|LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Thanks to "Star Trek," a show with its sight set steadfastly on the future, I have come to appreciate the richness and the complexity of the past. Recently I did two Star Trek events that literally transported me into a deeper appreciation of the vast history of human civilization. One was a Star Trek cruise from Los Angeles down the coast of Mexico, sailing through the Panama Canal and across the Caribbean to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The other was a gigantic Star Trek convention in Berlin, Germany.|
A cruise may not immediately seem like a journey into times gone by. It's fun, feasting and frolicking as one sails to exotic ports. And a Star Trek cruise is indeed all that. But this one, arranged by Cruise Trek of Agoura Hills, California, was also like a time machine that took me to three different centuries in our past.
One of our ports of call was a sleepy Guatemalan harbor called Puerto Quetzal. A 90-minute jet plane ride away, hidden deep in the dense jungle growth of centuries, is the ruins of the great Mayan civilization of Tikal. I wanted to visit it. But when we boarded our ship, the S.S. Veendam, in Los Angeles, we discovered that this off-ship tour was sold out! It was such a popular tour that the eager beavers had faxed in their reservation requests early and completely bought up all available seats on the jet to the jungle airport. At the welcome reception on board, actor Cecily Adams made an impassioned plea for more people to request the tour so that another plane might be chartered. I was already on the waiting list.
Happily, there were many others who wanted to view the ruins of Tikal and we got the required number to hire another plane. But this one was not a jet. To be charitable, it was a plane that amply qualified to be in a Guatemalan antique museum. But we aren't in Puerto Quetzal every other weekend and if this was our only way to get to Tikal, so be it. We wanted to experience the great Mayan ruins.
We boarded the old plane, our desire to go to Tikal greater than our confidence in the aged aircraft to get us there. As we climbed to cruising altitude, we wondered if there might be an omen in the music that wafted softly from the sound system. It was the theme from "Titanic." After a two-hour test of our nerves, we landed at the jungle airport a bit frazzled but intact and grateful.
Tikal blew away all apprehensions over that flight. It was astounding. Built some 2,500 years ago, central Tikal covers about 6 miles. We were told that there are over 3,000 structures --- temples, palaces, shrines, plazas both large and small, terraces, residences and ball courts all surrounded by a network of causeways. With our limited time, we would be able to see only the highlights.
Looming up out of the tangle of dense jungle growth, awe inspiring in its majesty, stood the ruins of four temple structures. Their bases were not pyramids but steeply slanted stepped shafts that soared up to a terrace in the sky. Imposingly ensconced on top were the ornately carved stone temples of the Mayan high priests. Climbing to the top was, literally, a breath-taking work out. Many in our group didn't even attempt it. Cecily Adams, fit athlete that she is, made it to the top. The view from that spectacular vantage was as breathtaking as the climb. Below was the great central plaza where the ritual ceremonies were held. Across the way were the other temple structures. And surrounding us all was the jungle that had claimed these awesome edifices when the Mayan nation mysteriously vanished long before the coming of the conquistadores. It boggled the mind to realize that this amazing civilization was built without the use of the wheel.
A delicious native lunch was prepared for us at a jungle compound. We could have roamed among the ruins for the rest of the day. But our guide rushed us on. We had to return to the plane, he told us, so that we could take off by three o'clock in order to land at the Puerto Quetzal landing strip while there still was daylight. The reason for the urgency being that the Puerto Quetzal airstrip had no lights for night landings.
We arrived back at the plane with time to spare. But once we were strapped into our seats, the pilot and co-pilot began inspecting the bottom of the ancient instrument panel with flashlights. Then a parade of people in sweat-stained work clothes began shambling up to the cockpit. They peered and tinkered and whispered cryptically among themselves. After a tense half-hour sitting in the tropical heat of an unventilated old plane, we were asked to return to the terminal building. I've never liked the word "terminal" associated with anything to do with flying, but now it was more unnerving than ever.
Riddled with apprehension, we filed back. Some headed straight for the bar and some good Guatemalan beer. Cecily, I discovered, is a woman with a remarkably low threshold of hysteria. She immediately placed a long distance call to her husband Jim back in Los Angeles and began a tear choked "I've always loved you and always will - forever and ever -- " farewell call. I felt more for the poor, hapless man than for Cecily.
Another suspenseful half hour later, a sweaty man came out to tell us that our plane cannot fly but that three small replacement planes were flying out from Guatemala City to take us back to Puerto Quetzal. If Cecily had an ounce of control left, that announcement blew it away. With panic flashing in her eyes, she began pounding on the glass wall of the waiting room. The terminal manager came out and rushed her into his office where she remained for the rest of our tension filled wait. The rest of us merely sat on pins and needles and waited. We had already lost more than an hour of precious daylight. The beer flowed freely as the Guatemalan sun slowly sank toward the jungle tree line.
