Light up on march 31

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Last updated on August 6th, 2017 at 07:12 am

The Sydney Morning Herald’s Earth Hour approaches:

At 7.30pm on 31 March 2007, we are inviting Sydneysiders – businesses and individuals – to turn off their lights for just one hour, Earth Hour, as a sign of their commitment to reduce global warming.

But look at this image from the Earth Hour site:
That’s an American light switch. Local switches are flicked upwards to turn them off; downward flicks turn lights on. A subversive entity at the SMH is plainly encouraging wild dissident illumination.

(Via a reader whose details were accidentally erased. Apologies)

Posted by Tim B. on 03/22/2007 at 11:55 AM
    1. Y’all flick your switches up to turn them off??? Wont the electricity spill out?

      Posted by Grimmy on 2007 03 22 at 12:07 PM • permalink


    1. Local switches are flicked upwards to turn them off; downward flicks turn lights on.

      That’s because the electricity swirls out clockwise, right? Or is it because the electrons flow on the left side instead of the right?

      Crazy antipodeans.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2007 03 22 at 12:11 PM • permalink


    1. Is it true that Australian toilets run in reverse? Or do you just go outback?

      Posted by Blue Hen on 2007 03 22 at 12:13 PM • permalink


    1. If you turn off the lights in a room full of mirrors, where does the light go?

      Worse, how many Australians does it take to screw in a light bulb? Clockwise or counterclockwise? (“Anticlockwise” in your strange language….)

      Posted by SoberHT on 2007 03 22 at 12:16 PM • permalink


    1. Where does the light go, when the light goes out?

      Posted by Grimmy on 2007 03 22 at 12:18 PM • permalink


    1. I wonder if many SMH staffers are aware of how closely this resembles the old Lenten liturgical custom of Tenebrae. What we’re seeing here are the origins of a new religion. I only hope the customary loud noise that marks the end of traditional Tenebrae is the sound of Sydneysiders laughing at this stupid idea.

      Posted by C.L. on 2007 03 22 at 12:19 PM • permalink


    1. PS: It always annoyed me seeing actors in American movies turning the lights on and off the wrong way. 😉

      Posted by C.L. on 2007 03 22 at 12:20 PM • permalink


    1. #7, C.L.:

      Americans invented light. We can turn it on and off how ever we choose!

      Posted by Grimmy on 2007 03 22 at 12:24 PM • permalink


    1. I think the Bavarian Illumination is behind this subversity.

      Posted by rbj1 on 2007 03 22 at 12:32 PM • permalink


    1. You guys must have everything upside down, ehh? Maps, now light switches.

      Posted by Rajan R on 2007 03 22 at 12:32 PM • permalink


    1. Local switches are flicked upwards to turn them off;

      Yeh, but that’s up there, now downunder wouldn’t it be the right way round?
      Anyway where I am it depends on who the electrician was that day.

      Posted by Cynic on 2007 03 22 at 12:34 PM • permalink


    1. That’s a light switch?  This or this are typical American light switches (although the latter is actually a European style).

      The one in Tim’s post looks more like the control for some appliance, although it can be used for lights.  But it’s not as ergonomic as the usual switches.

      Sorry about the pedantic moment there, but the greenies can’t get anything right, can they?

      Oh, wait, what am I asking?  Of course not.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2007 03 22 at 12:34 PM • permalink


    1. BTW, I finished remodeling my home, and I am planning to have a modest open house…..on 31 March.  I’ll be sure to keep all the lights blazing, all day long.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2007 03 22 at 12:35 PM • permalink


    1. Congratulations, TRJ! I know you’ve been working on it for a while.

      Posted by C.L. on 2007 03 22 at 12:41 PM • permalink


    1. That’s a light switch?

      Actually very British from the earlier part of the last century in our house which had to be polished every week until they gleamed.

      Posted by Cynic on 2007 03 22 at 12:46 PM • permalink


    1. OK. I can understand the water flow thing, the driving on the left, the electric switches, (I think) but something very important to the blokes down there.

      Should you happen to take Viagra, (and no I don’t, ED to me is diminutive of Edward) what is the outcome, or should I say, income?

      Posted by El Cid on 2007 03 22 at 12:48 PM • permalink


    1. As mentioned by several, t’ain’t a Yank switch.

      #16.  I’m a lawyer.  When I take Viagra, I get taller.  (Helps for basketball.)

