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.
"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.
"Two years ago..."
Two years ago scientists learned that tongues can smell. They can detect some odors as part of the tasting process.
"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.
"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.
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.
"That hitting kids..."
That hitting kids is bad, and does not enforce positive behavior. Some knew this instinctively, but mostly, nope.
"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.
"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.
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.
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!
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We're all well aware of the weird, horrible, predatory things men do when attracted to women. But what about when women are the culprits?
Though it seems that, statistically, men are problematic at a WAY higher rate than women, there are certainly times where the person bringing the creepy vibes is, indeed, the woman.
Some men of Reddit gathered to share the most bizarre and uncomfortable things a woman has ever said.
AidenTheGamer14 asked, "Men of Reddit, what is the creepiest thing a girl has ever said or done to you?"
For some, it was the stalkers.
The cryptic behavior and frightening detective work of ex-lovers can be unparalleled.
Some Light Sleuthing
"Found out my address from the phone book, this was the 90s, sat outside my house for multiple nights, all night just watching my house, I live in the middle of the woods miles outside of town."
"We only had one date and agreed to leave it at that. I found out sometime later what she had been doing."
"Girl I was dating asked if I had changed the locks since breaking up with my ex months prior. I'm like 'No, but she wasn't a crazy person so I never worried about it.' She says if I don't change the locks she ain't comfortable sleeping over, so I change the locks."
"This ex sends me an angry text the next day 'So you changed your locks huh? Real nice a**hole.' So she had been coming over this whole time and doing who knows what."
She Stopped at Nothing
"She kept writing me letters at every address I lived at during that five-year period. If she didn't have the address she'd send them care of my parents. The most memorable is the one where she told me she was married and 'he's a great guy but he's not you.' "
"Once not long after I'd moved to a new address I came home and found a box of cookies she'd FedExed to me. Eventually I moved to a new state. I knew from her return addresses that she lived and worked there, and was worried we'd run into each other but realized that was pretty unlikely."
"Then after less than a year, she found me through a blog I was keeping and left a message on my voicemail demanding we meet. I posted a message to her on my blog telling her to stop harrassing me or I'd call the police (up to that point I'd been ignoring her, hoping she'd take the hint). That night she called, I repeated my threat to bring the authorities in, and I haven't heard from her since."
Others dealt with the creepiness on the internet. With so many avenues of communication all around us, uncomfortable comments can come from all directions.
"Someone I considered a friend started to grow feelings for me, but when she found out I had a girlfriend and I didn't feel the same for her she found out who my girlfriend was somehow. She then DM'd her and tried to tell her that I was cheating on her with her."
"Luckily I was with her when she got that DM so I could explain the situation and then we blocked her. Next day she DM'd her again from an alt account."
Worst Kind of Pen Pal
"I started a new job, and I shared a small office with a woman my age (and a couple other people). She was kinda cute but also weird and super naïve (she grew up in a very rural area). She'd flirt with me a lot, but I wasn't interested."
"So she started sending me emails."
"They were super long, detailing her whole day. And she sent them to me every day. I never responded. Then one day she sent me this long email confessing her love. I replied with the (very obvious) reasons why it wouldn't work and asked her to stop sending me emails every day. She didn't."
"They kept coming. This went on for months. I asked her in person and online to stop, but I still got these email memoirs every day. Eventually I had another female office mate who was her friend have a talk with her. Finally the emails stopped."
That's A Lot of Passwords
"I've had a girl create about 50 different Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram accounts all to try to get me to friend her. I've never met this woman in person and yet every few weeks I'll get a handful of friend requests from her"
"Met this girl online and talked to her a bit. I did started to like her."
"Later found out that the pic she showed me of herself was actually a pic of her friend who had passed away due to cancer."
In my early 20's I was at a party and the hosting woman full-on tried to reach down my pants to grab my business."
"Strange, yes, what made it creepy is that we were right in front of her mother, who was cheering her on."
Breaking Out the Scroll
"After 6 months from our breakup, my ex called me because she wanted to see me. It seemed strange to me but I accepted. When we met she was friendly and all..."
"Then at a certain point she pulls a sheet in which there was written a list of all men she fu**ed after our relationship and she read it all to me, with accurate description of every sexual intercourse. Well it was an awkward moment."
"I was going to head home after a night out and a I was getting into my taxi a girl jumped in after me. I asked what they were doing and she said 'I'm coming home with you.' "
"Nope. Taxi driver helped me and she got out the car eventually when I shot down her advances."
