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Humans have figured out a lot in a short space of time. There is no doubt about that.

However, if you've ever engaged in one of these tasks that takes a lot of finesse and work, you begin to wonder--how DID this process get perfected? How DID we as humans do this?


u/Work_Confusion asked:

Ever learned something that made you go "how the heck did humans figure that out?", if so, what is your prime example of that?

Here were some of those answers.


Which Seed Is Which?

Coffee. Who thought to pluck the seed from a coffee tree berry, roast it, then grind it, then mix it with boiling water, then filter out the grounds? That process must have taken centuries to perfect.

elquenuncahabla

I actually know this! Goat herders noticed how their goats went nuts after eating the coffee beans, so that's how they figured out what kind of effect coffee has. Things like roasting, grinding, etc. were discovered by trial and error over time.

w2555

Anthro Language

Spoken language in general. If I utter a lot of noises in a very specific order, you understand my thoughts. I understand evolution, both social and biological, but it still blows my mind.

RLlovin

Thanks, Volcanoes, For The Information

What's inside the earth? I read somewhere that if you imagine the earth as an apple we haven't even drilled past the skin yet, so how do they know?

PowerfulHamster

Continuing Trial And Error

Anything that becomes edible only after several steps like a mushroom you have to boil twice, what was it discovered by a murder on a budget who used the same poison mushroom in 3 pots of tea? Cover it in lye bury it in the ground for a month then it should be good to eat...this fish is deadly except this one tiny bit.

shhh_its_me

Taking Great Care

The Fugu pufferfish. Contains the world's most powerful neurotoxin, but if you cut that sucker just right, you get tasty-fish that sells for $100 a plate. And the best chefs will be able to taint the meat with just enough tetrodotoxin to give the diner a vague sense of tingling, but not die.

Since 1958, fugu chefs must earn a license to prepare and sell fugu to the public. This involves a two- or three-year apprenticeship. The licensing examination process consists of a written test, a fish-identification test, and a practical test, which requires the test-takers to prepare a dish of fugu and and eating it. Only about 35 percent of the applicants pass. Small miscalculations result in failure or, in rare cases, death.

Gemmabeta

Imaginary Numbers

That's something that we never really figured out, so we invented imaginary numbers to just kinda make sense of certain things. I always imagine it went like this:

"The equation won't balance unless I throw in a root -1! And I can't do that!"

"But we don't get the grant if we don't solve the equation...."

And a week later, a paper on imaginary numbers is published.

BluegrassTruths

It Only Takes A Moment

Tapioca pudding. Raw cassava is poisonous (cyanide) but if you peel it and grind it down it makes tapioca pudding. So how did that happen? How did a person figure out that after cooking it was OK? So maybe some tribe was starving and sitting by a fire and a cassava tuber fell in the fire and after it cooked they said, "F*** it, I'm gonna peel it and eat it." A mystery to me.

mydogismarley

Necessity Does A Lot Of Work

Sailing upwind. Sailing with the wind is one thing but how did they ever figure out how to design a boat capable of sailing upwind is beyond me. I understand the physics of why it works however it still baffles me that humans figured that out as early as they did.

kg1206

When We Could Have Listened

A friend showed me a video on a building that was discovered buried under sand in Spain--I think it was in Spain. Can't remember what it is called. But one of the buildings was so immensely beautiful and detailed. Even the tiled floor had paintings on it that had been preserved over time. Just boggles my mind. They even had an amazing plumbing system and other things you'd never thought was possible for the era it was built. I'll have to find the documentary and link it - it's amazing.

throwawayedm19

Chz

Milk/cheese.

Humans were pretty much all lactose intolerant for a long time, only babies could really drink milk because of feeding.

So at some point, people just said "screw it" and brute forced milk into adult diets. Created cheese and ate so much that a significant portion of the world can now drink it as adults. Even modern lactose intolerant people just do not care and still eat/drink milk and cheese products.

tatsuedoa

Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Now that college has become a standard requirement for so many jobs and careers, there is a massive push by high schools to get their graduating students accepted and enrolled at an undergraduate college.

On the whole, that's undoubtedly a great thing. A more educated workforce will be prepared to solve the most complex issues facing human beings in the next several decades.

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Image by Gianni Crestani from Pixabay

*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.

The person on the other end of a 911 call has a truly remarkable job.

For those who don't play that professional role, we hope to never encounter the 911 call interaction. But if we do find ourselves making that call, the moment is an anomaly in our lives.

The chaos, the panic, the racing heart, and the desperation are all emotions we, ideally, don't experience on a regular basis.

But for the operator on the other end, our call is one in a long line of calls they've received all day, and all the workdays before that one.

It's difficult to imagine being embedded in those uniquely urgent, emergency moments all the time.

Some Redditors who are on the other end of that call shared their experiences on the job.

WhimsicalxxButcher asked, "911 dispatchers what has been your most creepy/unnerving call?"

For a few, the most unnerving moments were the calm callers.

There was something just so eerie about how level-headed the faceless human being on the other end could be through such a desperate, tragic moment.

Almost Clinical 

"I had a friend who worked as a 911 dispatcher and he always said the worst call he ever had was a ~20 year old kid who committed suicide by mixing a bunch of chemicals together in his car to produce hydrogen sulfide gas."

"He said that the most unnerving part was hearing him calmly listing off the chemicals, the type of gas produced, and the effects of hydrogen sulfide on the body (namely the almost instant death it causes at high concentrations)."