      Posted by SSG Pooh on 2007 03 22 at 12:59 PM • permalink


    1. Definitely an Aussie switch.

      We tend to make ‘em out of plastic, not chromed steel. It’s a safety thing.

      Posted by mojo on 2007 03 22 at 01:00 PM • permalink


    1. This entire thread makes my head hurt. First of all, I’m American, and I’ve never seen a light switch that remotely resembled this one. Second, the photo is taken from an odd angle, and I’m baffled as to how anyone can even tell which direction is supposed to be up. Third, does the picture depict a switch that has just been flipped, or one that is about to be flipped? How do you know?

      Posted by sundog on 2007 03 22 at 01:13 PM • permalink


    1. SSG Pooh

      When I take Viagra, I get taller.

      :)….OK. So ummm, how’s the weather up there when you get taller, of course? Sudden nose bleeds?

      Posted by El Cid on 2007 03 22 at 01:14 PM • permalink


    1. What cynic said – let’s not pretend there’s any actual standard to American light switches. Hell, doubt there really is in Australia either.

      Posted by Sigivald on 2007 03 22 at 01:15 PM • permalink


    1. Congratulations, TRJ! I know you’ve been working on it for a while.

      Thanks, C.L.!  Close to 6 years, in fact.  About freakin’ time.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2007 03 22 at 01:19 PM • permalink


    1. Oh, and perhaps this sort of thing doesn’t exist in Australia, but in the U.S. some light fixtures have twoswitches, one at each end of a hallway or staircase. In that configuration, there’s no fixed mapping between up/down and on/off. The effect of flipping one switch depends on the current position of the other switch.

      Posted by sundog on 2007 03 22 at 01:20 PM • permalink


    1. El Cid:

      Happened initially, then I cut back to half a tab an hour before game time.

      Kind of like my non-lawyer friend, who takes a quarter of a Viagra a day so he won’t pee on his shoes.

      Hope that helps.

      Posted by SSG Pooh on 2007 03 22 at 01:20 PM • permalink


    1. 7.30pm on the 31st is 3.30am on the 1st where I am, but I fully intend to haul my arse out of bed and turn on every light and appliance in my house.

      The Don wants his beachfront, and I’ll be damned if a bunch of antipodean leftists are gonna deny me!

      Posted by Don Charleone on 2007 03 22 at 01:51 PM • permalink


    1. SSG Pooh

      Yeah, nothing like (well almost nothing) damn soggy shoes.

      Posted by El Cid on 2007 03 22 at 01:52 PM • permalink


    1. Great googly moogly, I’ve got two Australian light switches in my house.

      Then there’s the horizontal one just to throw everything into a cocked hat.

      Posted by Achillea on 2007 03 22 at 02:03 PM • permalink


    1. Up or down, huh?  That thing looks like it pushes in.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2007 03 22 at 02:11 PM • permalink


    1. I’ll see if I can find a flight out for the party, Jeffs!

      Posted by Mr. Bingley on 2007 03 22 at 02:11 PM • permalink


    1. Geez, haven’t you people heard of the Coriolus effect?

      When you turn of the switch in the Southern hemisphere, the light goes counter-clockwise down the toilet.

      Posted by Jack from Montreal on 2007 03 22 at 02:25 PM • permalink


    1. BTW, that’s not a SWITCH – that’s what Farouk uses to activate nuclear weapons on “24”

      (peace be upon our Jack)

      Posted by Jack from Montreal on 2007 03 22 at 02:27 PM • permalink


    1. I’m on the East Coast so 7:30 pm your time will be 4:30 am here, unless I’ve screwed up to DST factor. How about I just leave some lights on when I go to bed the night before?

      Posted by Retread on 2007 03 22 at 02:40 PM • permalink


    1. Hey, that’s exactly when I get up in the morning (4:30 am East Coast US) so I will be turning on my lights with y’all!

