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Top 10 Things We Take For Granted

Lnfusion . . . Comments

You wake up one morning and realize that you’re terribly late for work. What do you do? You spring out of bed, hop on your feet, slap together a crude sandwich and dash out the door. After arriving to your workplace – in one piece hopefully – you surreptitiously sneak into your seat only to be approached by your boss. You quickly fabricate a seemingly legitimate reason for your tardiness, “there was a marching band full of seniors crossing the road next to my driveway. Sheesh! Can you believe it?” Your boss looks at you with a gaunt expression on his/her face and finally smiles and says “don’t you remember? I gave you the day off today!”

As hinted within the story above, people have an innate tendency to take some of their abilities for granted. Oftentimes, we overlook the remarkable features that are ingrained within our daily lives. This list will cover 10 such attributes, which are deemed the most conspicuous traits that distinguish us from most brute animals.




On average, humans begin walking at approximately one year of age. Our ability to learn how to walk exclusively on two legs, regardless of age, is an astonishing feat in and of itself. The very act of walking has allowed us to free up the use of our arms, and in turn, permits us to wield a wide array of tools. Bipedalism not only liberates our arms, but the remainder of our bodies as well. Instead of having our heads positioned parallel to the ground like our quadrupedal relatives, humans have eyes perpendicular to the world below, and thus, possess a broadened view of the world around us.

Walking on two legs also consumes far less energy than walking on all fours (or even knuckle dragging for that matter). As a result, our minds are less occupied with the need of a constant meal, and are instead left to wander and think about things other than food.


Fine Motor Skills


More than a handful of people here have suffered from a broken wrist or finger, and most will agree that these types of injuries are extremely debilitating (especially if you’ve incapacitated your dominant hand). A broken hand would make everything from typing on the keyboard to making a sandwich much more difficult to do. We must therefore remember to pay homage – or at least be thankful for – the anatomical makeup of our arms. To start, we should become aware of the importance of our opposable thumbs. Humans share this feature with other primates meaning that we are all capable of using our thumbs to touch any other digit on our hands, from index to pinky.

“So what? Why is that so important?” You may ask. The answer to that question lies in the fact that our hands have the ability to perform fine/precise tasks such as gripping a pencil, or typing on a keyboard. Imagine a world devoid of pencils and keyboards, or worse, a world abundant with pencils and keyboards but humans being unable to use them. It would be a scary world indeed.



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Have you ever stopped to gape at the jaw dropping majesty of some of humanity’s products of ingenuity? From the Great Pyramids and the Eiffel tower, to the nuts and bolts holding your chair in place, people have utilized their understanding of mathematics since the dawn of civilization itself. Math has even been used as a tool for seemingly profound feats such as calculating the escape velocity of our planet in hopes of one day overcoming it (and we eventually did).

Other than its vital application to engineering and rocket science, we also make use of it in a more mundane, everyday fashion. Whenever we are counting the change we’ve received from the store, or anticipating our delayed arrival back from work, we are using mathematics.



Language 2

The origin of spoken language is shrouded in mystery and is still a much-debated topic by scholars across the globe. The origin of written language is also a topic of heated debate; however, most people agree that its earliest roots stem from ancient cave drawings, as they are man’s first attempt toward making a visual record of ideas. Much like many other things in this world, language has taken countless steps to evolve from the rudimentary grunts and cave drawings of antiquity into its present form. Humans have devised thousands of spoken and written languages, which are still currently in use today. Language has become ubiquitous within every corner of society in that we employ our verbiage for one main reason, to communicate our ideas with others.




Long gone are the days of our agrarian ancestors who built their lives around the understanding of the intricacies of nature. Civilization has taken a turn from its grassroots heritage and has spawned into the amalgamation of metropolises we live in today. Most people have displaced themselves from the natural world in favor of a more urbanized one. Although the city life does contain many positive aspects, like allowing people to connect within a cohesive network, it is not devoid of caveats. For example, people in general have become increasingly desensitized toward the world beyond their microcosms. As pollution begins to perpetuate through our forests and oceans, entire ecosystems could become ravaged and disfigured. The best thing to do is to appreciate what is ‘out there’ and realize that we are ‘a part’ of nature, and not ‘apart’ from it.




What do chicken, pork, and nettles have in common? Yes, you guessed it; they all need to be cooked before they can be safely eaten. Cooking fires have been around for a large chunk of humanity as they extend as far back as 250,000 years into our past. In our contemporary era, cooking comprises not only of placing a slab of food over an open fire, but also boiling, steaming, frying, baking and virtually any other process that prepares food with the application of heat. Cooking allows us to take a once bacteria laden piece of meat, and rid it of all of its toxins. (To eat a piece of chicken or pork raw is no doubt a recipe for disaster). Over the years, we have become accustomed to the taste and texture of cooked foods and could not imagine eating said foods in their raw states. The knowledge accompanied by cooking has allowed us to expand our menus and to truly get a taste of the world around us.




If you have ever had a cast, a splint, or even a vaccination, you have been introduced to the ways in which humanity uses its knowledge of medicine. Everything from blood pressure pills to eyeglasses can be considered forms of medicine. Frequently people forget the implications it has on us and other organisms. Veterinary medicine for instance, seeks to apply the medical knowledge procured throughout history in order to treat animals.

The art of medicine has advanced by leaps and bounds since the time of Hippocrates. From the archaic belief of the four humours, to the discovery of the smallpox vaccine (and even other future endeavors such as nano-technology), medicine has always been utilized for the outward benefit of humanity.




Did you wake up to the sound of an alarm clock this morning? If you have, then chances are you’ve made use of electricity (unless you’re the type to still use a wind-up alarm clock). The presence of electricity has been around for far longer than humans have roamed the earth; in fact, the properties of electricity predate the earth itself, going back to the inception of the universe. However, it is the ability to harness electricity for our own benefit that is truly remarkable. We have electricity to thank for the operation of our computers, our central heating systems and even our alarm clocks (for most of us that is).

The modern world is riddled with electrical grids and power lines seeking to distribute functional electrical current to every nook and cranny of our households. The now commonplace notion that our planet is literally connected by a series of grids would appear ludicrous (or even supernatural) to our great-great-great grandparents. Ironically, we have them to thank for laying down the foundation for what is now a truly electrifying era.




