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[P]
The New Threat: Coca-Cola

By kitten in Op-Ed
Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 04:29:04 AM EST
Tags: Humour (all tags)
Humour

From the site cokemachineaccidents.com:

This site is dedicated to our dear son and brother Kevin Mackle, who was found dead in his Residence at Keuhner Hall, Bishop's University, Lennoxville Quebec on December 13th 1998, a day of sorrow for us, his family. A toppled Vendo Model Coca-Cola machine which was put in place, unsecured, by the Beaver Foods Company crushed him.


Ladies and gentlemen, this simple paragraph plunged me into a nightmare world of terror and fear for my life. I drink Coke on a regular basis - would I be the next victim of unsecured and toppled Coke machines?

Wanting to know more about exactly what happened, I read on, hoping to glean information on how I could defend myself against this new threat. I went to the Facts About The Accident section and discovered that
there have been several accidents where venders have been tipped over, causing serious injury or even death. These accidents have been due to the intentional misuse and abuse of the vender by tilting, shaking, or rocking the machine in an effort to obtain free product..
I consider myself to be a fairly articulate person, yet even my linguistic abilities are insufficient to properly express the outrage I felt upon discovering this. We - you, me, everybody - cannot even attempt to steal from a vending machine by tipping it over onto ourselves without fearing for our personal safety.

Is this the sort of world you want to live in? A world where you can't even steal from a Coke machine by tipping it over onto yourself, without worrying that it will be the last course of action you undertake on this mortal coil? I think not.
The machine, -- weighing over 900lbs, -- was not secured, nor were there any warning signs on it.
You read that correctly - there were no warning signs on this Coke machine, or any other Coke machines for that matter. How are we supposed to be aware of the inherent dangers in tipping Coke machines on ourselves? We may be stupid enough to think nothing bad will happen when we tip nine-hundred-pound machines on ourselves, but goddammit, we're smart enough to check for warning stickers first. Coke's reluctance to put such warnings on their machines is truly sickening, and a threat to public safety.
The simplest and safest recommendation has not been made, and that is, to secure the machine.
I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. Let's face it - Coke machines are an embarrassing subject to discuss with children. Do you really want the burden and responsibility to sit down with your child and explain to him the dangers of tipping Coke machines onto himself?
Hell no, you wouldn't - and neither would anyone else. The Coca-Cola corporation should protect us from this by bolting the machines to the floor or wall, providing ample warning stickers, so that our children - duly ignorant in the dangers of Coke-machine-tipping - can try to steal from the vending machine without being killed.
A good portion of this Report is devoted to explaining the internal working mechanisms of the Vendo 475. It was known to be faulty -- when tipped past a certain angle, it yielded a can of Coca-Cola. The students at Bishop's were well aware of this, had in fact been observed by the school janitor tipping it in the Kuehner Hall Lobby for just that purpose. However, on the morning that Kevin was found dead underneath it, there were no loose pop cans. Why not?
An interesting question. It is certainly out of the question that the attempt at theft failed - we should assume that something more happened. Something evil.
there is something terribly wrong with not taking the simple but effective step of securing the machine to ensure the safety of our children. Where is the moral leadership? Or is it that Coca Cola Bottling, - as demonstrated in recent events in Poland, Belgium, and France not only don't seem to care about the contents of their product, neither do they care about the safety of our youth.
Once again, I agree. Coca-Cola is solely responsible for ensuring that people - too stupid to know not to tip half-ton machines on themselves - are safe. Forget parenting - the blame is entirely on the corporation for designing machines that look so innocent and yet are so deadly.
Perhaps the most definitive point of the website is contained in this excerpt:
I appeal to all students to Boycott Coke until all machines are secured. And for Vendo Manufacturing, build pop machines that are less susceptible to top heaviness and the effect of shifting centers of gravity.
If you have a shred of decency and human compassion in you, you'll stop purchasing Coke products until such time that Coke makes their machines safe to steal from. This is our calling, ladies and gentlemen - the time to act is now. We will not go silently into the night.. we will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on.. we're going to be strong! Today, we celebrate our Independence From Evil Coke Day!

The authors of the website - Kevin's parents - are shrewd and unrelenting in their mission to discover the truth. They posit several insightful, hard-hitting questions which they would like to have answered before they will rest. Among them:
How does someone shake a machine without leaving fingerprints? No fingerprints were found on the machine by the police, only "a partial handprint".
It is clear, therefore, that the Coke machine tipped itself over in an effort to give Kevin a free Coke.
Was Kevin really alone or was someone with him who panicked?
This is totally relevent to the issue at hand, and I am appalled that it hasn't been investigated more thoroughly.
Why does the US Government provide Safety regulations when the Canadian Government does not?
Another pointed question. We must also wonder why the US flag has cool stuff like stars and stripes, while the Canadian flag has a stupid maple leaf. The ramifications are far-reaching and terrifying.
Why was the machine located in the Lobby of a student residence, with no warning stickers in place, in a confined area?
Damn straight. There is no reason a Coke machine should be in a confined area in a student dorm - it should be out in the middle of an open field, far away from any people.. people it could kill if they tip it onto themselves.
Why did the Sherbrooke Police play at tilting the machine themselves to see if they could tip it? Is not that the role of experts?
Now that is curious.. why wasn't the Special Operations for 900-pound Coke Machines called in to investigate? Can we safely assume a government cover-up from this?

I implore you.. take a look at the picture of poor Kevin on the front page of the site. Notice the Butterfinger used to lure his massive bulk onto the stage, the dull-witted glee with which he reaches for it. Did this fat fucking idiot deserve to die when he tipped a half-ton vending machine onto his bloated body?

If you will do nothing.. if you will sit idly by and turn an uncaring shoulder to the issue of Fat Fucking Idiots Who Tip Coke Machines On Themselves And Die, then you deserve nothing less than the fate of Kevin Mackle.
From Atlanta, good evening.

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Poll
What happen ?
o Someone set up us the Fat Fucking Idiot. 34%
o We get thief. 2%
o How are you coroner !! 5%
o All your stupidity are belong to us. 16%
o You are on the way to being crushed. 5%
o Take off every 'warning label' 9%
o Tip 'Coke machine' 5%
o For great idiocy. 19%

Votes: 138
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o cokemachin eaccidents.com
o Facts About The Accident
o Also by kitten


Display: Sort:
The New Threat: Coca-Cola | 202 comments (197 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
U.S. Coke machines... (4.23 / 13) (#2)
by Fetch on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 09:36:24 PM EST

Here in the southern U.S., I have not observed a cola machine without a warning label in some time. Actually, I have been very tempted to steal the labels, because there is something almost pathetic about the simple black on yellow picture of an idiot about to get the life crushed out of them, all because they were too poor to front 85 cents, and too snobby to drink from the water fountain 4 feet away. Coke machines are just grown-up baby smashers.

Stealing labels... (4.28 / 7) (#12)
by Signal 11 on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 12:44:27 AM EST

Actually, I have been very tempted to steal the labels, because there is something almost pathetic about the simple black on yellow picture of an idiot...

I have, infact, stolen said sticker(s). I put them on my wallet, which now boldly states on a white and fluorescent orange sticker: WARNING - TIPPING MAY CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH. ANTI-THEFT SYSTEM PREVENTS OBTAINING FREE PRODUCT. I think it somehow fits... should someone ever steal my wallet, I'll be able to chase them down by following the string of explitives and laughter.


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

Tipping (5.00 / 10) (#32)
by BurntHombre on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 11:03:53 AM EST

WARNING - TIPPING MAY CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH.

I'm sure the waitresses love you.

[ Parent ]

It'd be hilarious seeing you getting sued... (none / 0) (#99)
by Netsnipe on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:26:52 AM EST

Not that I'd wish for you to get sued Sig, but I could see someone suing you in America if they or their child got crushed by a machine from which you stole the label off. I'd even expect them to compare you to cases where people have been convicted of manslaughter for the theft of intersection stop signs that resulted in death. Oh the stupidity of it all...*sigh* = )

--
Andrew 'Netsnipe' Lau
Debian GNU/Linux Maintainer & Computer Science, UNSW
[ Parent ]
Well... (5.00 / 1) (#106)
by Signal 11 on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 11:26:37 AM EST

but I could see someone suing you in America if they or their child got crushed by a machine from which you stole the label off.

I'd counter by saying that there's nothing on the machine or the label stating that it should not be removed, or that there is any fine associated with it, etc. Whereas, I know for a fact that the stop signs around here all have a "WARNING - $400 fine or 5 years imprisonment!" sticker on the back... along with a note that Really Bad Things(tm) will come from black helicopters with "MN DOT" emblazoned on the side should one ratchet a stop sign off the post. Oh, and lastly... I'd love to see them try to find out which of the hundred thousand or so coke machines around here are missing a label because of me. :)


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

Well... (5.00 / 1) (#136)
by Valdrax on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 07:22:45 PM EST

Even though it's not labelled, it could still fall under vandalism, petty theft, or any of a wide variety of misdemeanor crimes. It's doubtful that you could be held liable for the death, though. It's even more unlikely that you'd be able to be caught for that machine, as you point out.

On the other hand, I wouldn't expect to get too good service at a restraunt if you let your waiter or waitress see the wallet with that message on it, though. <g>

[ Parent ]
Some chlorine (2.00 / 11) (#3)
by finial on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 10:06:01 PM EST

-1
Darwin Award Winner.

900 lbs??? (3.66 / 3) (#4)
by rebelcool on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 10:13:11 PM EST

my god, what do they make the things from? Lead?

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

...made of... (5.00 / 7) (#6)
by Fetch on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 10:24:20 PM EST

Dextrose and water, mostly. Also some caramel flavoring, and carbonic acid.

It is refreshing, and delightful!

[ Parent ]

Empty weight (4.33 / 3) (#21)
by CrazySteve on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 08:08:26 AM EST

If it was one of the larger Coke machines, then that 900 lbs (410kg) weight is quite possibly an empty weight. With a full complement of 680 or so cans of drink, thats another 500 lbs (225kg)!

The smaller machines do weigh in around 900 lbs loaded with drinks.

Some coke machine weights and capacities are listed on these vendors' web sites: http://coin-op-comm.com/dixie-narco/dncoke.html
http://www.dixienarco.com/coke/cc_mm_info.htm

[ Parent ]

hmmm (4.00 / 10) (#7)
by Hillman on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 11:20:47 PM EST

I'm from sherbrooke, just next to lenoxville(about 7-10 mins from downtown sherbrooke). And i read about it in the local newpaper. About everybody around me was rolling on the floor laughing. Well, it turned out that the guy was drunk as hell and he wanted some free coke. Stupidity kills. If it wasn't a coke machine, he would have been killed by something else. I mean, let's ban highways because if you're drunk and you dance on the yellow line you can be killed.

Bah.

Could have been funnier... (2.66 / 6) (#8)
by Kasreyn on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 11:34:25 PM EST

It would have been funnier (and worth a +1) if you'd approached it from the angle of "Hey, let's make stupid legislation to protect people from this Evil Menace (c)!!". Dumb laws are funnier than ungrounded boycotts, you see.

As it stands, it's only about as funny as the woman who sued McDonald's for her own clumsiness and won (the spilling-hot-coffie lawsuit). And so it's actually just kind of sad instead of funny.

Good try though, and it did give me a laugh. =)


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Re: McDonald's coff[e]e lawsuit (4.87 / 8) (#18)
by abdera on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 07:01:35 AM EST

As it stands, it's only about as funny as the woman who sued McDonald's for her own clumsiness and won (the spilling-hot-coffie lawsuit).

Really, the McDonald's lawsuit was neither funny nor frivolous. Check out the facts at the ATLA website. Some of the salient points:

  • Critics of civil justice, who have pounced on this case, often charge that Liebeck was driving the car or that the vehicle was in motion when she spilled the coffee; neither is true.
  • Liebeck, who also underwent debridement treatments, sought to settle her claim for $20,000, but McDonald's refused.
  • During discovery, McDonald's produced documents showing more than 700 claims by people burned by its coffee between 1982 and 1992. Some claims involved third-degree burns substantially similar to Liebeck's.
  • McDonald's also said that it held its coffee at between 180 and 190 degrees fahrenheit to maintain optimum taste. He admitted that he had not evaluated the safety ramifications at this temperature. Other establishments sell coffee at substantially lower temperatures, and coffee served at home is generally 135 to 140 degrees.
  • . . . a burn hazard exists with any food substance served at 140 degree or above, and that McDonald's coffee, at the temperature at which it was poured into styrofoam cups, was not fit for consumption because it would burn the mouth and throat. The quality assurance manager admitted that burns would occur, but testified that McDonald's had no intention of reducing the "holding temperature" of its coffee.
  • . . . liquids, at 180 degrees, will cause a full thickness burn to human skin in two to seven seconds. Other testimony showed that as the temperature decreases toward 155 degrees, the extent of the burn relative to that temperature decreases exponentially. Thus, if Liebeck's spill had involved coffee at 155 degrees, the liquid would have cooled and given her time to avoid a serious burn.
  • McDonald's asserted that customers buy coffee on their way to work or home, intending to consume it there. However, the company's own research showed that customers intend to consume the coffee immediately while driving.
  • The jury awarded Liebeck $200,000 in compensatory damages. This amount was reduced to $160,000 because the jury found Liebeck 20 percent at fault in the spill. The jury also awarded Liebeck $2.7 million in punitive damages, which equals about two days of McDonald's coffee sales. The trial court subsequently reduced the punitive award to $480,000 -- or three times compensatory damages -- even though the judge called McDonald's conduct reckless, callous and willful.

#224 [deft-:deft@98A9C369.ipt.aol.com] at least i don't go on aol
[ Parent ]

Ummm... (3.00 / 8) (#40)
by Kasreyn on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 11:58:02 AM EST

Actually, I found the case more sad than funny. And frivolous too.

Critics of civil justice, who have pounced on this case, often charge that Liebeck was driving the car or that the vehicle was in motion when she spilled the coffee; neither is true.

Does the moving or non-moving state of the coffee matter with regards to her clumsiness? Wow, so it's "I was clumsy and spilled it" or "I was too cheap to get a cup holder for my car" or "I was too dumb to use my cup holder properly". Or else it was an accident. What does McDonald's have to do with it?

Liebeck, who also underwent debridement treatments, sought to settle her claim for $20,000, but McDonald's refused.

Well... yeah. I'd refuse to give her a damn dime too. This is what one does when one feels a claim is frivolous. I find this behavior of McDonald's pleasantly consistent. Now, if she'd not been a bitch about it, I might have decided to be generous and help out.

During discovery, McDonald's produced documents showing more than 700 claims by people burned by its coffee between 1982 and 1992. Some claims involved third-degree burns substantially similar to Liebeck's.

Just because a LOT of idiots make one type of frivolous claim, doesn't lend that type of frivolous claim any added significance.

McDonald's also said that it held its coffee at between 180 and 190 degrees fahrenheit to maintain optimum taste. He admitted
"he" admitted? McDonald's is a person? Is this Old McDonald of the farm fame?
that he had not evaluated the safety ramifications at this temperature.

Sounds just right to me. Generally, one looks at a drink and sees steam rising off it. Or tests it carefully with a finger to determine the temperature. This is what non-idiots do, at least. Of course, if you were serving a blind leper, I think you should tell him it's hot, as he would have no way of determining that. But a mentally competent adult can be trusted to know that on his/her own. Or at least, before this case, that's what we all thought.

Other establishments sell coffee at substantially lower temperatures, and coffee served at home is generally 135 to 140 degrees.

What this has to do with McDonald's, I have no idea. If they wanted to sell coffee heated into plasma in magnetic bottles, then they can sell that. Non-idiots will know they are buying magnetically bottled plasma. Caveat emptor.

(snip the rest of your post)

Frankly, when I fuck up and injure myself through my own stupidity, I don't go around trying to blame other people and companies. I think it's childish, frivolous, and an abuse of the courts. And everything that happened to this woman was entirely her own fault. It annoys me that I have to live in a world where society can't trust me to be a responsible adult, because of all the overgrown babies throwing tantrums.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Re: Ummm... (none / 0) (#103)
by abdera on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 07:43:04 AM EST

Does the moving or non-moving state of the coffee matter with regards to her clumsiness?

As long as a majority of ignorant, uninformed simpletons call her something to the effect of "[t]hat asshole of an old lady who spilled McDonalds' coffee in her lap while she was driving."

Well... yeah. I'd refuse to give her a damn dime too. This is what one does when one feels a claim is frivolous. I find this behavior of McDonald's pleasantly consistent.

McDonald's has spent over half a million dollars settling coffee burn cases. I suspect that most of these were not as severe as the one in question. So much for consistent.

Now, if she'd not been a bitch about it, I might have decided to be generous and help out.

Actually, she initially requested only out of pocket expenses, and McDonald's came back with an offer of $800, which, by the way, is not quite the same as "refus[ing] to give her a damn dime."

"he" admitted? McDonald's is a person? Is this Old McDonald of the farm fame?

For your information, I pasted my points from the site that can be found at the provided url, and cut parts out for brevity. I assumed that any remotely intelligent reader would follow the link if there was any confusion as to the content of my post. (I still hold this belief.) Had you followed the link, it would have been apparent to you (or would it?) that "he" is the McDonald's quality assurance manager.

Caveat emptor

I hope that you enjoy your next Jumbo Jack.

My point is not to say that the lawsuit was not frivolous, but that one should not discount it without being armed with the facts.

#224 [deft-:deft@98A9C369.ipt.aol.com] at least i don't go on aol
[ Parent ]

More ummm.... (none / 0) (#140)
by Macrobat on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 09:59:14 PM EST

Having flown the kite for the corporate defendant in another thread, let me try to sketch out a rebuttal of this argument.

Does the moving or non-moving state of the coffee matter with regards to her clumsiness? Wow, so it's "I was clumsy and spilled it" or "I was too cheap to get a cup holder for my car" or "I was too dumb to use my cup holder properly". Or else it was an accident. What does McDonald's have to do with it?

Well, I've been clumsy and spilled some hot cocoa on myself before. I take full responsibility for my actions, and blame nobody else. It was a nice, hot cup, too. It didn't, however, give me third degree burns through clothing.

...everything that happened to this woman was entirely her own fault.

"Everything" breaks down, in this instance, to two things: 1) that she spilled the coffee; 2) that the coffee was hotter than expected. So I (and, apparently, the courts) agree with you on #1. But I don't agree with you on #2.

Other establishments sell coffee at substantially lower temperatures, and coffee served at home is generally 135 to 140 degrees.--What this has to do with McDonald's, I have no idea.

