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u/ExtraSmooth · 7 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

If I may, I'll throw in my somewhat-learned 2 cents. I have read a fair number of books on the subject and am currently studying music at the undergrad level--I'm by no means an expert.

If you're interested in the neurological understanding of music, I would recommend the book Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy. Pretty good read that goes into some detail without requiring an MD to understand. Basically, we respond to tension and resolution because of tendencies in our brain to seek out new and variant stimuli.

You mentioned major sounding happy and minor sounding sad. It would be interesting for you to know that this was not always the case. If you're playing in an orchestra or wind ensemble, chances are most of the music you're being exposed to in that setting is from the Classical and Romantic periods of the so-called Western Music Tradition: Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Haydn. Maybe some more modern music as well, but probably nothing too "out there". Also bear in mind, most of the music you hear on the radio, pretty much since the 1970s is very closely related harmonically to classical music from the Classical and Romantic periods.

All this is to say that if you look at Baroque music and earlier, or more modern Western music, as well as music from any other cultural tradition, you'll find very different understandings of harmony, melody, and rhythm. There are few universally enjoyable traits in music across various cultures and types of listener. /u/Bears_in_Blue_Houses has some good points: repetition is usually favored, and people usually like music they can understand and relate to. Beyond that, it really depends on 1. why you're listening to music and 2. what music you're used to. Some people desire intellectual stimulation, and find more complex harmonies, rhythms, structures, and sounds to be enjoyable; others look for simple beats to dance or relax to. Most people look for different things at different times.

u/Canvaverbalist · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

> Rhythm comes built into your body. You have a heart beat and if you close your eyes in a quiet room you can feel and hear the blood pumping in your ears. Your body is designed to be rhythmic.

Complementary reading:

(WARNING: I'm not an expert on anything, this is me trying to push an idea that I like upon which I've done no serious research at all, approach with skepticism and caution!)

I remember reading in The Ego Tunnel by Thomas Metzinger (which I don't have anymore and can't go back to) how the synchronicity of our neurons firing played a major role into creating this layer of self-vs-the-world feeling essential in creating a sense of consciousness in the human brain, to the point that a slight delay could have been at the source of some sorts of schizophrenia like feeling totally disconnected with the world or at the opposite of the spectrum a feeling of being only one with our external stimulus. (I found this, but haven't read it yet to ensure of it's content: )

So it's not just the rhythm of our hearts, it's actually the brain connecting everything at the same time (the lights from that apple hitting your eye, the breeze of the wind, you arm moving, your sense of balance - bref, bringing all your senses into one self contained experience) and keeping this sensation as a regular and predictive "tempo" is also essential.

Music plays with and satisfy that sensation. "My arm will take that glass - yep, it did, I have control over it" and "The snare is gonna hit really soon - yep it did, I'm still in contr-- wait what's that sound? This is interesting I didn't predict that! I bet it will be there again... yep there it is!"

Please! Feel free to correct me or add to it, I find this is a fascinating subject.

COMPLEMENTARY READING: "This Is Your Brain on Music" by Daniel Levitin,

u/hooj · 28 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

The whole subject is a bit too complicated and a bit too deep for a short ELI5, but I'll give a stab at the gist of it.

The reason why computers work (at least in the vein of your question) is very similar to the reason why we have language -- written, spoken, etc.

What you're reading right at this very moment is a complex system (language) simplified to symbols on the screen. The very fact that you can read these words and attain meaning from them means that each sentence, each word, and each letter represent a sort of code that you can understand.

If we take an apple for example, there are many other ways to say that in different languages. Manzana. Pomme. Apfel. And so on. Codes -- some symbol maps to some concept.

In the context of computers, well, they can only "understand" binary. Ones and zeros. On and off. Well, that's okay, because we can map those ones and zeros to codes that we (humans) care about. Like 101010111 could represent "apple" if we wanted it to.

So we build these physical circuits that either have power or don't (on and off) and we can abstract that to 1's (power flowing through that circuit) and 0's (no power flowing through it). This way, we can build physical chips that give us basic building blocks (basic instructions it can do) that we can leverage in order to ultimately make programs, display stuff, play sounds, etc. And the way we communicate that to the computer is via the language it can understand, binary.

In other words, in a basic sense, we can pass the processor binary, and it should be able to interpret that as a command. The length of the binary, and what it should contain can vary from chip to chip. But lets say our basic chip can do basic math. We might pass it a binary number: 0001001000110100 but it might be able to slice it up as 0001 | 0010 | 0011 | 0100 -- so the first four, 0001, might map to an "add" command. The next four, 0010, might map to a memory location that holds a number. The third group of four might be the number to add it to. The last group might be where to put it. Using variables, it might look like:

c = a + b. Where "c" is 0100, "a" is 0010, "b" is 0011, and the "+" (addition operator) is 0001.

From there, those basic instructions, we can layer abstractions. If I tell you to take out the trash, that's a pretty basic statement. If I were to detail all the steps needed to do that, it would get a lot longer -- take the lid off the can, pull the bag up, tie the bag, go to the big garbage can, open the lid, put the trash in. Right? Well, if I tell you to take out the trash, it rolls up all those sub actions needed to do the task into one simple command.

In programming, it's not all that different. We layer abstractions to a point where we can call immense functionality with relatively little code. Some of that code might control the video signal being sent to the screen. Some of that code might control the logic behind an app or a game. All of the code though, is getting turned into 1's and 0's and processed by your cpu in order to make the computer do what is asked.

If you want to learn more, I highly recommend Code by Charles Petzold for a much more in depth but still layman friendly explanation of all this.

u/itsthehumidity · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

For a more in-depth look at String Theory I recommend The Elegant Universe.

You undoubtedly already know the part of the theory that posits everything boils down to these fundamental "string" objects, and the way they vibrate (both in terms of the typical wave vibration, but also the way where the whole object moves back and forth) determines how it behaves in the universe. And that's influenced and constrained by the type of space in which the strings can move, etc.

But how might that help resolve QM and GR? Well, because strings have a little bit of length.

When we think about particles, we treat them as points with zero dimensions. That works all right in the framework of QM, but when you apply the equations of GR to those points, you end up with some fun, indeterminate divide by zero issues. Any nonzero length at all, like something on the scale of the Planck Length, can bridge the connection and produce a meaningful result.

Now, that's not to say that's all there is to it or everything has been solved (far from it), but that may shed some light on why it's an attractive theory to pursue. There are then many types of String Theory, which may just be different facets of one larger one, but finding connections between them is difficult. And experimental confirmation of strings is completely out of reach of our current technology. So, much remains to figure out.

u/nomnommish · 273 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

I thought Colgate Total was different as it contained Triclosan. But i think other toothpastes have this too.

Big difference.. Sensodyne Repair and Protect has a bioglass compound called Novamin that actually bonds with the enamel and gives it an extra coating that fortifies teeth enamel. It is the only compound and toothpaste that actually repairs or fortified your enamel.

I know a new compound called Biomin has come out which is a superior version of Novamin, but it is only available in the UK for now.

Edit: correction: Bioglass is not the only compound that repairs your enamel. But it is the best or among the best there is. Also available over the counter so you don't need some expensive prescription toothpaste.

