In 1492 Colombus sailed the ocean blue.
... it's a rhyme that's stuck in so many of our heads, but its completely useless. You know it, I know it, the schools knew it.
Colombus wasn't the first to "discover" America, and none of the little chants mentioned the whole murderous rampagey bits.
But the ocean was BLUE, y'all. And that rhymes with TWO, like 1492. So here we are.
Reddit was asked:
"What's the most useless thing you learned in school?"
... and yeah ... it would be great if the educational system gave us something useful.
Mostly, it's stuff like this, though:
GingerMusik Violin GIF by PLAYMOBILGiphy
"Probably that apparently Vivaldi's nickname was 'the red priest.' "
"We had to study for exams but our teacher decided to visit 3 separate websites and make us read about him."
"My music history professor taught us that 'Vivaldi is also known as the red priest. Because he was a COMMUNIST!? No, he just had red hair'."
"I fully support the "dive into knowledge about one famous person you want to write about", but not 50, and NOT people who's only accomplishment was to write a couple of poetry books that made my teacher weak in the knees. And of course, there was a 'wrong' way to interpret his works."
Square Dancing Squid
"I haven't really found a use for square dancing."
"Swing your partner round and round"
"Same. We learned it in my school cause it's the states dance. But I have never known anyone to square dance besides the TV people."
"You haven't found a use for square dancing YET. Just wait for a Squid Games situation."
Disco Ball DemographicsHouse Music Dancing GIF by JustinGiphy
"Kentucky creates 90% of U.S disco balls."
"Wow. I live in Kentucky but I never knew that... seems useless!"
"Actually makes sense if you think about it."
"Disco balls are a niche item that you wouldn't expect to have a ton of different manufacturers, and Kentucky is centrally located so you can easily ship your balls to anywhere in the US quickly."
History Is A Mystery
"In public school we skimmed through the Vietnam war because there was little time left before testing and it wasn't gonna be on there that much."
" 'Long story short, we kinda lost that one...'."
"It always bothered me when history stopped at WW2 and the rest was covered in a week"
"We skimmed over the civil rights and women's rights movements because our white, male, douche of a teacher wanted to spend more time on the civil war."
"It's been a long time, but I feel like US history is basically always taught as: American Revolution -> Civil War (aka, slavery) -> WW2 (aka, the Nazis), and we're done."
"If your teacher was a Boomer, they might spend more time on the 60s, civil rights, Vietnam. (aka, the glory years when they were a teen) But otherwise, history is basically the wars we WON, why we got in them, and the aftermath."
Not So Useless UselessnessSad Season 4 GIF by The OfficeGiphy
"Haven't played the recorder very often."
"Really? I play mine nearly every day. How do you make money when abroad if not playing Hot Cross Buns for 9 hours every day?"
"No but it was my first significant taste of playing an instrument. This lead to 7 years of band class and lead to a great social past time in my adult life playing bass after that."
"Playing the recorder was probably way more useful than you think. Music theory and playing an instrument trains the ear and has positive effects on the brain and learning in general. Plus, it introduces kids to an activity they may or may not wish to pursue and, for those that do not wish it, they can definitively rule the interest out because they gave it a try already."
"Learning the recorder helped teach me to read music. I studied other instruments, and enjoyed them a LOT. Not that I was any good."
"I know that the Hawley-Smoot tariff was the highest in history. No idea what the importance of that is, if it was good, bad, or indifferent."
"The importance is that some people believe it made the Great Depression a lot worse."
"Actually you're only kinda right."
" 'The tariffs under the act, excluding duty-free imports, were the SECOND HIGHEST in United States history, exceeded by only the Tariff of 1828. ' "
" 'The Act prompted retaliatory tariffs by affected states against the United States. The Act and tariffs imposed by America's trading partners in retaliation were major factors of the reduction of American exports and imports by 67% during the Depression. Economists and economic historians have a consensus view that the passage of the Smoot–Hawley Tariff worsened the effects of the Great Depression.' "
"Second highest? You mean I only learned one thing in school, and it was wrong?"
Opposite Effectseason 2 GIFGiphy
"I remember hearing a story about a 10 year old who called the cops on his parents because they smoked weed regularly. The police arrested both parents and charged them with felony possession."