It means that a person should be able to presume a product will conform to reasonable expectations set up by common practice. If I made a car that accelerated to 70 mph with a tap of the gas pedal, but didn't begin deceleration unless you put 25 pounds of pressure on the brake, then (assuming I could even get such a car made) it's my responsibility to point out to you, the consumer, that you're getting something different from what you might expect when you think of the word "car."

Just because a LOT of idiots make one type of frivolous claim, doesn't lend that type of frivolous claim any added significance.

Well, let me rewrite this a little: I'm going to remove the biased term "frivolous", and change the emotionally-laden term "idiots" to "people". Then we get:

"Just because a LOT of people make one type of claim, doesn't lend that type of claim any added significance."

--Well, yes, it does. It provides evidence for the claim that McDonald's knew their product was harming people.

Liebeck, who also underwent debridement treatments, sought to settle her claim for $20,000, but McDonald's refused.

Well... yeah. I'd refuse to give her a damn dime too. (snip)...if she'd not been a bitch about it, I might have decided to be generous and help out.

Asking for a settlement isn't suing, and I don't know how expensive debridement treatment is, but I suspect $20,000 is in the ballpark. So I don't know how that qualifies her as "being a bitch."

If they wanted to sell coffee heated into plasma in magnetic bottles, then they can sell that.

Not without labeling it as such.

From what the previous poster said, this looks like McDonald's consistently sold a product that they knew could harm their customers, and the woman asked that they pay her medical bill. McDonald's could have payed a spit-in-the-ocean sum (for them) and turned their burners down, but they didn't. So the judge (or jury) decided to hit them with punitive costs. Not exactly a travesty of justice from this angle.

"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
[ Parent ]

Actually (none / 0) (#184)
by morven on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 04:40:54 AM EST

the court agreed with you that spilling coffee on herself like that was a dumb thing to do and that it wasn't McDonalds' fault that she did so.

However, the court held that McDonalds WAS liable for damage to the woman that was above and beyond what would be considered normal and expected from spilling coffee upon oneself.

In other words, they were liable for the difference between the painful burn that would have resulted if she'd spilled coffee from home or from most other vendors of coffee, and the disfiguring third degree burns McDonalds' coffee gave her.

[ Parent ]

Sorry... (none / 0) (#65)
by John Miles on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 03:47:25 PM EST

During discovery, McDonald's produced documents showing more than 700 claims by people burned by its coffee between 1982 and 1992. Some claims involved third-degree burns substantially similar to Liebeck's.
Good job posting the same boilerplate rebuttal that a million other attorneys probably have hanging on their office walls next to their diplomas. If it helps you sleep at night, then hey, who am I to criticize your choice of evangelical literature?

For those of us with a shred of common sense left to us, though, 700 burn claims out of easily 7 billion cups of coffee served over that period should meet anyone's stanard of "acceptable losses."

For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.
[ Parent ]

The numbers (none / 0) (#138)
by Macrobat on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 09:13:15 PM EST

Probably not 7 billion. If every man, woman and child in the U.S. bought one cup of coffee every weekday from McDonald's in a ten-year period, that would amount to 67 billion cups. Say half of that population are adults on-the-go (who would be the kind of people to buy a cup for consumption while driving). Then say one out of every three of them actually drink coffee. Suppose further that one in ten get their coffee from McDonald's, and not from home or another establishment who keeps their pots simmering around 140 Fahrenheit. That brings us to 1.12 billion cups in the U.S. (assuming the people drank from McDonald's every single weekday, remember), where the 700 claims would have been made. Some of these assumptions might be low, but I'm sure corresponding other ones are high. If anything, 1.12 billion is probably on the high mark. And the 700 doesn't account for the people who were burned but didn't decide to sue.

As for the ramifications of this, I'm working on it on another thread.

"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
[ Parent ]

Water boils at 212 degrees F (none / 0) (#74)
by blackjack on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 06:46:28 PM EST

Recipe for coffee: 1) Boil water 2) Put instant coffee in cup 3) Pour water into cup It really shouldn't be a surprise that the water is boiling hot. Maybe Americans are just too stupid to purchase a dangerous product like a mug of coffee?

[ Parent ]
Preparing vs. serving. (none / 0) (#173)
by Macrobat on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 07:04:17 PM EST

My directions for coffee would be: Boil at 212 degrees. Let simmer at 140.

Hell, McDonald's lets my fries cool down to room temperature before they serve them, what's so hard about letting the coffee rest a minute before it goes out?

"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
[ Parent ]

Re: Water boils at 212 degrees F (none / 0) (#183)
by ncc74656 on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 01:52:09 AM EST

Recipe for coffee:
  1. Boil water
  2. Put instant coffee in cup
  3. Pour water into cup
Instant coffee? What kind of barbarian are you? :-) Real coffee is made like this:
  1. Grind beans
  2. Place ground beans in the filter (preferably one of the gold-plated mesh filters, though paper will do in a pinch...in either case, it should be a cone-shaped filter, not a basket-shaped filter)
  3. Put the appropriate amount of water in the coffee maker
  4. Switch the coffee maker on and wait for it to complete its cycle, preferably in no more than 6-8 minutes for a full pot
Instant coffee...and I'll bet you have six cars up on blocks in your front yard and a porch that killed several dogs when it collapsed.

(Insert extra :-)s if you're particularly humor-impaired.)

[ Parent ]

Coffee maker? What kind of barbarian are you? (none / 0) (#190)
by Anonymous 242 on Sat Nov 03, 2001 at 01:40:55 PM EST

Try an Ibrik

[ Parent ]
Burn eh? (none / 0) (#148)
by Akaru on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 06:15:32 AM EST

Wouldn't spilling hot coffee on you result in a Scald rather than a burn? </pedant>

[ Parent ]
Scald is to burn (5.00 / 1) (#150)
by abdera on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 07:30:48 AM EST

as dog is to mammal.

Just a more specific term indicating that the burn was caused by a hot liquid or steam.

#224 [deft-:deft@98A9C369.ipt.aol.com] at least i don't go on aol
[ Parent ]

Actually... (4.33 / 15) (#10)
by J'raxis on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 12:36:03 AM EST

WARNING: TEXT FOLLOWS. DO NOT INGEST. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE THIS TEXT FROM YOUR MONITOR. EXPLOSION MAY RESULT.

Because of rubes like this guy, they do have warning labels on them. Shows a little stick-figure man tilting the machine at 45 degress, with a big red slashed circle over it.

ATTENTION: SUGGESTION FOLLOWS. TAKE WITH GRAIN OF SALT.

AnI think we should stick warning labels on everything to make it blatantly obvious that something might just be dangerous if you do something terribly stupid with it.

CAUTION: SIGNATURE FOLLOWS. CONFUSING THE SIGNATURE QUOTATION WITH THE CONTENT OF THIS MESSAGE HAS BEEN KNOWN TO LEAD TO TEMPORARY CONFUSION AND DISORENTIATION.

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]

We did pretty much that in Chemistry (4.63 / 11) (#19)
by rasilon on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 07:03:31 AM EST

For example, on the door opposite the compressed gas store (replete with Warning: Compressed gasses lable) we stuck a lable "Warning: Uncompressed gasses". Other lables such as "Floor: Do Not Remove", "Caution: Small houseplant", "Bench: Do Not Eat" and on one otherwise entifely bare bit of wall "Caution: Lack of danger".

[ Parent ]
My favorite from the EE world (5.00 / 5) (#63)
by John Miles on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 03:40:04 PM EST


DANGER!
20,000 OHMS

For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.
[ Parent ]
Advisory inflation (4.50 / 2) (#109)
by jolly st nick on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 12:07:00 PM EST

One hidden cost that is pointed about by your message is that when you really need to put a warning on something there is no effective way of doing so. Things are so plastered with warnings that most people don't even bother to read them anymore.

This is the same reason I don't like people playing with biohazard or radioactivity stickers. It trains people to subconciously disregard them.



[ Parent ]

Our new Coke machine (4.36 / 11) (#14)
by Blarney on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 01:02:52 AM EST

They brought a new theft-proof Coke machine to where I work, no doubt to ensure the safety of potential thieves and to prevent incidents like the one described above. It has the beverages in a square array with pushers behind them, like most candy machines, and it has retractable barriers in front of them to prevent them falling out in case of tipping, and it has a trolley which moves vertically to catch the pushed-out 20 oz of carbonated delight. With this design,simple shaking of the machine will do nothing. Even a physically dislodged bottle would only land on the trolley, not the exit slot, assuming it got over the barrier.

Now, instead of pushing the old-fashioned buttons marked things like "Coke" or "Sprite", I get to glance at the array, notice that row A3 still has some Coke left, and type "A3" on the keypad. Were I to mistakenly type "A2", a row where all the drinks have already been bought, I would receive nothing but the warm satisfaction of keeping the vending company in business and boosting the economy.

Though this new machine is not as convenient in many ways, it allows the company to skim a few dollars from mistaken data entry and will probably pay for itself that way. It is a small price to pay to ensure that nobody else suffers the fate of Mr. Kevin Mackle.

And now I will be pure, allowing myself neither to be affected or to affect others with promotion of capitalism. I will think clearly, seeing past the propaganda and living in this world without adding to society's problems in any way that I can conceptualize. And I will keep trying to make the world better. And I will scream until I die this sunny Spring weekend, as I lay with my girlfriend in the country grass, removing her sweater to see, in big red letters, the words "Coca-Cola" carved across her breast. - The BMC

I hate those things (none / 0) (#53)
by nstenz on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 02:27:02 PM EST

My uncle's auto body shop has one of those things in the break room- it's been there for at least 10 years... So it's definitely not a new design. But man do I ever hate those things.

[ Parent ]
Common sense (5.00 / 1) (#100)
by crankie on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 07:12:34 AM EST

So with this machine, you can see though the glass panel to the inner workings on the machine. You can see that no amount of shaking or tilting will cause a can to be dislodged. So you can see that tilting the machine would be completely pointless.

