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Category: Trivia

5 Websites That Frequently Go Down

Very few things are as frustrating as doing something on your computer or phone, and then all of a sudden, it’s not working. We tend to first blame our equipment and throw around a few choice words, but it might not be a problem on your end at all. There are certain websites that are known to go down pretty frequently, so the problem could be on their end instead of yours. Here are the five websites that go down the most frequently, telling users that sometimes “it’s not you, it’s me.”

1. Discord

While there are plenty of voice, video, and instant messaging apps available, Discord is the one that has caught on most with the younger generations as it’s more casual than business. Discord is popular with gamers for voice chat and has communities for online interests, increasing in popularity on a large scale each year.

Due to the insane amount of bandwidth that’s required for so many video chats and different channels while also increasing dramatically in users on a daily basis, Discord is suscept to crashes quite frequently. The servers aren’t able to keep up sometimes, and Discord has been known to go down for hours at a time on occasion, though becoming more of a rarity as the years go on.

2. Steam

Game launchers are all of the rage for publishers, but the original will likely be the most popular until the end of time, and that’s Steam. Steam launched back in 2003 and has been a mainstay of the internet ever since, with people from all over the world using the client to download and play games, most of which are played online.

When a popular new game comes out, Steam can sometimes crash due to the influx in web traffic as people get their hands on the game. On a daily basis, you’ll see Steam crash in many major cities around the world, though it doesn’t tend to last for long. So many people downloading the same game at once can cause the servers to hiccup.

3. Instagram

Instagram may be the most surprising website to be featured on the list since most of the website is simply images being posted by people without too many frills. However, that hasn’t stopped Instagram from crashing and going down frequently. In most cases, users will find that their news feed failed to load or that they can’t even log in to the site.

Only a handful of cases for Instagram have been because of the website totally crashing and becoming unusable. While Instagram says that the more common issues are because of a user’s internet connection, it’s usually high traffic or a bug that causes your feed to sit there with the loading icon while trying to refresh.

4. YouTube

We go from perhaps the most surprising website to the least surprising. With hundreds of thousands of hours worth of video being uploaded to YouTube every single day, there are bound to be some freezes and crashes on the site. That much bandwidth and data happening around the world at one time is a stress test for servers, even if they are owned by Google.

Typically, YouTube outages don’t last for very long as Google makes more money from YouTube than anything, so they make it a top priority for fixes. Most outages are caused by servers being overloaded or Google performing maintenance so that a major and lengthy outage doesn’t occur.

5. Microsoft Teams

Earlier we discussed Discord and how it goes down so frequently because of its daily increase in popularity and high volume of video chatting and instant messaging. The same applies to Microsoft Teams, especially as the world becomes more virtual with remote workers. Even in-office, Teams is popular for chatting and can crash frequently.

With group video chats that can host hundreds of people, you’re likely to see a slowdown in the video before it ultimately crashes. Those that work for major companies that use Teams are probably surprised that it’s not the most frequently downed site.

The 5 Best Places To Live In Canada

Canada ranks as one of the best countries in the world to live in, behind only Germany and Switzerland. Whether you’re the type that prefers to live in a major city or like the laid-back rural life, there are plenty of great options throughout Canada. With that in mind, which cities were ranked as the best to live in? Here are the five cities in Canada that had the highest scores.

5. Quebec City, QC

Affordability is one of the biggest reasons that people move to any city, and Quebec City has that in spades. With some of the lowest utility bills and rent for a major city, Quebec also has plenty of natural beauty with its many surrounding national parks. While it does get cold in the winter, Quebec City does allow people to experience all four seasons instead of a long winter and a cooler summer.

Among the safest cities in Canada, Quebec City is also a great place to make a living. The average salaries in QC are well above the national average, allowing people to put money into savings as they also pay lower bills.

4. Halifax, NS

While it has the feel of a big city, Halifax, Nova Scotia doesn’t quite have the same hustle and bustle, so it puts those that are laid back more at ease when living there. As a result, the cost of living is much cheaper in Halifax compared to many of the other major cities, and the weather is much warmer than in places like Calgary throughout the year.

