We don't often think about how effective many of the items we purchase are–whether we buy them out of necessity or for leisure.
We just expect many of the accessible items like home goods or kitchen appliances to work the way they should without giving a second thought to their impressive feat of engineering.
But when you actually consider how many of the mass-produced items for sale are extremely well made, we might have a newfound appreciation for these products.
Curious to hear specific examples, Redditor Gourmet-Guy asked:
"Which cheap and mass-produced item is stupendously well engineered?"
These practical tools are a marvel.
They've Been Crushing It
"Soda/beer cans. The design has existed for decades with few changes."
"It’s a way of using a relatively small amount of cheap metal to withstand the pressure of carbonated beverages with a reliable opening mechanism."
"During pandemic I also noticed that some companies stopped using thicker material on the upper ‘ridge’ of the can, probably due to supply shortages. They instead used a sort of stepped system that appeared to be almost as strong."
"Toilets. I've been a plumber 20 years and very little has changed, or needed to."
"Minimal up keep, cheap and easy repair, very long life."
"The intermodal shipping container, a/k/a the Connex box. There are millions of the damned things all over the world, in use every single day. They are stackable, can be locked together, attach readily to ships, truck trailer frames, and rail cars, and can bear enormous loads."
"The cost of their manufacture compared to their economic use value over their useful lives is next to nothing."
"Zip ties - such a simple piece of plastic but so versatile. I have one of the old fashioned chain link fences, some of the fasteners on the middle poles broke and in high winds the fence was swaying like crazy. A half dozen zip ties on the three posts and it doesn’t budge and nobody even knows they’re there"
How did people camp in the early days without these useful tricks?
"Matches are underappreciated because people don't really understand how complex a match and striker are."
"From the Encyclopedia Britannica...."
"The head of a match uses antimony trisulfide for fuel. Potassium chlorate helps that fuel burn and is basically the key to ignition, while ammonium phosphate prevents the match from smoking too much when it's extinguished. Wax helps the flame travel down the matchstick and glue holds all the stuff together. The dye-- well, that just makes it look pretty. On the striking surface, there's powdered glass for friction and red phosphorus to ignite the flame."
"Now, the fun stuff-- striking a match against the powdered glass on the matchbox creates friction. Heat from this friction converts the red phosphorus into white phosphorus. That white phosphorus is extremely volatile and reacts with oxygen in the air, causing it to ignite. All this heat ignites the potassium chlorate, creating the flame you see here."
"Oxidizers, like potassium chlorate, help fuels burn by giving them more oxygen. This oxygen combines with antimony trisulfide to produce a long-lasting flame so you have enough time to light a candle. The whole thing is coated with paraffin wax, which helps the flame travel down the match. Just don't burn the house down."
"As antimony oxidizes, sulfur oxides form, creating that burnt-match scent. The smoke you're seeing is actually tiny unburned particles resulting from an incomplete combustion. Individually, they're a little bit too small to see but grouped together, they form smoke. There's also some water vapor in there."
"By the way, all the stuff that we're explaining in 90 seconds, it all happens within tenths of a second. Chemistry's fast."
"Spontaneously ignite fire basically whenever you want.."
So Efficient, So Cool
"Not exactly cheap, but I'm impressed that I can have a ceiling fan run on high for 15 years straight and not have it explode on me."
"I remember how amazed we were in 1985 to see a chip with 68,000 transistors. Now they’re at 68 billion."
Back In The Day...
"My favorite part was in school my professor talking about how they used to do the layouts on transparencies by hand."
"Or how during Apollo the guidance aspect of the program was buying up a significant portion of the national production capacity of transistors."
"Batteries are marvels of engineering packed tightly into a miniscule canister, even AA batteries are incredibly sophisticated internally."
We take many everyday objects around us for granted.
Now imagine what life would be like without any of the examples above existing.
Life would be significantly different, amirite?
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There are things men do that easily annoy the opposite sex, simply by being a guy.
"That's such a dude move," or "typical male," can be examples of snide remarks made following disapproving gender-specific behavior.
"What is something most people think only men do, but actually women do as well?"
Get ready for some misconceptions to be turned completely upside down.
Time For Tootin'
"For years I thought ladies didn’t fart. My mom told me that so it had to be true. It didn’t matter that I was a girl and farted. I thought there was just this magical age where girls turned into ladies and stopped farting."
"Apparently even when my mom did fart, I’d whip my head around and go 'ewwww dad!' Mom found it hilarious, dad not so much. Then one day I was in the bathroom with my mom (cause who trusts a four year old for longer the two minutes by themselves?) and I heard it: The quiet mythical fart from a lady."
"Oh Lordy, I told everyone! Everyone needed to know that ladies do fart, even my mom and she’s a lady! Dad found it hilarious, mom not so much."
"The weird side step."
