The practice of opening up the battery cover on a remote control when it stops working and rolling the batteries with the tips of your fingers, in a bizarre ritual that we somehow expect to breathe new life into the obviously dead devices.

However, this practice does in fact work to some extent; the rolling of the batteries warms them up a little, and introduces a little kinetic and thermal energy, thus increasing the reaction rate, and generating more electricity to power the remote just a little longer. Also, the problem may not be that the batteries are flat, but that a layer of oxides and dirt has built up on the terminals. Rolling the batteries can remove such a layer, and improve the contact.

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