2020 is a prime time to think about how the media affects us all.
There's fake news on social media, internet silos and hive minds, disinformation everywhere you look, and, speaking more generally, just a higher volume of information flying in our faces than ever before.
To contextualize the current chaos, historical examples may be helpful. And when media and propaganda are the focus of our curiosity, the Cold War immediately comes to mind.
Lucky for us, Reddit boasts plenty of users of all ages, Cold War babies included. A recent post asked those who were there to share just what the propaganda felt like during the global conflict.
Alpha_Scatterrer asked, "People who lived during the cold war, how was the propaganda like?"
Even in the Songs
"So much media was about dying in nuclear war."
"The Smiths and Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark (OMD) and Alphaville were popular alternative bands in the 80's and they sung about nuclear annihilation ALL THE TIME."
"Convincing. You thought that every Soviet was out to kill and destroy you. Wasn't until I was in the navy and we had a Russian carrier pull alongside us for a photo op."
"It was then I realized how insignificant I was In the grand scheme of things. It was then I could see myself as a sailor on that ship."
"It was then that I flushed nationalism down the toilet and recognized humanity as my true countrymen and women. The propaganda still lives on today - most just don't see it."
"My dad (boomer born 1953) recently watched one of my 5 year old daughters favourite cartoons, Masha and The Bear."
"He was fascinated by the fact he found it funny. He was in awe that Russian people could produce a cartoon that was warm and lighthearted."
"He genuinely said to me that when he grew up he was told that Russian children were not allowed to watch anything like that, and that cartoons were either propaganda or extremely dated and poor quality."
"In the UK there were lots of ads promoting Trident (a very expensive Nuclear Weapons System)."
"Meanwhile the infrastructure decayed as we trudged to our school chock full of abusive 3rd rate teachers and unemployment was the norm."
"Think 1984. Dreary poverty."
Not Fear, But Pity
"We had the idea that everyone behind the Iron Curtain was living a miserable and drab life. Standing in line for hours to get poor quality goods, living in grey concrete buildings. Never smiling, living in fear or reprisals should they speak up."
"We didn't hate the people living in communist countries but we hated their system and felt kind of sorry for them."
"Meanwhile we were scared that they would attack at any moment and try to subjugate the rest of us."
"We thought the Russians drank tank fuel when they ran out of vodka. And also that Russian women were 10 feet tall and had beards." -- UncleGIJoe
"Russians, as described by JRR Tolkien" -- all_doges_go_to_heck
"I'm too young, but the anti-American propaganda was enormous in socialist Czechoslovakia."
"For example, American music was banned as well as Coca-Cola, which is why we created our version called Kofola (which is much better in my opinion)."
"We also laugh at the Soviet lie that the USA brought potato bugs to central and east Europe so that they would destroy our potatoes."
"If you want to get your head around just how successful the propaganda machine in the US was, just look at politics today. Socialism is a dirty word among many who were adults in the 80's, even when discussing democratic socialism."
"Back then, socialist and communist were basically the same word and would be frequently swapped when discussing the USSR. My parents think Bernie Sanders and AOC are leaders of an underground communist movement looking to secretly overthrow the republic."
"Us good, them bad. Watch Rocky IV. It's the ultimate Cold War propaganda movie." -- 93195
"5'11" Sylvester Stallone outboxed 6"4" Dolph Lundgren and then the Russian crowd cheered."
"I don't know what was more implausible- the plot, or that people bought it, to the tune of $300m. That's how much the US believed it's own bullsh!t in the 80s."
"That's what 'making America great again' means." -- sugarfoot00
Get Em While Their Young
"American here. They really wanted us to love our government, no matter what they were doing. When I was a kid in the early 80s, I had a book called 'Kid's Letters to President Reagan'..."
"and it was full of cute questions like 'What's your favorite pet?' so we could humanize the people who run the country."
"At the same time, once in a while they snuck in one meant to dehumanize the Soviets, like 'Do Russians go to heaven when they die?'"
"I still remember that page from the book because it had a picture of Nikita Khrushchev with a halo and angel wings banging his shoe on a podium."
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Some people are far more conscious of their health than others.
Be it out of obligation or self-interest, many people make a point of avoiding certain foods and products, and partaking in extreme diets and exercise plans.
Which doesn't mean they avoid unhealthy habits or products altogether.
Indeed, all of us are probably unaware that we all likely partake in eating food, using products, or even performing what might seem like everyday activities which could be harmful to our health.
Be it by happenstance or obligation.
"What’s something that is incredibly unhealthy that most people don’t even realize?"
Having Friends Is Good For Ones Health!