"Sometimes when I wear really short shorts, my butt cheeks start 'eating' my shorts and I have to try my best to make a discreet weird side step to adjust it..."
Assuming The Position
"Keep hand in pants in a non sexual way when just chilling."
It's A Pleasure
"I grew up thinking women couldn’t masturbate only men could. In middle school I searched up women masturbating and bro my jaw dropped."
Redditors share their thoughts about men and women keeping up with appearances.
Keep It Smooth
"Shave their face."
"I feel like women even keep this a secret from each other until you find out someone else does too or how common it is. Even still most women will rename it as “dermaplaning”. Such stigma around it."
Checking The Fitness Progress
"Flex in the mirror."
"Be dirty and lazy."
"I've worked in customer service most of my life, and can easily say that women's restrooms are an absolute nightmare compared men's restrooms 95% of the time. Like seriously, just throw your tampons in the trash, and wipe up your blood please; you've got a whole roll of tp 6 inches from your elbow."
"Check out women."
"Even straight women check out women. Source: am a straight woman… I think."
Just a thought, or may two or three.
Chivalry Is Non-Binary
"I just said this on another thread but, having fantasies about saving people or sacrificing yourself for them."
Revved Up Without Warning
"Get horny over nothing or randomly."
"Seem to be in deep thought but is actually just gaping at a wall with zero thoughts. Alternately, may be thinking of somethings completely random. That meme about the wife thinking the husband is probably thinking if another woman, when in reality he's thinking of something random ? Ya, as a woman, I relate with that husband."
Locker Room Talk
"Talk and joke about sex. I can’t speak for everyone, but I find girls talking about it more than guys."
"Heck, at one point we were having a little bonfire, and one couple got up to leave. My friend’s wife asked if they wanted to play Among Us when they got home, and the other girl just turned around and casually said 'Nah, this is usually about the time we have sex.' To which my friend’s wife responds 'Oh yeah, we just did that this morning.'”
The point is, all genders are capable of similar behavior that people have been socialized to exclusively associate with men.
And there's nothing wrong with that.
We are all equally guilty of being a little naughty, regardless of gender. So get over it.
It still amazes me that we live in a world where people are charged for drinking water. Water is a necessity! I have a lot of disdain for companies like Nestle, which siphons millions of gallons of water from entire communities only to sell it back to them.
What the hell is up with that? Does that not sound dystopian to anyone else? Okay, then. Water should be free – this should not be controversial.
People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor that_boy_ste asked the online community,
"You can make one thing/service free for the entire planet. What are you making free?"
"Healthcare would be awesome..."
"Clean drinking water, sadly. Healthcare would be awesome and if that covers water since water is essential for health, then yes!"
*cries in American*
"Because there are..."
"Education. Because there are entirely too many ignorant people on this planet."
That and over time this resolves literally every other problem...
"...so children and adults..."
"Education, so children and adults who are not able to go to school or afford to can now do so."
I wonder how much society could have advanced if education were free
"It's already free in my country..."
"Healthcare, it's already free in my country, but I want people in all the world to be healthy."
Life would improve pretty quickly for so many people if this were the case.
"Basic housing: floors, walls, ceilings and a roof, running water, working drains, electricity, heat and air conditioning, cooking facilities, refrigeration, etc."
Though this is "basic" by American standards, which is pretty good by many developing world standards, it should be the basic minimum for people everywhere in the world.
"Clean, free energy..."
"Clean free energy is the best answer. Everything else posted here requires energy to produce."
Everyone is focused on helping people in their day-to-day lives. Free clean energy would help the planet long-term.
"I live in America..."
"I live in America, so I’d have to say hospital stays. Healthcare in general. Moved away from family shortly before Covid, got Covid real bad shortly after. Had no debt. Started my adult life $3,500 in the hole. Yeah, free healthcare."
The debt trap people fall into just because they needed to go to the doctor or hospital is so predatory and wrong.
"Based on my narrow view..."
"Based on my narrow view of the world, housing is my biggest expense. So based on that logic, housing would make the biggest difference. Although, if you consider Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, physiological needs are more important."
I was looking at some budgeting advice the other day. They suggest your housing expenses should be 30 percent of your pay. I laughed and laughed and laughed.
"Transportation. If moving things from one place to another had no cost we could reduce the cost of everything else AND eliminate regional scarcity of most commodities."
Indeed it would! A game-changer if put into practice.
"Therapy is very essential..."
"Hmmmmmm I'd say, therapy, therapy is very essential and can help greatly."
Human behavior has gotten us into most of our world problems, and behavior change is one of the hardest things to accomplish. Therapy is just the tip of the iceberg, but would help at a large scale if free.
Human beings have boundless potential. The world isn't perfect — remember that there's no law saying that things need to remain as they are. Humans have always innovated and reaped the benefits in the long run.
Have some suggestions of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!