While living in Halifax, you can expect an extremely low crime rate with a lot of natural beauty and things to do. The people are incredibly friendly in Halifax and traffic is almost nonexistent, with plenty of great educational options for those with children.

3. Calgary, AB

With one of the strongest urban areas in Canada and much friendlier housing prices compared to the rest of the big cities in the country, Calgary is the top destination in Alberta. Calgary is one of the cleanest cities in the world and has in fact been named the cleanest in years past. The local government has made sure that it will stay that way, with heavy regulations being put into place.

Calgary also has a lower sales tax, and the infrastructure makes it so that you don’t have to spend much time outside during the winter months. There are plenty of walkways between buildings downtown and a lot of public transportation options for those that don’t want to deal with traffic.

2. Vancouver, BC

If you want to move to a city that has great healthcare and education, Vancouver is a top option not only in Canada but one of the best in the entire world. Receiving perfect marks in these categories by the Global Livability Index, Vancouver has been amongst the world’s fastest-growing cities for quite some time now.

The surrounding natural beauty of Vancouver alone has people flocking to the city, and living downtown is an ideal setting to be close to it all. Another big positive for Vancouver is the weather. While it does have winters, they’re basically considered summers for much of the rest of Canada with less than eight centimeters of snowfall on average each year.

1. Ottawa, ON

Another one of the cities that’s considered to be among the cleanest in the country also happens to be the capital: Ottawa. There’s a lot of natural space to enjoy while living in the Ottawa area, which is ranked at the top for greenery above even the likes of Vancouver. Another big reason to move to Ottawa, especially for younger people, is the impressive work-life balance that gets high rankings.

Among the major cities in Canada, Ottawa has the lowest percentage of people who are working more than full-time hours. There are a lot of job opportunities thanks to Ottawa being the nation’s capital, and a high walkability score with low crime to boot.

The Five Best States To Live In The USA

When it comes to choosing a state where you want to settle down and spend the foreseeable future in the USA, it can be very difficult. There are a lot of regions to choose from that all bring their own climate, job market, and just about everything else. The United States is the fourth-largest country in the world, featuring desert areas, forests, mountains, and more.

From the history of the New England region to the mountains of the west, and from the sunshine of Florida to the rains of the Pacific Northwest, which states are the best to live in? Here are five that really stand out above the rest for a long list of reasons, some of which may have you call one of these states “home” for many years to come. 

New Hampshire

This tiny and unassuming state may not be the first place you’d think of when deciding on a place to visit or relocate. New Hampshire’s mountainous landscape offers breathtaking views, especially in autumn, and is the perfect place to indulge in your favorite winter activities like skiing and snowboarding. 

Alongside the beautiful views, the state is ranked highly for its excellent air and water quality. According to usnews.com New Hampshire rates 2nd in the safest states to live in the US, with the lowest crime rate second to its neighbor, Maine. Another perk of living in New Hampshire is the absence of sales tax. 

Massachusetts 

If you’re looking for reasons to relocate to Massachusetts, here are a few. Massachusetts is known for their excellent schools and universities, Harvard to name one. Nearby is the hustle and bustle of the city of Boston, the sports mecca of the New England area. 

The diversity in cultures throughout the state and larger cities provides the locals with a great selection of cuisine and an eclectic community. Massachusetts is ranked as the 7th safest state to live in by USNews.

Washington

Washington state has a lot of neat stuff that will make you want to stick around for a while. Washington has a variety of gorgeous state parks where you can take in the scenery, enjoy what nature has to offer, and feel the Oceanside breeze if you visit a park closer to the coast. Speaking of nature, the weather there isn’t half bad either. 

The climate differs depending on the area you visit, giving you options when choosing where to settle down. As far as the job market is concerned, you won’t have to worry too much, because Washington is home to some of the largest and most successful companies (Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing) where you can seek employment. 

Minnesota

If you’re thinking of heading to the Midwest, Minnesota would be a fantastic fit for those wanting the best that part of the country has to offer. Loved by tourists and locals alike, the Mall of America has a lot to offer, besides holding the title of the largest mall in the US. Visit the Sea Life Aquarium and Nickelodeon Universe indoor theme park while you’re there. 

