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Seven Random Things That Are Saving Your Life Right Now

Sep 12, 2013 -- 11:34am

   

                    David Rogers/Getty Images 

 

Life expectancy has doubled in the last 150 years, mainly because of advances in modern medicine.  But you might be taking all the LITTLE reasons for granted. 

 

Slate.com put together a list of seven random things that are saving your life RIGHT NOW . . .

 

1.  Cotton.  Before cotton, clothes were mostly made of wool.  And wool was great at hosting lice, which carry typhus and other nasty diseases.  Whole ARMIES used to get wiped out by the lice in their wool uniforms.

 

2.  Satellites.   Storm forecasting is constantly improving, and satellites can see what's going on way in advance . . . which saves lives because people can get prepared and evacuate before a storm hits.

 

3.  Fluoride.  People actually use to die a slow, painful death from an abscessed tooth.  Now we have modern dental care and things like toothbrushes and fluoride.

 

4.  Window screens.  Believe it or not, houseflies can be deadly.  They carry all kinds of disease.  But the widespread use of window screens keeps them out of all modern spaces.

 

5.  Road reflectors.  Those little white bumps on roads are called "Botts' Dots" and they were invented by a guy named Elbert Botts.  They started installing them in the 1960s and they keep drivers in their lane . . . especially when it's dark and rainy.

 

6.  Air-conditioning.  Having A/C cuts the death rate by up to 80 percent on sweltering days.  Cities have started installing "cooling centers" for people who would overheat, and die, at home.

 

7.  Shoes.  There's a deadly parasite called a "hookworm" that can bite people and ENTER THEIR BODY in the space between their toes.  And it used to happen all the time when people walked barefoot out of an outhouse.

 

(Slate)

 

 

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