Again, it's important to read this thread and remember that this is a bias sample, solely focused on the incidents where a woman did act creepy.
But, yes, it happens out there.
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We've all heard how parenting is a full-time job. So it's not surprising to learn that parents have discovered plenty of quirks and methods to make things just a little bit more efficient during that eternal slog.
Sure, taking care of one's kids is an absolutely heartwarming, unparalleled joy at times. But parents are humans too, and they cut corners to make things move along or to generate an outcome they prefer.
Unfortunately, some of those shortcuts can have long-term side effects.
A group of Redditors gathered to share the examples they knew all too well.
Capable-Parsley2368 asked, "What 'parenting trick' can actually f*** up a child?"
Many people described the ways parents, to make their kids behave in a desired way, do things that are a bit emotionally manipulative.
It's a kind of "at all costs" approach that can be damaging.
The Adult in the Room
"Giving kids the Silent Treatment when they're in trouble, honestly teaches them to shut down when things get difficult rather than talk things through."
"I am personally unlearning that behavior to this day because of how often my mom did that."
"Pretending to ring the police when you've done something bad." -- Scoobyginger25
"Scare tactics. My mom was always telling me horrible stories to scare me not to do things. Like yes I get it, I won't play by the train tracks or the canal but it seemed like everything I wanted to do had a scary story to go with it."
"Even when I was going to college and trying to decide on a career. Oh you don't want to do that because so and so did that and are now homeless, divorced, depressed, etc." -- zeldessa
Dropping a Bomb
"My mom would always tell me right as i was heading out the door for school that i was in trouble and we needed to talk when i got home. She would never give any clue to what it was but would let me know i was in some sh**. I'd spend the entire day wondering what i did wrong and thinking i was a bad kid.
"9 out of 10 times it had to do with my grades, school was a huge struggle for me."
Beware of Bullfrogs
"My dad would take us camping a lot. He didn't want us getting lost in the woods so he would tell us the sound we heard (bullfrogs) was actually a water monster that will drag you underwater or deep in woods to eat you."
"I think most old school parenting was terrifying your kids to keep them out of danger."
Other people discussed the times their parents were blatantly dishonest. These Redditors didn't always notice the truth at the time, but 20/20 hindsight sure clarified some issues.
Just Say No
" 'Next time' promises to make the child not complain, but are never fulfilled. It only leads to trust issues." -- macncheese_z
"They also lose their power quickly when the kid knows there will be no 'next time.' Which makes them fight harder for 'this time,' causing the entire goal of promising 'next time' to go unfulfilled along with the trust issues."
"Which is what I like to call an 'epic gamer move' " -- KalebMW99
The Hot Gossip
"Reading diaries or journals, (text messages, emails). It's a huge violation of trust and will cause kids to bottle emotions up instead of expression through creativity. If you think something is wrong or that they are in a bad situation choose to sit and talk with them in earnest."
"Extreme euphemisms that are almost lies to make bad news less harsh." -- kaida_notadude
"Seriously. Just tell the kids whats going on. If you want to soften the blow, take them out somewhere nice to put them at ease, but give them the truth."
"Kids can handle a lot more than we give them credit for, and telling them the truth without blurring it all up with euphemisms helps them process information more clearly." -- CaptainHindsight212
Last, some people realized that their parents had good intentions, but totally missed the mark about implementing them. These parents wanted what they felt was best for the child, but getting there, they did the worst.
In Your Ear Forever
"Putting down your child to 'motivate' them. My parents never gave me positive reinforcement, they'd be quick to jump all over my mistakes and they even told me that I was faking my grades when I got the straight A's they wanted."
"It didn't do anything except sow the seeds of self-doubt that I still have to this day."
" 'You see that child Timmy? Be more like him.' Made me insecure and feel beneath everyone." -- Madam-Vixen
"My moms logic is that it pushes me to do what the others do as well. What really happened was i felt they would rather have the other one as their child not me" -- mizukata
Doesn't Have to Be a Transaction
"Cleaning your room as a punishment or something to hold over your kid if they want to do something fun."
"This will give your kid the impression cleaning their room is a bad thing. Treat it as something you both can do together, encourage them to do it because they want to. I've decided that I will always help my kid Clean his room solely to achieve the goal of a clean room, that's it."
Hopefully, a thread like this will shine a light on the intuitive, but problematic, approaches to parenting. Maybe you're thinking about kids or have some of your own.
Take it from these folks that even the minor things can add up.
