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Assault and batteries?

We're all involved with multiple, varied sources of power for our numerous electronic devices, including the ac-outlet (usually via a wall-wart adapter); rechargeable batteries, and primary (non-rechargeable) cells. But the totality of our need really hit me full force at a local chain “drugstore” (it's actually more of a mini-market rather than just a pharmacy).

There, in their well-stocked battery section, offering everything from button cells through AA lithium cells to AA rechargeable cells and C and D batteries, they were selling a package of 40 alkaline AA batteries for $16, not a bad price at all. I'm thinking, who would buy this package? Certainly people who like to be prepared for emergences, or stock up at a good price would be prime candidates (the batteries had a “use-by” date five years out).

But the more I thought about it, I concluded that this 40-unit quantity package would actually be a good deal for many people. Lots of folks have small flashlights scattered around their home and car that use a couple of AA units; some portable CD players (yes, there still are some in use) need them, and some digital cameras take AA cells, just to give some examples. And there are even special holders/adapters that let you power your cell phone from AA batteries in an emergency; they are pretty handy to have around, too.

So before you think that nearly everything is either using an ac outlet or rechargeable batteries for power, think again. The humble, non-rechargeable, primary cell is quite alive and well.

And a “teaser” question : Do you know why we have standard batteries designations AAA, AA, C, and D, but you don't see any A or B sizes? Unlike many such questions, where the answer is either anecdotal, or lost in history or somewhat of an unverifiable story, this one has a clear answer.

If you're curious to know why, you can do some online research yourself, or email me at .♦

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