Novamin (a type of bioglass) was invented by a scientist and Sensodyne bought out his research, so to my knowledge Sensodyne Repair and Protect (non US version) is the only off the shelf toothpaste that has Novamin.

For some reason, the version in the US does not have Novamin. If you want to buy the Novamin version in the US, buy it from Amazon here:

It takes a few weeks to ship from the UK. But the price is reasonable: $6.60 and free shipping.

u/wsferbny · 7 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

This is due to the [overtone series]( Basically there are resonant frequencies when you play a pitch. You'll notice in the examples on the Wikipedia page that the first couple overtones are the octave, the fifth, and the fourth. So those intervals tend to share overtones, making them sound better together to our ears.

For example, the first couple of overtones where C4 is our fundamental are C5, G5, and then C6. For G4, the overtones would be G5, D5, and G6. That's an interval of a fifth.

A lot of this is related to the Western tuning system. Most Western music is equally tempered. Basically, when a piano is tuned, you're making a bunch of compromises so that everything sounds good together, even if it's not perfectly in tune. You could tune certain intervals perfectly, but then others would sound really bad, so we compromise.

Another thing about Western music is that we're all about building tension and then relieving it ^justlikesex and you can see this in a lot of common chord progressions. Take your standard cadence, G7 to C, for example. G7 is a fairly unstable chord and it's built so that the third and seventh, B and F, collapse really naturally into C and E, giving us a nice, stable C triad.

Music also operates similarly to comedy in that it's all about delaying and overturning expectations. Like three men walk into a bar. You've heard that before and have some idea of what will follow. But then someone says "the third one ducks" and that's a new one and that's funny, so you laugh. Music works the same one. Let's say we set up the classic I-V-vi-IV chord progression but instead of IV we do something else. That's new, that's interesting, and we like it.

Disclaimer: I'm really sorry if I screwed up some of the overtone series stuff, I have only a vague idea of how it works.

You can read an entire book on why we like the music we do -- check out This Is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin -- it's a great read!

u/brownribbon · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

There are too many reasons to post here. I recommend reading the book Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond (or at least the miniseries--available on Netflix last I checked).

Some of the main reasons include:

  • No domesticable pack animals in the Americas to do work. Eurasia has things like cows, horses, etc. that could be tamed and trained to do hard labor like plowing fields and hauling carts. The closest such animal in the Americas is the llama/alpaca, native to northern South America. This made food production in the Americas more human labor intensive which took away time from other endeavors.

  • The Americas are "taller" than they are "wide." That is, they cover a greater range of latitudes than longitudes. The opposite is true of Eurasia. As it turns out, crops, technology, and people diffuse less efficiently north/south than they do east/west. This is primarily due to climates being more even along latitudes than longitudes. This retardation in trade would slow the exchange of ideas, and therefore technological development.

  • The Americas have fewer cereal crops (rice, wheat, barley, corn, sorghum, etc.) native to them compared to Eurasia. These are the crops that are responsible for the establishment of agriculture and, as a result, sedentary societies. A sedentary society (i.e., one that is not picking up and moving itself every few months to follow food supplies) is one that can allow for specialization. Some people will become really good farmers and can produce enough food such that others can pursue different fields. With fewer available crops there were fewer opportunities in the Americas to establish such societies.

    Again, there are reasons beyond these and everything I just listed is conjecture. Human development was an incredibly complex process and for every example supporting one argument there is another example that refutes it.
u/WikiRelevance · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

The relevant wikipedia article on domestication explains that there are several traits that a species typically possess that enables them to become domesticated. For animals they should preferably have: a flexible diet, reproduce in captivity, fast growth and reproductive rate, pleasant disposition and good temperament, and should have a social hierarchy that humans can become apart and "alpha" of.

Some species don't have these traits, for example the Indri lemur of Madagascar does not breed in captivity. Another good example is the Zebra: "Attempts to domesticate many kinds of wild animals have been unsuccessful. The zebra is one example. Despite the fact that four species of zebra can interbreed with and are part of the same genus as the horse and the donkey, attempts at domestication have failed. Factors such as temperament, social structure and ability to breed in captivity play a role in determining whether a species can be successfully domesticated".

Domestication differs from taming. "the process whereby a population of living organisms is changed at the genetic level, through generations of selective breeding, to accentuate traits that ultimately benefit the interests of humans. A usual by-product of domestication is the creation of a dependency in the domesticated organisms, so that they lose their ability to live in the wild. This differs from taming in that a change in the phenotypical expression and genotype of the animal occurs, whereas taming is simply an environmental socialization/behavioral trait; the process by which animals become accustomed to human presence."

In actuality only a handful of animals have been truly domesticated. "In human history to date, only a few species of large animal have been domesticated. In approximate order of their earliest domestication these are: dog, sheep, goat, pig, ox, yak, reindeer, water buffalo, horse, donkey, llama, alpaca, Bactrian camel and Arabian camel." Jared Diamond's book guns, germs and steel explores how the natural distribution of these species influenced how cultures arose and how some gained dominance over others...simply because they were located in the right area where a domesticable species lived. It is one of the explanations he gives for the development of great city states in Eurasia, as opposed to say...Africa. Guns, germs and steel has also been made into an excellent movie by PBS

Domestication and Evolution

Domestication is an event, not a trait. There are certain heritable traits that make a species better suited for domestication (e.g. flexible diet). In those specific species these traits were selected for other reasons (e.g. a flexible diet is a good thing in a highly variable habitat where food resources fluctuate), specific to that species within its niche - not for some unforeseen future domestication event by humans. Remember that evolution has no goals or directions. And evolution cannot select something from nothing. First a trait or behaviour must exist within the population, then selective forces within their social or natural environment will dictate whether that trait remains or disappears. Domestication can also be described under aritifical selection which differs from natural selection in that the actor is not nature, but humans.

u/Nobusuma · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

As stated Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. The region played a factor. Focusing on Europe, Europe had easy access of travel due to the Mediterranean sea. In broader view they had the silk road. There is a book called Why Nations Fail. A very interesting read. Out of dozens of examples the book shares, I will point out two that help shape Europe; the first being the story of Hercules and second the Black Death. The story of Hercule enabled a change in thought over the centuries as greek men went to the Olympics trying two win fame and glory for themseleves. The individual. The Black death on the other hand destroyed the working class and enabled a change in the current western system.

u/DashingLeech · 6 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

I'll try at ELI5 level.

Paper is a good analogy, but expand it to 3 dimensions. To see what flat means, you need to know what "not flat" means. Imagine a really large piece of paper covering the Earth. You mark an arrow on the ground then walk off in that direction, keeping in a straight line. Eventually you circle the globe and end up back at your arrow on the ground, approaching it from the tail of the arrow. You then pick a random direction and draw another arrow and do the same thing. No matter which direction you go, you always end up coming back to the same spot.

In this case, the paper is not flat; it is curved. Specifically, it is closed, meaning it loops back onto itself. However, locally it might look flat from any point you are standing. Imagine it on a bigger planet like Jupiter, or around the sun, or even larger. Locally you would measure it as being very flat, within a tiny fraction of a percent. So something that looks flat could actually be curved but with a very large radius of curvature.

But this analogy is only in 2 dimensions, covering the surface of a sphere of really large size. The curvature is in the third dimension in the direction of the center of the sphere (perpendicular to the local surface of the paper).

