Top 15 Blow My Mind in One Sentence

  1. The fax machine was invented the same year people were traveling the Oregon Trail.

  2. Russia has a larger surface area than Pluto.

    Russia: 17 million km^2

    Pluto: 16.6 million km^2

  3. A million seconds is 11 days, and a billion seconds is 33 years.

  4. A major amount of fact checking is needed in this thread

  5. “You have been further up your mom than your dad has.” – Benjamin Franklin

  6. No one is going to remember your memories

  7. Because information has to travel to your brain via neural pathways, everything you are experiencing actually happened 80 milliseconds in the past.

  8. When caterpillars go into metamorphosis, they basically turn into liquid and then reform into butterflies

  9. I was not part of your life until you read this sentence.

  10. When you remember a life event, you are remembering the last time you remembered it, not the actual event.

  11. Only 66 years passed between the first time man flew and the first time man landed on the moon.

  12. For people currently graduating college there has never been a time The Simpsons wasn’t on TV

  13. If you were to try to make your cellphone from raw materials, it would take many, many lifetimes to mine the ore, figure out how to get that into a formed case, build all of the tools needed to create the processors and screens, and to mine the petroleum and refine it for the plastics, but you can buy it working for a week at McDonald’s.

  14. If you break a rock in half, you don’t have 2 halves of a rock. You have 2 rocks.

    Edit: Gotta give credit. I heard that first from George Carlin.

  15. Anne Frank and MLK were born in the same year.

What is the strangest way you were sheltered as a child?

  1. Oh so many of the ones that have been posted, more banned TV shows, books, and movies than I can remember.

    My parents apparently still think I’m very sheltered now as an adult. I accidently said fuck around them (they don’t like cussing so I respect that and watch my mouth around them) and my dad wanted to know where I’d heard that word. I was 30 at the time.

  2. I never was told about periods. I had my first when I was nine, my mother had to pick me up from school. She shhh’d the nurse when she tried to explain why my mom had to get me. She drove from school to Cvs gave me 5 bucks and told me to buy “girl pads”. In my blood stained pants. We never talked about what was happening, she would just give me 5-10 dollars every full moon to buy girl pads.

  3. I wasn’t allowed to have any temporary tattoos as a child.

    My mother was convinced that some maniac went around putting LSD in all temporary tattoos for children.

  4. My mom didn’t let me touch dirt. I also had to wear a helmet at the park. I have ZERO mental or physical disabilities.

    Edit: had to have

  5. My mom wouldn’t let me watch Family Guy or Malcolm in the Middle because my mom’s name is Lois and she thought both of those shows portrayed moms named Lois in a bad light.

    Accurate, but bizarre.

  6. Mom told me that the ice cream man was just a nice man playing music. I loved and appreciated that man until that fateful day when my best buddy ran to the truck and came back with ice cream.

    My world shattered.

  7. I wasn’t allowed to ride a bike because I would “lose my virginity”.

    When I was older, I learned my mom meant that I would tear my hymen while biking.

  8. I have a very minor, but untreatable birth defect called Duane’s syndrome (it was actually brought up on r/mildlyinteresting last week). Basically my left eye cannot turn left. Rather than explain this to me as a defect or a disability, my parents raised me to believe it was a really cool trick.

    Whenever I was the new kid in school I would run up to kids and show them this ridiculous thing I could do, and rather than feel like the odd one out, I felt like I was awesome. I think that was a good way to shelter me from the teasing of other kids.

    Edit: allow me to answer the most popular question…if I look to the right, my eye does not get stuck. It can go straight again. I just can’t look to the left of myself, I guess.

  9. When I was about 8, I asked what testicles were and my mom told me she didn’t know.

  10. My mom bought me a car seat. When I was 10 years old. And she made me fucking ride in it.

    The damn newspaper published an article stating the weight you had to be in order for your seat belt to work effectively and not kill you. I was under that weight in the 5th grade. So I got a car seat. It was actually really comfortable, and seeing out the window better was pretty cool. But I went to a magnet school that required my mom to drive me. Took a loooong time for me to live that one down.

  11. I wasn’t allowed to go to sleep overs. Ever. As far as I understand my mom thought that I would have sex with someone if I was there. Even if there were no men in the house and I was 8 years old. Although that’s just the tip of the iceberg in her crazy. When I was a teenager there was a couple years where I had a lot of guy friends because I was super in to gaming and she regularly called me a slut. She wouldn’t let me hang out with them out side of school (in case I had sex with one of them, or all of them) so we always just ended up playing into the night on Skype. The weird thing is she used to let me spend time with them until I was about 13 or 14 and I was asking to go to one my friends birthday parties and she said no because the boys there would pass me around. She was completely serious.

