Mark Frauenfelder at 8:57 am Tue, May 22, 2012
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UPDATE: Video restored. [Video Link] These parents thought it would be fun to give junior a short ride in a washer at the laundromat. But the door had an auto lock and panic ensued.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder.
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It’s a washer – not a dryer. Good God – watching that made me feel like crying.
Seconded. This is a washer. Are the parents going to go to jail or lose the kid?
Also: where’s the yakety sax?
The telegraph site states that this was a tumble dryer, not a washer, so that’s some relief. Sorta. :)
Not really, considering that dryers have been known to injure/kill pets who crawl in them.
Dryers don’t lock, they aren’t supposed to lock because fires often start in dryers.
Then the Telegraph site is also wrong. The dryers are along the right wall. Sheesh, haven’t these people ever used a laundromat?
Actually, probably not: laundromats are nowhere near as common in the UK as they are in the US. It’s considered pretty typical here to have a washer-dryer in your house – even my small, cheap one-bedroom flat came with one as standard.
Just to set the record straight: only people who live in apartments – not houses or condos use laundromats in the US and Canada: we aren’t the 3rd world!
Yeah, that’s standard laundromat layout.
That is *not* a dryer. You can see the dryers on the wall on the right.
At least the kid is clean now.
This video gave me an overwhelming feeling of panic. The instant that door shuts you can see them freak out. What a terrible thing to happen, I hope the kid survived.
This is stupid, but I’m not sure it’s negligence. The video shows that the parents have quite a bit of concern for their child’s well-being. They just don’t seem to understand how washing machines work.
One way washing machines definitely do *not* work is by putting your child in them.
Clearly they have other loads in the wash, and if they can’t extrapolate from there to what would happen to their kid, then they are de facto negligent.
Ignorantia juris non excusat
except for when it is
You mean ignorantia rei.
If it isn’t negligence, it’s a clear sign they’re unfit parents. A person who would put their kid in the washer in the laundromat is too stupid to safely raise a child.
If we start down that track, we’d have a serious surplus of children to find new homes for.
You know, this is a serious argument for bringing eugenics back.
Gross child endangerment == sterilized.
Lawsuit coming up over the auto lock function?
Nope. If I were the maker I’d sue them for damaging my business model, which included safety locks and warnings, with their heart-attack inducing youtube video.
Or lower the price on my top-loader models. Associations of that kind of fear are hard to get rid of completely.
I didn’t know the RIAA made washing machines.
The Telegraph says the kid was okay:
Thanks for posting the link, I needed to know that the kid was alright.
The kid is uninjured, that does not mean the kid is alright.
Thanks. I couldn’t see the video, but this sounded like attempted murder to me.
The auto lock is to prevent people from opening the washer in the middle of the wash cycle and creating a watery mess. (My husband owns a laundromat.)
Opening a front-loading washer while it was in operation would result in water spilling out everywhere. Certainly, trying to open the model that I’m familiar with triggers a cycle of drain first, then open.
The solution in this scenario is to do whatever it takes to cut the power to the machine, the building or the block.
That’s what the attendant goes for as soon as he realizes what happened…
The lock on my front loader is electronically controlled. I haven’t tried unplugging it mid-cycle, but I have a funny feeling that it defaults to “last position”.
The lock is often some sort of thermal device. Even if the power is switched off it will stay locked until it cools down. If the machine was on a spin cycle it ensures that you can’t open the door for half a minute until the drum has stopped.
Not deliberate abuse, but not responsible parenting either.
If you’re going to go for a Darwin award, do it to yourself, not your kids.
It looks deliberate to me; either that, or it’s ‘parents’ have an IQ of 2…
Last summer kids kept “drowning” in pools in Toronto while hordes of adults watched them. One duo even “forgot” their child in the car until it died. I think a lot of parents want rid of their children without murder charges.
I think they may have taken the ‘junior wash’ sign a little too literally.
