I remember having a thread on these maybe a year or so ago and I thought
someone had posted a link to a product that was brighter than the GE
"150W equivalent" one, but now I can't find it (either the post or the
CFLs) does anyone know of any? I found one that maxed out at 40W online
that's slightly brighter than the 32W GE ones I'm using now (2450 vs.
2150 lumens) but that's less efficient, it's a no-name bulb (which I've
grown to fear in CFL-land,) and also it's not brighter enough to be
worth $12 plus shipping.
Is that really all there is out there?
Life was so much simpler when you could just walk into the store and buy
pretty much any brand 200W (or even 250 or 300W - yes *those* are still
available) 3-way bulb and just know it would work, and that it would be
as bright as you wanted it to be... *sigh* (of course, you'd be drawing
200W just to light that one floor lamp, but still.)
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
Your best option would probably be to rework the lamp to use more than
one CFL, like many old fashioned floor lamps which had two or three
bulbs before the 3 way ones came about. Certainly lamp parts are readily
available to make such a modification.
Well, I could just shove a "300W" CFL in it and not use the 3-way
function; just wondering if there was a more elegant solution
availalable. Primary use would be for a floor lamp plugged into a
recep controlled by a wall switch (no ceiling light fixture in the
room of concern) that would probably spend 90% of its time on the
brightest setting, as it's used for general room illumination, and the
walls are dark wood. It just bothers me when things don't work like
they're supposed to :)
As an aside, has anyone else noticed that a lot of new cheap lamps
have sockets rated for only 100W now? Guess if you want to use them
for general illumination - and I've noticed this even w/ large floor
lamps - you pretty much HAVE to use CFLs now.
Hide quoted text -
Maybe folks are just getting more cautious due to all the frivolous
lawsiuts that are now in vogue.
====================================================Not as many as you might think. Lawyers work on contingency and unless they
are milking their clients for "expenses" they are not as quick to take on
totally BS lawsuits as people might think. I'll think differently when I
see a list of frivolous lawsuits where the plaintiff actually prevailed.
I, for one, appreciate caution and safety features that keep idjits from
becoming vegetables and wards of the state where you and I end up paying for
their upkeep. Of course, there's no guarding against stupidity as in the
number of cases where idjit fry cooks leaned over a pot of boiling oil with
a Bic lighter in their top pockets. The result (I recall at least 3 cases)
is predictable. A giant ball of fire and a burned-off face. IIRC, Bic
neither lost nor settled any of those suits because they were confident most
juries would easily see who was to blame for the conflagration. And like
McDonalds, they fear setting bad precedents by settling. Of course,
McDonald's guessed wrong on their scalding coffee case.
If that's true it's because they can do a lot of damage when they fall out
of the sky. IIRC general aviation has an alarmingly high rate of alcoholism
which could also be a contributing factor in overall GA litigation (which I
know next to nothing about).
Damn you Smitty, now I am going to have to do homework and research this
Not a very good idea. The Concorde had a nose that drooped for take-off and
landing. A good lawyer would argue that was "state of the art" in airplane
manufacture and it was the technology needed to avoid having to look out the
side window. They would point to designs where what you describe is not the
case. The would argue the plane needed a stilt wheel on the back to raise
the tail. I've seen plenty of auto liability cases, and that's how they go.
I can see a Gerry Spence-type lawyer making that case to a jury and winning,
especially going against the kind of buttwipe lawyer that's often on
retainer to a small company. There's a time to big out the big hired guns.
Even Michael Jackson knew that. You'd be surprised at how many companies
laugh at lawsuits like that without realizing they could get outlawyered
good. Many don't realize that once *one* person wins, the floodgates can
open and a barrage of similar suits will appear soon after the losing
verdict is in.
The incident you describe is something that can be sold to the jury simply.
The aircraft maker knew there was a problem. Others had worked around it.
This planemaker didn't. Someone died. A lot of these small companies
didn't carry enough insurance to have their insurers care enough to hire the
best, which they will do when they are under threat of enough loss. Shit
does happen, Smitty, and to people who don't really deserve it. Not being
able to see in front of you when taking off? Bad idea. Anyone 5' or shorter
on the jury who's ever had to put a phone book on a car seat would vote
against the plane maker. That's how they work. Could this happen to me?