      Posted by Mr. Bingley on 2007 03 22 at 02:58 PM • permalink


    1. Mr. Bingley, I’ll e-mail you an invitation.  I’m doing one up to pass around, for yuks.

      And THS gets one as well, of course.  I wouldn’t want to get mad at me.  I understand that in her home, there are no light switches; in that abode, wires are crimped with bare hands, or you are in the dark.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2007 03 22 at 03:13 PM • permalink


    1. What is it about these earth-saving eco-freaks that reminds me of sacrificial druids?

      Posted by Skeeter on 2007 03 22 at 03:14 PM • permalink


    1. It’s exactly that, Skeeter: they want us to sacrifice for their GoreiousGlorious egos.

      Posted by Mr. Bingley on 2007 03 22 at 03:21 PM • permalink


    1. I need an 18 metre rise in sea levels to get my beach-front.
      So, for an hour on 31st March I will burning the following sacrifice: 74 light bulbs, 9 kW air-con, usual kitchen appliances, an air-conditioned wine cellar, a log fire burning real wood, and 17 candles for romantic ambiance.
      That’s just inside the house. Outside we will be running an SUV and a V6 sedan, a Yamaha 250, two ride-ons and a Fergy driving a woodchipper at full revs.
      That should do it.

      Posted by Skeeter on 2007 03 22 at 03:40 PM • permalink


    1. Maybe the picture has been rotated 180 degrees and mirror imaged.  I assume you flick the switch with your palms facing up to turn off the lights.

      What you really need is The Clapper.

      Posted by charles austin on 2007 03 22 at 03:40 PM • permalink


    1. Ah #25 Don C that would be 3.30am on the 31st where you are. Wouldn’t want you to miss the party!
      Personally I’m trying to figure out how to get the airconditioning and the heat to run at the same time.

      Posted by alien kiwi on 2007 03 22 at 03:42 PM • permalink


    1. #39 Actually, I think it’s 11.30am on the 31st. I think. What the hell, I’ll just run everything all day. Let Gaia sort it out.

      Posted by Don Charleone on 2007 03 22 at 03:56 PM • permalink


    1. A metal light switch?!
      What could possibly go wrong?

      Posted by 81Alpha on 2007 03 22 at 04:20 PM • permalink


    1. Yeah, whatever way you cut it that outlet is atypical.

      In the US/Canada the outlet is usually up/down (versus the left/right orientation of the picture).  You can see the screws on the outlet cover of the picture.  They are turned 90* from normal.

      Now the 1-gang electrical box (usually a blue plastic or older metal box that sits inside the wall, usually nailed to the stud, and provides a way to mount the outlet.  It also provides fire resistance in case the exposed electrical wire [you have to remove the plastic sheath from the wires to attach them to the outlet] catch fire.) is rectangular and oriented up/down.  So, not only did they have to buy a fancy chrome outlet cover and switch, they also had to have this planned out when they put the electrical box in.  They had to nail in the box left/right (versus the normal up/down) to get the screw holes to line-up.

      Also, the chrome switch with a ball on the end is atypical.  In AU you have those round sloppy toggles which seem to be designed to be used by your thumb.  In the US you have the plastic switches with a rectangular cross section which are designed for the index finger.  In the US, the switches are also labeled on/off unless they are a 3-way switch (designed for 2 switches to control the same light in an XOR fashion).  And in the UK I saw the old fashioned two-button switches (1 button “on”, the other “off”).  So, to get a chrome stick with a ball on the end, you have to special order that.

      In short, just weird, fancy, and expensive.

      Posted by EvilDave on 2007 03 22 at 04:33 PM • permalink


    1. I’m thinking this was the best they could do, because they had to find a photo very quickly, when they realized, at the last minute, that the type of people dumb enough to be supportive of this “ecological” act would also be dumb enough to be unsure about how to turn off a light.

      Posted by Kimberly on 2007 03 22 at 04:33 PM • permalink


    1. Skeeter, don’t forget the leaf blower, the lawn mower, the edge trimmer, the pool filter, the pool vacuum, all the TV’s and radios in the house, all the fans, turn the oven on full blast with the door open, ditto all the cooktop burners and then turn the AC down to 60 deg.

      Grimmhy’s right.  We invented electricity and we’ll use as much of it as we like and btw, that’s not an American light swtich.

      Posted by blerp on 2007 03 22 at 04:37 PM • permalink


    1. Thanks blerp. I also forgot the 8 kW spa heater but it’s always on auto anyway.
      And #38, you can do it quietly and invisibly with one of these Super Dimmers.

      Posted by Skeeter on 2007 03 22 at 04:48 PM • permalink


    1. I need about 25 m for beachfront.  lights will will be on in solidarity

      Posted by Jack from Montreal on 2007 03 22 at 04:53 PM • permalink


    1. For working reasons, I commute between the east coasts of Australia and the United States and am away 4-5 months at a time.