Always Good To Get On A Routine
"Nights, followed by lates, followed by earliest."
"Physiologically so destructive."
"I work for the emergency services so it's essential 24/7."
"The management are pretty good but we've been shafted on pay at a national level."
"Still attritional on the body."- PhatNick
Always Try To Get Those Eight Hours
"Chronic lack of sleep."
"Sleep deprivation."- CoolPotatoTomatoTired Stewie Griffin GIF by Family GuyGiphy
Not The Kind Of Energy You Want
"The amount of people who drink soda or Mountain Dew or energy drinks 24/7 and say ‘I feel fine so it must be fine’ is INSANE." - WildFemmeFatale
Get Up And Stretch Those Legs
"Sitting for long periods."
"Both unhealthy and as you get older dangerous."- JoeMorgue
Careful What You Breathe In
"Honestly, most cleaning supplies."
"They’re fine to use in your house, but if you can smell it and your lungs aren’t happy smelling it, you should be wearing an n95 or respirator."
"Bleach is a big one."
"Anything that makes you cough in a small room."
"I know everybody kind of goes crazy about shower stains but your bathroom is too small of an enclosed space to be using strong chemicals without some type of breathing protection."
"Turn the fan on, open the window and use a damn mask."
"Your lungs will thank you in 20 years."
"I never even thought about any of that until I started glassblowing."
"Glass blowing works with a lot of stuff that we have to wear masks for, cold working like sanding down glass, the colored powders, mold materials, enamel paints, asbestos pads, etc."
"Once I got into the habit of protecting my lungs, I realized just how much stuff at home is probably pretty bad to be breathing in also."
"Good news is, a reusable respirator is pretty cheap at any hardware store, the filters aren’t crazy expensive, and it’s surprisingly useful to have."
"Painting, cleaning, replacing 50 year old carpet, any stinky job like when a 70lbs dog has diarrhea all over the house, etc. It’s just handy to have."- huskeya4clean sailor moon GIFGiphy
It's Important To Have a Little Fun Every Now And Then!
"Stopping yourself from enjoying/doing anything just because other people might not approve of it."
"It can end up being one of the most detrimental things you can do to your health, physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally."- LustxInfinity·
Just How Much Fruit Exactly Is There?
"A lotta name brand fruit juices have lot more sugar than folks like to pay attention to."- TeriosNaija
Use Those Vacation Days!
"Working so much w only 2 vacation weeks (10 days) a year."- skoldaneOut Of Office Summer GIF by Merge MansionGiphy
So, next time you find yourself sitting at home, alone, with nothing to do, take yourself for a nice long walk, or even just a short walk around the block.
Your mind and body will be very grateful for it when you get home.
As a little escape is just what the soul needs, every now and then.
I'm always stunned by bad parenting.
And I see it far too often.
People need a license to drive.
A license to fish.
But having kids?
Let anybody do it. Sure.
So many kids deserve better.
Redditor odeus120 wanted to hear about the signs that make us see how some people should be raising their kids better.
"What screams trashy parents?"
Having waited tables, it's all a red flag. The list is too ling.
Oh MotherMean Girls Movie GIF by filmeditorGiphy
"Mothers who see their daughter as competition."
"I see you've met my mom."
On the Socials
"Social media influencers whose entire content is their children. People who publicly punish their kids online, parents who give out way too many details about their children giving them lack of privacy. Child exploitation at its finest."
"There’s a lady on TikTok who posts constant videos of her daughter naked in the bath. Someone else called her out on it and how it’s only harming her daughter so what does she do? Turn off all comments so people will stop harassing her about taking down those videos. And keeps on posting for the pedos."
"Kids running around a store trashing the place and not a parent in sight."
"Many years ago when I worked at WalMart, parents would routinely 'drop off' their kids in the toy department and then just walk through the store, or, worse, go across the street to eat out or shop. So it wasn't unusual to see numerous unsupervised kids just wrecking the toy and sporting goods department."
"I once fussed at a manager to do something about a pair of kids who had put together a bunch of pool noodles and were running down aisle after aisle, just clearing the shelves and knocking stuff to the floor. Manager pulls the kids aside, parents show up, yell at the kids, and the manager comes to me and goes: 'well, I hope you feel better, you made me ruin that kid's night.'"
It's just a game...
"Cussing out the officials at a little league game. Telling your child to punch another player they tripped over."
"I coached t-ball, the kids were pre-k to 2nd grade. I had a mother inches from my face screaming at me because I asked her child to sit down for an inning... Because he was hitting kids in the head (with a helmet on) with a bat. It was one of the wildest things I had happen to me. Not the last though."