The Internet? What’s that? What day is it today? What did I have for breakfast this morning? Most of you will not struggle to remember the answers to the aforementioned questions. That is because you are able to successfully draw upon past occurrences from your memory banks. Memory is still seen as somewhat of an enigma and is thus, not yet fully understood. The capabilities of human memory are as diverse as they are complex. Some people claim to have exceedingly powerful memories while others are hindered by neurological disability. Regardless of your position on the continuum of memory, there are still ways to keep yourself sharp and primed to the best of your abilities. For example, take a little time out of each day to exercise your memory and jog the old neurons for a bit. It could be something as simple as trying to remember the title of number 8 on this list, or something as ambitious as trying to remember the order of a randomized deck of cards.

Lastly, you must always remember that even “the dullest pencil is better than the sharpest memory.” – Mark Twain

If the thought is in danger of escaping you, make sure to write it down somewhere.




Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be the wealthiest person in the world? What about the smartest, fastest, or strongest? In fact, if you’ve ever wondered about anything, then you have been subjected to the maelstrom of your imagination. Without it, humanity would be reduced to nothing but a bunch of dull, languid belly-scratchers (okay, perhaps that statement was overly hyperbolic). Then again, without imagination, we would not have language, mathematics, medicine, or other such things on this list. We would not possess the desire to test the limits of our cunning minds nor contain the willpower to push the envelope of our physicality. Imagination is the ability to take a vague, amorphous concept and transform it into a tangible reality. It is something we have in all of us, waiting eagerly to be used to its fullest.

  • and quite telling that humans typically utilize 9 of these every day…..or *all* of them if theyre in less than perfect health.

    i assume these are in no particular order….yes?

    because — even though imagination is very important — the memory is necessary for vivid imaginations

    • mt777

      true, but quite a cynical point of view

      • James

        I see you using that word, but I don’t think that word means what you think it means. If that’s not clear enough, look at your word cynical, now a dictionary. Now back to your word, now back to the dictionary. Sadly, your word isn’t right like the dictionary, but if you stopped using words you don’t know how to use and used a dictionary, you could be right like the dictionary. Look down, back up. Where are you? You’re on the internet, with a comment phrased as well as yours could be. What’s on your screen? Back to the dictionary. It’s that word, with the definition you were looking for. Look again, the word is now a perfect fit. Anything is possible when you read a book once in a while.

        • Jane

          bla bla bla just shut up

      • Mixihu

        is it that commercial?

  • @#$!

    More things.
    1) Taking a shit

  • Quibs

    Good list… Some of these things are yet to be seen whether they are good or bad for the human race or the world. Power could be what will be our ultimate undoing with the amount of pollution it can cause. Medicine has seen the human population jump from 1.5 billion people to 6.5 billion people in the space of 100 years and while I would not begrudge anyone either of these things, I think its worthwhile to ponder whether these are things we should take for granted.

    Oh, and lol at 9….

    I mean forget gripping axes, forging tools, clenching fists, picking berries, throwing spears, shooting bows.

    Seriously, a world without pencils or keyboards! How could we post on the internets with no motor skills?!?!

    I believe we called that 99% of human history.

    On a final note – Love? Do we not take this for granted above all else?

  • @@#$! [1]:
    –attempt at humour appriciated and sucessful, but shitting is more reflexive (you dont learn to shit — you do learn to shit in a toilet instead of in your drawers)…most of these things are learned….math… walking, how to write, cooking, using power, etc etc
    some easier than others….
    –if breathing appeared on this list, it would justify the inclusion of shitting, but i doubt thats what @lnfusion had in mind

    @Quibs [3]:
    –love — thats a good point, but love is not really definable, and i would argue that many people dont really take it for granted….. of course some do, but we do actions every day in the name of love — which allows us to solidify our own idea of love, while at the same time treating the ones we love as we would want to be treated…love is easily manipulated and in a constent state of flux…
    i personally, dont take it for granted (but thats mainly because i grew up watching both of my parents take for granted their love for each other)
    –i mean — a lot of people do and a lot of people dont, but it might be a touch out of place on this list

  • Anti Emo


  • Akashtorturedmind

    Great list. I loved the way it was written. When reading the title i expected to see things like time,beliefs, breathing, the sun, love, sight, human interaction(not only language) or even emotions but here i was totally bluffed! Didn’t expect many of these.

  • imcrystalclear

    This is a great list. I really enjoyed reading it. It isn’t very often I’m up this late (or early) to read this list, now I will be saddened that I won’t have another list to read when I wake up. Oh well, I’ll have to wait until Saturday. Goodnight all!

  • Paul

    What? No place for ‘breathing’…?

  • Arsnl

    Im not sure that i got the point of this list but i do have 2 points that really bother me.
    You simply think that math is a tool. So i mean to ask you: whats the point of putting so much effort in solving Poincaré’s conjecture? Is our electric grid more efficient. Does it make our cars faster? Does it make our rockets better? Well no. It has no practical application. Its math. Math is about beauty and i hardly think that my math profs think they are useless of their math cant be useful to an engineer. So you could have said we take for granted applied mathematics ( still Poincaré did say there is no such thing as applied mathematics, only apllications of mathematics but thats another story). So that part was wrong.
    And the secong point: power? And you start talking about electricity? Did you lean we take electricity for granted. Power has a broader meaning than just electrical power. Mechanical power for example. I think you just meant electricity. Well electricity is just a means to an end. We have other ways to store energy, to transport it and to use it too. So that was ambiguous.

  • AlJID

    Agree..Enjoyed reading it, too.

  • jediknight

    11. Redheads
    Imagine a world with red haired chicks

  • Iain

    The cooking item raises an interesting question. When and how did we evolve from a species that scavenged and hunted for any kind of raw meat to survive, to one that needs to cook some meat to avoid illness and death? Is raw meat always inherently dangerous if you’re not an exclusively carnivorous species?


    How about LIST UNIVERSE, it should never be taken for granted.

  • ames801

    @jediknight [12]: Thank you for appreciating the finer things in life ;)

  • Cosmo312

    An interesting thing about #10

    “Walking on two legs also consumes far less energy than walking on all fours (or even knuckle dragging for that matter)”

    is that it is more efficient for walking, but less efficient for running. Humans are one of the only animals designed to be efficient walkers and inefficient runners, most other mammals, like dogs, cats, horses, gorillas, e.t.c. are all designed to be efficient runners, at the expense of being inefficient walkers.

