Author Topic: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread  (Read 1037186 times)

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Ceallach

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5865 on: October 10, 2012, 07:00:18 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).

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.

If the door is wide open and I wave my arm through quickly there's not really any risk of it getting caught.  The doors are still open and are a long way from my arm.

I see people holding the door by standing in it / putting their arm across all the time.  I imagine it would only be an issue if you tried to stick your arm through at the last second?
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Ceallach

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5866 on: October 10, 2012, 07:05:28 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).

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.

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.

They do? How did I not know that?

I'm not sure if any still exist, there was on near me that used to do it and long long ago (maybe forty years ago) all the ones on Oxford Street and Regent Street used to do it.  Supposedly it was to allow police to cross busy roads quickly.  However it's an urban myth that flashing headlights/sirens trigger traffic lights to change.

I will be testing them out. If you read about a crazy woman pushing the buttons enthusiastically around the Home Counties that may be me.

Interesting!  I had no idea that in some places pressing the button multiple times *will* get you across faster.  It seems like a strange system from a planning perspective (is it designed with the thought "Oh if somebody's in a REAL hurry we should let them across faster!"?  ;D )  but definitely interesting to know.

I am 100% certain it's not the case here - I temped for awhile at an engineering firm who are responsible for setting up traffic light changes (amongst other things).   It was a very eye-opening experience for me.  If there are some lights with secret special button press codes such as "press 3 times for a quick change" they're keeping it very well hidden!    So I suspect with most people here it's just habit or killing time as PPs have suggested. 
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Ceallach

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5867 on: October 10, 2012, 07:09:53 PM »
On the stupid question front...have I finally at an embarrassingly advanced age figured out how crosswalk signals work?  If I am walking directly across the street, I push the button that parallels my walk.  If I am turning, I need to hit the perpendicular button?
(Not that this helps when the button post is skewed in such a way that even that overdue understanding is no help.  A lot of times, I just hit both buttons to be sure...

Green -- This would be my understanding, even if the buttons are a bit skewed, hit the one that's closest to the direction you are walking.

Bold -- In which case, I'm betting that you're negating pushing any button at all. :-\

Around here the buttons have an arrow pointing in the direction they relate to.   You press the button with the arrow pointing in the direction that you wish to cross.     Occasionally at an intersection on a funny angle it can be tricky to tell which button is for which direction - I've seen people accidentally press the wrong one (the first one they see) not realising it's for the other way and that they need to go over and press a different button.

The good news is that often it doesn't matter - at major intersections the lights are frequently set to go on a timer (in synch with the traffic lights) regardless.   But at others it's crucial.   The major intersection near my house the little green man will only go off if you press the button, otherwise more left-turning traffic gets to go through instead.   DH and I know the change so well that he will run ahead to hit the button on approach if we can see we're about to miss the window.  Otherwise we might arrive at the right time to cross but get no cross signal and have to wait the whole transition again.
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Onyx_TKD

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5868 on: October 10, 2012, 07:29:52 PM »
On the stupid question front...have I finally at an embarrassingly advanced age figured out how crosswalk signals work?  If I am walking directly across the street, I push the button that parallels my walk.  If I am turning, I need to hit the perpendicular button?
(Not that this helps when the button post is skewed in such a way that even that overdue understanding is no help.  A lot of times, I just hit both buttons to be sure...

Green -- This would be my understanding, even if the buttons are a bit skewed, hit the one that's closest to the direction you are walking.

Bold -- In which case, I'm betting that you're negating pushing any button at all. :-\

If I am reading GreenHall's post correctly, he/she is hitting the walk buttons for both directions. This would just tell the signal that there are people waiting to cross the intersection in both directions. I don't see any reason it would cancel the request for a walk signal. I have frequently hit both buttons at an intersection when I needed to get diagonally across, because it made no difference to me which direction I crossed first, as long as I got walk signals with both lights. It has always seemed to work in the manner I describe (these are intersections where no walk signal is displayed unless someone has pressed the button).

Ceallach

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5869 on: October 10, 2012, 07:39:33 PM »
On the stupid question front...have I finally at an embarrassingly advanced age figured out how crosswalk signals work?  If I am walking directly across the street, I push the button that parallels my walk.  If I am turning, I need to hit the perpendicular button?
(Not that this helps when the button post is skewed in such a way that even that overdue understanding is no help.  A lot of times, I just hit both buttons to be sure...

Green -- This would be my understanding, even if the buttons are a bit skewed, hit the one that's closest to the direction you are walking.

Bold -- In which case, I'm betting that you're negating pushing any button at all. :-\

If I am reading GreenHall's post correctly, he/she is hitting the walk buttons for both directions. This would just tell the signal that there are people waiting to cross the intersection in both directions. I don't see any reason it would cancel the request for a walk signal. I have frequently hit both buttons at an intersection when I needed to get diagonally across, because it made no difference to me which direction I crossed first, as long as I got walk signals with both lights. It has always seemed to work in the manner I describe (these are intersections where no walk signal is displayed unless someone has pressed the button).