All of this assumes that you have a shred of common sense. This is where the argument falls apart. I think that if someone was dumb enough to try tilting a machine in the first place, then they're probably too stupid to figure out the physics of the thing.

~~~
"The great thing about hardcore socialists is the silence they emit once they start earning a decent wage." - tombuck
[ Parent ]
not particularly funny (2.70 / 10) (#15)
by eclectro on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 01:25:31 AM EST

On the surface this story seems funny, but in reality it isn't. There have been 40 other deaths from other people been crushed.

One thing the story forgets to mention is that maybe the coke machine took the purchaser's money without delivering product, and thus inspired tipping to get the coke. I had a coke machine rip me off just last week.

Of course, I didn't try tipping/banging it - I just walked away.


Statistical Significance (3.83 / 6) (#20)
by skyknight on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 07:52:22 AM EST

Yes, 40 other people have died in the past 15 years from coke related stupidity. However, when you compare this to say, automobile accidents, or cancer, or AIDS, or even people drowning in their own swimming pools, it quickly becomes evident how small the number 40 really is. It's all a matter of perspective. Leave a stupid person alone long enough and he's bound to find some way to kill himself.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
40 deaths... (3.66 / 3) (#41)
by seebs on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 12:20:54 PM EST

Wow! That's nearly as many people as we lose to smoking in about a three hundredth of a day, and you say it only took fifteen *YEARS* for this many people to die from injuries incurred while trying to steal cans of pop?

Boy, that really puts things in perspective.

[ Parent ]
From "The American Reporter" (1.44 / 25) (#16)
by Fyodor on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 06:24:50 AM EST

Make My Day: WATCH FOR FALLING VENDING MACHINES
by Erik Deckers, September 10, 2001

SYRACUSE, Ind. -- After writing so many columns about stupid lawsuits here in the United States, it's refreshing to see that we're not alone in the world when it comes to stupid people seeking financial reparations because of their own idiocy. It's happening in Canada now too.

According to Reuters, the family of Kevin Mackle is suing Coca-Cola Enterprises and three other defendants for gross carelessness because the 19 year old student was "...crushed to death by a vending machine after a drinking binge three years ago."

In December 1998, Mackle, 19, tried to shake a drink loose when the 920-pound machine tipped over and fell on top of him. The lawsuit seeks $650,600 (US$424,451) in damages. And despite any US/Canadian currency jokes I might have made in the past, 920 pounds is still nearly half a ton, whether you're in the United States, Canada, or Bora Bora. It is not 598 Canadian pounds.

The lawsuit contends that Mackle's death could have been prevented by Coca-Cola, Bishop's University (the Quebec college Mackle attended), Vendo Co. (the machine manufacturer), and Beaver Foods Ltd. (the operator), although it doesn't say how it could have been prevented, or what the companies should have done.

I guess expecting Mackle to be responsible for his own actions did not occur to Mackle's family. While I completely understand the family's grief at their loss, I can't understand how these four defendants can be blamed for gross carelessness, when some drunken college student goes around shaking vending machines, causing them to fall over on him?

Jean-Luc Gregoire, vice-rector of Bishop's University, pointed out that it's actually nobody's fault. "The matter is in the hands of the court and of our insurance company. It is up to the family if they want to sue, but the coroner's report concluded that no one was to blame and that the incident was purely accidental," he said.

Think about it this way: If someone dies playing Russian roulette, is it the fault of the gun manufacturer, the person who sold it to him, or the idiot who pointed the gun at his own head? Do gun manufacturers need to put warning stickers on guns that say, "Warning: Do not point this at your head and pull the trigger"?

If you jump off of a building, is it your fault, or the fault of the architect for making it so high? Should there be signs on the roof that say, "Caution: A combination of jumping from this roof and the Earth's gravitational pull will break your neck?"

Or how about the guy in my own home state of Indiana who died after being struck in the face by a firework he had just lit seconds before and then dropped down a tube? The firework hadn't gone off, so he looked down the tube to check on it. Is it the fault of the fireworks manufacturer, the company who made the tube, or the guy who should have realized you should never stick your face in front of a hole where high-speed projectiles shoot out?

I suppose one could argue that it's the combined fault of the four defendants, since they didn't hire an armed guard to slap people who shake the machine, weld the machine to a steel girder, or put up giant signs with big letters that say "Warning: Drunken idiots or tight-fisted cheapskates should not tip, shake, or otherwise jiggle this machine in order to get a free drink. Borrow 50 cents from your friends or get a job, you moron."

Actually, in his report, the Quebec coroner recommended that Coca-Cola Bottling Co. place warning stickers on vending machines and install devices to prevent machines in schools from being shaken loose. The Toronto-based Coca-Cola Bottling said they had taken the appropriate actions across the country, and were responding to the coroner's recommendations.

It reminds me of the column I did last year about Ed O'Rourke (Electric Ed, as I call him), the Tampa, Fla., drunkard who climbed up a pole to a Tampa Electric Company transformer. Despite the fact that there were warning signs on their property, Electric Ed still decided to climb. The resulting shock vaulted him 30 feet through the air, but he managed to survive and sued six bars and liquor stores for not refusing to serve him, and Tampa Electric for not doing enough to prevent him from getting in. As far as I know, the suit is still pending.

Even if there are warning stickers on soft-drink vending machines, will they be enough to stop the Kevin Mackles of the world, drunk or sober, from shaking vending machines in the hopes of cheating Coca-Cola out of 50 cents? Apparently not. Electric Ed O'Rourke ignored all kinds of warning signs when he climbed the Tampa Electric Company's transformer, and still survived to blame the bars, liquor stores, and the utility.

So what can we do? One could argue that people like Electric Ed and Kevin Mackle are doing their part to insure the survival of the human species by weeding out those who would otherwise pollute the gene pool.

I hope they don't do it too quickly, otherwise I'll run out of column topics.



securing stuff in NZ (3.33 / 3) (#17)
by jesterzog on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 06:40:31 AM EST

I've never heard of anyone local killing themselves by tipping over vending machine, but there's plenty of other reasons to secure big heavy-but-movable things like vending machines. Especially if they're in places where there's lots of people around.

We get regular earthquakes and we're expecting a very big one to come along some time in the next few decades. The required government building codes are all based around requiring structures to be able to stand up to a certain amount of shock. Some of the taller office buildings are fun to be at the top of during a [smaller] earthquake because they're often designed to sway to absorb lots of the force - I'm not enough of an engineer to know how this works. Having things like vending machines falling over or sliding around on the floor would not be good.

There aren't any laws requiring people to attach heavy bookcases and so on to walls in their homes, and I'm not sure about public places. I wouldn't be too surprised if there are, though. There's certainly a lot of public safety advertising that encourages people to make sure that heavy things won't fall on them if the building starts to shake.

For some reason everything's built on top of four converging fault lines, and if it wasn't the building codes probably wouldn't be so strict. I'm quite glad that they are, though.


jesterzog Fight the light


i have an ikea dresser.. (none / 0) (#68)
by rebelcool on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 04:16:06 PM EST

which came with wall securing equipment (a high tensile fabric strap and some mounting pieces). Interestingly, the thing is only 3 feet high...

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Coca-cola deserves some of the blame. (2.33 / 9) (#22)
by squigly on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 08:33:47 AM EST

They did design a top heavy machine, they designed a machine that would give a free can, and they knew that some people had hurt themselves by trying this. The problem could be solved reasonably cheaply by securing the thing, with the obvious added benefit of reducing theft of cans.

Sure, the guy was stupid, and was mostly to blame, but this could have been prevented, and its not like the guy really deserved to be crushed to death by a vengeful machine.

Darwinism in action (3.12 / 8) (#23)
by CtrlBR on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 08:42:25 AM EST

Hopefuly the guy didn't have time to breed before encoutering his fate....
If no-one thinks you're a freedom fighter than you're probably not a terrorist.
-- Gully Foyle

Knowledge is power! (4.11 / 9) (#24)
by kitten on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 08:44:05 AM EST

For those Fat Fucking Idiots About To Tip 900-pound Coke Machines On Themselves.. Dan of foreword.com fame has generously taken the time and thought to provide us with this warning sticker, which is both easy to understand and easy on the eyes.

I hope that by placing such stickers on vending machines, Fat Fucking Idiots will realize that tipping half-ton machines on themselves is stupid.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
In case you feel sorry for this guy... (2.37 / 8) (#25)
by SPYvSPY on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 09:50:27 AM EST

Have a look at young Kevin Mackle's essay on the peace movement of the 1960's or his equally cogent and stunning apprisal of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. Also, don't miss Mr. Mackle's topical disquisition on technology, in which he supports Former Vice President Al Gore's claims to the Internet.

LOL. If you listen carefully, you can almost hear Kevin's groaning, effortful pursuit of filler and fluff to make the 850 word requirement.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.

Your point? (4.00 / 1) (#137)
by Macrobat on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 08:20:49 PM EST

So he wrote some crappy papers. Why does that mean I shouldn't feel sorry for him or his family? Personally, I think it's important that people have a good grasp of basic math--but the fact that many people don't doesn't make their untimely deaths a reason to celebrate.


"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
[ Parent ]

Math ? (none / 0) (#156)
by lazerus on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 11:53:24 AM EST

What the frigging hell is "math" ? The correct abbreviation of Mathematics would be "Maths". But I suppose I shouldn't complain. This is a classic Americanism...like "color", "nite", "nu", "web sight", etc.

[ Parent ]
Maths (4.00 / 1) (#167)
by Macrobat on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 01:56:12 PM EST

Yes, I'm familiar with the term "maths." Not standard American usage, no, but it does have a quaint little ring to it.

"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
[ Parent ]

oh hahahaha (3.45 / 31) (#26)
by streetlawyer on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 10:28:18 AM EST

So someone got drunk, did something stupid, and now they're dead.

Let's all of kuro5hin show how very very clever we are by gathering round to laugh at him. Because nothing like that could happen to us, because we're so very very very clever. Never mind anything else -- the fact that this could have been prevented by simply bolting the machine to the wall, for example. The important fact is that someone who was really really stupid died while doing something that we would never do, because of being so very very very very clever. Hahahaha.

Do make sure to alert me next time one of you spiteful little pricks commits suicide or machine guns a junior high school because you're a social outcast. I'll make sure to post a few choice remarks.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever

STFU. (3.35 / 14) (#27)
by kitten on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 10:41:38 AM EST

Because nothing like that could happen to us, because we're so very very very clever.

Clever has nothing to do with it. It's a simple matter of survival. I know what happens when heavy objects fall on people - therefore I am not going to tip a 900-pound machine on myself. If you call that "clever".. well. I must be one crafty motherfucker.
Never mind anything else -- the fact that this could have been prevented by simply bolting the machine to the wall, for example.

Could also be prevented by not being a fat fucking idiot who is too cheap to pay 85 cents for a fucking Coke, so he's going to tip the machine on himself.
Why should the company be held responsible for someone "intentionally misusing and abusing" their product (actual quote from the website)? Coke is under absolutely no obligation to bolt their machines to the wall or floor - if Fat Fucking Idiots quit fucking around with the machines, there'd be no need to bolt it to the wall.

mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
As seen on SP (2.75 / 4) (#28)
by Fetch on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 10:47:41 AM EST

Kyle: "You're such a fat fuck, Cartman, when you walk down the street people go 'My God, what a big fat fuck!'"

Cartman: "They do not!"

Random guy: "My God, that kid is a big fat fuck!"

*Cartman, in a fit of depression, attempts to get free product from a Coke machine*

*The Coke machine tips over, falling on nearby Kenny*

"OH MY GOD, COKE KILLED KENNY! YOU BASTARDS!"

[ Parent ]
I take it you never get drunk then? (3.25 / 12) (#29)
by streetlawyer on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 10:51:49 AM EST

And I further take it that if anyone decides to object physically to your nasty little personality, you're just going to shrug your shoulders and say "well, I guess I could have avoided that by not being such a prick"?

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
900 lbs of inertia (none / 0) (#82)
by phobia on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 08:25:00 PM EST

When I get drunk, I become an asshole. Hence, I don't drink. These things are avoidable.

[ "never talk to strangers" - RFC 1855, 2.1.2 ]

[ Parent ]
*sigh* (4.30 / 10) (#33)
by Canthros on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 11:13:05 AM EST

I think the point here is that, stupid or not, he died. The Darwin Awards stopped being funny to me for that reason. It occurred to me that the person(s) involved wound up dead, and I really can't laugh at the loss of human life. As a result, it strikes me as being in supremely bad taste and completely lacking in tact to sit around and make fun of this poor kid ("Look, he was dumb and now he's dead! Ha-ha! It's great that the Stupid People are getting theirs! Ha-ha!"). It's bloody inappropriate, and betrays a near complete lack of respect for the lives of others.

The tone of the article was very much in the vein of "Look how much better I am than this person", and many of the comments are rather more energetic in this sort of opinion. Hell, why did you feel like it was necessary to point out that he couldn't write his way out of a paper bag or that he had opinions that are generally considered to be dumb around here? Does this make you feel bigger?



--
It's now obvious you are either A) Gay or B) Female, or possibly both.
RyoCokey
[ Parent ]
Darwin awards (none / 0) (#108)
by jolly st nick on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 11:50:53 AM EST

The Darwin awards are rather more funny at arms length than they are close up. It's funny that they exist. It's funny when they are mentioned in an off hand manner. When you actually go through the litany of mostly alcohol induced self destruction, it's more depressing than hilarious.

[ Parent ]
On "fat fucking idiots" (3.83 / 6) (#52)
by ToastyKen on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 02:24:06 PM EST

Yes, kitten, I absolutely agree that his obesity is totally relevant in this case. Anyone who's overweight must be stupider, of course, and so it's not at all bigoted or stupid to use "fat" as an insult. I mean, if a skinny person had tipped the machine over, it'd be a tragedy.. But hey! He was fat! that makes it funny! Oh, look at the bumbling fat idiot! LOLOL! LMAO!

[ Parent ]
Fat funny etc. (none / 0) (#147)
by Akaru on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 06:01:19 AM EST

I think you have some issues here, if your going to insult a person, lets say by calling them an idiot, what difference is it if you call them a stupid idiot, or a stupid fucking idiot, or a stupid fucking fat fuck idiot?

Either way your still insulting him, Maybe the real question is why are we insulting this Idiot?

But the answer to that is because he's a stupid fat fucking idiot that tipped a coke machine on himself and killed himself.

That said is it really the right thing to be smug that another guy died, and you have lived, because if that were the case we'd be smug a lot.

I think this highlights several important things, the first being that tipping coke machines can be hazardous to your health, so that you should avoid tipping a coke machine if you value your life.
Second, when you do die in an embarressing way, first make it clear to your parents you don't want them to advertise the fact that you died in such an embaressing way.
And third being drunk is no excuse for your actions.


[ Parent ]
Intentionally obtuse (none / 0) (#162)
by wnight on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 12:26:59 PM EST

You're missing the point, intentionally. (I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt in assuming you're an ass, not an idiot.)

Bringing weight into something like this is as irrelevant as bringing race into it.

Unless the fat was related to the motivation or the death, it's not relevant. An example with race would be if a black man was killed shaking a pop machine. Saying "dumb fucking nigger" is irrelevant and rude. That's the equivalent of "fat", a rude term where another one would do. Had you said overweight it'd be less rude, like saying "black" or whatever your PC term of the day is. It'd still be irrelevant though.

I state this not because it affects me personally, but because I am ammused at the hypocritical attitude of someone who would never make a racist or sexist remark towards a black, or a woman, insulting a white male because of race or gender. Or someone who'd never laugh at a someone with Parkinson's but who would laugh at someone with a glandular disorder, or god forbid, a stronger appetite.

Even if he made a concious decision to be overweight, what would it matter? Nobody mentions bad fashion sense or ugly tatoos when someone gets crushed by a pop machine.


[ Parent ]
I am both ass and Idiot :) (none / 0) (#178)
by Akaru on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 05:19:09 AM EST

// Even if he made a concious decision to be
// overweight, what would it matter? Nobody
// mentions bad fashion sense or ugly tatoos when
// someone gets crushed by a pop machine.

Thats probably because people with bad fashion sense or tattoo's don't get crushed by Coke Machines, Either that or them nigga's ain't stupid enough to get squashed by a Coke Machine.

But enough being Stupid and Pedantic, the fact is any drunk student could do similar, I'm sure a much more impressive death toll would be the number of students who have died because they did stupid things whilst drunk, Only the other day some Student fell to his death from a window, in the Campus I work on.

I don't think the point is whether he is Fat or an Idiot, because really circumstances have turned on him, after all not all drunk students got crushed by the coke machine when trying to remove a free coke. Rather it was about the Site the Parents had erected, which was rather amusing, because of their blinkered Love of their son.

In truth it shouldn't be funny, laughing at peoples grief isn't a particularly nice thing to do. As for the fat thing perhaps too many people have been watching South park and so think that calling people big fat fucks is alright. On the other hand Jokes about race and such are frowned upon, so if you need to create a bit of comic relief you need to fall back on the old faithful school ground taunts.

If it makes you feel better I'll gladly make rude remarks about anyone, the difference is I don't always mean it.

But on the retrospective I doubt I'd like his Parents if I ever met them so I figure its all ok anyway maybe.

[ Parent ]
agreed (3.57 / 7) (#30)
by jayhawk88 on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 10:57:26 AM EST

I've got to agree with streetlawyer on this one. Yes, this kid was stupid in crushing himself with a Coke machine. Yes, his parents are in some sort of weird grief-denial haze with this website.

But come on, do we really need this article? Every one of you has probably done 5 stupid things in your life that could have resulted in your death had you been a little less lucky.

Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web? -- John Ashcroft
[ Parent ]
More than 5, in my case (3.33 / 3) (#34)
by wiredog on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 11:13:17 AM EST

Wouldn't want to count them up. The article is still funny. So is Darwin Awards.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
[ Parent ]
Point taken, 1/2 Disagreeing (4.80 / 5) (#38)
by Nater on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 11:51:50 AM EST

I've got to agree with streetlawyer on this one.

I concur that this article should never have seen the light of day, but for different reasons. I think it was poorly executed. It has a very strong "Ha, ha, look at the idiot" quality, when it probably would have been a lot better off with a "This was dumb, let's learn by observation" quality. Granted, most people probably do have a semblance of an understanding that a falling vending machine could kill them, but there are those who don't who could use an education. This article was not designed to be educational, but mocking.

Yes, this kid was stupid in crushing himself with a Coke machine. Yes, his parents are in some sort of weird grief-denial haze with this website.

But come on, do we really need this article? Every one of you has probably done 5 stupid things in your life that could have resulted in your death had you been a little less lucky.

This is very true. I can think of at least two such incidents in the last week of my life. I know how these incidents happened and how to prevent them from happening in the future, and most people consider this ability (learning from one's own mistakes) a very good thing. On the other hand, there are people who don't learn from their mistakes. From a somewhat philosophical point of view, what purpose do their mistakes serve if no one learns from them? An article about the vending machine accident website might be prudent, if it were well executed. This one, however, was not.


i heard someone suggest that we should help the US, just like they helped us in WWII. By waiting three years, then going over there, flashing our money around, shagging all the women and acting like we owned the place. --Seen in #tron


[ Parent ]
Re: Point taken, 1/2 Disagreeing (5.00 / 2) (#57)
by jayhawk88 on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 02:57:18 PM EST

I can think of at least two such incidents in the last week of my life.

This was kind of the point I was after. Everyone's done stupid things in their lives, most of us a lot more stupid than tipping a Coke machine in quest of free soft drinks. Your right of course, if this was the benchmark junior year of high school would have a 45% mortality rate.

But because Fate rolled a -4 on the Luck Dice for this kid, we get all these people talking about "that stupid, fat fuck" and making fun of some BS papers the kid was forced to write for English Comp. As if everyone else here are members of the Mensa Track Team and routinely write classic works of literature.

Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web? -- John Ashcroft
[ Parent ]
Alcohol + Raging Stupidity = "Tragedy". (3.20 / 5) (#59)
by Danelope on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 03:11:25 PM EST