  • jediknight

    @ames801 [17]: do you agree with me or are you joking

  • ames801

    @jediknight [19]: I’m a redhead…so I agree :)

    • mt777

      are u seriousssss /: i thought u were being sarcastic, it was cooler that way

  • Firefly

    @ Iain: the theory is that Homo erectus was the first hominid species to use fire about 400,000-500,000 years ago. Probably one of them found an animal that had been killed and cooked accidently (like a forest fire or something) and found it was quite pleasant to eat. Of course it’s just a theory, some argue the use of fire goes back even further. Watch Quest for Fire, ’tis fairly accurate (they were using pottery and it supposed to be set 80,000 years ago, madness!)

    Raw meat isn’t always dangerous, steak tartare anyone?

  • xristaravas

    Very well written list but kind of boring like Top 10 things of our everyday life. Other than that another thing we take for granted : freedom of speech.

  • @Firefly [21]:
    –they may have found something that had been cooked accidentialy. that point is valid and very possible, but i wonder if ‘eating pleasentness’ was the main reason they continued to do it. im inclined to believe that it made them feel better (and was pleasent to eat, as a side note).
    cooked animals (and plants for that matter) release more vitimins and more calories, as well as being easier on the stomach and 23 feet of intestines, and making the digestion process more comfortable
    this could have easily enriched their quality of life, which in turn made them better hunters, gave them more energy, and made illness less prevalent
    after cooking food had caught on, and everyone had been doing it for quite some time, changes began in humans bodies, like smaller teeth and smaller stomach

  • astraya

    Without denying any of the above, I would suggest:
    the molecular structure of matter – everything, even the most solid of materials, consists largely of empty space
    oxygen – too little or too much can be fatal (and usually is)
    a) that it exists at all – take two gases and turn them into a liquid, and
    b) that ice floats one water – if not, most bodies of water would freeze solid every winter and never melt.

  • Veru imaginative list. Great Job! But you forgot keyboard cat.

  • bluesman87

    @@#$! [1]: dont get me wrong i do enjoy a good shit, but instead id say toilet paper and ceramic plumbed indoor toilets should be on the list , imagine having to shit in a hole or bucket and wipe using leaves or that itchy sack cloth or even your cat (knew someone who did that i swear to god) or whatever they used back in the day ? Toilet paper and indoor toilets turned shitting from a daily meanial chore into a quiet and solem moment of reflection and releif –like church :)

  • Maria

    @@#$! [1]: Number 2 thing we take for granted, the morning erection. Its such a great feeling to hop off a cock before going to work.

  • timmar68

    I sure as heck don’t take math for granted. All it did for me was cause immense stress. Why force people who don’t get it to learn beyond the necessary basics? To this day I’ve never used any of that %$&@! algebra that I just could not get no matter how hard I tried.
    I don’t want to hear it again that there’s no reason I should have trouble learning math if I apply myself. People accept that some people have trouble reading. People accept that some people aren’t good at drawing. Why won’t people accept that some people can’t comprehend math?

  • @Maria [24]: hahahhahahah yes.

  • astraya

    BTW I don’t understand the meaning of the sentence in the introduction “I gave you the day off today!”! I’ve never heard that. What does it mean?

  • oouchan

    Nice thought provoking list today. I would add that we take air for granted, too. Just the act of taking a breath with the hopes of clean air to rush in is something we take for granted everyday. Pollution is not just taking the nature around us away, but is seeping into our daily lives as well.
    Good list, Lnfusion.

  • Moonbeam

    Sorry to nit pick, but, “Instead of having our heads positioned parallel to the ground like our quadrupedal relatives…” isn’t quite correct. I can’t think of any animals that move about with their heads parallel to the ground looking just at the earth underneath them. (Although TyB might know of such a creature.) Even an crawling infant lifts his head to see where he’s going.

    Clever idea for a list, you could add an almost endless number of other things to this: warmth, cool breezes, music, art, fresh air, logic,…

  • bluesman87

    @Moonbeam [29]: Pigs cant look up to see the sky.

  • Moonbeam

    @astraya [27]: I thought maybe you were joking, but every reagon has it’s unique sayings so maybe you’re serious? Here in the USA we say “a day off” for a vacation day or holiday as they say elsewhere.

    My son dated a girl from Germany who woould say “I’m on holiday.” He was so confused. He’d ask what holiday is it? It’s not Christmas or Easter,… I had to explain that European’s seem to say “on holiday” where we’d say “on vacation” or I have “a week off.”

    I supose someone could make a list of these things. We say “trunk of the car”, others say “boot”; we say A to Z (Zee) Others say A to Z(Zed). Biscuit vs cookie, line up vs queue…

  • bluesman87

    WOW :o another thing most guys take for granted – NOT having to jump off a cock in the morning before work…. yikes!

  • Moonbeam

    @Moonbeam [31]: Opps “reagon” should read “region.”

  • Arsnl

    Is this thanksgiving?? I kinda miss a good debate right now.

  • Dalacu

    In the middle of reading I start thinking: “what is wrong with Jim”; this post sounds differently. It is not Jim! Some things we take for granted …!

  • keith

    Just a nit-pick, and maybe a warning:

    Cooking does destroy the bacteria that produce toxins, and most parasites and their eggs. Good stuff. But it doesn’t destroy the toxins these bacteria may have already produced. If a piece of food has an established ecology, you can cook it and kill off the residents, but their “dump” can still make you sick.

  • VintageObsessive

    This was a pretty interesting list. When I saw the title, I was expecting it to be a list of “sunrises and long walks on the beach” or something lame like that. Another commentor stated that this list is thought provoking, and I agree.

    A little out of the norm for a typical list, and I like that! :)

  • VintageObsessive

    @keith [37]: I was just about to eat some leftover Buffalo Wings for breakfast; thank you for ruining that for me…

  • MChris

    @bluesman87 [32]: It’s another reason to not take our freedom for granted. Once a guys in prison though, then it becomes more difficult to avoid what you’re saying here.

  • Robert

    Shit list.

