# Life's great mysteries (things that make NO sense)

some bloke
This is an open discussion for people to voice their thoughts on things which just make no sense to them. And for others to possibly elucidate for them to help them understand.

I'll open with this: Touch screens in cars.

Who decided that this was a good idea? Particularly when the touch screen also controls the radio?

Case one: old fashioned car. I want to turn the volume up, so I reach over until I feel the volume knob, and I turn it, all whilst avoiding someone who just stepped out into the road.

Case two: modern car. I want to turn the volume up, so I look over to my touch screen, which has no haptic feedback so I have no idea what I'm pressing unless I look, and I press the button for the volume to go up, and there's a loud thud as somebody hurtles over the bonnet because I'm looking at the screen for my radio and didn't see them.

Just why? what was wrong with controls you can operate without looking? who decided that a RADIO needed to have a SCREEN? do you know what you call a radio with a screen? a Television.

So, what is it in this world that makes absolutely no sense to you?

Monsterboy and 256bits

Gold Member
Automobile controls are commonly designed for a crew vehicle with division of labor. Ideally, the pilot/operator concentrates on driving the vehicle. The (front-seat) passenger operates the radio, reads maps and road signs to help navigate, and generally handles non-driving chores. Much has been automated by electronics including (eventually) many driver responsibilities.

A late 20th C. automobile marketed to engineers added radio controls to pods located on the driver's steering wheel alongside similar pods for cruise control and other functions. Main complaint from driver concerned unintentionally activating radio controls while using the steering wheel for its primary purpose. With a passenger operating the radio, the extra pod became redundant clutter on a critical control surface.

Like most engineering decisions, placing the radio controls in the center involves compromise. The actual radio controls like all appliances depend on current fashion and technology. Early potentiometers (volume/amplitude) and rheostats (tuning) gave way to motor-driven switching in some designs, push-button tuning with preset stations, and eventually 'solid-state' switching. Early home radio receivers almost always included lit or backlit screens that mechanically indicated the receiving frequency while also visually indicating to the listeners that the receiver was switched on. Automobile radios provided similar features expected by the public. Modern screens described in the OP emulate these functions. Comparison to television screens is coincidental rather than functional.

The controls built into emergency vehicles and 'big rig' trucks, not to mention modern aircraft, dazzle the untrained operator. Safe operation of even a basic automobile requires months of training.

Monsterboy
Mentor
Why do so many snail-mail solicitations from charities and political groups include a sheet of personalized address labels? I could probably count on the fingers of one hand, the number of letters I've mailed during the last year, if I could even remember them.

When one of those solicitations moves me to make a donation, I don't even mail their reply form and envelope. I go to their web site instead.

Keith_McClary
Staff Emeritus
2021 Award
When one of those solicitations moves me to make a donation, I don't even mail their reply form
If they have cheesed me off, I mail the reply envelope back, empty.

When I was a grad student, a bank literally littered thousands of credit cars apps on the campus. Some other students and I picked them all up, and mailed all the BRMs back to them. It must have cost them thousands.

crudux_cruo, Leo Liu, diogenesNY and 5 others
I was in a nice restaurant a few weeks ago. On the table was a drink menu. Asked the waitstaff for a food menu; the reply was "scan the QR code there with your phone."

"No, I want to see a real menu."

"Sorry our printer is out of paper."

"Good bye"

So, for saving 3 cents on printer paper, they missed a dinner for two: probably at least $80 and a twelve buck tip to the waitress. Wrichik Basu Mentor I was in a nice restaurant a few weeks ago. On the table was a drink menu. Asked the waitstaff for a food menu; the reply was "scan the QR code there with your phone." "No, I want to see a real menu." "Sorry our printer is out of paper." "Good bye" So, for saving 3 cents on printer paper, they missed a dinner for two: probably at least$80 and a twelve buck tip to the waitress.
Seriously? Did you not know that printed menus were done away with due to COVID? Even still, I can't fathom why the prospect of looking at a menu on your phone would cause you to leave a nice restaurant!?

