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Podcast

Episode 84 • Light & Electricity

84

The power goes out

Pitch black

Flashlight

Switch

Get electrocuted

Story

[TV sounds]
[Sound of fuse blowing]
Nick: Dad! What happened?
Dad: I don’t know, Nick! I think the power went out.
Nick: What do we do now?
Dad: Dad will show you how to fix it! Come on, let’s go down to the basement. Let’s figure out what happened. Now, careful, son. It’s pitch black… Watch where you put your feet. Grab the flashlight, please.
Nick: We don’t have one, dad.
Dad: Alright, well just use your phone then.
Oh, right! Good idea, Dad!
Dad: Okay, now point it over here… Ha, see, this is the problem. Now we just gotta flip this switch. No, not you! I don’t want you to get electrocuted! Okay, ready? And… boom! The power’s back on!
Nick: Wow, Dad!
Dad: There you go, son. See how easy that was? I mean, I actually know quite a lot about these kinds of things because when I was –
[Sound of fuse blowing]
Nick: Uh, dad… I think the power went out again.
Dad: I know, son. I know…

Questions

All right. Ready for some new expressions?

The power goes out

'I don’t know, Nick! I think the power went out.'

• If the power goes out do you have electricity or not?

No. If the power goes out, you are left with no electricity in the house.

• What can cause the power to go out?

There's a bunch of reasons. One of the reasons could be the weather, especially if there is, I don't know, a really big storm or tornado or, I don't know, something pretty big weather-wise, then the power might go out temporarily or even for quite a long time. If nothing's happening, it might also be because the electrical circuit of the house is overloaded. That happens, for example, when you have too many appliances working at the same time. I don't know, maybe your dishwasher and the washing machine, and then you're also cooking, all that stuff, if you're using too much power, that might cause the power to go out.

• When was the last time the power went out in your house?

It wasn't that long ago. I think it was maybe a couple of days ago because this happens pretty frequently in our house. I remember I was in the bathroom and I was about to blow dry my hair and I plugged in the hairdryer and the power just went out because my boyfriend was cooking, we had the heater up and running in the other room. It was just too much for our poor little apartment to handle, and so the power went out.

Pitch black

'Now, careful, son. It’s pitch black…'

• If it’s pitch black in a room, how much light enters a room? A lot or none?

None. If it's pitch-black in a room, it's completely dark. There's not even a little bit of light coming in.

• Where should you put a cigarette butt?

Nothing. You can't see anything because it's too dark for your eyes to see.

• What would you do if you saw someone throw a cigarette butt to the ground?

I usually can't sleep well if there's too much light coming into the room. I want the room to be really dark. However, especially if I'm sleeping by myself, I don't like for it to be pitch-black because I get a little scared because you know, monsters. No, but seriously, I don't like for it to be pitch-black. I want it to be dark but I want to be able to still see. If I have to get up, especially in the middle of the night, I want to be able to see what's going on around me.

Flashlight

'Grab the flashlight, please.'

• A flashlight is a small electric light that you carry how? In your hand or on your head?

In your hand, or on your head? A flashlight is a small electric light that you carry in your hand. It's usually small enough for you to hold it with one hand. Sometimes if it's very big, I would say two but usually just one.

• Do you have a flashlight at home?

No, we don't have a flashlight at home. I don't think it's really necessary nowadays because every phone has a flashlight. Pretty much every phone, I think. Obviously, it's not a great flashlight. It's not very powerful but it does the job.

Switch

'Now we just gotta flip this switch.'

• What does a switch do? Does it turn on electrical stuff, does it turn it off or does it do both?

A switch can do both. It can turn on electrical stuff, electrical equipment, lights, but it can also turn these things off.

• Where are switches usually located? On objects or on the walls?

On both. You have both switches that control the lights in the different rooms and those are placed on the walls. Then you also have switches on certain objects like, I don't know, the lamp right next to me, it has a switch. Let's see, what else has a switch? The rice cooker that I have in the kitchen, that has a switch.

• Does a switch change position when flipped or pressed?

Yes. Listen to this carefully because it may seem trivial, it may seem stupid, but it's a big difference. The difference between a switch and a button is the fact that when you press a switch or you flip a switch, it changes its position. With a button, that doesn't happen because you press the button and then the button comes right back.

• Check your room and count. How many switches are there?

Check your room and count. How many switches are there? I'm in my bedroom because this is where I record the podcast, just like all professionals do sitting in their bed. I'm counting one, two, I got three switches on the walls and then I have two on the two lamps that I have. One on each side of the bed. Five in total.

Get electrocuted

'No, not you! I don’t want you to get electrocuted!'

• If you get electrocuted, where does the electricity go? Away from your body or does it pass through your body?

If you get electrocuted, that means that the electricity passes through your body. What happens to someone that gets electrocuted? Unfortunately, if you get electrocuted, that means that you're likely going to die because it's a pretty serious matter.

• What happens to someone that gets electrocuted?

Unfortunately, if you get electrocuted, that means that you're likely going to die because it's a pretty serious matter.

• What things should you avoid doing if you don’t want to get electrocuted?

Well, first of all, do not touch any live wires. If you see any wires that are, let's say, exposed, don't touch it. Okay? If the power is on, that is very dangerous. If there's a storm outside, another thing you shouldn't do is open your umbrella because that attracts the lightning, I think. I'm no scientist, you know that. Do not stand under a tree because that's really dangerous and do not get in the water. Then there's this other thing that I don't know if it's true because my mom used to tell me when I was little, but she always told me to not open the fridge when my hair was wet, or when my feet were wet. I forget. One of the two or both my hair and my feet or either my hair or my feet. I don't know. When something was wet, she didn't want me to open the fridge. I don't know if that's just something that my mom said. Let me know, reach out to me and tell me if your parents taught you that as well or if it's all right to do it. Just in case, don't.

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