Years ago a young woman told me about her grandmother, who had survived a home invasion in South Africa. It was a very unsettling story.
Her grandmother was never the same afterward and became consumed by paranoia. There is something so horrible about having your home violated like that, of feeling like you'll never be safe again, even in a space that's supposed to be your sanctuary from the outside world.
The young woman confessed that the thought of going through something similar continues to scare the hell out of her and honestly, I can't blame her. It's a frightening thought.
Redditor Kingofthelosers asked the online community:
"What are you terribly afraid of?"
"Being randomly killed..."
Being randomly killed or abducted and tortured.
Basically, I'm most afraid of people, because while most people are inherently good, there are a few who aren't - and all it takes is being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
This is a sobering thought. We hate that you're right.
"People look at me..."
Losing my mind. People look at me like I'm crazy, but I'm legitimately afraid of losing myself and becoming crazy.
That's a common fear among people who live with mental illness.
"I've never been in such an accident..."
Driving off-road into a body of water and being stuck in the car as the water level inside rises. I've never been in such an accident, I've never known anyone who has been in such an accident, but somehow this fear has been with me for a very long time. And this has only gotten worse since having kids because now I picture them strapped into their car seats behind me as the water level rises.
Terrifying. Utterly terrifying.
Anytime I see this in a film, it unsettles me.
Then I see movies like I Care a Lot, which somehow managed to take something very scary and make it ridiculous.
"There's no way..."
Being falsely accused of a crime. The power of the State against little broke me. There's no way I don't lose in this situation.
This is very true. If the state wants to mess with you, it can and it will.
"Rather than risk failing..."
Failure. My fear of failure can be crippling. Rather than risk failing, I all out avoid situations where I might fail. I hate it but self-doubt really kills my ability to accomplish anything in life.
This is all too relatable.
I remember feeling this way when I was younger. It was paralyzing. Thankfully, time and age has been kind to me. I'm so different now. Hopefully things improve for this person.
"If I ever go back..."
Dying in a plane crash. I can picture it so perfectly - the way the air would be pulled out of your lungs as you scream, the feeling of weightlessness warring with extreme gravity depending on the way you're falling, and the certain knowledge that you are about to die horribly.
I moved to Europe and haven't visited anyone in the states in about 5 years. If I ever go back, I'm looking into finding some sort of passenger ship if it exists.
Well, there's bound to be one – and it'll likely be more expensive than a plane ride, but you do you.
"I don't know why."
Fire drills. I don't know why. I have always had an irrational fear of them. Once the alarm goes off, it's fine, but it's like the anticipation that freaks me out. School was genuinely hard because of it and I know I can never be a teacher. That's okay though because I never wanted to be one.
Fire drills––any drills, really––have a way of amplifying your nerves.
Growing up in the Columbine and post-Columbine world, fire drills and shooting drills were a way of life. And yes, they sucked.
"I've had sleep paralysis..."
Losing control of my body. I've had sleep paralysis and I've been physically restrained/drugged in a dangerous situation, that kind of helplessness is just the most awful feeling in the world. My worst nightmare would be living in that state permanently.
Thankfully you are not! Take comfort in that!
"I just can't do it."
Sleep facing a mirror. I just can't do it. I will cover the mirror with a blanket if it is facing the bed. It just freaks me out.
There's a reason there have been a few especially creepy horror films about mirrors!
Oculus, anyone? Or the aptly titled Mirrors?
Most people would want to die in their sleep when they're super old. But imagine being 95 or so, and night after night having to go to sleep and not knowing if you'll wake up the next morning.
How do we face our fears?
That's not an easy question to answer. Thankfully, time and experience can teach you a lot about yourself and what you can handle. It's a big world and there's so much we still don't know about it. The least we can do is take care of ourselves and try to live in it.
Have some of your stories to share? Feel free to write about them in the comments below.
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Did you know that it's illegal to hold salmon under suspicious circumstances? That's per Section 32 of the Salmon Act 1986, meaning salmon are safe from your sick ideas in England and Wales.
It's a little less weird though once you dip into the legalese. Specifically, the law penalizes any person "who receives or disposes of any salmon in circumstances where they believe or could reasonably believe that the salmon has been illegally fished."
The punishment? Two years in prison. You better respect all the salmon you see, okay?
People told us all about other weird laws that are on the books after Redditor Professional_Watch87 asked the online community,
"What’s the weirdest law in you’re country or one you lived in?"
