The thing about knowledge is no matter how much we find out there are still things that we don’t know about. Sometimes those things could be critical to our survival and without knowing them we might run into serious trouble. On the other hand, there are some things that are not really that important but we ought to know just because they contribute to our general knowledge and understanding of the world. Regardless of their importance, interesting new facts are always fun to learn. Here are some facts that should be common knowledge but sadly are often not.
1. Water towers are for water pressure, not just to store water in for an emergency.
Water towers rely on the hydrostatic pressure that occurs because of their height from the ground. In these towers, gravity provides the force necessary to provide water for domestic and industrial water distribution systems. Water towers usually operate in conjunction with underground or surface service reservoirs which store fully treated, potable water close to the area of distribution. Water towers, however, cannot supply water if unattended for a long time. The pressure decreases with the decrease in the amount of water and typically towers need power for refilling. There are also other types of water towers that only store raw, non-portable water meant for fire protection or industrial use, but not for general public use.(source)
2. Drowning looks different than how you might think it does. It is often very quiet and difficult to spot unless you know what you are looking for.
Thanks to movies and TV shows we usually think a drowning person would shout for help and we would be able to see them thrashing their arms, splashing a lot of water. The reality is less dramatic than that. When a person is drowning, the first sign is their head is low in the water, tilted backward and the mouth open at water level trying hard to breathe. This makes it impossible for them to cry for help. Another sign is their body is positioned vertically, their legs unmoving, and their arms moving as if they are trying to climb an invisible ladder. They would also be trying to move in a particular direction but without progress such a, trying to roll over on their back. Hyperventilating or gasping are other more obvious signs. It is absolutely important to remember that drowning people can only struggle in the water for twenty to sixty seconds before they submerge. Because of that short timeframe, the rescue needs to happen as quickly as possible.(source)
3. It is rarely necessary to wait twenty-four hours before filing a missing person report.
Contrary to popular belief most authorities use common sense rather than waiting some prescribed length of time to file a missing person report. In most countries and states if the individual is a dependent, a child, an elderly person, or is physically or mentally vulnerable, you can call the police immediately. You can also call immediately if the individual has disappeared under suspicious circumstances. (1, 2)
4. “Factoid” doesn’t simply mean a small or short fact, but “an item of unreliable information that is reported and repeated so often that it becomes accepted as fact.”
The term “factoid” was first coined in 1973 by American writer, Norman Mailer, to mean a small piece of information that is accepted as a fact even though it isn’t just because it appears in a magazine or newspaper. Since Mailer’s first mention of the term in his biography of Marilyn Monroe. The meaning of the term has since undergone many changes. During the 1980s and 1990s, the term was popularized by CNN Headline News TV channel to mean “a trivial but interesting fact.” To avoid all this growing confusion, another writer, William Safire, proposed the term “factlet” to mean “a brief interesting fact as well as a little bit of arcana.”(source)
5. Antibiotics do not cure viral infections such as common cold. Asking your doctor for an antibiotic prescription for a runny nose will not solve anything and would increase antibiotic resistance.
When it comes to the usual viral infections such as common cold, flu, most sore throats, and 90% of bronchitis cases, the best treatment is rest, fluids, and over-the-counter products. Taking antibiotics for viral infections will not help in any way and might cause harmful and unwanted side effects. Over 47 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions are given by doctors in the emergency rooms and clinics each year in the United States alone. This overuse and incorrect prescription of antibiotics have raised serious concerns since it leads to increased resistance in bacterias to the drugs. Treatment becomes difficult and sometimes impossible when bacteria become resistant. This is why indiscriminately taking antibiotics is a very bad idea.(source)