Imagine it now in 3 dimensions. You are floating in space at leave a real arrow pointed in some direction. You fly off in your rocket in that direction and eventually find yourself approaching the arrow from the tail end. It doesn't matter which direction you point the arrow, that always happens. That is a closed universe in 3D, meaning it is curved in a fourth dimension.

A flat universe would be one where the radius of curvature is infinite, meaning you'd never end up back at your arrow from the tail end.

I think this description is important because there is some disagreement on this. The measurement of the universe being flat within 0.4% does not mean that it is flat; it means the radius of curvature could be infinite (flat) but could just be very large. In fact, if you watch theoretical cosmologist Lawrence Krauss' talks on "A Universe from Nothing" or read the book, if you pay close attention you'll note a contradiction. At one point he jokes about how theorists "knew" that the universe must be flat because that makes it mathematically "beautiful", but then later describes how theorists "knew" the total energy of the universe must add up to zero as that is the only type of universe that can come from nothing, and yet also says that only a closed universe can have a total energy that adds up to zero. Hence is it closed or flat?

I attended one of these talks in person where this was asked and he confirmed that he thinks the evidence is strong that it is actually closed, but really, really large and hence looks flat to a high degree, and that the inflationary universe model explains why it would be so large and flat looking while being closed and zero net energy (and hence could come from nothing).

After going through all of what I know of the topic, including many other sources, I tend to agree with him that it makes the most sense that it is likely just very close to flat but is really slightly curved back onto itself at a very large radius of curvature. That also means our observable universe is only a very tiny percentage of the universe that exists.

u/Mythpunk · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

What would be considered safe for retirement plans? There aren't any other investments available that can be liquidated on the spot at the decision of the retirees that also provide the amount of growth necessary to have a retirement plan worth anything.

I don't really see how this law would destroy Comcast, at all. It would radically harm working class people with retirement plans, but the wealthy people in control of Comcast would develop complex legal arrangements via contracts and insurance to ensure that their business would continue otherwise.

For example: suppose such a law passes and all shareholders are held directly liable in proportion to their ownership. This effectively destroys limited liability capitalism. Share prices of every company would drop as every charity, retirement fund, investment bank, and regular person sells as fast as they can. The economy suffers another Great Depression due to the sell-off. Smaller firms die. The larger ones, like Comcast, will have the capital to buy back their shares and "go private." The individuals owning those shares could then put the shares into a trust - they would be the grantors and trustees, but the beneficiary (the individual with legal title to the property) would be a well-paid fall guy. That fall guy would likely never have the money necessary to cover any of a company's legal obligations; the company would become judgment proof.

Destroying limited liability capitalism in this way would not kill Comcast. But it would essentially halt all economic growth and cement wealth even more firmly into the upper classes. Before limited liability, economic growth was essentially zero. Limited liability capitalism (read: the distribution of risk and reward behind an artificial legal entity) is the engine that enabled the global economy to grow so rapidly since the 1500s. This is what enables the vast majority of humans to have the wealth necessary to be something besides subsistence farmers. Check out Sapiens for an explanation.

u/Mason11987 · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

> So, when we look at Andromeda through an ultra-mega-super powerful telescope - we are seeing something that is 3.5 billion years "old"?

Well, 2 million years old. That's how far away it is.

But the galaxy itself (not it's light) will collide with the milky way in 3.5 billion years. Sorry for combining those two facts in a confusing way.

But there are PLENTY of galaxies we can see today that are many billions of light years away. Which means what we see of them is how they were many billions of years ago, which is crazy.

I'm not really sure what I could recommend. I've been poking around and reading about space for a while just reading stuff I come across. If you aren't watching it I'd recommend the TV series Cosmos running right now with Neil Degrasse Tyson. I also really liked a couple books by Brian Greene (here's a link to one, and another.). The first one I really liked and it helped me to get a grasp on some things that always confused me.

Also, as a mod of ELI5 I'm not afraid to say ELI5 is an awesome source, and most any topic you can think about has been covered in depth here. Just type keywords into the search box and go to town. If there's something you can't find a great explanation for, post and ask and you'll get some great responses. /r/askscience is also great, although they are more sticklers for citation and aren't always as focused on layman explanations as ELI5.

u/daniu · 5 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

The advice to "sleep on it" is not to be able to think about it at night, but to give yourself time to calm down from short term emotions that might be connected with a decision.

There is a book about decision making called ["Thinking Fast and Slow"] ( with an explanation of how decisions can be made in those two ways, fast - intuitively, pretty much - and slow - using rational thought.

Both those approaches have their advantages and drawbacks, so you often can make a correct "fast" decision, but doing so will prevent you from checking back with the other thought process. So allowing you to do that is pretty much the value of "sleep on it".

u/EATS_MANY_BURRITOS · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Musical experience is the sum experience of many different parts of the brain cooperating. Essentially, the sonic characteristics of music activate many different parts of the brain that are involved in rhythm, pitch resolution, as well as speech, pleasure, emotion, motivation, etc., so it's a holistic effect of many parts of your brain.

However, one of the key areas activated is the amygdala, an area that is deeply involved with a lot of "lizard brain" stuff, like emotional reactions and memory. The chills you get from music (when your "hackles rise") originate from there (as well as a number of other related brain systems).

If you're interested in this topic, you may want to read the book Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks, a neurologist. Interesting stuff.

For a more in-depth, technical look at it, read the Wikipedia article on the cognitive neuroscience of music.

u/Volomon · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Razor is expensive but this is what they use in the old days and it's what I use. It's pretty good after using this you will wonder what in the heck was the point in all the extra blades on those other razors.

When you need more razors you just buy them for like 3.50 for 10 blades. You can easily change them monthly and keep the razor, well razor sharp.

u/autophage · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

The actual question has been answered well by others, but I'd like to take this opportunity to recommend a book: Charles Petzold's Code. It's pretty much an eli5 of everything about computers. It starts with an explanation of "binary codes" that consists of "you and a friend sending messages across the street by turning flashlights on and off," and from there brings the reader (gently, and without much math!) to an understanding of how all the parts of the computer work together.

u/CharlieKillsRats · 3 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

It's been vastly superceeded by more scientific based research, (I still loved the book though) instead of Diamond's approach more on "is one society better"-type outlook.

I recommend Why The West Rules--For Now by Ian Morris - basically the best book on the subject of why the west rules ever written, its a bit advanced though, having read Guns first will vastly help.

Next would be 1491 by Charles C. Mann an educated look on the pre-Colombian Americas and why we were so wrong in viewing them and why the myths persist. Highly recommended.

u/vanblah · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

You're going to have a hard time finding someone to explain the biology of it in laymen's terms. There's a good book called "Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy" that spends the first third explaining the biology of it.

Sound waves are produced by vibrations (guitar string, vocal chords, etc.) These vibrations start at a fundamental frequency (what you called "pitch") but they also vibrate at higher frequencies relative to the fundamental--these are called overtones. These higher frequencies aren't perceived as readily as the fundamental but they will color the tone of sound (timbre).

