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back to article Kettle 'which looks like HITLER' brews up sturm in a teacup

US retailer JC Penney is doing a brisk trade in a designer kettle after someone noticed it bore a certain resemblance to Adolf Hitler. Over the weekend, a snap of a billboard ad for the "Michael Graves Design Bells and Whistles Stainless Steel Tea Kettle" popped up on Reddit. The offending kettle and Adolf Hitler Spot the …

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People are stupid as a whole.

That is all.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: People are stupid as a whole.

A Kettle that looks like Hitler?

WTF? My big toe looks like him too, if I drop a few tabs, smoke, some weed and drink a bottle of whiskey in one go.

Only in America, the breeding ground of crazies and nutters.

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the breeding ground of crazies and nutters

With a population of 315m vs. UK's of 63m - for every nutter in the UK you get 5 in the US.

Imagine 5 George Galloways running around. With guns.

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Re: For every nutter in the UK you get 5 in the US

Yes, but our nutters are British!

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Re: People are stupid as a whole.

>>Only in America...

Only in America would they insist in using kettles you have to put a flame under, rather than using electric kettles like the rest of the world.

Either that or those godawful filter coffee machines. The one guaranteed way to turn decent coffee beans into bitter, over-stewed brown liquid.

They've managed to turn their beer around though, so there's hope yet.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: People are stupid as a whole.

"Only in America would they insist in using kettles you have to put a flame under, rather than using electric kettles like the rest of the world."

That's because there pathetic 110v electricity supply means there's not enough power for a kettle to work properly in a reasonable time.

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Re: People are stupid as a hole.

10 minutes until all the plastic bits melt onto the burner. There will be no thousand-year tea brewed with this shoddy imposter.

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FAIL

Re: People are stupid as a whole.

"That's because there pathetic 110v electricity supply means there's not enough power for a kettle to work properly in a reasonable time."

Not got a good grip on how electricity works, have you?

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Re: People are stupid as a whole.

Actually a combination of wussy little girly 110v and no ring mains so you can only pull about 15Amps from an entire circuit means kettles that take 10mins to make a cup of tea, no electric showers and washing machines that need their own dual phase supply.

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Boffin

Re: People are stupid as a whole.

To be fair to the OP, a 110V 3kW kettle requires about 28 Amps, whereas a 230V 3kW kettle needs about 13 Amps. (power = Volts x Amps) So you would expect a US cables and plug to be huge compared to our 13Amp ones to reduced losses and overheating; but no, they are smaller.

Cable losses are proportional to the square of the current, so double the current = 4 times the losses for the same cable, (which explains why distribution lines are at such high voltages and therefore proportionally lower currents.)

By comparison a complete electric cooker in the UK is usually connected to a 30Amp circuit, so your US electric kettle should have the same thickness cable as a UK cooker.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: People are stupid as a whole.

OR, I put the kettle on my stove that is wired into a 50 amp 220V circuit, and be done with it.

OR, I put the kettle on my gas stove, and make even more heat.

And when I am done, and I want to move the kettle, I don't have to move the weight of the heating elements, nor do I have to have the expense of an interconnect from the base to the heating elements, nor do I have to unplug the kettle from the wall.

You know what? Maybe not having the heating elements in the kettle makes sense after all.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: People are stupid as a whole.

"Not got a good grip on how electricity works, have you?"

I know very well how electricity works, if you don't believe that voltage is related to power then perhaps it's your understanding that is deficient.

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Re: People are stupid as a whole.

I don't know about where you are but electricity is between 2.5 and 7 times more expensive than natural gas, joule for joule. That means my gas range can be really inefficient and still be cheaper to run than an electric kettle. Feel free to do the maths for hot water, my condensing gas water heater has a thermal efficiency of 90% and non-condensing models are usually 80-85%. Even at 100% thermal efficiency the electric units are still considerably more expensive to operate and you would need a good electric heat pump to even get close.

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Devil

Re: People are stupid as a whole.