It was twilight when the first plane arrived. Immediately, a semblance of a queue formed at the door. Through the plate glass window, we saw Cecily being hustled on board the first plane. The door was opened and people began to be let through, slowly and not too methodically, one after the other. Just three people before me, the first plane reached capacity. I didn't make it on to that plane. In a sense, I was kind of glad. When the passengers of one plane get divided up into three small planes, the risks are tripled. And I had an uneasy premonition about the one carrying Cecily.
The second plane landed just as the first was taxiing away. It was old and smaller but it didn't look as decrepit as the big one that brought us here. We boarded quickly and strapped ourselves in as rapidly as we could. But it was already dark as we began our taxi down the primitive runway. Everyone sat silently. But in the tense stillness, I sensed the one question screaming in everyone's mind. How is this plane going to land on an airstrip that has no lights?
The plane strained and heaved trying to lift itself off the runway. It coughed and gasped. I pulled up on my armrest hoping it would help. Just as the plane reached the end of the cracked concrete strip, it lifted off. It continued pulling and flexing, strenuously trying to avoid the treetops. It shuddered, recovered, then trembled wildly. Finally and thankfully, it reached its allowed flying altitude. The plane continued trembling as it droned into the darkened night sky.
Among the many activities on the cruise ship, I had been taking the yoga exercise class. The idea was to achieve inner peace by bringing one's mind and body into harmony with one's environment. If ever I needed peace and harmony with my surrounding, now was it. I closed my eyes and slowly began breathing in and out. I relaxed my mind and tried to become one with the droning, shivering world surrounding me. All of a sudden, that world turned electric white! Everything became a blinding, shocking, blazing whiteness. Was this it? Is this the way it happens? Was this the end? I was petrified. Then just as shockingly, everything turned back to as it had been. I saw the dark outlines of the passengers' heads ahead of me. The heads turned to each other in startled puzzlement. I realized then, that we had just experienced a silent lightening. Suddenly, it happened again. Another flash. An instantaneous splash of blue-white electricity that was gone as quickly as it came. We were flying through a tropical-lightening storm. A few more silent flashes and we were again flying through the ominously unchanging black sky.
After about an hour, I noticed a sprinkle of lights down in the blackness of the landscape below. Then, I noticed a river of moving lights snaking in the darkness. It looked like a road with automobiles. That must be Guatemala City, I thought. It was supposed to be the biggest city in the country and the capital. But it looked merely like a few dots and a squiggle of light. A few moments later, the landscape returned to black again.
The tension began to intensify as we sensed the plane beginning the descent into the darkness below. How is the pilot going to manage the landing without any lights to guide him? Our imaginations went wild as we girded ourselves for a rough landing. Our breaths held tight as the plane descended lower and lower. It was all blackness below. Then, far off in the distance, we saw something mystifying. We could make out what looked like a double row of lights. What was this? We were told that Puerto Quetzal had no landing lights. As we descended lower, we could surely see two distinct rows of lights beckoning us in the dark. Our pilot headed straight for it. Thank god, they had lights after all, we thought. It wasn't until we were almost about to touch down that we noticed that the lights were, in fact, a row of flickering flames. Standing next to the flaming lights, we saw the silhouettes of men carrying arms. With a hard, bone snapping bump, we touched down. We bounced and jounced down a potholed landing strip between the rows of flaming pots. When we finally came to a stop, we saw that the last part of the row of lights was made up of a line up of trucks and jeeps all parked with their headlights on. The Guatemalan authorities had risen to the challenge in a most creative way. They had improvised a primitive landing system by marshalling the Guatemalan armed forces to light fires in coconut shells lined up in a row together with the headlights of military vehicles. Necessity combined with human ingenuity had brought us back to earth, drained and weary but safe.
And dear Cecily. When we got back to the ship, we learned that the first thing she did when she got back on board was to place an international call to her anxiety-riddled husband back in Los Angeles. Their devotion to each other is genuinely touching. Such a contrast to the frazzled woman seated in front of me on the bus back to the ship. "When I get back to our cabin onboard," she groused, "my husband better not be asleep."
It was a nightmare trip back. But Tikal was worth it. In fact, the flight back seemed to underscore what we had seen at Tikal. The same original thinking and resourcefulness that produced the flaming night landing lights, had raised those amazing architectural splendors of Tikal without the use of the wheel. The power of human creativity and inventiveness is the one constant that defines civilizations through the ages. We would soon be experiencing another example of that from another age and another people --Americans with the Panama Canal.
