ZIPPO ZAPPED

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Larry Horayne » 08/27/03 08:12 AM

It's lights out for Zippo tricks, a dangerous site
Sweet as the words "Zippo tricks" sound to parents, guardians and landlords everywhere, the Zippo Manufacturing Company has shut down zippotricks.com, which archived 555 possible stunts to perform with the iconic lighters. According to Zippo, the site was shut down following complaints that lighter-based stunts are inherently dangerous and possibly terrible public relations, should an accident be traced back to a trick.

www.SandySinger.com
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Postby Brad Henderson » 08/27/03 08:17 AM

There was to be a large promotion sponsored by Zippo wherein entertainers were to be sent into night clubs to demonstrate Zippo tricks and point them to the site. A couple of the magi who work for me auditioned and were to be said entertainers. They have not heard anything, but do you know if the promotion will be zapped as well? It struck me personally as unsafe, but my friends who attended the initial training said that the Zippo representatives felt it was more than safe enough.
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Postby Guest » 08/27/03 01:39 PM

While in the Navy we had guys that did tricks with zippo's that would have made the reps cringe. I'd say it's not worth the risk to put a website playin' with fire like that.
Steve V
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Postby Ian Kendall » 08/27/03 02:12 PM

Didn't Jon R mention his skill with a zippo in a column somewhere? Perhaps the article with Geno?

Zippotricks was a great site, even for ardent anti-smokers like me. The section with bloopers when things went wrong was priceless.

Take care, Ian
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Postby Brad Henderson » 08/27/03 03:07 PM

I just received word that the night club promotion I spoke of has been cancelled as well.
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Postby Michael Jay » 08/28/03 05:47 AM

It is unfortunate that a site, such as this, should be shut down. The problem is that people don't accept responsibility for themselves, anymore.

One example was the woman who spilled the McDonald's coffee in her lap. Since she was too moronic to drive and have a cup of coffee simultaneously, it was McDonald's fault. Now, a guy is sueing McDonald's because he's fat. We've become a society of dregs.

So, it only stands to reason that a site that teaches you tricks with a lighter would have to be shut down. I've grown tired of pandering to the lowest common denominator in our society. Yep, this stinks.

Mike.
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Postby Guest » 08/28/03 08:13 AM

I agree about taking responsibilty for your own actions. Maybe nailwriters will get banned if some amateur pokes himself with one.

Just for the record, I have a very good Zippo trick coming up in my new center tear book. You cause the flame to raise up and down at your command.
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Postby Bill Mullins » 08/28/03 12:17 PM

Originally posted by Michael Jay:

One example was the woman who spilled the McDonald's coffee in her lap. Since she was too moronic to drive and have a cup of coffee simultaneously, it was McDonald's fault.
Mike.
Your facts here are a little off. The woman was 79 and a passenger in a car driven by her son -- she was not the driver.

She received 3rd degree burns over 6 percent of her body, including her genitals. She wouldn't have been burned at all if the coffee were at 135-140 degrees, a typical temperature for home brewed coffee; Mcdonalds held their coffee at 185 degrees, and enforced a policy to this effect. Burn hazards for liquids start at 155 degrees. Mcdonalds had received several hundred complaints over the previous decade for coffee burns, including other 3rd degree burns.

She was in the hospital for 8 days, and tried to settle with McDonalds for $20k -- they refused. A jury found her to be 20% at fault, so reduced her awarded damages from $200k to $160k. The trial court reduced her punitive damages from $2.7 M (2 days of Mcdonalds coffee sales) to $480 k (triple damages), even though the judge found
McDonalds' conduct reckless, callous and willful.

If you want to push for greater personal responsibility, you could pick a better example.
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Postby Elwood » 08/28/03 12:49 PM

I domn't care if the coffe was 155 or 1550 degrees, the woman chose to drink it in a moving vehicle, which makes her responsible for spilling it.