Any Pepsi?Baby Drinking GIF by reactionseditorGiphy
"When I waited tables in college, I saw a mother fill her young toddler’s bottle with Coca-cola. I thought it was just horrible."
This is a mess. At least it wasn't a Jack and coke.
BlameYup Thats Right GIF by Katelyn TarverGiphy
"When their kids could literally set the world on fire and they'll blame anyone else to avoid responsibility."
"My sister in law does this. Her kid could set someone on fire and she'd go 'well it's not HIS fault she has on such flammable clothes!'"
"Kids destroying other people's stuff/property and the parents are just standing there and laughing like it's a form of amusement. Once went into an older movie store and there was a child bashing the glass with his ball and throwing the movies all over the floors. The mother (presumedly) let her child continue to do that despite others' protests including the manager's. I don't fault the child, doesn't know any better. The mother should've been asked to leave the store with her son."
"There is a kid (maybe 8-10 years old) on the other side of my street right now yelling slurs and telling everyone who walks by to go f**k themselves while their parent sits on the porch smoking weed and laughing. This is a regular occurrence. I'm fairly certain the kid has a mental disorder but the fact that the parent seems to be encouraging the behavior is pretty trashy."
"Kids that smell like smoke because their parents smoke indoors. It was my parents. Everybody hated when we came over because everything we'd touch would smell like cigarettes as well. Couldn't convince my parents to smoke outside of the home because 'it's their house and they'll do as they please.'"
ControlFrustrated Skip Bayless GIFGiphy
"Parents emotionally blackmailing their kids. Using guilt and obligation to control their children."
We know that raising a family is hard, but these folks need to do better for their kids.
Do you have similar experiences to share? Let us know in the comments below.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the smartest of them all?
Who is today's best and brightest?
Are they in charge of Mensa?
There are a lot of brilliant people in the world.
But if we can compare; who measures up to the greats?
Two words: Albert Einstein.
The new generation.
Redditor jumpjoom wanted to hear some thoughts on who everyone thought might be today's greatest smarty pants.
"Who is the closest person alive to a modern-day Einstein?"
I know I'm not on this list. So easy place to start.
The Unknownexcited genius GIFGiphy
"We probably don't know about them. They're probably buried in some pharma, rocket science, technology company and are content to do their thing."
"I know this absolute child prodigy genius of a mathematician that went to Harvard and was easily one of the best there. He’s currently a professor of a 3rd tier state college."
Just as good...
"Even at the time Einstein was alive, it wasn't that he had the most powerful brain or best math ability (many surpassed him here). He worked on and solved some of the most outstanding problems in physics at the time. The late 19th/early 20th century was a special time for physics; classical physics was failing apart but how to fix it wasn't known - Einstein (amongst others) offered some ways to fix things."
"Tons and tons of people are just as 'bright' as Einstein by almost any metric but their work essentially can't as impactful. We're too many decimals deep into measurements now."
"Emmy Noether comes to mind as a contemporary of Einstein who was easily a better mathematician than he was."
"I’m going to give a weird answer: John Carmack."
"Just go read some of the things he has done and is doing. From inventing some of the math and programming that gave us the modern computer gaming revolution (this is the guy behind the original doom), to running a rocket company trying to achieve orbit and complete propulsive landings similar to what Space X does today, to dropping everything to create the future of VR."
"Now he’s immersed in AI research on top of everything else. The guy is a walking talking genius who sees things on a whole different level. He spent his whole career doing 'impossible' things in software and hardware. Whether you know his name or not, his work has had a real effect on all of our lives, and likely will be even more impactful in the future as we move toward a more virtually-centered life."
Advanced Study in Princeton...
"American mathematician and theoretical physicist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He received his Ph.D. in physics in 1976 from Princeton University. He has made landmark contributions to string theory from the 1980's to the present day, most notably the development of M-theory in 1995. He was awarded the Fields Medal in 1990 for his contributions to mathematics and mathematical physics"
It's all RelativeGood Witch Smile GIF by Hallmark ChannelGiphy
"Thomas Einstein, Albert Einsteins great grandson."
"That dude is a doctor. Imagine living your life having people refer to you as 'Dr. Einstein.' I'd develop a superiority complex."
Those Einsteins. They should do a sitcom.
Math GuyConfused Thinking GIF by JKGiphy
"Grigori Perelman the Russian mathematician?"
"My man solved the Poincaré Conjecture and just dipped. I love math and I tried to read his paper and I did not understand a single word. The surgery thing seems like magic to me."
