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

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?

256bits

Klystron
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.

jtbell
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
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
gmax137
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 russ_watters 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
phinds
Gold Member
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.

2milehi, Tom.G, Keith_McClary and 1 other person
phinds
Gold Member
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
berkeman
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 Hamiltonian299792458
collinsmark
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:
russ_watters
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
berkeman
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.

CalcNerd, nomadreid, Mondayman and 6 others
phinds
Gold Member
they need a back-up plan/accommodation in case of....
Dinosaurs like me

phinds
Gold Member
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
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).

russ_watters
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
collinsmark
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.

Keith_McClary
Gold Member
@jack action posted this in lame jokes:

MikeeMiracle and DennisN
PeroK
Homework Helper
Gold Member
2020 Award
I don't have a smartphone and have no interest in on-line bill pay.
You do have a tablet, though, surely?

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

Staff Emeritus
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.

pinball1970
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
hutchphd
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.

Twigg and Keith_McClary
pinball1970
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
phinds