"He ended the call by providing the address of the parking lot he was in and saying that nobody should approach the vehicle without hazmat equipment."

"Apparently after that there was a whooshing sound as he dumped the last chemical into the mix, and then the line went dead silent aside for a quiet fizzing noise."

"I know that call screwed him up because he almost never talks about stuff that happens to him on the job. He quit a few months later to go into construction management, and frankly I can't blame him."

-- iunoyou

Planned Out 

"A woman called me, saying she was going to kill herself. She was gassing herself. Gave me her name & address then said she was just going to lie down and 'go to sleep.' And stopped responding to me."

"I kept the line open, trying to get her to speak to me, and eventually heard officers forcing their way in to find her body. I guess she just wanted someone to find her body."

-- mozgw4

Before It Set In 

"When I got a call from a 6 year old who got home from school and laid down to take a nap with his dad. His dad never woke up."

"The kid was so calm when calling it broke my heart."

"I ended up leaving dispatch shortly after. I was good at compartmentalizing the job for the year I was doing it, but it would've broken me in the long run."

-- tasha7712

Other 911 operators were unfortunate enough to receive a call from the very last person they wanted to hear from: a loved one.

These dispatchers' unique position gave them the unexpected access to a family member or friend at their most dire moments.

No More of That 

"My family member is a long time first responder, and 'retired' into doing dispatch. He heard the address (someone else was taking the call) and realized it was his daughter's house."

"He rushed over there just in time to see them wheeling her body out. Overdose."

"Five months later, he was called to his ex-wife's place because his grandson (son of the daughter who recently passed) had his door locked, lights on, but wasn't responding to his grandma."

"He broke the door down and found him deceased in bed. Overdose."

"He's very stoic after years of all sorts of traumatic situations but my heart hurts whenever I think of what all of this must have felt like. Like sand through your fingers."

-- bitchyhouseplant

Knowing the Address

"Not me, but my grandma. I was sitting in the dispatch office, (very small one only 2 dispatchers including my grandma) but she put out a dispatch that there was a gun shot from my best friends address."

"My heart sank to my stomach and broke later that day. He committed suicide."

-- OntaiSenpuu

When it Happened 

"My uncle passing away. Worked as a small town dispatcher for a year or so. Had a bunch of messed up stuff happen on shift, but this call came in in the still hours of the night. Small town, so not many calls after midnight."

"I answered and recognized the name and address on caller id. Aunt was in a frenzy so didn't recognize my voice. I remained calm and got ems and fire rolling to them, but by my aunt's own words he was already blue."

"I went thru debriefing and mandated therapy for a couple other things that happened, but never really talked to anyone about this. I just try not to think about it."

"That was the call I figured out I needed to find a different job."

-- dangitjon

Finally, some simply had a front row seat to sudden tragedy.

These operators were flies on the wall when disaster struck. They never asked to witness what they witnessed, but sometimes that came with the territory.

A Holiday Tragedy 

"My mom is a 911 dispatcher. Early on she said one Christmas Eve while working she got a call from an elderly lady who's husband had just collapsed(and died) from a heart attack and in the background Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas music was playing on blast."

"The lady was screaming and crying and begging for her husband to wake up but my mom could hear his gurgling in his last breathes. She doesn't listen to or watch Alvin and the chipmunks since."

-- Blueflowerbluehair

What is it About Christmas?

"Christmas night. 911 call with crying child on the other end. A neighbor had run her car over her mom during a domestic."

"The mom crawled to the porch bleeding and the child saw the car coming back. I had her hide quietly in a closet with the cordless phone."

"The 10 year old child was crying and screamed that she hated Christmas. She was afraid of the police when they got there."

"I kept her on the phone until she felt safe enough to give the phone to an officer. I almost fainted after that call was over. Had nightmares for a while."

-- 2FunBoofer

Close to Home 

"Not a dispatcher but I handle radio communications for the Coast Guard. One night I was on the radio and got a call from an 11 year old kid whose boat had started to sink. He was out with his dad and 6 year old brother."

"They had been hit by another boat and his father got knocked unconscious. I remember the entire conversation up until the radio had gone underwater."

"They ended up finding his dad floating on his back alive but the two boys didn't make it. That one really fu**ed with me because my two littlest brothers were around the same age as the youngest."

-- HIRSH2243

A Horrible Clock 

"Another one that stays with me was the man who called in. It was the anniversary of his adult son having hanged himself. He'd now come home to find his wife had done the same."

"That date is always going to be a black day for him."

-- mozgw4


If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

Again, we hope you never have to use the 911 call in your life. Nobody wants to be involved in a sudden emergency or a tragic incident.

But hopefully, if you do, an operator like one of these thoughtful, sensitive Redditors is on the other end.

Image by Nguyen Dinh Lich from Pixabay

When I was moving on from middle school to high school my parents had me tested for the "gifted" program. By some miracle I passed and was accepted. And then I turned it down. Everyone was irritated. "This will pave the way for any college you want! You'll learn so much!" his path will set you up for life!" Every adult tried valiantly to sell me this merchandise but in my gut I just wasn't buying it. So I "settled" a level below, merely advanced classes. And upon reflection... it was the best choice I ever made.

Redditor u/dauntlessdaisy was wondering how far some in life got by asking... For those of you who were considered "gifted" in school, what are you doing with your life now?
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Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

There's a million things that can happen to you while out on on the road.

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