EDIT: I guess, in an overly simplistic way, you could say that the overtones do excite the nerves in the ear dedicated to those frequencies and the brain decodes them in pretty much the same way it does the fundamental. So, since the two sound sources emit different overtones the brain can tell them apart.

u/prescient_potato · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

For anyone interested in this kind of stuff, I highly recommend The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene ( I thought it was a great read and relatively easy to understand for someone not in the physics field.

u/Risen_from_ash · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

I'd like to take this opportunity to recommend a great book: The Elegant Universe. The answer to many questions here and more! :)

u/SharkToothTony · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

If you want to have a better shave and also save a lot of money, buy a safety razor. You can get the handle for around thirty dollars, for example this one, and the razors are dirt cheap, for example, this pack of 100 blades costs $11.

So there you go, a safety razor and 100 blades for $50. That is a whole lot of shaves right there, and if you ever need more blades, you can get 100 more for $11. It is also way easier to shave with a safety razor, because it is so heavy.

u/scattershot22 · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

> You can eliminate the vast majority pretty easily by reading the headings.

Or, we could get rid of laws that are never enforced.

> I would love to see a citation to that

There's a great book on the topic.

> Therefore, crimes are not created through the CFR; that would only come through the US Code.

But increasingly, federal regulations ARE being enforced with criminal penalties. Congress passes broad laws, but each of those laws bring regulations. Often, congress will not confront a difficult issue in their lawmaking, leaving it up to a regulator to do as they please. And as noted here, the SCOTUS defers to regulators when congress is vague frequently.

Worse, many of these regulations don't require intent. If you simply did the prohibited act without knowing, you could be looking at jail.

Related...don't you ever wonder why the EPA carries guns?

> If it's your address, you're the person to whom it's directed,

Not if it's not your name. See the book.

> You can look at the headings and see which ones apply to you.

There are, in all, 200 books of federal regulations--80K pages. What you advise is just not practical. At all.

> Or you could do ten minutes of googling if it's a simple business

How about you spend the 10 minutes and find out all the implications for me to import a 100W laser cutting machine from China? Or, spend 10 minutes googling and tell me all the implications of selling a bottle of whisky I distilled out of state? And then I'll tell you if you missed anything.

These are both extremely simple issues. And each will take $2000 of consultation. And even then, the lawyer will tell you he cannot give comprehensive guidance on the topic.

> I'd love to see an example of that because the way you've described it would be an ethical violation for the attorney.

You don't read the news much, do you? Source Source

Google has pages and pages of these types of stories.

> I would love to see a citation to that.

Here you go

u/[deleted] · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

When you hear an instrument play a note -- e.g., Middle C, which plays at approximately 262 Hz --, the instrument is actually playing more than just that frequency. Even so, as far as your brain is concerned, the resultant frequencies produced are equivalent to just the frequency you hear being played.

For the sake of an example (I'm making the following numbers up), Middle C played on a piano might generate a 262 Hz sound, along with a 362 Hz sound, a 462 Hz sound, a 562 Hz sound, etc. Even so, your brain combines all these signals and hears them exactly as it would if only a 262 Hz sound had been generated.

How those extra frequencies are generated (that is, what the increments between all the generated sounds are) partially help your brain interpret an instrument's tonality, a musical term for the distinctive sound of the instrument.

Source: This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession (This is a really fun book, by the way.)

u/el3r9 · 5 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

I would this in a top level comment but it’s against the rules of the sub to do so, but OP can check out this book, called “Code” is a great, truly ELI5 intro to computers. If someone is interested they can check it out.

u/honeybadger-IAN · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Daniel Kahneman wrote an excellent book called Thinking, Fast and Slow, which deals with this very issue.

Kahneman purports that the human mind operates according to two distinct systems. One is fast: instinctive, automatic, habitual, subconscious. The other is slow: deliberate, takes effort, concentrated. Some things we do instinctively or subconsciously because that is what it means to be a living human: breathing, for example. Some things we do instinctively because we have done them so many times that concentrated effort, though possible, is deemed unnecessary by our minds. When our minds determines that concentrated effort is not required, we begin to operate without thinking. This is the difference between driving home, which you've done many times, and driving to an unfamiliar destination.

These are the basics of what Kahneman explains far more brilliantly in his book, which I highly recommend.

Please correct any contextual errors :)

u/Futchkuk · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

For people who enjoyed this explanation I highly recommend The Elegant Universe it gives a great ELI5 overview of modern physics from Newton to string theory.

u/scrabbles · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Further to the excellent comments already left, if you want to investigate things later on in your own time, you might enjoy this book Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software. It explains programming and computer hardware fundamentals using excellent (and real - based on history) examples. I think even a 10 yr old would get a lot out of it, I would go so far as to recommend it to tech inclined parents for themselves and their children.

u/IrishTheHobbit · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

If you are truly interested in how the computer performs these functions, this is a GREAT book. I found it easy to understand, and I think it will answer the question you have.

u/Reputedly · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Something like that! There's a lot more to be said on the topic, if you're interested. Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel talks about a lot of what I mentioned above in greater detail (there's also a pretty good PBS Documentary based on the book).

u/HappyAssassin · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

The mind loves cognitive ease. Thinking requires energy from the body -- your heart rate increases, pupils dilate, etc.

Psychologist Daniel Kahneman covers this in depth in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow

u/pina_koala · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

If you like TIYBOM, Robert Jourdain's Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy: How Music Captures Our Imagination is right up there. Awkward title to explain in public but a fantastic read. I liked it a lot more than TIYBOM but in fairness read TIYBOM second.

u/nolan1971 · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

You're assuming that we don't have evidence, though. That was more of less true even as recently as the 1980s, but there's been a ton of work done on cosmology since then.

I suggest A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing as a decent starting point. There are other good books on the subject out there as well, but I like Krauss' writing style. Echo of the Big Bang is good as well, even if it's getting a bit dated.

Anyway, I get it. Cosmology (and a lot of physics in general) is unintuitive. Which is why relying on intuitive experience is a Bad Idea™.

u/workaccountoftoday · 3 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

There's a book I've been wanting to read but haven't yet: This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession

If you've got more free time than me go for it, but I'm extremely interested in studies on the subject. I think music is something bigger than we understand so far and I want to find the answer.

u/snowe2010 · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Along with Kngjon's comment I would suggest reading the book ("Code")[]. It's a very easy read and super fun also. You'll learn everything you ever need to know about computers. (Mostly)

u/synt4xtician · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Code is a great book that starts with this analogy & works its way up to advanced computer science and information technology concepts. Highly recommended if your'e interested in this!

u/bithush · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

You want to read Code by Charles Petzold. It is a modern classic and takes you from a flash light to a modern CPU. One of the best books computer books I have ever read. It is so good it never leaves my desk as I love to read it randomly. Pic!

u/nonenext · 3 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

If you want to know how computer is made, this amazing book explains so clearly from scratch in order so you can understand next chapter to the end.

It explains in scratch from Morse code, to electricity circuit with battery + flashlight, to telegraphy and relays with more advanced electricity circuit, to how numbers are understood in logic sense, to binary digits (0 and 1), to explaining how you can do so much with just binary digits and how barcode works, to logic and switches in algebra and advanced electricity circuits with binary/boolean, to logic gates, more advanced electricity circuits stuff, to bytes and hexes, how memory functions, to automation... ah this is halfway through the book now.

