Author Topic: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread  (Read 1015465 times)

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marcel

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5835 on: October 05, 2012, 07:05:52 PM »
There is a sign that says right turn signal in the far right lane and 2 additional lights for the 2 left lanes.  The two lanes are green and the right turn signal is red (next will turn into green arrow, then yellow arrow, then plain red again).  You have to wait for the green arrow regardless of what the other two lanes have right?
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Ceallach

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5836 on: October 09, 2012, 06:57:56 PM »
I'm really curious:   Do people really not understand how traffic lights function, or do they understand but still choose to press the button multiple times at the crosswalk just for the heck of it?

There are pretty much two ways that crosswalks at traffic lights work, either way they're synched in with the traffic lights on a preset scheduling with minor variations.  Sometimes the lights will only go if the button has been pressed (you press the button, then at the next scheduled change it will go green) or some will always go as scheduled regardless of if the button is pressed or not.    Either way, pressing the button multiple times does not make the lights change faster.     It's not sending a signal to the lights saying "Quick, stop all the traffic now! Somebody wants to cross!"   ;D   And it's certainly not going "Oh they pressed it again, there must be 10 people waiting, we'll let them go now!".   Personally, I am familiar with the light changes at intersections I cross regularly, so I know from looking at the traffic patterns exactly when the crosswalk is going to go green.  It's not rocket science.  Sometimes I walk up and know that it's nearly time, other times I know that I'm going to have a long wait because I can see the traffic going a certain way and know that "my turn" is awhile away.

If I arrive at the lights to cross I will sometimes press the button even if there is somebody else already waiting there, simply because I've been caught out before in situations where *nobody* has pressed the button and we miss the change.   However, twice this week I've been at the lights and seen the following happen:   Person walks up next to me, presses the button a couple of times.   (Fair enough).   They stand there.  20 seconds later they reach out and press the button a few more times.  Stand there.  30 seconds later again "thwack thwack thwack".     Are they just letting out some frustration?   Or do they really think it's achieving something?   Incidentally, they didn't seem to be in any crazy kind of hurry which might explain it.   Once the lights changed I took off at my normal walking pace and left them miles behind.  In one case the guy was with a lady and they were chatting casually in between his obsessive button pushing.  So it really seems as though they either think they've forgotten and do it again, or they think that somehow the lights have forgotten about them! Is this OTT button pushing just habit, e.g. they're not really thinking about it?
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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5837 on: October 09, 2012, 07:12:37 PM »
Celleach, it's probably just nervous energy, but never underestimate the power of dubious civil maintenance  :P  I'm sure I'm not the only one who's encountered buttons with iffy wiring, where you have to push and wiggle the button a bit to the left, or push it extra-hard, etc.  So given my city's track record on keeping other civil infrastructure up to date, I may want to push the button two or three different ways just to be sure  :P

Ceallach

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5838 on: October 09, 2012, 08:16:12 PM »
Celleach, it's probably just nervous energy, but never underestimate the power of dubious civil maintenance  :P  I'm sure I'm not the only one who's encountered buttons with iffy wiring, where you have to push and wiggle the button a bit to the left, or push it extra-hard, etc.  So given my city's track record on keeping other civil infrastructure up to date, I may want to push the button two or three different ways just to be sure  :P

Oh yeah, me too.   I admit I do the "double press" when I first walk up - one quick one in and out, and then another firm, hard push just to ensure it's engaged properly.      But once it's done, I know it's done and I wait.  I don't keep walking up again and having another "thwack thwack thwack" at it every 20 seconds or so.   That behaviour does seem to indicate that they're assuming it's broken or hasn't registered their earlier pushes, which again seems to indicate a lack of understanding of the lights.  (For example, if you can see that cars are still going past from A to B, logically when the cars opposite get their green light you will get your crosswalk light also).   If I saw a set of traffic lights cycling through all stages without the crosswalk going then I'd know the button was broken. 
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jpcher

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5839 on: October 09, 2012, 08:32:34 PM »
It's akin to pushing the elevator button. The more you push the button, the quicker the elevator will appear at your floor. Right? Ha ha ha!

Buttons are meant to be pushed. Doesn't mean that the outcome will be any different if you push the button once or ten times.

I just think that people like pushing buttons. Why?


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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5840 on: October 09, 2012, 08:50:20 PM »
^ Somebody told me that the door close button in the elevator doesn't actually do anything; it just makes the pusher feel like they're doing something.  I don't ride in many elevators so I haven't had a chance to see if that's true.
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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5841 on: October 09, 2012, 10:51:30 PM »
^ Somebody told me that the door close button in the elevator doesn't actually do anything; it just makes the pusher feel like they're doing something.  I don't ride in many elevators so I haven't had a chance to see if that's true.

I can't seem to find a reference, however I believe that is a myth and that in fact a non-functioning close button would render the elevator non-compliant with safety standards.

I've certainly pressed the button myself in some elevators and it does seem to shut faster than without it.   One thing I don't use though is the "open" button.... for some reason whenever I see somebody coming and want to hold the elevator for them I panic and hit the wrong button (close instead of open) so instead of looking like a nice person holding the elevator I look like a mean person trying to close the doors before they get in!  :-[   So I usually wave my arm in between the doors to get them to stay open instead.    (Assuming they are still mostly open - I don't generally bother trying to hold the elevator if the doors are mostly closed, that's just inefficient for everybody).
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Iris

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5842 on: October 10, 2012, 02:49:48 AM »
^ Somebody told me that the door close button in the elevator doesn't actually do anything; it just makes the pusher feel like they're doing something.  I don't ride in many elevators so I haven't had a chance to see if that's true.

