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10 Facts that Are Common Knowledge to People Who Work in the Field but Unknown to Others

6. The toner in a laser printer is actually plastic being melted onto the paper.

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The toners used in laser printers are made from tiny particles of plastic that are colored. Unlike a typical inkjet printer, laser printers use toners rather than liquid ink. The way laser printers work is quite interesting. The laser in the printer projects an image onto a rotating surface that is coated with a photosensitive material. As soon as the laser hits, the charge in the area changes. This charges the toner with static electricity of the opposite polarity. And when the photosensitive area rolls through the toner, the toner gets attracted to the opposite polarity of the material. The toner-covered material is then pressed onto paper which is oppositely charged to the toner. This heats up the paper and the attracted toner begins to melt fusing the colored plastic to the paper. (source)

7. Airplanes are hit by lightning more frequently than people think, but a lightning strike does not necessarily electrocute the plane and the passengers.

Airplane
Image credits: Pixabay

As opposed to popular belief, airplanes are hit by lightning frequently. Also, people think that on being hit by lightning, the entire plane along with the passengers would get electrocuted, but that is not the case.

An individual jetliner is said to be struck by lightning on an average every two to three years. These planes are designed keeping this fact in mind. The design is such that the energy from the lightning does not travel through the cabin and electrocute the pilots and the passengers. What it does is discharge the energy outward through the aluminum skin of the plane which is designed to be an excellent electrical conductor. Sometimes this might cause minor injury, but that does not hamper the functioning of the plane. (source)

8. Most 911 calls emergency operators receive on a daily basis are not remotely close to being emergencies.

911
Image credits: Pexels

911 is for emergencies, and we all know that. But you would be surprised at the number of non-emergency calls that 911 receives on a daily basis. People call 911 to complain about the neighbor’s dog or loud music from an adjacent building, the types of things that should be resolved with just a discussion with the concerned party.

According to 911 dispatchers, there has an alarming increase in the number of such calls in recent years. Although there are no proper statistics available, investigations suggest that certain jurisdictions, like San Francisco, have recorded such calls as around 40% of their total calls in 2016. This means that in 2016, 257,000 or more calls to 911 were not actual emergencies. This is a burden for the dispatchers who have to waste their time answering non-emergency calls while someone may be in a life-threatening emergency. (source)

9. There is a period of time every year in the US when the Department of Transportation officials pull over every truck or vehicle they see on the road. During this period, a lot of trucking and vehicle companies take vacation time as the hassle involved is not worth the money made during this time. 

Traffic
Image credits: Pixabay

Every year, for 72 hours, member of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance organizes a roadblock event across the United States, Mexico, and Canada. During that time period, the stop and inspect each and every commercial vehicle on the road. The authorities do this to make the drivers realize the importance of highway safety and to keep a check on any violations by the commercial drivers.

Many people know this, but what they don’t know is that during this time many commercial trucks and motor companies shut down or let their employees take a vacation. They do this so that they do not have to go through the hassle of unforeseen inspections. For those who don’t shut down or take off, their vehicles are sent for repairs! (1, 2)

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10. Drowning is silent. When a person is drowning, they may not necessarily call out for help or make splash sounds. 

Drowning
Image credits: Pixabay

Drowning does not necessarily mean that the concerned person would make a lot of noise and wave their arms to let the bystanders know. What happens is actually the exact opposite. Drowning is silent. The worst happens when kids are involved. You take your eyes off for a second and they might get into the waters without supervision.

When a person is drowning, they gasp for air. This makes them take in a lot of water which, in turn, prevents them from calling for help. So, if you see a person in the water gasping for air, double check to ensure that he is not drowning. Moreover, a drowning person can never wave his hands for help because the first instinct is to push their hands down in order to bring themselves up and above the water. (source)

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