(sent to the entire list, as an issue of public safety)
Dana Uehara wrote:
Going back more on track with Kats stuff... in "Night of the Dark Kat,"
have you noticed that Jake doesn't jump-start the old lady's car correctly?
If I remember right, when you jump-start a car you're supposed to connect
the positive ends of both batteries and the negative end of the charged
battery (booster battery) with a ground wire in the car with the dead
battery. I believe connecting the batteries any other way could result in
one (or both) exploding.
Many "old-pro" auto mechanics still connect plus-to-plus and
minus-to-minus, for the same reason that old scientists often spurn safety
Once you complete the circuit on both terminals, the last connection
will produce a spark, and a rather big one at that. The battery reaction
produces hydrogen which almost always manages to leak out, and for those of us
old enough to remember the Hindenberg, the result is memorable.
Thus, the last connection is made to the dead auto's frame. You will
still get juice flowing from the live battery to the dead one, but you
minimize the risk of a spark.
Dr. Samuel Conway
Senior Auto Mechanic Chemist