The way how he writes is very clear, understandable, and everything what he wrote has a meaning for you to be capable to understand what he wrote further in the book.

You'll know EVERYTHING about electricity and behind-the-scene how computer works, how RAM works, how hard drive works, how CPU works, how GPU works, everything, after you finish this book.

u/Kitworks · 7 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Wow. Okay. Start here, it's an awesome book about Native American civilization before Europeans.

Then go further back and find literally any source talking about the way modern humans spread from Africa around the globe.

u/snagglefox_AW · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Try buying one of these.

I got it a few years ago to clean out my PC and it works amazing. Much better than buying cans.

u/Bridger15 · 3 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

They aren't. We just moved to a new house and bought this one from amazon for $450. So far it's been great, and is very comfortable.

u/LordPachelbel · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Charles Petzold's Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software is a great book with several chapters about this topic and topics that are closely related to it, such as Morse code, Boolean algebra, the telegraph system, electromechanical telephone relays, etc. Those chapters explain really well how everything we do with computers is ultimately handled by tiny electrically controlled switches that are connected together in special ways.

u/devilbunny · 23 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

That's a pretty interesting course. I've read the book and done exercises up until you actually have to start building the CPU.

However, I would strongly recommend reading Charles Petzold's CODE first. It's a little less technical, but explains the general concepts much better than nand2tetris.

u/jim_diesel6 · 10 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

There is a ton of very cool practical and anecdotal information on this in this book: [Musicophilia] ( This was the text we used in one of my graduate classes "music and the brain," it's a very complex and not fully understood area. Almost miraculous in some instances. I highly recommend giving a look if the subject interests you.

u/stucky602 · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

If you want to know more I would recommend checking out Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by
Charles Petzold. It's not even really a coding book (well it is but it isn't). He goes form the bare basic of the telegraph and works all the way up to computers. It explains everything in a way that makes so much sense.

I'm not a programmer. I only really know how to make code spit out Hello World. I love this book as it was so freaking interesting.

u/dadadu · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

The great Oliver Sacks has dedicated an entire chapter of his latest book to this argument, it's very intriguing.

on amazon

u/I3igAl · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive
for the price of ten or fewer cans of air you get something that basically lasts forever and does a much better job. one of my best investments in a house full of computers.

u/VROF · 12 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

I installed it in my master bedroom. I have this one Luxe Bidet Neo 120 - Self Cleaning Nozzle - Fresh Water Non-Electric Mechanical Bidet Toilet Attachment (blue and white)

I can't say enough positive things about it. I don't know how I lived without it so long. The kids might play with it but that seems easily correctable and worth the headache

u/Xlator · 19 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Roméo Dallaire's autobiography, Shake Hands With the Devil, is a good, if long-winded read. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families is briefer, but very good nonetheless, and contains first-hand accounts of the events from both Hutus and Tutsis.

Both books were very painful to read, indeed I couldn't bring myself to finish either, but they are very, very good. I think I will have to give them another try, definitely don't regret buying them.

u/Aussiewhiskeydiver · 6 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Great question and a good answer. It's called the Cognitive Revolution and is described in more detail here

u/Sunsparc · 14 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

I have to order my Sensodyne from the UK for this very reason. I have weak enamel and regular Sensodyne wasn't doing anything. Someone in another reddit post mentioned you can order it from Amazon UK so I did.

It's like $6 a tube, but worth it.

EDIT: Here's the link. It's not Amazon.UK but it ships from the UK for $6.60 free shipping.

u/cjinct · 6 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

This is the one we got:

You can install yourself - super quick and easy

u/manatee1010 · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

If this sounds interesting to anyone, I highly recommend the book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.

It covers a lot of early evolutionary characteristics around and after the Cognitive Revolution (when we arguably "became human"). Some of my favorite parts are in depth discussions around how evolutionary prepositions like a belief in the supernatural/religion may have increased odds of survival (although may or may not have improved individual life quality).

u/clever-clever · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

If you're interested, this is an amazing read.

u/Noric1 · 0 pointsr/explainlikeimfive
Is this what you are talking about? It's obnoxious but works great.

Edit: I have never had a problem with the standard one that I have used on multiple computers but here is the link for the anti-static version.

u/GilgamEnkidu · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

I HIGHLY recommend the book ["CODE" by Charles Petzold] ( It explains how computers and programming languages are built starting with the simplest pieces (circuits, telegraph relays, transistors binary, assembly, functional languages) up through almost modern day. He also puts it all into historical context. I'm in the middle of it now and it is thoroughly interesting and elucidating.

u/prmars · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

I use this one at work all the time:

Other people have posted it here, and like I've mentioned, not cheap, but it's very effective, and very reliable.

u/Vladha · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

It was a combination of multiple factors. In short, humans have reached North America and the American continent in general much later than humans reached Europe. By the time Native Americans managed to develop crops and livestock, Europeans were way ahead of them with much better food, weapons and with diseases that the Native Americans were not used to.

If you are interested in this topic, I would recommend this book,
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies.

u/DarthBartus · 5 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

I really like Lawrence Krauss' explanation - universes with certain characteristics, which our seems to possess, can have zero total energy. As it turns out, empty space acts, as if it didn't want to be empty - in a state of high vaccum, space suddenly starts to boil with virtual particles - particles and antiparticles, that spring into existence and annihilate each other instantly. If that happens in empty space, then it is reasonable to suggest, that in absence of space, such virtual spaces might spring into existence, and if certain conditions are met, rather than instantly collapse, they might expand and be filled with matter, gravity and dark energy, while having zero total energy at the same time.

You might learn more from his lecture, or his book on the subject.

u/BitterFortuneCookie · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

The above answers were really good. I recommend a look at the book Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software to get a sense of the history of how computer languages evolved into how we build applications today.

u/Ainatuoretta · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

I highly recommend read this book about this topic : Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. This book is very easy to reed and explain a lot about Religion and gods.

u/skamansam · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Each CPU has a specific set of things it can do, called instructions. There are applications that turn human readable code into a bunch of instructions for the CPU. Most modern languages have several layers of applications that the code has to go through before it reaches the CPU. If you want a very awesome ELI5 book on how CPUs are made and how they process these instructions, see CODE here:

u/CKtheFourth · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

There's a really good book that answers this question and a whole lot more

Jared Diamond - Guns Germs and Steel

u/Rmanolescu · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

A good book on the matter The same is true if you ommit letters or words. A lot of road signs actually this to allow you to read at fast speeds.

u/dutchBouy · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

One way to do it:

u/lisbethborden · 21 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

OMG, only $35, though I recommend the $48 upgrade if you're a lady.
The hype is all true, IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE

u/xArbilx · 60 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

When you shave against the grain the razor tugs at the hair in addition to slicing through it, pulling it a bit farther out of the follicle. This makes it much easier to get ingrown hairs and irritation on the skin.

Edit to elaborate on everyone else's experiences by adding my own: Using Mach 3s and all that newer stuff I always broke out on my neck. Switching to a safety razor(a big part of this is also finding the right blade brand for you skin, Feather was way too sharp for me and caused razor burn, I ended up going with Derby), using a badger hair brush and shaving soap and making my own lather, shaving while showering and your hair is moist and skin is warm from the steam, and rinsing with ice cold water after the shave are what I found work the best. Hard to nail down exactly what helped the most cause I switched to doing all that at the same time.