This has nothing to do with "fate" or "luck". This is a result of the kid's blatant and utter disregard for common sense. If you don't want to die under a Coke machine, don't tip it over while attempting to steal from it. "But he was drunk," you cry! If drinking yourself into a stupor -- to the point where tipping over a Coke machine sounds like a good idea -- can get you killed, don't drink.

Drunking idiots don't read warning stickers. Hell, most sober idiots don't read warning stickers, either. I may have made some less-than-intelligent decisions in my lifetime, but never one which could've gotten me killed, and I accept responsibility for the consequences thereof.

[ Parent ]
Please enter a subject for your comment. (4.71 / 7) (#31)
by tokage on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 11:02:49 AM EST

I see it more in the vein of how people choose to ignore the common sense of so many situations. Object heavy. Tip it over far enough, and it will crush you. Or like here in Seattle, where people actually -slow down- when they're crossing the street without a crosswalk or signal, and there is an oncoming car. Even at night. Sure, people are going to slow down to avoid you if they can, but don't you think getting out of the way of a 2,000lb rig would be a good idea? It seems some people just quit using their common sense somewhere down the line. Partly "it won't happen to me", I suppose. Partly just pure non-thinking, a blind belief that the Law will protect you, ignoring the mechanical realities of your environment.

In part I think I understand why the kid's parents went to such an extreme, twisting it into some kind of strange conspiracy, or negligence by The Goverment. Their kid died, they loved him. Dying by being crushed by a Coke machine isn't exactly an elegant death. I think they are just looking for some way to handle the grief of losing their child, which to me is somewhat the same as the kid willfully ignoring(or so it seems) the fact that large objects being tipped too far will do some serious damage if they fall.

So you ask, where is the humor? To me and I think to kitten, it is in the absurd nature of the entire situation. His parents reaction, while likely grief inspired. The society of non-offensive politically correct people, in which anyone can accuse then sue anyone over the most trivial thing, misunderstood actions and gestures. The absurd extremes parents go to Protect The Children, trying to explain away every bit of negative behavior their kids show by blaming it on external influences. Oh the evil music. Oh the evil horror books. Oh the evil video games. Oh the evil TV. To get a bit off topic, I like what Stephen King said about things like that. Will those things make make someone pick up a gun and start shooting? Probably not. They can, however, act to accelerate that kind of behavior. That's a complicated issue that I have a few opinions on, so I'll spare you the rest:)

Incidentally when I off myself by standing in front of a Greyhound, you can cackle your ass off for all I care. I may just join in.

Pretending there is something left

is like pretending there was anything at all. - Angela Smith
[ Parent ]
Be thankful you don't live in Winnipeg (none / 0) (#88)
by Trepalium on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 10:28:33 PM EST

like here in Seattle, where people actually -slow down- when they're crossing the street without a crosswalk or signal, and there is an oncoming car.
Here, it doesn't matter how fast a pedestrian tries to cross the street. If you try to cross the street, the oncoming traffic seems to always speed up. Then again, even at marked crosswalks with the blinking signs, unless you're willing to practically throw yourself into traffic, no one will stop, despite the flashing lights.

In part I think I understand why the kid's parents went to such an extreme, twisting it into some kind of strange conspiracy, or negligence by The Goverment.
If they really wanted to rail against anything, it should've been the amount of alcohol abuse in colleges and universities, instead of the stupidity of trying to get a free drink out of the coke machine. I'm distinctly reminded on the despair.com poster for mistakes: "It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others."

[ Parent ]
Get off the high horse. (3.00 / 4) (#35)
by pwhysall on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 11:15:55 AM EST

Like you're some kind of moral guiding light.

Just *how* stupid do you have to be to not realise that if you wobble a machine that's taller than you (and has a big black and yellow sticker on it informing you that it'll kill you if it falls on you) it'll kill you?

"Very very clever", my arse. It's about not being dead from the neck up.
--
Peter
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
CheeseBurgerBrown
[ Parent ]

drunk (2.25 / 4) (#37)
by streetlawyer on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 11:49:58 AM EST

Personally, I think that anything in a student dormitory which isn't safe to be around drunk adolescents, is corporate murder waiting to happen.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Which would leave dorms padded and empty (3.88 / 9) (#47)
by Anonymous 242 on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 01:33:58 PM EST

I never thought that microwaves, telephones, eletrical outlets, light sockets or other usually harmless features of most dorm rooms would be referred to as "corporate muder waiting to happen".

[ Parent ]
But what about the law? (none / 0) (#48)
by theboz on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 01:35:20 PM EST

It seems like in many cases, being under the influence while committing certain crimes increases your punishment. If you drive drunk and run over a person you get in far worse trouble than if you accidentally ran over them sober. If we can expect those who are drunk to be able to make a choice not to drive a car, shouldn't we also hold them to the same standards when doing other things? Drunkeness may be a good reason, but it's a poor excuse.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Things in dorms not safe around drunk students: (4.25 / 4) (#92)
by joegee on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 12:12:48 AM EST

Stairs, doors, chairs, beds, glass, electrical cords, furnishings, combustible material like mattresses, sharp corners, fire extinguishers, trash containers, razors, sharp plastic objects, pencils, pens, small objects that can be inserted into orifices, students of the opposite gender, in some cases students of the same gender, amounts of water greater than the amount required to drown ...

Are these people supposed to leave their homes and live unsupervised? I always thought that an institutional setting with professional care was probably more suitable for someone with such profound deficits in life skills.

Remember, I'm a big prick, not a little one. :)

<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
[ Parent ]
My coffee... NOOOOOOOO (4.00 / 1) (#121)
by simon farnz on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 03:24:55 PM EST

streetlawyer, stop and think a moment. I keep a kettle, some mugs, a glass jar of coffee and some metal teaspoons in my room. Further, I have a CRT in here, which if hit hard enough could implode.

Almost anything is dangerous around someone who is sufficently impaired by drink. Should I have the right to sue Dell because they rebadged a monitor that breaks if I stagger in drunk and smash my jar of coffee in it? Should Lynx owe me money because my can deodorant (complete with warning labels) could explode if I held it in the steam coming out of my kettle?
--
If guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns
[ Parent ]

You have a point, there (4.25 / 8) (#39)
by Anonymous 242 on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 11:53:08 AM EST

Never mind anything else -- the fact that this could have been prevented by simply bolting the machine to the wall, for example.
Of course, the same follows for automobiles. If we bolted them to our garage walls we'd have far, far fewer fatalities from car wrecks.

Regards,

Lee Irenæus Malatesta

[ Parent ]

No sympathy here for stupid kid (3.50 / 2) (#50)
by Sikpup on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 01:59:07 PM EST

If he was at least original in dying I'd say give him a Darwin Award nomination.

Bottom line - stupid wanna-be thief gets killed trying to steal from vending machine. Boo-hoo and tough s***.

I do feel sorry for the parents, simply because they didn't do anything to deserve this (giving them the benefit of assuming that they did bother to teach their child stealing is wrong)



[ Parent ]
The difference is that I stand for my acts (3.00 / 1) (#54)
by CtrlBR on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 02:28:27 PM EST

I did plenty of stupid things in my life, like car racing in the city while drunk taking one way streets from the wrong end (this little stunt made me win BTW :-)).

Luckily I survived. I know perfectly well that that was fscking dumb...

But guess what, if I had not my parents would not be there whining about such or such alcohol maker responsible for killing kids...

Because the would know well that it was my fault...


If no-one thinks you're a freedom fighter than you're probably not a terrorist.
-- Gully Foyle

[ Parent ]
You are right (3.50 / 4) (#55)
by Fyodor on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 02:30:22 PM EST

But try to have a look at this from another perspective too, please.

Some of us need to laugh about death, or to write it off to someone's stupidity. It makes us feel better, because it allows us to talk about the subject without thinking about our own mortality.

Sorry Kevin, I'll offer you a coke when I join you up there.

[ Parent ]
Who is the object of derision? (4.71 / 7) (#66)
by wnight on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 03:56:10 PM EST

IMHO the really pathetic people are the parents. They lost a kid and potentially won the lottery.

I don't think the company should be under any obligation to put stickers on the machine informing you that you may be injured if it falls on you. And away from an earthquake zone I don't think they should be required to bolt them to the wall.

The racks where I work don't have warning stickers on them. What if I wanted the 2U server at the top and decided to rock the cabinet to get it? Should the maker of the racks be held liable?

Tipping the machine was dumb, but so is jaywalking. I'm not going to mock him for his decision, but I *will* mock his family for trying to extort money from an innocent company and waste resources doing the equivalent of labelling every car (in a way visible to pedestrians) "Warning: Car is heavy. Bodily injury may result from touching it while in motion."

The real ones mocking the kid are the parents. They're saying he was so retarded as to be incapable of understanding that dropping something the size of a small piano on a person can kill them. I'd much prefer the simpler and less-offensive idea that he was drunk, took a dumb risk, and suffered.




[ Parent ]
Nothing to see here folks, move along. (4.80 / 5) (#107)
by jolly st nick on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 11:36:26 AM EST

The parents are making a pathetic spectacle of themselves, but this should make them an object of pity.

Until you've raised kids of your own, you have no idea how much fricken work and heartache they are. Take the thing you worked hardest on in your life, multiply it a thousand times, then imagine you wake up one day and have nothing to show for it, and you can might begin to understand what these folks are going through. Trying to teach kids common sense is like planting a seed -- you hope it will sprout someday, but it almost always takes years. Wait a few years and you'll find out that all young people are pricks. Especially to their parents. You'll find out that you were a prick too. It isn't really a personal character flaw, it just goes with the territory of being too inexperienced to give a shit about people who care about you. If you think you care enough now, you're going to find out someday it wasn't enough. This kid was a huge prick to get himself killed that way. If you are laughing at the parents now, you shouldn't feel too superior -- you are a prick too.

I hear all the time, and I used to say myself that "my friends are really my family". Wrong. If you tip a coke machine on yourself, wrap your car around a tree, or do any one of the thousands of stupid things that kill young people, your friends will be sad for a few weeks, but after a few months they'll hardly think of you at all. Maybe when they go over old pictures. It's your parents who will keep your room exactly as it was the day you left for school, including the girlie posters they hated. They're the ones who will think of you every day, who will take out your things and caress them because they were things that you touched. Their the ones who will be talking with their friends about kids and have to choke back your name because they forgot you weren't alive. The place your friends make for you in their lives can and will be filled. The place your parents make for you is just for you, of all the people that live, have lived and ever will live, only you can fill it.

I look at the parent's site, and it makes me cringe. They're trying to make sense of this, and they've latched on to a ridiculous explanation. So what? If it helps them feel a little better, then let them have it. Nobody's putting a gun to your head and making you go to this site. If you are laughing at them, it means you just don't get it.

Show some goddamn empathy, and let it go.

And call your parents. If you have even half way normal parents, you have no idea how much the love you, even though despite their best efforts you're an ignorant prick. Chances are they believe in you and your potential, even if you aren't exactly living up to it right now. That's pretty damned wonderful.

[ Parent ]

What a fantastic comment ... (none / 0) (#134)
by joegee on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 06:18:27 PM EST

You must be a parent, or you have lost a close relative? I am shocked to see some genuine empathy expressed on K5. I realize it's almost Hallowe'en, but stop it, please, you're scaring me. :)

Anyways, thank you for reminding me to call my Dad.

<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
[ Parent ]
Clarification (5.00 / 1) (#153)
by jolly st nick on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 08:56:03 AM EST

You must be a parent, or you have lost a close relative?

Well, yes and yes, but fortunately I have not lost any children yet. I keep aware how precarious life is though, so I make it a practice not to leave any day with any unfinished business, and adult children should do the same toward their parents.

I should make it clear that I was being rather arch when I said all young people are "pricks". I actually think young people today are a lot nicer than we used to be, especially to their parents -- possibly as decent as we can expect any group of young people to be. There's a process of separation that starts around the time you become a teenager, when your parents become an embarassment and you don't want to be around them. Wise and loving parents understand and welcome this, I think. All parents eventually die; if we do it before this separation happens, the foundations of the child's world are torn out; if we die after this happens it's sad, but it's the natural order of things. The sullen or defiant teenager is giving his parent a gift, if the parent has the perspective to see this.

However there's a residue of indifference or sometimes hostility towards parents that lingers throughout twenties and sometimes into the thirties. Unless your parents were one of the rare pathological cases, it is best to get through with this as quickly as possible once you become and adult. If you haven't done this, it would be a kindness to your parents and something that will enrich your life in ways you can't imagine.

I have to admit my post was, in a sense, a troll, but not one with, I hope, the usual egotistical motivation. I wrote it to shock people into the recognition of what losing a child must have meant to these folks. I actually agree what they are doing is foolish; however I think many people mocking them were doing so from a position of ignorance that was equally foolish. There are two ways in which you can find people funny: because they are inferior to you, or because you see part of yourself in them. I personally hate the former -- it's a hot button for me.

So, to all you young people out there -- this is your apology. I'm sorry I called you a bunch of pricks.



[ Parent ]
This isn't right. (none / 0) (#139)
by roystgnr on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 09:59:00 PM EST

I hear all the time, and I used to say myself that "my friends are really my family". Wrong. If you tip a coke machine on yourself, wrap your car around a tree, or do any one of the thousands of stupid things that kill young people, your friends will be sad for a few weeks, but after a few months they'll hardly think of you at all.

Perhaps "few years" is accurate where months isn't. Perhaps I have a more restricted definition of friend. Perhaps it varies from person to person. But as written, this is not a universally true statement, and I hope it isn't a commonly true statement either. Nobody deserves to be that alone.

[ Parent ]

OK (none / 0) (#154)
by jolly st nick on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 09:14:39 AM EST

Good to hear from you, Roy.

All generalizations are, of course untrue. I don't mean to denigrate friendship here either. No friend can be exactly replaced. However, with the exceptions of very rare kinds of friendships, the loss of a friend just doesn't leave the kind of gaping hole that the loss of a child does.

About a year and a half ago, I lost a brother to cancer. He had been my best man at my wedding. When I think of him being gone I still feels pangs of loss and disbelief. But I can't say I think about him every day. I can't compare my feelings to his wife, children or grandchildren, for whom he was a rock of stability in times of trouble.

Losing peers -- siblings or friends -- is part of life that is sad, but it is inevitable and our psychologies prepare us to move on. Losing a child is completely different. It's like comparing losing a finger to losing an arm. I have another brother who lost a toddler to leukemia. After some years he put his life back together again, but I don't think he was ever the same.

I just think we should have a bit more sympathy for these people. There's all kinds of foolish things that people do when they have a life shattering loss. Until you've been put to the test, you have no right to mock them.



[ Parent ]

Who's laughing now? (none / 0) (#164)
by wnight on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 01:06:18 PM EST

You make a good point, but I strongly disagree with it.

The biggest first. That parents who've lost a child have a right to do stupid things and shouldn't be held accountable for it.

They're trying to make sense of this, and they've latched on to a ridiculous explanation. So what? If it helps them feel a little better, then let them have it. Nobody's putting a gun to your head and making you go to this site. If you are laughing at them, it means you just don't get it.

I should be able to comment on anyone who makes my life more difficult. These parents are doing so by suing over their son's bad judgement. They aren't looking to fix a safety issue that could save the lives on careful innocents. They're looking to make a company spending money that essentially only protects drunk people from killing themselves. At the same time they're looking to make a lot of money ($600K, was it?) Their case for the money will be a lot easier if they can show that the company had an obligation to protect their son. If the company wasn't at fault, they won't need to pay out a huge chunk of money and the parents won't get rich. That money eventually comes from the consumers and makes our lives more difficult with draconian laws and ten-page booklets of warnings like "do not expose to open flame" and "kettle contains hot water after use."

I'm against making or society so "safe" that people need to wear helmets to leave their padded houses, so safe that if you cause anyone accidental mental stress they can sue you. So safe that providing a product or service someone can use in an unintended dangerous way can get you sued or tossed in jail. These parents are pushing society closer to this distopia.

By your reasoning people shouldn't be held responsible for the things they do while under stress. I'll just leave the obvious eventual results of this policy to your imagination.

As an example of this behaviour. Look at the parents of the Columbine killers. They want to sue video game makers for causing their children to kill. That's intolerably idiotic. I don't care how much pain you're in, own up to your guilt, don't try to hurt others because it'll make it easier to feel that you're not responsible.

Show some goddamn empathy, and let it go.

As to the distress the parents are feeling. Sure, it's gotta really suck to lose someone you care about. I haven't lost anyone like that but contrary to your assumptions about me, I'm not just some young jerk with no close ties. However, I still don't think that their mental distress warrants that kind of action. Many people lose family without taking it out on society.

You should note though that I'm not laughing at the kid, or the parents. I simply want them to go away and stop trying to drag us down with them.

I hear all the time, and I used to say myself that "my friends are really my family". Wrong. If you tip a coke machine on yourself, wrap your car around a tree, or do any one of the thousands of stupid things that kill young people, your friends will be sad for a few weeks, but after a few months they'll hardly think of you at all.

Depends on your friends. I freely admit many of my friends wouldn't care that much if I died. I've got twenty or so friends I hang out with every now and then to watch movies, play LAN games, etc. Most of us are these because of shared interests and while we are friendly we aren't incredibly close. However I have a very small number of friends who I would be incredibly upset over the loss of. I imagine there are people (hopefully the same ones) who would feel the same way about me. These are people who I've known for years and gone through more with than most people do with their family.

As I said, they're forcing me, and everyone else, into this by making a public issue of it. They're trying to change laws and they're trying to cash in on this. Other people deal with grief in a private manner, why are these people so special that I need to suffer along with them?

If they really want to help they'll educate kids about the costs of drinking. How it can dangerously impair judgement and cause an otherwise intelligent person to do something dangerous. But if they really want to help they'll realize that people need to ability to harm themselves or their lives are pointless. If someone keeps you perfectly safe by keeping you totally insulated from anything that might hurt they've denied you the chance to grow and learn. They should use their son's death as an example to encourage others to be safe, not to fight for making everything so sickly safe that people can walk around drunk and ignorant and still be safe. There's no life in that for those of us who choose to learn and take responsibility for ourselves.



[ Parent ]

I have no problem with this (none / 0) (#170)
by jolly st nick on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 05:03:54 PM EST

You make a good point, but I strongly disagree with it.

I love that. I think I'll have it printed on a T shirt.

Let me make clear, I don't have any problem with people disagreeing or commenting on this. It's just the orgy of smug, self-satisfied mockery I don't like. I think you can understand and forgive somebody who does something stupid in the agony of grief. When it touches you someday you'll understand this better. I hate to pull rank you you, youngster, but you'll just have to check back with me in twenty years ;-)

I'm not just some young jerk with no close ties.

I know, some of what I said was uncalled for, and I'm sorry about that. It's the contrarian in me that wants to defend the people who are mocked and reviled.



[ Parent ]
A young pup am I?!? (none / 0) (#175)
by wnight on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 12:40:33 AM EST

There's a difference between explaining and excusing. I understand perfectly well *why* the parents are doing what they're doing. IMHO it doesn't excuse it. They're making the world a worse place to live in.

This doesn't mean we should be rude to them, but I don't think we should just go along with their actions either.

Either that or we have to excuse the people victimized in court by the "think of the children!!!" people. They'll have to sue someone, probably teachers. Those teachers will then have to sue someone, etc. Eventually we'll all be running around suing someone because we've been victimized. Joking aside, I think it's somewhere we don't want to go.