"In Argentina, by law, the seventh son (or daughter, since 1973) of a family will have the President as his godfather, to give him magical protection and prevent him from turning into a werewolf."
Traditionally, the president is the godfather of the seventh sons or the seventh daughters. This tradition came from Tsarist Russia and became law in 1974. A similar tradition is attached to the king and queen of the Belgians.
"Delaware was one of the last states..."
"Delaware was one of the last states to ban judicial whipping as a punishment, mostly reserved for spousal/domestic abuse. They didn't want the wife to suffer lost income/separation from the husband's incarceration, but wanted to convey the seriousness more than fines/community service."
Oh dear. Sounds positively medieval.
"By law the national anthem is played at the start of every movie in cinemas in India. Because of the hyper national atmosphere you're expected to stand up for it too. Beyond farcical."
I wonder if some people have stopped going to see movies because of that.
"It's illegal to drive a car..."
"It's illegal to drive a car in Puerto Rico without a shirt on. I got pulled over by the cops for this a few years ago and got a lecture."
Okay, noted... never go shirtless in Puerto Rico.
"In Finland alcohol commersials are not allowed to associate drinks with manliness or strength."
Can they associate drinks with femininity and beauty? Just curious.
"The interesting thing is..."
"In my city it is illegal to tie your pet alligator to a parking meter. The interesting thing is that obviously such a thing had to OCCUR before anyone thought to make it illegal."
Why do I get the feeling this is from Florida? You're from Florida, aren't you?
"It is illegal..."
"It is illegal to let your pig run free in Detroit unless it has a ring in its nose."
So if you like it then you should a put a ring on it.
"It's illegal to get a fish drunk..."
"It's illegal to get a fish drunk where I'm from, and it sucks cause what else is there to do in Ohio."
I have no idea how you even enforce that, but it's hilarious.
"In Oklahoma it is illegal to go whale hunting out of a moving vehicle with a harpoon gun."
Thankful to hear that someone stood up for all those poor Oklahoma whales... wherever they are.
"In France it is forbidden to name a pig Napoleon. And an old law (cancelled in 2013) prohibited women from wearing pants unless they had a horse or a bicycle."
How specific. Now imagine if you killed and ate a pig named Napoleon. That would not end well.
Humans have an amazing capacity to weird us out. What in the world inspired some of these laws? There are no actual whales in Oklahoma, right?
Is everything we know a lie?
Have some other weird laws you know about and would like to share? Tell us more in the comments below!
Remember the Dreamcast? If you don't, then you've been missing out. Sit down, sweet summer child, and listen up.
The Dreamcast was a console so ahead of its time that console has been a Dreamcast since there was a Dreamcast. Too advanced to match its competitors, not appealing enough to be considered part of the next generation. I have fond memories of that console. Crazy Taxi was a gem.
Not everything comes out at the right time. We heard about a few other examples after Redditor rentinghappiness asked the online community,
"In your opinion, what’s something that flopped because it was way ahead of its time?"
"It was vastly overhyped..."
"The original Segway. It was vastly overhyped, but now, we're seeing rental scooters and e-bikes change the way people get around urban areas. If the company had offered a Lime-style rental system from the beginning, the product might've become ubiquitous."
The problem with Segway seemed to be that they could not make them cheaply enough to fit into a reasonable personal transportation niche. They were the price of a small, used car. Not great.
"This was before major smartphones..."
"In 2005, two guys tried to create a service called “MyMobileMenu.” The idea was you could order food using a cell phone, similar to DoorDash."
"This was before major smartphones, so When that flopped, they later tried a new adventure and created a company you might’ve heard of: Reddit."
They actually started Reddit from the same code base and haven't updated the video player since.
"Brilliant show that perfectly toed the line between history and fiction. Extremely compelling characters and kick@ss cast. Wasn't very accurate but always authentic."
"Got way too expensive and was canceled after two seasons. If it had been released after GOT or any other epic show in this day and age and it would have been a smash hit."
James Purefoy as Mark Antony is one of my favourite performances from any media ever. What a show. We were robbed of so much further glory!
"An airline called Muse Air failed in 1985 largely in part because it was the first all non-smoking airline. Now everything is nonsmoking. It was purchased by Southwest and dismantled two years later in 1987."
And look at airlines now! Poor Muse Air.
"Those poor bastards waited..."