Folks,

Do you all REALLY feel the need to complain about the US electrical systems too? Oh my god there are so many more important things to do.

GrahamT is the only one so far who has any grasp of US power, but none of you understand that there is no 3 phase power for most residential areas, only single phase. 20 Amps is the largest circuit breaker size allowed in home applications unless for 230 VAC where 2) 20 Amp breakers are twinned together.

I live less than a mile from the Robert Moses Power Hydro generating station in Lewiston NY USA and still pay an outrageous 25 cents per Kwh for electricity produced by coal plants. Go figure

Natural gas is far cheaper than electricity for cooking, heating, hot water or drying clothes. Anyone who may have had electric heat has changed to gas except where there is a power subsidy (which should have been removed 40 years ago). I have a 94% efficient condensing gas furnace and an ultra insulated gas hot water heater.

My kettle boils in less than 3 minutes on gas, Yes I drink that horrible American drip coffee however I use a nice KRUPS electric unit and espresso ground French Roast so I dare you minority of British coffee drinkers to call my brew bad, come over and have a cuppa joe any time. Tea is for girls......let the downvotes begin

Fuel Oil is rarely used any longer as natural gas is also less expensive IF you have gas lines to your property. If not, most use propane tanks in rural areas and some still use fuel oil in cities where propane tanks are banned. No one uses coal anywhere except in power plants and a few pizza ovens, so our skies are actually quite clear and blue (at least in the Northeast, far away from Tornado Alley)

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Re: People are stupid as a whole.

Who would have thought that an article about Hitler would have descended into such a flame war !

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Anonymous Coward

Re: People are stupid as a whole.

I would hardly call it a flame war, there was one moronic comment, but apart from that it's been a fairly interesting discussion on the cons. of 110v main supply, certainly more interesting the than the original 'kettle that looks like Hitler' non-story

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Re: People are stupid as a whole.

Excuse me which nations logo for the Olympics had people shouting it said Zion?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: People are stupid as a whole.

It looked like Lisa Simpson giving someone a blowjob to me. I didn't see it until someone pointed it out.

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Re: People are stupid as a whole.

My comment is based on the fact that it's annoying not being able to make a cup of tea in a hotel room. And I'm British, dammit. I want a cup of tea. You can't exactly put a gas stove in a hotel room, can you?

Yep, it all comes down to picking the wrong voltage in the first place. And it doesn't just affect kettles either. Computer equipment is affected too. Not a problem for data centres, but can be a problem if you need to plug that server in and you only have a domestic supply handy. 110V supplies aren't the most useful things.

Then again, you're never going to step on an upturned US plug.

Japan's the really odd one. Half the country runs at 50Hz and half runs at 60Hz. Apparently. I didn't have my multimeter with me last time I was there.

I didn't know the max current in a US supply was 20A. Presumably they use ring mains though.

So how do you do electric ovens on the other side of the pond? They usually have a dedicated radial 32A circuit here.

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Linux

Re: People are stupid as a whole.

>>Only in America...

>

> Only in America would they insist in using kettles you have to put a flame under, rather than using electric kettles like the rest of the world.

Who's insisting? What do you think this is? Europe?

We can brew tea any way we like.

Sometimes I even break out the stock pot for when I have a non-metric ton of freshly culled Mint leaves.

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Linux

Re: People are stupid as a whole.

> My comment is based on the fact that it's annoying not being able to make a cup of tea in a hotel room. And I'm British, dammit.

Then grow a stiff upper lip and wait a few more seconds for the electric kettle to do it's thing.

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FAIL

Re: People are stupid as a whole.

Either that or those godawful filter coffee machines. The one guaranteed way to turn decent coffee beans into bitter, over-stewed brown liquid.

People who don't use proper filter coffee machines are drinking coffee with Hitler!

Gb2 Senseo.

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Re: I didn't know the max current in a US supply was 20A.

