JOIN
OUR EMAIL LIST!

I sometimes marvel at how much society has advanced. Smartphones have only been a part of everyday life for the last decade, but you'd think it was always this way. My mother was a child at the time of the moon landing, which really wasn''t all that long ago, and she recalls watching it take place and thinking she would never see anything grander than that in her lifetime.

After Redditor notokidoki_ks asked the online community, "What is something that seems basic, but that humanity figured out only recently?" people shared their observations.


"That doctors washing their hands..."

That doctors washing their hands after going to the toilet increases survival rates significantly during surgical procedures.

nbfox3137

"We are going back..."

Glass. Some cultures have had glassware for a long time while others developed without it. Japan and China are great examples of not having it and it impacts their architecture design as they did not have glass pane windows. China also has had arguably some of the best ceramics artisans because of the need for stone wear where glass cups would have worked.

We are going back a couple hundred years here but that's still fairly recent in terms of mankind's history.

666pool

"Two years ago..."

Two years ago scientists learned that tongues can smell. They can detect some odors as part of the tasting process.

Cattlenfell

"Scientists knew that nutrition deficiencies..."

All vitamins were discovered between 1913 and 1948.

Scientists knew that nutrition deficiencies were causing diseases, but couldn't figure out what was deficient. They fed mice highly purified food, but the mice failed to thrive until milk was added, leading to the theory that there was some life-sustaining, but unidentified, component in milk that was not present in the other food. That led to decades of speculation and research until the first vitamin (A) was discovered in 1913.

Enreni37001

"There's a reason..."

How to tell if someone is dead.

There's a reason people used to keep family members who they thought had passed in their home for weeks before burying them.

Ms_khal2

But the smell!

What about the smell?

This is how you know my modern sensibilities would doom me if I happened to be a time traveler and got stuck in the past.

"The earliest cutlery..."

Cutlery that doesn't make the food taste awful, and isn't ridiculously expensive.

Gold and silver cutlery were useful to the rich (besides being a display of wealth) because they could eat without affecting the taste of the food. Copper, brass, tin etc. all really strongly affect the flavour of the food.

The earliest cutlery is some 4,000 years old, but for most of that time, very few people used it; instead they'd eat with their hands.

Stainless steel was only invented in the 1800s, and its high resistance to acid and no discernible taste made it suitable for cutlery.

Ishmael128

"That hitting kids..."

That hitting kids is bad, and does not enforce positive behavior. Some knew this instinctively, but mostly, nope.

pearlescence

"There simply isn't..."

A scientific understanding of what culture is and how it works.

Before the 1800s or so, people just assumed their culture was the one, single, objectively real and correct way to live, therefore all other cultures were objectively wrong and the people weren't really human.

It was common for anthropologists to encounter remote societies that insisted "The people in the next valley are monsters, they are not human" - and if you went into that valley, they'd say the same thing about the people you were just talking to.

That made it pretty easy for actual social scientists to grasp how cultures define reality, but even now the average person has very little social science education and people tend to still believe their cultural norms are 100% real, natural, and objectively correct - i.e., look at how angry people get when you explain that gender isn't biological, it's cultural.

Or ask a white midwestern American if rap is "real music." The idea that cultures other than your own aren't "real" is an incredibly ignorant, unscientific understanding of the world, but it was really only recently that we came to understand it, so there are still a lot of people out there who will say "Oh, [those people] don't have culture," or "[Those people's music] isn't real music," or art or slang or whatever.

There simply isn't such a thing as humans that lack culture - all humans have culture, all culture is real.

AdSquare3953

"People commonly think..."

How dogs drink water. People commonly think dogs make their tongue into a spoon to lap it up but the tongue curls backward.

inkseep1

I took care of a friend's dog very recently...

...and now I'm poring over the image in my head of her lapping at the water in her bowl. It's so cool.

"Pretty much everything used in statistics..."

Loads of math that gets used all the time. Pretty much everything used in statistics wasn't known until the 20th century. We had a good grasp of probability theory and a few distributions, but not many statistical tests as we know them today. The idea of a null hypothesis as it is used today wasn't codified until 1935.

Same goes for a lot of linear algebra, computers kinda made linear algebra really important, so people are still discovering heaps of useful things about it today.

Cytokine_storm

Now that we've gone through all of these examples,

I can't help but think of others, such as the fact that the chocolate chip cookie wasn't invented until the 1930s, and that pockets in clothing didn't become a thing until roughly 500 years ago. I know, right?

Got some of your own observations to share? Feel free to sound off in the comments below!

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Lifehacks, if applied properly, can really change the course of a single household chore.

Chores can really be such a pain to take care of, and nobody wants to do it. But with a little life hack under your belt, you might be able to turn chore time into something a little fun.

u/rat-avec-london asked:

What is a lifehack that seems fake, but is a true lifesaver?

Here were some of those answers.


My Finger, The Glass

If your ring gets stuck on your finger windex will slide it right off. Worked at a jewelry store for five plus years.

coykoi314

You can also use any oil (cooking, automotive... anything).

You can also reduce the size of your hand (and finger) by holding it up in the air. Chilling your hand in cold water THEN holding it up in the air for a couple minutes whilst rubbing oil &/or dishwashing fluids in there... trifecta of ring removal.