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Stupid is as stupid does. And it’s pretty obvious when some poor, misinformed, potentially ignorant soul needs to be put in their place. Luckily, there are a lot of witty ways to do just that. We love a good euphemism.
Wanna know the best way to call out stupidity when you see it? Stay tuned.
Get a load of these sick burns. I swear, the people of Reddit are harsh.
Call outs are a universal language.
In Russian we have "intelligent thoughts have always followed him, but he was faster".
We have something similar in German: "Intelligence is chasing you, but you are faster."
Be your own Easter Bunny.Looney Tunes Cartoon GIF Giphy
You could hide your own Easter eggs.
The great Harvey Korman had some Alzheimer's @ 2005, and he still went on a talk show. They asked him how he was doing and he said he was OK. "Now I can hide my own Easter eggs." RIP.
“At this point, you can only impress me."
This reminds me of something I saw in a show recently. One character said "Would you think less of me if ____." The other character said "I could never think less of you."
I think I saw this one here previously "You aren't the biggest idiot in the world but you better hope they don't die".
It takes a very intelligent person to properly call out a dumb person. Weird how that works, huh?
When the bears are smarter than the tourists.GIF by Smokey Bear Giphy
Now I know what Douglas Adams was talking about.
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
That’s a gross mental image.
In Greece we say "when it was raining brains, you had an umbrella".
Edit: In German it's "Gott, lass Hirn regnen".
It’s probably a bad sign when your lawyer calls you dumb.
Lawyer to client who shared detailed attorney-client privileged strategy memorandum with a whole bunch of people, including an adverse party:
Client: "Is there anything you can do to fix this?"
Attorney: "No, you've pretty much waived the privilege and now they know everything."
Client: "Is there anyway to put a positive spin on this?"
Attorney: "Well, I suppose the judge might buy that this proves that you lack the mental capacity to form specific intent."
These next ones are just plain cold, but probably very much deserved.
Meanness from a Canadian is probably well-earned.eric cartman GIF by South Park Giphy
On a Canadian jobsite
Ahh Terry, having you around is like losing three good men.
Oof, that’s harsh.
He's so far behind he thinks he's first.
I had a keychain as a kid that said, "She who laughs last thinks slowest.”
Those are some gross socks.
Once heard someone say "Well he's about as sharp as a sock full of soup".
"Sharp as a marshmallow" was one that went around my friend circle.
In the words of the great prophets Smash Mouth, “I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed”. That self-burn is perhaps one of the most classic euphemisms. And I just almost misspelled “euphemism”. So I can definitely relate to that lyric.
A good way to exercise your brain? Keep thinking of creative ways to insult people. Trust me, it works like a charm
It's a plague many of us would rather not admit occurs on a daily basis.
Reddit user, u/Jamally1980, wanted to hear about:
When It Happens To Others...
You might be out, with a friend or a co-worker, minding your own business, never once considering what degree of person you'll meet. Then, BOOM. They're there, ready to make the person who you're with and their life a living nightmare.
Suddenly Changing Their Minds
I (WM) played in a band with an African American guitarist. We wrote songs together and became great friends. One day we went to a convenience market and there was a help-wanted sign on the door.
"Watch this," he said and went in the store to inquire about the job. 2 minutes later, he walked out and said with a sly grin, "The owner said they are no longer hiring. Now YOU go in."
I went in the store, and five minutes later, came out with an application.
"You see," he said. "You have no idea what it's like to be black."
30 years later, I still think about that day.
"Not even the correct kind of racist here."
My landlord thought one of my closest friends was some sort of hardcore latino gangbanger who was selling me crack. He's an asian IT professional who doesn't even drink. He was even coming over in his work clothes 99% of the time. We have a lot of jokes about that one. "Not even the correct kind of racist here."
Maybe They Shouldn't Be Around Kids
6th grade. This was mid/late 90s. Our teacher was telling us a story.
She said "this black woman without shoes came up my driveway and approached me. At first I was nervous because we don't have any black people in our neighborhood and I could tell she was homeless because she had a foul odor and she was black" and the black girl in class interrupted her and said "why does she have to be black for you to be nervous?"
The teacher responded, "because she was and we don't have black people in our neighborhood, and skin color matters Kelly."
It shook me up. It is a big commuter area close to some major cities and military bases so we had a diverse student body.
The next week our principal came in to explain the teacher was let go because of her racist remarks, and we had a week where we learned about diversity and how discrimination plays a part in so many lives, how it can affect populations, and how you can be aware of it.
