5 Of The Most Hated Things On Earth (With Awesome Benefits)
Most of us humans no longer have to worry about being eaten by a pack of wolves or violently shitting ourselves to death on a daily basis, but are we happy? No, we still manage to spend our time finding tiny, inane things to complain to each other about. Well, time to shut up about at least six of them, because it turns out the following first-world problems actually benefit you, personally ...
Air-Filled Chip Bags Improve Your Chip-Eating Experience
One of the biggest snack food bugbears is the ratio of air to actual chips inside your average bag. It's right up there with airline peanuts being hard to open on the trivial comedic gripe index.
"What's the deal with airline peanuts and potato chip bags, where white people
be like WOMEN BE SHOPPIN'!?"
It's easy to imagine that the extra air in bags of chips is an insidious plot by corporations to reduce costs and increase profits. After all, these are the same companies that deliberately get us addicted to junk food so they can take our money as they kill us, so it's no stretch to assume they're evil in a bunch of other ways too. But under-filled chip packets are, surprisingly, not one of them.
The technical term for it is "slack fill," and the FDA has laws against it. So why don't they crack down on these criminally over-inflated chip packets? Because it serves a practical purpose -- namely, it stops your chips from grinding down into a bag full of salty potato crumbs.
That would become even saltier from your tears.
Due to the miracle of modern technology, you're able to enjoy snacks today that were manufactured on the other side of the country, but this also means your chips have to make a long, bumpy journey before they get to you. From the packing process on the factory floor to the shipment across America's pothole-filled roads, your chips take a hell of a beating from the time they leave the processing plant to the time they arrive on the shelf of the liquor store you're drunkenly perusing at 3 in the morning.
"The shit I've seen, man."
In fact, without all that air, chip packets run the risk of exploding if the truck drives through a high-altitude area, because physics is a freak like that.
Finally, the air in the bag isn't just regular air like you're breathing right now -- it's nitrogen. This preserves the chips on their journey, because exposure to oxygen is what makes things go stale. All things considered, if snack companies conceded to the public's demands and filled chip bags to the brim, then you'd be eating a bag full of stale potato flour right now, so be thankful for those depressingly under-filled bags. And now, if you'll excuse us, we have to go accept a comically over-filled bag of money from Big Salt ...
Comic Sans Can Help Improve Intelligence
Comic Sans is a "fun" font created entirely for kids, that quickly became the "wacky" and "cool" go-to for all your church-mixer promotional flier needs. Comic Sans became so oversaturated that it's universally reviled today, which is a strange thing to be for alphabet fashion.
"And modern fonts were designed for one space between sentences! Using two
is like drawing dicks on the Sistine Chapel!"
Comic Sans may actually be making us smarter. Kind of.
Comic Sans and other difficult-to-read fonts have been shown to help students with reading retention. A study was performed where participants were required to read material written in smooth, reliable Arial, while the rest of the class had to endure such font atrocities such as Comic Sans, Monotype Corsiva, and the worst thing to come out of Germany since the Nazis: Haettenschweiler.
When both groups took a test 15 minutes later, the students who studied in difficult fonts like Comic Sans answered more questions correctly, on average. Follow-up studies were also performed, and in every case, the students who got the Comic Sans text were able to remember more during the test. The prevailing theory is that when someone is reading text that is easy to read, the brain takes it as a sign that the actual content has been mastered. Therefore, difficult-to-read fonts tell the brain that this information still needs some processing, so more effort is put into remembering it. It could also just be that Comic Sans is more distinct than other fonts, so it stands out more in our memories.
One thing is for certain: If we want better test grades in school, then all of our school textbooks better start looking like the announcement for a 6-year-old's birthday party.
Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Is Good For Traffic
Isn't it frustrating when you're caught in rush-hour traffic, yet that dashing motorcyclist just casually zips between the lanes like the roguish outlaw he is? It's tempting to open your door right in front of him, just to show him that skirting the laws of polite society isn't all sex, drugs, and bitchin' wheelies ...