      Each time, it takes me a week or two to stop flicking the light switch the “wrong” way, getting into the “wrong” front seat in cars, moving to “wrong” side of the road when I drive round corners and pushing revolving doors the “wrong” way (yes, even they are different!). Drives me crazy at times, and you tend to do it when you are tired or distracted.

      The two countries and peoples are so similar, and yet so very different, even in the smallest things …

      Posted by ann j on 2007 03 22 at 05:31 PM • permalink


    1. Yeah, it’s the same with the Brits: First they tell you to drive on the left, then they bitch about “bloody tourists” when you stand to the left on the escalator in the tube.

      I tell you, there’s no pleasing some people!

      Posted by Old Grouch on 2007 03 22 at 05:47 PM • permalink


    1. Note to boat-owners in Sydney.
      If you happen to see an enormous spotlight illuminate the whole of Middle Harbour on March 31st, then please do not mistake this for a new lighthouse.

      It is the PG household doing our bit to keep society going forwards not backwards.

      Posted by pommygranate on 2007 03 22 at 05:51 PM • permalink


    1. This is way OT, but noticing EvilDave’s handle got me wondering, and a quick squizz at the member list shows that we have a hell of a lot of Daves or Davids in our group.

      So far I’ve found 41, and I’m not going to go looking for any more. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s some sort of conspiracy.

      Rather than the joooooooos taking over the world, perhaps there is something more sinister going on.

      Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 2007 03 22 at 05:52 PM • permalink


    1. #20

      No nosebleeds, the blood rushes down…

      Posted by kae on 2007 03 22 at 05:55 PM • permalink


    1. I’ve seen light switches like that in the UK/Ireland, possibly 1930s vintage or retro copies. I think the actual switch behind it is big and clunky and needs the length and knob at the end to get sufficient leverage/force.

      I clearly recall switches like that being stiff and requiring a lot of force to turn on. Isn’t memory an amazing thing.

      I’ve also seen light switches of this type that are switched on horizontally left to right, although I’ll be buggered if I can remember where.

      Posted by phil_b on 2007 03 22 at 06:00 PM • permalink


    1. #23
      Yeah, we got lights with two switches in Australia.

      #35, 36 & 43
      Don’t worry, if they have their way we won’t need switches any more.

      Posted by kae on 2007 03 22 at 06:04 PM • permalink


    1. 51

      No nosebleeds, the blood rushes down

      Is that right? You little devil.

      Posted by El Cid on 2007 03 22 at 06:04 PM • permalink


    1. Is there no way the power companies can use the ‘anti-boycott’ provisions of the Trade Practices Act (for example) to hold the promoters of these stunts liable for the economic damage they cause?

      Posted by Big Jim on 2007 03 22 at 06:15 PM • permalink


    1. Just heard on Sky News Australia:

      “China’s rapid economic growth is causing glaciers to melt”.

      Posted by anthony_r on 2007 03 22 at 06:26 PM • permalink


    1. Does that also mean we should generate as much greenhouse gas as we can to reduce global warming?

      Posted by manbag’s bagman on 2007 03 22 at 06:44 PM • permalink


    1. #50 – Oh my god!

      Well, I think you’ve discovered what happened to the offspring of Mrs. McCave.

      Posted by Mr. Bingley on 2007 03 22 at 06:51 PM • permalink


    1. On 31 March, I’m going to the Sydney Swans game and leaving every light at home blazing.

      It will be interesting to see what happens since I live in an inner city suburb patrolled by the Greens.

      Posted by ann j on 2007 03 22 at 06:52 PM • permalink


    1. I’ve seen switches like this in the US, but only in very, very old homes and buildings and, of course, they weren’t stainless steel (same for push-button switches if that’s what this is although I don’t think so).

      Posted by Kyda Sylvester on 2007 03 22 at 06:55 PM • permalink


    1. The lights on my house will be staying on. Yet I won’t be at home, I’ll be sneaking around the neighbourhood removing the fuses of any households stupid enough to engage in this useless mastubatory feel good gesture.

      Only for the sake of the environment…. you know.

      Posted by Penguin on 2007 03 22 at 06:56 PM • permalink


    1. MMystery solved: it’s a stock shot from istock photos.

      I wonder if they paid for it?