Oh I understand now! 

Yes I do the same thing.   If it's an intersection where I don't know the light sequencing, and I'm happy going either way (to get diagonally across) I'll press both buttons.     It definitely doesn't cancel anything out, it just means that  both crosswalks are triggered to go off at the appropriate time, so whichever happens to come up first in the sequencing I'll use.   (From the perspective of the machinery itself, it thinks there are people wanting to cross *both* ways - it doesn't know that it's 1 person who has pressed both!  Neither take higher priority, it's just which one is scheduled to come up first if required.  If I don't know which one is scheduled to come up next I'll just tell it I need both).
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jpcher

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5870 on: October 10, 2012, 08:37:36 PM »
On the stupid question front...have I finally at an embarrassingly advanced age figured out how crosswalk signals work?  If I am walking directly across the street, I push the button that parallels my walk.  If I am turning, I need to hit the perpendicular button?
(Not that this helps when the button post is skewed in such a way that even that overdue understanding is no help.  A lot of times, I just hit both buttons to be sure...

Green -- This would be my understanding, even if the buttons are a bit skewed, hit the one that's closest to the direction you are walking.

Bold -- In which case, I'm betting that you're negating pushing any button at all. :-\

If I am reading GreenHall's post correctly, he/she is hitting the walk buttons for both directions. This would just tell the signal that there are people waiting to cross the intersection in both directions. I don't see any reason it would cancel the request for a walk signal. I have frequently hit both buttons at an intersection when I needed to get diagonally across, because it made no difference to me which direction I crossed first, as long as I got walk signals with both lights. It has always seemed to work in the manner I describe (these are intersections where no walk signal is displayed unless someone has pressed the button).

Oh I understand now! 

Yes I do the same thing.   If it's an intersection where I don't know the light sequencing, and I'm happy going either way (to get diagonally across) I'll press both buttons.     It definitely doesn't cancel anything out, it just means that  both crosswalks are triggered to go off at the appropriate time, so whichever happens to come up first in the sequencing I'll use.   (From the perspective of the machinery itself, it thinks there are people wanting to cross *both* ways - it doesn't know that it's 1 person who has pressed both!  Neither take higher priority, it's just which one is scheduled to come up first if required.  If I don't know which one is scheduled to come up next I'll just tell it I need both).

Okay, I get this.

If it doesn't matter to you which way you cross first, hitting both buttons would make sense. You would cross with whichever light turns first.

However, if you're intent is to go only the one direction, why would (generic) you press the other button? By pressing the other cross-walk button, don't you think that you just might have to wait for that signal to go through before your intended direction signal comes up?


Onyx_TKD

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5871 on: October 10, 2012, 08:48:37 PM »
On the stupid question front...have I finally at an embarrassingly advanced age figured out how crosswalk signals work?  If I am walking directly across the street, I push the button that parallels my walk.  If I am turning, I need to hit the perpendicular button?
(Not that this helps when the button post is skewed in such a way that even that overdue understanding is no help.  A lot of times, I just hit both buttons to be sure...

Green -- This would be my understanding, even if the buttons are a bit skewed, hit the one that's closest to the direction you are walking.

Bold -- In which case, I'm betting that you're negating pushing any button at all. :-\

If I am reading GreenHall's post correctly, he/she is hitting the walk buttons for both directions. This would just tell the signal that there are people waiting to cross the intersection in both directions. I don't see any reason it would cancel the request for a walk signal. I have frequently hit both buttons at an intersection when I needed to get diagonally across, because it made no difference to me which direction I crossed first, as long as I got walk signals with both lights. It has always seemed to work in the manner I describe (these are intersections where no walk signal is displayed unless someone has pressed the button).

Oh I understand now! 

Yes I do the same thing.   If it's an intersection where I don't know the light sequencing, and I'm happy going either way (to get diagonally across) I'll press both buttons.     It definitely doesn't cancel anything out, it just means that  both crosswalks are triggered to go off at the appropriate time, so whichever happens to come up first in the sequencing I'll use.   (From the perspective of the machinery itself, it thinks there are people wanting to cross *both* ways - it doesn't know that it's 1 person who has pressed both!  Neither take higher priority, it's just which one is scheduled to come up first if required.  If I don't know which one is scheduled to come up next I'll just tell it I need both).

Okay, I get this.

If it doesn't matter to you which way you cross first, hitting both buttons would make sense. You would cross with whichever light turns first.

However, if you're intent is to go only the one direction, why would (generic) you press the other button? By pressing the other cross-walk button, don't you think that you just might have to wait for that signal to go through before your intended direction signal comes up?