  12. As a teenager, my mother wouldn’t let me go to the mall, apparently someone might “snatch me up”. When I started looking for my first job, her and my father got into an argument because she wanted to forbid me from the mall…..I could never figure out what her hangup was about it.

    She also forbid me to be in Baltimore. My old band had a gig in Baltimore, and when she found out about it she flipped out….I was 28 at the time of the gig.

    “You have no business being in Baltimore, its DANGEROUS and I forbid you to go”

  13. Once my mom found out Disney supported the gay community, she threw out all our Disney movies and cancelled our Disneyworld trip. We weren’t allowed to watch any more Disney movies and she had us go around the neighborhood passing out flyers educating people and suggested they boycott Disney as well.

    I put up a picture of Hugh Jackman on my wall and my mom ripped it off telling me it was soft-core porn.

    I wasn’t allowed to take the required health class in high school because my parents didn’t want me to learn about sex-ed. So they ‘homeschooled’ me in health over the summer. My parents health course consisted of learning about nutrition and cooking. Zero sex-ed. I had to learn it all through my classmates.

    At 16 years old my father found out my best friend and I were looking online to figure out how to make out with boys. He immediately grounded me and moved our family computer to the kitchen where no more secret googling could happen.

  14. Not exactly strange or sheltered, but I thought it related. When I first started learning how to talk my mom tried to be a good liberal mom and teach me the correct words for things. So I learned that I, and all other boys had penises. This lead to me saying in the grocery store “that’s a boy he has a penis” and “that’s a girl she doesn’t have a penis.” Luckily enough for my mom we were living in Japan at the time where people couldn’t understand me. Anyways out comes my sister a few months later and I was mystified because she did not have a penis. At this point my mom abandoned being a good liberal parent (the sheltered part) and would not dare to teach me the word vagina. Eventually I decided on my own that girls have “bottoms forwards.”

    tl;dr Mom wouldn’t teach me the word vagina and I named them bottoms forwards

  15. I wasn’t allowed to eat honey. My mom heard from ONE person that honey can be toxic to children. The idiot didn’t tell her it was only dangerous to infants and my mom never bothered to research it she just ran with it my whole damn childhood. I did not get to try honey until I was 16 and even then I had to hide the fact that I was eating it because I knew she would loose her mind!

    I was a freak when I finally got a taste, I put that shit on everything. To this day she flips shit if she sees a kid (regardless of their age) eat honey. I have even showed her proof that she is wrong, she doesnt care 🙁

What is something you thought would never catch on, but it became huge?

  1. Facebook. Why would anyone bother when we have Myspace…

  2. Two things:

    1. Madonna – I saw her rolling around the stage singing “Like a Virgin” at the first annual MTV Music Video awards in 1984, and thought “There’s a flash in the pan if I ever saw one.”

    2. I was invited as a test audience to see 3 new TV shows they were shopping. In a room with 100 other people, I watched and reviewed them all, and one I truly disliked. I didn’t think it was funny, and didn’t think the characters were likable. Gave it my lowest rating. It was “Frasier”, came to network TV the following fall and ran for 11 years.

    TL;DR Don’t trust my opinion on pop culture.

  3. Google as a search engine. “We already have Yahoo. It’ll never be bigger than Yahoo.” -Me, 2001

  4. iPads. “So it’s a giant phone you can’t use to call or text with? What’s the point? Get a laptop if you want to browse the internet from anywhere.”

  5. Flappy Bird. I saw it and thought it was this dumb little game that was the same as every other one. Yet a week later every human on the planet as even a few dogs were playing it.

  6. Twitter for me – “limited to 140 characters? Ha! This will never work!”

  7. Steam, when it first came out everyone went nuts. “We have to login to this shithole to play 1.6? Pfft, when 1.6 dies steam will die with it.” It’s 2014 now and steam is the biggest gaming platform for the PC out there. Not only that but 1.6 is still alive.

  8. Snapchat for me.

    The first time I experienced it, someone got one, laughed at it, and when I asked to see the picture they said it was gone. They then explained to me the marvels of snap chat, to which my response was, “why not just take a normal picture? That way you can keep it and continue to laugh at it and show it to other people?”

