Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

It's strange to think we walk around with powerful supercomputers in our pockets, yet we don't use them as much as we should to learn interesting facts about the world. Our planet is massive, always changing, and there's always something cool to learn. Just take a note from these people and learn something incredibly cool.


Reddit user, u/[deleted], wanted to hear about:

What's something cool you recently learned about?

Everyone Be Ready To Set Your Clocks

the simpsons episode 25 GIF Giphy

The Earth is slowly decelerating, 17 milliseconds slower per 100 years. In 140 million years, the time in a day will be increased to 25 hours.

JCIgaming

Oh cool, that will be right before I get my xbox series x.

CPAeconLogic

The True Side Of America

That in 2007, Rockstar Games allowed fans to call a number and rant about what they thought was wrong with America. The best calls were featured on a radio station in "Grand Theft Auto IV"

TrustMe_ImDishonest

It Comes Around So Rarely, It's All Chance

The origin of the word "happiness" is from the Middle English "hap" which has to do with chance and possibility. As in "happenstance" or per-haps. So hap-iness was originally about the feeling of good fortune/getting lucky; the chance that something could or could not occur, and then it goes your way. Happiness is that specific feeling when something that could have gone horribly wrong goes amazing well.

Guacamoleistoocostly

Cool! And, Gross!

New fish pop up in ponds because ducks eat fish eggs from other ones and excrete them whole in another water body

man_sandwich

A Life-Saving Feather Transplant

That vets can "transplant" feathers to birds and will harvest flight and tail feathers from bird who didn't make it and donate to another bird in need like an organ donor.

Artemismajor

Powered By SCIENCE

watching season 3 GIF Giphy

For the last 50+ years, every submarine and aircraft carrier built by the US Navy has been powered by nuclear reactors. What's more, the aircraft carriers have a 50 year service life and only need to be refueled ONE TIME. There has also never been a nuclear related accident on board these ships (two subs have sank, but not because of a failure in the propulsion system).

Repo_co

Rocket J. Squirrel Says, "What's Up?"

Squirrels can acquire terminal velocity while plummeting to the ground (on average above 70 feet) and survive 80% of the time.

A-Potato-Dragon

Ingested And Stuck

Rodents can't vomit.

Panda08am

This is exactly why rat poison works. They can't vomit up the poison

zettaizetumei5

Monitoring All Aspects Of Prisoner Life

The shower water on Alcatraz was intentionally kept very hot.

This is so prisoners wouldn't get used to cold water and be able to swim to shore if they escaped.

wakethedead304

Within Our Line Of Sight

On December 21, 2020 Jupiter and Saturn will align such that you can see them together in the same telescope, and even with the naked eye. It's called The Great Conjunction.

Edit: To answer some common questions:

  1. It should be viewable from most anywhere in the world. In the Northern Hemisphere look southwest. In the Southern Hemisphere look south.
  2. The best time to view will be 30 minutes to 2 hours after sunset.
  3. If it's cloudy on the 21st don't worry. The 21st is just the date that they're closest. But since the planets move so slowly across the sky it should allow for similar viewing in the several days before and after the 21st.
  4. The planets will appear pretty low in the sky so try to find a viewing location where you can see as much of the horizon as possible in the proper direction. Since there are several nights this will be visible it's best to try early to find the right spot.

A Protective Wall

No one who was born blind has ever gone on to develop schizophrenia. Researchers are investigating how congenital blindness may protect people from developing the condition.

46from1971

The New "Normal"

Museums are struggling to keep the appropriate humidity levels for their collections because of the lack of foot traffic and people breathing in the buildings due to COVID.

Edit: should say I heard this on the podcast "No Such Thing as a Fish", which I highly recommend, as I'm sure many in this comment chain would as well :) I think, as some have pointed out, "struggle" might not be the right word to have used, but it does appear from the research I did this morning that it is something museums are dealing with due to lack of foot traffic creating a "new normal" of humidity in these places.

PocketWocket

Let's Be Up Front: They're Bigger Than You Think

intimidating homer simpson GIF Giphy

How f-cking big wolves are.

Honestly, why did I never know this before?!?!

hms200

This was my exact reaction to seeing a MOOSE.

littletinything

My grandpa told me once that a moose is an ugly horse and wow I didn't realize they were really that big until I came across one backpacking.