Minnesota also carries a lower poverty rate, with the median income being over $70,000 per household. It’s also cheap to live there as it falls below the United States average, making it a great option when relocating.

Utah

Utah is a promising choice when figuring out where you want to venture next. The most tempting selling point when considering moving to Utah is the affordable cost of living. Higher income, paired with generally low spending costs makes for a perfect combination. 

Utah is considered one of the most naturally beautiful states in the country. Locals can enjoy an average year-round temperature of 52F°. Crime rates in the smaller cities are extremely low, giving them some of the lowest of any in the United States.

The 5 Best Places To Live In The USA

Finding the right place to live in the United States can be difficult. There are a lot of things to take into account when trying to pick the city you’re going to call home for the foreseeable future. There are variables such as climate, education, the job market, housing, and much more that all play a part in what makes a city a desirable place to live.

It’s hard to narrow it down to just a few places in the United States that really stand out since they all have their pros and cons, but there are a few that really stand out above the rest. Here are the five best places to live in the USA overall when all factors are considered, with one state boasting two cities on the list.

Boulder, Colorado 

Boulder, Colorado is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country in recent years. It is quickly becoming a place of interest for those looking to relocate. Boulder is ranked #4 of the best cities to live in the US in 2022. Even taking the #1 spot the two years prior. 

The metro population consists of over 320,000 people, with an average annual income of over $70,000 yearly. Although the cost of living in Boulder can exceed a quarter of the average household’s salary, a hefty income helps to balance it out. 

San Jose, California

San Jose comes in at #5 on the list of best places to live in 2022. The diversity throughout the city gives residents, and those visiting, a taste of an array of rich cultures. Explore the streets of Little Portugal, Little Italy, Little Saigon, or Japantown. 

Or maybe take in the lush and plentiful nature on the many hiking trails you’ll find. It’s a beautiful city with an even more beautiful melting pot of people and cultures. San Jose is also the epicenter of Silicon Valley and has a booming job market with high-paying salaries. The annual average income is over $90,000 and provides residents with the means to afford the comfortable and lavish lifestyles California is known for. 

Green Bay, Wisconsin 

Green Bay, Wisconsin holds over 320,000 residents, earning an average annual income of $50,000. Green Bay earns a spot on this list due to the low cost of living in comparison to the yearly earnings the average resident takes in. 

It makes for a comfortable and financially secure home, something nearly everyone would find appealing. The bustling art, entertainment, and comforting food scene are just a bonus. Green Bay has been ranked #3 of the best places to live in 2022. 

Colorado Springs, Colorado 

Colorado Springs is an even more breathtaking Colorado city to make the cut, ranked #2 in the best places to live in 2022. The incredible scenery and mountainous landscape make it a hopeful contender when considering relocation. Spots like the Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak are a must-see. You can enjoy a thrill seekers’ paradise with white water rafting and zip-lining available as well. The people are friendly, the school districts are above average, and the weather is tamer than most places, while still giving you four seasons throughout the year. 

Huntsville, Alabama

Ranked #1 in best places to live in 2022, Huntsville Alabama is a surprisingly desirable destination. One of the fastest growing cities in the US, Huntsville offers residents a blossoming job market with companies like Amazon and Facebook building a fulfillment center and $1 billion data center, offering up even more job opportunities. 

Another perk of living in Huntsville is the people. Huntsville residents are known to be kind and friendly, with a strong sense of community. The schools aren’t half bad either. They’re ranked as some of the tops in the country. 

5 Reasons To Learn To Type Properly

As the years go on, more people are able to increase their typing speed, but there are plenty of people who aren’t typing the way that they should. You’ve likely seen the types; the ones that type with only their index fingers or with one hand in particular. These are hard habits to break, but they should be changed.

There are plenty of reasons to learn to type properly, including your own health. If you’ve been looking for a reason to practice the proper techniques, here are the five biggest reasons why you should be adjusting your typing practices today.

1. Make Your Job Easier 

These days, more and more jobs offer partial, or solely work-from-home positions. Although it can make for a more comfortable environment, sometimes it’s difficult to stay focused when you’re not in a typical workplace. 