[ Parent ]

Well, you sound like one;-) (none / 0) (#187)
by jolly st nick on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 11:49:54 AM EST

I'm not saying anything about what the courts should do. I'm talking about what goes on inside our heads. The courts should send these people and their lawyers packing. Forgiveness doesn't mean disarmament. It means disengaging our emotions of fear and hatred so we can deal rationally with people who are being irrational.

This doesn't mean we should be rude to them, but I don't think we should just go along with their actions either.

Exactly my position.

Either that or we have to excuse the people victimized in court by the "think of the children!!!" people. They'll have to sue someone, probably teachers. Those teachers will then have to sue someone, etc. Eventually we'll all be running around suing someone because we've been victimized. Joking aside, I think it's somewhere we don't want to go.

But if you don't understand the "think of the children!!!" people, you will never be able to talk to them and address their concerns and those who are likely to be swayed by them. If you don't do this you will get exactly what you are talking about.

This gets back to what I said about the two kinds of humor: mocking the inferior and mocking yourself. Mocking the inferior is an intellectual dead end. No matter how right you are, you never become wiser by it. When you can mock yourself, you get to understand yourself and others better.



[ Parent ]

I take it you have some issues ... (4.33 / 3) (#72)
by joegee on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 05:22:29 PM EST

Not all of those who find stories of people brought to untimely demise through their own shortsightedness are little pricks. Some of us are big pricks. I try to never do anything half-assed. :)

<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
[ Parent ]
Sure. (4.57 / 7) (#73)
by ZorbaTHut on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 05:37:17 PM EST

Personally, if I were to die in a really really stupid way, I'd *want* people to laugh at me. I'd want my name up on the <a href="http://www.darwinawards.com/">Darwin Awards</a> in flashing colors. I'd want parents to refer to me, *by name*, as a term for dying in a really really embarrassing and stupid way, telling their kids "Now don't end up like ____!"

Yes, it's funny because he was stupid. But I'm not a hypocrite. If I die in a similar way, I'm going to be laughing my ethereal ass off in Heaven. ("I did WHAT?")

See, the thing is that committing suicide or using a machine gun isn't stupid. That's one reason your analogy breaks down. On the other hand, if, say, one of us "spiteful little pricks" were to accidentally fry themselves trying to disable a streetlight with wire cutters (yes, it's happened - a few months ago, as I remember) or, say, be crushed under our own porn collection . . .

I mean, sheesh, sometimes you just deserve it. And if you're not willing to laugh at yourself, then, no, you have no cause to laugh at others - but if you're willing to laugh at anyone's stupidity, even your own, then it's not your problem that some people have no sense of humor.

[ Parent ]
US Army (3.33 / 3) (#36)
by GreenCrackBaby on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 11:29:35 AM EST

Why does the US Government provide Safety regulations when the Canadian Government does not?

The US has regulations on pop (sorry, soda) machines because of a rash of deaths in the US armed forces in particular.

So... (none / 0) (#42)
by christianlavoie on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 12:42:04 PM EST

... what you're basically telling us is that US forces are more likely to try to steal than Canadian forces, right?

(Or are more stupid in their attempts -- choose your pick)


Maybe Computer Science ought to be taught in the school of Philosophy
   -- Christian Lavoie [modified from RS Barton]
[ Parent ]
Or the third alternative... (none / 0) (#46)
by theboz on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 01:30:22 PM EST

That the U.S. military budget goes to buying a $40Billion toilet seat, so that all of the enlisted people can be on welfare just to survive.


Stuff.
[ Parent ]

I'm not telling you anything (4.00 / 1) (#113)
by GreenCrackBaby on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 12:41:36 PM EST

All I pointed out was that the US probably has regulations about warning labels and such due to the high number of fatalities that were seen in members of its armed forces.

Don't put words in my mouth, or imply things I haven't said.

The fact that the Canadian gov't hasn't made such labels mandatory (as a result of deaths in the military) could mean that (a) they don't care about all the Canadian military deaths, or (b) there aren't a significant number of deaths (for whatever reason).

[ Parent ]

Wierd... (4.00 / 2) (#43)
by GreenHell on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 12:49:00 PM EST

...that it was a beaver foods machine without the warning label. Beaver foods has been the supplier of artifically flavoured, man made nutritional replacements (it sure isn't food) at my schools since the mid 90's. Every single one of those vending machines that I can remember has had this lovely orange, black and white sticker on them that reads 'Rocking or tilting this machine may cause personal injury or death' (or something to that effect)

Maybe it's just my brain playing tricks on me, and they were only placed on the machines about 3 years ago, maybe it's just that they think us Maritimers are stupider than people from Quebec... or, my opinion is that the sticker probably was there originally, it's just that some one stole it (happens quite regularly around here) Just my pointless rambling...

-GreenHell
This .sig was my last best hope to seem eloquent. It failed.
Which maritime academy? (2.00 / 1) (#49)
by Sikpup on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 01:53:08 PM EST

Anyone having anything to do with maritime academies knows that the only liquid consumable on the planet is alcohol.

Kings Point is banned from Playboy's top party school list. Its a professional drinking institution.

I've sailed with cadets and grads from all of the maritime acadamies. All of them were accomplished drinkers.

I love the stories about how the Kings Pointers fund their drinking activities.

Of course the best part is corrupting cadets during their sea time...



[ Parent ]
Oops... (none / 0) (#56)
by GreenHell on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 02:41:21 PM EST

my apology.... Maritime doesn't refer to naval stuff, but rather a geographical region of Canada, more specifically, everything east of Quebec (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia) but excluding Newfoundland (Newfoundland would get included if I refered to the Atlantic region)

Serves me right for thinking everyone knew what I was talking about...

-GreenHell
This .sig was my last best hope to seem eloquent. It failed.
[ Parent ]
Halifax (none / 0) (#110)
by M0dUluS on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 12:16:48 PM EST

I've visited Halifax, Cape Breton, gone whale watching on the South Shore (Briar Island near Digby). The Maritimes is great. :-)

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
So he's fat. (4.25 / 16) (#44)
by catseye on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 01:11:05 PM EST

I've just got to ask... why does it matter that he's fat? People keep throwing around phrases like "fat fucking idiot", "fat idiot", and such, as if that had anything to do with anything.

It's bad enough to be picking on a dead guy as if no one here had ever done anything stupid or dangerous while drunk, but how did his fat add to his stupidity? Was it that he was just too fat to get out of the way? If he'd been wearing glasses would he be a "fat four-eyed fucking idiot"? What if he were gay? Would he then be a "fat four-eyed fucking fairy" as if ANY of that had anything to do with his death?

What had to do with his death is that he was very drunk, had probably seen this done by friends successfully (or perhaps even done it himself successfully), and exercised very poor judgement (as drunk people are wont to do), and wound up dead. Yes it was stupid, but does juvenile name calling serve any purpose whatsoever?

On a side note, Kevin is a 2001 Darwin award nominee.



context. (2.00 / 1) (#45)
by kitten on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 01:19:07 PM EST

If a person is fat, no big deal. Quite honestly I don't care either way.

If a person is fat and a jerk, then he's a fat jerk.

If the person is fat and stupid, then he's a fat idiot.

The point is that obesity, in and of itself, does not necessarily warrant derision. But other attributes (being an asshole, being stupid) do, and when a person exhibits these qualities, then anything else about that person is fair game for attack.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
you missed the point completely. (4.25 / 4) (#62)
by Defect on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 03:34:39 PM EST

This is a picture of me two weeks ago, i was absolutely enormous. The only friends i had were squirrels and the only time they liked me was when i dressed in brown so i looked like a giant acorn. People like you were always making fun of me, and i'd just go home and eat my worries away. You'd kill my squirrels because you didn't want them to eat my fat up. You were scared that i'd become skinny like you and then i'd get all the mad chicks and you'd get depressed and then get fat after eating Häagen-Dazs.

Why can't we just get along?

Well i've got news for you now, kitten. I am a lean, mean, wimmin sexin machine and you're fat now, but it's alright, i won't make fun of you. I know what it's like to hurt, and it doesn't feel good.

I hope you learned your lesson through this little simulation, making fun of others is wrong. Run along now, and remember, say no to drugs!
defect - jso - joseth || a link
[ Parent ]
The secret to mass approval (5.00 / 1) (#79)
by Kalani on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 08:09:16 PM EST

Trivialize any group that isn't part of the popular masses.

-----
"I [think] that ultimately physics will not require a mathematical statement; in the end the machinery will be revealed and the laws will turn out to be simple, like the checker board."
--Richard Feynman
[ Parent ]
Obesity (1.00 / 1) (#180)
by FredBloggs on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 09:31:46 AM EST

is a lifestyle choice, except for the tiny percentage of people who genuinely do have a medical problem.

Otherwise, its just eating too much, or not doing enough excercise. Its a growing problem (no pun intended...well, maybe a little), predominant in developed Western countries. Its entirely due to the lack of the need to perform physical excercise as part of a job, or way of life. Plus the fact that the foods which taste the nicest tend to have a lot of calories.

You can see the problem spread to other countries who have traditionally eaten fresh, healthy foods, but who are now, as they get richer, adopting Western tastes.

I imagine the sight of these big people (now accounting for almost the majority of the population in the States, and almost that level in the UK) must be fairly offensive to people in developing countries, where scarcity of food is a major problem (ie people die from it).

If you really want to lose weight, get your diet assessed by an expert, and see what you really should be eating. And join a gym, and begin to do at least 30 mins of excercise which increases your heartrate (although if you are really large, perhaps you should get medical advice first).

[ Parent ]
Sure it matters (2.71 / 7) (#78)
by aesther on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 07:48:00 PM EST

It matters because idiots are funny. Fucking idiots are even funnier. And fat fucking idiots are the funniest.

How funny a fucking idiot is is directly proportionate to how fat the fucking idiot is. In this case, he was relatively fat, which makes him somewhat more funny than if he was just a fucking idiot.

Since he was involved in a freak accident worthy of a Darwin Award makes this particular fat fucking idiot a fucking laugh riot. Big fat fucking laugh riot.

[ Parent ]
No cause for disagreement (3.40 / 5) (#81)
by Tatarigami on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 08:15:46 PM EST

The point of the article is that he's not fat -- now.

[ Parent ]
Fat is a nasty adjective (4.75 / 4) (#93)
by 0xA on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 12:48:48 AM EST

As a big fat idiot myslef, not as fat as the idiot in question but still rather round, I have a lot of experience with this word.

In a very image concious society being overwieght provides an easy attack vector for people. Its' out there easy to see and its' not considered a "good" trait. I personally have had 25 years to get used to being fat, my Dad was fat, my mon ain't skinny and my brother is a first class lardass. I don't really give a damn, its' always been there and it isn't going away. Yes I am aware that peperoni pizza doesn't help.

The funny part of this is that fat people automatically look down on other fat people. First thing I thought when I saw that picture wa "holy christ what a fat bastard". It's jsut part of our culture.

Interesting side note...
I damn near did this to myself a couple months ago, I tried to buy some chips at work and the damn thing got stuck right on the edge. I started shaking it back and forth and almost tipped it. Maybe this is something that just happens to fat idiots.

[ Parent ]

it doesn't matter (3.00 / 1) (#98)
by luethke on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 01:20:20 AM EST

I would say if he had been skinny he would be a skinny idiot, had he been very ugly he would be an ugly idiot, I would say everyone would have latched on to some physical feature and prepended it to the slurs. I never read any of the posts to imply that fat caused the problem, it's just a slur in general.

[ Parent ]
Wait, you object to this story? (4.66 / 21) (#51)
by Danelope on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 02:14:14 PM EST

streetlawyer: "Personally, I think that anything in a student dormitory which isn't safe to be around drunk adolescents, is corporate murder waiting to happen."

Personally, I feel that you, and those sharing your mindset, and the instigators of every flagrant lawsuit that takes place in America, are EXACTLY what is wrong with American society.

There is NO personal accountability in America any more. You've created a society of people refusing to accept responsibility for their own actions, choosing instead to pass the buck to anyone and everyone at whom the finger can be pointed. Claiming that an old woman who spills OBVIOUSLY hot coffee on herself or a Fat Fucking Idiot who tips an OBVIOUSLY heavy Coke machine onto himself are VICTIMS of a scheme perpetrated by some corporate conspiracy is borderline insanity. Seeking a cash settlement for said idiocy crosses that boundary.

John Carmack is/was being sued by parents of children killed in the Columbine incident. No one questions whether the parents were previously negligent (though you'd assume that, if they paid attention to their fucking kids, they would have noticed the part about sociopathic Neo-Nazi youth assembling a stockpile of weaponry in the garage, making videos and writing diatribes about slaughtering Jews and classmates and teachers.) They blame Doom, they blame Marilyn Manson, they blame EVERYONE but themselves; this is the most deep-rooted denial. And this is status quo in America.

If you don't want to be crushed under a Coke machine, don't try tipping it over to steal from it. If you don't want anything terrible to happen after a night of drinking, don't go out drinking. (Of course, alcoholism is officially a protected disease in America now, which opens another Pandora's Box o' Bullshit.) If you don't want to deal with the responsibility of raising a child, either use protection intelligently or don't have sex. But don't attempt to displace your responsibility once bad shit happens to you.

You -- and Americans in general -- need to grow the fuck up.

Lawsuits and revenge (4.25 / 4) (#71)
by Macrobat on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 05:18:50 PM EST

Sadly, Americans use lawsuits as a way of enacting revenge, as though "getting someone" will somehow comfort us in our losses or heal our emotional traumas. Unfortunately, the most logical targets of our hatred already killed themselves, so the parents and survivors feel compelled to go after anyone even tangentially connected to the perpetrators. Presumably they justify this by saying it will prevent further attacks. And they do it even when it means curtailing other people's liberties.

"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
[ Parent ]

OBVIOUSLY hot coffee (4.00 / 3) (#80)
by phobia on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 08:15:23 PM EST

I agree whole-heartedly with your sentiment. Regardless, you should research the details before you assume that all these cases are unfounded.

[ "never talk to strangers" - RFC 1855, 2.1.2 ]

[ Parent ]
yes, obviously (2.33 / 3) (#95)
by luethke on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 01:16:18 AM EST

Just because you think the case was stupid doesn't mean you don't know the details. Let's look at them. McDonalds says the ALWAYS kept thier coffee at around 180 degrees (why would they lie, it hurt thier case), unless this was the first cup of coffee this woman had from there she would know the coffee was hot. I NEVER place any hot liquid between my knees to hold it, at the very least you are asking for some pain. I also have a hard time with 3'rd degree burns over 6 percent of your body only requiring 8 days in the hostpital, at least what we think of as 3'rd degree - it was probably one of those techinical things, not skin burned to carbon bad.

to quote the article During discovery, McDonald's produced documents showing more than 700 claims by people burned by its coffee between 1982 and 1992. Some claims involved third-degree burns substantially similar to Liebeck's. This history documented McDonald's knowledge about the extent and nature of this hazard.

that could be taken in many ways, 698 people could have called and said "fuck you guys, I burned my lips" with two people having "similar" burns. Neither of the statement's are really expressed specifically.

Of course McDonalds is liable legally by the facts and by that wrote the woman should be awarded something, but I personally think she doesn't deserve piss in a jug. It was a stupid thing for her to do.

[ Parent ]
So? (1.00 / 1) (#101)
by FredBloggs on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 07:19:51 AM EST

"to quote the article During discovery, McDonald's produced documents showing more than 700 claims by people burned by its coffee between 1982 and 1992. Some claims involved third-degree burns substantially similar to Liebeck's. This history documented McDonald's knowledge about the extent and nature of this hazard."


That just means there are 700 people who are stupid, or who cant read the warnings on the cup saying `uh, coffee, yeah? so it`ll be hot`.
Its impossible for a normal, sensible person to hurt themselves with a drink. I mean, maybe if you were holding it in a car and the car crashed or something. But if you are not capable of buying a hot drink, then sitting down and drinking it without hurting yourself, then you probably shouldnt be allowed outside.



[ Parent ]
yea? (none / 0) (#177)
by luethke on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 01:50:46 AM EST

uhh, that was part of my point, 700 is a meaningless number. did you mean to sound as if your were disagreeing with me?

[ Parent ]
Uh (none / 0) (#197)
by FredBloggs on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 11:46:37 AM EST

You are right. I`m not sure what point i was trying to make. I do agree with you. Perhaps i`ll just shut up and crawl under this rock...

[ Parent ]
RE: Wait, you object to this story? (none / 0) (#114)
by cortices on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 12:53:43 PM EST

...was found dead in his Residence at Keuhner Hall, Bishop's University, Lennoxville Quebec on December 13th 1998...

While I don't entirely disagree with your post, it is important your facts be accurate...

[ Parent ]
"Please protect me". (3.75 / 8) (#58)
by mindstrm on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 02:58:12 PM EST

Get real.
Is this a joke? Yes it is. It must be.

Having traveled quite a bit.. the one thing I noticed abroad is... well.. an example.

When I was in Portugal.... around Lagos... there are many, many tall cliffs. There are also no fences on said cliffs. There are also no signs saying "Danger, cliffs, please guard small children". It occurred to me that in Canada, or the US, any place where peopel commonly went, there would be fences and signs.

It then occurred to me that if you can't figure out that a 400 foot cliff plunging into an angry ocean is dangerous.. perhaps you shouldn't reproduce.

But even in more private places... there was this castlle in Sagres.... you are walking around the castle walls.. and in many places, it's a good 30 foot drop to the ground below. Enough to badly injure or kill someone, for sure. There are no signs, and no railings. A child, or adult, backing up to take a picture could fall to their death.
But hey.. if you can't figure that out when you go up there... you shouldn't be there.

Here, in Costa Rica.. the roads are full of potholes.. sidewalks disappear.. manhole covers are mysteriously open. IT is left up to the individual to keep an eye out and watch for danger. Is that fair enough? I say it is.



Some of these I understand (3.66 / 3) (#60)
by squigly on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 03:12:39 PM EST

Fences by a cliff would undermine the natural beauty of the area, and a similar argument applies to an ancient castle. But leaving manholes open? Wouldn't it make sense not to make the entire world into an obstical course?

[ Parent ]
The guy deserves Darwin Award nomination (3.25 / 8) (#61)
by artemb on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 03:34:04 PM EST

The accident looks stuppid enough for Darwin Award nomination.
The Darwin Awards salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who accidentally kill themselves in really stupid ways.


Darn it. He's already been nominated! (none / 0) (#64)
by artemb on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 03:42:36 PM EST

Coke Is It!

[ Parent ]
Not really funny. (3.71 / 7) (#67)
by WWWWolf on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 04:08:22 PM EST

Not really funny...

Instead, find out about a person who fought Coke machines and lived to tell the tale. =)

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...


Funny, yeah, but... (1.50 / 12) (#69)
by aka ed on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 04:30:17 PM EST

Coke distributors are reaping the rewards of selling sugar water to our sugar-addicted kids. Some of these kids are just reaching the drinking age; when some sugar-addled drunk endangers his life by climbing the machine in a state of hazy hyperactivity, what is wrong with asking the distributors to spend ten bucks of their cola profits to bolt a machine to the wall?

American Warnings (4.14 / 7) (#70)
by Chipotle on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 04:35:02 PM EST

The observation that the warning labels are required in America but not in Canada is an interesting one. I have a friend from Finland, a very socialized country, who's complained on occasion about much the same thing. "In Finland you go to a park, and look, there aren't any railings on the boardwalks, you can walk off cliffs if you're stupid."

The perception of what makes a "nanny state" is subjective, I suppose. I have another friend who considers Canada a terribly socialist, repressive country, and as near as I can tell it's almost entirely due to their gun laws. Most of the strident NRA members use that as a litmus test the same way abortion foes use that as a litmus test (a comparison my NRA-member friends would likely hate, but there it is). When you get beyond "make it or break it" issues, things aren't quite that clear

Why is it that America by and large trusts its citizens with firearms to a degree few other countries do, yet desperately tries to protect them from their own stupidity? And conversely, other countries often regulate firearms far more tightly but have little interest in spending resources protecting citizens from themselves. Is there a contradiction in both views?

happens fairly often (4.40 / 15) (#75)
by anonymous cowerd on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 06:46:59 PM EST

At least it appears that way to me, because in my job as a land surveyor I have personally done an accident survey on another Coke machine here in Tampa that also crushed a guy to death, as well as a few other fatal accident surveys (located some newspaper boxes in front of a school from behind which a small child dashed out in front of a car, determined the point out in the Intercoastal waterway where a guy drove a speedboat at full throttle right through a fishing boat full of guys, killing them, etc. etc.)