"They were normal parents as far as we could tell. They just used to relax with a little Marijuana now and then."
"But the kid specifically quoted DARE when asked what led him to get his parents arrested. That's when I realized how awful what we were taught was."
"Fun fact, it's been known for decades that D.A.R.E is a failure and leads to more drug usage. The first of these studies was in 1992."
"Being forced to memorize all the presidents in order. First and last names and years in office in chronological order."
"This sh*t can be googled in 2 seconds. We actually had a test on this where we were given a blank piece of paper and told to write them all down in the right order and this was actually a legit graded test."
"This is the one and only test I ever cheated on."
"5th grade. I’m so sorry Mr. Lee, but even at 10 years old and pre-internet, I thought this was a ridiculous waste of time."
"Animaniacs practically helped me cheat on that one."
Calculators And PocketsCalculating Figure It Out GIFGiphy
"That I wouldn't always have a calculator with me. Jokes on you.
"My dad once didn’t let my sister use a calculator on homework even though the teacher told everyone they needed to use a calculator 🤦♀️"
"Yes, also heard that many times in school"
"Funny enough I did carry a tiny solar powered calculator meant to fit inside a check book for several years just to spite my obnoxious math teacher who said that all the time."
"Though I’ll admit it was useful to have before cellphones were ubiquitous."
"Elementary school history. Most of it is either a lie/omission of key facts or just a completely random and useless fact."
"The amount of Columbus sh*t I learned in elementary school..."
"What do you mean the pilgrims didn’t actually land on Plymouth Rock??"
"What pisses me off is that history is being repeated in later classes, higher schools. If you are going to teach me the same thing again, maybe just leave it now, and get back to me with the material when I'm old enough?"
"Yeah. I'm just getting into to high school and I've learned about the civil war like 5 times now. The only problem is that we never are taught anything after it, so all of my info post-civil war is based off of personal research."
We'll be honest, most of these answers clearly came from American schools.
Lots of our readers come from other countries, though - can you tell the rest of us some of the more useless things you've been taught?
Help us feel a bit better about ourselves.
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Friendship is not something that can be forced.
As with any kind of relationship, it all depends on compatibility and chemistry, and thus must happen organically.
On the flip side though, it can be pretty clear when people will not end up being your friends, owing to a fundamental difference in personality or beliefs.
Redditor Chola_Bhatora was curious to hear the type of people the Reddit community would never become chummy with, leading them to ask:
"What kind of person would you never be friends with?"
Basically, people who aren't nice
"People who don't apologize for their mistakes, blame others for their problems, and generally complain without doing anything about their situation."
"Oh, and generally a**holes."- NerdyDadGuy1981
"People who are overly rude and constantly laugh it off and call themselves 'a**holes' as if it is an uncontrollable character trait."- Business_Grand7665
Don't you twist my words around!
"People that distort what you said."- Mystery_Ireal housewives lies GIF by leeannelockenGiphy
Just take some responsibility!
"People who can never admit they're wrong about anything."
"No matter how blatantly wrong."- Rachfo44
Say it to my face!
"The kind that talks behind your back."- 0breanna0
Are you sure about that?
"Someone who thinks they already know everything."- Fragrant-Crow-4513know it all boomerang GIFGiphy
Then why aren't I laughing?
"Someone that puts you down in front of your other friends.. 'as a joke'."- motherfugher
How well do you actually know them?
"People who abuse your trust and honesty to manipulate you, especially when they disguise it so well."
"Had it one too many times, thankfully gets easier to spot but some people are freakishly good at it."- nothingjustk
Yeah, well mine's better!
"One uppers."- BasedChickenTendiekristen wiig television GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
Someone needs a lesson in self respect...
"I'm a woman."
"Had a classmate strike a conversation with me for the first time."
"2 minutes in said she doesn't have female friends because all women are b*tches."
"Why are you talking to me then?"
"What do you think you are?"- Minimum_Greedy
As Jane Austen famously explored in Pride and Prejudice, first impressions can often be misleading.
But every now and then, they can give a crystal clear depiction of who someone really is.
Which could easily be someone you do not want to be friends with.
Age is just a number.
We all hope to stay sexy until the end.