When I was a kid, I would occasionally watch this show called Big Bag. It went off the air more than 20 years ago and it seemed to only play at five or six in the morning. If I happened to wake up early, I'd catch it. It was targeted toward preschool viewers and was fun and silly, a partnership between Cartoon Network and what is now the Sesame Workshop.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only person who remembers it existed. But I'm not the only one with this kind of dilemma.
People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor LegitimateMangoHeir asked the online community,
"What's a show from your childhood that no one else seems to remember?"
Sagwa The Chinese Siamese Cat (2001)
"I thought Sagwa the Chinese Siamese Cat was a fever dream for so long."
Probably because it only had a single season! Might as well have vanished off the face of the earth after that.
"Hamtaro. For the LONGEST time I distinctly remembered watching the show but couldn't remember what it was called or anything else. I remember having a revelation in middle school and going "IT'S REAL???"
It certainly was real! And it was quite possibly the cutest thing to ever be broadcast on our television screens.
"There's a specific age group that really enjoyed Gargoyles."
Hi, it's me. I'm the age-group. There are dozens of us!
Mummies Alive! (1997)
"Mummies Alive! That and Gargoyles were my favourites to watch after school."
Another one that aired for a single season, it was part of a general trend of "mummymania" in 1990s pop culture.
Out of the Box (1998)
"Out of the Box. So long, farewell, to you my friends."
This one had a good run. That theme song is now in my head.
Count Duckula (1988)
"Count Duckula. The best damn cartoon ever!"
I hadn’t heard that theme song in decades and I was just transported back to my childhood room.
Maggie and the Ferocious Beast (2000)
"Maggie and the Ferocious Beast. Great googly moogly!"
O Canada! This one was cute!
Stick Stickly from "Nick in the Afternoon" (1994)
"Anyone remember Stick Stickley on Nickelodeon? I even remember the jingle but everyone I talk to looks at me crazy!"
Write to me, Stick Stickley, PO BOX 963, New York City, New York State, 10108!
The Angry Beavers (1997)
"The Angry Beavers. People look at me like I’m a psycho when I mention it."
This one — along with CatDog — was super popular!
2 Stupid Dogs (1993)
"2 Stupid Dogs. Well, ain't that cute. But it's wrong!"
I quote that line at least once a day. I loved that show.
You should probably run to YouTube and take a trip down memory lane. Thankfully, many of these are available in some capacity for you to enjoy!
Have some shows you love that you'd like to mention? Tell us more in the comments below!
You know what would be great?
If "family influencers" didn't exist. I don't know what people get out of watching people do their shopping and raise their kids, but it sounds boring as hell. Oh, and did I mention that the children have pretty much no privacy from the moment they're born? Yeah... that'll be a treat for them to comprehend when they're older.
But there are a host of other things out there that are just as annoying. People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor RAZOR314 asked the online community,
"What modern trend do you absolutely hate?"
"News agencies writing articles..."
"News agencies writing articles about "all these people are saying X" when it's just a few random people on Twitter, and generally the trend of amplifying fringe theories, beliefs, conspiracies, etc."
I think one of the unfortunate developments in the modern media landscape is the obsession with Twitter. I think it really exacerbates some current issues of representation in the media.
"I hate these videos..."
"I hate those videos with a split screen and something interesting is happening on one half, while an 'influencer' is literally just watching on the other half."
"I do not give a single f*ck about the influencer. I just want to see the thing on the other side. You know, the thing worth reacting to."
So true. They can't create worthwhile content so they "react" to the worthwhile content.
"People recording when they should be helping."
Sometimes recording does help — look at all the instances of police brutality that have made national headlines — but it's not when people are recording for likes, views, clout etc.
"The abundance of unskippable ads on videos. I 100% guarantee I will actively try to not buy your product if you're interrupting what little precious time I have to watch something."
Yes, it makes me so angry. Stop wasting my time. I will click out of something so fast.
"Corporations buying single family homes and turning them into rentals."
And people wonder why there's a housing crisis.
"All controls in a car being through a touch screen."
"For driving safety I wanna keep my eyes on the road, and want to find controls (like window wipers, radio by touch. With a touch screen, I have to look to see if I am touching the right place on the screen for the control I want."
Yes! It's an unnecessary design change, honestly more trouble than it's worth.
"The fact that EVERYTHING is a f*cking ad."
There are many ways to get around that and you can learn about it in my new book How to get rid of ads (free with your Amazon Audible trial).
"Subscription services. Everything nowadays is being turned into a monthly bill."
It's awful. And everything is so expensive. Why bother having all these subscriptions in the first place, right?
"The abundance of people trying to be influencers/streamers, while the majority of them are about as interesting as a boil."
To be honest, most people would rather watch the boil.
We live in a pretty cool world. It'd just be better if most of this stuff didn't exist.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!