Learning to stay focused on the task at hand, as well as getting it done efficiently and accurately will make your work day run smoothly. Typing with precision and speed makes work a less daunting task. It’s an extremely helpful tool everyone should have in their arsenal when working from home. 

2. School Work 

With the rise in people working from home, more students have been given the freedom to take classes virtually and complete work on their home computers. For the students within the school walls, schools typically provide computers in the classroom, or library as well. 

Typing with increased speed and accuracy can cut down on time spent in front of the computer, which is useful when you’re spending multiple days, or nights staring at a screen for school. Getting through school work and essays more efficiently by practicing your typing speed will give you more time for rest and other activities. 

3. Keep Up With Tasks and Communications 

There’s a lot to keep up with and a lot of people to stay in touch with. The best way to get through your daily, weekly, or even monthly tasks is to approach them in an organized and speedy fashion. Open a word document, or notepad and type out a well-organized to-do list. 

Not only can you get it done faster, but you’re saving paper and can quickly fix mistakes by doing it on the computer. If one of those tasks includes keeping up with friends and family, utilize your fast typing skills to send thoughtful messages to your loved ones without taking up too much of your day. 

4. Gaming

Nearly everyone on Earth plays games of some kind and a large percentage of that is made up of PC gamers. There are an estimated 1.75 billion PC gamers out there today. For games that must require a mouse and keyboard, or if you just prefer using them over handheld controllers, typing fast is an extremely useful skill to learn. 

There are a specific set of keys on the keyboard that make up the controls of each game, with some varying as well as having the option to change/customize them. Most of which follow the same posture and hand placement you need when learning to type efficiently and quickly. It’s a great way to improve your gameplay and skills. 

5. Improves Posture and Prevents Aches

One often overlooked reason to learn how to type with more speed and accuracy, is that it helps you maintain proper posture and can keep aches and pains at bay. Use the correct technique to type fast and efficiently by keeping your shoulders down, feet flat on the floor, arms resting at the base of the keyboard, and keeping your back straight, allowing your spine to sit at its normal curvature. This will not only help you in all aspects of your online life but keep you feeling healthy and happy while you do it. 

What Public Information Is Likely To Be Out There On The Average Person?

There was once a time when someone could remain anonymous throughout their entire lives, but those days are long gone. Just about everybody is part of the public eye with advances in technology, which means there’s a lot of information available. Anyone that’s willing to can access a lot of your public information for no charge, too. Wonder what pieces of information about you are floating around for anyone to see? Here are the most common pieces that pop up in public records when you’re being searched.

5. Date of Birth

There are a lot of people that say you should never share your date of birth online. It’s why so many people don’t even update their social media to include their birthdays and get the parade of well-wishing posts that come with it each year. However, you’re really not hiding much by keeping your birthday a secret since it’s public information.

As soon as you’re born and the ink on your birth certificate dries, it becomes part of the public record. This is why in most cases you’ll see the birth of a child announced in a town’s newspaper. While it might not show up on a Google search for some people, the date of birth is easily obtainable through public documents.

4. Marriage

When you get married in the United States, you have to file for a marriage license, which becomes a public record. Not only will people be able to see the fact that you’re married, but they’ll also be able to see the date you got married and the person you married. Many of these marriage records date back to the mid-19th century, too.

Does the same apply for divorces, though? While marriage licenses are always going to be public records, there are certain cases in which a divorce certificate can be sealed. This won’t apply to everyone, but it doesn’t hurt to request this if you don’t want your divorce to be made public.

3. Property Information

For those that don’t want their address to be part of public information, there’s some bad news. A simple search can likely reveal your residence, especially if you own property. The ownership of land, including deeds and mortgages, is all part of the public record. You may think that you can dodge this by renting a property instead, but that’s not always the case.

Your mailing address can be accessed through public information requests, which is why you tend to get junk mail specifically addressed to you. While it’s lacking privacy, property information is vital for public records due to taxes.

2. Bankruptcy/Tax Liens

Speaking of taxes, a notice of a tax lien filed by the IRS or state government also becomes a public record. This is when the government secures the interest in your property in an effort to collect a tax debt. The lien is a public alert to creditors and can garner attention from anyone who performs a search on you.