  • Sooty

    Maybe you should have called it ‘Top 10 Things Humans Take For Granted’ as the current title is too open and doesn’t seem to represent the author’s intentions anyway.

  • MChris

    Seriously though, re #9, I’ll never take the use of these hands for granted. Lost the use of the dominant one for several months and had to re-learn to eat, write, and mouse with my off-hand (just to name a few things). What seems to surprise everyone though is that I never went back to using my mouse with the right. I found it was more efficient to use the left for moving the mouse while leaving my right free for other things, especially the use of the number keys whenever working on data entry, comparing documents to what’s on the computer, etc.

  • Julius

    @Sooty [42]: lol, so you are implying that some of us aren’t humans?

  • bluesman87

    @Sooty [42]: exactly just incase a musk ox or west indian manatee reads this and gets confused , yes i agree…

  • nathaaan90

    Interesting list. well done :)

  • Abi

    @keith [37]: Actually the toxins would most likely become denatured in the cooking process.

  • Observer

    Nice list. I need to work on my memory, I had to scroll back up to see what number 8 was again.

  • GTT

    Well, I have to say this list was not what I expected. I was thinking we´d see somthing like TIME, or LOVE but these are better.

    Re Medicine: I´ve always thought about what it would have been like to live 100 years ago where knowledge of medicine was less advanced. I, for starters, would definately not be alive (I had a inflammed and ruptured appendix at the age of 7), nor my youngest brother (he had meningitis), nor my father (who has cronic heart problems including by-pass surgery)… Strange how little thankful we can be of something that literally allows us to live.

  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    I guess I’m the only one who thinks this, but this list blows ass! The intro makes no sense, the picks are dumb (nature?!) and the only funny comment is @Maria [24]:

  • SwampGuy

    One I’d like to add is water. Almost everything contracts when it freezes, but water does the opposite. If this were not so, the oceans would’ve frozen up long ago and life likely never would’ve developed.

  • Renee Pussman

    I think it would have been good to replace Math with The Sciences. They have all had a major impact on the quality of life as we know it.

  • bucslim

    @Sooty [42]:

    I thought this was a list of ten things Chewbacca takes for granted. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • weidermeijer

    Free Will

  • Arsnl

    @bucslim [53]: i think we should also change the name of some other lists. Top ten human heavyweight boxers… Top ten birds of prey (list made by a human being not an actual bird of prey)
    @GTT [49]: do you pay your incomes and taxes? Well thats the thanks i think we all show to the medical system. I dont think docs need a praise everytime they walk down the street.

  • Renee Pussman

    @weidermeijer [54]:

    Probably a Mormon.

  • Scratch

    Wonderful list, I really enjoyed the humour and the quality of writing.

    I totally guessed wrong for number 5, but that’s only because nettles, as far as I know, are prickly weeds. Are they edible? I know they hurt when I step on them, so I can imagine they’d do a number on my mouth.

  • mika7367

    I thought this list was about human accomplishments not an intro to star wars.

    Although a list about Wookie accomplishments would be sweet.

  • theBOMB

    @bluesman87 [45]:
    don’t forget our alien and AI friends. they might argue about the title.

  • It appears that I am not the only one who takes none of the listed items for granted.
    I could bore you to death with a recitation of all the ways in which I actively do not take any of the listed items for granted, but the long-time readers all know, and a retelling here, all in a bunch, would be unfair to everyone.
    Thanks for the list, it was a brilliant attempt.

  • Julius

    @Scratch [57]: You can make a lot of things out nettles. Tea for example and they also make quite a tasty salad.

  • bucslim

    @theBOMB [59]:

    Yeah, what do Aliens take for granted . . . hmmm, maybe that every human they take back to the ship will submit to anal probing? Do they take for granted that every one of these people they grab are named Clem or Jethro? Perhaps they took it for granted that those New Mexico Power lines wouldn’t be a such a major bitch after dodging all those asteroids and blackholes on their journey here?

  • VintageObsessive

    I do have to agree that the intro doesn’t make much sense in regards to the content (or title) of the list. :/

  • smaj7

    I would have liked to see “Freedom” on the list.

    We are, so much as we know, the only living things in the Universe that are free. We define ourselves and exert our will on the world.

    Great list though!

  • Lifeschool

    hey; good day to everybody. Well I didn’t expect to see this list today; but then I say that every day; so it just goes to show that I can never take the LV for granted in that way. ;)

    @ Lnfusion – I like the style of your writing – informal but reflective – and I also like the way you tried to introduce all the items very subtly and casually in the introduction and then went on and talk them over in the list [‘Power’ is an amazing one for me – as I said a few weeks ago when I was left without heat or light or just one night! It’s ridiculous how much I take power for granted.] However, I would have included a bonus item to wrap the whole thing up and bring it full circle:

    Bonus: Life
    Yes it’s true! When we get out of bed in the morning the first thing we do is to take that fact for granted; not that we have enough limbs, or enough health, or enough power, or even enough motor skill to perform those actions; but the fact that we still alive at all. Life expectancy has not always been as high as it is now. In the Neolithic period, humans generally only got to look forward to 20 years of life. 10,000 years later, during the Medieval period, that figure had only risen to 30 years – perhaps because of such things as war, disease, famine, civil brutality, and even criminal punishment in law – which would all combine to burden the typical lifespan.

    Today, the closest many come to really appreciating life in all it’s glory stems from three areas: the birth of a child, and the death of a loved one, or the slow decay of a disease. It is only then that the extreme fragility of life can be seen for what it is – a beginning and an end – a wake and a sleep – a breath – a tick and a tock of a clock we hold in our belligerent hands for the briefest moment.

    Woah, that got a bit heavy towards the end there didn’t it? I have a friends who’s father’s just died – so you can imagine how shocked he felt hearing that news. He came over and I let him talk it out of his system for a while. It’s a very awkward situation when there are things still left unsaid right to (and beyond) the end.

    Notable honourable mentions: Well, I think many commenters have come up with great additions. The air, the planet itself (as well as it’s abundance), erm, yes we sometimes take people for granted, and our careers and lifestyle choices, erm, and redheads. ;)

    @@#$! [1]: I must apologise to you now, I misread your comment as ‘Talking Shit’.

