In Case You Were Born Yesterday

As I sit here drinking Yogi green tea I can’t help but think of all the people who don’t know anything yet. These are the people who were born yesterday, the ones who still haven’t heard about Reddit or still believe in Santa Claus. This isn’t a completely exhaustive list, but it’s the stuff that people kind of forget to tell you growing up because they expect you to know it. Take it all with a grain of salt*.

  1. Moss grows on the north side of trees because the sun rises in the south. This creates shade, which moss prefers. Consequently, a rolling stone gathers no moss because it’s constantly moving and it all falls off.
  2. There are lots of things buried under the ground and it gets weirder the deeper you go. Besides the normal gas, water, and electrical lines, there are sewers, subways, secret CIA tunnels, aquifers, and molten lava.
  3. Gravestones face east and west and cows eat north and south. This is so people can rise and set with the sun and because of their magnetic compass, respectively.
  4. Fire takes three things to burn: fuel, heat, and oxygen. If you take any one of these three things away, the fire goes out. That’s why a fire goes out when it’s out of fuel, get’s dowsed with water, or gets smothered, respectively.
  5. 100 years from now no one will know who you are. This used to be more true, but with the Internet’s uncanny ability to make history flat, your great, great, great grandchildren may be watching your Youtube videos.
  6. A tree’s age can be determined after cutting across it’s trunk. The trunk of the tree grows a new layer of bark each year and years with more rain and/or sunlight make the rings larger or smaller which gives us indications of the weather.
  7. You dream you can fly because your sheets make you think air is thick like water. When you’re asleep, you forget you’re under the covers and when you jump in your dreams, you feel resistance against the ‘air’ and think you can fly.
  8. We have been to the Moon and to Mars. Once we found out there really wasn’t anything to do there, we didn’t persue it much. If you think you’d like to go, there’s nothing stopping you going nowadays as long as you’ve got the cash and aren’t too worried about coming back.
  9. Banks lend out 10 times what they have on hand. While it is illegal to print money, it is not apparently illegal to lend out money you don’t have. This is how banks make money from money they don’t have. A new bank is called a “de novo”, which means “from the beginning”.
  10. Community does more for your health than food, education, money, or DNA. The more plugged into a community of people who care about you and depend on you, the longer you will live regardless of how much fat you eat, what school you went to, how much money you make, or who your parents are.
  11. The ‘secret’ ingredient that makes food products most successful is not sugar, but *salt. In a comparison of all major cereals, the ingredient most correlated with commercial success was not sugar, but salt. Coca Cola has more sodium than Pepsi, but not by much. Pepsi does however have more sugar than Coca Cola.
  12. started out as an online book store with over 1 million titles. While they now have server farms that power a large portion of the Internet and are the online equivalent of Wal-Mart, they started small in a niche where they could add value – books.
  13. Everybody used to talk the same language, lived a lot longer, and were a lot smarter than you. There was a time when we all used to ‘get along’ and live hundreds of years, but that didn’t last too long. And every generation thereafter has a little less of the core DNA and more mutations, which makes us slightly less smart every year.
  14. The 14th floor of many buildings is really the 13th floor renamed as the 13th floor. This is because people are superstitious and think that the number 13 is unlucky. This is because there are about 13 full moons a year, but only 12 months! Whoa! Watch out!
  15. Numbers and time aren’t real. We made them up. I’m serious. They only mean something because we say they do. You can count in apples and bananas just the same as 1s and 0s. Numbers only serve as variables to denote measurement. They give us a standard language to communicate with. Kind of like they used to have when we lived longer.
  16. The universe is more than meets the eye. I’m not talking just talking about spectrums of light and what we can see with our eyes versus what can be detected in infrared, radio, and x-rays. I’m talking about the other 95% of the mass out there that we have no idea what it is. We call it Dark Matter and Dark Energy.
  17. Intentions set direction. Look at your toes. Are they pointing towards the door? That means you want to leave. Whatever your intentions, it sets your direction. So spend some time figuring out your purpose in life and what you want out of it before you start to work towards it and your intentions will set your direction.
  18. Weddings and babies are both rare and common events at the same time. The amount of things that have to happen just perfectly over time for someone to meet and agree to marry or for a sperm to reach an egg is almost astronomical, yet it happens everyday – several times a day in fact.
  19. College probably won’t help you in the way you think. It’s a key – a gateway past an interview process, but most hiring managers don’t actually believe you know much right out of college. It shows you can complete a program and that’s about it. Know this and spend some time learning a skill outside of school.
  20. There is more to this life than this life. You probably won’t live in this simulation for over 100 years, but if you do, you’ll probably realize that our solar system is pretty small compared to the whole universe, and there are mysteries you won’t uncover until you figure out what all that dark matter is. But by then it will be too late. I’d encourage you to find the oldest book you can find, one that has the most wisdom, and read it. There is a clue that will help guide you. Let me know when you find it.