In the same vein, bankruptcies that are filed with the court are also part of public records. Again, these are alerts to creditors first and foremost. However, unlike marriage certificates or birth, these won’t be printed in the local newspaper.

1. Criminal Records

Depending on where you live, people may have access to your full criminal record if you have one. In most cases, criminal records will only pop up in a public search for someone that has been sentenced to incarceration or at the very least been booked into jail. Once convicted, of a crime, your public record is updated to reflect this.

For smaller offenses or dropped charges, though, the public record won’t be updated. So if you received a ticket for rolling through a stop sign or going 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, don’t expect that to be held against you when applying for a job.

Why Do Average Heights Keep Increasing Across The World?

We keep hearing about how obesity rates are on the rise year after year, but we don’t hear too much about how the average height has also increased during that time. While the average height (based on human remains) bounced up and down for centuries, it remained at a pretty constant baseline. 

Ever since the late 19th century, though, the average height around the world has skyrocketed and only figures to increase with time. Why is this? Let’s take a look at why average heights keep increasing around the world.

1. Nutrition

We’re all told from a young age that if we want to grow up to be big and strong, we have to eat our vegetables and take vitamins. It turns out, it’s not just something your parents said to get you to eat broccoli. More people have access to food than ever before, and getting a wide range of nutrition allows people to reach their maximum height potential.

This wasn’t the case during the 1800s. Food was scarce around much of the country, and it wasn’t until around the 1950s that food was becoming more abundant. Technology that allowed foods to be frozen and shipped easier made the supply chains around the world better for those that had been lacking in food availability.

2. Living Conditions

You’ve probably heard a lot about overpopulation, especially at the beginning of the 21st century. Urban areas simply are running out of room, but that’s nothing compared to the overcrowding that the world was facing during the plague times. People were all in one central area, meaning that disease could spread quickly.

For most people, that isn’t the case anymore. Because of suburbs and liveable rural areas, people are as likely to fall extremely ill. Of course, there are still areas where people are essentially stacked up, but the conditions are far better than they were in the 19th century.

3. Natural Selection

We’ve all been told over the years that taller people are more attractive. The “apex of humanity” is typically seen as athletes, models, etc., all of which happen to be occupations where it pays to be tall. Because of this, taller people tend to have an easier time finding a mate, especially another tall one.

Long story short, tall people are having more babies with other tall people, continuing to increase the average height overall. That doesn’t mean that short people aren’t also having children, it just means that there are taller people to bring up the numbers with each generation.

4. Lack of Infectious Disease

We already mentioned the plague and how it affected the population and stunted the average height all those years ago, but it’s not the only disease that prevented humans from reaching their height potential. Due to modern medicine, infants are less likely to suffer from severe infections. 

This allows them to grow at a rate much faster than previous generations. This is especially true for respiratory infections. Pollution, especially via air, is another respiratory factor that comes into play. Pollution is still bad, but it’s nowhere near what it once was, and it has led to taller people.

Will It Continue?

The fact that humans have grown taller on average so rapidly since the start of the 20th century is a bit baffling to many scientists, actually. For many generations, shorter people were typically part of the lower class, and also had more children on average. That isn’t the case anymore, which has led to a large genealogical melting pot. 

Toward the end of the 20th century, the average height started to finally plateau a bit after decades of tremendous increase. Because of this, scientists believe that our average heights now are what we were capable of in the first place, but never got the chance to get there due to many circumstances. Health problems are common in overly tall people, so the plateau is expected to continue with a very slight increase over a long period of time in the future.

5 Guinness World Records You Won’t Believe

Many of us have had the dream of owning an officially recognized world record but might not know what we’re good at. Sure, there are the obvious world records like being the tallest, shortest, heaviest, fastest, etc. However, there are those records that are set around the world that go largely uncontested. Maybe you have more record-holding abilities than you thought you did. Here are five Guinness world records you won’t believe, and maybe you can try out a few for yourself.

