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Anodes, Cathodes, and Electrolytes. Or, you know, BATTERIES.

When my daughter was about three months old that magical thing known as the “underwater” musical aquarium that hung on the side of her crib ran out of batteries at three in the morning.

This wouldn’t be such a big deal, of course if a) we had more batteries upstairs and b) the aquarium thingy didn’t have the batteries that needed replacing behind roughly five million screws.

OH MY GOD THE LOCKED DOWN BATTERIES IN KID’S TOYS.

So that meant that we had to go downstairs, find a damned Philups screwdriver, unscrew the thing, put in new batteries, frankly press the buttons and then realize in our delirium we put the batteries in wrong, then unscrew the f*%$ing thing and put the batteries in right all while our daughter hollered her head off because she couldn’t have her song put her back to sleep even though the other parent tried mightily to comfort her.

IT WAS AWESOME.

You know, NOT.

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Batteries are actually a rather amazing thing. Here’s how batteries work:

The chemical reactions in the battery causes a build up of electrons at the anode. This results in an electrical difference between the anode and the cathode. You can think of this difference as an unstable build-up of the electrons. The electrons wants to rearrange themselves to get rid of this difference. But they do this in a certain way. Electrons repel each other and try to go to a place with fewer electrons.

Cool right? We can all pretend we understand what that means. All I know is that when we lose power (and we ALWAYS lose power at least three times a year thanks to storms), batteries save our lives and make it possible for us to see, play, and generally not go crazy when it’s dark. Batteries are so normal and so par for the course it’s hard to remember to find them incredible: a tiny little thing that has a constant chemical reaction that allows up to have LIGHT.

Remember that. Even if it’s no comfort whatsoever when you’re unscrewing the back of a toy to the sound of a wailing child. Without the batteries, it would be worse. Right?

A big thanks to Energizer for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

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