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Top 10 Things That Aren’t As Modern As You May Think – 2020

by Kyle D.
fact checked by Jamie Frater

As a society, we are very lucky to live in the time period that we do. While things might seem terrible with climate change, armed conflict and pandemics, we really need to take a moment to appreciate the things we do have. Running water, central heating, food choices beyond compare. Most people would say we’re really living in the golden age of comfort, but what if we’re not? What if all the things we consider so revolutionary today has actually been around for ages before us? Today you’re going to read about ten such things that are far older than you may think.

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10 People Had Flushing Toilets 4,000 Years Ago

Pooping is the great equalizer of humanity. Rich or poor, powerful or meek. You’ll have to poop and it’s going to stink. Even today throughout large portions of the world, some countries still struggle with the logistics of waste management and keeping their communities safe from the disease and vermin that come from not properly disposing of their poops.

But if you look at the civilization of the Indu River Valley you’ll find something interesting. Dating all the way back to 2,000BC, archaeologists have found that not only do the homes in the area have the remnants of private toilets, they also sported piping and septic tanks to carry away and store their waste until a worker could come and clean them out. Four thousand years ago and they were working with an albeit crude yet effective way to keep their towns free from the looming menace of poo.[1]

9 Oreo’s Predate Chocolate Chip Cookies By A Lot

Homemade chocolate chip cookies are a staple in American homes. Nothing is more classic and timeless in the baking world than a fresh chocolate chip made with love, and in the minds of most people, they couldn’t imagine a world in which chocolate chip cookies weren’t a thing. For a whole generation of kids though, that was a matter of fact.

You see, the first chocolate chip cookie recipe wasn’t published until 1938, less than a hundred years ago. While that might not be the most shocking thing to hear, the mass produced sleeves of Oreo’s you see on store shelves today had been in production since 1912, 26 whole years before the first chocolate chip cookie was baked. Such a huge gap of time that people grew up and had kids of their own with only Oreo’s as their cookie of choice. Barbaric.[2]

8 Touch Screen Displays Existed With Black And White TVs

Pretty much everyone has a touch screen computer in some form these days. Whether it be a tablet or smart phone, you’re using your fingers to interact with it instead of pressing buttons. While public touch screens probably aren’t the best thing in society right now with the pandemic raging, it feels like a fairly new thing in the public conscious. Of course, that isn’t the case.

The first touch screen was actually patented all the way back in 1965, more than half a century ago. Called a capacitive touchscreen, it used disruptions in the screen’s electric charge to read where a finger was making contact with it and input it as a command. Amazingly enough, this technology is still used in most smartphone and tablets today. It’s more refined with things like multi touch displays, but the concept is still the same.[3]

7 First And Foremost We Need Beer

It’s not a stretch to imagine that beer is an old creation. Most stories throughout history involve characters getting drunk and partying to avoid the crushing reality that life was at the time, and who could blame them? They didn’t have touch screens and toilets yet. Beer is so much older than you’d think, though. So much older in fact, humanity figured out how to get drunk before they figured out how to properly process bread, depending on your definition of it.

While evidence exists that humans were at the very least grinding up wheat and seeds 20,000 years ago, it isn’t known exactly what people were doing with them. The first real known recipe for something similar to bread popped up around 1,000BC in Egypt. That’s more than 4,000 years after the first recipe for beer was written. 4,000 years of people getting sloshed and eating grains before someone decided to try a little harder.[4]

6 The First Contacts REALLY sucked

Eyeglasses have been around for a long time and there’s no stretch there, but you might be surprised to hear that eye contacts were first produced all the way back in the late 1800’s for general use. That might be confusing to you since plastics wouldn’t be in mass production for quite a while still, so how could contacts exist so early? The answer, horrifyingly, was that they were made of glass. And because there was no way to get the proper shape of the iris, the glass contact had to cover the entire eye.

Since glass doesn’t breath well, this meant that anyone wearing a contact was in constant pain as their eyes literally suffocated beneath the glass. For decades people would take cocaine eye drops to dull the pain of their contacts before better, thinner materials came into use. It really makes you wonder, why not just wear eyeglasses?[5]

10 Sweet Treats That Are Older Than You Think

5 Gladiators Were Getting Sponsorship Deals

Everywhere you go you’re getting barraged with advertisements. Whether it be a billboard on the side of the road or a game streamer trying to sell you energy drinks while sitting in a chair for ten hours, ads are everywhere, but they don’t get any worse than the sponsorships for sports athletes. Donned head to toe in company logos and espousing the virtues of the highest bidder, it makes you long for a time when sport wasn’t so corporate.

But as history shows, there was likely never a time when sports weren’t being bought by THE MAN. Going all the way back to the day of the gladiators, you can find evidence that businesses and rich folk alike were paying well performing fighters to tell the crowds about their favorite types of loincloths and swords. Just imagine two guys fighting to the death in the name of Burger King.[6]

4 Ming Dynasty Cardboard

Where would we be as a species without cardboard? We deal with it every day to ship and store products all around the world and odds are you have a stack of it sitting in the corner of your room right now. We as a society simply wouldn’t be able to function without it, and that’s just how things have been for a shockingly long time.

While cardboard first came into use in European countries at the start of the 19th century, it had been in production in China since the era of the Ming Dynasty, all the way back to the early 1,500’s, and it was used for nearly the exact same purpose as today. Storing and shipping goods long distances. Such a simple invention, but it’s hard to imagine that it has really been around for that long.[7]

3 The Seemingly Immortal Betty White

Betty White might not be a good or service that lived to be older than you’d think seeing as she was a living breathing human being, but she’s still worth a mention on this list because nobody can describe her as being the best thing since sliced bread considering sliced bread wasn’t invented until after Betty White was born.

Born in 1922, Betty White predated sliced bread by six whole years. She was already starting school by the time bread got its act together and started coming already sliced in the stores. It really puts into perspective how old Betty truly was when you consider it in this sense.[8]

2 The Romans Had Central Heating

When Winter hit in the 1800’s, you had two options. Huddle together for warmth and hope, or freeze to death. Central heating without the need to fuel a fireplace is still a rather new amenity to housing in colder regions, but it’s near impossible to imagine what life would be like without it. That’s how much of a difference it makes to not have to freeze through the latter half of the year. While our forefathers may have suffered greatly, our more ancient ancestors seemingly had it much easier.

As ancient ruins show us, the private homes of some Romans were built with things called hypocausts. Gaps in the floors with terracotta beams that allowed heat from their furnace or a nearby fire to be pushed under the building and absorbed into the tiles above, heating the house and keeping it a comfortably warm temperature for the occupants.[9]

1 Among Us Is More Than A Flavor Of The Month

Sorry, boomers. We’re getting the zoomers interested with this final part of the list. Free on phones and $5 on PC, the multiplayer game of deception Among Us has taken over the internet and major media outlets for the last month as millions of people tuned in every day to both play and watch the game online. Merchandising exploded and the group behind the game immediately started working to improve the game with quality of life changes and new content to keep up with demand.

Imagine their surprise when the game blew up overnight, considering the company had released it to little fanfare nearly three years previously. The group behind the game was so small in fact, that when Among Us first blew up they had to redo the way people made servers because so many people were playing that server codes started overlapping and forcing different groups together instead of allowing them to play privately with friends. The game continues to dominate the market as the team frantically tries to continue with their updates to a game that was seemingly forgotten just a month previously.[10]

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fact checked by Jamie Frater