You find yourself half way between Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro; about as far from Mexico City as from Moscow.
Albert Einstein waits to the left, ready to explain his theory of relativity. A short distance to your right James Watt hopes to recount his development of the steam engine to you. John Steinbeck and Isaac Bashevis Singer crouch over you, vying for your attention.
Your surroundings are conventional and functional. One aspect stands out: A piece of furniture - represented in 2 or 3 specimens in the typical home - recurs here hundreds of times.
What are the two common names for this item of furniture?