The French tried for twenty years and failed to build a canal across the Isthmus of Panama connecting the Caribbean with the Pacific. Despite their success with the Suez Canal in Egypt, they could not overcome two great adversaries in Panama -- a devastating tropical disease and an awesome mountain range. The disease decimated whole armies of their workers and the earth from the towering mountainside kept caving down into their excavation.
With characteristic bravado, United States President Teddy Roosevelt took over when the French finally gave up. The first task for the Americans was to overcome the killer disease, which they found to be malaria. When they discovered that the carrier was mosquitoes, a massive eradication program was launched. All bodies of water were either drained or disinfected. Then a new, sanitary village was built to house the workers.
The great challenge then became to conquer the formidable barrier mountain range of the Continental Divide. The solution the engineers came up with was ingenious. Rather than digging a cut into the daunting obstacle, their idea instead was to create a lake rising above the mountain range, then lifting the ships up and over the mountain. The solution was as brilliant as the engineering job would be formidable. First, a lake in the sky had to be constructed. Then, a series of locks had to be built to raise the ships up to the man-made lake. Then another set of locks on the opposite side would lower the ships back down to sea level. It was a mind-boggling project. But the Americans did it. The Panama Canal took ten grueling years to build but in August of 1914, the first ship made the virgin crossing. Since then, over 800,000 ships have gone through the waterway. Our passage in October of 1999 was to be one of the last transits under American administration. At midnight, December 31, 1999, the canal is to be handed over to the Panamanian government. President Jimmy Carter, who signed the treaty in 1977, will represent the U.S. at the ceremony. There was a sense of history for all of us on board the S.S. Veendam as we sailed toward our crossing.
We got up bright and early in the morning and crowded onto the decks and other good vantage points. I found a comfortable seat by a panoramic picture window in the Crow's Nest, the topmost cocktail lounge in the ship. In the pale light of dawn, I could see the metropolitan skyline of Panama City in the distant northeastern horizon. We were munching on a breakfast of Panama rolls and coffee by the time we sailed under the massive steel girders of the Bridge of the Americas guarding the entrance to the canal.
Promptly at 7:30 a.m., we entered the first of a series of locks, this one called Miraflore Locks. The water came churning in with massive force as the ship slowly rose up. I marveled at the colossal power of water. Forty-five minutes later, we were sailing out and onto the first of the stepped lakes, Miraflore Lake. Soon we entered the next series of locks, the Pedro Miguel Locks. These locks raised our vessel up to the top level of the system and a great waterway called the Gaillard Cut. This was the part that was the greatest challenge to the builders of the canal - the cut through the rugged mountain range of the Continental Divide. About 8 miles long, it was carved through rock and shale. It was here that the principal excavation was required and here that those devastating slides occurred during construction.
I stepped outside to the deck and gazed out at the semi jungle landscape on each side of the great waterway. The dense tropical air instantly wrapped around me in a sultry embrace. It was awe inspiring to imagine men just a century ago, struggling against this brutal heat, disease and the savagery of the jungle to carve out this massive system of waterways. I marveled at the sheer ingenuity of the engineers. The Panama Canal is a triumph of human will, creativity and determination. It is as incredible an achievement as that of the Mayans centuries ago.
It was lunchtime when we sailed out onto the huge man-made body of water, Gatun Lake, and I was hungry. We had a few hours to go before we would be entering the downhill set of locks. I decided to go down for lunch. The view of the lake from the air-conditioned comfort of the ship's dining room was superb. As I dined on an exquisite lunch of poached sole with baby asparagus, I couldn't help but appreciate the almost surreal world that we inhabited. Certainly, it would have been science fiction to those who had struggled so valiantly to make this fantastical existence so comfortably real for us. Ah, the wondrous rewards of man's ingenuity.
Promptly at 2 p.m., we entered the Gatun Locks, the system lowering our ship down to sea level on the Caribbean side. By sunset, we were again out on the high seas. Our historic 9-hour transit across the Panama Canal was over. On our way back to Ft. Lauderdale, we enjoyed an all-too-brief stop at the charmingly preserved colonial city, Cartagena in Colombia. Like a dream, our two-week floating Star Trek convention was over. But the rich lessons from the past, experienced on this ocean trek, will remain with me for a long time.
Two days after returning from the cruise, I flew off to another Star Trek event -- this one, a land based convention. It, too, was a rich experience in a city dense with history -- the former, and once again, capital of Germany -- Berlin.