And even when we don't feel sexy, maybe there will be people who still think we are.
Redditor Debonair-Redditor21wanted to hear about famous crushes that enter into the "Harold & Maude" territory. They asked:
"Who is the oldest celebrity that you still find attractive?"
All Hail Dame Helen Mirren. Is there anything else to say?
How Old?Viggo Mortensen Peace GIF by Golden GlobesGiphy
"Viggo Mortensen. Very handsome at 63."
"Damn, he is 63? Time flies."
"Elvira. Cassandra Peterson. Just turned 70 and still breaks out that amazing personality at every appearance."'
"Omg. I saw the BEST suggestion for a movie ever. Elvira & Dolly Parton playing their stage personas as estranged sisters who must team up to fight evil."
Fatalejane seymour call me kitty cat GIFGiphy
"Jane Seymour. 71 and still stunning."
"Live and Let Die. Incredible, and she'll always be in my mind as Elise McKenna, the woman so beautiful that Christopher Reeve's character went back to be with her in Somewhere in Time. I totally get the desire."
"Susanna Hoffs (63)."
"Plot twist: She sang 'Walk Like an Egyptian' because she's immortal and actually lived in Ancient Egypt."
"She was my first crush. As a child, I used to watch MTV for hours just for that moment when she cut her eyes in the 'Walk Like an Egyptian' video."
I am loving this list. I didn't think I would.
Maddymads mikkelsen hannibal GIFGiphy
"You mean my daddy issues? Damn I love that guy. Death Stranding really nailed how he can come through a medium without much hassle."
My Biological Clock
"Jesus, I was so confused watching the new Spider-Man movies with Marisa as Aunt May. Marisa Tomei is perpetually the hot 80s chick in my head, also Jennifer Connelly. I was watching Morbius and seeing Requiem for a Dream and Career Opportunities. I AM OLD, I GUESS."
"Christopher Plummer, right up until the day he died at 92."
"I first saw ‘The Sound of Music’ as a child, watched in many times, know if off by heart etc. I didn’t watch for many years."
"Then as an adult I wanted to introduce a friend’s kid to it, put it on, and spent the next couple of hours absolutely dumbstruck by how hot Christopher Plummer was. It had never struck me before that time but go**amn have I never forgotten. No wonder Maria chose the Captain, if I had to choose between him and God I know who my pick would be."
"Timothy Olyphant. Idk what it is about him. He's so funny, charming, and handsome that I don't care how much older than me he is."
"I do NOT get tired of watching him; he is so expressive. In Catch and Release there's a scene where he and Jennifer Garner are having a conversation that consists entirely of gestures and facial expressions. Hilarious!"
"He is amazing in Justified and Deadwood... hell, pretty much everything. I think I just found out I may have a man-crush on the dude lol."
YeohMichelle Yeoh No GIF by RegalGiphy
"Ugh she was a vision in Everything Everywhere All at Once. And if she doesn't win all the awards then there is something really wrong with the voting system."
"Oof that's kind of a hard one. Without looking up a bunch of older actors I think I'd have to go with Ken Watanabe. I think he's in his early 60s now and the last time I saw a recent pic of him he was still looking fine AF. And an honorable mention is Steve Carell... I don't know what it is but he keeps getting hotter with age. I was never attracted to him until he did that silver fox photo shoot with the paint brush 'n shi*t."
total class act...
"Stanley Tucci. As my mom says about handsome men, he just looks like he smells good."
"He visited our hotel a few weeks ago. As the Restaurant Manager I was specifically told that my team and I were not to treat him any different to other guests, which we don't."
"The guy was a total class act polite, courteous, and always keen for a chat. Never mentioned his movies, his career, but was there to enjoy time with his family, and they themselves were also a joy to be around. Can confirm he always had a slight aroma of warm cinnamon."
Well that is a long list of sexy. Cheers to growing sexy with age.
We all have our likes and dislikes when it comes to food.
While some people might not be able to stop eating certain foods, the very thought of that same food is enough to make others gag.
Then there are the foods which are universally considered to be delicious delicacies, the foods so revered that it is assumed that everyone must find them delicious.
Only, not everyone does.