    I get that the point of it sometimes is pictures you don’t want to have kept around, but most of the time it is just silly or normal pictures that would have every reason to be kept.

  9. Touchscreen, keyboard-less smartphones. I mean who would want to type on anything that is so small and has no keyboard. Boy I was wrong…

  10. I remember reading about “Pocket Monsters” in Nintendo Power and lamenting that this awesome-seeming game would never come to America. Boy, was I wrong.

  11. Cameras in cell phones. The resolution was shit compared to proper cameras. Who would need this except spies?

  12. Single speed/fixie bikes. Living in area with a lot of hills, I was surprised to see them everywhere.

  13. Texting. First off, I’m relatively old. I remember when texting first came out and I thought “that’s the single stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of, if you need to say something quickly it would take less time to just call the person” This was way back when in the long long ago before T9 and Swype and all that fancy jazz, so typing a text was relatively tedious.

  14. Girls wearing spandex as pants in public. Don’t get me wrong,I’m not complaining, I just can’t believe it’s happening.

  15. The Prius. The first time I saw one I thought to myself “my god that’s the worst looking car I’ve ever seen”.

Grown-Ups of Reddit, What is the most embarrassing thing that you should be able to do, but can’t?

  1. Pooping when I’m not at home. I don’t mind when there’s a public bathroom with multiple stalls. However, when it’s a bathroom with one seat, like in a hotel room it’s a different story. I get very uncomfortable when there are others potentially waiting outside. I like to take my time, be comfortable and be private. Having others that may or may not be waiting when I’m the one sitting on the only bathroom seat makes me incredibly uncomfortable.

  2. I cannot for the life of me drink and walk at the same time. Water just ends up everywhere and strangers stare. Its pretty embarrassing….

  3. Shave my legs. I’ve been doing it for almost 20 years, yet I still miss spots and butcher my knees.

  4. I think I’m bad at small talk.

  5. Go underwater without holding my nose.

  6. Have a period without ruining my underwear. I’ve been having periods for over 20 years now and still can’t get that shit straight!

  7. I’m nearly 30 years old and don’t know how to tie my shoes in the normal fashion. Instead I can only do it bunny ears-style. I learned both ways as a little kid, but for some reason that was the only one that stuck.

  8. Know the order of the alphabet without having to sing the “ABC” song.

  9. Don’t know the names of almost any streets or highways around me. I need people to name stores and landmarks when giving me directions.

  10. Whistle.

  11. DIY I am useless at any kind of repair or home improvement, it makes me feel like less of a man

  12. This time last year I was unable to drive or ride a bicycle and both were a deep source of shame. Eventually I determined that it was time to be an adult. Unsurprisingly I had to pay someone to teach me to drive, but I also decided to pay for a lesson on how to ride the bike. It was a really good decision. My dad’s technique when I was very young had been to wait a really long time to get me a bike (I think I was 9 or 10? It was hand me down from an older sibling, in fact). So by the time we got round to it I was embarrassed to be seen learning. Then, when I was on the bike, he would let go when I wasn’t expecting it. For some reason I made no progress and didn’t enjoy it. This impacted my confidence and willingness to learn.

    Fifteen years later and with the correct explanation, it took me around ten minutes to be pedalling by myself. It turns out I was a natural all along but I missed my chance of velodrome glory. I make do with pedalling to and from work.

    Also, how to get it all out when I pee. What the fuck. Why is that impossible. Why must there always be the latent trickle.

  13. Grow a beard. It grows fine on my neck, but I got nothing on the face. Over 30, so it ain’t comin’…

  14. Sense of direction, I have none. I can tell you in my house which direction is what, beyond that I can’t. Without GPS I am hosed.

  15. I feel like I should be able to drive a manual vehicle.

What makes some people a “morning person” and others not? Is it possible to become one?

  1. I hate waking up early. Tired eyes, stiff muscles, and a yearning for coffee similar to that of a junkie and his next fix. This is always worse the earlier I wake up, doesn’t matter if I’ve had 10 hours of sleep or 3.

    That being said I almost always force myself to get out of bed early. After that initial crappy “wake up” phase the early mornings are brilliant. The fresh smell in the air, the sun rise, birds chirping… And everything else is quiet. Not to mention it feels fucking awesome to get a shit load of stuff done before 11:00am.

