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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Oh the beginning of the interwebs.
We really thought it wouldn't be much of a fuss.
We definitely did not see what was to come.
Maybe it should've stayed simple.
We'll never know.
Computers rule the world now.
The internet is God.
Let's see where we are in another twenty years.
Those were the days.
Redditor EzucraAaAa wanted to wax nostalgic about the good old days of technology and its humble beginnings.They asked:
"Redditors, what's something the internet was crazy about but is now forgotten?"
I miss the simplicity of not having a thousand apps. I'm simple.
Ah Memories...the messengers aol GIFGiphy
"Search engines before Google existed. Alta Vista, Lycos, Web Crawler..."
"Downloading custom cursors for your computer. I gave my family computer so many viruses back in the '00s trying to click things with a lightsaber."
"Amazing. I had totally forgotten about all the virusy stuff I downloaded to my home computer, purely so the cursor would disappear and reappear. My parents had zero knowhow with computers either, so likely had no idea wtf I was downloading. Cursors were cool though, despite all the malware."
"During the early days of the web, when most websites weren't plastered with advertising... Website view counters."
"Back in the day of counters, one day I went to my website and the counter was in the thousands. I just thought it malfunctioned and ignored it. Years later I learned that my website, which had a MIDI collection, was published in a newspaper in another country. I couldn't say for sure if that was true and whether it aligned with the counter change."
"Yea the internet was simpler too, layout style I mean. I like old style HTML webpage layouts. I personally don’t like hyper modern logos and designs on interfaces. Something about old slightly pixelated designs about them home screens and app logos really made them satisfying. I’ve even went as far as seeing if I could install some extensions that could change the layout of sites, make them feel older, give them that 2000’s html look."
Found ItLooking The Loud House GIF by NickelodeonGiphy
"I used to waste so much time with stumble upon."
What a strange and crazy place the internet was.
notificationBaby Love GIF by LINE FRIENDSGiphy
"Poking on Facebook."
"I had a friend that poked me and I never noticed the notification. He died. I now have this unreturned poke as a reminder that I’ll never be able to poke them back."
"Many flash games are not dead. BEHOLD! The flashpoint project. They have saved thousands of the old flash games in a playable format. Go forth and relive your childhood Also paging u/The_Middler_is_Here"
"Rip flash games... A neat alternative I've found a lot of games on is an application called Flashpoint. Check it out!"
I will find you...
"There was a rhythm game that I don't remember the name of that me and some friends would challenge each other in, and it had the song Guitar vs Piano 2 which introduced me to Envy, who was a pretty big newgrounds artist at the time. I wanna go check out their stuff again now, I'd completely forgot about them till now."
"Forums. There used to be so many, incredibly active and dedicated forums."
"A lot of the forums I visited were ruined by photobucket when they decided they wanted paid a lot of money from their users. So many build threads and tutorials ruined."
"IMDb had the best message boards back in the day. Chatting with your internet friends around the globe about every nuance in your fave movie. Man I miss that. Reddit is close, but nothing beats the olden days."
FunEgg Hatch GIF by The Roku ChannelGiphy
"Do you guys remember those egg things that hatched little creatures after a while? You'd put one on your website and then the artist would update the source url with images of it hatching? There were all kinds of little fun things like that."
And those were the.... DAAAYYYYSSSS!!!!
Not all television and movies are loved by all.
A story and its characters have to appeal to you in order for you to be engaged.
It can take next to nothing for us to lose interest and let the screen go black.
Redditor BarooTangClan wanted to compare notes on all the entertainment we've said "that's enough" to.
"What will make you instantly stop watching a movie or show and why?"
I hate bad acting, writing, storytelling... I hate bad anything.
Stop JumpingFight Scene GIF by Operation FortuneGiphy
"Fight scenes with a million visual cuts. Gives me motion sickness. Contrast the absolutely masterful work in John Wick. long cuts, realistic use of weapons (mostly), 100% skill."
"When the actors whisper the whole movie and you have to crank the volume to hear what's being said - but the soundtrack or some other misc noise starts blaring at a higher volume directly after."
"I basically had to watch Stranger Things up in my attic with the windows and doors closed. I was worried the neighbors would think something was wrong or be annoyed if I watched it downstairs in my single family home. It was ridiculous."
