorrect charging could lead to drastically shortened battery life. Around the 90s, these batteries were slowly replaced by Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) batteries, which could cope with new demands and didn't suffer from the same problems. However, they eventually couldn't keep up with the new processor speeds and power consumption of today's models, and by the mid to late 2000s, Lithium-Ion was king.
What You Can Do To Avoid It
Since major companies are doing nothing to fix the problem, it's time to take some preventative measures yourself. Always charge Li-ion powered devices on a flat, hard surface, so the heat can dissipate properly, and never leave it charging once the battery is full, or overnight. Finally, always treat your laptop and phone very, very carefully. Or, like this insane video shows, your quiet night at home might turn into one very impromptu barbecue party.
Several people have had their e-cigarettes explode while in their pockets, and one unlucky soul blew out seven teeth when his vaper exploded while he was smoking it. Hoverboard batteries keep blowing up, which sounds like a cool futuristic sentence we never thought we'd say, but wasn't so much for the person riding the thing. A pair of headphones nearly took off someone's head in another incident on a plane, risking not only their life but the lives of everyone else on board.
How Dangerous Are These, Exactly?
So you'd think with all these grim statistics, Li-Ion batteries are pretty much the world's greatest ill, the true evil that we should all band together to vanquish. And yes, when handled incorrectly, they are pretty dangerous. The smaller and cheaper they get, too, the less material there is keeping the electrodes from touching, and the less safety regulations are followed, and the closer we get to certain doom.
But given how many consumer electronics are used every day, the incredible rise of digital cameras, smart phones, drones, and so many other gadgets, it's really a wonder we don't blow ourselves up more often. With all the billions of devices in use, in fact, the rate of incidence is pretty low. Like sharks or Borgs, they might seem terrifying, but in reality you're more likely to be killed by a falling coconut.
Like most retailers of LI-Ion powered devices, the manufacturer of Johnson's laptop, Dell, has been fully aware of the problem for a decade. In 2006, it was forced to recall over four million "at-risk" batteries, and had to set up exchange booths in airports when airlines refused to fly passengers with Li-ion powered devices. And as users of the unintentionally deadly Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will know, this is not an isolated case.
Yet Dell is still trying to avoid blame for this incident. Soon after the case came to light, they released a statement saying that it will "conduct a complete investigation to validate its origin and understand its full history." In other words, they would sit and their hands and hope that they could blame Devon Johnson for charging it wrong. Not the most original response, but sadly, it'll probably work.
Devon Doesn't Seem To Mind
Brush with death aside, Devon Johnson seemed to take the whole ordeal in his stride. He may have burnt down his home, and both he and his friend might have lost a couple of limbs to a computer, but all in all he's pretty nonchalant about the affair. His only real response was that he was "pretty relieved". He's probably more upset that it interrupted his gaming.
Which is understandable. Devon is 18 years old, and fairly used to this kind of thing. Not the exploding part, of course, but the technology failing people. We've got so many devices these days, and our expectations have been lowered so far, that if one of them screws up or breaks, we just shrug our shoulders and buy another. It's no big deal - but it is a pretty great story.
Will Batteries Get Safer?
For now, Lithium-Ion looks like it's going to stay for a while. It has the power-to-area ratio that no other batteries can really stack up to, and it's got more than enough punch to handle today's devices. Sure, only being able to run an iPhone for only a day seems pretty pathetic, but if you consider the sheer computing power that's going on under the hood, it's not half bad.
There are, as always, other technologies being considered (and if you believe the conspiracy nut jobs, Apple is deliberately holding back free energy tech for the sake of $$$). But most of the new technology is focused on refining and slightly enhancing Li-Ion, not on replacing it outright. And just like Lithium-Ion, these new technologies will have all the same safety issues and problems. We demand more powerful goods at cheaper, and there's only one thing companies can do: cut corners.
What You Can Do To Avoid It
Since major companies are doing nothing to fix the problem, and we can't control consumer demand, it's time to take some preventative measures yourself. It may sound like hard work, but it could save your life. Follow these three weird tricks, and we can almost 100% guarantee that your batteries won't engulf you in some massive inferno.
Number 1: always charge Li-ion powered devices on a flat, hard surface, so the heat can dissipate properly, and never leave it charging once the battery is full, or overnight. Number 3: If you're carrying small spare batteries, keep them separated, away from metallic objects, and preferably in their own case. Finally, always treat your laptop and phone very, very carefully. Or, like this insane video shows, your quiet night at home might turn into one very impromptu barbecue party.