    Of course this usually means I’m exhausted and ready for bed by 10:00pm. Yep, I’m 26 years old but purposefully maintain sleeping habits similar to a 60 year old because I like fresh air and birds.

  2. This might seem like a non-serious answer, but this is what I do and I assure you it works.

    Basically what I do is to take the Barney approach to waking up. As in, instead of feeling tired and shitty, just stop feeling tired and shitty and be awesome instead. It’s all about learning to control your emotional state. Just give a big stretch, and put a giant shit eating grin on your face and say “Good Morning” out loud in your most annoyingly chipper and enthusiastic voice.

    I learned this technique when I was backpacking through Europe. When you’re hungry and tired and your pack is too heavy and your idiot friend booked a hostel that’s over a mile from the nearest bus stop, you can either be grumpy and miserable, or you can… not be those things.

    Really no other way to describe it. It’s all about self control.

  3. yes. As I got older I became my father. I am now up by 6 all the time and get most everything accomplished before 9. It’s amazing at the quiet and ability to get crap done before the day starts.

  4. It’s at least 50% hereditary according to sleep researchers, and no amount of trial, self-discipline, or compromise will change the inner clock.
    Source: Strawbridge et al, 2004. Impact of Partner’s Sleep Problems on Partners.

    You can however change your sleep schedule and reset your circadian clock by simply camping without electronics for a week. Otherwise you’ll have to use discipline. You’ll adapt to whatever sleep schedule you demand of yourself, but that won’t mean you’ll become a morning person (and all that that implies).

  5. I have a sleep disorder called delayed sleep phase disorder (DSPD). For me this basically means that getting up in the morning is really, really hard. It would be like you (or a person with normal sleep patterns) having to wake up at 2 AM everyday.

    Our bodies have several biological rhythms or cycles. One of them is called the circadian rhythm and it’s responsible for sleeping and waking. It’s typically a 24ish hour cycle. There are changes that happen in your body during the cycle… Things like body temperature and hormone levels. Especially important is the hormone melatonin. It’s responsible for the sleepiness you feel when your ready to go to sleep.

    So the reason why you can change time zones and after a couple of days fall back into your normal sleep/wake times is that your body’s circadian rhythm can “reset” itself because it responds to light stimulus. One of the most effective ways to wake up is to expose yourself to bright light. That basically tells your melatonin to gtfo and you can feel awake again.

    So what makes someone a morning person? Genetics mostly. They determine how your body responds to stimulus. Some people are morning people (larks), some are night people (owls) and some are in between. It has been argued that there was an evolutionary advantage to this… A night watch sort of thing. It strikes me as a bit speculative though and I can’t remember where I learned that so take it with a grain of salt.

    DSPD is where your circadian rhythm is so out of synch that being awake during “normal” times really fucking sucks. Additionally many people with DSPD tend to have a much harder time waking up when their body isn’t ready to. So someone like me could probably never become a morning person. A normal person has a much greater chance of shifting their wake time though. Here are some tips:

    • Pick a bed time about 7-9 hours before you want to wake up. Dim all lights roughly 3 hours before bed time.
    • Roughly 45 min – hour before bed stop using screens. No phone, computer, or TV.
    • The bed you sleep in should only be used for sleeping and fucking. No hanging out in there.
    • Once you lay down to sleep, if you can’t fall asleep within 30 minutes or so, get up and hangout in a different room. Keep lights dim. Read a book or listen to a boring podcast or something. No fun for you. After about 20 minutes try to go back to sleep. Repeat.
    • When you wake up in the morning, turn on ALL OF THE LIGHTS. Go outside if it’s light out. Take a quick walk or something.

    Do these for a couple of weeks and you should be able to shift your sleep/wake times and feel pretty chipper in the morning.

  6. So, all mammals have a circadian cycle, which is a biological cycle that lasts roughly 24 hours, which leads to changes in your body throughout the day. Certain hormones are higher in the morning, activity levels are different, appetite changes, etc. This cycle is set off every day by light hitting the retina. This sends a signal to a part of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which is the “master clock” of the body. That master clock sends signals to the rest of the body, basically saying, it’s a new day, folks! Time to get going!

    That being said, your body has it’s OWN cycle. That light stimulus in the morning is a reset button to make sure that cycle is on track, but if you take it away, you’ll still have a cycle that lasts about a day. This is found by putting a human (or animal) into continuous low light, continuous light, continuous dark, etc. Without that first morning light, called the zeitgeber, hitting the retina and telling your body to start the day, you start to free-run, or run on your body’s own physiological rhythms. The length of one free-running cycle without a zeitgeber is known as T, or tau. Everyone’s tau is a little different, most are slightly over 24 hours long but some are less.

