Interesting Stuff

One of the cool byproducts of spending your life putting pen to paper is you become an absolute fountain of useless information.  You learn stuff that most people don’t know (or even care about) but throw it into a conversation, and you sound like a genius.  Here are just a few cool things I’ve learned over the years.

Apparently, it’s been statistically proven that there is a direct relationship between how long it takes people to invoke Hitler in an argument and their level of education.  Basically, the higher the education, the longer it takes to get to the Hitler comparison.  (Who studies this stuff?)

Normally, tears of pain start in the left eye and tears of joy start in the right. 

Psychologically, it takes less than 10 minutes to fall in love.  However, our brains will not accept the fact until it’s confirmed by the chemicals exchanged during a kiss or other intimate act.

On occasion, people will lie about anything from the very serious to the most trivial, but when a computer asks them to provide answers to security questions, they nearly always tell the truth.

In crowded streets or pathways, people naturally walk on the right.  Even the Brits (and other countries) who drive on the left, walk on the right when they’re pedestrians.

There are hundreds of cultures in the world, and they all view and do things differently.  However, every person on this planet — from Boston to Borneo — has the same facial expression when they’re angry.

But speaking across cultures — all humans (and a few animals) blush!  It’s an involuntary physical response — like being startled by an unexpected noise.  The weird thing is blushing is intimately connected to culture, and different cultures blush for different reasons.  In other words, blushing is the only involuntary physical response that is triggered by cultural conditioning.  Neither scientists nor psychologists can figure out why — or how— our bodies change to accommodate it.

English speakers can recognize words written in a sentence without vowels but not without consonants.  (This doesn’t work for all languages.)

Despite what millennials will tell you, there is no such thing as multi-tasking.  When the brain has more than one task to perform, it doesn’t do them simultaneously.  It switches back and forth from one task to another, over and over again.  And even though these changes may be so rapid that they are imperceptible, they still reduce the brain’s ability to complete either task properly.

It seems 35 is a magic number.  People under 35 are more stressed, more anxious and more worried about the future; whereas people over 35 are more relaxed.  Psychologists believe this is because our subconscious memory recognizes bits and pieces of information from past experiences and that fools the brain into thinking we’re relatively safe because we’ve already been there/done that.  However, this also means older people are more easily bored — even with new experiences.

And finally:

The opposite of paranoia (the belief that people are plotting against you) is pronoia.  This is the irrational belief that people are secretly conspiring to make you happy.  Oddly enough, this disorder is more widespread than you might think.


Stuff We Need — RIGHT NOW!


Despite the current mess (and everybody squawking about it) we live in the most benevolent society in history.  We have more literacy, less poverty, better health care, better education, better nutrition and easier access to information than at any time since Lucy and her girlfriends decided to take a stroll in Ethiopia, some 3 million years ago.  Unfortunately, we’re not that good at using these benefits to our best advantage – yet.  For example, we wasted tons of money and years of research on Viagra when a little marijuana and some decent porn would have done the trick.  Personally, I think our endless cycle of herbal shampoos, sugar water beverages and bum warmer automobiles has got to stop, and we need to concentrate on things that will really benefit our world.  So, in that vein, here is just some of the stuff we need – RIGHT NOW!

An electronic collar that zaps you if you’ve forgotten something at the grocery store.

A mute button for vegans.  Once a vegan has publically declared their veganness (veganosity?) eight times, they must wear a mute button for the comfort and convenience of the rest of us.

A sexier name for the Covid masks we’re all going to wear.  Might I suggest Cloak of Responsibility?

A universal restraining order against stupid celebrities.  Any celebrity who makes three (3) stupid comments in a calendar month is forbidden from coming within 100 metres of a microphone.

AutoCorrect that knows the difference between “your” and “you’re” and “there,” their” and “they’re” — so I don’t look like a moron when I’m not paying attention.

A written test before anyone is allowed to vote.  Even multiple choice (guess?) would be better than nothing.

Transparent toasters.  So we can at least see what that maniac machine is doing to our bread!

All statues turned into holograms so they can simply be switched off and changed when public perception turns against them.  Unfortunately, pigeons would be denied a place to – uh – sit, but too bad, pigeon lovers — we can’t please everybody!

Skip the Dumbass.  Like Skip the Dishes, but instead of food, this online service will deliver an intelligent person to your doorstep for an enjoyable conversation without a political or social agenda.

Laundry hampers that automatically wash clothes, dryers that fold them and a robot something that puts them away.

A Nobel Prize for Buffoonery.

A junk food that tastes super good but has negative calories so when you binge-eat a bowl of it while you’re binge-watching Netflix, you actually lose weight.

Voice-activated Smart Microwaves (with a cute female name) that remember how you like your frozen stuff nuked.
“Madison, beef and bean burrito.”
“According to your burrito history, you prefer two minutes on High.  Is that correct?”
(You just read that in a computer voice, didn’t you?)

Compulsory therapy for old men who insist on riding those extra noisy-ass motorcycles.

Something (I don’t know what) that gets the last bit of peanut butter out of the bottom of the jar.

And finally:

A secret society where the members memorize history to preserve it until those “culture cancellers” get over themselves — kinda like what the people in Fahrenheit 451 did for books and literature.