50 Extraordinary Women You Won't Believe Actually Exist
Luke Chase May 25th 2016 Entertainment
It's likely that the women in your day to day life are pretty "normal" in appearance. So when you see someone whose appearance differs from what you expect it to be, it can be kind of a shock. The ladies in the following slideshow are definitely far from average. Some of these women spent thousands of dollars on plastic surgery, tattoos, or body piercings. Others are born with strange birth defects such as excessive facial hair, a gigantic butt or even an 8 inch tongue. See for yourself!
Lauren Williams: 4 Foot Long Legs
Lauren Williams has the longest-known legs in the United States, with her eye-catching limbs measuring an incredible 49 inches from hip to heel. Lauren's height and long-legged genes can be attributed to her family as her father, mother and twin sisters are all 6ft or taller.
She has US size 11 feet (UK size 10), and revealed that she can find it tricky to buy clothes that fit. When modelling, single Lauren - who has worked on campaigns for global brands such as Nike - does everything from sports and fitness to high fashion and swimwear.
Having played volleyball in college, as well as being extremely active, Lauren also enjoys shooting sporty campaigns. As well as modelling, Lauren works as an educator at a children's museum in Houston and enjoys travelling. When out and about, her striking looks and long limbs mean she gets comments about her legs on a daily basis.
Pixee Fox: Dangerously Small Waist
Swedish born Pixee Fox had already spent more than $80,000 on plastic surgery attempting to sculpt the perfect hourglass figure. But now she has taken her obsession even further by having 6 of her lower ribs removed - so she can shrink her waist to a record-breaking 14 inches. Pixee, from Sweden, said: "People often come up to me and say, "don't take this the wrong way, but you look like a cartoon" - but for me that's a compliment, that's what I want to achieve.
With 6 of her lower ribs removed, Pixee's lower internal organs, including the liver, have lost some of their natural protection - but she isn't worried. She said: "Before if I was in a car crash I would normally break my ribs. If that happened now I'm probably going to break my spleen instead. In total she has had four rhinoplasties costing $14,000; four breast augmentations of 200cc, 525cc, 800cc and 1400cc costing $28,500; two rounds of liposuction at $5,000; two upper eyelid surgeries at $6,000; a labiaplasty costing $4,000; a Brazilian butt lift at $9,000 and cool-sculpting, cheek injections, and lip injections at about $12,000.
Bethany Hamilton: One Armed Pro Surfer
Bethany Meilani Hamilton-Dirks is an American professional surfer who survived a 2003 shark attack in which her left arm was bitten off, but ultimately returned to-and was victorious in-professional surfing. On October 31, 2003 Hamilton, aged 13 at the time, went for a morning surf along Tunnels Beach, Kauai, with best friend Alana Blanchard, Alana's father, Holt, and brother Byron. Around 7:30 a.m., with numerous turtles in the area, she was lying on her surfboard with her left arm dangling in the water, when a 14-foot tiger shark attacked her, severing her left arm just below the shoulder.
Despite the trauma of the incident, Hamilton was determined to return to surfing. Three weeks after the incident, she returned to her board. Initially, she adopted a custom-made board that was longer and slightly thicker than standard and had a handle for her right arm, making it easier to paddle, and she learned to kick more to make up for the loss of her left arm. After teaching herself to surf with one arm, on January 10, 2004, she entered a major competition. She now uses standard competitive performance short-boards. The broken surfboard that Hamilton was riding during the attack is on display at the California Surf Museum
Mayra Hills: World's Largest Fake Breasts
Mayra Hills - also known as Beshine - measures at 59-28-36 and says she's the proud owner of the world's largest fake breasts. And it's not hard to believe her claim to fame, considering each of her breasts have 10,000 cc of saline implants and weigh 20 pounds a piece! As you can imagine, it's difficult for Beshine, who wears a size 32Z bra, to find clothes that fit, so the German-born woman has a lot of her items custom-made.
But bra shopping isn't her only woe. She can no longer tie her own shoes and has run into trouble when she's knocked things over with her chest - but it appears she's satisfied with her body, troubles and all. "Some people maybe think the sheer size of my t-ts bring too many handicaps in my everyday life, but hey, having big boob problems is amazing," she wrote on her blog.
Anastasiya Shpagina: Real Life Anime Girl
It's official, this real-life anime trend has gotten completely out of hand. Hardly a day goes by that we don't stumble upon some photos of girls going to any lengths in order to look like real live anime characters. Today's example, Anastasiya Shpagina, an Ukrainian girl who has even taken a Japanese name - Fukkacumi. 19-year-old Anastasiya (Nastya) Shpagina has been called "the new Barbie" by national news outlets, but she later revealed she's striving to become a real-life Japanese anime character, not a doll. She even posted "I am not like a doll, a doll is like me."
