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October 1, 2004 12:01 AM

Broken: Ski lift sign

IMG_0228David Reevely writes:

A sign at the Blue Mountain ski hill in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada. I can't decide whether it's a very clever way to make skiers think extra long about the capacity of the lift or if it's just mindlessly dumb.

[The sign says, "This is a six person chair lift" and shows a hand with six fingers. And yes, I know that the extra finger was probably just for fun. -mh]


What is broken? I think the message ("capacity: 6") is excellently delivered.

Posted by: cg at October 1, 2004 09:14 AM

It would be useful to know where the sign is located. If it is at the entrance to the beginning of the line when you have time to stand aroud and chit-chat, then it seems okay. If on the other hand it was at the place where you manoeuvre to get onto the lift, then it is indeed a dumb sign. The process of getting on these lifts is very fast and often tricky, so a simple large sign stating "6 persons per lift" would be better than the cognitively challenging picture that was posted.

Posted by: Chris Law at October 1, 2004 12:04 PM

The sign very clearly states that it is a 6-person lift. The rest seems to me to be just a bit of fun.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at October 1, 2004 01:32 PM

I think the sign isn't broken, I think humans are broken for having only 5 fingers.

Posted by: Vic Z at October 2, 2004 06:15 PM

I think this says that six people is stretching things a bit and 5 people is probably more comfortable.

Posted by: kilroy at October 3, 2004 03:23 PM

Chris Law: If the sign is located at the place where you manoeuvre, must act very fast, etc, etc, then it is irrelevant if there is a hand with 6 fingers or not. If you are in a group of 8 people and, when going to climb to the lifts suddenly you are told that only 6 allowed and you have 10 seconds to break the group, decide who's left behind, rearrange positions, etc... what's broken is the location of the sign and not its design.

Posted by: cg at October 4, 2004 08:47 AM

i agree with vic

Stupid fingures

Posted by: Matt at October 4, 2004 04:36 PM

I have a strange feeling this picture will be spread all over the internet soon.

Posted by: Justin at October 7, 2004 06:24 PM

I know why the sign is there (and what is really broken). It is because of the broken design of the ski lift capacity. Having installed a 6-person chair (way too big for all 6 people to get on in time even assuming they usually wanted to), and having observed that the lift operates far below capacity, the management has found a solution.

Tell people it is a 6-person chair, and hope they begin to fill the chairs. Hence the sign.

Posted by: George Girton at October 8, 2004 06:43 PM

I think the sign does the job with the headline. The graphical element adds humor if someone has an extra second to stare at it. Sign is fine. Human sense of humor is broken.

Posted by: Todd at October 8, 2004 07:38 PM

I don't agree with this. The capacity of the lift is very critical thing therefore nobody should make any fun of it. It is quite obvious that people will thing that the lift is only for 5 people because most of the people have just 5 fingers, but the problem is that it is very confusing for the mass to be oriented is there is such sigh. Another thing - if you have some foreigner who does not speak englist this may be VERY confusing. Not acceptable in degign field.

Posted by: maco at October 23, 2004 07:19 PM

I agree with maco. As a design, the purpose of having a hand would be to more universally and non-verbally communicate the capacity. In this case it is definitely broken because the image looks like a human hand and most human hands have 5 digits. You have to be paying attention to grasp that there is more than normal, and then actually go through the act of counting the fingers.

Maybe they want to confuse people into going 5 at a time.

Posted by: ben at November 19, 2004 09:22 AM

That's it Ben the sign painter want's to cause an accident because of his, "deep and abiding interest in pain."

Posted by: billc at December 14, 2004 08:04 PM

okay. where to begin. this is clearly ridiculous in so many ways. firstly ewww...6 fingers? I'm not from collingwood or anything but i don't think there are a lot of 6 fingered people up there, or anywhere for a matter of fact. thirdly who told them people had 6 fingers? cause im counting right now and i only have....5.

Posted by: ^._.^KITTY^._.^ at January 22, 2005 11:25 AM

I have been to BlueMountain in fact i'm going again in two days. It is impossible to have trouble maneuvering at the end, there is plenty of space and 6 gates 1 for each person, more than 6 can't go through, the 6-fingered hand was just a bit of fun, lol. They have around 4 lifts with that sign located all around the mountain.

Posted by: Tyler at February 24, 2005 11:29 PM

Actually, having six fingers is a dominant trait (if it appears in both your parents, then you will get it, or if it appears in one of them, you have a 50% chance of getting it), and is called polydactyly from the Greek or Latin words of poly (many) and dactyl (digit - as in finger of toe). Maybe they were thinking of what humans would be like if the trait was not contained to certain populations. Also, if you have six fingers, the last one will usually not be useable, like a vestigial organ, and will probably be quite a bit shorter than the other fingers. The sign is broken, yes, but the message they send has a deeper meaning than to just tell us that this is a six(6) person chair lift.

Posted by: unimatrix0 at March 5, 2005 12:35 PM

to unimatrix0, I think you need to retake genetics. You may or may not have a 50% chance of getting it. That depends on whether or not both of the genes are 6-finger. For example, if one of your parents has 6 fingers and both of the genes that determine the number of fingers you have are 6-finger genes, then you will DEFINITELY have 6 fingers

Posted by: real_saddam at March 13, 2005 06:37 PM

ok whoever made the sign was probably just having fun... obviously, it would be much clearer to EVERYONE regardless of where they come from if the sign had a picture of six people on a lift. DURR?

Posted by: moo at July 21, 2005 07:29 PM

The sign is beside the loading area but you can see it from the end of the line because is is so big. Also, there are gates to make sure that only six people get on at a time. BTW, this is a high speed lift and therefore it slowes down when it picks you up so everyone has time to get on. (I know this because I have been there twice so far)

Posted by: Corey at October 4, 2005 11:56 PM

Actually, ther r 7 fingers

Posted by: ____________(i!) at March 23, 2006 02:05 PM

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