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Simple Electricity

Hudson and Paradise were sick yesterday and home from school, but it was such a beautiful day I decided to take them out on the lake, along with our American Eskimo, Stoli, who enjoys adventures of any kind.

We navigated our way through the weed - which at this time of year is thick and can tangle the propellor quickly if you're not careful - but we made it out onto the water and it was just glorious.

We were appreciating the stillness and silence of the lake, and the sight of many geese and ducks preparing to migrate for the winter (we've also seen heron and heard loons at night lately), when I accidentally dropped my metal drinking bottle onto the boat's battery.

There was a spark, a sharp hiss and I had to react very quickly to knock the water bottle off the battery.

It only made contact for two or three seconds - but it was enough to create a short and burn three small holes through the metal casing of the drinking bottle.

Hudson and Paradise were actually quite excited by this demonstration of electricity at work - but I lost the use of my favorite water bottle, although thankfully the short didn't do any damage to the boat's electric motor.

I guess it was the perfect short: metal with water inside it plus a little bit of water around the battery contacts.

Hudson immediately wanted to make a documentary about it (on my iPhone) and was fascinated by the holes the charge had burned.

At least it brought home to him and Paradise just how careful they need to be around electrical outlets!

(All photos: Alexander Chow-Stuart)

Posted from my iPhone.


  1. This is a sample of hydro electricity generated by motion of the boat against the water or the heat generated from the motor. The said principle is based on sustainability.


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