DJCane

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Image by tookapic from Pixabay

Can you see Harry Potter at a football game in the Midwest? Chowing on a corn dog, throwing back some good ole Pepsi-Cola? Or can you picture the Harry universe living and loving in the great U. S of A? What would casting look like against the backdrop of the great harvest plains? I have so many thoughts and ideas. The first thought, the change would never work. Keep the story alive on British soil.

But, for fun, let's chat about the idea.

Redditor u/Cuish wanted all the Potter heads out there to share what American tweeks would occur in the Potterverse within America, by asking:

If Harry Potter was set in the United States, how would the story change?
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Luke van Zyl/Unsplash

Life isn't as simple as one may think. It's not always easy to take a step back and look at the big picture, but when there's over seven billion people on the planet, there's no way things are as cut and dry as they seem.

Everyone's experiences are different going through life. We may not be able to see the complexities it if we haven't lived it ourselves.

So we went to Reddit because we wanted to see what's not as simple as people think it is.

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RobinHiggins/Pixabay

Double standards are something we all live with and, quite likely, find extremely annoying. Things like men being expected to hide their emotions—or not have them at all—or women being expected to stay home and support a couple's children, everyone is generally harmed by double standards.

This is especially true when the double standard isn't clear until someone violates it and then has to deal with anger, ridicule, or sometimes even violence as a result.

Content Note: this article mentions suicide and sexual assault, reader discretion advised.

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Image by jacqueline macou from Pixabay

They say one man's trash is another man's treasure - and sometimes that saying is pretty literal.

Lots of people build entire businesses picking up cool stuff on bulk-pickup trash day, and upcycling it into something even better that people are willing to pay for.

Sometimes, you might even end up with something pristine and usable right away.

Reddit user JampackedAlborn1976 asked:

What is the most valuable item that you have seen somebody throw away or have found in the garbage?

And for real ... some of these people scored BIG TIME. Like big time. Like really big.

Like Refrigerator Big

just ask leslie jones GIF by Saturday Night Live Giphy

"Our current refrigerator is a double-door one with exterior ice and water dispensers. We got it for free, with absolutely no problems whatsoever. It's just a few years old."

"How we got it? My dad (civil engineer) was doing some work on someone's apartment when they said they had bought a new modern French door refrigerator and that they were just going to discard their current refrigerator."

"My dad simply asked if he could have it.. and they said yes." - SauloJr

Immigrants In Action

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"I immigrated to the US from Brazil when I was 12. And every Saturday, my mom, stepdad, sister and I would go out at night to upper middle class neighborhoods the day before trash pickup to rummage through the garbage they were putting out."

"We found perfectly good TVs, VCRs, microwaves, couches, lazy boys, tables, books and comics, etc."

"I couldn't believe these Americans were throwing out like that. We furnished our entire house with that stuff. The entire Brazilian immigrant community in my town did it. We were flabbergasted." - PhillipLlerenas

With A Note

Television Bunny GIF Giphy

"My wife yelled at me that someone put a big TV outside with a note on it. Walked across the street and it was a brand new Samsung 37 inch HDTV."

"They were actually renovating the apartment building and got an upgraded TV. Even had the remote taped to it with batteries, I guess I have really nice neighbors here in NYC." - MadLintElf

Life Hack!

studying busy philipps GIF by Drunk History Giphy

"If you want high end stuff out of the garbage for free, follow these steps:"

"Pick a city with a large university in it. If it's a school well known for its law programs, or medical, or engineering, all the better."

"Search for luxury apartment complexes that market themselves towards students. Look for things like included shuttle service, pools, fitness centers, etc. The more expensive and swanky the better."

"Figure out when finals week is at the end of Spring semester."

"Dumpster dive at those luxury apartment complexes during that week and the following weekend."

"Very wealthy international students will arrive in the US, fully outfit an apartment with nice furniture, big TVs, audio systems, gaming consoles, you name it, and when the semester ends they just junk it all because they aren't going to fly it back to wherever, and it's too much effort to spend the time selling when they do not care about the money."

"It's a smaller scale phenomenon a little like all the luxury cars abandoned at the airport in Dubai." - whattothewhonow

Literal Gold Treasure

valley of the boom david kim stanley GIF by National Geographic Channel Giphy

"I found a gold coin at goodwill for 5 bucks. It was in a case with someone's name and company name."

