2144: Adjusting a Chair
|Adjusting a Chair|
Title text: When I was looking at the box, I should have thought more about what "360 degrees of freedom" meant.
This comic shows Cueball's attempts to adjust a swivelling chair. This comically culminates in a massive chair with a big central seat and several other chairs branching off of it as Cueball continues learning how to to adjust it. The chair also apparently has so many controls it takes two hours to discover them all (although Cueball may have shown off his newly-discovered abilities in the mean time, so it might not take two hours of continuous experimentation).
As many people have experienced, these chairs can be quite difficult to raise, lower, or manoeuvre if one does not know how. Typically the chairs have multiple knobs and levers underneath the seat, which requires the user to rely on muscle memory to find them, since these levers are usually used while using the chair. There are often several ways to manipulate each control (may be rotated, moved laterally, vertically, or axially.) One typically needs to experiment with the levers and knobs in a new chair to understand how to work the chair, and it appears Cueball is experimenting with them.
Each step gets farther away from what real-life office chairs could do. In sequence, Cueball finds his chair doing more and more surprising things:
|1||Clunk||Being able to recline the seat back. Many chairs do have this ability, which one can use for sitting comfort or perhaps to take a nap.|
|2||Hiss||Being able to raise or lower the seat. Most chairs have this ability, but the comic departs from real chairs in two ways. First, it's much higher than any real chair. Second, he can raise the height while sitting on it; under normal design, pressing the raise/lower lever while sitting on the chair is how one lowers the seat, using one's own weight to depress the spring or hydraulic piston (which is what's used here, as indicated by the sound). However, it's not uncommon to find a chair that has worn out or been improperly calibrated, so that it does rise even when sat on (especially with lighter people), or does not lower even when not sat upon with the lever active.|
|3||Poof||Being able to have the seat inflate. Some chairs have inflatable backrests for better lumbar support, but typically no inflatable seats. Although this could be useful (e.g. to help people who need to use extra seat cushions because of hemorrhoids or coccyx injury), it is not a typical office chair capability. However, in addition to simply inflating, Cueball's chair appears to actually make the seat longer and wider. Some chairs allow the arm rests to be adjusted closer or further away. Having the seat also adjust would similarly be useful to accommodate larger people (as for instance some wheelchairs are built wider than usual for wider people or for people who have extra dressings).|
|4||Unknown||Forming a chair out of multiple sub-chairs. Putting out branches and growing extra seats, wheels and backs. Chairs definitely cannot do this in real life and use cases are doubtful. Some chairs do have back-rests in several pieces. Being able to add more wheels could be convenient to increase stability, or decrease pressure on soft flooring.|
The title text refers to a common claim on such chairs, that the chair offers 360 degrees rotation and several degrees of freedom. This is a double entendre, depending on if "360 degrees" or "degrees of freedom" is interpreted as an object. However, here it means there are 360 mechanical degrees of freedom, which is the number of independent parameters that define the configuration of an object; in other words, the chair has 360 different levers and options, far more than a standard chair.
- [Cueball is shown adjusting a chair by pressing a button on the bottom of the chair. There is a caption in a frame over the top of the panel:]
- Adjusting a chair:
- [The seat back of the chair swings backward with him rather fast as shown by a few movement lines.]
- Chair: Clunk
- [Cueball leans forward against the new chair position and presses another button.]
- [The chair extends to several times its previous height, very fast as shown by many lines beneath the seat.]
- Chair: Hiss
- [At the top of this very high seat Cueball leans forward and presses another button.]
- [The seat expands in all directions, so Cueball only sits in the middle of it with his legs on top of the inflated cushion.]
- Chair: Poof
- [The chair is now a massive contraption. It has 5 bases, each with wheels as the original chair. The main's seat is in the middle of the contraption with a single trunk going up from the five bases connecting them and the large cushion of the seat. Two entire chairs are branching out from underneath this central seat, they are each hanging in a thin wire more or less upside down to each side of the main trunk. Two poles are coming up from the central seat, each with a new seat and two back-to-back seat backs. Yet another seat is supported by a thin rod connecting the two top seats, looking almost like a table between the two chairs. Cueball is still on the main seat's cushion. He is holding on to one of the poles above him as he leans down and attempts to press yet another button beneath the seat. There is a caption in a frame over the top of the panel:]
- Two hours later...
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