Sunday, June 08, 2008

Wondering about stuff

You were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment - Anne Dillard.

Anne Dillard is an American writer. This is the first time that I had heard of her, when I came across the above quote in this blog entry about how to write well.

Here are a few things that have made me wonder recently. Not astonished or feeling the sense of wonder that any SF reader would feel, but plain wondering about something. I feel that Anne Dillard meant it in the former sense.
  • The paper coffee cups in my office have the following printed on the bottom - 'Empty Cup' manufactured by 'Imaginative Flexipacks Ltd, New Delhi'. Why make it explicit that the contents of the cup are not the cup maker's responsibility? So that no liabilities arise for him if the content in the cup is undrinkable? But what if hot coffee spills on your lap - whose fault is it then, yours or 'Imaginative Flexipacks' for not making the cup spill proof?
  • I got a Holi ecard from a person whose acquaintance I had made over the internet some weeks back. He happens to be a good science fiction writer, among other things. The text on the ecard was this -

    May your life be coloured with the colours of joy, friendship, fun, love and happiness.
Its true not only for this card, but when you read these words after removing all biases like 'Yes I've seen this before, its a cliche', and really see what the words mean, its a completely different and wonderful realization. No I am not getting old and sentimental.

  • Nicholas Boothman, in his book How to Make People like you in 90 Seconds or Less, says that parents the world over hold their child in the same position - on the crook of their left arm, and the right hand covering the child, holding it close to one's heart, which is supposedly on the left side of the body. I wonder what left handed parents do?