      And is it being turned on or off? Let’s ask the photographer:

      “Photographer’s Description:light power switch being turned on off.”

      See? Even the photographer doesn’t know. Someone tell Sydney Morning Herald their campaign doesn’t know light from darkness.

      Posted by ilibcc on 2007 03 22 at 06:58 PM • permalink


    1. The SMH blackout isn’t restricted to the moonmen and moonwemin at the SMH. All staff at Fairfax Media are now getting company emails urging them to turn off the lights, open a cheeky Chardonnay* and sit back and watch those appalling blue-collar petrol heads get killed trying to negotiate blacked-out intersections.

      *Staff entertaining Islamic extremists are advised to stick to non-alcoholic beverages.

      Posted by Contrail on 2007 03 22 at 07:24 PM • permalink


    1. I don’t know about litigation in Oz, but here in the US, anybody getting hurt in an unlighted intersection would OWN that organization!

      Posted by rabidfox on 2007 03 22 at 07:36 PM • permalink


    1. I just finished watching Al gore’s “All about me movie”, never have I seen such shameless self promotion – and people call it a movie about the enviroment? rofl!.

      For a comprehensive debunking of Al gore’s fantasy – “The Great Global Warming Swindle” torrent.

      Posted by darrinhV2 on 2007 03 22 at 07:54 PM • permalink


    1. #50 – yes Nilk, the Daaaaaves are taking over.

      Dr. Seuss once claimed there were ‘Too Many Daves’. We dealt with him.

      Oops, already said too much…

      Posted by David Morgan on 2007 03 22 at 07:58 PM • permalink


    1. Anyone turning out lights in my household for Gaia is getting “the switch” across their arse.

      Besides all our lights are operated by clapping.

      Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2007 03 22 at 08:10 PM • permalink


    1. >>> applause <<<

      for #67.

      Posted by kae on 2007 03 22 at 08:15 PM • permalink


    1. You guys must have everything upside down, ehh? Maps, now light switches.

      Lara Bingle…
      so when is this event in American time?  I’m thinking of standing on the corner with some highway flares. More light, lots of waste heat AND carbon emissions…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2007 03 22 at 08:24 PM • permalink


    1. #6 C.L. The link you provide is a very Protestant link, whjat with all thisw direct access to God without the intercession of priests ‘n’ all.

      And you all thought I was a dumb atheist, when I know religion from Alawite to Zoroastrian.

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2007 03 22 at 09:28 PM • permalink


    1. O/T I just saw on the banner on Fox that the Pakistani cricket coach may have been strangled . Sorry if this has already been mentioned. Can’t verify if it’s legit.

      Posted by greene on 2007 03 22 at 09:33 PM • permalink


    1. What to do during Earth Hour ???


      Do something non-electric as a family ?
      Does that include sharing a shower, hanging out in the dark together? Making love? Rob a bank?

      They’re recommending to talk for one hour about: Talk with your family and friends about the state of our planet and the need to make a change to keep the place we live the way we need it to be.

      Posted by 1.618 on 2007 03 22 at 09:37 PM • permalink


    1. #47 Ann J, Yes, I know all these things. Especially noticeable to others is the “getting into the wrong car passenger seat” manouver.

      As to driving, I pick up the rental car at the airport and drive out into the public vvveeeerrrrrryyyyyy carfully. I am alert and concious. However, when tired, I do find myself, after a turn, in the wrong lane facing oncoming traffic.

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2007 03 22 at 09:38 PM • permalink


    1. Coach strangled, it’s murder. Been on the radio all morning.

      Posted by kae on 2007 03 22 at 09:38 PM • permalink


    1. Metal light switch in the image above.

      The very highest pinnacle of technological Darwinism imho.

      Posted by Admonkeystrator on 2007 03 22 at 09:40 PM • permalink


    1. Competition. COMPETITION.

      Let’s see whether the overall electricity consumption goes UP or down at 1930 Sydeney time, March 31.

      What is so totally amazing, like, you know, whatever, is that these enviro-mentalists actually hate electricity (although not so much that they don’t use it).

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2007 03 22 at 09:43 PM • permalink


    1. Do you win a date with Tim B if you enter?

      Does anyone know if Tim is covered in Blue ink today?