It is for general lighting and cord connected equipment, but receptacles are available in 15, 20, 30 and 50 amp capacities in both 120 or 240 volt types.

30 amp 120/240 volt receptacles are used for clothes dryers, while 50 amp 120/240 volt receptacles are used for electric ranges. And, YES, there ARE 30 and 50 amp 120 volt receptacles.

Specialized 60 amp receptacles are also available.

Standard US circuit breaker sizes are 15, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 amps for residential load centers (aka 'breaker boxes'). "Oddball" sizes such as 25, 35, 45 and 55 are made, but not always stocked, except at electrical distributors (as opposed to 'home centers').

Presumably they use ring mains though. NO, that is a UK invention not used here. Typically when conductors are paralleled, it is to serve a high amperage1 load, with one end of each run connected to the supply, and the other end of each run connected to the load. And our electrical code requires the cables that make up such a parallel run be of the same size and length so they carry their proportionate share of the load.

1 Typically MORE than 400 amps.

For the curious:

NEMA plug chart: http://www.generatorjoe.net/html/web/outlet/quailplug.html

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Re: People are stupid as a whole.

"I know very well how electricity works, if you don't believe that voltage is related to power then perhaps it's your understanding that is deficient."

Ok AC genius, pop quiz:

Which would boil water faster: a 2.5kW 110V kettle or a 2kw 230V kettle?

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Raz

Re: People are stupid as a whole.

@pPPPP Posted Thursday 30th May 2013 18:22 GMT

I don't live in US, but here in Canada we use the same 120 V. I have at home (in my basement) no less than 6 rackmount servers and they all run happy, even when SWIMBO cooks in the electric oven and the central AC humms outside, and the house is wired for only 100 Amps. I never blew a fuse.

I prefer gas to electric when it comes to heating, it is much cheaper, as already noted, so the boiler, stove and furnace are on gas.

And yes, there are dedicated circuits for the oven and the AC unit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: People are stupid as a whole.

"Which would boil water faster: a 2.5kW 110V kettle or a 2kw 230V kettle?"

Well in theory the 2.5Kw would boil faster, but as a previous poster points out, with a max 20amp available, it would in reality never boil, as the circuit would have tripped out*.

That was my original point, I assumed you would have been able to infer that, obliviously not.

*Unless of course they don't bother with circuit breakers and just wait for the cables to melt and the flimsy wooden house to burn down.

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Re: People are stupid as a whole.

They've a perfectly good 230v supply available and their electric stoves run off it in a great many of their kitchens. They have perfectly standard 230 volt sockets available as well. But manufacturers don't produce 230v kettles.

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Re: People are stupid as a whole.

You presuppose that only 110v is available in a typical US domestic supply. In point of fact, both incoming wires are live at a potential of 110-120 volts to earth, and 220-240 volts to each other. While the 110 volt sockets and lighting circuits are wired between one of the live wires and earth, electric stoves and other high-draw appliances like air conditioners are wired across both incoming wires. There are perfectly standard sockets available for 220/240 volt appliances.

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Re: People are stupid as a whole.

The US is a fairly large country and most East-coast US residents are not familiar with life on the West Coast and vice versa. And neither group are familiar with life in large parts of what exists in between. Most parts of the US outside the cities have no mains water supply, far less a gas supply and it's not at all unusual to find houses using electrical installations from the 1920s, done in "post and wire." In quite a few parts of the rural US it's a case of a kettle sitting on a woodburning stove, sometimes with a Kemac oil burner to cut in when the wood runs out. In the 1970s it wasn't uncommon to have magneto telephones and the whole community -- up to 99 homes on the SAME party line.

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Re: People are stupid as a whole.

Post and wire is great, it allows you to find a live connection without all that tedious removing of insulation

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How

Household electrical supplies in the US are split-phase. Each side of the "split" is 120V, and most residential circuits from the main junction are 20A or less, wired to one side. Where 240V is desired, a circuit is run using both sides of the split instead. These are typically 30A.