The convention, "Galileo 7-III," was gigantic. Over 2,500 fans gathered from throughout Europe and even a few from the U.S. Berlin was the place to be for Star Trek fans that weekend. The huge attendance, however, seemed to overwhelm the management of the convention. There were program delays, interminable lines and confusion. Yet, bless their hearts, the fans' enthusiasm remained unabated. The applause at each program event was thunderous. They reveled in the joy of sharing a weekend with kindred souls. And the convention raised 30 thousand German marks for charity as well.
But what truly impressed me was the city of Berlin itself. Here was a city, mindful of its history, vigorously building a future of unity. At a point in time when Europe is struggling to join eleven nations in an economic union, and when Germany is heroically working to bring together its two parts brutally separated for decades by a political wall, Berlin was building a world city. To accomplish this, the city had gathered some of the best architects from throughout the world. There were dazzling buildings designed by architects from the United States, Italy, Japan, Holland and, of course, Germany. Berlin was the shining symbol of a people confidant of their destiny and building for the next millenium. I sensed it in the spirit of the people. I felt it in the dynamism of the city. I saw it in the architecture of the new buildings.
The most intriguing building was the Jewish Museum by American architect David Leibeskind. The museum was to open in 2000 but I was privileged to tour the completed but empty building. The shape of the zinc-clad, zigzag structure could be seen as a bolt of lightning, a deconstructed Star of David or a sharp, metallic prison. The windows cut into this structure look like slashes, shards or fragments of shattered glass -- jagged reminders from history. The building is entered from an underground tunnel. The sense one gets on entering the slate paved entrance corridor is one of chilly disorientation. The walls are canted. The floor slightly ramped. Other corridors intersect at sharp angles. Nothing is parallel and regular. There are unexpected spatial voids suggesting the absence of a part of the community that once made up the people of Berlin. The design is at once sobering and stunning. But I couldn't help wondering how the building would work as an exhibition space for a museum. How do you hang things on these canted walls? How do you arrange artifact display cases in these oddly formed galleries? How do you keep the architecture from upstaging the exhibits themselves? My questions on the practicality, however, were overwhelmed by my awe of the virtuosity of the architect. The building alone makes the most unforgettable statement on the history of the Jewish people in Berlin. The new Jewish Museum is an eloquent architectural sculpture.
The most exhilarating new symbol in Berlin, for me, is the restored German parliament building, the Reichstag. The architect is Sir Norman Foster. His British citizenship is as symbolic, it seems to me, as his architectural brilliance is world renown. He took the bold, stony Baroque edifice of the Reichstag with all its turbulent history and sensitively restored the shell. In it, he designed a starkly contemporary legislative chamber and offices. The reminder of the past containing the vigor of a modern nation. His most inspired piece of the design however, is the glass dome that he placed right over the legislative chamber. The transparency of government could not have been more clearly communicated. Even more significantly, he designed a bank of elevators that whisk the public - with no admission charge - up to the roof of the building. The view of Berlin from this rooftop terrace is spectacular. From this terrace, Foster designed a spiral ramp in the dome allowing the people to traverse up to the top of the glass structure. From there, the people, not only of Germany but of the world, can look down directly on the lawmakers at work in the legislative chamber below. It is a potent statement about a people's democracy. As I was walking away from this inspiring building, I looked back again to get another perspective on it. Even from a distance, the Reichstag was alive with movement. There was the constant motion of people going up and down on the ramp in the glass dome over the heads of the politicians. What a powerful symbol for the future of democracy.
The gift of Star Trek's incredible popularity has provided me with these undreamed of opportunities to know this world. These experiences have given me a keen appreciation of the inseparable link between our past and our future. The barbarism of man's inhumanity to man reminds us of our terrible fallibility. The extraordinary achievements of our antecedents, their determination against sometimes awesome adversity, their great organizational competence and their creative genius inspires us to face the many challenges that we confront today. The solid launching pad of our future is the confidence we gain from the glorious attainments from history.
As a "high achieving" student, the biggest mind-blowing fact I have ever learned has been the sheer amount of straight-up lying that happens in formal education.
It's a lot. Like a lot a lot. History class lied so hard.
