One day when I was a student at university, I went to the library to study (hey, it had to happen at least one time). On the wall above the photocopier I noticed a big red button with a sign saying "Do not press this button!"
Being a good boy I followed orders, but I did wonder what it was doing there. I later discovered that this was some sort of experiment being run by some psychology students. (Now I come to think about it, maybe we engineering students should have applied some "reverse psychology" by electrifying the button and then asking the psychology dweebs to "demonstrate how it worked" :-)
But we digress… The reason all this came to mind is that someone just emailed me a link to a video on YouTube that had me laughing out loud. Right in the center of a small town square, someone has placed a pillar with a red button on top. Hanging above the pillar is a sign saying "Push To Add Drama"
Some people are sitting in cafes – others are walking around – all of them are looking at the pillar and the button and the sign and wondering what it's all about. You just know that someone is going to push the button to see what happens… it's only a matter of when…
This is one of those things that I really wish I could have seen "in the flesh" as it were.
Returning to my days as a student… thinking about the university library reminded me of another tale. Some friends returned from a skiing holiday with some amazing footwear called "Moon Boots". I just had to have a pair, but the only ones I could find were an incredibly bright pillar-box-red. I wasn't too worried about this, because I figured that if the snow was deep enough to wear them, then no one would be bothered about the color.
The problem was that once I'd purchased these little rascals … it didn’t snow. The weeks went by… we were deep into the heart of winter… still no snow. Then, one day, I awoke bright and early and looked out of my bedroom window. It had been snowing in the night. There must have been 2 or 3 inches. I turned on the radio and listened to the weather forecast, which predicted up to 9 inches by the evening.
"Hurray!" I thought. So I bundled up in a massive warm coat and a thick scarf and – of course – my brand-spanking new Moon Boots, and set off for the university library, where I spent a happy day revising for some exams. But then, when I eventually emerged in the late afternoon…
…the sun was bright and shining… it was like a warm summer's day… all of the snow had melted… and everyone was strolling around town in jeans and T-shirts (adults didn’t wear shorts in England in those days). And there was I fighting my way through the throng wearing my massive coat and scarf and those incredibly bright red Moon Boots. I remember seeing little kids tugging on their mother's skirts and pointing at me, and their mothers shaking their heads sadly and dragging the kids away in case I was dangerous…
It only took about 30 minutes to get back to my flat… but it seemed like a lifetime :-)
If you found this article to be interest, visitMicrocontroller / MCU Designline where – in addition to my Max's Cool Beans blogs on all sorts of "stuff" – you will find the latest and greatest design, technology, product, and news articles with regard to all aspects of designing and using microcontrollers.
Also, you can obtain a highlights update delivered directly to your inbox by signing up for my weekly newsletter – just Click Here to request this newsletter using the Manage Newsletters tab (if you aren't already a member you'll be asked to register, but it's free and painless so don't let that stop you [grin]).
Last but certainly not least, make sure you check out all of the discussions and other information resources at All Programmable Planet. For example, in addition to blogs by yours truly, microcontroller expert Duane Benson is learning how to use FPGAs to augment (sometimes replace) the MCUs in his robot (and other) projects.
@hm: There have probably been about 6 times in the last 30 years that I've worn them -- but each time the snow was deep (more than 8 or 9 inches) and the weather was FREEZING ... and no one was laughing at them then ... everyone was saying "where can I get a pair of boots like that?" (grin)
In fact I still have mine more than 30 years later -- I'm just waiting for it to snow enough to warrent wearing them (I live in Huntsville, Alabama, USA, so we typically only get 1 to 2 inches (if we get any at all)
I too purchased a pair of moon boots when touring thru the ski fields one year on a motor bike as they made excellent over-boots. For someone from closer to the equator it was bitterly cold. I returned to the tropics and as they were completely unheard of they were rather novel... One night kids broke into the house, stepped over the expensive cameras and computers, knocked off the loose change and... yep, the somewhat rare moon boots.