5. Feeding Time

Time consumes us all, but have you ever thought about consuming time? While there are plenty of records for eating food in a certain amount of time, one man stands out as the best at eating…watches. That man is Kim Sueng Do, who ate an estimated four tons of metal before setting out to eat five watches in front of a live audience.

Kim, a native of Seoul, South Korea, ate five watches on national television in just 94.07 seconds. To train for his big day, Kim had been eating more than one pound of metal every day. 

4. Will and Te…

When drafting your final will and testament, there tends to be a ton of lingo that gets sorted out by lawyers. However, there is a record for the shortest will ever written and accepted by the courts. In 1906, Thorne V. Dickens had just three words in his will that read “All for mother.” This was contested, though, as it was unclear who Dickens was referring to.

It turns out that Dickens wasn’t talking about his actual mother. Instead, he had left everything to his wife/the mother of his children, thus “mother.” The will itself was admitted to probate, making it the official shortest will.

3. Can Opener

There are a lot of various records for performing a task in one minute as many times as possible, so it makes sense that there would be a record for most cans opened in one minute. However, there’s a very specific category that will surprise you: Most canned drinks opened by a parrot in one minute.

The record was set (or established in most likelihood) by Zac the Macaw. On January 12, 2012, Zac set out to untab as many sodas in one minute as he could. The end result was 35 cans ready for consumption. Zac doesn’t have the record for most bottle caps removed by a parrot in one minute, though, as that record belongs to Gordon the Macaw, in Los Altos, California.

2. Sporting Futility

Losing streaks can go for a very, very long time, even in the professional ranks. No professional team knows that more than soccer’s Woodford United F.C. Between April 2012 and November 2013, the team didn’t collect a single win or draw. Instead, they lost all 65 of their matches before beating Blackstones F.C. 2-1.

On the international stage, the country of San Marino had the longest losing streak. For 61 matches between September 2004 and October 2014, they lost every time, making it more than a decade without a win. Finally, in boxing, Reggie Strickland holds the record for most professional losses, amassing 276 of them between 1987 and 2005.

1. Enter the Badlands

Those that have spent some time watching competitive eating or browsing through YouTube may be familiar with Eric Booker, a.k.a. Badlands, a.k.a. BadlandsChugs. After spending a lot of time trying to set new eating records, especially at the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, Badlands turned his attention to being the world’s best chugger.

Badlands has set a lot of Guinness World Records for chugging, including downing a liter of Mountain Dew in just 6.8 seconds. Perhaps his best accomplishment, though, came when he chugged two whole liters of soda in 18.45 seconds. 

How and Why Was Military Time Invented

There are 24 hours in a day, but not every country is in agreement on how these 24 hours are measured on a clock. Most countries use the 24-hour clock, while 18 countries use a 12-hour clock that measures both am and pm. Among these countries are Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, and the United States.

However, most militaries that include the United States, use a 24-hour clock that’s called military time. The world had been more split down the middle on the 24-hour clock usage until the 19th century. That’s when Sir Sandford Fleming missed a train because the hours for am and pm weren’t listed. He set out to make the 24-hour clock a worldwide standard, and after some adjustments resulted in Coordinated Universal Time.

It might seem silly now to think that someone would get am and pm confused, it was a common occurrence in the 19th century. If it could fool someone of Fleming’s intelligence, it could certainly fool the average person. After all, Fleming was an engineer and brilliant inventor that was highly influential in the development of Canada heading into the 20th century. Interestingly enough, Canada is one of the few countries that didn’t adopt his 24-hour clock.

Fleming moved from Scotland to Toronto at a young age and helped to engineer many of the railroad tracks used in the Intercolonial and Canadian Pacific Railways. Fleming even designed the first postage stamp in Canada and founded both the Canadian Institute (now RCIScience) and Royal Society of Canada.

Just seven years before the 20th century, Italy became the first country to officially adopt the 24-hour clock as the standard measurement of time. It wasn’t long until other countries followed suit, especially during both World Wars. Eventually, the 24-hour clock became the standard for a majority of countries around the world, though some of the major countries previously mentioned are still on the 12-hour clock system.