    @Arsnl [9]: I agree that I’ve never once needed to make use of logarithms or square roots outside of accademia – although (if I remember rightly) didn’t you say you were studying physics? Besides that, I think the author was talking about things like: telling the time, forecasting and prediction based on figures, and general maths – like how we may afford to buy 5 gallon drums of milk and 3′ jars or mayo :)

    @Firefly [18]: I have a feeling that cooked meat also stores longer than uncooked? I know maggots prefer raw meat to chew on – and raw meat also smells bad after a while which attracts flies and disease – so cooking has that advantage too. Of course it is still possible to consume raw foods (including sushi, eggs etc) but perhaps not as palatable.

    @Maria [24]: Jumping off a cock may be great for the woman, but as I man I found I was physically wacked out and grouchy as a result – not great when carrying heavy equipment around all day – and being polite to grumpy old bags. :D

  • Scratch

    @Julius [61]:

    Really? Is Nettle-tea any good?

    Hmm, I’ll have to try the salad sometime.

    @VintageObsessive [63]:

    The intro is brilliant – it relates to 5/10 items on the list. At least that’s how I interpreted it.

  • Julius

    @smaj7 [64]: Are we really free though? We are bound by the law by social etiquette, by financial needs and our instincts.

  • Julius

    @Scratch [65]: I like the tea and it’s also very healthy apparently…

  • Interesting, but lacks something I couldn’t pinpoint.

    But a good read, yes. ;)

  • theBOMB

    @bucslim [62]:
    maybe they’re taking it for granted that some government is willing to hide them. if they’d be known to public then they’d probably be on Ebay or in some exotic restaurant’s menu.

  • boredsexratary

    Something I personally take for granted- thumbs. :)

  • Scratch

    @Julius [68]:

    Good to know. I will be trying Nettle tea in the near future then.

    If I don’t enjoy this tea, I will be whining and complaining directly to you.

  • Lala

    Very nice list. All of us take all these things for granted. You know what else we take for granted? People around us.

    Nice list. Couldn’t agree more on memory and Imagination being the top two.

  • Arsnl

    @Lifeschool [65]: well that was my point. The authot meant applied mathematics not mathematics in general. Actually log and square roots are essential for physics and about every branch that needs math.
    Im actually a math student but i also have some physics classes. This year i had the pleasure to discover new branches of mathematics that are quite “useless”. And they are quite amazing and beautiful- and unbelievably complex.
    Ps after life should we also apreciate school more?
    @NatsuOh [69]: maybe it misses a purpose. You could still add another 990 items on this list and say oh yeah thats right and forget about them the next minute.

  • Lifeschool

    @Scratch [72]: Yeah, there are a lot of health benefits to nettle tea – although I was unable to find any direct figures (it doesn’t appear at all in my copy of the Food Standards Agency ‘Manual of Nutrition’ 10th Ed.) However, I have had it before – nettle tea tastes quite a bit like some tea-leaves teas. It’s also very rich in Iron amongst other things.

  • Lifeschool

    @Arsnl [74]: “i had the pleasure to discover new branches of mathematics that are quite “useless”” – I don’t think you’re on your own there – I’ve also been through the maths grindstone at ‘A’ level.

    But as you your second point. EDUCTAION! [slaps head] I knew there was something else I wanted to mention.

  • Lifeschool

    @Arsnl [74]: “i had the pleasure to discover new branches of mathematics that are quite “useless”” – I don’t think you’re on your own there – I’ve also been through the maths grindstone at ‘A’ level.

    But as to your second point. EDUCATION! [slaps head] I knew there was something else I wanted to mention.

  • Lifeschool

    damn, done it AGAIN! My connection was playing up there – mods (please, pretty please) delete this comment as well as the typo ridden post #76. Thanks again….

  • tommy

    Heres one….science!

  • Scratch

    @Lifeschool [75]:

    “Iron” is pretty much a trigger word for me to break into a Marley song.

    I’m also a big fan of iron-rich foods.

  • Firefly

    @oliveralbq (20): what I meant is that the smell of cooked meat or just natural curiosity may have attracted hominids to cooked meat, once the realisation that it was better for them kicked in I’m sure thats what brought them back.

    @lifeschool (65): yep, you’re right about that, maggots do indeed prefer raw/rotting meat, although I have found maggots on cooked food (flatmate didn’t refrigerate a cooked chicken).

  • Arsnl

    @Lifeschool [77]: yes we shouldnt also take for granted the arsenal that every country keeps to protect us/ destroy our enemies. We shouldnt take for granted the fact that we can scratch when we have an itch or that we can enjoy the moon beans that shine our path in the night, our obsessions for the old or tits in general. They dont have to be army tits. Any kind of tits would work.

  • Randall

    Randall takes NOTHING for granted! Always suspicious! Always watchin’! Ever on guard! Ready for a party! Itchin’ for a fight! Constantly medicated!

  • oouchan

    @Randall [83]: Of which, he forgot to take today. Back away slowly, hun.

  • Randall

    @oouchan [84]:

    No! It’s just that sometimes Randall OVER-medicates! I plan for such events, however! I’m currently locked in my office with a timer on the door, set to let me out when things have “mellowed” a bit.

    Jackie Wilson is singin’ to me on the Pandora. This also is part of my plan! Randall never takes Jackie Wilson for granted!

  • ames801

    @Randall [85]: Ahhh, Pandora. I’ve got Concrete Blonde going right now.

  • Randall

    @ames801 [86]:

    A concrete Heather Graham would be nowhere near as much fun to play with as the real thing.

    Randall therefore does not take blondes for granted! But he sees no need for concrete ones.

  • ames801

    @Randall [87]: Can we work on this a little bit, baby: “Constantly medicated!”

  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    @VintageObsessive [63]: Wow we agree, guess we can be friends now.

  • Randall

    @ames801 [88]:

    Is this an intervention?

  • ames801

    @Randall [90]: “Everyone here loves you a whole bunch.” “We just want you to get better.”
    Great quotes from Jeff VanVonderen on Intervention (A&E). I watch every Monday night; drinking wine from a box; by myself. *sigh*

  • bucslim

    A listverse rant on grants:

    I work at a major University and we get grants all the time, sometimes I think we take grants for granted. There’s a lot of grants being taken for granted, I’ll grant you that. I wonder if Abe Lincoln took Grant for granted. I take it for granted that Grant was buried in Grant’s tomb. If someone donated his headstone, they would have granted Grant granite.

