Better to curse the dark than to light a candle.

A thunderstorm knocks out the power to a house. A woman living there decides to light one of the candles that were left behind in the basement by the previous owner. The old stick of dynamite blew up in her hand.

Wow! How terrible. When it’s thunderstorm times it’s really too late to start preparing. I try to have candles and batteries for flashlights, just in case. Around here if a bird lands on the line the power goes out. :wink:

I realize this is a tragic situation and this woman reportedly suffered serious injury. Still, I can’t help but have a couple of reactions to this story:

  1. Connecticut??? I would have guessed either Florida or Texas, for sure.

  2. Is her name Wilhelmina E. Coyote?

Is the prior owner dead?

You’ll never guess how. :rofl:

If it really was a stick of dynamite, she (and her home) would have been blown to bits. But the article specified “a quarter-stick of dynamite.” Likely they were referring to a type of firework that is now illegal; the “quarter-stick” descriptor is based on physical dimensions, and according to Wikipedia, such a device actually has far less explosive power than 25% of a stick of dynamite. “Severe injuries to one of her hands” is consistent with that. The headline, “Connecticut woman mistakes dynamite for candle during power outage, suffers severe hand injuries”, is inaccurate both in terms of size and type of device.

It is better to keep your cell phone charged than to curse the darkness.

That and thinking about emergency lighting before you need it. I mean, isn’t that kind of the nature of how emergency equipment works?

I also agree it was not dynamite in the strict sense of the word. I’m seconding powerful fireworks.

She should have done what Steven Wright did.

Thanks for the clarification. Looking at the picture, I can see how someone might mistake something like that for a candle, especially in the dark.

Yeah, this sounds like something that happens in cartoons, where it is funny; but in real life you gotta feel sorry for the woman. I don’t think she was egregiously stupid.

I have my doubts. If she had enough ambient light to find and ignite this thing, she ought to have seen that this wasn’t a candle. Also, candles are made of wax, not cardboard; the feel of it in her hand should have told her that this might not be a candle. Finally, candle wicks and pyrotechnic fuses burn quite differently; whereas a candle wick tends to ignite slowly and develop a gentle yellow flame, a firecracker fuse fizzes, sparks, glows red, and makes a good bit of smoke as it gets consumed. What happened to her is tragic and unfortunate, but ISTM she missed a lot of important clues along the way. It’s possible she realized her mistake shortly after lighting it, but then froze; after all, when you’re in your living room holding a flaming object, you tend to not want to drop it on the carpet. So then it’s like “oh shit, what do I do with this thi- BLAM”. Bummer.

The family was already familiar with them before the lights went out. From the article:

Right. So under good lighting and no duress, prior to the blackout, they eyeballed these things and concluded they were candles. Never mind the big explosion at the end of the video - wouldn’t the thick cardboard tubing and bizarrely stout and long “wick” tell the average person that something is amiss?

OTOH, in their defense, it is a bit odd that such a thing wouldn’t have any prominent warning label on it. :dubious:

From the wiki link:
“No true standard for dimensions and construction exists, as these devices are products of bootleg manufacturers.”

So probably no warning label.