Lane-splitting is illegal in most of the U.S., but if you can look past your own jealous frustration, you'll see that it really shouldn't be. Lane-splitting is not only a relatively safe practice for motorcyclists but it also speeds up traffic for cars. That queue-jumping asshole might get to their destination faster than you do, but they're also ensuring that you get there faster than if they had patiently waited in line with you.
"BUT WHERE WILL I DIRECT MY IMPOTENT RAGE!?!"
A U.C. Berkeley study showed that, of all the motorcycle injuries they analyzed, the least severe of them occurred during lane-splitting. This makes sense when you think about it, because the motorcyclists are moving more slowly, the cars are not moving at all, and there's zero chance of either a head-on or rear-end collision, the most common and deadly types of road accidents. Basically, the biggest risk of lane-splitting is clipping a car's rear-view mirror or failing to dodge all the feelings-harming insults flying out of car windows.
Assuming, of course, that some asshole doesn't just pull out in front of you to stop you.
But, let's face it, the problem people have with lane-splitting has less to do with the welfare of the motorcyclist and more to do with the fact that they're cheating their way out of a traffic jam. But in this regard, they're still doing you a favor -- if you're stuck in a queue and some of the people in that queue have the ability to just teleport the hell out of there, then it's in both of your best interests that they do it. A study from Belgium found that if 10 percent of drivers were to switch to motorcycles and take advantage of lane-splitting, then the travel time for all vehicles would reduce by around eight minutes and traffic congestion would reduce by 63 percent. And you could be one of those people! Do the world a solid and learn to ride a motorcycle, buy a sweet leather jacket, die relatively young, and leave an average-looking corpse.
Selfies Are Valuable Tools In Youth Therapy
Selfies are the best evidence we have that millennials are a bunch of narcissistic assholes. It can't be good, being that in love with your own image. Look what happened to the original Narcissus: He drowned in a pool trying to mack on his own reflection. We're not sure what the modern version of that is (dropping your phone onto your face while you're lying down?) but it probably sucks out loud.
Whatever it is, selfies are now deadlier than sharks.
Selfies are being adopted by therapists and health workers as part of a strategy to help young people discuss how they feel about themselves. At least according to clinical psychologist Dr. Andrea Letamendi, who says that selfies allow young people to share their mood states even when they feel it's hard to talk about it.
You are your best emoji.
And therapists have found value in selfies as well, helping get to the root of deeper emotional issues in adolescents. They enable dialogue with questions like, "Why did you take this picture?" Or, "What were you feeling when this selfie was taken?" From there, therapists can gather information about the teenager's psychological state and find avenues to help. Which sounds better than the diagnosis of "surly young punk" we got as kids, and it sure beats the ensuing treatment, which was a generous prescription of "shut up and get a job."
Public Displays Of Affection Make Even Disgusted Onlookers Happier
The moment you start smooching or caressing your significant other in a public setting, you're basically committing a hate crime against the terminally single. But, surprisingly, the public expression of love has positive benefits for everyone, even those of us literally dying of loneliness right now.
That makes Cheng Li's art exhibition one hell of a public health initiative.
Acts of affection toward your sexual partner have positive health benefits for both of you. Even just holding hands works to reduce stress. That's all well and good as long as you keep that shit to the bedroom. But not so fast: Public displays of affection also have benefits for the unfortunate witnesses. A study published in the Journal Of Neuroscience explored how participants felt about having someone stroke their arm versus simply watching a video of someone's arm being stroked.
"You see? Science says we should be macking in public!"
"I'm not a piece of meat, Sarah!"
The result was that the pleasure centers of the participants' brains lit up in much the same way whether they were actually being caressed or just watching snuggle porn. So the good news for couples is that you might actually be helping people by groping each other in a public setting. Just know that this all happens on a sliding scale -- if you whip it out and plow your partner right atop their Rascal in the Walmart checkout line, all you're lighting up are police sirens, not the pleasure centers of onlookers.
Mike Bedard likes writing sketch comedy and silly jokes. You can see for yourself by following him on Twitter.
Ready for the complete opposite? For example: D.A.R.E. probably increases youth drug use wherever it was implemented. See that and more in 5 Idiotic Health Campaigns That Backfired (Hilariously). Or learn how speed bumps are bad for society in The 5 Most Popular Safety Laws (That Don't Work).
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