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Thursday, November 22, 2012

From left to right

The left-handed shower recess in our guest bathroom

 

Another one of those many conventions by which our lives are governed is that the cold-water tap is always located on the right while the hot-water tap is on the left. The reason? Because most people are right-handed and reach for the cold-water tap first. Well, the plumber who installed our guest bathroom must have been left-handed!

But why, do tell, are the titles on the spines of books in the German and French language written from the bottom to the top but books in the English language have theirs written from the top to the bottom?

Here's a bunch of German books:

Now compare this to the books in your house! (If the only reading material in your house is the TV Guide, visit your local library. A whole new world may open up for you!)

And here's another question to ponder: why do the numbers on the telephone (no, not the slow, heavy, dialling upwind, rotary phone which, by the time you had dialled the last number, made you feel like you had really earned that phone call, but the new push-button job) run, top to bottom, left to right, 1 2 3 / 4 5 6 / 7 8 9, whereas electronic calculators (and the number pad on your keyboard) have theirs go from 7 8 9 / 4 5 6 / 1 2 3 ?

If you have the answer, dial 4 4 7 8 1 0 8 1. But not before 5 pm as I want to keep pondering for the rest of the day.