Would *I* want to be paid for harm? Ubetcha they would.
You're more familiar, obviously, with small planes. Are they still making
planes like that? What happened there is the old "deep pocket" trick.
Smart lawyers look for the wealthiest defendants because you can't get blood
from a stone - and probably not very much from a stupid airport official who
*should* have been solely liable for that accident.
I never said they were. I said:
<< [There are] Not as many [frivolous lawsuits] as you might think. Lawyers
work on contingency and unless they are milking their clients for "expenses"
they are not as quick to take on totally BS lawsuits as people might think.
I'll think differently when I see a list of frivolous lawsuits where the
plaintiff actually prevailed.>>
The issue here is that courts do not consider any incident where a person
dies or is seriously injured frivolous. By definition. Fear of lawsuits
makes manufacturers far more careful than they would be in a court-free
My dad did forensic investigation after retiring from the Navy. When
someone died, smart companies pulled out all the stops because they knew how
badly the dice could roll against them with a jury. They got the best
investigators and lawyers they could find. I worked with him on 7 million
dollar suit against GM with him where a car became airborne and both
plaintiffs had been injured, one ending up a quadriplegic.
GM opened the taps, as lawyers say, and even drove a "new old stock" model
of that then 8 year old car to DC from Detroit, where apparently they keep
an inventory of every car they've ever made in showroom condition just for
such occasions. We were able to disprove the ludicrous contention that the
drive shaft broke before the crash and the whipping shaft launched the car
It was only because the Maryland State Police had so thoroughly photographed
and documented the scene that we were able to prove to a jury that the
plaintiff had hit a very sturdy metal road sign that bent over just enough
to act as a launching ramp for the car that they determined had been
traveling close to 100mph.
The jury was very sympathetic to the drooling driver in a puff-straw
controlled wheelchair and his horribly scarred wife (she got the "glass
necklace" treatment from going through the windshield). The post-crash
photos (which our side tried to exclude as inflammatory and non-probative
but failed) were some of the most gruesome things you'd ever want to not
see. If the MSP, who has one of the best accident reconstruction teams in
the US (perhaps the world), did not do the incredibly thorough job they did,
GM would have lost that case just because the jury *wanted* to give these
poor, battered and uninsured people some money out of charity. By the time
a suit was filed, almost all the physical evidence at the scene was gone.
The opposing lawyers, tasting that potential multi-million dollar payday,
worked very hard and were VERY good, but GM actually recreated the accident
at their facilities in Detroit with yet another nearly identical car - I
believe but can't recall - they bought it used because the plaintiff's car
was used - and had a robotic driving mechanism fitted to the car which they
drove into a similar sign. Guess what happened? You guessed it, the sucker
launched into the air like a jet off a carrier. Was that suit frivolous?
Probably, but I think the plaintiffs didn't think it so frivolous because
the lawyers convinced their clients they could win.
What is a frivolous lawsuit? The Birther lawsuits were frivolous
particularly because the plaintiffs could not prove they had been harmed.
Civil justice is very much about harm and restoring or compensating for that
harm. I believe the most famous of the BS's was brought by a lawyer acting
as his own attorney (a sure sign that frivolity is near - the pro se
filing). It's very often, but not always (I won a pro se suit!) an
indicator that the suit has no merit. Where's the payout for a lawyer
bringing a birther suit? How was the plaintiff harmed? (Oh, the nastygrams
are on the way with this one. Just remember, that's what the judge said. I
am merely repeating it.)
The judge, IIRC, banned the plaintiff reluctantly because limiting access to
the courts is considered an extremely harsh penalty. But it's necessary
with the "sue freaks" who sue everyone for everything under the sun hoping
to squeeze out a settlement. I'll admit that's a serious court clogging
problem and if you want to call them frivolous lawsuits, then I'll agree.
Did I just reverse myself? (-: Maybe. What I won't agree is that very
many of them ever get adjudicated in their favor and some litigants even get
banned. Lots of businesses settle them, but it's like feeding trolls. It
just makes them hungrier.