PeroK
Gold Member
2021 Award
I can't fathom why the prospect of looking at a menu on your phone would cause you to leave a nice restaurant!?
How about me? I have a flip phone so impossible to do what they want. Screw'm.

Hornbein, 2milehi, Tom.G and 2 others
Gold Member
2021 Award
Why do so many snail-mail solicitations from charities and political groups include a sheet of personalized address labels?
I think it's a hangover from the days when more snail mail went out. Personally, I've been using those things for years. I mail probably an average of 3 paper bills a week. I don't have a smartphone and have no interest in on-line bill pay.

Bystander and russ_watters
Mentor
Seriously? Did you not know that printed menus were done away with due to COVID?
TIL. (I haven't been out to eat at a restaurant since the Pandemic lockdown.)

pinball1970, Klystron and Hamiltonian
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Equal number of arrival and departure screens within the secure areas of airport terminals. (Or for screens which switch between the two, equal time intervals of display.)

After discussing the topic with an off-duty flight attendant and even a thread here on PF (https://www.physicsforums.com/threa...secure-airport-terminals.825297/#post-5182043), I've identified three four use cases where the Arrivals list may actually be needed:
• Situations where someone will be sharing the final destination flight together with associates who had different origin flights. Of course, they could all meet together at the gate of their common destination flight, but knowing each others' arrival times and gates might save a few minutes, maybe, on their way to grab lunch or a drink or something.
• Friends or acquaintances who by sheer coincidence have the same layover time in an airport and might as well meet up for drink or whatnot before continuing on to their respective destinations.
• Caretakers of handicapped or children who's sole purpose of being in the secure part of the terminal is to be an escort.
• [Edit: new] Travelers who are meeting at their final destination and have no checked baggage.

So yes, a list of Arrivals is actually needed. That said, the list of arrivals is completely useless to the vast majority of use cases. It surprises me that in my experience (at the airports I visit anyway) the list of Departures and list of Arrivals, in the secure areas of the terminals, are displayed on equal footing.

Last edited:
Mentor
TIL. (I haven't been out to eat at a restaurant since the Pandemic lockdown.)
Fair enough, but aren't you in the Bay Area? Isn't outdoor seating a thing there? The risk of outdoor seating was never an issue for me (gov't guidance on outdoor...everything never made sense to me), but the climate/weather is a problem where I live. I did eat indoors half a dozen times since lockdown before last week, when I acquired a New Superpower and activated Normal Mode.

I think it's a hangover from the days when more snail mail went out. Personally, I've been using those things for years. I mail probably an average of 3 paper bills a week. I don't have a smartphone and have no interest in on-line bill pay.
I was working on a joke correlating COVID risk with flip-phone use but instead I'll just let it go. Fair enough; they need a back-up plan/accommodation in case of....

2milehi
Mentor
(This post may be a bit too medical/gory for some -- if so, please skip to the next post)

One of my main "That Makes No Sense" (TMNS) issues as a part-time Medic is with the numerous times I've seen in the popular press that "the gunshot victim was given CPR to try to save their life". People, if the patient has big holes in them that are bleeding profusely, then pumping on their heart will only move up their time of death.

The EMS treatment for gunshot wounds and other wounds that are bleeding profusely is to stop the bleeding. Once you have that done, you can start an IV to refill the blood vessel volume some and then maybe start CPR if indicated by the EKG.

But please don't think that pumping the gunshot victim's blood out of their body with CPR will help their survival. Lordy.

SammyS, Evo, CalcNerd and 8 others
Gold Member
2021 Award
they need a back-up plan/accommodation in case of....
Dinosaurs like me

Gold Member
2021 Award
I was working on a joke correlating COVID risk with flip-phone use but instead I'll just let it go.
Oh, don't let it go because of me. My kids rags me unmercifully about it, so I can take it.

