Ever wonder why the ice blocks you make at home don't taste quite as uniformly delicious as the ones in the supermarket? Well, you may have been perfecting your technique for years, but the ones in the supermarket have a 100 years of science and innovation behind them. It all started with one particularly brilliant 11-year-old boy...
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For as ear-piercing as ambulance sirens are, you’d think they’d be better alert systems. Truth is: they’re shockingly ineffective. Drivers register the sound only at close proximity and at very low speeds. Guessing from which direction the ambulance will appear is always tricky too -- especially when the new Daft Punk is turned up really loud.
Seinfeld excelled at criticism of the everyday. A few months ago, Sam Anderson suggested that Roland Barthes was the father of pop cultural criticism and that we are all now cultural critics in the Barthian vein, "decoding everything". Perhaps. But if Barthes gave us serious criticism of popular culture, Seinfeld taught us to be ironic critics of the utterly mundane. Case in point: toilet paper.
We've been sitting on the same kind of crapper for centuries. Sure, the plumbing has gotten more tucked away and seats are now fashioned out of all sorts of materials and styles (including plush vinyl embroidered with cats), but as far as the toilets themselves go, hundreds of years after they were invented, they're still largely porcelain.
We learn to lie around the age of two or three. By the time we're adults, we do it a lot -- at least once a day, and perhaps more like 2.92 lies in 10 minutes, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Basic and Applied Psychology. It's no wonder we've been chasing after an accurate lie detector for so long.
You're out for the night, and you're (hopefully) going to get some game. It starts at a bar or a BBQ or your living room -- wherever you go to meet a private dance partner. You get ready to get sweaty. And then, the grab for contraception: "Honey/dude/whatsyourname, can you grab the fish bladder?" Or maybe it's: "Got your reusable sheep intestine?"
Here's something that might just blow your mind: ketchup -- the national condiment of 1896, according to the New York Tribune -- wasn't always tomato based. In fact, if it had remained in its early form, we might be spreading fish paste on our burgers (gulp) instead of the tangy tomato-y goodness we presently rely on.