Electrocution

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Metalmann, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. Metalmann

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 8, 2012
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    I don't know how many times I have corrected people over the years, about the correct term for electrocution.

    I've heard them say, "Yesterday, John was electrocuted".:eek:

    I'd say, "No, John was shocked, (or, received a shock); yesterday".

    Ever heard people say that?;)
     
  2. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
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    If dear John Thomas was electrocuted yesterday, and is still up and running to day. I would put it on the account of a miracle( Hallelujah price the...). If john just got shocked but still feel for lying down and do nothing. I would name him a slacker:D
     
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  3. kubeek

    AAC Fanatic!

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    I would ask the guy whose job it was to execute him how come it didn´t work out.
     
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  4. MaxHeadRoom

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    Jul 18, 2013
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    I heard he worked for Amtrak and was just a very bad conductor. :p
    Max.
     
  5. vpoko

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    Jan 5, 2012
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    I just explain that being electrocuted is similar to drowning: it can only happen once.
     
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  6. bountyhunter

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    Sep 7, 2009
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  7. wayneh

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    I love the quote of Westinghouse at the end of that link.
     
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  8. GopherT

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    Nov 23, 2012
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    It seems to me that electrocution is a one-time event in anyone's lifetime. As the Webster dictionary says: To kill by electric shock

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/electrocution

    Whereas, the Oxford dictionary says: Injure or kill by electric shock...
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/electrocute

    Any Australian example is:
    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-new...-12700-volt-electrocution-20100808-11ptc.html

    It appears that the word originates from Electricity and Execution. Therefore, executed with electricity rather than any death by electric shock. Some references claim that countries that have never used capital punishment by electricity use the phrase Electrocution in a broader sense (injure or kill), whereas, countries that have used it for execution, tend to use it only for KILL.
     
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  9. WBahn

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    Mar 31, 2012
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    Of all the conventional forms of execution that I am aware of, the one that seems the surest and quickest is the guillotine. Simple and all but foolproof. While I am sure that there have been isolated cases of it not working as expected due to some mechanical problem, it would seem that most mechanical problems would result in nothing happening. The very, very tiny range of things that could go wrong and leave a person alive and suffering seems rather miniscule since all the blade really has to do -- again, with only a tiny range of exceptions -- is make it through the spinal cord, which is basically the first thing it encounters.

    But, I'm sure if we were to switch to the guillotine, we would find some way to make it unrealiable. The electric chair should have been a quick and largely painless means of execution, but the government couldn't get it right largely because they went for the lowest bidder (the prison electrician? Come on!) and because they want execution to be this fancy drawn out complicated process. The same with lethal injection. It's amazing how many times they have enormous problems with that. It's too complicated. How frickin hard is it to do something that is done thousands of times a day in hospitals everywhere -- put someone out under general anesthesia? Can't find a vein? Fine. Use any of the number of gases that have been used over the years. Once they are under, you can shoot the lethal drugs straight into the heart!

    I've heard, but don't know if it's true, that despite the number of death row inmates that have very poor veins from decades of drug abuse, that they won't use gas for anesthesia because of the higher risk that gas has for accidental death and disabilities compared to injectibles.
     
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  10. dball387

    New Member

    Sep 15, 2013
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    You yanks need to learn how to hang 'properly' :p
    The british excecutioner Albert Pierrepoint is a very interesting character. From entering the cell, the condemned was dead regularly in less than 15 seconds they say, and his fastest being 7 seconds. He placed the noose in such a way to break the neck instantly and varied the drop height to achieve this depending on body mass and estimating bone strength etc. By all accounts, he had it down to a very gruesome art but he.figured this was more humane.
    D
     
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  11. WBahn

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    I'm certainly not well-versed in the finer points of hanging, but my understanding was that getting the neck to break wasn't the problem. Just as some people break their necks in accidents and damage the spinal cord severely but survive as quadriplegics, the same thing happens with some hangings and the person is left to sufficated due to the rope choking them to death.
     