    Take a look at this figure from Pilorz et al 2014 ( to see what I mean:

    Figure 1

    Just pay attention to the top row. This is activity over 24 hours (double-plotted, so each row in the graph is two days of activity), with time on the X axis, each tick is an activity count. In the first graph, you can see that the animal is behaving pretty close to tau = 24; it’s waking up and moving around at about the same time each day. The second graph is an animal with tau>24; it’s waking up a little bit later every day, so you see a positive shift in the activity. The third graph is an animal with tau<24; it’s waking up a little earlier each day, resulting in a negative shift. (There’s a light shift in there as well, kind of like when we turn our clocks ahead/back an hour, but just ignore that, this is just an example.)

    So let’s take someone who has a T of 24.5. This doesn’t seem very far off, but what it means is that every day, when your alarm clock goes off at 6AM, your body thinks you still have half an hour left before you’re supposed to be awake. This makes you NOT a morning person, you’re constantly trying to play catch-up with the clock. Someone with a tau of 23.5, however, will be able to wake up just fine, might even be up before the alarm, because their body is telling them the day already started.

    It’s certainly possible to become a “morning person” through behavioral means, like just going to bed earlier, or by reducing light exposure in the evenings, but there isn’t any scientific evidence that you can change your tau. If your tau is over 24, you’re always going to have a tough time getting up. Sorry.

  7. I have this phrase as a life rule:

    “The only thing that holds one from doing something is not doing it”

    It’s fucking obvious to death.

  8. It is probably due to your personal sleep cycle.

  9. Just go to bed at like 11 and wake up at 6/7 everyday for a couple of weeks. Keep your blinds open so the sun wakes you up as well.

    Then before you know it, you will be fine in the morning. Also stay away from caffeine when you wake up.

  10. Not sure about being a morning person (that’s mostly biology + age), but I know you can become a light sleeper by repeatedly having your alarm go off during the early mornings. 4 AM, 4:30, 5, 5:30, 6… after a few days of this you will not sleep the same.

  11. It’s all about melatonin!

  12. Short answer, yes.

    Here are some tips I’ve found over half a military career. First of all, there is no substitute for practice, as in all things. The first day of waking up early hurts. Personally, I find that getting up before the sun is exceptionally painful, so start by waking up a few minutes after dawn, assuming you have the option.

    The three best things to help me wake up are sunlight, oxygen, and water. Leave the blinds open if you can, or open them up immediately upon waking. You’ll never be able to wake up is you stay in a dark room. Upon waking, immediately take several deep breaths. You’ve been breathing shallow all night – get your lungs full of air, and get the blood pumping. Get some sunlight into your eyeballs ASAP. It works like magic! Your body will instantly stop fighting against waking up.

    Hydration is so important. If you’re dehydrated when you go to bed, you’ll be screwed in the morning. So guzzle a quart of water before bed. Hopefully you’ll have the added bonus of a full bladder that won’t let you stay in bed. When you get up to take that morning piss, guzzle some more water.

    If you’re a coffee drinker, get a pot with a timer and set it for your wake-up time. It’s much easier to get out of bed when hot coffee is waiting for you.

    During the day, be mindful of things like caffeine intake, workouts, and eating dinner so you can get to bed on time.

    Good luck, OP!

  13. I don’t know.

    But leaving caffeine behind helped me become more of a “morning person.”

  14. Excellence is a habit. Just get used to it and eventually it will become routine.

  15. I turned into a morning person by making myself go to bed by 10:30pm. I wake up usually before my alarm (6:15am). The downside is I can’t sleep in no matter how hard I try.

ELI5:What is “Genderqueer”

  1. In brief genderqueer is someone who does not ascribe to a binary gender.
    Sex being the anatomical sex you are born with gender is the way society expects you to be as a member of that sex. The way men and women are expected to behave based on the fact of them being men or women. Such as men don’t shave their legs but women do (simplified example).
    These two genders are are called the gender binary.
    Genderqueer people feel they do not fit into this binary and do not want to be one or the other gender.
    So you could be perfectly happy being in the male sex but not the male gender or any other variation. Hope that explains it.
    Source: I’m genderqueer.