Oxford<p>Oxford University was founded in 1096 and is several hundred years older than Machu Picchu.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjx8tm8?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">GParkerG93</a></p><p>Oxford was founded 300 years before the Aztec empire</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjxxhmy?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">AnduBandu</a></p><p>Wai..wah wai wai wiai, WHAT?</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjxif90?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">CosmicSnowball14</a></p>
On Trial<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTUxMTc2Ni9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMzU1ODI5M30.4pq1QJyuoP_wmlhACwoWdU54nobqlAzCrs2CaxXZ_BQ/img.gif?width=980" id="ed537" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a40beaebe19748acb8a2266ddd95141d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="500" data-height="375" />pet sleeping GIFGiphy<p>In the Middle Ages, European countries would put on real trials for animals. They were legitimate, with real defense attorneys. </p><p>A sow and her piglets were put on trial for killing a five-year-old kid. The sow was found guilty and put to death, but her piglets were acquitted because there was no evidence they took part.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjx1wyz?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">natsugreyzera</a></p><p>They did this in Tennessee in the 1900's where an elephant was tried and hanged for murder.<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_(elephant)" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"></a></p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjy3tyr?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">TheoryPlane</a></p>
Sharks<p>Sharks have existed 100 million years before the first trees. </p><p>Sharks first showed up on the scene 350 million years ago and 250 million years ago. Also, sharks have survived 4 of the 5 mass extinctions. They didn't exist for the first one. </p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjx1fss?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Stayathomedadof6</a></p>
Room To Spare<p>All the planets in our solar system can fit between the Earth and the Moon, with a little room to spare.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjx85ye?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Imajica0921</a></p><p>Whaaaa? Oddly this one hurts my brain the most.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjx9wk2?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">dmbf</a></p><p>There's a lot of space in space.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjzntot?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">madgietoyousir</a></p>
Clean Bones<p>That when you brush your teeth you're actually cleaning your skeleton</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjwzxbe?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">maidenHELL6669</a></p><p>Gotta keep your bone mech clean. That flesh armor only guards so much.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjxoun4?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Shumatsuu</a></p><p>Gross, thanks! </p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjxm8of?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ppity_pangolin</a></p>
Light Horizon<p>There is a light horizon in the universe, and we will never know what's beyond it</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjx2y18?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Money_Display_5389</a></p><p>The funny thing, (or maybe just terrifying thing), is that at some point in the far future, the light horizon will actually get smaller over time. </p><p>This is because the universe is expanding faster then light can travel, and so that light will never make it to us no matter how much time passes, and this phenomenon will only become more relevant.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjynpnr?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ZanyThings</a></p>
The Beatles<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTUxMTc3MS9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxODQ5ODcxOX0.1DyC3fQGrmURKaz809wvgafTj26Hak_-WKDyc4B9UoI/img.gif?width=980" id="8d6fe" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3419f853fad72027fcdecbaf7bb2eaa2" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="400" data-height="337" />the beatles GIF by US National ArchivesGiphy<p>The Beatles were only together for 7 years. Well, technically for 8 but they released all of their albums in a seven year stretch, releasing two albums a year for many of those years.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjxbtav?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">VikingWithGuns</a><span></span></p><p>Even crazier- when they broke up, Paul McCartney was 28.</p><p>Think about it- all that genius, the music, the success, the greatest band ever to exist- and he wasn't even 30.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjy8t5z?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">YourlocalTitanicGuy</a></p>
They Have To Die For My Survival<p>Diseases are caused by micro organisms. </p><p>Organisms. Germs are organisms. </p><p>It totally blew my mind that the thing screwing my internal organs was a group of sentient living beings that have to die for my survival.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjxbgc7?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">CrimsonMarksman</a></p>
Ice Age<p>Cleopatra lived closer to the invention of the iphone than the completion of the Great Pyramid</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjxly7q?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">jfaissalesmfe5</a></p><p>Woolly Mammoths still walked the earth when the Great Pyramid was being built.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjy9st1?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Volkspanzerisme</a></p><p>So by correlation, Cleopatra lived closer to the release of the movie Ice Age, than the actual ice age.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjzdvjl?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">BurritoBandito5</a></p>
Flaunt It<p>Jumping spiders have basically the same vision we do, they can see us and know when we're looking at them and like to show off!</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjxibgj?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">kikaf32645</a></p><p>Ugh I hate those spiders. We had one in the house once and it kept waving its arms around.'</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjz6duj?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Cyannotsus</a></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjz6duj?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"></a>Jumping spiders are the only kind of spider, that I as an arachnophobe like.</p><p>They're fluffy, cute and this fact cements that.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l12ncg/whats_a_fact_that_absolutely_blew_your_mind/gjxnj47?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">HelluhTrill420</a></p>
We go hard on A Goofy Movie around here. Tevin Campbell as Powerline is the real King of Pop 'round these parts. The perfect cast is standard choreography
I needed to tell you all that so you understood it is not an attack on the movie when I say Max sucked.