    This grant rant was grunted.

    I’ll stop now.

  • ames801

    @bucslim [92]: Hi honey. Please see my message to my other love, Randall( @ames801 [88]: )…Perhaps we can up your meds as well? Just a thought. Hugs ‘n kisses!!

  • ames801

    I would like to point out something that I no longer take for granted: the opportunity to speak to both Randall and bucslim in the same day. At first I thought I could have them whenever I wanted. Then BAMM! I could go days or even weeks without them.
    It make’s me truly appreciate when I have them around.
    Love to you both!

  • l

    Great List,well written

  • bucslim

    @ames801 [94]:

    Guess you didn’t get the pictures I sent you of Randall picking his nose, or the DVD I sent along of him being featured on ‘To Catch A Predator.’

  • Randall

    @bucslim [96]:

    Jealous bitch.

  • Randall

    @bucslim [92]:

    The granite for Grant’s headstone, which was granted, was in fact purchased on a grant given by the magazine Granta, which grants the occasional funds for grand memorials etched grandiloquent prose, granting the gift of eternal gravitas to grand ex-presidents and others deserving of gratitude.

  • bucslim

    @Randall [97]:

    Jealous of you picking your nose and engaging in buggery? Not.

    @Randall [98]:


  • oouchan

    @bucslim [99]: Of course that video of him and the goat should be shared too.

  • Maggot

    @Randall [98]: grandiloquent prose

    Speaking of which, Grantland Rice would be quite proud.

  • Randall

    @bucslim [99]:

    A) My finger is occasionally up my nose; yours is more than frequently way up your ass. I’ll stick wid da nose.

    B) Grand!

  • ames801

    @oouchan [100]: Oh my!

  • Maggot

    @Lifeschool [78]: mods (please, pretty please) delete this comment as well as the typo ridden post #76. Thanks again….

    Stop taking the mods for granted.

  • Randall

    Randall does not take goats for granted.

  • oouchan

    @Randall [105]: But he does take them on dates.

  • GTT

    What in the hell happened here while I was out for lunch?!

    Grant´s granted granite, fingers in noses and dating goats…… Hey y´all, can I get some of that funky grass y´all are smoking? :lol:

  • Randall

    @oouchan [106]:

    Silly oouchan. One does not take a goat on a “date.” Goats don’t know from “dating.” They’d eat the tablecloth and the menu, or go “mmmmmehhhhhh” all thru the movie.

    With goats, one puts on James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s World,” and gets down to bizness.

  • oouchan

    @Randall [108]: Silly oouchan. …..goats are for Randall.
    Couldn’t help myself.

    ….of course now I have an image of a goat in lingerie and it’s quite nightmarish. Thanks for that.

  • bucslim

    @Randall [102]:

    At least I keep my fingers to myself ya perv.

  • GTT

    @Randall [87]:

    FYI, I´m blonde…

  • GTT

    @GTT [111]: Crap, just realized that was missing the ;) … Otherwise it sounds like kind of a scary pick up line! Oops…

  • Maggot

    @oouchan [109]: I have an image of a goat in lingerie and it’s quite nightmarish.


    @GTT [111]: FYI, I´m blonde…

    You DO know the question that usually follows in response to that, don’t you?

  • VintageObsessive

    @Lifeschool [65]:

    “not great when carrying heavy equipment around all day – and being polite to grumpy old bags.”

    This makes me wonder what you do for a living!:)

  • GTT

    @Maggot [113]: Uhm, well, not really, no… but I´m afraid to ask……… ;)

  • ames801

    @Maggot [113]: Isn’t it something about drapes and carpets? Or something about interior decorating? Or something like that?

  • Randall

    @bucslim [110]:

    “At least I keep my fingers to myself ya perv.”

    And thank god you do, too! I know where that finger’s been! And I don’t want it near me!

  • Randall

    @Maggot [113]:

    No, that really is pretty much a nightmare. Let’s face it.

  • Maggot

    @ames801 [116]: Or something like that?

    Lol, nothing gets by you, ames. A true ginger…

    @Randall [118]: Hey, stop spoiling my dreams.

  • Bucketheadrocks

    I was expecting something different for #1 :/

  • smaj7

    @Julius [67]: We’re not actually bound … we choose to be bound.

  • Wtf

    @Maria [24]:

    Morning erection? But your username is “Maria”? Are you a guy that’s using someone else’s name or what?

    Anyway, good list.

  • SteveC

    I’d say Freedom, since people like to throw it out the window for some mythical security blanket that doesn’t protect, but merely traps them.

  • randomprecision24

    Dazed and Confused

    A film of that caliber deserves a place on this list

  • so we take movies for granted?
    we take weed for granted…..

    whatever….i’ll just pretend that you actually did mean to stick this comment here —

    i love it!

  • mike

    all of these recent lists suck, where the hell is all of the good content? or did jfrater sell it all out?

  • This is a really good post- I’m glad that you are raising this point because too many people are unappreciative of them.

  • Great list, agree that it was not what I expected and very well written!

  • muttley

    Well said Arsenl (9): Those two popped into my head as well (though not necessarily regards Poinnares Conjecture) – maths is indeed an art form as well as a tool – if you wish for some truly eloquent descriptions of math as art I suggest you read the Foundation Series by Asimov and read some of the more esoteric descriptions of Psychohistorical Mathematics – or even McCaffrey whose Bronthin in the Palnet Pirate series describe Maths so poetically.

    However, I have a third point to raise regards the list – FINE MOTOR SKILLS.birds, Chimps indeed ALL Primates) employ fine motor skills – you don’t believe me, watch a raven dig a grub out from under the bark using a twig!

    I think you might have meant to say the OPPOSABLE THUMB – it is this particular anatomical factor which sets humans (and to an extent, the great apes and other primates) apart from all other members of ‘Animalia’.

    oliveralbq (2 & 4) Firstly – one doesn’t necessarily require memory for imagination – one can have one without the other: most mammals have excellent memory (as do many birds) – that doesn’t mean they utilise an imagination. Also; there are a number of “disabled” artists in the world who for one reason or another have lost their memories but who can still produce briulliant works of art written and graphic.