    Edit: This kind of exploded when I went away from the computer, sorry for derailing it with an overly simplistic answer, thanks to everyone who gave fantastic answers in my absence 🙂

  2. As I imagine it, gender queer is a great term for those that don’t care to identify as either. Whereas Trans people identify specifically as one, just not the gender they were born into it.
    It doesn’t have anything to do with sexual orientation, although, I imagine you’d have to consider yourself as pansexual to be attracted to someone who identifies as gender queer.

  3. A new word for the old word: Androgynous, but with a slightly more specific definition as to how it applies to self-identified sexuality.

  4. it seems to me were mixing some semantics in our descriptors… should it be :

    male/female = biological

    man/woman (masculine /feminine) = societal/gender identity

    heterosexual /homosexual = sexual preferences

    example: i am male (penis) /gender queer(eschewing traditional gender roles) /heterosexual (prefer females sexualy)

    is this correct?

  5. The rules for this subreddit say “Only give explanations from an brutally unbiased standpoint. Full stop. If you cannot avoid editorializing, soapboxing, debating, flaming, or arguing, do not post.” (my emphasis) The problem with trying to answer this question while following these rules is that the word “gender” as it’s used in this context is inherently subjective. It only refers to personal experience, so how can one be unbiased?

    That said, here’s my attempt to describe the phenomenon, and please correct me if I’m off-base: “trans” and “genderqueer” are modern Western concepts used by people who are experiencing intense dissonance between their own natural inclinations / desires / abilities (sexual and otherwise) on the one hand, and the expectations that parents and others have of them because of their sex. Choosing to identify yourself as “trans” is one rather radical and risky way of bucking those expectations, attempting to adopt instead those of the opposite sex. “Genderqueer,” then, would be something you’d choose to identify yourself as if you feel you must reject the expectations that accompany both sexes in your society. The problem with these terms are that most people in society don’t accept them, or even know them. So at this point, it’s only a successful strategy within that segment of the population who’s open to it. Whether that is going to change, only time will tell.

    Side note: a common assertion from the genderqueer and trans people that I know is that if we had more than two gender identities available (e.g. Thai “ladyboys”), then overt rebellion from these norms, i.e. being “crazy” (as many of the commenters have stated or implied genderqueer people are) wouldn’t be necessary, because there would be ways of being that work both for the individual and the society. It could be argued that “gay man” and “lesbian” are becoming a third and fourth “gender” in Western society currently, with their own sets of expectations for behavior.

    TLDR People who identify as “genderqueer” pretty much don’t quite seem like dudes but don’t quite seem like chicks either, so they’re trying to find a third way.

  6. Ok, I’ll preface this by saying- genderqueer is a term initially meant to be empathically descriptive and respectful, but has been co-opted by all manner of armchair SJWs for all manner of malicious or discriminatory purposes. As a result, you’ll have a lot of hostile response to this both by those who’ve been targeted by such audiences, and those who don’t believe in thoughtful/person centered language and prefer hard empirical and/or group centered language. It’s also specifically regarding gender as a psychological label/social construct and not as describing physical parts, as one would in anatomy and harder sciences.

    It helps to grasp this if you think of both sexuality and gender (IN PSYCHOLOGY and not physical anatomy) as separate but related attributes, sort of like each one is an axis on a graph. Sexuality predominantly deals with which groups a person is attracted to. Gender has more to do with how someone individually feels and identifies as male and/or female relative to the society they’re in- modern psychology treats this more as a gradient (or an axis on the graph) that leans toward one or the other, INSTEAD of just describing it as ‘male’ and ‘female’.

    Here’s why this approach is the popular one: the things that qualify as ‘male’ and ‘female’ personality traits, if we were to try and empirically categorize them, would be based on society’s subjective opinions (sociology) so instead it’s become a popular notion to treat gender as something purely personal and to cease trying to predict it to the most precise detail empirically. We rely on others to tell us how they feel about their gender, how they identify it, something admittedly subjective, because even if it is totally opinion, it’s still a more ‘worthy’ or ‘reliable’ source of data than asking society at large (still subjective, cultural barriers, a major anthropological thing)- it’s an ethical matter, personal identity priority versus that defined by larger society.

    If a person feels like they’ve always been male or female, or lean enough toward one end of that gender gradient, they identify with that gender. While sexuality is fundamentally different, sexuality can also influence someone’s gender perception too.