"Apparently Skype. Those poor bastards waited for the TV Guide channel to slowly scroll for years and just when what they were looking for showed up, they got distracted by the infomercial in the top right corner."
Somehow Microsoft bought it and despite consistently overwhelmingly negative feedback from users, its new director went forward with his own personal vision, and not only put in changes that no one wanted or asked for, but started stripping legitimate preexisting functionality out of the program.
"Sega Channel was such wizardry for the mid-1990s. It was like Christmas every month when they cycled in new games."
I remember this! It was so ahead of its time. It felt like being in the presence of actual magic!
"The movie tanked..."
"Videodrome '83. The movie tanked, but it was so spot on about people being addicted to media, ultraviolence becoming the norm, people adopting online personas, etc."
Truly... David Cronenberg is a twisted genius.
"It was the first commercial film to be shown in stereo and it used an early precursor to surround sound. WWII, high production costs, and the burden of building the sound equipment for showings prevented it from making any money at the time."
This is true! It's a spectacle that was definitely not appreciated at the time of its release.
"Smirnoff has been the laughing stock of alcohol for years. Now all of sudden everyone and their mother wants to drink fermented sugar drinks."
Funny how people came around – seemingly overnight.
"I distinctly remember..."
"The TV show Arrested Development. I distinctly remember the commercials for it and thought, Jesus that looks moronic. Fox chose the more obvious jokes to highlight and tried to make it seem like a zany hijinks type of comedy. They practically added slide whistles and “boing” sound effects to the commercials for it."
"Once I finally watched it I realized it’s brilliant. It was the first American show to do that style of comedy. Hand-held camera work, flashbacks, cutaways, etc. Which is ironic because later everyone would do it."
They made a huge mistake.
Arrested Development is a cult classic, a show made for streaming years before streaming was a thing.
You don't always realize you have a great thing going – and so much of success comes down to timing.
Have some examples of your own to share? Tell us more in the comments below!
Consumers who have money to burn often buy things they don't really need, like travel accessories, specialized sports equipment for an activity they've only done once, or even cookbooks, when plenty of recipes can be found online.
They might be missing out on buying things that could actually make life so much easier because it never occurs to them.
Curious to hear recommendations of items that can improve your life, Redditor icandoitw asked:
"What are some life-changing purchases that are 100% worth it?"
People thought it was worth spending a little extra for a better quality of life.
"Sounds simple but honestly, something as basic as a good pair of shoes that fit you well."
"A good mattress and pillow. We spend a third of our lives lying on it, why not invest in it? Anything that you use a lot, you should seriously invest in, like I have a $400 custom mechanical keyboard. People say I am crazy, but I use it every day, for hours on end, it’s my job."
"If you have trouble sleeping, a weighted blanket. I’ve gone from about 5.5 hrs average sleep per night to 7 hours average which is incredible for me, and I wake up feeling so well rested"
Better In The Dark
"Blackout curtains. Especially in the summertime, they help you sleep so much better."
"Good quality re-useable ear plugs. Soooo much better than the cheap foamy ones."
"They will definitely improve your life if you go to loud concerts. Filter our overtones so you can hear the music better at a loud punk show. Also hearing loss is irreversible and there's no cure for tinnitus."
Clear The Air
"For blind/visually impaired people: A smartphone. They literally are life changing, and can function as numerous separate and extremely pricy accessible devices and can do things like color and money recognition, text recognition, the uses are amazing."
"In general though, if you have allergies, especially seasonal or pet, AIR PURIFIER. When we bought our hous a few years ago, my allergies got so bad, we were almost considering moving, but then i bought an air purifier and it was so life changing, i got one for each floor of our house. One of the best purchases ever."
Life can be made easier with the help of these items.
"A second monitor."
"Suprised i didnt see this yet, but it improves productivity so much as you can have tabs open and type whatever you want on the other or even watch youtube etc."
Taking Stock In This
"3+ gallon stock pot. Boil pasta, potatoes, or whatever without a boil over. No more starch water burning all over the burner."
"a fully functioning computer."
"many people don't have one, they exist in phones or tablets, and holy sh*t they are missing out."
"Washer and dryer. No planning days and accumulating quarters for laundry. Just dump a load in a go about my business."
Save your back and your money by hiring people to do hard labor.
Refrain From Heavy Lifting
"paying for movers to do everything from pack to move all of it."
"never doing that sh*t again."
You Deserve It
"People really underestimate the power of this."
