April 16th, 2004

krazy koati

Third floor haberdashery, gents ready-made suits

Some things I've noticed Singaporeans believe about elevators: First, that elevators move faster if you press the button a lot. That's a common belief, although I'm used to people thinking it applies only to the call button from the floor outside the elevator. Holding down or pushing the selected floor button seems local. This can be counterproductive: in the buildings I'm in most, pressing a floor button several times de-selects that floor. It's a cute rarely-needed trick, and is used for surprisingly little mischief. It's neat to show off; it invariably impresses someone. When was the last time you were impressed by elevator floor selections?

Next, that the doors will not open if no one presses the ``door open'' button, and the doors will not close if no one presses the ``door close'' button. I agree the doors close sooner with the button press, but the ``door open'' button is just nervous energy. I have a good reason for not touching either. If I see someone running for the elevator as the doors close I'll put my foot in the door. I'd try to slickly press the button, but I always hit the ``close door'' button by mistake. There's no reason for me to make this mistake; the open button is closer to the door than close, but I hit the wrong one anyway, every time.

The ``handicapped'' access panels are just panels slightly lower than the main panel, I suppose so it's easier for people in wheelchairs. It also has the numbers in Braille. But many elevators already had the main panel pretty low, so the handicapped access is just a horizontally-aligned panel rather than a vertically-aligned one.

I learned that if you get on an elevator in my buildings and don't pick a floor, you have about two minutes, and then the lights and fans turn off. I'm surprised there isn't an emergency light so people can find the light, but I suppose they expect people don't get on an elevator except to go to another floor. Singapore's a land of high-rise buildings; most people seem to be in a hurry to get through the elevator and back to their lives, which is probably related to the hopeful pushing of buttons to speed things up.

Since that's all pretty dry I'll finish with a picture of a squirrel from the Zoo; it's a professional, working in the Small Animals exhibit, a sort of half-closed building with lighting designed to make it impossible to take pictures.

Trivia: $5,548 of unsolicited cash donations were employed to defray equipment costs of student scientific experiments on Skylab. Source: Skylab: A Chronology, Courtney G. Brooks, Ivan D. Ertel, and Roland W. Newkirk. SP-4011.

Currently Reading: Anti-Ice, Stephen Baxter.