"Apparently a strategy, if you're stuck on a problem at higher level maths is to get Tao interested in what you're working on."
"From his Wiki. His research topics include 'harmonic analysis, partial differential equations, algebraic combinatorics, arithmetic combinatorics, geometric combinatorics, probability theory, compressed sensing and analytic number theory.' Just look down the rabbit hole of any one of those theories or topics and your mind will explode."
And the family...
"All of the Tao siblings are terrifyingly intelligent. I had the pleasure of playing a concert alongside Terence's brother, Trevor. I perform my set and am feeling pretty good about myself, and then Trevor gets up and performs gymnopedie no 1, which is a pretty difficult piece, but the dude did it while solving a Rubik's cube. Needless i say, I, and all the other performers that day, felt quite upstaged."
"Trevor Tao is also an international chess master and is one of Australia’s top players."
"Miguel Nicolelis. He created the theory and proofs of the brain net, basically telepathy. Thanks to this he managed to create a machine that a quadriplegic could walk using the power of thought. And it worked. The power of thought From someone else for this quadriplegic to relearn how to think about walking."
The One and Onlyalbert einstein GIF by US National ArchivesGiphy
"In some fields, science can be so complex and multi-disciplinary that 100s of people have contributed to e.g. gene therapy, CO2 capture or other major contributions to society. So major discoveries can't be attributed to a single person. And most of this science, if published, generally needs affiliations to academia to be taken seriously."
"Einstein was truly one-of-a-kind from his multitude of publications in 1905. I'm 90 percent sure that he wasn't even affiliated with any university at the time. He did it solo, out of nowhere. This makes his discoveries even more impressive! Einstein experts, please confirm that he did in fact not work at a university in 1905. I believe he worked at a patent office."
I'm not smart enough for this thread but we applaud this next generation of geniuses!
Do you have anyone you'd like to add? Let us know in the comments below.
Finding a dead body is one of my worst fears.
The only one I've ever found was my grandma's.
She was dying of cancer so it wasn't horrific.
Blood makes me faint, so any horrific scenes will not go well for me.
Redditor Cobbcakezzz wanted everyone to share about the times people have come across some frightening things:
"People who have found human remains, murder scenes or other suspicious scenes, what happened?"
I love true crime but I feel I'll regret this thread.
“Where is she?”
"I was 11 years playing in the woods with my friends. Autumn day, bright, cool… There was four of us, three boys and a girl. We were walking a pretty well known path between two neighborhoods when the girl said, 'Someone left their doll out here…' We walked over to the 'doll' which was dressed in jean coveralls, sneakers and a kids jacket. She was on her side, kinda curled up but her face was towards the ground so we could only just see one eye, one cheek, one ear."
"She had brown shoulder length hair that was a bit curly like a lot of little kids hair is. About 3 or 4 years old. The girl in our group kneeled down once and shook her shoulder and said, 'Hey kid…' Nothing. After that we all kinda looked around at one another and one of us, don’t remember who, said we should call 911. There was a payphone on the street at the end of the path in the direction we had been heading so we all just walked away from the kid."
"We kept looking back until she was out of sight. I made the call when we got to the phone. I had to explain it to the person on the line three or four times before they kinda believed me. Told me they were sending out an officer. He pulled up about 5 minutes later, took one look at all our faces then said, 'Where is she?' We pointed down the path and one of the guys said 'you can’t miss her.' The cop told us to stay where we were and he walked on down the path."
"Ten minutes later another squad car came screaming down the road with lights and sirens; after that the place was an absolute circus. All four of us kids just kinda walked away. Saw it on the news that night that it was a little girl who’d gone missing the day before from a couple of miles away. It was said she died of exposure. I think about it every now and then and get sad, like now…"
"Back in the pre-cell phone days, I found a body on my way to work. My starting time was 5:00AM and I would occasionally bike to work, weather permitting. It was to be a warm day, so off I go on my bike. No traffic meant I could cruise along pretty good. I was just starting to enter an underpass when I spotted a person laying on the road. I’m thinking a drunk fell off the sidewalk and passed out. As I slowed down I saw a long trail of blood."
"So off the bike I go to see if they were okay. Half opened eyes and brain matter said otherwise. No phone and no traffic, what to do? First car to come along was a taxi. Great, he has a radio and will call the cops. Wrong. He sees me jumping up and down, waving my arms near a downed person. Hits the brakes, pulls a fast U-turn and got the f**k out of there. A couple a minutes later a van comes from the other way. He does the same thing."