Silly Reasons, Real Fears
I remember the first time I experienced racism. I'm Canadian but lived in England for a year when I was 8. I had a buddy from India. One time we wanted to play soccer at school over lunch with a group of guys. A boy said "you can play because you're from Canada. He can't play because he has brown skin". I was so confused and didn't know why skin colour made a difference. My friend was way better than me so I thought they didn't want to play with someone so good. I asked him if all people with brown skin are really good at soccer. He just said no, let's go play somewhere else. It wasn't until later that I realized why they didn't want to play.
Or When It Happens To You...
It's not always someone else, is it?
Most of the time you'll see racist interactions first-hand because they happen to you. You didn't do anything wrong, you might even have been out walking, but you feel it deep down in your gut when they direct all their hate and fury at you.
We Should Have You And The Missus Over Some Time
I was driving out of my gated community and a lady stepped off the curb and in front of my car yelling at the top of her lungs. She comes to the driver side and is like, "I see you driving through here, do you live here?". Her husband, not far behind, grabs her and proceeds to explain to her that I live literally around the corner from them. She then proceeds to ask me for my drivers license. As I laugh, I invite them over for drinks later. The husband thanks me as his wife continues to yell.
6 hours later, I walk to their house with a bottle of red wine and white wine (not knowing which they like). The husband answers the door, shocked, he invited me in, only to have his wife say, no. Embarrassed, he says he'll stop by later. Fast forward, he's one of my closest friends and she's still a raging [b-tch.]
At Least Get The Geography Of Your Insults Right
Old guy in his 70's walked up to me while at McDonalds and asked me "Is that your camel parked out front?" Took a moment to register that he was being racist. I told him that there wasn't a camel in the parking lot and that he should see a doctor about his senile dementia. I'm not even Arab or Persian. I'm Puerto Rican. If you're going to be racist, at least make the effort to get the race right. The only thing worse than a racist is a lazy racist.
We're Working, Here!
When I, Hispanic, was a landscaper, my boss and I were hired to do lawn work in a really nice neighborhood. I was approached by an angry elderly white man and he asked me what I was doing and told me I don't belong here. My boss, who was also white, had to come and basically f-ck off and told him we were hired and allowed on the property we were on.
...It's All Truly Terrible.
No matter how you slice it, discovering anyone's racists intentions isn't pleasant. You may not know what to say or what to do in that situation, but you'll know how you feel.
Finding Out Who The Racists In Your Life Are
Maybe it's a combination of being white with a shaved head, or maybe it's just being white, but sometimes folk feel very comfortable spouting off racist sh-t with me in the room. A common one is whining about "immigrants". On several occasions I've let people go on about their various stupid issues with The Immigrants, until I point out I am one.
Most of the time the whiner will awkwardly change the subject. One time a guy said "Yeah but you speak English!". Somehow I don't think language was his problem.
The most common trait I've seen among racist people is the assumption that most other people are as racist as them.
Seeing Their Biases Laid Bare
There was this convenience store near my elementary school that kids used to go to sometimes to get candy, snacks etc. A friend of mine (also black), told me I shouldn't go there because the store owner was racist, so I never went. Well one day I went in, and before I could even grab something, the guy yells at me to get out. I try to ask why, but he just kept yelling how he didn't want "us" in his store, even though I was alone. At this point, I was old enough to understand, and unfortunately has already experienced sh-t like this before.
Fast forward maybe a few weeks or so, I'm with a white friend of mine and we're walking on the same street as this store. He says we should stop in and get some sodas. I tell him I can't go in because the owner is racist and won't let me buy anything. My friend thinks that's ridiculous because the guy is always nice to him. So I tell my friend to go in first. He goes in, grabs a soda, buys it, comes back to me saying how nice the dude was and I had nothing to worry about. I say okay, now lets both walk in. We both walk in and the dude has smile on his face until he spots me and his demeanor completely changes. He says something like, "Oh no, YOU (my friend) can stay, but HE (me) has to leave." My friend is like wtf why? The guy says, "I don't want "them" in this store! You're (my friend) fine though." I stand there just looking at my friend with the I-told-you face. My friend actually gets upset, starts yelling back calling the guy racist and so on, but I grab him and I'm like lets go before he calls the police. My poor friend was blown away because he thought the guy was so nice and friendly then boom! All of that erased in minutes.
If you ever find yourself in a spot like this, there's a few things to do: Talk to someone, anyone, whom you can trust. Make sure you're safe. Above all, don't engage or react unless you absolutely have to.
There's real love in this world. Go out and find that, instead.