McDonald's provide a seated area for the consumption of their products. While the woman could have taken up a stationary eating position, which would minimize the risk of spillage caused by motion, she chose the unsafe option of drinking in a moving vehicle. Oh well, some people like to live on the edge, I guess.

Everyone is responsible for their own actions. Outside forces can influence, but no one is ever forced to do anything, least of all drink a coffee in a car.

The compensation culture we live in is ridiculous. The woman was aware that the coffee was hot. She was aware that hot things burn. No doubt she was aware that motion causes liquids to spill. But she got in the car anyway.

The sooner people start accepting responsibility for themselves, the more I will enjoy the world around me. Until then I daren't, in case someone suffering an irrational phobia of teeth sues me for smiling.
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Postby Michael Jay » 08/28/03 01:18 PM

Sorry Bill, but I disagree. The example is just as good. If she was too decrepit to hold her coffee, then she should not have ordered it. The driver, her son, then, should have known better than to give his old mother something on which to hurt herself.

Further, since she wasn't driving, then both hands should have been free to hold the coffee.

Never the less, without the brewer for the coffee, the coffee wouldn't have been hot at all, therefore, the maker of that unit should also be responsible. If the coffee company would have refused to sell McDonalds the grounds, then they wouldn't have had coffee to sell, so they also have a hand in this woman's burns. What about the company that made the cup, aren't they also responsible, since they couldn't have sold her the coffee without that. Hey, the car manufacturer has responsibility too, since without the car she wouldn't have been able to be riding around in one to spill the coffee to begin with. And, what about the builders of the building itself? Without that, they couldn't even have brewed the coffee to begin with. And, the electric company...Let's not forget the part they played in all of this.

So, you see, we can blame all kinds of people and really be moronic about this. The lawyers were the big winners in all of this, though. They have a good way of making non-issues into issues, like the temperature that the coffee. That is not the issue and they hoodwinked you right into believing that it is.

The issue is: when something bad befalls you due to your own action or inaction, then it is simply your own fault. But, fortunately Bill, we have guys like you who are willing to believe that everyone else is at fault for someone too dimwitted to hold a cup of coffee...Even with a chaperone! Sad. It is this very point of view that makes our society a bunch of crap. So bad, in fact, that a site about tricks with lighters has to be shut down because, as we all know, it is that sites fault for any ill that befalls us due to a lighter.

If you do something stupid, you are at fault and not a web site (or McDonalds), and I don't really care what 12 morons on a jury think because some high paid idiot uses smoke and mirrors to hide the truth. Take responsibility for your own actions.

Mike.
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Postby Guest » 08/28/03 02:18 PM

There seems to be a growing trend to blame society for one's own stupidity
A customer in an Atlantic City casino sued to regain his losses, because the casino allowed him to drink alcoholic beverages which impaired his judgement
Now there are complaints that fast food resteraunts are causing people to be obese. Haven't you noticed how many car jackers force you to eat at McDonalds
from
Ford
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Postby Bill Mullins » 08/28/03 03:07 PM

While we don't agree about the Mcdonald's stuff, which is fine, a couple of other points.

Yes, McDonald's does provide a place to sit and drink coffee. But they also provide a drive through window, and they market heavily to people who use it.

They, and every other company which sells to the public, have an obligation to sell products which are safe. 185 degee coffee isn't safe, and it particularly isn't safe to sell to people in cars, when you sell it to them expecting that they will drink it. (135 degree coffee is hot, but it is also safe (relatively)).

The reason that I sympathize with the woman in question is that McDonald's knew their coffee was too hot, knew people were getting burned, and still didn't do anything about it (especially since it wouldn't have cost them anything or hurt anything for them to have lowered the temperature on their percolators).
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Postby Guest » 08/28/03 03:40 PM

I saw an interview with the coffee woman and y'all are all partially right. She was driving her sons car, which she borrowed, and she put the coffee on the dash, which was slanted into the driving area of the car. She took off and the coffee spilled. Because the coffee was so very hot, and it was hotter than need be (though now they make it not hot enough), resulting in burns beyond what would have happened had the coffee been a more reasonable temp.. The reason she was first awarded so much was because the McDonalds lawyers were complete @$$es in court and they ticked off the jury and the judge.
Steve V
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Postby Michael Jay » 08/28/03 06:52 PM

Ah, well, don't know why I'm complaining, anyway. Soon enough we'll all be rich living off the money that we sue each other for. It's the democratic way to socialism.

