I really should know the answer to this because my dad (an electrical and audio engineer) taught me all of this when I was a kid, and I trained for many years in tech theater, but I guess my brain is failing and Google isn't offering any answers.
There is an electrical outlet (standard US three pronged) that has two things plugged into it- a small floor fan that is used to circulate air, and a surge protector that has the TV, speaker, DVR, Blu Ray, Apple TV, and Playstation plugged into it. There have been no problems (shorts or cutting out or anything like that).
A few weeks ago I noticed the fan was dusty so I turned it off so I could vacuum it. I unplugged the fan and the everything else plugged in powered off. I was at a loss so did a little testing: when I plugged the vacuum in nothing happened, but when I plugged the fan back in (still off) the surge protector powered back up and the TV, DVR and everything else connected to it turned on.
What in the hell is doing this? Do we have a power ghost in the wall? Luckily our unit is having a forced remodel in a month or so and I will have the construction people deal with the outlet.
I really don't know how a possibly faulty electronic (the fan) could power down/up an electrical outlet.