"Then a car pulls up, an older dude asks what’s up. I tell that’s a dead person and someone needs to call the cops. He says he’s got to get to work and will probably phone from there and left. About 10 minutes later, I was able to flag down a police car about a block away. An ambulance shows up at the same time. I asked them, the cops and EMTs, if anyone called them. Nope. So I get interviewed, tell my story and am sent on my way."
"Later in the week, an officer calls me to let me know what was happening. Apparently it was a suicide. She, 23 years old, was having a rough spell and was living on the streets. Jumped off the overpass onto the pavement below. Pretty sad situation all around. And as it turned out, I worked with her cousin about a year later. I’ve never talked about this before and I’m glad I did, even if it was on Reddit."
The Paper Guy
"My buddy and I were out for a trail run in the local state park when we came across a guy who hung himself. Called the cops, we were interviewed, and sent on our way. The guy's car was nearby, filled with newspapers. He was a paper delivery guy!"
"My parents would send me to El Salvador for three months every two years till I was 16. I saw a total of eight dead bodies. Some hanging from freeways, some just dead in the streets because of gangs."
"Damn dude that place is rough. My parents lived through their civil war and tell me all sorts of f**ked up crap they lived through."
In the concrete...
"I was a project manager on an irrigation project to line earthen ditches with concrete in NV. It was around 2016 that we were in a sort of remote area of the state. Anyways, the construction crew I hired to excavate a portion of the ditch came across an entire skeleton. The skeletal remains were on one of the side banks of the ditch."
"I mean the entire skull and ribs were visible to everyone. I had to halt all activities and notify local PD and the forensics crew from Reno came and retrieved the remains and performed a sweep of the area. For about a week before we could resume our project."
"To be honest it was a little creepy and unnerving to see that in person. To my knowledge it was a cold case from the 1960s. Reno mobsters from the casinos used to take people out to Indian reservations and 'get rid of people' because lack of law enforcement on reservations in those years."
This why I never look down and ignore my surroundings.
"Didn’t stumble on the scene or anything but I had to go into my sister's bedroom the day after her husband shot and killed her. It… was a mess. The sheets/pillows were stained from about the headboard to halfway down the bed. There was blood on the wall. It was a really surreal experience."
"I remember there were clothes in the dryer. The dishwasher needed to be ran. There were leftovers covered with tin foil in the fridge. The house was so incredibly quiet. When people say there’s a heaviness to a scene like that, it’s true. The grief is palpable."
"Found a dead guy on my way to work. NH, middle of a cold winter, maybe early/mid January in Manchester. There’s a lot of old mill buildings that are used as offices, stores, pubs etc. I was walking to work, having parked a bit far from the entrance, and I saw what I thought from a distance was two trash bags. As I got closer I realized it was a person, didn’t think much about it, moved on."
"About half way to work I realized there was no steam from breathing, I got concerned, walked back, and started loudly speaking at the person, who was non-responsive. I want into work and called 911 because I didn’t know what else to do (I didn’t own a cell phone at the time, this was early 2ks ). Dispatcher said some people were on the way, I went down to the closest spot and waved in a cop then an ambulance."
"Said I was the person who called, lead them to the guy, asked if I could go, they determined he was dead and I went to work. I’m guessing he froze to death, not sure how he got there. He might have been homeless. I didn’t get a great look at him outside of telling you adult male with dark hair. Told the cop where I worked if they needed me and went to work."
In a pit...
"My dad found a human skull in a gravel pit. Called the cops, they came and got it, never heard anything else. I was a dumb kid at the time. So when he told me about it, I assumed we were going to solve a mystery. Turns out reality is way more boring."
"When I was 12 I was cycling next to the river in my little village when a fisherman found a suitcase, being a nosey kid I went to have a look as he opened it. It’s hard to describe the 'gunk' I saw inside, you certainly wouldn’t have known it was a person - but bones were visible."
"The police came and did an investigation, later found out it was the body of a 70 year old man from a neighbouring county who had disappeared a month before. He had been murdered by his Son, chopped up and placed into several suitcases, only the one was found and it was nearly 50 miles away from where they had been dumped. Can’t say it affected me at all, probably would now."
"Was in Trinidad in 1996 or so because my dad was doing some work there. I was 13 or 14. One of his friends was giving us a ride to the airport and we stopped to say goodbye to one of his coworkers. They honked and she didn’t walk out. They noticed the door was ajar and walked in. I was in the car and I just heard this intense scream."
"They found her dead to a head wound on the floor. My mom stood in the way so I couldn't see. We called the police but the friend who was driving us told us to just get on the plane and go because he didn’t trust the police to try and scapegoat the foreigners. My mom followed the case from the US. They never solved the case."
Well that should keep us all up at night.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/