Now I realize that some people find this incident funny and all, but there exists the legal notion of an "attractive nuisance." Whenever I myself see that phrase I think of a lovely girl named Laura I knew once upon a time, but she isn't it; the usual example is a swimming pool in an unfenced yard. Like it or dislike it, the fact remains that if a demonstrated probability exists for someone to hurt himself even while violating the law (in the example of the swimming pool, by trespassing) the owner of the "attractive nuisance" can be found at least partially liable for the damages. This usage is well-established in legal practice in the U.S.A.

Now the proprietors of that website at which this article's author is laughing and sneering claim, and I quote:

In the past 15 years there have been over 40 deaths, and hundreds of injuries caused by toppled vending machines in North America...

That's a pretty large number of injuries and fatalities, especially when you consider that the hazard can be obviated by the use of a twenty-dollar bracket. I mean so many deaths seem to take this incident right out of the "Darwin Award" category, which focuses on unique and especially freaky deaths. "Stupid," you say? Yeah, mm hm, so is driving drunk, which I guess I did hundreds of times, and which kills what, twenty thousand Americans every year? You don't see drunk driving on the "Darwin Awards" site, if for no other reason that that the site operators can't afford the terabytes of storage that would be required to store all the incidents, not to mention the obligatory jeering commentary.

I don't know. I've seen people get injured by heavy construction junk on job sites, and I just don't see any humor in it at all. Excuse me for being such a "nanny," although in my defense I'd like to point out that the entire history of human civilization has been motivated more than by anything else by the desire of well-intentioned people to enhance the safety and and extend the life expectancy of their fellow humans. It seems to me that at a cost-to-benefit ratio of $20 per vending machine to save even a couple dozen lives per decade, the public would get a great bargain with a little low-priced safety regulation.

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

A drowning man asks for pears from the willow tree.

A closer look at the numbers. (5.00 / 1) (#83)
by Macrobat on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 08:28:57 PM EST

In the past 15 years there have been over 40 deaths, and hundreds of injuries caused by toppled vending machines in North America... That's a pretty large number of injuries and fatalities, especially when you consider that the hazard can be obviated by the use of a twenty-dollar bracket.

I don't know that these numbers mean what you think they do. First, 40 deaths over 15 years equals 2.67 deaths per year over an entire continent. The U.S., Mexico and Canada have a combined population of approximately 400 million people (4*108). Let's just assume that there is one vending machine per 10,000 people--that gives us 40,000 machines. Let's also assume that these machines are used, on average, twenty times a day. So we have:

2.67 / 40,000 * 20 * 365 = 9.14*10-9
--or, roughly, a one in 100 million mortality rate. Say there are one hundred injuries for every death, and you still have a very, very small ratio. And that's with people violently shaking, banging and tipping them over. Subtract the people who don't engage in this behavior, and they're so safe, I'd let one babysit my cats.

Next, is it really just a cost of twenty U.S. dollars? That's perhaps the cost of the backets themselves. How about the cost to drill suitable holes in the nearest stable structure? Or to make a nearby structure stable? How many people will this take? How much will you pay them? And will this necessitate the replacement of any of the machines? Assume (and I'm just making up numbers here, but if anything, I suspect they're low) that it costs, on average, US $300. Multiplied by the 40,000 machines, that's $12 million.

Small change to these soft drink mega-corps, I know, but to prevent an already astronomically small chance that a thief will hurt himself? I suspect they got to be as big as they are, in part, by being tight-fisted about their money expenditures, even the seemingly paltry sum of a few million dollars. (Ten million dollars here, ten million there, and soon it adds up to real money...I don't remember who I'm paraphrasing.)

"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
[ Parent ]

i'd say a bracket is worth the price of a life (2.00 / 1) (#87)
by mclaren880 on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 09:44:11 PM EST

what if a sibling of yours was one of the people who died? the only time i have ever seen someone shake a vending machine, is when what they paid for got stuck, not stealing

[ Parent ]
You're not getting it (4.60 / 5) (#91)
by Macrobat on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 11:36:52 PM EST

Nobody's saying a human life isn't worth the price of a bracket. But, given that it is impossible to make the world perfectly safe for everyone, all the time--you do agree with that, don't you?--the one in a hundred million chance of having a fatal incident with these machines when you are abusing them does not, to me, justify the expenditure. Don't confuse a guaranteed trade off (spend twenty dollars, nobody will die) with a change in statistical probability (spend twenty dollars, the odds go down by an inconceivably small amount that someone will die in the next year).

Besides, what if, in the process if installing these 40,000 brackets, some people die who wouldn't have otherwise? What if the extra metal poses an additional electrocution hazard? With statistically insignificant numbers like this, you can't even reasonably talk about all of the minute probabilities your actions are altering.

"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
[ Parent ]

Hows about.... (5.00 / 1) (#146)
by Akaru on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 05:01:41 AM EST

We spend that $20 for each bracket giving free cokes to the theifing idiots who are most likely to kill themselves by dropping the machine on themselves.

I have no doubt they'd pocket the money and still get crushed to death by the machine. The irony being that they just got crushed by a machine with $20 dollars in their pocket, does not escape me.

Because Now that $20 dollars is useless to them, as is any other money they have, I think the moral of the story is, its better to be alive and have coke than to be dead and have money.

[ Parent ]
A million here (none / 0) (#111)
by wiredog on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 12:25:37 PM EST

A million there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money. Came out of, where else, Washington DC.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
[ Parent ]
Duh (3.00 / 2) (#86)
by John Miles on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 09:35:39 PM EST

That's a pretty large number of injuries and fatalities No, it isn't.
For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.
[ Parent ]
I dunno (none / 0) (#112)
by wiredog on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 12:27:37 PM EST

At my last job we had a guy working with a tabletop router. Took off the safety bar and instead of using a push stick he used his hand. Routed out his palm. Hell of a mess. We were laughing about that for days. Stupidity has a price.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
[ Parent ]
Whew (none / 0) (#155)
by mrgoat on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 11:08:48 AM EST

For a minute there, I was wondering how the router knew what other networking/-ed equipment to send the bits of his hand to.

"I'm having sex right now?" - Joh3n
--Top Hat--
[ Parent ]

Context (none / 0) (#158)
by wiredog on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 12:05:44 PM EST

Yeah, it was the type of router used by woodworkers. Not the type used by networkers. Although a networker who's a carpenter, or a carpenter in IT, might use both.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
[ Parent ]
Look up "unique" (4.00 / 1) (#124)
by Mr.Surly on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 03:55:41 PM EST

..."Darwin Award" category, which focuses on unique and especially freaky deaths ...

You don't see drunk driving on the "Darwin Awards" site ...

Unique:

1. Being the only one of its kind.
2. Without an equal or equivalent; unparalleled.

By your own definition, drunk driving and other "common" ways of killing yourself via stupidity aren't eligible for the contest.

Besides, they're called the "Darwin Awards" partially because the actions of these people tends to improve the human gene pool. It's nice to know that human evolution hasn't quite stopped. And that, my friend, is not a joke.

[ Parent ]
I don't think anyone's objecting to the bracket... (5.00 / 1) (#128)
by afeldspar on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:52:20 PM EST

So much as they are objecting to the parents of a thief, who fatally injured himself in the act of theft, blaming Tha Big Corpurations for the death in such terms as: "Where is the moral leadership?" (Answer: we don't know. If you knew, you might have taught your son to pay for his Cokes and he would be alive.)

Yes, the notion of an "attractive nuisance" does exist in the law. But you would seem to take us directly down the slippery slope: if the owner of a swimming pool in an unfenced yard is in any way responsible for accidents occurring in that pool, then the Coca-Cola corporation is highly responsible for criminal actions taken to try and steal from a vending machine. Because it contained Coca-Cola.

What's next? Do you agree with what the family of the student who killed himself claims, that the Coca-Cola corporation is actually more responsible for his death than the fact that he put his hands on it and tipped it on himself in an attempt to commit an illegal act?

It's hard to push this line of logic to a reductio ad absurdam that will make the fallacy clear because the family has already done that. Perhaps a bracket would be a good idea, but the idea that the Coca-Cola corporation was more criminally culpable in Kevin Mackle's death than Kevin Mackle himself is frankly ludicrous, and tends to obscure any good ideas that may be presented along with it.


-- For those concerned about the "virality" of the GPL, a suggestion: Write Your Own Damn Code.
[ Parent ]

Darwin award (none / 0) (#149)
by lazerus on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 07:25:45 AM EST

I agree with you that this isn't really funny and should be prevented considering the relative ease with which safety measures could be put into place to prevent such incidents, but, you're wrong about the Darwin award....

From Darwinawards.com:

2001 Darwin Award Nominee

Confirmed True by Darwin

(12 December 1998, Canada) A man crushed beneath a vending machine while trying to shake loose a free soda? If you thought it happened only in Urban Legends, you're wrong! Kevin Mackle, a 19-year-old Quebec student, killed himself at Bishop's University while shaking a 420-kilogram Coke machine. He had been celebrating the end of final exams with friends. He died beneath the soda machine, asphyxiated, with a blood alcohol level slightly over the legal driving limit.

His last act was committed in vain. "Even as it fell over, the vending machine did not let out a single can," the coroner reported. Soda-holics take note! The report also states that toppled vending machines have caused at least 35 deaths and 140 injuries in the last twenty years.

For those with questioning minds, I refer you to a website dedicated to the quest to clear Kevin's name. His family questions the official version on their cokemachineaccidents.com website, and recently sued Coca-Cola, two related companies, and Bishop's University for "gross carelessness." Their website expose suggests several reasons why Kevin's death was not his own fault. Shaking coke machines "was common practice at the University." Furthermore they speculate that unknown persons might have crushed Kevin with the vending machine in a bizarre murder, as it "would be difficult for one person to move" the Coke machine.

In response, a spokesperson for Coke said that Canadian machines are now labelled with a warning that "tipping or rocking may cause injury or death." They have also installed anti-theft devices in newer models to keep people from obtaining free drinks.


[ Parent ]
It's the same all over the world... (4.20 / 5) (#76)
by Tatarigami on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 07:20:16 PM EST

I vaguely recall a minor scandal here in New Zealand last year, where the law (sensibly, in my opinion) does not allow private individuals to sue other private individuals, unless a contract has been broken.

The source of the publicity was the death of a young boy who (if I recall correctly) broke into a factory, turned some equipment on, and was subsequently crushed to death by it. His parents began a campaign for a law change to inflict harsher penalties on property owners who fail to secure their premises properly, and the most famous quote to come out of the publicity was the mother telling a TV camera that her son "shouldn't have been punished just for looking for a bit of fun".

The campaign didn't get far because while the parents were happy to gloss over the fact that their boy's 'fun' involved getting past a padlocked gate and a deadbolted door then pressing a button marked 'do not press', and that he had quite a history of breaking and entering, the media weren't.

Because the family was Maori (indigenous ethnic group) there was also the inevitable hint that the investigating police were racist, but I think everyone down here's getting sick of hearing that.

Whoops (2.00 / 1) (#77)
by Tatarigami on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 07:23:30 PM EST

This was meant to be a reply to a comment appended to another post.

Looks like it's time to hook up my coffee IV.

[ Parent ]
Oath of Fealty (3.50 / 2) (#84)
by Dyolf Knip on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 08:48:51 PM EST

Go read "Oath of Fealty" by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. Same situation. Dumb kid walks through a locked door that has a sign saying "If you go through this door you will die", puts on a gas mask so the knockout gas can't get him, takes out his boxes labelled "Explosives" (though they are actually filled with sand), and then his parents demand to know why security killed him.

---
If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

Dyolf Knip
[ Parent ]

Interesting (3.00 / 1) (#102)
by FredBloggs on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 07:24:07 AM EST

"I vaguely recall a minor scandal here in New Zealand last year, where the law (sensibly, in my opinion) does not allow private individuals to sue other private individuals, unless a contract has been broken"

How does your negligence laws work then? In the uk, you have to show three things.

1) a duty of care is owned to an individual
2) that duty was broken
3) harm/damage ensued from that breaking of the duty.

So, if i buy some ginger beer and give it to you, and you see a maggot in it and you feel sick and have to take time off work, you can sue the person selling the drink, as it could have been sold to anyone, even though it wasnt sold to you. No contract has been broken (this is independant of any health issues which the government may want to take up). So how would this be handled in a NZ court. Sounds like the drink seller would walk.



[ Parent ]
NZ laws (none / 0) (#130)
by Tatarigami on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 05:20:40 PM EST

How does your negligence laws work then?

I'm not all that familiar with them. I have a working knowledge of the ones covering service contracts because I work on a helpdesk and customers keep threatening to sue me, having absorbed all their legal acumen from Ally McBeal re-runs.

So, if i buy some ginger beer and give it to you, and you see a maggot in it and you feel sick and have to take time off work, you can sue the person selling the drink, as it could have been sold to anyone, even though it wasnt sold to you. No contract has been broken (this is independant of any health issues which the government may want to take up). So how would this be handled in a NZ court. Sounds like the drink seller would walk.

Nope, prosecuted and fined for breach of food and beverage regulations. I just wouldn't be able to personally benefit from it. (And honestly, why should the seller be punished twice for the one mistake?) We have a publically-funded healthcare system, and a public accident compensation scheme would pay me a fairly high percentage of my weekly wage during any time I needed off -- provided I had been assessed by a doctor and advised to take the time. Can't see it happening in this case, I'm not a delicate flower who needs time off work to get over the stress of finding something horrible in a bottle I was drinking from.

In all honesty, my first impulse would be to report the problem to the bottling company rather than to the authorities. They're generally pretty good about investigating things like this. Funny you should pick this as an example, because I once found a moth larva in a bottle of milk. Phoned the bottling company to let them know, they sent around an investigator who looked at the moth, nodded and went 'hmmm' then left. A few days later I got a very apologetic letter and some coupons from the company. It was a couple of months before I was willing to use them, though.

:o)

[ Parent ]
Similar happening in Hawaii (3.00 / 1) (#123)
by Mr.Surly on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 03:45:04 PM EST

Because the family was Maori (indigenous ethnic group) there was also the inevitable hint that the investigating police were racist, but I think everyone down here's getting sick of hearing that.

When I lived in Hawaii in the mid 90's, there was this guy who was leading the police in a chase in his car. At one point, he stopped the car, leaded out the window with an M16(!) (or some similar machine gun), and began firing at police

The several officers then proceeded to put about 40 bullets into him.

Most of the police were white, and the man in question was "local," which is to say non-white.

The family had the gall to say on TV that they didn't think it was right that he was unjustly murdered by the police.

If this had ever seen the light of a courtroom (it didn't), and I was on the defense for the police, I think it would go something like this: "He had A FUCKING MACHINE GUN! I rest my case."

[ Parent ]
People, please. (4.29 / 17) (#85)
by kitten on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 09:22:12 PM EST

I'm seeing a lot of people whining that Coke is at least partially to blame for not securing the machines, or designing a machine that could tip over, etc.

I'll quote directly from the website:

These accidents have been due to the intentional misuse and abuse of the vender by tilting, shaking, or rocking the machine in an effort to obtain free product..

Read through it again. "Intentional misuse and abuse". Coke machines are perfectly safe to use when used correctly (such a difficult task, I'm sure). It is only when some moron decides to do something stupid that they become a "hazard".. and remember, this is directly from the website about Mr Kevin Mackle The Fucking Idiot.

Coke is under absolutely no obligation to take responsibility for something that happens when the user is intentionally misusing their machines.

If I take a loaded gun and point it at my head and pull the trigger, whose fault is that? Should Smith & Wesson have stickers on guns that say Warning: Do Not Point This At Your Head And Pull The Trigger?

If I drive my car off a cliff, is that Volvo's fault? Should Toyota start plastering their vehicles with stickers that say Caution! Do not drive this vehicle off a cliff!

If I stick my tongue into an electrical outlet, whose fault is that? Should the power company issue plug covers that say "Achtung! Do not stick your tongue in this outlet!

If I tip a half-ton vending machine on myself, whose fault is that?

Are you people seriously conceiving of a person stupid enough to deliberately stand in front of a 900 pound machine and tip it towards them, but smart enough to check for warning labels first?

The prosecution rests.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
I think you missed the point. :) [NT] (1.50 / 2) (#89)
by _Quinn on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 10:52:10 PM EST

-_Quinn
Reality Maintenance Group, Silver City Construction Co., Ltd.
[ Parent ]
Utilitarian (3.00 / 2) (#90)
by Sheepdot on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 11:11:05 PM EST

The utilitarian masses seem to have reared their idiotic heads. They don't see this as "who is to blame" but rather as "how many lives can we save if we force companies to put stickers on vending machines".

Get used to it, utility is an argument in nearly every collective action, whether they want to admit it or not.

[ Parent ]
unfortunatly.... (3.50 / 2) (#94)
by luethke on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 12:54:46 AM EST

several of the scenarios you purpose area accurate. I bought a glock 29 several years ago and read the "instruction manual". It had warnigs not to point a loaded gun at anyone with a graphic of a stick figure pointing a gun at himself. It had a warning not to fire the pistol with the back of the slide pressed in your stomach (yes it was that specific, I though what if I press the slide on my forehead and fire, can I now sue and win?). Several cities have decided that the gun is responsible for the deaths (inherrently dangerous products) and are sueing the manufacturers, so far all the cases that have gone to court have been thrown out.

A coffe maker I bought had a warning not to hold a pot of hot water over your head - I always wondered what lawsuit caused that sticker

a desoldering iron I bought told you not to suck molten lead into the defice and shot it out. Of course after reading that I though "cool! lets see how far it can shoot", several days later I sucked some solder too far into the defice so that the heating element didn't keep the solder molten rendering the device unusable. So Mr. Ingenuity here took it and his soldering iron apart and placed two heating elements on each side of the tube that sucks the solder up so it melted the solder. I then carefully pushed a twisted wire through the tube to push out the solder, none came out. Since that didn't work I angryly pulled the wire out which removed the molten solder into my lap (only had shorts on so I got second degree burns on my thighs). Of course I did not blame the manufacturers of the desoldering iron, I made a stupid mistake.

several years ago the news tried to get DEET (the active ingredient in most good insect repellents) removed from the market. 18 people had dies from allergic reactions to contact with the substance. After thinking "wow, that's bad stuff" I looked up the info on the web and found that the people had rubbed %100 deet lotion all over themselfs (the instructions say not to allow it to contact your skin) several times in a day. It also was 18 poeple in 25 years - we would save more lifes outlawing strawberries

A man in florida bought s toilet bowl cleaner called "liquid fire" - fairly concentrated sulfuric acid (we use a commercial brand of this at my home). The bottle had in large letters a warning "to only store in approved containers" and the list of approved containers was only the bottle it came in. This guy decided that the bottle did not "look good enough" and apparently decided that a styrofoam cup would work better. He sat in a chair, held the cup between his thighs and poured away. He sued the company because the warning sounded so bad he was afraid of it.

point being with a large enough population there are a small amount of idiots that do spectacular things to either die or seriously hurt themselfs. It makes good news (read ratings over time) to report these, make it sound common, and try and get legislation. Most people are gullible and when they sit on a jury they tend to take what they heard on the news as gospel and award crappy lawsuits. Parents never want to think thier child is a dumbass, of course billy bob wouldn't tip the coke machine on themselfs, someone else HAD to do it - and if he did it's not HIS fault, it is an inherently dangerous product. I mean look at the thousands of people that I imagine tipping coke machines over on themselfs.

[ Parent ]
Responsibility (4.00 / 1) (#118)
by squigly on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 03:01:59 PM EST

And Ford is under no obligation to make sure their cars don't explode when someone rams into the back since this is clear abuse? Clear bottled drinks manufacturers are under no obligation to make sure that there are no bits of broken machinery in their drinks, since anyone with any sense will be able to see the bits inside.