Mike.
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Postby Larry Horayne » 09/01/03 03:23 PM

How come nobody has said a word about those sleazy lawyers, who advertise on television, HAS McDONALD'S SPILLED HOT COFFEE ON YOU -- CALL US NOW -- DEWEY, CHEATEM & HOW

www.SandySinger.com
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Postby Guest » 09/01/03 05:44 PM

I can`t believe for one instant that any reasonable person could side with the woman who spilled coffee on herself. Wether the coffee was two hundred degrees or ice cold! When driving a car you have one and only one responsibility and that is to have your complete attention on driving. That means your eyes on the road and TWO hands on the wheel.....period. This doesn`t leave an additional hand for coffee, a Big Mac, makeup, a cell phone or a magazine or newspaper. I realize that we all do some of these things occasionally, but bottom line is we shouldn`t be and cannot, for any reason, hold someone else accountable when an accident happens. What a brunch of wimps to assume that it`s never our fault. I all comes down to the almighty dollar and what we can get for doing nothing.
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Postby Guest » 09/01/03 10:24 PM

I agree with Bill Mullins.
I just checked temp of my coffee, it is 135.
I CAN NOT immagine it being any hoter that this, or need for it to be hotter that 135.
Good point about the drive-thru window thing versus sit-in but after all, who cares if you sit in or not, who needs coffee to be 185???!!!
Also, how often You people ordered from one of those things. First of all you get a burger AND a coffee so even being a passenger in a car does not allow you to hold your coffee properly. You have to open the greasy burger first, get rid of soggy disgusting picles inside and things like that. Now you are suppose to handle the 185 degree coffee in the same time?
This was an accident waiting to happen, I symphatize with the woman too. :mad:
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Postby Robert Allen » 09/02/03 10:25 AM

This is straying from magic by a longshot, but there was some factual basis behind the McDonalds coffee suit as I recall. The issue was that the coffee WAS overly hot. Some internal documents were apparently discovered that showed there had been other complaints or concernes. The temperature was kept intentionally high because the coffee wasn't all that good, but by keeping the temp way up customers identified "hot" with "fresh and good". I do recall my grandmother having coffee at McDonalds about 20-25 years ago. I tried some. It was scalding hot in the cup and really couldn't even be sipped without letting it cool down. And at the time they didn't supply those sip-through coffee lids, so you had to remove the lid to drink it.

Anyhow I'm not trying to justify frivolous suits, or even comment on the frivolity of the suit in question. But I will note that the coffee WAS too hot and if you spilled it in your lap while sitting in a McDonalds instead of a car, you'd still get burned.
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Postby Elwood » 09/02/03 11:23 AM

The issue is NOT, I repeat NOT the temperature of the coffee.

The issue is who was at fault for spilling it!

The woman was not forced to drink, or even buy, the coffee. She made the choice.

McDonalds are not at fault.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 09/02/03 11:44 AM

McDonalds IS at fault as found by the court system. What we think about that doesn't really enter into it.

They were found to be at fault because their product, AS DESIGNED, cooks human flesh upon contact. Coffee from EVERY OTHER fast food vendor falls within well defined standards which make their coffee safe to drink and which when spilled does not cause great harm.

No one would have given her a cent if the claim was that it "gave her an owwwie". The claim was that the product caused an injury and a "reasonable person" should expect to survive a coffee spill without having to spend time in an hospital burn ward.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/02/03 05:06 PM

I really think we're done discussing this issue.
McDonald's coffee was too hot and burned other people.
The woman was careless and spilled coffee in her lap while either driving or being driven.
Both were at fault.
End of topic.
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