    So if someone doesn’t feel that they lean enough toward one gender to truly feel comfortable calling themselves one or the two, genderqueer is a word to describe that. Transgender being a wider label for someone who’s gender identity is opposite than it used to be, and/or has physically changed sex (again- not necessarily the same thing, but definitely related), genderqueer seems more specifically to deal with not really being comfortable having a preference. Since it’s not so empirical a word, lots of other similar words have become the norm to describe both gender and sexuality. Genderfluid, for example, is meant to describe someone who feels like they identify more as one gender one day than another, as opposed to the kind of consistency genderqueer implies.

    So short, summarized version: try to see gender and sexuality as describing fundamentally different ideas that are related to each other, and both as having their own gradient (scale) instead of just being ‘male’ or ‘female’. Because we all sorta get ‘gender’ as a psychological idea, but can’t so reliably empirically categorize it at all times, the best path tends to be trusting the person identifying honestly as the gender they feel. ‘Genderqueer’ is rising social/person centered word to describe one self if they’re not comfortable using the words ‘male’ or ‘female’ alone to describe themselves.

  7. ELI41…I have never heard of this word and learned something interesting today

  8. Genderqueer is a catch all people who do not identify solely with their birth ~~gender~~ sex.

How is it that companies such as the ones that make generic (Walmart brand) beverages get away with basically copying name brand products?

  1. You can trademark a brand, not a recipe.. I think that’s the gist of it.

  2. Common food and food ingredients are not legally protected. I can’t make my own Fried Chicken, declare it a “MashCaster Special”, and then claim Popeye’s is infringing on my property. But this also means I can take certain ingredients, mix them together and end up with something that tastes quite similar to Dr. Pepper. I can’t sell it as Dr. Pepper, but I can give it my own brand name and sell it. This is what Wal-Mart does with a lot of products,

  3. Typically store brand items are made by the same company that produces the name brand item. For example, I forget which one, but either Kroger or Walmart brand yogurt is actually Dannon just with a store brand label.

  4. For a five year old:

    Your friend Bobby has just created this really cool color by mixing paints and he doesn’t want anyone else to know how he did it. Everyone else starts mixing paints to get close to the same color as Bobby but it’s never exactly the same color. Bobby doesn’t care because he knows he and everyone else knows that he is the only one who can make that color. Eventually someone finds out exactly how to make the color through trial and error, this makes Bobby mad so he complains to the teacher who tells Bobby there is nothing that can be done.

    Now Sally on the other hand Found out how to make paint sparkly by adding glitter. She tells the teacher and everyone else how to do it on the condition that no one else will do until the end of the month to which everyone agrees. But sally finds out that Pete lied and started adding glitter to his paint so she tells the teacher and Pete gets in trouble.

    For an adult:

    The first story is an example of Trade Secret which has it’s own set of rules. But if a trade secret is found out through legitimate means then it is perfectly legal. While the second example is that of a Patent where the creator is able to reserve the right of production for a set period and afterwards anyone is allowed to manufacture it. Also the teacher is the Government.

  5. There are different types of intellectual property protections. Preventing someone from making a product that you designed falls under the protection of patents. The idea here is that if you come up with a new design (an invention) then you get to be the only one who makes that design for some period of time. In exchange you have to tell everyone how you did it. The idea here is to encourage people to invest in coming up with new ideas.

    Store brand items are pretty much never covered by patents—the time to patent “sugar, water, carbonation, and flavoring” has long since come and gone, if that was ever a patentable idea in the first place. Using your personal favorite ratio of those ingredients doesn’t give you something new enough to patent. Same goes for pretty much any product. It’s always things that have been around for a long time.

    Since patents aren’t going to get in the way that leaves the other two areas of intellectual property: copyright and trademarks. Copyright protection serves a similar purpose to patents, but it covers creative works—writing, music, pictures, etc. You get to be the only one who can sell your creative work for some period of time, but after a while the copyright expires and the creative work goes into the public domain—anyone can use it. (However, copyright protection keeps on getting extended, largely thanks to Disney trying to protect their old works). The idea here is that the producer of the creative work gets to profit from their work, but eventually things go into the public domain and anyone is free to take the work and build off of it (much in the same way that Disney built off of the public domain work of, say, Cinderella).