The guy obviously was expecting a free drink. He'd probably succeeded in doing this many times before his accident. This time he was careless. Tipping it towards himself was not an and in itself. He expected a reward. If you're going to design a machine with a design flaw like that, it doesn't take a genius in human nature to predict that people are going to try to get a free drink.

And was the machine clearly heavy enough to crush someone?

If it wasn't designed to deal with the way people actually use it, then it was a fault in the design. A bridge is designed to handle considerably more weight than the maximum number of cars that will cross it. If it collapses because some idiot drives a lorry filled with lead over it, then some of the blame belongs to the engineer who designed the bridge. Cars are designed to be safe if someone crashes them - even though crashing a car is usually the driver's fault. If you design a top heavy drinks machine, don't give people an incentive to tip the thing.

As for labels - Well, they're useless. I just think that the design should be such that a label is not needed.

[ Parent ]

Are you even reading this? (5.00 / 2) (#125)
by kitten on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:14:57 PM EST

I'll quote it again, for your benefit. Remember, this quote is from cokemachineaccidents.com, the website in question, the authors of which are the very people who started this whole thing.
These accidents have been due to the intentional misuse and abuse of the vender by tilting, shaking, or rocking the machine in an effort to obtain free product..
Intentional misuse and abuse. Even this kid's parents admit that the kid was fucking around and doing this he should not have been doing.

And Ford is under no obligation to make sure their cars don't explode when someone rams into the back since this is clear abuse?

These are called "accidents" for a reason. Very few people - if any - deliberately ram their vehicles into things.
Despite the name of the website, what this moron did was not an accident by any means. He willfully attempted to steal from the machine (talk about a cheapskate), and in order to do this, he deliberately positioned himself in front of a large, heavy object and tilted the object towards him.

A three-year-old that watched Road Runner cartoons knows better than to drop heavy objects on themselvse, okay?

If it wasn't designed to deal with the way people actually use it, then it was a fault in the design.

Most people do not use Coke machines by tipping them over.
Meanwhile, I suppose that if I deliberately step in front of a moving car, that's Toyota's fault?

If you design a top heavy drinks machine, don't give people an incentive to tip the thing.

Oh, come on. Realistically speaking, there's no way to make these things lighter. Even if you constructed the machine itself out of some ultra lightweight material, there's all the liquid (the sodas) inside.. easily several hundred pounds. So I don't see how you can fault Coke for the "heavy design" unless you want to remove vending machines altogether.
Even if it wasn't "top heavy" as you say, a moron like this would still find a way to tip it over. There's portable basketball goals that are popular in my neighborhood among the kids - they are weighted at the bottom with an enormous stand that is filled with sand or water. The weight of the stand is about twice that of the rest of the goal assembly.
Guess what? You can still tip those things over, no problem - even though all the weight is on the bottom.

You can accuse Coke of "design flaws" and "poor research" all damn day - the simple fact of the matter is, people should know better than to tip heavy objects on themselves.

mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
But it worked before (none / 0) (#127)
by squigly on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:41:39 PM EST

Intentional misuse and abuse. Even this kid's parents admit that the kid was fucking around and doing this he should not have been doing.

Yeah, but he did, as did at least 40 other people (this is an absolute minimum that assumes every time you try this, the machine falls on you). Presumably they had a reason to do this. I'll bet a majority of times this is succesful. A machine will usually tip out a can before it becomes unstable. Hear the clunk, let go, the machine falls back into position. This trick works for getting a free can, so why not use it.

Despite the name of the website, what this moron did was not an accident by any means. He willfully attempted to steal from the machine (talk about a cheapskate), and in order to do this, he deliberately positioned himself in front of a large, heavy object and tilted the object towards him.

Who cares if he was a cheapskate. Clearly it made more sense for him to get a free can than it did to pay for one. And he didn't deliberately tip it far enough to make it unstable. He did deliberately tip it perhaps, but he didn't deliberately over tip it. That was an accident.

Most people do not use Coke machines by tipping them over.

No, but a lot of people do. Ifthis is the wrong way to use them, why do they seem to work better that way?

Meanwhile, I suppose that if I deliberately step in front of a moving car, that's Toyota's fault?

If Toyota offer you a free can of Coke for you to do this, then it is.

...So I don't see how you can fault Coke for the "heavy design" unless you want to remove vending machines altogether

Okay. Granted, it isn't necesarily possible. I'll still say there's a design flaw in giving a free can away, unless it will always give away a free can long before it crushes the user.

[ Parent ]

re: But it worked before (none / 0) (#132)
by kjb on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 05:45:54 PM EST

No, but a lot of people do. Ifthis is the wrong way to use them, why do they seem to work better that way?

Just how is the machine working "better"?

--
Now watch this drive.
[ Parent ]

How it works better (none / 0) (#143)
by squigly on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 03:02:53 AM EST

Putting a coin in results in a loss of money. This results in a can of coke for free. All other factors being equal , this is better. Being crushed is not a factor in this since this had never happened to the guy before

[ Parent ]
Please enter a subject for your comment. (5.00 / 1) (#151)
by kitten on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 08:41:04 AM EST

Putting a coin in results in a loss of money. This results in a can of coke for free. All other factors being equal , this is better. Being crushed is not a factor in this since this had never happened to the guy before.

Going to work results in a loss of time and an increase in aggrevation. Robbing a bank results in a shitload of free money for very little effort. All other factors being equal, this is better. Going to jail is not a factor since that has never happened to me before.

Thanks, you've helped me make my new career move.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Seems reasonable (none / 0) (#157)
by squigly on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 12:05:11 PM EST

Have you robbed a bank before, and got away with some free money without going to jail? If you have, and you have no ethical problems with bank robbery, then I wish you luck in your new career.

[ Parent ]
You're joking right? You're trolling k5? (none / 0) (#171)
by glothar on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 05:28:37 PM EST

He attempted to use force to do something he knew was wrong. He used the machine in a way that he knew was incorrect. He put himself in a position that even children would recognize as dangerous.

And you are saying that the vending machine company is more responsible than he is?

You must be trolling.

Assuming (for amusement) you arent, you should be okay with these:

  • If I break my arm while trying to break into your house (battering-ram-style at the door), I can sue you for not using a weaker door
  • If I start your house on fire, I can sue you if I receive any injuries while trying to escape, since you didn't prevent me from starting your house on fire.
  • If I'm drunk, and I walk into your house and then tip your fridge over onto myself while trying to get something on top of it, my parents can sue you for not securing your fridge.

Or perhaps you are just trolling.

[ Parent ]

These are not comparable situations. (none / 0) (#186)
by squigly on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 10:58:22 AM EST

If I bait you to break into breaking into my house, and arrange for the door to splinter and injure you, then yes. Or if I engourage you into starting a fire, and arrange it so that the only way to start the fire is to injure yourself, or I invite you into my house and leave you alone with a fridge that I know is dangerous, then yes.

All of your examples were result solely of your decision to comit a crime. My examples were a combination of your criminal desires, and my decision to use methods that I know are dangerous in clearly predictable situations.

[ Parent ]

Speaking of bad parenting... (none / 0) (#133)
by John Miles on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 05:57:36 PM EST

"This trick works for getting a free can, so why not use it."

It's called "theft," a concept with which you are apparently unaware.

For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.
[ Parent ]

The evil thief (1.00 / 1) (#160)
by squigly on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 12:20:14 PM EST

He tried to steal an overpriced can of from a vending machine! This does not make him a major criminal.

And who were his accomplices? The people who designed the machine! I propose that they are also sentenced to death.

[ Parent ]

We call that "Blaming the victim" 'round (4.00 / 1) (#172)
by Macrobat on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 06:45:46 PM EST

And who were his accomplices? The people who designed the machine!

Hmmm...the people he attempted to rob are guilty because they can be robbed? That sounds like...

  • she wore makeup, she was asking to be raped
  • he should have known a nice car like that would get stolen
  • they should know better than to move into a neighborhood where their kind isn't wanted
  • didn't lock his door, must have wanted me to steal his TV

    --all blaming the victim. All bullshit.

    I propose that they are also sentenced to death.

    Fine. Sentence me, too. As long as the method of execution is the same as his--willingly abusing a half-ton machine--the sentence will never be carried out.

    "Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
    [ Parent ]

  • Accident vs. abuse (4.00 / 1) (#126)
    by Macrobat on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 04:22:56 PM EST

    And Ford is under no obligation to make sure their cars don't explode when someone rams into the back since this is clear abuse? Clear bottled drinks manufacturers are under no obligation to make sure that there are no bits of broken machinery in their drinks, since anyone with any sense will be able to see the bits inside.

    And this proves what, exactly?

    Ford is under no obligation to ensure that their cars protect the driver/passenger from deliberate and aggressive collisions. They have to provide reasonable protection against accident, not malice. Otherwise, they would sell tanks, nobody would buy them, and there would be no Ford motor company (or they'd be a government contractor).

    Bottled drink manufacturers are likewise under an obligation to make sure that a sealed bottle contains only the listed product; they are not under any obligation to ensure that, once a bottle has been opened, someone hasn't slipped glass chips inside.

    The guy obviously was expecting a free drink.

    Then he was a fool. Vending machines don't give free drinks. He was in college, he was old enough to know that.

    Cars are designed to be safe if someone crashes them...

    Yes, but there are still limits. If you crash while you and another driver are going within the legal speed limit, aren't aimed directly at each other, and aren't intoxicated, your machine should protect you. If you're driving at 90 in a 45 MPH zone after pounding down a six-pack and wrap your car around a tree...well, try to sue the car company for damages. You (or, more likely, your surviving relatives) will be laughed out of court.

    "Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
    [ Parent ]

    It was an accident (none / 0) (#129)
    by squigly on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 05:03:01 PM EST

    Ford is under no obligation to ensure that their cars protect the driver/passenger from deliberate and aggressive collisions. They have to provide reasonable protection against accident, not malice.
    But this wasn't malice. At least, he didn't tip the thing over to see what it felt like to have half a ton of coke land on top of him.
    The guy obviously was expecting a free drink.
    Then he was a fool. Vending machines don't give free drinks. He was in college, he was old enough to know that.
    certain Vendo machines manufactured between January 1982 and May 1985 most certainly did give out free drinks when tipped. Presumably other people have been succesful at this.

    Cars are designed to be safe if someone crashes them...
    Yes, but there are still limits......
    They are also designed to be safe if you drive within the legal limits when its dangerous to do so, if a lot of people are likely to behave recklessly.

    [ Parent ]
    Accident? (4.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Macrobat on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 06:41:15 PM EST

    But this wasn't malice. At least, he didn't tip the thing over to see what it felt like to have half a ton of coke land on top of him.

    You're right--he didn't tip if over to see what it felt like. He tipped it over to steal from it. And that's malice.

    Vending machines don't give free drinks. He was in college, he was old enough to know that.

    certain Vendo machines manufactured between January 1982 and May 1985 most certainly did give out free drinks when tipped.

    Yes, and certain banks give out free money when robbed.

    This just proves what I said before--the machine was perfectly safe when someone didn't try to use in in an obviously inappropriate way.

    "Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
    [ Parent ]

    A coke thief is not a master crimelord! (none / 0) (#159)
    by squigly on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 12:13:47 PM EST

    Stealing a can of coke from a multinational company does not make you inherently evil. It is not the same as robbing a bank. I really think the scale of the crime comes into it here. Coke can theft is not a capital offence in Canada.

    The guy tipped it over to get a free can. Maybe it had stolen his money. Maybe he came to the ethical conclusion that the amount of harm caused was trivial. As far as crime goes, this is no worse than music piracy. The cost to other parties was a lot less than the money he saved.

    And I still think that if people use a machine incorrectly, then it should be designed not to function.

    [ Parent ]

    Ever hear of personal responsibility? (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by ocelotbob on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 01:36:57 PM EST

    Stealing a can of coke from a multinational company does not make you inherently evil.
    But was he truly stealing from a multinational corporation? You may not know this, but the coca-cola corporation doesn't own those machines. A small distributor, with probably less than a hundred people owns the machines. Not only that, that distributor has to pay for the cans of coke in that machine, whether they were stolen, or purchased. So, you're stealing from the small businessperson when you steal that can of coke; the coca-cola corporation had already made their cut on that pilfered soda.
    And I still think that if people use a machine incorrectly, then it should be designed not to function.

    What makes you think that the maker of the vending machine didn't take this into account? You said yourself in a previous post that there was only a three year window which vendco made machines which this "trick" worked. Obviously, when they found out about the flaw, they changed the machine so the trick would no longer work. They did their job, after that point its up to the owners of the machine to ensure they aren't defrauded.

    'scuse me while I lie here in this corner.
    [ Parent ]

    He doesn't have to be a crimelord (none / 0) (#169)
    by Macrobat on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 04:27:22 PM EST

    Stealing is stealing, big or little. No, stealing a can of coke isn't as bad as robbing a bank, but it's still theft. And even if he did put money and didn't get a can out, that doesn't justify vandalizing the machine; whenever I've lost money to a vending machine, I write a note to the people who stock it and get my 75 cents back in a couple of days.

    Regardless, there is also a difference between how serious and how obvious an offense is. If I'm hiking in the woods and accidentally trespass on somebody's unmarked property, that may or may not be serious depending on the location, but it's certainly not obvious. If I have to climb over a chain link fence with a "Keep Out" sign to get there, then it's obvious. And if I fall and break my neck while climbing over, you can't say the fence was somehow defective because the manufacturer should have known people would try to trespass.

    And (let me say this once more) there is a BIG difference between mistakes and abuse. A mistake means putting in insufficient change, or pushing the wrong button. In that case, you're right, it shouldn't function. Maybe a little button should light up saying "insufficient change" or "make another selection."

    But with abuse, all bets are off. I've leaned against vending machines before, and my 200 lbs. haven't been enough to budge any of them. You have to use violent force to get them to move without a dolly, and at that point, you don't have the right to expect protection against your own stupidity.

    "Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
    [ Parent ]

    Proper use (4.00 / 1) (#142)
    by davidduncanscott on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 12:31:05 AM EST

    The guy obviously was expecting a free drink. He'd probably succeeded in doing this many times before his accident.
    So you're saying that vending machines don't kill enough people, that perhaps if he'd witnessed a death or maiming he would have scrounged up the change after all. Interesting...

    As for Ford, I'd say that this is less Pinto-at-23.5-mph and more Mustang-at-150. Ford is not responsible if you decide to go racing, because the car is sold and marketed as a street car -- their racers have quite different safety systems.

    [ Parent ]

    Ahh ha! (none / 0) (#145)
    by Akaru on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 04:41:37 AM EST

    If you design a top heavy drinks machine, don't give people an incentive to tip the thing. The reason these things are top heavy is because they use the fantastic power of gravity to deliver your drink, you'd look pretty stupid at the opening of the new non top heavy coke machine as you put your dollar in the slot, it goes clunk and no can comes out.
    You turn to the Guy whose just installed it, a qusioning glare, He say, "Thats one of them there newly designed Non top heavy Coke Machines, 'baint gunna crush any fat fucks that machine, I hear some punk asked specifically for these non top heavy machines, funny thing is cos the cokes all at the bottom, it can't get out of the machine.


    [ Parent ]
    That would be a design flaw (none / 0) (#161)
    by squigly on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 12:22:58 PM EST

    If its impossible to make a machine that uses gravity for delivery safe, then coke machines should use a different method to deliver the coke.

    [ Parent ]
    Not a design flaw (none / 0) (#163)
    by ocelotbob on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 01:05:29 PM EST

    If its impossible to make a machine that uses gravity for delivery safe, then coke machines should use a different method to deliver the coke.

    It's not a design flaw. Millions of people use coke machines every day without incident; soda machines simply don't topple over on people out of the blue. You have to intentionally, maliciously, manipulate the machine to the point of it toppling over for it to cause any injury.

    A soda machine is essentially a large refridgerator, and would you ever go about tipping over a refrigerator for any reason? Are refrigerators therefore a flawed design? This guy was an idiot, plain and simple. Sucks that he got crushed, but it's his own damn fault.

    'scuse me while I lie here in this corner.
    [ Parent ]

    Its an easy fix (none / 0) (#165)
    by squigly on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 01:29:48 PM EST

    But some people get injured, and it seems to be only this type of machine. Anything in a public place should be designed with much higher tolerances than anything made for the home. The cost of preventing this from happening again is very small.

    And I think that given a large enough reward, I would do a lot of things much more dangerous than tipping a refridgerator towards me. I just have higher demands than a can of Coke.

    [ Parent ]

    No fix needed (none / 0) (#168)
    by ocelotbob on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 02:04:49 PM EST

    Anything in a public place should be designed with much higher tolerances than anything made for the home.

    Agreed, and in my opinion, they've done this. I've shaken my fair share of vending machines which have eaten my money, and they can withstand a fairly large amount of abuse. It's simply malicious intent, such as tipping it to a fairly steep angle, which causes trouble. If vending machines were falling on random people using the product normally, it would be a different story; I'd be marching right next to you in demanding these machines be recalled.

    The cost of preventing this from happening again is very small.

    In my opinion, there is no cost to avoiding this in the future. It's called personal responsibility. I take risks, and occasionally, I get hurt. But guess what, it's my own damn fault. The same thing occurred here. The guy did something he wasn't supposed to, and he payed the price for it. Is it the responsibility of the large corporation to protect someone from their own self-destructive behavior?

    'scuse me while I lie here in this corner.
    [ Parent ]

    You obviously haven't bought a kettle round here (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by simon farnz on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 03:08:10 PM EST

    The last kettle I bought had a sticker over the spout. It read (from memory): "WARNING: This kettle may contain hot water after use"...
    --
    If guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns
    [ Parent ]
    The most important lesson I ever learnt (3.20 / 5) (#96)
    by Sunir on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 01:16:47 AM EST

    Never pull the cow.

    "Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r

    The most important lesson I ever learnt (1.33 / 6) (#97)
    by Sunir on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 01:17:02 AM EST

    Never pull the cow.

    "Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r

    FIGHT BACK! (4.12 / 8) (#104)
    by Grimster on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 08:53:44 AM EST

    When I was in college, I lived on the 3rd floor of the honors dorm (top floor) and the coke machine was notorious for stealing your money.

    Well one night, it went too far and me and several other burly guys tipped it over onto a little pallet cart, wheeled it to an open window and we tossed that sucker out!

    It never stole my quarters again! It was unable to wait maliciously to topple over on an unsuspecting person! It was dead!

    Of course, having to trek downstairs to the first floor to get cokes really sucked. For some reason they wouldn't put another machine on the third floor.


    --- Do Not Click! Grimster
    Think of it (2.00 / 5) (#105)
    by mjs on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 10:35:39 AM EST

    as evolution in action.

    Share and enjoy. (4.12 / 8) (#115)
    by kitten on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 01:16:22 PM EST

    The conversation that started it all..

    <Dan> I have three things to say about http://www.cokemachineaccidents.com:
    <Dan> 1. Fucking idiot.
    <Dan> 2. Fucking Canadian idiot.
    <Dan> 3. Fucking dead Canadian idiot's family trying to sue the university because their fucking idiot son tipped a Coke machine over on himself and died.
    <Dan> They propose a worldwide ban on drinking Coca-Cola until Coca-Cola cares that their fucking idiot son dropped a Coke machine on himself.