Safety Razor



Fogless Shower Mirror

Mug to make lather in


After Shave

Cold Water ;P (I honestly think rinsing with cold water for at least 15 seconds before putting on after shave is the most important part in avoiding irritation and ingrown hairs.)

u/gamegyro56 · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

I don't know why you think the fertile crescent is important. If it's because of the start of agriculture, then the Americans cradles are in Mesoamerica, the Andes, and the Eastern Woodlands. Also, agriculture was developed in three more "Old World" regions other than the Fertile Crescent: Western Africa, China, and New Guinea.

If you think its important because of writing, then the American cradle would be in Mesoamerica. However, knowing about the record systems of Ojibwe birchbarks, Mi'kmaq hieroglyphs, Haudenosaunee wampum, Lakota Winter Counts, and Andean/Incan Quipu is also important.

The most important regions are the Yucatan peninsula and the Mexican Valley, the Andean mountains, the Southwest US (e.g. Pueblo Bonito of the Hitsatsinom), and the Eastern Woodlands (e.g. Cahokia of the Mississippians).

You can go to /r/AskHistorians for more, or you can read the book 1491 (and an Amazon link).

u/Afro-Ninja · 17 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

It doesn't "know." Any logical operation (especially basic math calculations) can be broken down into binary digits, and a single binary digit (bit) can be represented as the presence or absence of electricity.

It's almost how if you were to build a sequence of pipes and valves, and pour water into the opening, the water would end up flowing through the same way each time. The pipes don't "know" where the water goes, it just happens.

A computer does the same thing but on a tiny scale with tiny electric pulses travelling through sequences of thousands of gates all connected to each other. Imagine that the buttons you hit on a calculator slightly change how the valves open and close. (or which opening to dump the water into) You hit enter, the water is poured, and the result shows on screen.

fair warning: I am not a hardware guy so this explanation is probably not 100% accurate.
If you have more interest in the subject I HIGHLY recommend reading this book:

u/Xavierxf · 3 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Code is what helped me wrap my head around this.

You might have to read it a couple times to understand it, but it's really good.

u/terminalmanfin · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

The single best resource I've found for this is the book Code by Charles Petzold

He walks you through how computers work from the formation of Telegraphs, to logic circuits, to small memory, math, and near the end a small computer with a custom assembly language.

u/fracturedcoin · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

This is the best $40 you will ever spend.

u/this_oldhouse · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

I work for a major manufacturer of things as a field tech. they pulled all the canned air out of our vehicles and issued us one of these. 10-20x more powerful, never runs out. comes with attachments. 11/10.

u/pixel_fcker · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Excellent post. If any of you are still having trouble with the idea, then for a lengthier version of this explanation complete with diagrams, I highly suggest picking up The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene:

u/jtortiz86 · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

as others have stated, not every razor refill is expensive, mostly just the Gillette/P&G ones. they just put a lot of money into marketing and capture enough market share that they can get away with their rampant price increases.

here's what you need to do.
buy one of these: Merkur Long Handled Chrome Safety Razor

and a package of these: Derby Extra Double Edge Razor Blades - 200 Ct

even if you use a new blade every time you shave, that's less than $0.07 a shave

u/orangesrhyme · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

here's the one I bought (or at least, Amazon says so). $9 with free shipping.

u/Nebakanezzer · 3 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

For anyone interested:

I've always asked myself the "enamel rebuilding" question. I would see sensodyne ads on TV for enamel rebuilding toothpaste, but I can never find it in the store. I always assumed it just fell under their "pronamel" line. Now this makes so much sense.

Do you have any literature on the effectiveness of Novamin? I am strongly considering switching toothpastes now.

u/Conducteur · 33 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Here in the Netherlands they are available in supermarkets. They have advertisments on TV promoting it (so it's not seen as a medical product at all, for which it's illegal to advertise here).

I don't know if they are particularly popular, but they are somewhat well known. I've heard two people say it helped and nobody that it didn't, but that's more anecdotal evidence (after all, it's a sample of 2 and there are people who think homeopathics work so you can't even trust those 2).

Edit: this toothpaste with Novamin can be bought in the US on Amazon (just make sure to pick a seller that ships from the EU).

u/addcn · 5 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

All of these answers answer your question on a general level, but I would really recommend reading Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold for a deeper understanding. He talks about how the first computers were built and how they were programmed, and he does it in a way that's understandable even to a person that doesn't know a thing about computers.

u/WRSaunders · 4 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

You might be interested in Jered Diamond's book Guns, Germs, and Steel. He does a pretty thorough discussion of the subject. If boils down to white people coming in quantity from a content that's wider (East-West) than it is tall (North-South). This means temperate bands are longer, providing more opportunities to fight over crops and resources. This builds up the capability to fight, and when the advent of long-distance sailing comes into the picture, these fight-prone groups sail around the work, find less fight-prone people, and vanquish them.

u/boojit · 6 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Related, this is a very good book about computing that happens to cover the history of the braille system in some detail. If you click on the "look inside" preview bit, and go to Chapter 3, most of the information relevant to your question is covered in these preview pages.

u/FatFingerHelperBot · 3 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

It seems that your comment contains 1 or more links that are hard to tap for mobile users.
I will extend those so they're easier for our sausage fingers to click!

Here is link number 1 - Previous text "$35"

Here is link number 2 - Previous text "$48"

^Please ^PM ^/u/eganwall ^with ^issues ^or ^feedback! ^| ^Delete

u/55erg · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Yes, quantum fluctuations - where stuff can pop into existence out of empty space - is proven fact.

It's as exciting as it is disturbing when you think about it. But then the laws of physics don't really care much about our feelings.

Reading up further I would suggest Wikipedia

And a good book on the wider subject is A Universe From Nothing by Lawrence Krauss

u/Truth_Be_Told · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

You need to absolutely read this book (used copies are just a couple of bucks);

Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software

The book is very very accessible and written brilliantly. The only thing it doesn't cover, is the Physics behind the implementation of Electronics but the basics of that, you have probably studied in high-school and undergraduate classes. What you are looking for is the logical abstraction behind the application of Electronics.

The above book will clarify that like no other book i have read.

u/tilmbo · 4 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

You bring up a really important factor in current African politics - that modern nations were drawn without any concern for ethnic nations within their geographic borders, but I think Rwanda is not really a good example of what you're talking about.

No one is really sure where the Hutu and Tutsi come from (!). It is often said that the Tutsi were herders who came to Rwanda from Ethiopia while the Hutu were native farmers, but there is little actual evidence to support this claim. Instead, it gained ground when European race-scientists put it forth. Ethiopians were seen as Caucasian (and therefore ,superior), so there was an attempt to attribute any good aspects of African culture or societies to them instead of to 'lesser' Africans.

Anyway, regardless of where the two groups came from, there was, over generations, lots of mixing between the two groups. By the time the Belgians got to Rwanda, Hutus and Tutsis spoke the same language, had the same religion, lived in the same communities, married eachother, had kids together. There was a general idea that Tutsis raised cattle while Hutus farmed, bu in reality both groups did both. Basically, there wasn't that big a difference between Hutus and Tutsis. The genocide couln't have been avoided if the Hutus & Tutsis were separated because, really, they weren't even different groups.