Apparently, Nastya has been passionate about makeup even as a young child, always experimenting with it in the mirror. Over time she also developed a thing for Japanese cartoons and it was only a matter of time before she started using her make-up artist skills to transform herself into a real-life anime girl. But just putting on makeup wasn't enough to attain that coveted look, so she decided to lose weight in order to seem more genuine. At 1.58-meters-tall, Anastasiya weighs just 39 kilos and is trying to lose one more in order to look just right.
Chanel Tapper: World's Longest Tongue
The longest female tongue measures 9.75 cm (3.8 in) from the tip to the middle of lip and was achieved by Chanel Tappe on 29 September 2010. Chanel, from Houston, US, shot to fame aged 13 when she was spotted sticking out her monster tongue in a YouTube video. In September Guinness invited Chanel to Los Angeles where they measured her tongue and she narrowly beat two other female contenders to the record.
She said: "I have always been silly and goofy. I love sticking my tongue out at people. I started doing that back in school. I've never had a problem with having a long tongue, it's just fun." Chanel now has set her sights set on Hollywood after finishing her studies. She said: "I'd love to be in a movie. I'm certainly pretty dramatic, so I think I could have the acting gift. "Really, I'd love to meet Adam Sandler, he's my favorite."
Sarah Massey: World's Largest Butt
Sarah Massey would be just another 33-year-old mother-of-two from Chicago - if it weren't for the fact that she also happens to have the world's biggest butt. Though not officially recognized by the prudes at Guinness, Massey's massive 7-foot wide keister requires a pair of 10XL trousers that would comfortably fit all of the Kardashian sisters combined.
Massey insists the condition that resulted in her museum-sized bubble butt is hereditary - "there's nothing I can do about it," she says - but that her love of ice cream certainly contributed to its maintenance. Massey would still like to lose some weight, but says she now has a new-found appreciation for her natural assets, and fervently defends them against anyone who calls them fake. "Some people can't believe one person can have this much butt," she told Barcroft. "Because I've got a relatively small frame on top they say, 'that can't be real.' I carry this weight with me all the time, everywhere I go, it's definitely not fake. Big booties are just in my blood."
Zlata: Extreme Flexibility
Russian-born former gymnast Zlata, 29, posed in leather and lingerie to adopt a series of poses that seem to defy every law of biology. Zlata, who now lives in Germany, is able to create astounding shapes with her body and is so flexible she can cram herself into a 50cm square box. One of her favorite acts is to bend backwards at a 90 degree angle, so the back half of her hands touch her feet and she can also peer through her own legs from behind.
Zlata's gift of flexibility was discovered when she was four years old and by six she was training as a contortionist at a circus school. She has a rare condition which makes all her tendons extremely pliable, which helps in her profession. The former gymnast now spends most of her day working out and training for shows around the world. In 2011 she set the Guinness World Record for the most beer bottles opened in a minute using only your feet.
Kim Goodman: Eyeball Protrusion
Kim Goodman is a woman who is able to pop her eyes out of her eye sockets by 12 millimeters (0.47 inches). She holds the world record for the farthest eyeball protrusion. She lives in Chicago, Illinois. She discovered her eyeball popping talent one day when she was hit on the head with a hockey mask. Her eyeballs popped out much further than usual and ever since that day she could pop them out on cue, as well as when she yawns.
She has appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman. In 2004, Goodman was included by Guinness World Records in their 50th anniversary list of top ten "feats" of all time. Kim originally had the record for being able to extend her eye balls beyond her eye sockets by 10mm. This was matched a few years by a new contender, but when Kim was re-measured she found she could now reach 12mm - breaking her own record and keeping the title.
Natalia Partyka: One Armed Table Tennis Champ
Natalia Partyka (born 27 July 1989) is a Polish table tennis player. Born without a right hand and forearm, she participates in competitions for able-bodied athletes as well as in competitions for athletes with disabilities. Partyka reached the last 32 of the London 2012 Olympic women's table tennis. Partyka began playing table tennis at the age of seven. She won her first international table tennis medal in 1999 at the disabled World Championships. At the age of 11, she competed at the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney, becoming the world's youngest ever Paralympian. In 2004, she won a gold medal in the singles event and silver in the team event at the Athens Paralympics.
Partyka competed for Poland both the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing - one of only two athletes to do so, the other being Natalie du Toit in swimming. They were her third Paralympic Games, and her first Olympics. Competing in class 10 at the Beijing Paralympics, she won gold by defeating China's Fan Lei by three sets to nil. In 2008, she won a gold medal in the singles event and a silver in the team event at the Beijing Paralympics, repeating her Athens Paralympics result.