Peter Pan<p>Tink in Peter Pan is an absolute monster. She tried to get the Lost Boys to murder Wendy. The whole film is full of abhorrent morality.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kz8apq/whats_the_worst_thing_a_good_guy_ever_did_in_a/gjnjmez?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Enochuout</a></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kz8apq/whats_the_worst_thing_a_good_guy_ever_did_in_a/gjnjmez?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"></a>To be fair, this is an older fairy story; and while still in the modern age was far back enough that they hadnt fully sanitized the stories into cutesy BS. There is still danger and risk and sinister things lurking in the edges of the world and the hearts of some characters.</p><p>Tink is a <em>fairy</em>, she is fey and so is her morality. </p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kz8apq/whats_the_worst_thing_a_good_guy_ever_did_in_a/gjodddt?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Considered_Dissent</a></p>
Kids In Cages<p>Lab Rats. The dad/inventor kept the kids in CAGES and it wasn't until he married and got a stepson that they got rescued. Then everyone was all, "oh well, good times!"</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kz8apq/whats_the_worst_thing_a_good_guy_ever_did_in_a/gjn38dv?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">WeaverOfCloth</a></p><p>yeah, and don't forget that the main characters constantly physically harass their nonsuperpowered foster brother, even after he gets superpowers, otherwise, pretty good show.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kz8apq/whats_the_worst_thing_a_good_guy_ever_did_in_a/gjnqrx1?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">bigbrainedidiot777</a></p>
Walled Up Alive<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTUxMTM3NC9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2MjUyMTc0OH0.9hvoLCUVK3SCP18ptT2oK3vcJK2_Y6XGEc6wWLt4emU/img.gif?width=980" id="3c674" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5097f2e2bd3d49134224904891f6d8c7" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="320" data-height="240" />thomas GIFGiphy<p>The Fat Controller in Thomas the Tank Engine bricking up Henry the green train.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kz8apq/whats_the_worst_thing_a_good_guy_ever_did_in_a/gjmusxo?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">jennyrob669</a></p><p>All Henry wanted was a coat of waterproof paint or a break from work till the rain stopped.</p><p>Nope, brick up the tunnel and take up the tracks. '</p><p>F*ck you engine, you work for me!</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kz8apq/whats_the_worst_thing_a_good_guy_ever_did_in_a/gjna9zl?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">FatNino</a></p><p>Came here for this! Lol. The look on his (it's?) poor face. Gets me every time. </p><p>Nooooo don't brick me in for eternity, I only wanted to keep my paint shiny!!!</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kz8apq/whats_the_worst_thing_a_good_guy_ever_did_in_a/gjnfzns?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">hidefromthe_sun</a></p>
Brain Damage Makes You Perfect<p>Here's my entry to help get conversation going:</p><p>In the 2005 Disney movie <em>Chicken Little</em>, the school bully, Foxy Loxy, gets teleported by aliens and suffers brain damage resulting in a massive personality change. </p><p>When the aliens move to return her to normal, Runt Of The Litter stops them, saying she was now "perfect". It's then implied the two become romantically involved.</p><p><span></span>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kz8apq/whats_the_worst_thing_a_good_guy_ever_did_in_a/gjlnacn?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">HooDooSquad</a></p><p>It was less of a "massive personality change" and more "massive brain damage".</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kz8apq/whats_the_worst_thing_a_good_guy_ever_did_in_a/gjnv9hd?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Satyrane</a></p><p>Yeah. That was super creepy. He was basically attracted to her because she got an accidental lobotomy. That's some pretty predatory behavior if you ask me</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kz8apq/whats_the_worst_thing_a_good_guy_ever_did_in_a/gjnv3h8?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">anoncoolguy69</a></p>
Wizard Woes<p>In Wizards of Waverly Place the whole concept of the Family Wizard Competition is super f*cked up and immoral. </p><p>Basically when all the children of a family come of age they compete to see who's the best wizard, and the ones who lose are stripped of their powers. Imagine if we have our kids take a vision test and blinded the ones who fail.</p><p>Anyways there was a recurring character who was friends with the main cast who was later revealed to be leading a revolution to overthrow this system. The entire main cast labels her as evil, puts a stop to her plan, and then literally murders her at the end.</p><p>More specifically what happened was that they froze her solid to hold her in place while they transferred her powers. Then the village idiot came and knocked her over by accident, shattering her into pieces. They then proceeded to make jokes about her corpse.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kz8apq/whats_the_worst_thing_a_good_guy_ever_did_in_a/gjmwqxj?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">StandUpGaming</a><br></p>