Staff Emeritus
2021 Award
I've identified three use cases where the Arrivals list may actually be needed:
Late inbound aircraft. Often the arrival time is updated more often than the departure time (which might get updated only after the inbound aircraft is wheels down).

Mentor
Dinosaurs like me

Oh, don't let it go because of me. My kids rags me unmercifully about it, so I can take it.
It's not funny if you steal the punch line.

Bystander and phinds
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Late inbound aircraft. Often the arrival time is updated more often than the departure time (which might get updated only after the inbound aircraft is wheels down).

That does give one a point of additional info, but it's still a rarity. Furthermore, it's risky to rely on that point of information. Airlines will often swap airplanes on the fly (no pun intended)-- this is particularly true for bigger and busier airports. This has happened to me on multiple occasions. If an incoming flight is delayed, and that airplane is the one originally planned for your connecting flight, it might not be the airplane ultimately used for your connecting flight; the airline might assign a different plane that is already on the ground to the connecting flight in question. Relying on the Arrivals list (while ignoring the Departures) might cause you to miss your connection.

Gold Member
@jack action posted this in lame jokes:

dRic2, DaveE, MikeeMiracle and 1 other person
Homework Helper
Gold Member
2021 Award
I don't have a smartphone and have no interest in on-line bill pay.
You do have a tablet, though, surely?

Gold Member
2021 Award
You do have a tablet, though, surely?
I have a workstation computer, but so what?

david2
Staff Emeritus
2021 Award
Airlines will often swap airplanes on the fly
Holy cow! I sure hope not!
rely on that point of information
It's differently unreliable.

I recall being at SBA with a 2PM flight, no planes in the airport, and the next landing scheduled for 3 PM. I think it was a pretty good bet that I wouldn't get out of there until 3:30 at the earliest.

Gold Member
Drum synthesizers

Not the invention part, it makes sense, Electric guitar distortion fuzz wah Jimmy Hendrix amazing
Electric piano, classic Fender Rhodes, Hammond organ – brilliant.
Synth drum…..why didn’t anyone say, “This sounds pretty naff to be honest lets drop that idea?”

Exceptions? Autobahn sounds cool but that is an exception, the music makes it and acoustic drums with a tonne of boom would have sounded great too.
Most synths sound like Night Rider theme tune.
I went to a Simmonds exhibition in Manchester in 1980s. One guy playing and explaining how they worked.
They sounded cr*p and everyone was going nuts I just did not get it.
You could double up by pressing a button (bass drum) and it even extracted out of time notes!
So totally cr*p sound played by nontechnical non-musical out of time drummers.

DennisN and Mondayman
Homework Helper
OK here is my rant for the day: Detergent Ampules

I just saw a television commercial for TIDE laundry detergent touting the kid-proof container for their multi- colored "laundry packets" That's right . First they carefully and foolishly make their corrosive product look like a delicious candy and then declare their social conscience by putting it in a closeable box.

Keith_McClary and Twigg
Gold Member
I have a workstation computer, but so what?
A tablet changed my life

Small, light.

As long as you have a charger and somewhere to charge you can browse in the pub, at the station, in the library, on the bus, catch up on mails, etc

£50 basic ones, just don’t drop it on the floor butterside down

DennisN, Keith_McClary, Klystron and 1 other person
Gold Member
2021 Award
A tablet changed my life

Small, light.

As long as you have a charger and somewhere to charge you can browse in the pub, at the station, in the library, on the bus, catch up on mails, etc

£50 basic ones, just don’t drop it on the floor butterside down
But I don't WANT to carry a computer around with me. If I did, I'd get a smart phone. My dumb phone has texting capability, so I had Verizon disable that feature.

Evo, nomadreid, Tom.G and 3 others
MikeeMiracle
Is this post just about technology or can we post stuff about people to? The thing I fail to understand is people who spends countless thousands of pounds to go on holiday to a hot country, stay in a hotel a hundred yards from the beach.....and then go swimming in the hotel pool instead of the Sea!!!