This is depressing… I feel sorry for the dad who just did something stupid in the name of giving his kid a moment of fun.
Admittedly extremely stupid… but obviously he had no intention of harming his child.
Most depressing though is the inevitable YouTube Torrent of Racist Bile™
Yea, the youtube comments are depressing.
Whenever I feel a glimmer of hope for the human race, I go read YouTube comments on any video involving a non-white person, and extinguish it.
In many non-black minds, when a black person does something unusual, especially something stupid, they (supposedly) do it precisely because they’re black.
This goes a little beyond stupid. He’s endangering his child’s welfare. And I don’t see any racist comments.
No, no racism….
“A black kid with an actual father….thats crazy…”
“n****rs only have sex in their primitive, prehistoric minds.”
“N****RS JUST HAVE KIDS CAUSE THEY HATE USING RUBBERS ! THATS WHY THEY HAVE 10X THE VD OF ANY WHITE PEOPLE!”
“N****rs in general – but especially your beloved O-bama – should be sterilized et voilà: the US becomes a superpower again!”
If you click through to YouTube (and I don’t recommend you do) you’ll see the comments
I use the quietube firefox extension to automatically block youtube comments. Otherwise I would despair for humanity.
You have to click the video to read the comments, you know. I tried reposting some of the comments, to educate, but it was flagged by the moderation system. Too many N-words.
Youtube is 4chan with videos and aggressive copyright enforcement.
I have to hand edit them to put them through, as I’ve now done.
Of course it’s beyond stupid, but you can almost understand why a goofy new dad might have done it. He’s not a monster.
1. Put kid in washing machine
2. Close door
3. Look through window – smile at kid
4. Open door and say nawww, just kiddin’, and take them out.
He just didn’t realize that a mechanism would prevent that all-important step 4 from completing.
But will it blend?
Good thing he didn’t have it set on high speed spin dry…
I’m not even going to click on that, just the description is giving me anxiety. Thanks to whoever posted that the kid was apparently ok or I’d be worrying about him.
At the local laundromat a few weeks ago, I stupidly left a sock caught in the door of a 4-load washer, which started automatically as soon as I closed the latch. As water gushed from the front of the machine, I panicked and slammed the EMERGENCY STOP button, repeatedly. Nothing. There was no way to stop the machine. The rinse and spin cycles were especially exciting.
At least I was lucky, unlike this couple I was only washing some clothes and not my children.
A non-functioning E-stop on a piece of machinery accessible to the greater public is not just cause for a lawsuit, it’s downright negligent on the part of the manufacturer. Those things are supposed to be fail-proof.
Heh, and yet I keep going back, because it’s a few bucks cheaper to wash my gitch there than at the apartment.
My brother and I did this when we were kids, except we really did use a dryer. It was in an apartment laundromat.
We turned the heat off, so it was just “air dry”. One of us climbed in, the other stayed out to operate it.
Once you’d spun around a few times, your perspective shifted and suddenly you were holding still and it was the world outside that was spinning around.
We took turns spinning each other around for a good half hour. Only cost us a quarter.
That sounds just perfectly safe. Did you then go outside to play with the abandoned refrigerator?
Are you dissing our clubhouse?
That does sound safe, as long as you braced yourself against the drum so that you weren’t flopping around. It would just be a standard 25 cent carnival ride.
This calls for the Benny Hill theme, I think.
Obviously they were swayed into this decision by that sign stating “Junior Wash, $2.95″.
It seems to me that the washer somehow started automatically upon closing the door, and I’m pretty sure the father was not expecting that to happen. I really want to assume he was thinking “I’ll just close the door for a few seconds, then let him out, no harm done.” But then it started automatically and locked. I really can’t believe he intentionally turned it on.
But, yeah, incredibly stupid.
Which, come to think of it, is very strange, considering that it’s a laundromat where the washers presumably require coins to be inserted before they will do anything. At least, every washer in every laundromat I’ve ever used in my entire life required coins.