Should work on anyone that just stole Sauron's prize - though biting it off also works, i suppose.

SageSilinous

Multiple Uses

Use shaving cream as anti-fog. I used it on the inside of my motorcycle visor. Smear it on, let it dry, then rinse off and dry. It also works for bathroom mirrors. You can use it on a small spot so you can still see when you get out of the shower.

Caspers_Shadow

Shaving cream also removes the smell of urine. If you ever have to take care of someone who is old and/or sick and who wets the bed, a little shaving cream on a rag wiped over their buttocks after they are thoroughly cleaned up helps them really smell clean again.

It's a bit of a sad tip, I know, but you never know when you might end up caring for someone who needs help with things like this. Nobody wants to smell. A dab of shaving cream to restore a bit of dignity? Priceless.

Gen-Jinjur

Pretty Important For Stage Actors

Every male should know this. If you want to get rid of an awkward boner flex any muscle in your body maybe an arm. For a minute. The blood will rush to that muscle and away from your penis. Crisis averted.

GingerOverseer

These life hacks really don't seem real at all, but if you can swear by them, they can save your life.

Obligatory Poop Hack

I saw a comment on one of these kinda threads that recommended gently rocking back and forth while pooping. I've never had any problems in the bathroom, but I happened to be sitting on the toilet when I read the comment so I decided to give it a test drive. I was pleasantly surprised at how quick and effortless the whole experience was and I haven't gone back to my old stationary technique since. As a bonus, #1 and #2 now require the same amount of time in the bathroom!

ASS_LORD_666

It's The Alcohol

If you have funky armpits and need to fix them fast, use hand sanitiser. I figured this out years ago when I remembered that the smell comes from bacteria reactions - which antibacterial hand gel kills stone dead. Instant results and the medical smell lasts only a minute. Don't do this routinely though as it's delicate skin.

ihadanideaonce

But Hopefully It's Just A Playing Puppy

True lifesaver: if you are ever attacked by a dog, push your forearm INTO the bite. This pries the jaws apart and prevents them from clamping down. If a dog is attacking you, the best thing you can do is offer your forearm, push as far back as possible, and then grab the dog by the scruff of its neck with your other hand to hold it. The dog is now functionally muzzled and you have control of its head. The sooner and harder you push into the bite, the less damage the bite will do.

IAlbatross

Get It Off Anything

That rubbing alcohol removes chewing gum.

I'd go through a 20 layer deep marketing funnel to get to that tip because it really does work.

Also wow! Thank you for all of the awards nice Redditors. I completely forgot I left this comment and came back and my notifications had blown up.

omgIamafraidofreddit

And previously impossible situations will give way at long last.

Sayonara Capsaicin

Rubbing vegetable oil (or any cooking oil) on your hands after you cut up jalapeños or other hot peppers. It gets rid of the awfulness that would normally be left on your hands from the peppers. I rub my hands with oil and then wash it off with dish soap. I can totally remove my contacts after doing this. It's crazy how well this works.

PaulRuddsButthole

Crying Crying

Put your onion in the freezer for 10 minutes before chopping it. It freezes the juices just enough to slow down the process of it turning in to a gas, giving you a few minutes to chop the onion without tears. I learnt this tip from a kid's science show years ago and I haven't had to deal with onion tears since. So many people don't believe me, and then are genuinely surprised when it works.

Lost_in_the_Library

Just A Quick Little Base

The cheapest, most effective, and safest insecticide against roaches (especially those huge "water bug" roaches that we have in the South) is a spray bottle of mostly water with just a little liquid dish soap in it.

Shake the bottle & get the water a little foamy, then spray the roaches. They will run, scrabble, and attempt escape, of course, but they will die. The soap film suffocates them faster than any chemicals will.

A friend told me about this, & I thought she was nuts, but I tried it & it works amazingly well. Plus it's very easy to clean up and safe around food (not that you want to spray soapy water ON your food).

SnooPickles3213

Incorporating any of these lifehacks into your home may make a big difference. You'll never want to turn back.

Or you will, whatever. But they're worth a try!

Image by Olya Adamovich from Pixabay

I'm not much of a gamer, but I have quite a few friends who are. I never fail to be unnerved by some of the stories they share about toxic personalities who give the gamer community a bad name. Did you know for example that women often have to deal with misogyny and abuse while playing online? Blatant sexism can turn something as simple as enjoying a videogame into an emotional minefield for women.

After Redditor TerribleVanilla3768 asked the online community, "Gamers of Reddit, what's the creepiest or scariest thing you've ever heard someone say into their mic?" people shared their stories.

Content warning: Some sensitive material ahead.

Keep reading... Show less
Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

As horrifying as the Covid-19 pandemic has been, I can't help but marvel at the people who got through a bad bout of the virus and are still here with us today. The stories I have heard have unnerved me: Quite a few people I know honestly thought they were going to die before things got better. (That's the crazy thing about this virus––you could feel like hell for a while only to experience a major turn-around within 24 hours.)

After Redditor Rares asked the online community, "What is the worst 'I'm gonna die' situation you've been through? people shared their stories.

Keep reading... Show less
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

It isn't always the case, but for many couples who go on to become married partners, there was a moment when it became clear and obvious that the other was their soulmate.

Keep reading... Show less