Gentrifying Lazytown<p>Sportacus and Stephanie treating Robbie Rotten badly all because he didn't want to be active. </p><p>Let him live in Lazytown in peace!</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kz8apq/whats_the_worst_thing_a_good_guy_ever_did_in_a/gjmygjh?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Chuckbookworm</a></p><p>Those two came to a place literally called <em>Lazytown</em> and tried to force everyone to be more active and stuff. If anything, Robbie Rotten should've been the hero for trying to maintain how the town should be</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kz8apq/whats_the_worst_thing_a_good_guy_ever_did_in_a/gjn6yrd?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Truly_Meaningless</a></p><p>Sportacus and Stephanie wanted to establish a 'work will set you free' regime in Lazytown.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kz8apq/whats_the_worst_thing_a_good_guy_ever_did_in_a/gjp40ao?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Prof_Black</a></p>
Threat To Society<p>In the 4th season of Winx Club, the main characters get a new power up, the Believix, and it is a mess. They each get a new power to use at their own discretion. Here is a quick description of what these powers let them do:</p><ul><li>Strength of Life (Bloom): It lets her make people believe in magic and help them overcome their weaknesses. She decides what qualifies as a weakness. She overrides a person's free will to make them believe in magic, which just so happens to make the girls stronger, and rewrite their personality if she doesn't like it.</li><li>Dawn of Light (Stella): It lets her make people more cooperative and accepting. Basically, she overrides another person's free will so they do what she says.</li><li>Breath of the World (Flora): It lets her make people show more appreciation for nature. Nice on paper, but it basically makes people ignore potentially more important tasks, or forego certain technologies, in favor of nature.</li></ul>
Mrs. Doubtfire<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTUxMTM2OS9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MzgwNDAzMX0.Dq-VeFDrmpnazICzv1lX8uVKYZ-HQ6TbkWbH0h6NvsU/img.gif?width=980" id="8c908" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="45956993e65b85129871ecd0409e14f8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="245" data-height="220" />robin williams today GIFGiphy<p>As a kid, you side with Robin Williams. Rewatching it as an adult, the guy was seriously dysfunctional and his wife was absolutely right to divorce him.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kz8apq/whats_the_worst_thing_a_good_guy_ever_did_in_a/gjmyr3r?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ChemicalGeekery</a></p><p>He was pretty dysfunctional and didn't provide a great environment for the children until he pretended to be somebody else. He was only a good parent when he pretended to be somebody else. </p><p>It's also super super creepy that he disguised himself to get back into his ex-wife's house.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kz8apq/whats_the_worst_thing_a_good_guy_ever_did_in_a/gjngje2?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Rows_</a></p>
Santa Sucks<p>I apologize if this has already been covered, but Santa Claus is a total a$$hole in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer...</p><p>I can understand the young Reindeer making fun of Rudolph's red nose. Kids are mean and will easily make fun of someone for being different.</p><p>But then Santa walks in... He could have set everyone straight right there. Explained how its our differences that make everyone special and all of that.</p><p>No. </p><p>He readily agrees with everyone that Rudolph is a lost cause and even tells Donner he should be ashamed of his Son's red nose.</p><p>Da f*ck!?</p><p><span></span>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kz8apq/whats_the_worst_thing_a_good_guy_ever_did_in_a/gjmu7j4?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ScotchyT</a></p><p>Until he needs him, then all of a sudden he's part of the group and useful and liked. That's some "fit in or go f*cking die" mess if I ever saw it.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kz8apq/whats_the_worst_thing_a_good_guy_ever_did_in_a/gjn5vhw?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">therealtidbits</a></p>
Board games are designed carefully by teams of experts. Countless brainstorm sessions are carried out, designs and prototypes are proposed and changed, and plenty of focus groups are consulted along the way.