    * Dan drinks more Coke than ever.
    <Dan> Coroner's Report: Your fat fucking idiot of a son dropped a Coke machine on himself. Cause of death: stupidity.
    <harb> hahah.
    <Dan> No, he was trying to steal a Coke from the machine.
    <Dan> Apparently, if tilted to a certain angle, it'll drop a can.
    <Dan> Q: Dear Coroner, why is my fat fucking idiot son dead?
    <harb> haha.
    <Dan> A: Because he's fat, and a fucking idiot, AND a thief.
    <harb> hahah.
    <Dan> Q: Dear Coroner, how would you recommend we prevent further incidents of fat fucking idiots dying?
    <Dan> A: Drink more Coca-Cola Classic! It's The Real Thing!
    <kitten> A: Why would you want to?
    <harb> hahah.
    <Dan> "Natural Selection of Fat Fucking Idiot French-Canadian Thieves", by Charles Darwin.
    <kitten> Let's just replace Bryan with a script that says "hahah" every couple minutes.
    <harb> HEHEHE
    <Dan> So, I read their explanation where they point out inconclusive facts about the coroner's report.
    <harb> None of them are working either.
    <harb> Oh.
    <harb> Whups.
    <harb> Garick is breaking some form of Perl.
    <Dan> And they said that there was something MYSTERIOUS about the fact that, even though the machine was tipped over, no can of Coke had ever come out of the machine.
    come out of the machine.
    <kitten> Dan, what's the site?
    <Dan> (Presumably because they didn't find a can of Coke lying next to the body of the fat fucking idiot.)
    <Dan> Y'know *WHY* they didn't find a can of Coke lying around?
    <kitten> Oh yes, that's myserious alright.
    <Dan> Because someone came in, saw the fat fucking idiot lying there dead under a Coke machine, and said "WOOHOO! FREE COKE!"
    <kitten> "Our fat fucking son tried to steal Coke, failed in his attempt, and ended up getting killed."
    <kitten> How does someone shake a machine without leaving fingerprints? No fingerprints were found on the machine by the police, only "a partial handprint".
    <kitten> ..therefore the Coke machine MUST HAVE TIPPDE ITSELF OVER!!!11
    <kitten> 2. Was Kevin really alone or was someone with him who panicked?
    <Dan> Or maybe Evildoers from Beaver Foods and The Coca-Cola Corporation tipped it over ON him.
    <kitten> What fucking difference does that make?
    <kitten> 3. Why does the US Government provide Safety regulations when the Canadian Government does not?
    <Dan> "Hey, you fat fucking idiot! Stop stealing our Coke! DIEEEE!! <tips the machine>"
    <kitten> A: Why does the US flag have cool shit like stars, when the Canadian flag has a goddamn maple leaf?
    <harb> Beaver Foods?
    <kitten> 4. What modifications were made to the machine in 1995?
    <harb> Do they make candles?
    <Dan> A: It was armed with a Fat Fucking Idiot Detector and Tipping Mechanism.
    <kitten> 5. Why was the machine located in the Lobby of a student residence, with no warning stickers in place, in a confined area?
    <kitten> wtf
    <kitten> "WARNING: COKE MACHINE@#%* APPROACH WITH EXTREME CAUTION!!"
    <harb> "Do not tip the machine like a fat fucking idiot, plzkthx."
    <Dan> Oliver Stone's "Coke Machine" will be released later this year, including controversial discussion of the "magic can" theory.
    <harb> kitten has a screen buffer, though. :)
    <Dan> Question: Who had something to gain from tipping over a Coke machine onto this fat fucking idiot?
    <kitten> If Coca-Cola Bottling, Vendo and Beaver Foods can make money off our youth. - And there is nothing necessarily wrong with that - there is something terribly wrong with not taking the simple but effective step of securing the machine to ensure the safety of our children. Where is the moral leadership?
    <kitten> What.
    <kitten> The.
    <kitten> Fuck.
    <harb> WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN.
    <kitten> How about this: There is something terribly wrong with not taking the simple but effective step of TELLING YOUR BRATS NOT TO TIP HALF-TON MACHINES ON THEMSELVES. Where is the fucking PARENTING?
    <harb> I'm sensing a k5 article. :P

    At this point, Dan showed us a warning sign he had made (you can find it at http://www.mirrorshades.org/wc/coke.gif).

    <Dan> For the machines.
    <harb> !#%
    <kitten> @#*%^
    <kitten> dan
    <kitten> stop that
    <kitten> You're going to get me in trouble. :)
    <harb> haha.
    <harb> My co-workers are all laughing too.
    <harb> :P
    <kitten> I just laughed Coke out of my nose
    <kitten> oh the irony
    <harb> haha.
    <Dan> HOW CAN WE PROTECT KITTEN FROM LAUGHING COKE OUT OF HIS NOSE! THINK OF THE CHILDREN! BOYCOTT!
    <kitten> THE COKE CAME OUT OF MY NOSE WITH NO WARNING LABEL!!


    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    this type of response is rather unimaginative (2.60 / 5) (#116)
    by turmeric on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 02:18:56 PM EST

    someone dies in an accident. other people say 'boy that guy was stupid' it is a natural reaction, but it is boring. your post was sort of funny, but really, when i think about all the pseudo comedians who try to get a laugh by going "boy that guy was stupid, he died" i find it banal. you remind me of the pilots in 'the right stuff' by tom wolfe, who when their friends died, never ceased to figure out some way to call the person stupid, to assure themselves that they would never die in such an accident. but if you place yourself as an engineer, you have a responsibility to keep people from dying. i have heard stories about guys who were in cramped places when some machine started up, some idiot had parked another machine at the exit, so the person got killed. yeah, that would make a great case about how we dont need to care about stupid people, but if you were the engineer working on that machine, and you are a human being with feelings, then you might wonder if you couldnt redesign the fucking machine to have a cutoff switch. i mean, basically your attitude , if prevalent in the US, would mean that we would all be using two-wire electricity with no grounding, we'd have no seatbelts in cars, we'd have no shatterproof windshields, there would be no highway safety signs, etc etc etc. every industrial product from toothbrushes to roller coasters is designed and built by human beings who in their ideal sense want to do everything they can do to prevent people from getting hurt or killed while using it. computers would not have isolated power suppliles, rather they would have loose wires all over the interior and if anyone got killed or started a fire, everyone could say 'well, i dont have to feel bad about that, because that person was stupid, and it wont happen to me or anyone i care about.' thats a stupid argument from an engineering standpoint. if you had a baby, would you not baby proof your house? or would you tell a 6 year old who burned himself on hot oil 'you deserved it, i dont have to feel sorry for you, you idiot'. no, maybe you should fucking turn the handle away from the edge of the stove, etc. in this case, the parent is the engineer of the house. in the public settings such as a hallway vending machine, there are no parents, but we still have to take care of each other, and do everything we can to prevent each others death.

    blah blah blah. (4.00 / 1) (#117)
    by kitten on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 02:40:40 PM EST

    <i>. i mean, basically your attitude , if prevalent in the US, would mean that we would all be using two-wire electricity with no grounding, we'd have no seatbelts in cars, we'd have no shatterproof windshields, there would be no highway safety signs, etc etc etc. every industrial product from toothbrushes to roller coasters is designed and built by human beings who in their ideal sense want to do everything they can do to prevent people from getting hurt or killed while using it. computers would not have isolated power suppliles, rather they would have loose wires all over the interior </i><br>
    <br>
    *yawn*<br>
    All these safety features are incorporated as part of the inevitable "something could go wrong, even if this device is used properly, so let's be careful" law.<br>
    <br>
    I would suggest that standing in front of a 900 pound machine and tipping it onto yourself, <b>deliberately</b>, is an act of blatant stupidity and nothing more.<br>
    <br>
    Furthermore, without the safety features you mentioned, tens of thousands of people would die each year. Meanwhile, the Totally Hazardous And Ultra Dangerous Coke Machines have killed - if we are to believe the site - 40 people in 15 years. This is such a ridiculously small number it isn't even worth the 20 bucks to bracket the machine.<br>
    <br>
    If you're going to be a dumbass and <i>deliberately</i> do something moronic (like, say, tipping a half-ton machine on yourself), then I have absolutely no sympathy for you. If it was an unforeseeable accident, or a "wrong place wrong time" sort of thing, that's a totally different story. <br>
    <br>

    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    Citrus vs Malus (none / 0) (#122)
    by Mr.Surly on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 03:33:35 PM EST

    Please. Understanding why a 3rd wire for electrical safety is relevant is a far cry from simply "don't tip heavy things on yourself." It really is that simple: Don't tip heavy things on yourself, it's dangerous vs. The grounding wire in electrical circuits is necessary to give electrons a 'path of least resistance' escape route in the event of a electrical defect or failure in the device. If someone is too stupid to understand that heavy things landing on you might result in death, then let 'em kill themselves.

    I guess we could put a warning label on cars: "Warning: Do not stand in front of. Might cause injury or death."

    One other thing: Most consumer-grade appliances are still 2-prong, and do not have a GFCI.

    [ Parent ]
    Double insulated (none / 0) (#131)
    by Mitheral on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 05:42:29 PM EST

    One other thing: Most consumer-grade appliances are still 2-prong, and do not have a GFCI.

    That's because they are double insulated instead. Check out http://www.tva.gov/power/homesafety.htm for an explanation of the difference between GFCI, Grounded and Double insulated shock protection.

    [ Parent ]

    I know. (4.00 / 1) (#194)
    by Mr.Surly on Sun Nov 04, 2001 at 10:10:29 PM EST

    Yeah, I know, but I felt that delving into the hows and whys of electrical safetly wasn't really necessary.

    I have several years experience as an electronics technician. My GF got a bit miffed ("thinking too much") when we were watching CSI the other night, and I pointed out that removing the 3rd prong from a 3-prong power tool would not affect how the GFCI worked, because it didn't rely on the 3rd prong at all; it measures the current "into" and "out of" the device, and if it's unbalanced, it figures that it must be leaking (possibly through a person), thus trips. Anyhoo.

    [ Parent ]
    Heckling TV (none / 0) (#201)
    by Mitheral on Thu Nov 08, 2001 at 04:14:50 PM EST

    My GF got a bit miffed ("thinking too much")

    I can relate. Occasionally I get into a mood where I'll heckle what ever bogus thing the actors on the box are spouting. When that happens my wife refuses to watch TV with me for the duration.

    [ Parent ]

    AI (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by Eight Star on Mon Nov 05, 2001 at 10:51:33 PM EST

    If you want more of your robots to survive, you don't go around making the lab environment safer, you make your robots smarter.

    [ Parent ]
    Bravo (3.00 / 5) (#120)
    by Mr.Surly on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 03:23:27 PM EST

    Loved it, except for the "Fat Fucking Idiots" at the end. While true, need not be pointed out so bluntly.

    Good lord (2.66 / 3) (#141)
    by Slash Privacy Watch on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 10:51:19 PM EST

    I'd like to propose a moment of silence. I am going to put forward the possibility - nay, the near certainty - that this lad was crushed to death a virgin.

    Let that be a lesson to you prudes out there. Sleep with the fat boys before they get crushed.


    If it makes you feel better,,, (4.33 / 3) (#144)
    by Akaru on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 04:22:17 AM EST

    The coke Machines in England, have stickers on them not only explaining the dangers of tipping to recieve a free product, but also the futility of attempting it.

    Same here (none / 0) (#152)
    by collar on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 08:43:24 AM EST

    In Australia we have warning labels on vending machines as well. They normally have a picture of a stick figure with their hands up against a coke machine that is on a 35 degree tilt. You can almost see the alarm on the poor stick figures face, it's pretty ammusing :)
    .sig?
    [ Parent ]
    ..and in the United States (none / 0) (#174)
    by Colol on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 09:10:34 PM EST

    Every newer-model, Coke-owned vending machine I've seen has had the near-death stick figure and the warning about tipping the machine. Heck, I had contact with machines with those stickers 5 years ago.

    Of course, if you own the machine outright, it's your prerogative to not put the impending doom sticker on it. And those are the only cases lately where the sticker has been absent -- where an organization owns the machine (and in many cases has owned it for a decade or two) instead of leasing from their supplier.

    [ Parent ]
    <sigh> (3.00 / 2) (#176)
    by no carrier on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 12:44:27 AM EST

    not one day goes by that i'm not amazed at the incredible stupidity of the human race. and i'm not even referring to the fat fucking idiot who pulled a coke machine down on top of himself, i'm talking about the morons who have posted here and actually agree that cocacola, inc is in some why responsible. if you are dumb enough to pull a coke machine over on yourself then you sir, are the newest winner of a darwin award. thank you for ridding your genes from our pool.

    excellent use of sarcasm by the way......



    I stab people.
    You bunch of dicks! (1.00 / 1) (#179)
    by squaretorus on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 08:46:34 AM EST

    A kid dies in an accident. And you take the piss.

    HE DIED!

    You know what that means? I've lost more friends and relatives in my 30 years than I deserved to - yet many of my collegues at work are reaching 30 - 35 without losing even a grandparent. Many of you will be in the same boat, lucky you, but it makes you blase about death. Seriously.

    DEAD.

    Just imaging losing your favourite TV show, forever, no videos or DVDs. Gone, never to be rerun.

    DEAD

    Now image someone punches you in the guts, turns out the lights, and just walks away, dragging your mother, father, sister, partner or even just your fucking DOG with them. You never see them again. Ever.

    DEAD

    THAT is what we are talking about here. You sad cunts get riled up if a TV program gets cancelled, or a movie doesn't come out on DVD on schedule with appropriate dubbing!

    I reckon a few of you would be trying to find some sense in the loss of a loved one the way this guys family are.

    So get a life and stop your 'darwinian' bullshit. The guys dead, his family is in mourning, show some fucking respect.

    sypathy ends... (none / 0) (#182)
    by Sikpup on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 06:58:39 PM EST

    ...when the ambulance chasers arrive.


    [ Parent ]
    Yeah, yeah. (none / 0) (#185)
    by kitten on Fri Nov 02, 2001 at 08:16:06 AM EST

    A kid dies in an accident. And you take the piss.

    What I object to isn't the kid dying - I object to the high-and-mighty stance his parents take, assuming that there's just no way their son could possibly have done anything wrong here.

    Now image someone punches you in the guts, turns out the lights, and just walks away, dragging your mother, father, sister, partner or even just your fucking DOG with them. You never see them again. Ever.

    The idiot deliberately tipped a half-ton vending machine on himself. If his parents are sad about it, fine. But they have no right to accuse anybody else of their son's death other than their son.

    THAT is what we are talking about here. You sad cunts get riled up if a TV program gets cancelled, or a movie doesn't come out on DVD on schedule with appropriate dubbing!

    My new DVD from Amazon.com still hasn't gotten here, and I don't think it's ever going to. Anyone know where I can get it? It's called "Fat Fucking Idiot Tips Coke Machine On Himself", rated R for language, violence, and stupidity.

    So get a life and stop your 'darwinian' bullshit. The guys dead, his family is in mourning, show some fucking respect.

    I can only hope that when I die, my family doesn't try to make the circumstances of my death into everybody else's problem.
    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    *YOU* need to get a grip (none / 0) (#189)
    by tinkertux on Sat Nov 03, 2001 at 12:36:39 PM EST

    You got the subpoint: the FFI is dead.
    You missed the primary point: The incompetent parents of the FFI put up a web site to
    1. blame others for their incompetence in raising the FFI
    2. try to make the world accomodate FFI's as the norm, rather than the exception.
    The guys dead. Too bad. So what. It's his own fault.
    His family is mourning. And they have time for this idiotic web site? again, so what?
    Show some fucking respect? Respect, fucking or otherwise, is earned, not passed around like after dinner mints. Get real

    [ Parent ]
    Coke is responsible? (3.50 / 2) (#181)
    by monksp on Thu Nov 01, 2001 at 04:10:13 PM EST

    Umm, forgive me if I'm mistaken, but when two friends of mine were going into the vending machine business, the manufacturer of the products they'd be selling was nowhere to be found.

    Their machines were purchased from third party manufacturers, as were the 'Coke' logo insets for the display, and the buttons. They owned the machines outright, and hired people to do placement. The only contact between Coke/Pepsi/etc that they had was when they called a service rep to find out where to go to buy the bulk supplies they'd be filling the machines with.

    So, how, precisely is Coke responsible for this? Is something different now?

    Re: Coke is responsible? (none / 0) (#192)
    by ansible on Sun Nov 04, 2001 at 02:39:17 PM EST

    Ah, young grasshopper, you have much still to learn. You are assuming that the choices to sue are based on some sense of justice and responsibility. That is incorrect.

    The choice to sue or not (and whom to sue) is based on who has the most money, and who has the most to lose due to bad press. Of all the parties involved, Coca-Cola clearly has the most money. Considering how much they spend on advertising (to promote brand image), they are potentially the most concerned about bad press. Therefore, they are also the most likely to settle the case out-of-court.

    Of course, unless a massive public outcry is achieved, they are unlikely to settle, because they don't want to start a bad precedent. Considering the opinion of the people here (not a valid sample, but anyway...) the parents of the drunken-vending-machine-tipper are unlikely to succeed.

    Not that I'm being cynical or anything...

    [ Parent ]

    kitten (1.50 / 2) (#188)
    by lazerus on Sat Nov 03, 2001 at 11:52:41 AM EST

    <html>

    kitten, this is a quite a poor argument from you.... sure, the guy did a pretty stupid thing by tipping a 900 lbs coke machine onto himself...

    However...

    What you seem to be missing is that there are heavy objects in the world. All the name-calling in the world will not change this. But back to that later.

    As the parents themselves point out, this disaster could have been prevented if the machine had been bolted onto the wall. This was a pure engineering mistake on the part of the Coke Machine/Vending Machine design team(s).

    Now - would you also call someone a fat f*cking idiot if a 1,000 lbs horse killed them? I doubt it - if not, why not ? If you can answer that question, I'll stop arguing. Seems to me that you're just being mean. Sure, the guy's death was stranger than most, but no need for you to be so degrading about it.

    </html>

    What the.. (4.50 / 2) (#191)
    by kitten on Sat Nov 03, 2001 at 04:02:33 PM EST

    What you seem to be missing is that there are heavy objects in the world. All the name-calling in the world will not change this. But back to that later. As the parents themselves point out, this disaster could have been prevented if the machine had been bolted onto the wall.

    The disaster could have been prevented by the kid being smart enough to not tip 900-pound Coke machines on himself.

    This was a pure engineering mistake on the part of the Coke Machine/Vending Machine design team(s).

    If I stick my tongue in an electrical socket, whose fault is that? The power company's fault? Home Depot, for selling the the outlet? The electrician's fault, for installing the outlet?...

    ..or is it MY fault for being a fucking idiot?

    Now - would you also call someone a fat f*cking idiot if a 1,000 lbs horse killed them? I doubt it - if not, why not ? If you can answer that question, I'll stop arguing.

    A horse is a living, animate being. I may be able to exert some control over it, but if a horse decides to suddenly roll over on top of me, there's little I can do to stop it.

    A Coke machine, on the other hand, will sit in place until the end of time, barring something like an earthquake - unless and until someone moves it.

    If someone stands directly in front of a Coke machine and tips it over on themselves, that's their own fault - nobody else's.

    Good day, sir.
    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    get real! (none / 0) (#196)
    by Sleepy In Seattle on Sun Nov 04, 2001 at 11:22:22 PM EST

    The machine didn't fall over of its own accord, it fell over because someone tried to get a free drink out of it.

    Yeah, maybe the disaster could've been averted if the machine had been bolted to the wall. They estimate that would cost 10 dollars. I wonder how many vending machines there are in North America. Five million? (That's a total pulled-out-of-my-you-know-where guess.) So that's 50 million dollars to save a tiny number of people who are risking their own lives by trying to steal something. I can think of much better ways to spend that kind of money.

    [ Parent ]

    brief thoughts about kitten and coke machines (2.00 / 1) (#193)
    by ilyich on Sun Nov 04, 2001 at 06:54:19 PM EST

    Two people's child dies a horrible, lingering death. Their lives are ripped apart, and they have no idea how to continue. They then proceed to go on what is arguably a rather bizarre crusade. Haw, haw! What losers! You are a cowardly dipshit, Kitten. Sure, these people may be going off half cocked, but someone who makes fun of other people's misery is nothing but an asshole. Especially when the ridicule is done anonymously. ilyich

    forget Coke machines, outlaw buckets! (none / 0) (#195)
    by Sleepy In Seattle on Sun Nov 04, 2001 at 11:14:02 PM EST

    You heard me right: Those plastic buckets you use to mop your floor are a mortal danger! While "44 people have died from similar accidents involving this particular type of Vendo machine supplied by Coca Cola Bottling" (in a period of 15 years), the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 50 children a year die from drowning in plastic buckets. (reference). We Must Do Something Now!

    Amusing. (2.00 / 1) (#199)
    by kitten on Tue Nov 06, 2001 at 11:14:22 AM EST

    Given the subject matter, I though this cartoon was somewhat amusing.
    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    Darwin (none / 0) (#200)
    by MiddleAgedGuy on Tue Nov 06, 2001 at 11:41:50 AM EST

    I'm always amazed how so many (approximately equal to 100%) people who comment on a story such as this one with reference to "Darwin" or "Evolution" have basically no fucking idea of how Darwinian evolution actually works. Funnily enough it doesn't stop then talking loudly and ignorantly about it. So much for Darwinian evolution culling the idiots,

    Re: Darwin (none / 0) (#202)
    by Shimmer on Fri Nov 09, 2001 at 04:32:03 PM EST

    Well, I do happen to know a bit about Darwinian evolution (not professionally, just a rather intense hobby), and the fact is that such comments are completely appropriate. When scaled up to an entire population, death by Coke machine is perfectly reasonable example of how natural selection works. To wit: young men who tip Coke machines on themselves tend not to reproduce successfully (being dead and all).

    So what exactly is your point?

    -- Brian

    Wizard needs food badly.
    [ Parent ]
    The New Threat: Coca-Cola | 202 comments (197 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
    Display: Sort:

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