"spice things up"
"Love triangles out of no where in a second or third season to 'spice things up' because studio writers are hacks and their idea of relationship drama is 'potential infidelity' at all times. It's the most tired trope on the go**amn planet and the second I see it rear its head I dip right the hell out."
"The whole concept of a love triangle to begin with an incredibly juvenile. Any healthy functioning adult who found themselves in a love triangle would soon choose to find themselves single."
Save your lips...
"When couples in a movie/show have a fight and one of them instantly goes to a friend and end up kissing her/him after talking for 5 minutes. I cringe so hard i turn it off and never watch it again."
"This pissed me off so much in Manifest. Girl is desperate to get back her ex-fiancé, he finally breaks up with his wife to get back with her and she's like 'nah, it's not fair to your wife, let me do this other dude I just met through a calling and be pissed at you for being jealous.' Michaela was the worst and everyone acted as if she were a saint the entire time."
Talk to MeIn Love Flirt GIF by OriginalsGiphy
"Shows where a single polite conversation could fix everything."
We are going overboard with the witty repartee. Talk normal...
Shut UpScared Home Alone GIF by FreeformGiphy
"Annoying main character, especially if it's a kid."
"Kids who have a quippy, sassy retort to everything, and everyone just kind of crumbles before their wit."
"Shows where kids in high school talk like they are 30 years olds who have done everything, been everywhere, know it all and use a ridiculously flowery and extensive vocabulary in every conversation. Like, have any of these writers ever been to high school? Literally no one talks like that. Even worse is when, in addition to this, all the adults talk normal or are just plain stupid, like so weird parallel universe."
"If the movie is too dark. Not graphic, just literally dark. I lose all sense of intensity in dark scenes and I'm not straining my damn eyes trying to figure out what the hell is going on."
"I've seen about 10 percent of all DC movies recently. I've seen all of the individual films in full, just actually saw 10% of each of them."
"Movies in the late 80s had a lot of dark but you could see the depth because of different shooting techniques. Now you cant see crap because its a CGI fest drowned in black color so you can't see crap because you have no depth in a scene. Compare night scenes in dark alleys in 80's movies and movies now. Utter crap show in the new ones."
Pay Attention Storytellers
"Bad editing would be a big one. A lot of modern horror movies can't help but edit the movies like they're trailers, with added noises to scare the audience because they are afraid the script alone isn't enough to keep people watching."
"I remember this is where the first transformers movie lost me. When the transformers are fighting at the end, it's all a big, jumbled mess of metal and I can barely tell what's going on or who is who."
Dramawill devry soap opera GIF by General HospitalGiphy
"When they go straight to relationship drama right away when it wasn't the selling point of the show."
Do better, Hollywood. It's not that hard.
I fear death.
I wake up in cold sweats dreaming about it.
I think about it in my waking hours.
It's an obsession and clearly, I'm not alone.
But there are more preferred ways to exit.
All we can do is hope to be lucky enough to skip the mercilessly awful.
Please just let me go quick and in my sleep.
RedditorCallMehRiverwanted to hear about all the ways none of us what to leave this life.
"What Do You Think Would Be The Worst Death Imaginable?"
My list of the worst deaths is long. My imagination runs amok.
Trappedseason 6 friends GIFGiphy
"For me? Being trapped in a small tube or cave (like the ones you have to wiggle through) and getting stuck to where you can’t move your arms. And all you can do is wait to die. I’m getting chills just thinking about it."
"The more I hear about cavers that get stuck, the more I think that's a crap way to go."
"There’s a great YouTube channel called Ask a Mortician and this was her #1 worse way to die. I can’t remember the exact details or their names, but two well-known divers went into an underwater cave."
"One of them became entangled and died. Years later, his friend dives back down there to try and retrieve his body, the body itself is rotten and his head comes off and the other guy also becomes tangled and dies. Really sad."
A Long Process
"Believed to be in a coma but coherent through the whole 20 year process until they pull the plug."
"Oh man this just reminded me of a story I read on here about a guy who lost the ability to move and speak but was completely conscious. Had to just lay there and be awake but trapped in a useless body. His family thought he was brain dead or something and he couldn’t communicate to them that he was 'all there.' Crazy"
Slow & Steady
"Being slowly impaled by a growing bamboo. It was a form of torture probably used by the japanese during WW2 against Allied prisoners."
