Saturday, June 21, 2008

Do things hang right-side front in Australia?

This a a little owl made of a gourd...made by someone somewhere in South America - and they probably got 0.03$ for it, but it sold for about 9$ at the trinket trap located immediately outside of the exit of the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (I forwent the 45$ headband of fake flowers and hair that one could buy to have an instant Kahlo "do", or the $300 knock-off Mexican traditional flounced skirt).

This owl has, as one can see, a perfectly front facing hook with some string so that one can hang up this little bird.

Which I did, in my kitchen.

But why does it hang in no other direction but backwards?

Even after I carefully untangled the string and made a perfect front-facing loop, the owl slowly swiveled and gave me the cold shoulder. And persists in this even now; no amount of fiddling with either the hook in the gourd or the hook on the shelf can alter the view of this bird's finely detailed - well - rump.

So it being the middle of the summer when sleep isn't really an option (as well as a proposal deadline a few days back, which is always great for getting the creative procrastination juices flowing) I got to thinking about why is it that when one hangs up something that has a front and a back (like fancy Christmas ornaments, perhaps), they always hang facing the wrong direction?

Is it to do with the magnetic pole?

I have heard that it is a myth that water goes down the drain in the opposite direction in the southern hemisphere, but maybe all their handed ornaments hang in the right direction.

Or is this a phenom that goes in the category of buttered bread? You know, that if you drop a piece of toast slathered with gooey jelly, it WILL land upside down and incorporate every piece of dog fur and other crud that was littering the floor.

No answers tonight or any other, either metaphysical or practical. I am resigned to the intransigence of hanging objects.

1 comment:

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Down here in Oz, all hung ornaments rotate to face the proper direction. Also, water draining does whirlpool in the opposite direction, as does the water from toilets. The reason we drive on the opposite side of the road is to counteract the pulling of the magnetic pole to the south of us; as opposed to the north up in that other hemisphere. Bananas grow down instead of up, and you should see the way chilli peppers grow!

You could get some thin gauge wire and use that for hanging your owl. It's strong enough to counteract the magnetic forces up there, excpet during an aurora display, of course.