A little thought goes a long way

Apparently a recent article, about how University of Florida researches have shown that microwaving your kitchen sponges for just two minutes can help to sterilise them, led to the destruction of several microwaves and the disappointment of a number of readers.

The critical step that most readers failed to take note of as they rushed to microwave their scrubbers and sponges was this – they need to be wet. It’s pretty obvious, if you’ve ever used a microwave really, that this would be the case. This didn’t stop a number of people putting bone-dry sponges into their microwaves and then being surprised when the things caught fire.

The university has now issued the following advisory:

To guard against the risk of fire, people who wish to sterilise their sponges at home must ensure the sponge is completely wet. Two minutes of microwaving is sufficient for most sterilisation. Sponges should also have no metallic content. Last, people should be careful when removing the sponge from the microwave as it will be hot.

I think people who need to be told this sort of thing should be left to their own devices. Let’s just take the warning labels off everything, remove all the advisories, and let the problem take care of itself.

6 Responses to “A little thought goes a long way”

  1. the slashdot discussion of that went into a little more detail when describing what should be done in order to follow the natural deselection methodology… it fascinates me that such a large number of slashdotters followed the original instructions šŸ˜‰

  2. Con-Tester Says:

    Aha! Another evolutionary mechanism uncovered: descent with modification by natural elimination of random stupidity.

    Now it only remains to identify the stupid gene. Shouldn’t prove too difficult, seeing as it’s so common.

  3. The scary thing to me is not that the people have been so stupid, but that companies have actually had to pay out in lawsuits for the customer’s stupidity. Such as th woman who spilled coffee from McDonald’s on her crotch. Gotta love that warning “coffee may be hot.” Yes, please, most people like it that way.

  4. TW: in soviet russia, sponges sterilise you.

    Con-Tester: pity that only sponges were harmed. Although the thing people forget is that this is exactly the sort of random stupidity that ends up with dogs in microwaves and people holding the little catch down so they don’t need to close the door while it’s in operation (both of which are probably urban legends but which wouldn’t surprise me if they were true)

    sophie: it’s really something that the justice system should have nipped right in the bud, but which instead it has allowed to spiral out of control. Those sorts of cases should be dismissed outright, and the complainants fined for wasting the court’s time.

  5. Con-Tester Says:

    More aptly, I suppose that should have read “descent with mortification …”

    You’re right about the more serious “random stupidities” involving microwaves. I have firsthand knowledge of an idiot who got zapped by the magnetron of a microwave he thought he could fix. Well, it fixed him. Permanently.

  6. Whilst I want to concur with the idea I think people who need to be told this sort of thing should be left to their own devices, methinks that could intentionally endanger non-idiots. As an example, suppose one these fruitcakes removed a burning sponge (to now dunk in the water), dropped it, and set the building alight. An apartment building&hellip

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