How does this happen?

Do you ever wonder how people discover things?
Why would someone cut a thin persimmon seed in half, discover kitchen utensils, and decide to  predict weather with this information?

my persimmon seed 2012--fork
spoon = snow
Why would someone drop a Mento candy into a diet coke?
How did someone figure out that beet juice could be used as an ice melter?
Was it purely by accident?  Was someone walking along on an ice-covered path, while drinking a bottle of beet juice,  slip on the ice and spill their beet juice?  Did the ice melt immediately?  Who would drink beet juice?  Do scientists have such a different brain than me that they just experiment like this?
We are experiencing more ice in NW Arkansas.
ice on rain chain
To aid in keeping the roads from freezing, the highway department is trying a beet juice/salt method on the roads.  This is not a new idea.  Northern states have used this for years.
Apparently beet juice is more effective for melting ice when temperature drop below 25 degrees.  It is also effective even in sub-zero temps.  For some interesting info about using beet juice as an ice melter, check out the Missouri Department of Transportation article below.
Who would’ve guessed the lowly beet would rise to such distinction?
In the meantime,
How does this happen?
ice on rain chain
or this?
ice on rain chain
I need to get out of this house!