When then Belgians came, they came with their own mindset and world view. Belgian society was one with rival ethnic groups - the Flemish and the Walloons - and that rivalry came across in the make up of the Belgian government. When they set up a government in Rwanda, they set it up with that model. They saw the Tutsis as descendents of Caucasian Ethiopians and as superior to the Hutus. They made everyone have an ID card saying if hey were Hutu, Tutsi, or pygmy. They gave the Tutsis more power and more access to education and better jobs. They basically created tribal conflict where there hadn't been any.

Fast forward to Rwandan independence, and the Hutus, who had been disenfranchised under the Belgian system, were (understandably) pissed. Over the years, they began to disenfranchise Tutsis. And in 90s, it erupted into full-fledged genocide.

Clearly, this is an oversimplification. And I'm too lazy right now to go upstairs and pull citations out of the shelf full of books I have on the subject. But, for an awesome read about the genocide, its origins, and its ramifications, check out We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families by Philip Gourevitch. You might also check out Rene Lemarchand's writings, especially Political Awakening in the Belgian Congo, Burundi: Ethnocide as Discourse and Practice, and & The Dynamics of Violence in Central Africa*. I don't know that those can be accessed online, but this article of his also discusses the complexities of the Rwandan genocide.

And, since this is ELI5, here's the TL;DR:

When Europeans drew borders in Africa, they didn't care about the people there. Lots of times, this lead to later civil wars because two groups that were enemies had been lumped in together or because one group was split up between two different countries so they'd try to leave and make their own new country. But what happened in Rwanda in the 1990s was a little bit different, and a lot more complicated.

u/topaz420 · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

I got a Datavac ED500 electric duster--it's stronger than any compressed can I've ever used, and though it's $60, I'll also never have to buy a can again.

u/sir_earl · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

I don't know. There is a book called "this is your brain on music", which is great for this exact topic. I don't really know too much about the brain beyond the basics. I have the book, but I'm in the middle of a few other books so I haven't read it yet

u/zeitistjetzt · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

For further reading

It started from the beginning with binary, Morse code, and light switches, etc, gradually building up to motherboards and operating systems. It starts to make me feel like I could build a computer from scratch.

u/alclarity · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Are you talking about one of these:

If it really works well, I wouldn't mind paying $60 for one to use with my PC

u/1tacoshort · 37 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Get yourself a bidet. Solves the I've-used-so-much-paper-I'm-bleeding thing.

u/Mercury_NYC · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

If you have a chance, read "Guns, Germs and Steel", it goes into detail exactly how we got to the industrial revolution and what factors caused it.

u/sacredsnowhawk · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

If anyone is interested in learning about this stuff in-depth, I really recommend the book 'Code' by Charles Petzold. You won't feel like a computer moron again.

u/TastyPancakes · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

When you're asleep, your mind is less distracted and you may have many kinds of creative experiences. Different brains respond to music differently. Oliver Sacks, the famous professor of neurology, talks about this kind of thing in [one of his books] (

u/Achains13 · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Get an air blower. Datavac is one I got because a can of air wouldn't last me long with the amount of electronics/computers I have. One time purchase of $60~ a few years ago from amazon and I won't go back.

u/Fidelio · 11 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

You can order Sensodyne with Novamin on Amazon.
It ships from the UK.

u/hnat · 20 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

If you would like a very detailed explanation of this, might I recommend the book Guns, Germs, and Steel, but what it boils down to is similar to what person132 said in another comment.

High population density, and larger populations as a whole, combined with city living and poorer diets, means that more Europeans got sick in general. To infect the surviving Europeans, diseases needed to adapt to be stronger, and more resistant to their immune systems. When these diseases came with them to the colonies, they were no match for the Native American's less/differently developed immune systems.

u/scurvydog-uldum · 4 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Jared Diamond's masterpiece, Guns, Germs, and Steel had a chapter on this.

Zebras get nasty as they get older and don't stay tamed.

u/Pandromeda · 4 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Lawrence Krauss wrote a book about it, A Universe from Nothing.

It doesn't actually answer the question since no one has yet found an answer. But if the question is really bugging you it is an interesting read.

u/pubgrub · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

You might want to look at this book

or this webpage

u/SnarkLobster · -1 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

May I suggest: Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared M. Diamond

"Fascinating.... Lays a foundation for understanding human history."―Bill Gates

In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history.

u/otiliorules · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

In the book, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda, the author discusses this process a bit. The book is really interesting (but sad). I read it after watching Hotel Rwanda.

u/timrosenblatt · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Check out a book called “Thinking fast and slow” by Daniel Kahneman. It goes into this type of stuff, and how we have two types of systems in our brain that do what you’re describing.


u/symonsays · 3 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Most animals cant be domesticated. In history i think only 14 animals have been fully domesticated. In the book Guns Germs & Steel you can find more info on this

u/dr_dalek · 4 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Take a look at this book: Code The book starts off with a switch and builds a whole computer from there.

u/The_Doja · 19 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Great book about the actual numbers of death

TL;DR (the book) - It's fucking staggering.

Equiv of 9/10 people dying in your populus

u/c_gnihc · 12 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Since we're on the subject of cooking semen, here's a little gift.

u/haahaahaa · 0 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

I use one of these. They're kinda loud and a little pricey, but at $8 a can, canned air is expensive.

u/Lord_Emperor · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

> Is it possible to get cans without this shit?

Is normal air acceptable?

u/Sonicjosh · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

I wouldn't say that there's nothing to replace it, it just has a higher up front cost.

u/alexnader · 8 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

What about this one, that says it's shipped from the UK and has the GSK NOVAMIN markings on the back ?

u/kenlubin · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

The version available in the US doesn't have Novamin, so you have to buy it from the UK.

u/goodsam1 · 3 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent

and yeah this seems like it could be solved by a congressman who makes his laws about removing/streamlining the code of law.

u/Ticklemykelmo · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Blast chiller, anti griddle, and the linked product all exist. Cooper Cooler Rapid Beverage & Wine Chiller, Silver

The fiest two are probably too expensive to be considered “household” but the products are out there.

u/PirateKilt · 7 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Exactly. We've replaced all the old mattresses we had for our 4BR house with these and couldn't be happier with them.

u/scoodidabop · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Go check out "This Is Your Brain On Music" by musician and neuroscientist Daniel Levitin check it out here. Amazing book. Anyway I'll try to summarize some of the ideas behind human preference for the 4/4 meter. So you know tally marks right? Try writing out tally marks more than four in a row. It starts to get confusing to count! Most people can't really count more than 4 straight lines next to each other in a row at a glance (although some really crazy people can count 8 or more that way!) so we adopted the cross tally for the 5th mark. Birds, for example, get confused after seeing groups of 2 or 3 (can't remember which... maybe 3). So birds can tell if the difference between a predator that's alone and one that's with partner, but perceive more than 3 as basically also 3.