      Posted by 1.618 on 2007 03 22 at 09:44 PM • permalink


    1. Hey, doing my math, 7:30 pm I will be kinda, like, I’m asleep! So, I have two carbon burning credits I can’t use. Any offers from folks in Sydney?

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2007 03 22 at 09:47 PM • permalink


    1. Hey, as E = MC^^2, if you antipodeans stop burning energy, will the Earth tilt due to the increased mass? Can we compensate with large space mirrors or must we resort to the trusty tin foil hat?

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2007 03 22 at 09:48 PM • permalink


    1. I’d go the foil tin hats, in case of crop circles… rofla. Maybe, the energy will change again and tilt it the other side.

      Posted by 1.618 on 2007 03 22 at 09:51 PM • permalink


    1. #4 Mark from Monaro:

      “Worse, how many Australians does it take to screw in a light bulb?”

      Answer:  Two.  But they have to be really, really small.

      Posted by Kaboom on 2007 03 22 at 09:51 PM • permalink


    1. #72 Yes, talk about our planet, and how it’s getting out of whack. Like, you know, less round, less planet-like. The squarering of the planet. This is what we should talk abouit.

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2007 03 22 at 09:53 PM • permalink


    1. The name of this feelgood gesture, “Earth Hour”, reminds me
      of a joke I used to do at university parties.

      If things were going pretty badly with attracting girls
      (as they usually were), I’d pretend to be a space alien
      by using phrases such as “You carbon based life forms never
      cease to amuse me” and “I will be leaving this party in
      two of your earth hours”.

      Referring to units of time as “earth hours” and “earth minutes”
      was an easy way of showing off my other-worldly intelligence.

      I think the guy in K-Pax did similar things.

      Posted by scooper on 2007 03 22 at 09:54 PM • permalink


    1. How many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

      One bathtub filled with giraffes and brightly coloured machine tools.

      Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2007 03 22 at 09:55 PM • permalink


    1. 82 Hi Wimpy.. Remember, everything reacts, humanity in a way is blinded sometimes by himself and his creations.

      We need to delete the gnosis program, or the ones that aren’t needed anymore.

      Posted by 1.618 on 2007 03 22 at 10:01 PM • permalink


    1. C’mon people.  That’s not a light switch, its the power switch to the central computer in Texas that we substituted for the picture of the light switch the moonbats originally had there.  We did that just to show ‘em who’s really running the place.

      Posted by Vanguard of the Commentariat on 2007 03 22 at 10:01 PM • permalink


    1. Ah… I just had a blonde light bulb moment…!

      Posted by 1.618 on 2007 03 22 at 10:02 PM • permalink


    1. #23, Sundog:  . . . but in the U.S. some light fixtures have two switches, one at each end of a hallway or staircase. In that configuration, there’s no fixed mapping between up/down and on/off. The effect of flipping one switch depends on the current position of the other switch.

      Is this the effect known as quantum entanglement?  (AKA, the Schrodinger’s Cat paradox) What if the two switches are at opposite ends of the universe?

      Posted by Bruce Lagasse on 2007 03 22 at 10:02 PM • permalink


    1. Wimpy,bruce you mean the moving dimensions theory?

      Posted by 1.618 on 2007 03 22 at 10:05 PM • permalink


    1. Einstein misunderstood the nature of time, gave it equal ranking as the fourth dimension and then assumed that the orientation of the four dimensions rotates according to the velocity of the observer.

      He should have worn his tin foil hat!!!

      Posted by 1.618 on 2007 03 22 at 10:06 PM • permalink


    1. The main reason most US light switches turn off when flipped down is so that, in the event of a catastrophic structural failure (like when Uncle Billy gets into the moonshine and tries to switch the lights with a 12-gague), gravity will tend to pull the switch down and cut off the electricity, so Uncle Billy doesn’t get electrocuted when he follows up with projectile vomit.

      Dunno why Aussies do the opposite.

      Posted by Tatterdemalian on 2007 03 22 at 10:07 PM • permalink


    1. Tatt, it’s because we’re down under. It’s difficult down here !

      Posted by 1.618 on 2007 03 22 at 10:09 PM • permalink


    1. Australians don’t ‘screw’ light bulbs in at all – we use the much more efficient bayonet mount.

      Posted by David Morgan on 2007 03 22 at 10:10 PM • permalink


    1. #91 – We think it’s funny when Uncle Billy is electrocuted through his vomit.

      Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2007 03 22 at 10:11 PM • permalink


    1. A “Screw” is good for me..

      The Eastern Suburbs enjoy it. Bayonet is different..without the puffy shirt though :0

      Posted by 1.618 on 2007 03 22 at 10:14 PM • permalink


    1. #95 – A bit of the old cold steel – as L/Cpl Jones says, ‘They don’t like it up ‘em’.

      Posted by David Morgan on 2007 03 22 at 10:19 PM • permalink


    1. Hehe was egg_’s pedantry, thanks Tim.

      Yet another triumph of style over substance by the MSM …

      FYI AFAIK circuit breakers work in the opposite direction: UP for ON in Oz, the reverse in the northern hemisphere …

      Posted by egg_ on 2007 03 22 at 11:01 PM • permalink


    1. we use the much more efficient bayonet mount.

      Is “efficient” an Australian term meaning ‘fiddly, temperamental, and surprisingly easy to break’?

      Posted by jic on 2007 03 22 at 11:03 PM • permalink


    1. #97
      … or so I was informed by a Canadian colleague, Google Image search seems to indicate the same convention for circuit breakers worldwide (nowadays) …

      Posted by egg_ on 2007 03 22 at 11:15 PM • permalink


    1. Hmmmm.

      Well I might have the lights turn off, but in solidarity I’ll be wearing one of these:

      Glow in the dark condoms

      Woot!!  I’m a Jedi baby!  Whoooom!  Whoooom!  Whoooom! :):)

      Posted by memomachine on 2007 03 22 at 11:39 PM • permalink


    1. 100 comments on a post about a lightswitch.

      Tim is the Blog-God.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2007 03 23 at 12:06 AM • permalink


    1. If Schroedinger’s cat turns off a circuit breaker in the dark, is it really …

      Posted by egg_ on 2007 03 23 at 12:19 AM • permalink


    1. #98
      Oz utilises both bayonet cap (BC) and Edison screw (ES) … depends if you’re a bayonetter or a screwer (AFAIK overtightening ES can have its issues, too).

      Posted by egg_ on 2007 03 23 at 12:25 AM • permalink


    1. In Toronto, homeowners bought into an electricity conservation program last year which delivered a rate reduction if they reduced power consumption by 10% or more over, I believe, the summer months.

      As thanks for their piety and greeniness, Toronto Hydro has decided they need to increase rates, get this, to compensate for the drop in revenues due to lower energy consumption.

      Feel good about paying more for less!

      Posted by Crispytoast on 2007 03 23 at 12:26 AM • permalink


    1. I think you can get away with dodgy upside down light switches if you are talking about a puny 110V but 240V requires a real mans switch.

      Posted by Astonished on 2007 03 23 at 12:30 AM • permalink


    1. And to think that I missed a trip to Circuit City for this thread.

      Feel good about paying more for less.  Down here we just call them tax increases or “investments”.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 03 23 at 12:43 AM • permalink


    1. #50 – yes Nilk, the Daaaaaves are taking over.

      It’s easy for us. Daves are nice guys. Unassuming. Low-key. They never see it coming.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2007 03 23 at 12:56 AM • permalink


    1. #104
      Oz utilities are warning of same … AGW is an excuse for anyone to join the ‘carbon train’

      Supernerds oughta recognise Forrest M. Mims III from this thread’s link

      Posted by egg_ on 2007 03 23 at 01:01 AM • permalink


    1. #70 I thought I’d throw them an ecumenical bone, Wimpy. 😉

      Posted by C.L. on 2007 03 23 at 01:41 AM • permalink


    1. #93 “reverse the locking turn” So that’s why I’ve been stuck here for 2 days! Thanks!

      Posted by dean martin on 2007 03 23 at 02:39 AM • permalink


    1. How many real men does it take to change a light bulb?

      None, because real men aren’t afraid of the dark. Now hush, the game’s on. And get me a beer while you’re up.

      Posted by Grimmy on 2007 03 23 at 02:59 AM • permalink


    1. Why don’t these knot-heads just ask everyone to turn their lights off and leave them off for good? Stop bothering everyone every week by incessantly asking to turn them off an hour at a time. That way I could simply blow them off and be done with them.