In the United States, the 24-hour clock is still known as military time. The key reason for this is that the primary use of the 24-hour system in the country is used by the military to coordinate with a majority of countries. The United States first started using military time during World War I, but only in the Navy. The United Kingdom’s Royal Navy adopted military time in 1914, with the Army following suit in 1918. The Canadian military went into military time in 1917.

It wasn’t until the second World War (1942) that the United States Army adopted the 24-hour clock. The matter in which the 24-hour clock is read and spoken is agreed upon between the United States military and English-speaking allies, most notably the United Kingdom and Canada. While in the United States it may be 9:00 am, the military would refer to it as 0900, or zero nine hundred hours).

Over the years, there have been talks about the United States adopting the metric system and permanent daylight savings time. However, there have been very few pushes to adopt military time into civilian use. As the years go on, the pushes become fewer and farther between, too. A big reason for this is how familiar the 12-hour system is, as well as technology making it much easier to track and clarify the difference between am and pm.

If you’re in the United States, it can be easy to identify someone that has had a bit of military service depending on how they tell you the time. If the word “hundred” comes up for any time of the day, that’s a dead giveaway of military time. It remains to be seen if countries like the United States or Canada will adopt military time into everyday use, but for now, it’s reserved for members of the armed forces while civilians continue to work the 9 to 5 instead of the 0900 to 1700.

How is a Barcode Generated?

These days, it’s hard to imagine a world without barcodes. Stores depend on them for just about everything from taking inventory to setting prices. Before barcodes came along, these things had to be done manually and the amount of time and effort could end up costing a shopowner a lot of money. Add in the fact that shoplifting was almost impossible to stop and you can see why the world is better with barcodes.

The barcode came along when college student Bernard Silver heard a conversation about coming up with an easier way for checking out items at a grocery store. With that, Silver left school to work on becoming the first to get a system in place. Using his experience and the technology of the time, Silver invented the barcode and had it patented before anybody else alongside his friend Norman Joseph Woodland. 

This took place during the late 1940s and into the 1950s. It wasn’t until the early 1970s that barcodes for store usage started to take off. On June 26, 1974, a supermarket in Troy, Ohio became the first point of sale for an item using a barcode, selling a pack of Wrigley’s gum. Since then, almost everything purchased at a store has had a barcode and it’s become the standard in shopping.

But how is a barcode generated? Initially, Silver said that the idea came from extending the dots and dashes of Morse code downward into vertical lines. The reason why barcodes weren’t implemented almost immediately after their invention in the 1950s was that people simply didn’t have the software capable of making it widespread.

Each line represents a number between 0 and 9. Some barcodes are different in length, and obviously getting longer with more products and the need for more unique universal product codes, or UPCs for short. The system is operated by GS1, a not-for-profit organization that has standards for barcodes with over 2 million companies as part of the transactional organization. Companies that aren’t registered won’t receive a unique UPC, but can still generate their own barcodes through modern software.

Because of the standardization that has been set, making a barcode is easier than ever. Each retailer that’s registered with the GS1 can enter information on the product, which generates its unique barcode to help with inventory. For instance, very similar barcodes will be made for the same type of ice cream, but the UPC will help to determine which flavor is selling better. This has resulted in better inventory management and billions of dollars saved by retailers worldwide.

Each country that’s a member of the GS1 is given a unique barcode, similar to a country calling code for phones. For example, GS1 codes 100-139 are reserved for the United States, while Canada is 754-755 and the United Kingdom is 500-509. Each barcode has 95 blocks of code in total, with certain digits meaning certain things. This helps to identify food items, pharmaceuticals, etc.

We’ve come a long way since the days of having to write everything down or using punch cards to take inventory or using price tags and calculators to determine transactions. We’re seeing individuals running businesses out of their own homes and using legitimate barcodes through smartphones to keep their businesses running. 

Another advent of the barcode is the QR code, which has become increasingly popular for opening webpages on phones to see what’s in stock, look at menus, or even just a simple image or video. A QR code is still considered a barcode but is a two-dimensional version consisting of squares on a grid instead of lines. The first QR codes came around in the late 1990s, and have become a staple with the rise in touchless, cashless transactions worldwide.