At the end of the day it's a limitation of our wiring. We like 4/4 because anything beyond that becomes very difficult to perceive and "feel" for most people. I imagine alien species with more advanced brains go to nightclubs for some 9/7 music. Weird.

EDIT: added amazon link. Damn good book!

u/DrStephenFalken · 3 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Or for the same price as that 12 pack buy an electronic duster for $40-$60 and never have to worry about running low on canned air, pressure drops or holding cans that are freezing cold.

u/In_Dying_Arms · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

This is the one I've seen the most. Works pretty well, can get hot after a couple minutes but other than that no complaints about it.

u/Maytree · 13287 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

You might be interested in this book:

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. Kahneman has done Nobel-award winning research into the way human beings make irrational decisions and why. The TL;DR is that the brain has two distinct systems for thinking -- a strong, fast, emotional and relatively dumb one, and a weaker, slower, rational, much smarter one. When you "think with your gut" you're using the first system, and when you ponder something carefully and make a rational choice you're using the second system.

So what you had here was a good example of the two systems being in conflict. The dumber but stronger emotional system probably said something like "Ugh, I don't want to walk up those stairs! I can do this with a butter knife." The smarter but weaker rational system then pointed out that this was pretty dumb, but it wasn't strong enough to override the "fast" system, which is all about short-term tactics, not long-term strategies. The slow system then sent you off to Reddit to complain about how your fast system is an idiot.

Edit: I wasn't aware the the ebook links were unauthorized so I've removed them per request of the moderators.

u/Shisno_ · 7 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

What an absolutely idiotic response.

Whites weren't successful because they were white. They were successful because, their harsh environment and access to resources caused them to look toward innovation to overcome nature. After that mindset was established, they further advanced through structured warfare, and after that, colonization.

If you want to dumb it down and say, "cuz white ppl", then by all means...

Guns, Germs, and Steel can give you an absolutely masterful understanding of why white European peoples came to preeminence.

u/brinnswf · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

out of 2,827 amazon reviews over 2,500 are 4 star+. I am very intrigued.

"Modern wheat, in particular, is responsible for destroying more brains in this country than all the strokes, car accidents, and head trauma combined. Dr. Perlmutter makes a persuasive case for this wheat-free approach to preserve brain health and functioning, or to begin the process of reversal." --William Davis, MD

My response to this, is literally, wtf.

I am currently reading another book, Thinking fast and slow, I'm only 30 pages in and love it. It's more of a less diet focus, more psychology. This book is legit.

But if I finish it I might pick this up, though I'm not going to lie. I am a very discerning reader. Whole grains destroying your brain..? Wtf are they getting at... Let's all just eat a bunch of salami + cream cheese while avoiding oatmeal and bam! healthy diet! yeah, right...

But I am open minded. Forward motion! At the same time, give me your best shot! Bet I could run a 24 mile marathon faster then almost everyone who reviewed that book... >:)

u/gndn · 4 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Check out three felonies a day. The short version is that there are so many laws on the books now that it's pretty much impossible to go a whole day without breaking one. Allowing the government access to everyone's private lives opens the door for them basically go fishing - pick some guy at random, dig into his past in enough detail to find out what law(s) he's broken in the past few months, then put him in prison. In theory, it's supposed to be the other way around - the government can't start investigating you unless they have a specific, articulable reason to believe that you're doing something illegal.

u/Uncle_Father_Oscar · 3 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

"It is a violation of Federal Law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling."

Just one example of a law that probably everyone has violated. Did you hold the windex exactly 6 inches from the surface you were cleaning? No? Then prison.

u/zdaytonaroadster · 29 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Historian here, ACTUAL truth, because of the warm all year climate and abundance of food with small tribal populations divided by geography (for the majority of the time) there was no development to the advanced civilization the rest of the world did, and the ones that did, didnt last long (great Zimbabwe, Nubia, ect). The middle east had vast deserts, Europe and to a lesser extent Asia had winters, so food cultivation and thus tool making never really materialized in vast amounts of sub-Sahara Africa because they didnt have to overcome their environment as far as climate goes. (i am assuming thats what you are talking about as north africa is a different story, they arent poor).

Africa actually has vast amounts of resources, rare earths for example, but their governments corruption keeps any of the wealth out of anyone's hands but the government and military war lords.

The idea that things were just fucking dandy until colonial powers came to the shores is laughable and only a fool with no education would believe such non-sense. The few iron age civilizations that did developed were gone long before the Europeans arrived. And it was the Arabs who arrived first and began slavery and "exploitation" of Africa, not Europe. And for every augment for colonialism raping Africa, there is another Rhodesia to Zimbabwe story to counter it.

tl;dr-Its not always Whitey's fault, despite it always being blamed on him

^gives you a basic idea in layman's terms

u/Kirkaine · -1 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

That's a monster of a question. Hell, development economics is an entire academic field, you might as well ask 'ELI5: Physics'. Anyone who seriously thinks they can give you an answer here is lying to you, and probably to themselves as well.

That being said, for my money there are three books that are really required reading on the topic of how countries end up poor, plus two books that are required reading on why it's so hard to fix. I'd call them the bare minimum to call yourself literate on the subject.

  1. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, Jared Diamond. Essential reading on the big (i.e. several millennia) question of how the world ended up broadly split between rich and poor. I think they made it into a documentary, that's probably worth checking out.

  2. Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson. If you only read one of these, make it this one. Perfect blend of big picture history and modern policy analysis.

  3. Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo. Much more micro-focused, this one is about poor people more than it's about poor countries. I mainly include it because Esther is a beast, and this is one of my favourite books of all time. Definitely worth the read.

    Two that you should read on why it's so hard to fix global poverty (Poor Economics sits at the intersection).

  4. The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for our Time, Jeffrey Sachs. Jeff Sachs is one of those names that everyone in the world should know. Read this book, end of story.

  5. The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good, William Easterly. Easterly is another name everyone should know. To be honest, I don't agree with him on a whole lot of things. But pretending the other side of the debate doesn't exist is utterly moronic, and you can always learn a lot from people you disagree with.
u/justthistwicenomore · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

The below is based on my recollection of this amazing book

Rwanda is a small african country. As a result of specific policy choices made during the colonial era, the country was divided between a Tutsi minority that dominated politics and trade, and a Hutu majority that often felt left out of governance.

In the post colonial period, this ethnic divide deepened, and ultimately the Hutu majority took power in the country. The country faced trouble typical of the region at the time, with strongman government and ethnic strife.

Over time, the government increasingly used the Tutsi minority as a scapegoat for problems in the country. Following the assassination of the president (which some claim was the responsibility of his supposed allies) the government called on the Hutu population to rise up and cleanse the Tutsis. Spurred by radio personalities and the government, soldiers, police, and armed mobs began to slaughter Tutsis.

The international response was divided. France considered the Hutu government a client, and was opposed to direct foreign intervention. The UN forces in the country were similarly paralyzed, and politics prevented them from taking a direct role in trying to stop the worst of the conflict. (the leader of the UN force ultimately killed himself out of guilt for failing to do more, if I recall correctly).

Ultimately, a mostly Tutsi resistance force was able to stop the killing, eject the government and force the worst of the military out of the country (Which destabilized neighboring Congo).

The estimated death toll is between 800,000 and 1.2 million killed, I think, in a matter of weeks.