    Copyright isn’t even particularly relevant to generic brands, so that only leaves the final protection: trademark. Trademarks serve a different purpose from patents and copyright entirely. It’s not about encouraging people to produce more stuff (inventions or creative works); it’s about trying to make it so that consumers know what they’re getting. If I buy a 2-liter bottle with a red label and the scrawling white letters with two bit “C”s on it then I expect to get Coca-Cola. There’s a certain quality that I expect from that label. If I get it home and taste it and it tastes like crap then I’ll be upset because I was misled.

    The goal with trademarks is to let companies build up a reputation that consumers can trust. The Coca-Cola Company goes to great lengths to ensure a consistent quality in their products, which consumers come to rely on. If someone else makes a product that is packaged with the same markings as real Coca-Cola but with a lower quality then it will sell off of Coca-Cola’s reputation which is then damages.

    Thus, the defining test when evaluating trademark claims is “would a consumer think that they are getting the trademark owner’s product when they actually aren’t?” Dr Thunder may be packaged in a generally similar color to Dr Pepper. They both use names that start with Dr. However, they are different enough that consumers will not buy Dr Thunder and think they’re getting Dr Pepper. Thus, there is no trademark violation.

    It’s likely that the store brand is being made by the brand-name company, too, but even if it’s not there is still no intellectual property infringement. You could start your own company and make “Mountain Mist” soda that gets sold in a yellow/green bottle. You can even copy the recipe for Mountain Dew completely (if you can get your hands on it) and there’s no infringement.

  6. Are you saying that Dr. Thunder is not a totally uniquely invented product?

  7. Sometimes it IS the name brand companies making them.

  8. A lot of the times, the suppliers of the “No Name” product are the same suppliers of the named product.

    For example: Coca-cola makes it’s own cola, wal-mart approaches Coca-cola and asks them to develop for them a similar Cola Product under the Wal Mart brand.

    Coca -Cola agrees to do it, tweaks the formula a smidge and sells it to Wal-Mart. Either way the company wins.

    If Coca-cola says no, then Wal-Mart tenders the business out to Say Pepsi.

    What I found since graduating and working is that everyone is in bed with everyone and everything I learned is shit.

  9. Dr. Thunder taste way off than Dr. Pepper. I bet in wide blind study people would pick DR. Pepper. Provided it have not sit on the shelf that long. It has smooth creamy overtones that Dr.thunder can not reproduce. Any FYI the original coke formula was found in a old news paper. I am going to make it at home and see how it comes out.

  10. This is the reason why Aldi is doing so well in the UK. I Read an article about it actually, I’ll try find it.

    It’s an article in the Daily Mail so I can’t promise that there won’t be racism:

  11. Brand names are NOT the inventor of a product they are merely the most successful or most common version of a class of item.

    Oreo’s, for example, aren’t the original chocolate and vanilla cream cookie they are merely the most successful version.

    How do generics “get away with it” the same way the “brand names” do. They don’t own the idea or concept just the name. Cola existed long before coca cola. Cola is named after the kola nut which was an ingredient in the early stuff. Pepsi is named after pepsin, an ingredient in their original recipe. Dr. Pepper is named after you guessed it Doctor Pepper a dentist.

    All colas are based on common patent medicine recipes for tooth ailments or in the case of pepsi stomach troubles.

    side note:

    Generic drugs are out of patent. Because they are a new creation they can be patented but patents expire and the genetics copy the now public domain patent.

  12. Some of you are missing the bigger point. The store brand items are just that. Store brands. Therefore they can set the prices to whatever they like, which is generally more competitively priced than name brands. The name brand has a couple of choices at this point. Accept that, or not sell at that store. I can promise you coca cola, or Pepsi won’t pull their product off their major retailers shelves because that is where they get a ton of revenue.

  13. You can change a few ingredients and re release it as a new product.

  14. Generic (private label) products are often made by the manufacturer of the branded product.

  15. Actually, anyone can try and copy Dr. Pepper, Coke, and even KFC’s herb and spices recipes. These are considered trade secrets and are not protected by law of copying. If you actually went in to one of these manufacturers and stole the actual recipe, then you would be breaking the law. But you can try and copy anyone’s recipe and sell it as your own.

    But the key is you cannot steal any of their copywrited or trademarked material. For example, Dr. Thunder name or Sam’s Cola name, instead of selling it as Dr. Pepper or Coca Cola.

    A trade secret, unlike a patent, trademark, copywrite, is only protected by the company/person keeping that secret. Once the secret is out it is no longer protected.

    I am sure I missed some details, but this is the jest of it.