If the coins are in first, some machines start as soon as the door is locked.
1) These people can vote.
2) Was I the only one screaming “Unplug the damn thing!”
1) Universal suffrage means every citizen can vote, without regard to metrics such as wealth, landowning, and, yes, intelligence. Felony convictions are an exception that has, somehow, escaped constitutional protection.
2) Where was the plug? It wasn’t obvious to me.
1) Yes, and I don’t want people with this level of judgement voting on anything. Oh well.
2) Plugs are in the back. Its a corner unit, move it away and yank it. It would have been something better than just freaking out.
And what measure of intelligence would you use to satisfy your exacting standards for eligibility to vote?
Maybe the same ones that ensue a person getting a driving license is not going to become a safety hazard the minute it steps out of the drive-way?
I don’t know. I agree it’s a problem for which I don’t claim to have a solution, and I respect your well-founded concerns.
I don’t have a set parameter on the minimum requirements to vote. I understand there shouldn’t be any. But these two obviously fall below any measure of “good judgement”.
Yes, and I don’t want people with this level of judgement voting on anything.
From the guy who thought that Afghanistan is an Arab country, that’s hilarious.
I’d say there’s a pretty big difference between someone who thinks Afghanistan is an Arab country and someone who would put their kids in a machine that soaks and spins clothing at a high velocity. One is an honest misunderstanding, the other is idiocy.
If you consider the amount of death and destruction caused by our current foreign wars of aggression versus the number of children dying in appliance pranks, I’m far more concerned about voters who don’t understand foreign policy and can’t be bother to spend ten minutes on Wikipedia before they vote.
1) I don’t think I ever said that. If someone out right asked me I think I would have always said ‘no’ to it being an Arab country. But I guess I did and you find that HILARIOUS because it is the 2nd time you have brought it up. Yes – I am a fucking moron because I got some geographical fact wrong 0_O I’m still above average than most Americans and way above the two in the video.
2) Even if I didn’t know what planet Afghanistan was on, I’d have better judgment than put my kid in a freaking washer.
If something like this is happening to your kid right in front of you, I can imagine freaking out. It’s a fairly common human response and not necessarily an indication of their eligibility to vote.
You make it sound like it was beyond their control, but they were the ones who put the kid in.
And child endangerment can be a felony, so… charges should be filed.
Felony convictions are an exception that has, somehow, escaped constitutional protection.
That and the arbitrary disenfranchisement of anyone under 18.
Or Lords and Ladies. What are we thinking?
The US Government was never intended to have Universal Suffrage when they set up the framework for our electoral system. And thus universal suffrage when applied to it fails spectacularly. That anyone is surprised by this is utterly confusing to me.
Actually, I don’t think that stupid people – and children – having the vote would be bad.
A lot will probably not bother and among those who do, votes will – if at all – fall into different extremes and cancel themselves out.
It’s the mildly interested voter of average intelligence that gets swayed by populism and other bad politics.
I don’t know what the big deal is… don’t they want clean kids?
Trying stuff and getting banged up is part of being a kid. I hurt myself pretty badly a few times finding out the answer to ‘I wonder what would happen if…’ You never really know where the edge is on a lot of things until you go over it. Poor judgement by the parents to indulge him or her (after the fact, it’s an open question from the information given if they should have expected the machine to start or not) but the kid is ok, right? It’s only a dryer. Minor bruising, and a great story to tell and lesson learned. Totally worth it.
Telling kids who want to try dangerous things, “No.” is part of being a non-negligent parent.
Video says “washer”, which is why it locked. Dryers don’t lock.
The analog to this is you the parent helping your small child onto the hood or roof of the car or van you are driving.
The Telegraph article linked above calls it a dryer, so flip a coin, I guess. The action looks like a dryer to me. I agree with your car analogy, if you were going real slow. I did that as a kid, and it was pretty fun. My cousin kept jerking the wheel, trying to throw me off, because that’s just the way he is.