If litigants actually lose frivolous lawsuits filed against them, they hired
themselves some idjit lawyers or they didn't take the threat seriously
enough. That happens probably more often than people think based on the
sickening number of trials I had to sit through in my life and the lawyers
who were so freaking awful that some of them actually got sanctioned and one
Just a couple of weeks watching the old CourtTV would convince anyone that
the wrong lawyer could get even the most innocent of clients the death
sentence. Maybe we need to change the saying to "The DA could indict a ham
sandwich and Joe Blow, Esq, the world's worst defense attorney could get
that sandwich the electric chair." (-: (Vic, are you reading this?)
I know one poor idjit who, after a fight with his wife, got charged with
attempted murder. His first lawyer, after squeezing every bit of cash the
guy had anywhere, told him to cop a plea, and he took 20 years. Only later
did he find out the prison system here doesn't keep guys as old as him in
much past 65. He was 62. (They actually kept him until age 67 when he had
his first heart attack.)
He eventually fired that lawyer, got one used by area crack dealers who
probably could have gotten him off but she couldn't crack the plea deal his
first lawyer convinced him to enter into, not bothering to tell him he would
never, ever serve 20 years or life, even if he lost at trial. He got the
worst outcome possible by hiring a lawyer that came "highly recommended" but
who was a money-grubbing dork. He could have copped a plea "pro se" and
saved himself $150,000. You read right. One Freaking Hundred and Fifty
THOUSAND smackeroos, just to do what he could have done for free: cop a
Never cop a plea, never, never, never, never, never, NEVER. Witnesses die,
people forget and if you can get out on bail, you can motion your way into
at least two extra years of freedom. If you lose, you can always appeal,
all the way up the Supremes. When you cop a plea, that's it, you're done.
Yes, they'll tell you a plea gets you 10 years but a trial *could* get you
life. A plea gets you 10 years for sure, but a trial *could* get you zero
time. And yet so many people are cowed into taking pleas. After OJ and
Robert Blake walked, anyone who takes a plea and doesn't "spin the wheel"
with a jury is an idjit.
What's this got to do with 3-way bulbs anyway?
I suspect when the Concorde was designed that many of the cheap, tiny
cameras on the market didn't exist yet. HF cameras probably wouldn't stand
up to crossing the sound barrier (or maybe even crossing the street!), etc.
But a cheap, modern cam like the one I have in my van, which has a terrible
blind spot in back, would solve some of the taildragger problems. IIRC, the
latest airliners have a very thorough CCTV system inspired, in part, by a
fire in the luggage compartment that downed an Air Florida jet. Now the
pilots can use the cameras to see what's happening in areas where there's no
flight crew. I believe the cameras are not only in the luggage area, but in
the space above the pilot's cabin where electrical fires tend to break out
since a alot of the plane's wiring terminates there.
I'd take a plexiglas bubble skylight, cut a hole in the cockpit floor and
mount foot stirrups so the pilot could hang upside while taking off or
landing. Sort of like the domes used for ball turret gunners. It would be
an extra encouragement to keep the plane from landing so hard it collapses
the landing gear.
I gotta admit when I saw that drooping nose I thought - I'll bet there are a
few more "failure points" in the Concorde than in normal-nosed airplanes.
Oddly enough, in its mostly fatal crash, the pilot ran over something on the
runaway. Something they probably couldn't see.
In the case of the NatWest Three, steam-rollered into it by the US
"Justice" system. Extradited from the UK, first thing you discover is
that if you resist extradition, you are counted as a fugitive under the
US "Justice" system, so no bail.
Second thing is that, because the alleged offence took place in the UK
(and the UK authorities had declined to prosecute), all the
documentation and potential witnesses were in the UK. And guess what.
You're then in jail, awaiting trial, and unable to mount a defence
because you can't subpoena anyone.
Third, because in the US judges are elected (daftest thing I ever heard
of), it means some of them have hobby-horses. And their trial judge let
it be known that if found guilty (see above about ability to mount a
defence), they'd be likely to get 40 years.
So they copped a plea and got three years. What would you have done?
You don't get justice in the US, you get law. And plenty of it.