In other words, we have both 120V and 240V, with up to 30A in our homes.

We don't get too excited over heating water for tea or coffee. My induction stove is a cool toy, but I never use it.

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Facepalm

Re: People are stupid as a whole.

I think that's the point, only people on a piddly 110V circuit would think about buying a 2kW kettle. Most UK kettles are 3kW.

As for why put the heat source inside - der, it's more efficient?

We use a thing called the INTERNAL combustion engine too, maybe you guys are still stoking boilers in your steam cars ;-)

In fact if you "have to unplug it" to move your kettle you prob are using a steam car, I know cordless bases (a strange name as the base HAS a cord but that appears what they are called) are around in the US.

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Re: People are stupid as a whole.

> My comment is based on the fact that it's annoying not being able to make a cup of tea in a hotel room. And I'm British, dammit.

I believe that this is a major part of the US defence (no spellchecker it shouldn't be "s") against a British counter revolution. The right to bear arms and the requirement to drink coffee.

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design triumph (of the will)?

Not really, your eye is drawn to the gleaming mass of the body first, then follows it up the gentle curve of the spout until it reaches the incongrous absurdity of the whistle.

Neo-classical simplicity with a bell like affair that looks like it came off a French carriage clock. Are we sure they didn't big up the Adolf link to shift a ton of stock they'd over-ordered?

I shall refrain from using the f-word, and also thankfully supplying it in capitals.

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Re: design triumph (of the will)?

I think my sense of humour just Riefen-stalled..

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Re: design triumph (of the will)?

Are we sure they didn't big up the Adolf link to shift a ton of stock they'd over-ordered?

Actually, I think you may be spot on (which is in a way agreeing with @jake above)..

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Coffee/keyboard

I almost peed myself laughing...

I tend to agree with "jake".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I almost peed myself laughing...

Poetically, you don't realise you're included in the assessment, along with - well, everyone who isn't jake. Which explains why you found it so amazingly funny, I suppose ...

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@AC 06:30 (was: Re: I almost peed myself laughing...)

I said "people as a whole" not "each individual person".

Individual humans can be quite intelligent. Groups of humans, on the other hand, not so much. Look up "mob mentality" to see where I'm coming from.

And then learn to think for yourself. If you are capable.

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Re: @AC 06:30 (was: I almost peed myself laughing...)

"I said "people as a whole" not "each individual person".

In that post, yeah. However, the generally supercilious tone in your posts makes it clear that you look at things as "you" and "people".

"Individual humans can be quite intelligent. "

Ooh, how charitable of you to consider the possibility.

"Groups of humans, on the other hand, not so much. Look up "mob mentality" to see where I'm coming from."

Generalisations aren't a good argument. Need to look up "mob mentaility", do I? Assuming I need to? c.f. supercilious.

"And then learn to think for yourself. If you are capable."

QED ...

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Pint

@ Jake

Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."

— Samuel Johnson

London, like many other cities, feels a bit like a mob at times but, taken as a whole, is proof that large quantities of 'people' can do great things.

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g e
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Re: @ Jake

Whereas Scotland is probably proof that individuals can achieve greatness (have you seen how many legendary inventors are Scots..???)

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Re: legendary inventors

Are you implying that Boswell invented Johnson's words?

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@ Uffish (was: Re: @ Jake)

I've never climbed a mountain in London. Just as one example.

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Re: @ g e

"have you seen how many legendary inventors are Scots..???"

Second only to the Germans, I suspect.

Comparing population numbers suggests the Scots might have the most inventions per head.

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@Noodle Noggin (was: Re: @AC 06:30 (was: I almost peed myself laughing...))

Was I speaking to you? Why take personal offense over generalizations?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ g e

Think Swiss claim that honour.

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Re: @ Jake

I think Thoreau says it better:

"City life: millions of people being lonely together."

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Re: @ Uffish (was: @ Jake)

I have. Its what you end up doing when you explain to a PHB why his using 'password' is not condusive to network security..

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