11 Things To Wonder About in Your Everyday Life
Life is full of mystery and wonder. The human mind can’t stop ticking over about all the things that happen in life. Humans have many questions about the meaning of life and what happens when people die. There are also certain things in our life that nobody really questions, such as customs, traditions, and activities. Then there are small things like answering the telephone or celebrating birthdays that have interesting backstories that will blow your mind. Part of life is embracing and accepting specific aspects. That doesn’t mean we don’t have a question or two about certain things, so let’s dive deep into the human mind and wonder about life.
11 Things To Wonder About in Your Everyday Life
1. Should We Say “Hello” or “Ahoy?”
In the late 1800s, the invention of the telephone began to change life for everyone. While “hello” is the standard greeting when answering the phone, it wasn’t the first choice. Alexander Graham Bell gets credit for owning the first patent on the telephone. There was a great debate over what to say when answering a phone. Bell tried to get “Ahoy” as the official telephone greeting.
Since it wasn’t catching on, Thomas Edison suggested using a more common phrase at the time, “hello.” The first white pages included instructions on answering a phone using the greeting “hello.” Thus, Edison’s “hello” became customary.
2. Where Does “Say Cheese” Come From?
Before every picture it’s normal to hear the photographer utter the phrase, “say cheese.” The term forces the teeth to show and a smile to spread across the face. It first surfaced in the 19th century as a way for photographers to get people to smile.
“Say cheese” isn’t the only phrase used, with several others existing throughout history and around the globe, including “say prunes” and “whiskey.” However, “say cheese” won over and was translated into several different languages and is the widely used phrase.
3. The History of Birthdays and Cake
Celebrating a birthday with a cake and candles is an annual tradition. It’s something every young child loves. But have you ever wondered who came up with the idea? The origins date back to Ancient Egypt on the day of a pharaoh’s coronation, considered the pharaoh’s transformation into a god. The coronation was seen as their true birth and needed a celebration.
The first mention of a birthday occurred in The Bible when discussing a pharaoh’s birthday around 3,000 BCE, although this might have been a coronation. The Ancient Greeks adapted the tradition and added a delicious treat. The Greeks made moon-shaped cakes to pay tribute to the moon goddess Artemis. The Greeks also used candles to light the cake to capture Artemis’s beauty and the moon’s essence.
4. The Story of the Smiley Face
The yellow and black smiley face is one of the most recognizable symbols in the world. The first designs of similar-looking images appeared as early as 1700 BC. In the 60s, a New York radio station WMCA gave away shirts with a similar smiling face, but it’s graphic designer Harvey Ross Ball who gets the credit for designing the most popular version.
He simply created a smiley face to boost morale at the State Mutual Life Insurance company in 1963. It featured a full smile, creases on both sides, and oval eyes on a bright yellow background. Despite other earlier versions, Ball’s design caught on and became an international symbol. If you were a kid in the 90s you probably owned a smiley face t-shirt.
5. Hiccups Are Inherited From Our Ancestors
There truly is nothing more frustrating than the hiccups. A hiccup occurs when the muscles used for inhaling contract as the tongue and roof of the mouth slam against the vocal cords.
A theory exists that hiccups might be an evolutionary leftover from amphibian predecessors. Fish also experience a hiccup-type movement that helps them breathe underwater. When tadpoles reach a certain stage, they have gills and lungs. A hiccup allows them to drink in the water while opening their lungs and forcing the water through the gills.
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6. The Wedding Ring Finger Connects to the Vein of Love
Traditionally, married folks wear their wedding ring on the fourth finger of their left hand. Ancient Egyptians began this practice, which carried on with the ancient Greeks and Romans. Egyptians considered the wedding band as a symbol of undying love.
Other cultures believe the vein of love or vena amoris is in the ring finger. The vein connects from the ring finger to the heart. So the blood pumping through the heart also pumps through the marriage.
7. What’s the Deal With Traffic Lights?
Without the invention of traffic lights the roads would be pure chaos and mayhem. In 1868, the first traffic lights went up on Parliament Square in London, England. The gas-powered lanterns required a police officer to operate them.
Traffic lights evolved and changed throughout the years, experimenting with different colors and even words. Eventually, traffic lights settled on red, yellow, and green as the three colors. Red was picked as it is visible from far away because it has the longest wavelength. Railways had been using red for years so it only made sense for traffic lights to do the same. Yellow is the second easiest color to see from a far distance, so it got the nod also. Green was picked because it’s easy to see at night.
Fun fact: stop signs were originally yellow until streetlights made them difficult to see at night. Stop signs turned red, and the yellow color was added to traffic lights as a caution to slow down. Initially, white indicated “go” but it didn’t stick out at night so green was chosen.
8. Time To Sleep
While sleep is still somewhat of a mystery, humans can’t avoid it. At a certain point, the body needs to sleep no matter how much caffeine a person consumes. The brain requires a break to maintain neural connections while staying organized.
Lack of sleep often leads to sleep deprivation, causing heart disease, weakening of the immune system, and hallucinations. A good night’s sleep of six to eight hours enhances every part of the brain and body.
9. What’s the Small Pocket in Jeans for?
In the early 1870s, Levi’s released their first pair of jeans. Jeans are a staple of every person’s wardrobe and most jeans have an odd smaller pocket on the inside of the big ones. Nowadays, that small pocket seems a little pointless, but it made perfect sense in 1873.
Before wristwatches and cellphones, men carried around a pocket watch to tell the time in their daily life. That’s the reason designers added a small pocket for the famous timepiece.
10. National School Buses Go Glossy Yellow
In 1939, Dr. Frank W. Cyr organized a conference to agree on safety standards for all school buses. Those that attended knew they needed the perfect color to ensure safety. That’s when they put their heads together in conversation and created the official color, “national school bus glossy yellow,” which became standard throughout North America.
They chose yellow because it’s highly visible at night and in the early morning. Black lettering was used as it went best on the yellow background. By 1974, all school buses across America and Canada used yellow, influencing the rest of the world.
11. Why Police Officers Touch the Tail Light
In real life, it’s common for police officers to touch the tail light of a car as they approach to speak with the driver. Initially, officers did this to leave behind evidence that they had pulled the vehicle over in case they were injured or killed. Now officers rely on dash and body cameras to provide evidence of them stopping and making a traffic inquiry, although they still touch the tail light out of routine.
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