Redditor jamboamericano was curious to hear which foods the Reddit community couldn't quite grasp the appeal of, leading them to ask:
"What a food in your opinion that quite simply sucks and you don’t understand the hype behind it?"
How do you make a bland food even more bland?
"As someone from the UK I don't get why so many people here love mushy peas."
"I find peas relatively tasteless and gross as they are, mushing them just makes the texture gross as well."- MHC1905
More healthy, less tasty...
"Zucchini pasta."-- dannyboyhou
Who knew fish eggs would be so popular?
"I feel like whoever buys that sh*t doesn't actually like it and uses it to flaunt their money."- WapplesAreDelishAudrey Tautou Food GIFGiphy
Hold the guac!
"The early 2010s was a difficult time for me."
'"I f*cking hate avocado."- drunky_crowette
No matter where it came from...
You mean it's supposed to burn my tongue?!?
"I don't get the appeal of chili that is made to be as hot and spicy as humanly possible, to the point that it hurts to eat it."
"'I make my chili with the five hottest peppers known to man and a dash of snake venom to kick it up a notch'."
"That, and tofu."- MiddleAgedGamer71Homer Simpson Eating GIFGiphy
Brand names can never beat homemade!
"Industrial ice cream."
"The taste is WAAAY worse than the handmade one."- pensodiforse
Disgusting AND dirty...
"My wife tried to convince me to like them by saying 'they taste like dirt!'"
"Needless to say, this was an ineffective approach."- Neilpuck
Just because it's healthy, doesn't mean it's good...
"I don’t care how it’s prepared, there’s just no point to it."- protogens
Butter makes everything taste better... or does it?
"I uh, I don't get it.'
"It always tastes a bit flavorless and just alright to me."
"Then I see people dip it in butter and yea thats fine and all and it tastes great, but then I get the feeling I'm just tasting the butter and what the f*ck is the point of this $30 dish exactly?"- Sonder332Food Porn Butter GIF by Food Network CanadaGiphy
Some might accuse those who dislike the above-mentioned foods of not having a distinguished palette.
But maybe their palette's are so distinguished, that they know when they're tasting a fraud?
Either way, to each their own.
Happiness is one of those abstract and amorphous things that nobody can quite pinpoint, but everyone knows when they feel it.
It can be triggered by lots of things - a great meal, an old friend, your favorite episode of your favorite show...
Happy looks different for us all, but maybe that's whyReddit user MyForever_NameNow asked:
"What’s the happiest you’ve ever felt?"
The same situation might make one person miserable while making another elated ... so let's see where Reddit finds their joy.
Time Travelingseason 2 GIFGiphy
"Once I was driving from Philly to Las Vegas. On one leg of the trip, I got a bit of a late start and I really wanted McDonalds breakfast (this was before they served it all day)."
"My clock said 10:22, and I was about 15 miles from the next exit, so I knew I would never make it. Then I crossed over a time zone and my clock changed."
"Not gonna lie, best story I've read in awhile. I'm now happy for you."
"It’s like the world willed you into having breakfast that morning , like the earth moved in order to give you what you needed … kind of epic"
A Poetic Mishap
"This might be weird but I keep thinking back to this and how I will never have this experience again: I was 13, nerdy, loved to draw, grew up rural. My Grandma lived close to a big city."
"Went to visit her in the Summer and then went to an Japanese culture fest in said city. I was overwhelmed by the experience. Bought two super sweet Neon Genisis Evangelion artbooks."
"When I went back to Grandma's place by train, I missed the stop and got off one stop later. It was quite late already, but a warm summer night. Next train back would come in 2hrs. These two hours, alone during a summer night with two artbooks at a tiny, rural train stop surrounded by trees and absolutely nobody else around were pure bliss. A weird feeling of peaceful, 'liminal' joy that I can't properly explain. Different happiness than love, etc."
"I haven't really told this story to many people because I know nobody would truly understand the feeling, and that would kinda ruin my memory."
"That’s dope. Sometimes we forget to just stop and really enjoy the moment"
Endless Young LoveHappy Season 5 GIF by This Is UsGiphy
"I remember being in 8th grade watching a movie at my girlfriends house and we were giggling and commentating on the movie the whole time and just remember thinking I would marry her someday."