In some intersections, you will only get a walk signal if the button for that direction is pressed, and in some of these, you also have to hit the button before the traffic light changes (i.e., if there's already a green light in your desired direction but no walk signal, hitting the button won't trigger the walk signal until the next green light in that direction--don't ask me why, it's incredibly annoying). If the buttons aren't properly lined up, it may not be clear which button corresponds to each direction. To press only one button, you would have to guess which is the right one. Guess wrong, and you won't know until the light turns green and there's no walk signal, in which case you have to wait through the entire light cycle. Press both, and you might add a little time waiting for the signal going the other direction, but you know you'll get your walk signal within that light cycle.

kareng57

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5872 on: October 10, 2012, 11:18:01 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).

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.


My problem is that the new pedestrian-signals in my neighbourhood don't make noise at all, and are so flat that you can't really be sure that it "registered" when you first press them.  So the tendency is to do it two or three times, just to make sure.  Of course I know that it won't make the "walk" signal appear any faster.

Hillia

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5873 on: October 11, 2012, 09:34:28 AM »
Here's one for the historians.

I'm reading a lot of English history, particularly around the Tudor period.  There are lots of quotes from letters, personal accounts, etc.  How many of these source documents actually survive to be quoted by historians, and how many are quotes of quotes of quotes going back hundreds of years?  It seems unlikely that all these papers have survived and are still legible after so long, but quoting quotes seems like the longest game of Telephone ever, with tons of chances for inaccuracies to creep in.

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RingTailedLemur

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5874 on: October 11, 2012, 10:15:05 AM »
Here's one for the historians.

I'm reading a lot of English history, particularly around the Tudor period.  There are lots of quotes from letters, personal accounts, etc.  How many of these source documents actually survive to be quoted by historians, and how many are quotes of quotes of quotes going back hundreds of years?  It seems unlikely that all these papers have survived and are still legible after so long, but quoting quotes seems like the longest game of Telephone ever, with tons of chances for inaccuracies to creep in.

Not really, it's only been 500 years.  There are even Roman paper-and-ink documents around that are still legible.

Thipu1

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5875 on: October 11, 2012, 10:17:16 AM »
Many documents from the Tudor period did survive.  Papers of notable people were often preserved by the family. Paper then was rag paper which holds up beautifully. 

Printed books were also becoming more common.  We have one that was printed around 1620.  The binding is shot but the text block is clean and perfectly readable.  This book is a record of funerary monuments.  It's full of interesting quotations some, from as far back as the 14th century.  This sort of publication was quite common in the 17th century.   

Also, in the 18th and 19th centuries, it was a popular pastime to keep a 'Commonplace book'.  These were essentially scrapbooks in which people would copy out poetry, prose passages and quotations they found appealing.  Often, these would come from earlier centuries. 

I'm sure others will have different ideas.  these are just things that your question called to mind. 


Hillia

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5876 on: October 11, 2012, 10:21:45 AM »
That's really interesting.  I had no idea that documents could survive that long.

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magicdomino

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5877 on: October 11, 2012, 10:39:19 AM »
Good paper can last for centuries if it is stored properly.  Mass-market paperback books, and even most hardbacks will be lucky if they make it over a century because the acidic paper crumbles, and the glued spines become unglued.  The ridges on the the spine of old books aren't there for show; they cover where the book was tied/sewn together before glueing. 

Thipu1

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5878 on: October 11, 2012, 10:53:38 AM »
Documents can survive for very long times and ancient documents can be surprisingly familiar.

The Vindolanda letters give us a good idea of what life was like for Roman soldiers serving on Hadrian's Wall.  One that sticks in my mind was sent by a woman.  It tells the soldier that she has sent him, 'X pair of socks and Y pair of underpants'. 

There's also a whining letter from a kid who lived in Egypt about 200 BCE. His father had promised him a trip to Alexandria but, due to business pressures, had to renege on his promise and make the trip alone.  The letter may be over 2000 years old but every parent can relate to it.  The boy's letter essentially says,

YOU'RE THE WORST DAD IN THE WORLD AND I CAN NEVER TRUST YOU AGAIN !!!!

   

Nibsey

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #5879 on: October 11, 2012, 11:52:44 AM »
Here's one for the historians.

I'm reading a lot of English history, particularly around the Tudor period.  There are lots of quotes from letters, personal accounts, etc.  How many of these source documents actually survive to be quoted by historians, and how many are quotes of quotes of quotes going back hundreds of years?  It seems unlikely that all these papers have survived and are still legible after so long, but quoting quotes seems like the longest game of Telephone ever, with tons of chances for inaccuracies to creep in.

I do research in the 1600's, so it's pretty much my job to look at these letters and they are really cool. People kept their letters to each other. One of my best experiences in studying history happened after a week of scanning through a ton of letters looking for a particular piece of gossip. After a while you start recognising handwriting and I began to look forward to seeing Lord So&So letters because his handwriting was so easy to read and he was a pretty funny guy. To then notice at the end of the week that there was a huge portrait of the person in question right in front of me and he was exactly how I pictured him!
« Last Edit: October 11, 2012, 11:54:51 AM by Nibsey »
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