A better analogy would be letting your kid sit on the hood of a car you thought was not running, only to have the short person you didn’t see behind the wheel press the gas. Not the smartest thing in the world, granted, but it doesn’t make you a terrible parent. Just one that made a mistake.
No, this makes you a terrible parent.
Or throwing your kid in the lion enclosure as a joke when you’re pretty sure the lions are going to be somewhere else for the next half an hour. You haven’t checked, but in the past they always seem to have lunch in the back around this time.
Where was the label saying “Do not put children in the washing machine”? Absent that it’s no one’s fault but the manufacturer….
I really don’t get the commenters here making apologies and excuses for these idiots. They should be judged, and judged harshly. What city/state did this occur in?
Please don’t be in NC, we’ve gotten so much shit lately…
My front-load washer agitates such that it “hits” the clothing with enough force to crack the faux wood handle of a pocketknife that was left in muh pants.
It has 3 options for the spin cycle – 800 rpm, 900 rpm and 1000 rpm.
Doesn’t matter which cycle, or how you brace yourself, in there, a kid would die.
Parents make mistakes, each and every damn one of us, but that is clearly negligence. I doubt that between the laundromat and the machine-maker that there is not a warning posted, despite the obvious nature of the mistake.
As for posters saying that it isn’t negligence because the parents show concern I say BS. Doesn’t matter how much you care about the person, still criminal negligence to intentionally take an action that harms/kills someone or even potentially harms/kills them in this manner.
I couldn’t watch it, sorry.
Lay off the acid when taking your child to the laundry.
In fact, save us all the trouble and just call child services on yourself before you even consider doing something this stupid.
Acid wouldn’t cause this. PCP on the other hand…
Yeah, it was dumb in hindsight, but he obviously had no idea in the world it would lock– I wouldn’t either and I could just see myself doing something like that with my kids in a moment of goofiness. After all, the door opened in the first place–I wouldn’t imagine it wouldn’t open again.
Good dads do fun, silly things with their kids. I feel bad for him, suspect he’s a great and caring dad, and am immensely relieved the kid is ok.
Putting your kid in a machine you don’t understand and is clearly not intended to have a kid put in it, is still incredibly irresponsible. Yes, you can get away with using things for other purposes than they are intended for, but only if you actually understand what those machines do.
By that logic giving kids a cigar to chew on and a glass of whiskey to drink would be excusable, too. I mean, great caring goofy dads survive that easily and have fun doing so.
What evidence fuels your suspicion that he’s a “great and caring dad”? I see none.
Wow. I’m sure all the commenters on this thread are great parents. I’m sure they’ve never done something dumb they wished they could take back the second they did it. I’m sure they are all perfect.
I think most parents have done something dumb they wished they could take back.. that’s how they became parents…
Imprefect parenting != drowing chamber parenting
I am not a parent – mainly because I detest children, but I would never try to spin/drown a child! Putting a child in a front-loading washer is beyond “something dumb”, it’s attempted murder.
Well, at least they learned a lesson.
“I’m sure they are all perfect….”
There are things so inherently stupid that they pass beyond the “Oopsie!” pale and on into criminally stupid/negligent/utterly beyond belief.
This was one of them and there is no “Oh dear,, well, I’ve done dumb things too” excuse. I hope the kid survives their upbringing as I suspect these two are dumber than a load of rocks.
Just watched the video. I note the woman (d**** if I will call her a Mom) appears to look up at the security camera just before they start the machine, that and the choosing of the one machine directly in view of that camera starts my little paranoid fantasy lobe to working and causes me to wonder if perhaps they were trying to set up a “Your dangerous equipment almost killed our baby!” scenario hoping for a nice settlement instead of a trial where someone asks them some sharp questions.
Maybe they are not stupid per se, but junior-idiot level scammers.
vid is 404 now anyway :(
I decided not to watch the video.
You know what my favorite thing about Natural Selection is? It doesn’t require people to “believe” in it to be true!