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Thinking outside the box

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Misu, Dec 20, 2002.

  1. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    (i don't know if this is the proper forum for this, so if it's not, could someone move it to where it goes)

    I had something happen to me just now that I thought I would share with you guys, because it made me realize just how 'stuck' I am in my thinking.

    I got hungry, so I decided to warm up some corndogs for lunch. I opened up one of the packages (they're individually wrapped) on the 'wrong' side - that is, the side that doesn't have the stick. When I realized what i had done, I was fretting over the finger-burn I was going to get once the corndog was heated up in the microwave, and I was thinking about getting a plate (but then I'll have to wash it, ARGH!!!), to spill the corndog out of it's package, etc. I then opened up the other corn dog (on the proper side), and as I was putting the corndogs in the microwave, the properly opened corndog flew out of it's plastic wrapping and fell onto the microwave plate. "DAMNIT", I thought to myself, and grabbed the corndog and placed it back in it's wrapper - as soon as I did that, it hit me that I could take the other corndog out of it's wrapping and put it back into the wrapping WITH THE STICK PART ON THE OPEN END, so I wouldn't burn my fingers getting the corndog out of it's wrapping once it was warmed up.

    To say this simple event, warming up a CORNDOG, has made me realize just how stuck I am in my thinking is an understatement!!!

    I wanted to know if this has ever happened to you, and what it was, and how it has changed you. I know this sounds stupid, but this has honestly changed me - I really feel like something has 'clicked' in me. I am now going to try much harder to see solutions that aren't obvious to my problems.
     
  2. LissaKay

    LissaKay Oh ... Really???

    I have the opposite problem. I am ALWAYS thinking outside the box. I am presented with a problem and I often arrive at a solution by a means and methods that other people find difficult to understand or comprehend. While I have mostly been successful in the long run in solving problems this way, it has put me at odds with people in the work place. "That's NOT the way it's supposed to be done!" I hear over and over. "Well, the way it's SUPPOSED to be done is NOT working for us. Let's try THIS." I explain what THIS is, and it's hard for other people to grasp how I came up with the idea. After a time, my superiors learn to just let me run with what I have and I will come back with results. But getting to that point is difficult, to say the least. I have to prove myself before they will trust me.

    A fitting story:

    One day a young boy, walking home from school, came upon an amazing scene.
    Apparently, the driver of a large delivery truck, unfamiliar with the south side of Main Street, had ignored the low-clearance warnings for the old railroad overpass. His truck was now firmly wedged under the overpass. There were 2 police cruisers, a fire-truck and 2 tow trucks desperately trying to free the truck. The 2 tow trucks had their cables hooked to the back of the truck and 5 men were at the front trying to push as the tow trucks pulled - all to no avail. The young boy walked up to a friendly-looking police officer and asked what happened. The police officer explained the situation to the boy and said they were waiting for a crane and welder to arrive to add their efforts to that of the tow trucks and maybe free the entangled delivery truck. The young boy looked over at the scene, all the equipment and the grunting men and looked back at the police officer and asked, "Why don't they just let the air out of the truck's tires?" The police officer glanced at the situation, started to laugh very loudly and walked over to the group of men. Five minutes later the truck, now 5 inches lower with deflated tires, backed from under the bridge without any assistance.
     
  3. Advocat

    Advocat Viral Memes a Speciality Staff Member

    Years back I used to perform close-up and stage magic. For those not in the know, most magic tricks depend on skill, dexterity... and the fact that most people's minds work a certain way. You can almost see the audience's minds working, sorting through the ways the trick can be done and going "Nope, not that way... no that's too simple... nah, that one would never work".

    The sad fact is, the simplist, seemingly most ridiculous answers for big illusions are usually the correct ones. Adults always discard these as being unworkable... but kids will pick them out immediately... and then blurt them out for all to hear!

    Almost every magician is terrified of working with kids for just this reason. BTW, party magic for kids is almost always very simple, mechanically or slight of hand based... they'll rip anything else apart. Even then, you've still got to know that some 5 year old will likely blow the cover off one of your tricks.
     
  4. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    This kind of talk reminds me of the popular physics class story. I don't remember the details, but a test question asked students to explain how, using a barometer, you can estimate the height of a building. One student's answer was to drop it from the roof and time it to see how long it remains in the air. Once you have the amount of time it took to reach the ground, the height of the building can be quickly calculated.

    Apparently, the professor didn't like this answer, but he gave the student another chance to answer it. Instead of giving the "correct" answer, he explained how you can measure the barometer's height and the height of its shadow when resting on the ground perpendicular to the horizontal. After measung the length of the building's shadow and using the law of similar triangles, you can calculate the height of the building.

    Again, the professor did not like this answer. I can't remember how the story ends. All I know is that I would have given him full credit for both answers.
     

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