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Archive for June 28th, 2009

The Island of Misfit Cursors

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When I was in the elementary school, I once visited my friend.

His mother greeted us, invited us inside and told us to wash our hands and go to the kitchen. Then she turned on a giant electrical samovar to make us some tea.

When it boiled, she switched it off and the friend took the teapot to fill it with hot water. Wait, said his mother. Didn't you forget something? Sorry, mum, said he, took a long steel spoon and stirred the water inside the samovar with it.

What's that you are doing? asked I. His mom replied: It's good for the samovar. It will live longer if you stir water with a metal spoon after it boiled, the manual says so.

Never knew about it, but OK, good to know.

About a year later my parents and I went to visit my grandmother. We kissed hello and she put exactly same electrical samovar on to boil. When it boiled, I turned it off and took a spoon to stir water. Wait! the granny shouted. What are you going to do, kill yourself? You don't put metal things inside the electric appliances!

I was quite confused. My friend's mom adviced to do this, and the friend did, and everything is OK. On the other had, granny's statement also made sense: metal is a bad thing to have between you and electricity.

I was 10 or so that time so I forgot that case quickly.

But when the grandma died, she left some of her belongings to me. I went back to her old house and found the box with the samovar. I recalled the spoon and got curious. The box had a manual inside. I opened the page with the warnings and among other things found the following: With this new model, it is safe to stir water using metal objects.

As you may know, people never read manuals, and when they do, they get them wrong.
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Written by Quassnoi

June 28th, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Posted in Miscellaneous