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  12. wayneh

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    Sep 9, 2010
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    This thread has certainly taken a gruesome turn, but I happened to be reading on this very topic earlier today. A friend had made the claim that victims are "conscious" for up to 20 seconds after decapitation. I figured that was some urban legend, internet hokum she had heard and went looking for the truth.

    Turns out, it may well be true that some individuals that are not knocked out by the impact of the blade, and some have shown signs of consciousness (blinks, eye movement, some facial expressions) for ... far too long.
     
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  13. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    This thread reminds me of an old but appropriate joke. Probably better for off-topic but, since the conversation is going well here...

    On a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the midst of the French Revolution the revolting citizens led a priest, a drunkard and an engineer to the guillotine. They ask the priest if he wants to face up or down when he meets his fate. The priest says he would like to face up so he will be looking towards heaven when he dies. They raise the blade of the guillotine and release it. It comes speeding down and suddenly stops just inches from his neck. The authorities take this as divine intervention and release the priest.

    The drunkard comes to the guillotine next. He also decides to die face up, hoping that he will be as fortunate as the priest. They raise the blade of the guillotine and release it. It comes speeding down and suddenly stops just inches from his neck. Again, the authorities take this as a sign of divine intervention, and they release the drunkard as well.

    Next is the engineer. He, too, decides to die facing up. As they slowly raise the blade of the guillotine, the engineer suddenly says, "Hey, I see what your problem is ..."
     
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  14. WBahn

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    I heard the same claims back when I was in junior high or so. Later, I read that these were probably not conscious acts but rather basically random muscle twitches due to random nerve impulses.

    I don't know that there is anything definitive one way or the other. I certainly seems plausible that the head could remain conscious for some short amount of time. If nothing else, people can hold their breath for a couple of minutes without too much difficulty. But, by the same token, only a couple of breaths of oxygen-depleted air will render a person unconsious within seconds. It also takes only a few seconds to render a person unconsious if you clamp their coratid artery closed. Given that, you would think that the total loss of circulation (combined with the loss of blood and blood pressure from the head) that accompanies decapitation would lead to unconsciousness within seconds and anything after that would be involuntary muscle spasms.
     
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  15. Metalmann

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 8, 2012
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    "Later, I read that these were probably not conscious acts but rather basically random muscle twitches due to random nerve impulses."



    Definitely.
     
  16. wayneh

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    Go read up on it. I was as skeptical as anyone but came away more-or-less convinced that some function may remain briefly. Probably rarely.
     
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  17. dball387

    New Member

    Sep 15, 2013
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    And there is this little guy, Mike the headless chicken :)
    He was decapitated rather messily with an axe, removing enough of his head to seem 'headless' but his brain stem was left intact and was enough to maintain his vital, reflex functions.
    This doesn't relate to muscle spasms etc after a 'good' decapitation but its just kinda funny :p
    D
     
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  18. sirch2

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    Jan 21, 2013
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    Ultimately you would need to define what consciousness is and that is hard but it is not hard to imagine that the brain carries on after decapitation, there is a store of oxygen and nutrients in the blood vessels so why wouldn't the brain keep going until these are used up or the blood drains away.

    Kind of like the charge in the capacitors bleeding away after switch off
     
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  19. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    Yes, unfortunately, nobody has connected a victim to an electroencephalograph to check brain function as it rolls to its final resting place. Like all execution methods, nothing used to this point is instant. The only think that does that (to my knowledge) is explosives that are powerful enough to create "pink vapor". But even that, one could argue, tears through the victim in some time-resolvable fashion and some delay exists between first impact and death.
     
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  20. Metalmann

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 8, 2012
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    When I was growing up on the farm, we'd murder around one hundred chickens a year for freezing. Never had a problem with partially cut off heads.
    Chop their heads with one stroke, throw them behind you to let them flop around till they bled out.....ready to process in just a few minutes.

    They taste nothing like those cardboard chicks, in grocery stores.

    Especially in a pressure cooker with dumplings.
     
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