Bad User Interface: Toilet Paper Holder

How can you screw up a toilet paper holder? The ‘bumps’ where the holder goes into the wall are big enough that the roll rubs on them. The friction means that the roll doesn’t roll. If it was a quarter inch wider or further from the wall… doesn’t anyone test these things before they are sold? How come the Sheraton is still buying them?


Why Don’t Hotels Have Overhead Lights?

I’ve never been in a hotel room that had overhead lighting. Instead the lighting is from a half-dozen individual lamps. Each of these lamps takes up a lot of space and only illuminates its own area of the room. Even within the same room, they are controlled by different switching interfaces – wall switches, base switches, bulb switches. Why not just have regular overhead lighting, like pretty much every room in America?

Upon further reflection, there is often overhead lighting in the bathrooms. That only makes this phenomenon all the more puzzling, since that shows it’s not the hotel infrastructure that physically prevents overhead lighting from being installed everywhere.

As long as I’m at it, would it kill them to install a dimmer in the bathroom? Either it’s pitch dark or shockingly bright. It would be very helpful to have an in-between setting.

Glee on Bohemian Rhapsody: Not so Good

As long as I’m complaining, the Glee version of Bohemian Rhapsody (which I’m told is selling more than the original) is similarly bad. Cheesy and overblown, and that’s before you have to suffer through the video. Clearly lip-synched (more so than usual), featuring a birth sequence that (as usual for bad television) features no pain drugs, no hygiene, no timing of pushes, no cutting the cord, no afterbirth, and finally produces a baby who is clearly a few weeks old already.

(Making fun of Glee is like shooting fish in a barrel, so I must point out that I love their version of Don’t Stop Believing. Although you are again well served by turning off the video and just listening to the music.)

Goodbye to All That (Congress)

This goodbye piece, from a long time congressional worker, should be mandatory reading.

James Fallows provides an interesting follow up.

In a related piece, Joe Nocera has a fawning profile of Jim Cooper as “The Last Moderate”. It reinforces one of my perennial themes, the perfidy of Newt Gingrich. “To Cooper, the true villain is not the Tea Party; it’s Newt Gingrich.” Absolutely true. It was Gingrich who put politics before policy, party before country, and set in motion all the forces that have destroyed the institution of Congress.

Links o’ Interest

The world hits seven billion (that’s 7,000,000,000!) people!

A Texas senator I suddenly like. A lot.

Oprah and the yelling goat made me laugh out loud.

Beavis & Butthead are back. Here they are, watching Jersey Shore.

Where the music industry makes profits – 30 years in one graph

Magnetic soap bubbles. Eerie.

On first plane trip, man spots his own house being robbed, saves the day

Trippy Optical Illusion

That seems unpleasant

Firefighter test


Even spiders love it

Amazing art morph