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Reblogged:Search Suggestion Answers Unasked Question

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One of the Christmas gifts in the Van Horn household this year was a cup with a lid and a rubber bottom on it.

My kids were toddlers recently enough that the rubber bottom reminded me of one of the many (and seemingly always proliferating) varieties of sippy cups out there. (Badly-designed sippy cups were something of a pet peeve to me back when the kids were toddlers.)
I believe this screenshot of a search box and auto-completions is protected as Fair Use under U.S. copyright law.
That kind of cup never made sense to me: If a toddler or other accident-prone person reaches for a cup and bumps it, a rubber bottom would make a tipover more likely, because the cup would not be free to slide a bit, and so remain upright.

It's a little bit like rubber-soled "non-slip" shoes that can grab onto a smooth surface at the slightest misstep and cause almost anyone to trip randomly: At best, you trade in one kind of accident for another if you wear them everywhere.

My mother and my father-in-law have taken very nasty falls, thanks to non-slip shoes.

Someone must have written a good rant about this, I thought. So I started typing in a search, and as I did so, the word boat caught my eye among the auto-generated suggestions.

I'm pretty sure that most of the people using these cups aren't on boats all the time, but I guess if you're going to place something on a surface that won't necessarily be level the whole time, a non-slip bottom makes sense. (A wide bottom or a low center of gravity would improve on this.)

That's something I hadn't considered and, while it doesn't make rubber bottoms on cups a good idea for most situations, it does show that it's not the completely ridiculous idea I was inclined to believe it was.

So, unless I am in a hurry, I keep an eye on the auto-suggestions now.

-- CAV

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