      Posted by Texas Bob on 2007 03 23 at 04:22 AM • permalink


    1. Lucky our freckle faced boy in Gitmo changed his name from David to Mohamed, otherwise the roar of public opinion from all the Blairite Daves would force JWH into capitulating and flying Mo back home (First Class of course).

      Can’t ignore a voting bloc that powerful.

      Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 2007 03 23 at 06:03 AM • permalink


    1. #72 – 1.618. What to do when the lights are out? I’m surprised you have to ask.

      Kidnap, tie down and strip your favourite right-wing blog idol, who is then instructed to guess what numbers you proceed to delicately trace with nothing but your own index finger on any suitable area of helpless, sensitive, quivering bared skin.

      Needless to say, penalties for incorrect guesses should be promptly and firmly punished. I’m sure I can leave such details in your hands.

      Posted by Dminor on 2007 03 23 at 07:45 AM • permalink


    1. #62 note the photographer’s description – includes the phrase glabal warming.  so all those people switching these things off (or on in australia if they follow this visual instruction) will be cooling (warming) the glabe

      Posted by KK on 2007 03 23 at 08:40 AM • permalink


    1. ilibcc —In the big apple we refer to it as not being able to differentiate shine from shinola.  We’ll be sending thought waves of electricity over to Sydney in solidarity with the sane.

      Bruce Lagasse —These ugly Americans have three-way light switches!!!!!  No wonder the world hates us.

      Posted by blerp on 2007 03 23 at 10:47 AM • permalink


    1. #104 – how ironic!
      Also, you said “greeniness”.. I think you meant “gree,b>d</b>iness.”

      Posted by filcan on 2007 03 23 at 11:12 AM • permalink


    1. #104 – how ironic!
      Also, you said “greeniness”.. I think you meant “greediness.”

      Posted by filcan on 2007 03 23 at 11:14 AM • permalink


    1. #50
      I am actually not a Dave … I am a J*

      EvilDave is a US radio parody character that makes fun of David Letterman.  Guy does a spot on impersonation and then says anti-PC things usually about Letterman’s co-workers or guests.
      See here:
      The guy usued to have a site where you could pay to have him call people as Dave Letterman.  That site is gone now (wonder why).

      I picked it up as a pseudonym when posting on a co-worker’s moonbat site.  He is a huge Letterman fan.

      You’ll notice that (well maybe not here but most places I post) my email is officially

      Posted by EvilDave on 2007 03 23 at 01:57 PM • permalink


    1. #114.  Whoa!  Dminor!  You sure know how to throw a girl’s concentration off.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2007 03 23 at 02:11 PM • permalink


    1. Dminor!

      RebeccaH,I say dido!
      woo hoo ye ho, woo hoo ye hooo!

      oh, I worked out how many light bulbs you need to change a blonde as well…. (tee hee hee)

      Posted by 1.618 on 2007 03 23 at 09:25 PM • permalink


    1. Those pesky electrons are hard to store … use ‘em or lose ‘em.

      Posted by Stevo on 2007 03 23 at 10:12 PM • permalink


    1. Does anyone remember Renee Geyer’s Turn on the Lights?

      Time to vote.  Hooroo …

      Posted by Stevo on 2007 03 23 at 10:26 PM • permalink


    1. “the Daaaaaves are taking over.”

      The world will be the better for it.

      Posted by Dave Surls on 2007 03 23 at 10:40 PM • permalink


    1. Hmm. I’m trying to remember which thread, but I think it was mentioned a few months ago that this would be an exceedingly bad idea. Something about power grids needing a certain amount of electricity flowing through them or Bad Things might happen?

      Hope this doesn’t cause a brownout or blackout.

      Posted by Patrick Chester on 2007 03 24 at 12:17 AM • permalink


    1. Allow me to be the first to welcome our new Dave overlords.

      Posted by geoff on 2007 03 24 at 01:37 AM • permalink


    1. #126 I reckon Daves would make better overlords than Alis.

      That’s real Daves and not those softheaded wankers who convert so they can go kill people.

      Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 2007 03 24 at 05:27 AM • permalink


    1. I wouldnt mind too terrible much if our Daves converted into people killers, as long as they were killing the enemy infestations.

      Posted by Grimmy on 2007 03 24 at 05:34 AM • permalink


    1. Confucius say: It is better to light one small lamp than to celebrate the darkness.

      Posted by Kyda Sylvester on 2007 03 24 at 12:08 PM • permalink


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