    Secondly- I agree with whoever it was said we take Love for granted: YOU may not; but most people do – If I had a dollar for every time I have heard the phrase “I didn’t know how mucvh I loved him/her until I lost him/her – I wouldn’t have to work for the next three lifetimes: The great St.Paul himself said: “at the end only three (gifts)will remain: Faith, Hope and Love; and of these, the greatest is Love”.

  • Great list and I think it’s great to stop and appreciate what we’ve got, but the inclusion of medicine on the list raises a few questions. Medicine used for the treatment of trauma and injury is great but if “modern medicine” is really about keeping us healthy shouldn’t we be seeing less cancer not more? Shouldn’t we be seeing less heart disease not more?
    It’s clear that modern medicines focus is on sickness to line the pockets of everyone involved in this trillion dollar industry. What we should be focusing on is health

  • Maria

    @Maria [24]: Ha Ha, its now going to be a saying. Everytime you see a smiling girl in the morning you say, “Wow! what did you hop off this morning “

  • Nice post… inspiring, even. Thanks :)

  • reason08

    er.. just one point. if we didnt have opposable thumbs (#9) we would not venture down paths and invent things that require opposable thumbs!! indeed, the products that succeed in our day and age are themselves successful due to the fact they can be effectively used!

    Lets try #1 and imagine the alternative product or technique that would have surfaced in a world without opposable thumbs :)

  • @muttley [131]:
    –there are so many holes in your argument, that i have to dissect it in the name of ease of understanding…
    >>”Firstly – one doesn’t necessarily require memory for imagination – one can have one without the other: most mammals have excellent memory (as do many birds) – that doesn’t mean they utilise an imagination.”
    wait…what? and how in the world do you know?
    –it sounds to me like youre getting imagination confused with creativity……
    –on top of that, there is no way to concisely and emperically test and measure levels of imagination in most mammals. people have tried, and animal psychologists will be the first to tell you that those studies are abstract, without merit, and extremely convoluted in premise, execution and interpretation.
    –what im getting at is: while it doesnt mean they utalize imagination (like you said), it *certianly* doesnt mean that they do not.
    this falls into the category of the unknowable…
    -you might be right, you might be wrong, and we’re not going to be able to tell which it is
    >>”Also; there are a number of “disabled” artists in the world who for one reason or another have lost their memories but who can still produce briulliant works of art written and graphic.”
    –if total and complete memory loss is what youre referring to, then i suppose you have a point, but total memory loss is very rare, and amnesia patients arent noted for artistic masterpieces. (plus amnesia to this degree is rare in itself). alzheimer’s is also a disease associated with memory loss, but again, total memory loss is rare. and partial memory loss still allows for the subject to draw inferences into/out of imagination…
    —the primary application of david hume’s theory of impressions and ideas looked at the distinction between memory and imagination….also, they have analyzed in duality about as many times as not……

    —and please please please dont tell me that you really believe being ‘disabled’ and having no memory is even close to the same thing, which is how your comment reads..
    thats just stupid.
    *some* of them have *some* memory loss, some of them dont.
    >>”Secondly- I agree with whoever it was said we take Love for granted: YOU may not; but most people do” –
    —right….see, i wasnt implying everyone was like me, and didnt take love for granted…..
    but *most* people do?
    >>”If I had a dollar for every time I have heard the phrase “I didn’t know how mucvh I loved him/her until I lost him/her – I wouldn’t have to work for the next three lifetimes: ”
    –i do feel bad for you that you seem to be surrounded by lots of people who cannot fully appriciate the worth of love relationships…. i truly hope all those people who you have heard utter that sentiment realize that it isnt nearly as fulfilling to love him/her *after* they are lost to the person….if more people would pull their heads out of their asses, and realize what they have while they still have it, so many people would lead fuller lives surrounded by the love and happiness they deserve.
    >>”The great St.Paul himself said: “at the end only three (gifts)will remain: Faith, Hope and Love; and of these, the greatest is Love”.”
    —i suppose if st paul subscribed to this list, he and the list author could have an interesting conversation about this.
    since that isnt the case, we’ll all just have to settle for people in the comment section saying shit like:

    not only does love not belong on this list,
    faith and hope dont belong either.

  • I’d like to add that I don’t think love hope or faith belong on this list.
    I agree with the list. When I first saw the title I tried to guess what the list might have before I clicked. At first I thought political, then I went from there through a series of things that we’ve built in the world. I never went down the path of our own bodies! I think that proves your point, and it was very nicely done I must say too!
    Thanks for a great post.

  • nicoleredz3

    Lnfusion: Love your list, dude or dudette! This is an eye opener…

    Sometimes I stop and give thanks for being able to just breathe…

  • samfishers

    OH finally a better list.. to my opinion that is, of course.

    I like those lists.

  • Maria

    @oliveralbq [134]: Farq me, she must have hopped off a cock to say all that.

  • Arsnl

    @Maria [138]: will you give it a break already. Geesh we got your point. No need to repeat it again and again.

  • Lifeschool

    @Maggot [104]: Of course I don’t take the mods for granted, that’s why I said ‘pretty please’ instead of SORT IT OUT YOU BASTARDS. But I wouldn’t say that. ;)

    @VintageObsessive [114]: I used to have all kinds of jobs – as most people tend to do – and was self employed for a time – but right now I’m not in permanent employment. I’m principally looking to get into the wider field of Media; web media, tele-visual media, journalism – I’m not fussy as long as I can share my talents. A dream-come-true would be to work with the BBC as they complete their Media City developments in Manchester.

    Basically I’m a philosopher, but I also love to make small films and DVDs for music festivals – so that makes me a part-time-one-man-camera-man. Some of the material I filmed last year can be found on youtube’s ‘TheSolfestChannel’. I’ll also be (fingers crossed) filming a punk festival at the end of May and ‘Solfest’ again in August.

    @ames801 [116]: :D I love your wit.

    @Lnfusion – Thanks again for an interesting list – I like those insights and would love to read more. Why not drop by and leave us a comment?

  • bluesman87

    @Randall [108]: “its a mans world ” hahahahahahahaha :)

  • kenx12

    we should also add relationships – whether good or bad – correct?