It make zero sense to me, you could have swam in a pool in your own town...

Lupo, david2, hutchphd and 1 other person
Gold Member
2021 Award

### Life's great mysteries:​

Paper towels apparently can ONLY be made so that they tear everywhere EXCEPT where the perforations are.

O2PiArr, CalcNerd, Bystander and 5 others
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Airlines will often swap airplanes on the fly (no pun intended)-- this is particularly true for bigger and busier airports.
Holy cow! I sure hope not!
Why would you hope for something different?! If some morning flight somewhere or another is cancelled (or extensively delayed) it doesn't necessarily mean that all flights originally planned for that particular aircraft are also cancelled for certain and forever after for all eternity. Airlines are flexible enough to get passengers to their destination (much of the time) by putting them on a different aircraft, often keeping the same flight number. That's a good thing for travelers. Be careful what you hope for.

If the airline has the resource of a different airplane they'll use it. If it's the same model of the originally planned aircraft, the switch can be pretty seamless, perhaps not even noticeable. Less desirable but still possible is a different airplane model (e.g., Boeing 737 vs. Airbus A320); although it can mean seat assignments are all screwed up. It's only the worst case where resources are not available such that all connecting flights are also cancelled.

The point is that if you rely solely on the Arrivals list and notice that there is a problem with the originally planned aircraft for your flight, then throw your hands up in the air shouting, "I'm screwed for certain!" and then proceed to take a taxi cab hundreds of miles to your destination, you might be shooting yourself in the foot. It's quite possible that your flight isn't actually canceled and that the airline will simple use an alternate aircraft. This is especially true to bigger/busier airports, such as a hub of the airline you are using.

Gold Member
2021 Award
Why would you hope for something different?!
You entirely missed the joke.

Homework Helper
Gold Member
You entirely missed the joke.
View attachment 283999

Joke. . . what joke? .
You mean the part involving the pun? Yeah, I suppose that one flew right past me.

Keith_McClary
OCR
Oops! We ran into some problems.
The requested post could not be found.

OCR

Oh, I found it. . . .

.

Mondayman
Con is the opposite of pro. I guess that makes Congress the opposite of Progress.

2milehi, diogenesNY, PeroK and 3 others
Gold Member
Is this post just about technology or can we post stuff about people to? The thing I fail to understand is people who spends countless thousands of pounds to go on holiday to a hot country, stay in a hotel a hundred yards from the beach.....and then go swimming in the hotel pool instead of the Sea!!!

It make zero sense to me, you could have swam in a pool in your own town...
As a devout swimmer who first learned to swim in the Pacific Ocean I can offer some clues to this behavior.

The tourists may have selected the venue because of the beautiful swimming pools. I swim daily in a large private pool but it cannot compare to the nearby swimming complex at the Flamingo Hotel much less the simulated tidal saltwater pools at Mandalay Bay or water slides at Wet&Wild.

Service: Hotel pools form social centers with free beach towels for guests, food and drink service and entertainments for children, showers and shade all a short distance from their rooms. No transportation hassles or safety concerns (by comparison).

Security: Hotel pools tend to be very safe with trained lifeguards, roving security patrols, cameras and lights. Beaches at resorts are open to anyone walking by. Even 'private' beaches are accessible by swimmers, boats and watercraft. Tourists can 'experience the ocean vibe' from comfort and security of the hotel grounds without real or perceived dangers of the open ocean.

Ability: Swimmers from cold climates may lack experience in open water swimming with unpredictable waves, currents, wildlife and rocks. People may learn to swim for a kilometer in a pool without touching the sides or bottom. Swimming the same distance across a lake or bay introduces psychological challenges even for experienced swimmers.

Mondayman
I dont understand why people are suddenly upset this year about residential schools here in Canada. Where was this anger years ago? They still existed not even 30 years ago. They were common knowledge. My grandma survived one, and any effort to bring it up to others usually fell flat.

nasu