"It was their gift from the company for retiring. I assume the family threw it out when he died not knowing it was solid gold. It was in a in a thick solid plastic case that had to be cracked opened."

"It literally said 1 oz fine gold on it. I figured 5 bucks was worth the risk it not being real."

"It was a South African KRUGERRAND 1 oz coin. Everyone was just too busy to read it lol."

"Bought it and took it too a pawn shop and sold it for a couple grand." - streetmitch

The Best Day Of My Life

Will Smith Wow GIF by 1LIVE Giphy

"When I was a kid, I grew up right outside the Los Angeles area in the suburbs. My stepdad was a garbage truck driver for the city of Beverly Hills."

"I swear in the late 80s and early 90s we'd have so much basically brand new stuff (still in boxes) brought home on a regular basis."

"I'll never forget one day in particular. My stepdad came home and was like 'get ready, come to the car, I'll need your help.' So I go down there and in back seat of his car he had a few large black garbage bags."

"We haul them up to our apartment and he's like 'go ahead, open them.' Inside was what I could only describe as an 80s kids trove of treasures."

"One bag contained just about every Ghostbusters and GI joe toy you can imagine, they were played with but had every little accessory, there was a bunch the playsets and everything."

"In the other bag was pretty much every LEGO of the early 80s sets, still in their original boxes. I was a big LEGO nerd but was totally thrown off by the old school space ones because they looked nothing like the 90s space sets. I think they even said "NASA" the minifig's chests."

"That was like a random day in July, it felt like Christmas. I was 9 years old and it was basically like the best day of my life up to that point." - Zombgief

Who Throws Away Money?

spongebob squarepants money GIF Giphy

"A jar full of quarters."

"Annual spring cleaning projects happen in a lot of towns where anyone can put almost anything on the curb and it's taken away for free. It's to stop open dumping or stuff being dumped in ditches."

"Sometimes people deal with estates from winter by just dumping all their grandfather's stuff on the curb for the cleanup to get the house empty immediately. Most often they don't even bother to look at what they are throwing away."

"In 2012 on north road in Akwesasne I found an estate pile that I shuttled back and forth with my bike trailer getting lots of older tools like a scythe, hammers, saws, screwdrivers and wrenches, a 22 rifle with 100 round of ammo, a bunch of ar15 magazines, cast iron cookware, oil lamps, a hand crank food mill with all kinds of accessories, a black raven axe head (worth $100 easily since they are a collectable), and a quart size mason jar full of change mostly quarters."

"That was spring and the sheriffs office did a gun buyback in the fall where I took the mags and got $20 each for them (30 round mags suddenly illegal under the safe act of fall 2012. The buyback was a local political move). I still got the 22 and picked off a lot of woodchuck with it in my gardens." - Bogtrotterso1980

Filing Fever

Files Workload GIF Giphy

"I own a small company which is located directly in front of a state funded program facility. The state decided to have this office shred all of their files as they were going to switch to electronic data (exclusively)."

"We found two of these old rotary filing cabinets outside of their office. They're worth almost $3k each!"

"They just placed them there and we saw them and asked what they planned on doing with them. They said, 'Hmmm.....either donate them or trash them.' The state told them simply to get rid of them."

"We jumped at this and took the two into our already tiny office because there was no way in hell that we were going to let these gems go. (We do use paper files, unfortunately)."

"They wanted to give us two smaller ones but seriously, our office is very small. I made some phone calls and they were picked up immediately by other office workers/friends." - GlitzBlitz

This Sucks - In A Good Way!

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"In the 1990s my moms work had a really nice high end Hoover that stopped working. They threw it out."

"My mom took it home because my dad tinkers and repairs things easily. Turns out since it was a bagged vacuum all the dummies had to do is REPLACE THE BAG."

"Like it never occurred to them to do the most easy and basic step. My parents were excited to have a really upgraded vacuum. Maybe like $500ish." - schweddyboobs

Tiffany's Trash

Audrey Hepburn Movie GIF by The Good Films Giphy

"My dad found an old stained glass window laying out by someone's trash. He thought it would look cool hanging in our cabin, so he stopped and grabbed it."

"It sat in our garage for a few years before he looked at it more closely and found "Tiffany and Co." branding on it. He got in touch with some stained glass window dude who figured it was worth about $40k fully restored, so my dad sold it to him for somewhere around $30k." - throwaway_stopdrink

Have you had any awesomely trashtastic treasures? Let us know!