"The scariest part is that once you have symptoms, you 100% will die. A 100% mortality rate has to be a psychological torture in itself."
"Not only that, you feel irrational fear. Your brain is literally being eaten apart by the virus and it fu*ks up everything on it. You can't drink water because it hurts you. You feel dizzy, present a fever, excessively salivate, everything hurts and it only gets worse. I'd rather take a bullet and die when the symptoms are still tolerable."
Why can't we all just go engulfed in calm and quiet?
"Some pulpy sci-fi book I read a while back had one of the best deaths of this real piece of crap bad guy. Left to die in a drowning sea lab under the Antarctic ice, he freezes himself in a state of the art suspended animation pod with some kind cold fusion power source that would keep it running for millions of years."
"But he forgot to inject himself with the drug that would put him to sleep. So basically he is in suspended animation at the bottom of the Antarctic ocean while his mind is perfectly awake and conscious in a near unbreakable machine that won't run out of power for millions of years and nobody knows about it."
"As an RN I have always thought that the worst way to die (natural process) is ALS. Lou Gehrig's Disease."
"My mom and grandmother have Huntington's disease, which is essentially ALS, Alzheimer's, and Dementia combined into one really messed up genetic disease. I have a 50% chance of inheriting it and if I hit 40 and there's still no cure I can't promise I'll feel like continuing on with my life because that disease is absolutely freaking miserable."
"The fact your chromosomes can be so destroyed your body basically lost it's genetic code and with it the ability to make any new cells. It's literally a 'dead man walking' and you slowly rot away in agony. Stuff is so unimaginably f**ked up."
"What's also bad about radiation is that it affects your nerves and brain cells last, so you have everything in place to feel all the pain of the rest of your cells being destroyed."
GooNot Listening Season 2 GIF by The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirGiphy
"I want to believe anything that slowly kills you painfully to be the worst. Such as slowly being crushed or something where the pain is beyond compare and yet not enough to throw you into shock or unconsciousness."
"Alternatively, being rapidly crushed into goo would probably be the least painful. I'm talking one of those massive industrial hammers they use for large steel work. Basically smooshed before the nerve signals make it to the brain."
Now I'll never sleep again without nightmares of death.
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/
Most Americans think nothing of their humdrum daily activities or amenities available to them.
However, others with a different perspective might romanticize the things that are otherwise commonplace ideas and concepts for US citizens, like going to a diner or riding the school bus.
One Redditor looked to foreigners to hear of their American desires to respond to the following:
"Non-Americans of Reddit: what is an American thing you have always wanted to try?"
The things depicted in film really captivated foreign audiences.
"To visit a diner like in the movies. In the middle of the night, it’s raining and just a few people there with great music from a jukebox."
Iconic Student Transport
"Ride a yellow school bus even if I'm too old. Growing up I always loved seeing them on TV."
Just Like The Ones We Used To Know
"A white Christmas."
"Living in an Australian state where I've never even seen snow in our winter, let alone experiencing that classic Hallmark movie moment of waking up to a street full of it and sitting around a fireplace while opening gifts/preparing a feast."
"Guess it's not strictly American, but the imagery and trope is something I've only really seen from American Films."
They may be ubiquitous for us, but they sure seem to be novel ideas to foreigners.
Let's Be Frank
"One of the hotdogs from those little street cart things."
"A friend of mine from Indonesia said, 'the food chewer in the sink.'"
"Apple Pie made by white-haired grandma, placed near window, who says 'oh dear...' as I levitate towards it."
"Proper tailgating before a ball game, the kind where there's ribs and stuff."
"Deep fried foods at a state fair. I'm from Scotland and we love to deep fry everything and I wanna know if it's just as good or better."
There are places to see!
Places To See
"America’s greatest invention!"
Backpacking In Nature
"I always wanted to hike The Appalachian Trail if that counts. Or see Yellowstone."
"Being able to start a whole new life 'elsewhere' without having to leave my country and going through an arduous immigration process."
My cousin told me she looks forward to visiting a Trader Joe's someday when she visits America for the first time.
Her bucket list option was hardly surprising. My parents used to bring treats from TJs as a novelty souvenir gift item, and my relatives ate it up. Literally.
Let's face it. The snacks at TJs rocks.
Even store locations in New York City would have ridiculously long lines during busy hours because the West-coast-based grocer was a novelty on the East Coast.