While travelling recently, I realised something that I had up until then only been unconsciously aware of - designers have a peculiar fascination with taps, (especially those associated with showers.) In the places I stayed, I encountered taps that reminded me of something a ship's captain might use on the poopdeck (is that the right word and should it be used in a bathroom context?)
plus brass objects that appeared to be misplaced sundials, chrome gearsticks and odd steel swan-neck type arrangements that had to be manipulated out at an odd angle from the wall. I never got the hang of any of them and, as a result, most mornings ended up with either blasts of cold water straight in my face when I least expected it or utterly soaked bathroom floors and ceilings.
Why do they do it? Why fiddle with the functional? Why not invent a tomato sauce bottle that works without effort instead, (and, no, I don't think those horrible little sachet things you pinch open so that they can spray all over you are a good solution)? After all, if the considerable energy and ingenuity that have been put into redesigning the tap - an object that worked perfectly well to begin with - had been redirected to solving world poverty, (say), there would be more than one good consequence. As well as allowing all of us to set out on our travels without the lurking worry that we may not get a single decent shower until we get home again, it would remove Bono entirely from our lives, (oh yes, and it would relieve the suffering of countless millions, which would be quite good as well).
1 August 2014: Innovative Libraries - There are countless stories on the web about the innovative (and contentious) measures that librarians and other bibliophiles are taking to ensure librar...
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