"At least in my social circle, for a long time it was just understood that if someone was moving everyone was showing up that day to lift and lug from house A to house B with the rich reward of beer and burgers after, as if it had all been some fun party everyone loved. This persisted even after people could conceivably afford movers."
"I personally think it is A LOT to expect of friends do that for you. Yeah, when you're young and you have three bags of clothes, two boxes of books, and a futon (and no disposable income at all), it's understandable. But paying for movers and then packers is something I did as soon as I had any money to pay for it. That is what money is for, it's not necessarily what friends are for."
The best pandemic purchase I made that was worth every penny was for several sets of free weights.
Once I canceled my gym membership, I invested in some dumbbells so I could follow YouTube workout videos in the comfort of my home.
They are not cheap; however, I'm saving more money in the long run without having to pay a monthly gym membership fee.
I've seen more gains from using the free weights and following an instructor on a monitor, and my motivation to work out is higher than ever.
If you find yourself plateauing at the gym, you may want to invest in making some changes to your exercise regimen that works for you.
You know, try as I might, I just can't bring myself to bother with The Walking Dead. I quit the show some years ago, probably around the time of that weird fakeout with Glen in the dumpster (and then his actual death right after that), but the truth is that the show was getting on my nerves for some time before that.
Did anyone actually care about all the nonsense going on with Deanna and the citizens of Alexandria? And can we go back a bit further and talk about how ludicrous Beth's death at the hands of some power-tripping officer in a hospital ward was? There was such a noticeable drop in quality after the third season that I questioned why I kept tuning in.
But this show is far from the only one to make people want to throw their remotes at their television screens. People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor regian24 asked the online community,
"What TV show was amazing at first but became unwatchable for you later on?"
The Walking Dead
"The Walking Dead."
"First few seasons were great with pretty good pacing. Later seasons devolve into telling one story at a time. They’d have a cliffhanger of a character maybe dying and do 3 weeks of other stories. By the time it gets back to the cliffhanger you have no idea what’s happening. That and it got repetitive."
See?! What did I tell you? After a splendid first season – one that could have been a standalone miniseries at that – the rest of the series just failed to live up to its initial promise.
"I watched every new episode of Glee when it came out and was slightly obsessed with the show. But as soon as it finished it all crumbled. The show makes no sense, is not good, and I could never rewatch it."
I just couldn't get into it. I found it grating. And the fact that the quality noticeably slipped afterward did not make my friends happy.
"Heroes: biggest drop in quality after season 1."
To be fair, the writer's strike really hurt that show's future. It never stood a chance after that – and my God, did I hear that that second season was horrible.
"Happy Days! Once Fonzie jumped the shark, while waterskiing and wearing his jacket, the show just got progressively worse."
This is the classic answer to this question. Gen Xers like me even use the term "jumping the shark" to refer to things that were once great but now suck.
"The Blacklist. So many loopholes and a never ending plot. I mean, the female hero (forgot her name) was wanted and had her pictures broadcast nationwide live, but a couple of weeks after she can do undercover work."
I couldn't even stand the first episode. I quit right after that. I could tell the quality was questionable.
"Arrow. It's what happens when you try to make so many seasons for a show meant for only a few."
This is true about lots of shows. The writers and executives just don't know when to quit.
Once Upon a Time
"Once Upon a Time. The first 3 seasons were good! And then after that they just kept getting worse."
People actually liked that show? I know, I know... I'm the worst. I just didn't see the appeal and it heard it got so ridiculous.
"A hilarious and intriguing show that slowly grew to be about a bunch of unlikable a-holes making bad, selfish decisions. When there's no one with any redeeming characteristics, there's no one for the audience to get behind."
It started out great but really started to go off the rails with characters making increasingly nonsensical choices. Nancy marrying the Mexican drug lord was the beginning of the end.
That '70s Show
"Not the worst offender, but That '70s Show tanked pretty hard once Eric left. He was sorely needed to make the chemistry of the group work."
Yeah, the way these characters continued to stick together even after that was just embarrassing.
House of Cards
"The first two seasons were amazing. After that it started to get progressively worse."
I would argue that even the second season began to stretch the limits of credulity. I lost interest after the fourth season (and both the third and the fourth seasons were a slog for me to get through).
There is some amazing television out there – I am currently making my way through Six Feet Under again – but there is even more disappointing television that should never make its way into your eyeballs.
Sorry if you've suffered.
Have some suggestions of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!