Start On a High Note<p>"In Scrabble, the person who can make the longest word goes first, highest points breaks a tie. This makes the game more fun by ensuring there are lots of places to play your letters." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l0f4k2/what_is_an_extra_rule_your_family_added_to_a/gjtfphl?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">mimlitsch</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"I thought this was a legit rule lol my family does this too." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l0f4k2/what_is_an_extra_rule_your_family_added_to_a/gjtq75g?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">OakSmoke2019</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"That's an amazing rule! Also it would be ideal if they started the word slightly to the left so ensure a more balanced board." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l0f4k2/what_is_an_extra_rule_your_family_added_to_a/gjtov6t?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">z0rb0r</a></p>
The Long Game<p>"My father in law keeps note of who has wronged him with a series of annotations beside the score when we play cards" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l0f4k2/what_is_an_extra_rule_your_family_added_to_a/gjtqg0e?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">8765432109</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Plot twist: it's not to get revenge in-game, it's to give him the longest list at the annual Festivus Airing of the Grievances." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l0f4k2/what_is_an_extra_rule_your_family_added_to_a/gjuidz0?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">YVRJon</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"That's amazingly petty and I absolutely love it." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l0f4k2/what_is_an_extra_rule_your_family_added_to_a/gjv4xlt?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">DKlurifax</a></p>
Corrupt Capitalism<p>"In monopoly we have a rule that my sister cant be the banker otherwise its like watching Oceans 11" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l0f4k2/what_is_an_extra_rule_your_family_added_to_a/gjtpe9o?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">graeuk</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Hubby is not allowed to even SIT near the banker, and no one stores any money anywhere near him. If HE suggests we play, we scour the area for hidden money before he sits down." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l0f4k2/what_is_an_extra_rule_your_family_added_to_a/gjuc5di?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">RunnerMomLady</a></p>
Piping Down<p>"In every co-op game (Pandemic, Castle Panic, whatever), there is usually someone who tries to tell everyone what to do. I can accidentally be this person."</p><p>"So, I implemented the 'right hand man' rule. IF the person whose turn it is want advice (IF), they can only get it from the person on their right. Nobody else can say anything."</p><p>"Makes things way more enjoyable."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l0f4k2/what_is_an_extra_rule_your_family_added_to_a/gjtp4ep?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ThrowAwayTheTeaBag</a></p>
Unstoppable Bob<p>"Trouble is a fun little game. Unfortunately, with the wife and son, we only have three players. Four players makes it even more fun, so we have a fourth player we call 'Bob.'"</p><p>"Bob gets the last turn in the cycle. Someone rolls for Bob, and then the three of us agree on what Bob's best move is."</p><p>"It's especially fun when you have to agree that Bob's best move is to take out one of your own pieces."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l0f4k2/what_is_an_extra_rule_your_family_added_to_a/gjtoifo?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">LockjawTheOgre</a></p>
Spicing Things Up<p>"'The Mugging Rule' in Monopoly."</p><p>"If I land on a space that you are currently occupying, I can choose to mug you. We take turns rolling the dice, if I roll higher, I steal $100, if you roll higher I go to jail."</p><p>--<a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l0f4k2/what_is_an_extra_rule_your_family_added_to_a/gjtld17?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">garysredditaccount</a></p>
The Seat of Wisdom<p>"In Trivial Pursuit, we have a rule - if the player being asked doesn't know the answer, they can ask the room. The room doesn't actually answer, but they say whether they know the answer or not."</p><p>"If nobody knows the answer, it's considered an invalid question, and another card gets drawn instead. (if someone in the room does know, but the player being asked doesn't, then it's just a plain old 'pass')"</p><p>"My Dad knows a lot of stuff ... I mean, a LOT. When he was a kid he read the Encyclopaedia Britannica for fun. Basically, the rule was born from, 'If even Dad doesn't know the answer, then nobody does and it's a terrible question.'"</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l0f4k2/what_is_an_extra_rule_your_family_added_to_a/gjtfsx0?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">xenchik</a></p>
Because Why the Hell Not<p>"At the end of scrabble you make up a story with all the words on the board. We never looked at the tiles for scores, we just played to get the best words on the board." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l0f4k2/what_is_an_extra_rule_your_family_added_to_a/gjtl8bt?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">blupidibla</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"We did something similar with Cards Against Humanity. Pick up a card, start the story, go around the table. Got some really weird stories." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l0f4k2/what_is_an_extra_rule_your_family_added_to_a/gjts286?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Snorks43</a></p>
Updated to the Modern Era<p>"Nukes in Risk"</p><p>"If you roll three sixes when attacking you defeat every army on the territory you're attacking into. If you roll three ones, you nuke yourself and lose every army in the territory you're attacking from"</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l0f4k2/what_is_an_extra_rule_your_family_added_to_a/gjtaz1j?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Len-K</a></p>
A Confidence Exercise<p>"If you say sorry while playing Uno, you pick up 2 cards! Slap that +4 down with authority!"</p><p>"Also, if you have exactly the same card as the one that has just been played, you can jump in and play your duplicate regardless of if it's your turn or not"</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l0f4k2/what_is_an_extra_rule_your_family_added_to_a/gjtla61?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">jb28737</a></p>
Businesses have to turn a profit to be able to stay operational. We get it. A consumer is paying more than it costs to make the product to purchase the product. The upside of accepting this fact should be we're being provided a service and experience we couldn't possibly get on our own. However, there are those products that are overcharged, especially compared to the development costs, that are charged a high price for what feels like no reason outside of making a ridiculous amount of money.