  • ames801

    @Lifeschool [140]: “I’ll also be (fingers crossed) filming a punk festival at the end of May…”
    Do you need a personal assistant? A business manager? A gofer? Just a pretty face? ANYTHING??!! I would love to assist you with this project :)

  • Pan Pipe Dreams

    What about Pan Pipes, and Dreams?

  • Casualreader

    Two fundamentals we take for granted:

    1) That if our mum or dad had sneezed a moment before the critical consummation that made us, our particular sperm wouldn’t have united with her egg. Any of a few million others would have done do instead shortly after. A billion and one tiny events could have altered that miraculous (for you and I!) union. Pity Hitler’s and Stalin’s dads, or (fill in your own pet-hate’s dad) didn’t sneeze then though!

    2) That everything will still be here when we wake up in the morning. (Oh, O.K., if it wasn’t we shouldn’t know. But until +Armageddon+ it still holds. Ah’m a-geddin’ it, are you?) It could be expanded by saying we assume basic laws of the universe to be stable and immutable for us, which is no more than an assumption, folks, i.e. taking it for granted.

  • Sega

    Sometimes i take listverse for granted…

  • Kelsey

    interesting nature is outranked by…cooking? Cooking’s definitely a great feature but you could live without cooking, considering all the fruits and veggies, legumes, beans, etc that are eaten raw (and frequently healhtier, esp. if referring to cooked meats).

  • astraya

    @Moonbeam [31]: Of course I know what “a day off” means! It’s just that no-one has ever said it to me!!

    (We’ve both been around here long enough for both of us to know that if there is the slightest possible chance that I’m joking, then I am. Serious is serious; anything else should be interpreted as lightly as possibly.)

  • Lifeschool

    @ames801 [143]: Thank You! I suspect you may live outside the UK – but if you do make it to StrummerCamp( I’ll see you there!

  • Colleen

    When I saw the title I thought I was going to get the starving children in Africa lecture , “how dare you take food for granted!” but I was pleasantly surprised.
    It really made me think, as I have defiantly taken most of these things for granted at one time or another.

  • regdwight

    incredibly lame. it assumes these things are taken for granted.

  • sherifffruitfly


  • muttley

    oliveralbq (134) You obviously know exactly DICK about being disabled OR memory impairment “—and please please please dont tell me that you really believe being ‘disabled’ and having no memory is even close to the same thing, which is how your comment reads..
    thats just stupid”

    Unless you have suffered an ABI yourself and have to live with its corollary sequelae then you don’t have the first idea of what you are talking about: I have to live WITH an ABI which has severely impaired my memory functions – I literally have to write everything down! Thus having had perfect eidetic memory prior to incurring the ABI and now having to live with an severely impaired one IS a bloody disability you idiot! Have you always been this ignorant or are you just trotting out your unenlightened mental opacity for our benefit?

    BTW – after your typically Neanderthalic comments about Faith Hope and Love – you are obviously telegraphing your own psycho-social/emotional disabilities as well:

    Elie Weissel credited the survival of weak scrawny and ill death camp internees over the strong, healthy and fit ones to simple Faith – those who had the strongest faith tended to survive; those who lost their faith tended to wither and die – he should know he spent the best part of the war in Auschwitz.

    Hope of eventual release and the possibility of escape kept Australian POW’s in Changi alive while those who lost hope died on the marches, the work details and by simple mental attrition – don’t believe me; read the War Diaries of Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop the Australian surgeon captured at Singapore who spent 4 years there.

    Love – if St,Paul ain’t good enough – look around you at the bitter, twisted, gnarled people of this world who have never known love or who have had it seriously betrayed.

    Finally – David Hume was a hack – you want philosophy; try a real one – Wittgenstein, Hegel, Kant, Mill or the best of all Renee Descarte: I will, out of deference to the great masters, place Socrates, Plato and Aristotle above even that august group.

    Ih future – don’t let your mind out on its own like that; it’s too small and fragile and it might get seriously hurt – – – – – again!

  • Colleen

    Oops, I meant definitely.

  • joe

    So this list should really just be titled “I’m out of ideas so I just listed the things humans use that animals don’t”

  • GTT

    @muttley [153]: Not to nitpick, but Elie Wiesel only spent about a year in concentration camps… I´m not saying that was easy by any stretch of the imagination but still not the “best part of the war.”

  • Dwindle

    Sorry the author seemed to grow tired of the list by item #1 – which was obviously hastily written, and ironically, the most important point she wished to drive home.

    My imagination has never been about being the best or the most grandiose, but rather a seeker of my own personal desire. I have a desire to become that which has not been before me. This is unique in the animal world.

  • Dreaming Pixel

    “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculty!” -Hamlet
    or in other words
    ^5 FOR THE WIN!
    Yeah, I’m completely in awe of man’s mathematical powers. In fact, many of my math teachers wish I had been a little bit *less* of math and better at using it. Seriously though, I thought the list was very inspirational, although I prefer a few more statistics than emotional writing. A few years ago someone very close to me had a large tumour lodged in her spinal column right at the base of her neck, and thanks to modern medicine and surgery is still alive and kicking, so I like to see medicine on the list.
    I second the call for Dreaming as an honourable mention: it’s a remarkable faculty that has had an important role in human development.

  • @Dreaming Pixel [158]: “so I like to see medicine on the list.”

    —-medicine –??
    its kinda hidden ;)

    between #3 and #5 there is this picture of pills.
    its that one.

  • Rachid

    Very nice list indeed

  • Ed Gein

    A Sandwich.Not because it was mentioned twice in the article but because bread was around for hundreds if not a thousand or two before someone had enough sense to make a Sandwich.
    The moral of the story might be that the answer to problems is sometimes very simple and might be staring us in the Face.

  • amir

    very good

  • Anthony Ramirez

    #7 – Language is the only incorrect one. It is the only factoid that is not constant. Yes, we can communicate as humans, but our different languages and dialects somewhat hinder all of that. Everything else mentioned in this article is a constant. Math, dexterity, etc. Language is not. IMHO, people not but 20 years ago would not understand that. Will you?

  • sudhir singh

    nice for us…………………….

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  • Ann Young

    i think the 10 most common things in the USA we take for granted are: fresh air, water, food, electricity, education, garbage service, paper, our parents, clothing and our own body.

  • facebook like

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  • how to draw for kids

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