"I’m now 29 and we still giggle and commentate on every movie just like we did when we were kids, but that “young love” feeling is a very happy feeling for the first time, I’m just so lucky to still have those feelings 15+ years later"
"Ok, but seriously, my spouse and I are also several years into our honeymoon and it's quite nice."
It Was A Good Day
"Trying to keep up with my dog and boyfriend as they ran along the beach chasing the dolphins that were in the water. I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. It was a sunny March day so nobody up and down for miles, just us. The bright blue sky and glimmer coming off the ocean - the salty mist while the waves crashed and the cold ocean at our feet."
"God I haven’t ever felt so alive in my whole life. It was one of those moments where I wished I could have it burned into my memory. Like I could tuck it away and live in it forever."
"That was a good f*cking day."
"That’s so wholesome, it sounds like a scene right out of a movie"
"I feel happy reading this"
Mutual CrushesCrush Flirting GIFGiphy
"Me and my crush were hanging out one time, and all I could say was. “I like you… a lot.” And she just smiled and said “Me too.” Has to be the happiest day of my life so far."
"I live near a popular district in Kansas City and I once bumped into a young man who'd just professed his love for someone, and he was so overjoyed I couldn't help but ask him what had happened."
"It made me really happy to see how happy he was."
"Same thing happened to me, she told me she liked me and it took me about 3 minutes to fully process what she had said and how to respond. I ended up saying "same bro". Well we're together now but that was a pretty stupid response."
" 'So far' I like your attitude"
"5 years sober"
"Mad respect, I'm very proud of you internet stranger!"
"I'm right behind you with 4 years. Congrats Feels great to be me again"
That First Cry
"When my youngest was born, she really wanted out and my wife made it to the bathtub, and she came out with my help, she had the umbilical cord around her neck and I managed to get my finger under that and free her, that first cry made me so happy."
"She's eleven now and sitting on the couch right now eating chocolate and watching TV..."
"Kid's first cry was mine was well."
"Wow that's insane! Great job! When the umbilical cord wraps around the neck it's called a nucal. It can be pretty dangerous, especially in an emergency labor setting."
"I always thought I would never want to deliver a baby. And then we learned about emergency labor situations in the EMT course I took and I fell in love. Once again, great job! That must've been scary."
"I was taking a walk in December last year when everything around me in my personal life was hell. A feeling of calm washed over me, and I started to look at how beautiful the sky was. I was crystalline in that perfect moment, and cried a few happy tears."
"I realized that being "present" is the only way to truly live... The past and the future are illusions and robbers of life. Ever since then I am extremely committed to finding beauty in every day things. I frequently feel very happy now, because I never run out of things to marvel at."
"Dude I feel that. I lost my mom and several other family members in the last few years, went through a major breakup, had to move a bunch, plus all the COVID stress. I'm stressed a lot, mostly tired, but sometimes a moment washes over me and I'm just so grateful to be alive, looking at a sunset or a tree or the Christmas lights in my living room. Something about going through hell really makes you appreciate life."
"Grew up kind of poor, didn't go on my first vacation until I met the woman who'd become my wife. We went to Tennessee and got a cabin with a hot tub and some good muscadine wine."
"It was night time, gently thundering and raining, little bit of a mist coming in to the high rise porch we were on where the hot tub was, just relaxing, buzzing. To me it felt like the perfect setting, perfect feeling."
"Tied with that, she's the first person I saw the ocean with. Took over 6 hours to drive there, we unpacked, walked out to the ocean about knee deep, holding hands. The sound of the waves and the seagulls. The look of happiness on her face as she stared out."
Frogging Aroundhomer simpson frogs GIFGiphy
"My ex, who loves frogs to death, asked me to go frogging with her early unto our relationship, not to kill them, just to catch and identify them. Its one of my happiest memories and without a doubt the most attracted I've ever been to someone."
"Its actually when I started to realize how strong and how smart of a person she was which combined with everything else made be fall head over heels."
"Thats awesome man. I'd be happy to have had a unique experience like that too. No dinner and a movie, Frogging!"
Y'all ... that got unexpectedly emotional, didn't it?
Turns out that for most of us, the thing that makes us happiest is one another.
Humans are adorable sometimes.