"That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed,
The plaintiff doesn't need to win to cause liability insurance rates to
beccome totally astronomical and force potential defendents to find
other ways to invest their money than to continue in a litigation-prone
I had an uncle w/ longterm management experience w/ Cessna/Wichita and
was there when they made the corporate decision to leave the
single-engine market. That decision (along w/ that of Beech, etc.), was
entirely driven by the fact that the liability was seen as too great for
the potential return in the environment at the time.
One of the stories was the one of the guy who had bought a used 150 of
30-some years' age; failed to have an updated air certification done,
had only a few hours of flight time after getting his ticket.
His first landing he nosed it into ground, caught prop on runway and
flipped it. Widow sued Cessna for manufacturing and selling the
aircraft as it was inherently a flaw that the prop could do that.
The cost of defending even nonsense litigation got to be so expensive
just was not financially viable business any longer at the time.
There has been a shifting of courts not taking _quite_ so many truly
frivolous lawsuits to trial any longer and the manufacturers have
restructured their handling of the expenses associated since but it
still is a significant cost of the airplane just as liability drives
medical costs to be far higher than otherwise would be if were only
covering the actual service cost plus reasonable fee structure.
Hadn't thought of this in years...more/better recollection after the
initial posting--actually, he hit the ground so hard he collapsed the
landing gear and that was what caused/allowed the prop to contact the
ground and cause the flipover. The claim was that the gear were
inadequate or similar nonsense...
But you can sure burn its face off. The Bic "fry cook" injuries were on a
par with some of the worst facial injuries I've seen coming from AfRaq,
especially if the lighter is full when it explodes. You can see for
yourself by throwing one in a fire. Whoosh! In most "fry cook" cases
people were too slow to react and be much use because they were so stunned
(and because they were burger joint workers!) Was it a frivolous law suit?
Yes, because there was no way a Bic could be made "boiling fry oil proof"
lighter. But someone was injured badly and the courts always give them the
courtesy of hearing them out.
There's a class of lawsuits that did cause great grief to Bic (and victims)
when (IIRC!!) a series of newly designed lighters had a valve that did not
thoroughly close under all circumstances. Women would slip the lighter into
their purse and the butane would all leak out into the purse. When they
went to flick their Bic again, they were engulfed in a huge fireball. Most
were able to simply drop the purse but not all.
While the injuries didn't match those of the fry cooks - those lighters
exploded like tiny napalm bombs on contact with the oil, flashing upward and
spewing boiling oil everywhere - they were very, very serious and some women
had to have multiple cosmetic surgeries to look human again. Although it
was clearly a defective design, Bic avoided changing it for 15 years by
making secret settlements with those who had been burned until one plaintiff
refused their lowball offer and won near $4M at trial. That changed the
whole ball game.
Bic, like almost all defendants, had no reservation about trying to blame
the end user. For the first few suits, anyway. Then they learned that
tactic "inflamed" juries who said, after trial, that it caused them to want
to through the book at Bic.
Once that single plaintiff prevailed in open court, the floodgates opened
and Bic had to redesign the lighters or else the suits would never stop.
Verdicts were in the multi-million dollar range which really isn't much for
Bic, but it still troubled them mightily.
Here's a page about it from the NYT archives:
LAWSUITS, AND WORRY, MOUNT OVER BIC LIGHTER
By TAMAR LEWIN
Published: April 10, 1987
The Bic Corporation is facing mounting lawsuits on behalf of people who have
been burned - and in some cases killed - by fires they say were caused by
defects in the company's disposable butane lighters.
Although claims began to trickle in soon after Bic introduced its throwaway
lighters in 1972, the company has until recently been able to keep the cases
quiet by settling them out of court, usually making secrecy one of the terms
of the settlement.
But last fall, in what was apparently the first lighter case to go to trial,
Bic settled for $3.25 million after the jury found the company liable for
the extensive burns suffered by Cynthia Littlejohn, a Philadelphia woman who
was on a camping trip when the Bic lighter in her front pocket ignited,
engulfing her in flames.
Lawyers say others have fared worse: Ethel Smith of Tower City, Pa., caught
fire on July 13, 1985, when the Bic lighter she was using to light her
cigarette exploded, according to a lawsuit filed by her husband, Francis H.
Proof once again that smoking is hazardous to your health!
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