I can't seem to find a reference, however I believe that is a myth and that in fact a non-functioning close button would render the elevator non-compliant with safety standards.

I've certainly pressed the button myself in some elevators and it does seem to shut faster than without it.   One thing I don't use though is the "open" button.... for some reason whenever I see somebody coming and want to hold the elevator for them I panic and hit the wrong button (close instead of open) so instead of looking like a nice person holding the elevator I look like a mean person trying to close the doors before they get in!  :-[   So I usually wave my arm in between the doors to get them to stay open instead.    (Assuming they are still mostly open - I don't generally bother trying to hold the elevator if the doors are mostly closed, that's just inefficient for everybody).

With the crossing lights thing, I just push the button repeatedly because I hate hate hate not doing anything and those new-ish metal buttons make a great noise when you push them. :) I tend to try not to do it when other people are at the lights though, because I'm embarrassed by just how childish I can be and try to hide it when I think someone's looking.  :-[

Also, please don't wave your arm in the elevator. I got caught once. Mercifully the other people forced the door open before the elevator could move but it's made me really really cautious ever since.
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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5843 on: October 10, 2012, 07:52:36 AM »
^ Somebody told me that the door close button in the elevator doesn't actually do anything; it just makes the pusher feel like they're doing something.  I don't ride in many elevators so I haven't had a chance to see if that's true.

I can't seem to find a reference, however I believe that is a myth and that in fact a non-functioning close button would render the elevator non-compliant with safety standards.

I've certainly pressed the button myself in some elevators and it does seem to shut faster than without it.   One thing I don't use though is the "open" button.... for some reason whenever I see somebody coming and want to hold the elevator for them I panic and hit the wrong button (close instead of open) so instead of looking like a nice person holding the elevator I look like a mean person trying to close the doors before they get in!  :-[   So I usually wave my arm in between the doors to get them to stay open instead.    (Assuming they are still mostly open - I don't generally bother trying to hold the elevator if the doors are mostly closed, that's just inefficient for everybody).

With the crossing lights thing, I just push the button repeatedly because I hate hate hate not doing anything and those new-ish metal buttons make a great noise when you push them. :) I tend to try not to do it when other people are at the lights though, because I'm embarrassed by just how childish I can be and try to hide it when I think someone's looking.  :-[

Also, please don't wave your arm in the elevator. I got caught once. Mercifully the other people forced the door open before the elevator could move but it's made me really really cautious ever since.

I don't know if it works everywhere, but in my area, if you press the walk button 5 times quickly to cross at an intersection that has a longer cycle in favour of one (main) direction, it will shorter the duration of the green light to let you cross sooner.  If you push the button once, it will be a longer wait.  If you don't push the button, the walk signal may not appear at all, especially during rush hour.
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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5844 on: October 10, 2012, 08:12:54 AM »

With the crossing lights thing, I just push the button repeatedly because I hate hate hate not doing anything and those new-ish metal buttons make a great noise when you push them. :) I tend to try not to do it when other people are at the lights though, because I'm embarrassed by just how childish I can be and try to hide it when I think someone's looking.  :-[

Also, please don't wave your arm in the elevator. I got caught once. Mercifully the other people forced the door open before the elevator could move but it's made me really really cautious ever since.

Around here most buttons are rather... decrepit. Some don't appear to work well at all. Being the paranoid person that I am, I'll push them repeatedly to make sure they have gotten the message.

However now they are being replaced with these really neat light sensitive ones. You run your finger over the dot and it beeps at you. No wondering if it is broken or a dud! Sometimes I still do it twice though, just because I like the beep. Glad to hear I'm not the only one! ;D
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Snooks

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5845 on: October 10, 2012, 08:22:21 AM »
Older crossings in the UK go red instantly if you press them three times in quick succession, unfortunately it doesn't work for newer ones.

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5846 on: October 10, 2012, 08:43:48 AM »
Older crossings in the UK go red instantly if you press them three times in quick succession, unfortunately it doesn't work for newer ones.

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Dindrane

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5847 on: October 10, 2012, 09:44:24 AM »
There are a lot of intersections where I live that don't cycle through the lights in exactly the same way each time. The specific order in which people get green lights (and the length of time they last) varies based on the time of day, but also based on sensors. Since pedestrians can't have those neat sensors they put in the roads to determine if there are cars waiting, the button is all there is. :) In situations like that, I think people tend to push it repeatedly because, for one thing, it's not like it's hurting anyone, and for another, if the button isn't pushed at some intersections, there won't ever be a walk signal at all. They may also be thinking that pushing it more often actually will register more "demand" and make the signal appear faster.

With regard to elevator buttons, there are two I use daily at work. The one inside the parking garage stays open for a loooong time if you leave it to its own devices. The close door button definitely cuts off a good 5 seconds on that one. The one inside my building has the doors open for a much shorter time, so I'm not really sure the button does much of anything. It does seem to close the doors a little faster if you hit immediately upon getting in the elevator, but it doesn't always work.


magicdomino

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5848 on: October 10, 2012, 11:30:44 AM »
New stupid question:  Why is Samhain pronounced SOW-win?  Or, more precisely, why is SOW-win spelled samhain?  It starts with "s" and ends with "n", but the letters in the center have little or no association with their usual sounds. 

2littlemonkeys

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5849 on: October 10, 2012, 11:34:22 AM »
^ Somebody told me that the door close button in the elevator doesn't actually do anything; it just makes the pusher feel like they're doing something.  I don't ride in many elevators so I haven't had a chance to see if that's true.

Ours works.  As does the "Door Open" button. (to throw a bone to those coming up to the elevator just as the doors start to close.)   :)