I picked up 1,227 Quite Interesting Facts on a lark.
It was lying forlorn in the new books section of my local library casting a beseeching “Pick Me Up” look in my direction.
I’m glad I picked it up because the book is a cornucopia of interesting ‘facts.’
Now I have no way of knowing the veracity of all the items listed in the book but the few that I checked are true.
You can open any page and start reading. Most items should take just a few seconds.
The book covers a wide variety of topics including arts, science, literature, language, humans, animals, insects and the environment.
Here are a few of the interesting ‘facts’ cited in the $15.95 book:
* Wow! The amount of sperm produced by a single human male in a fortnight is enough to impregnate all the fertile babes on Earth. [p.255]. Now I really understand what people mean when they say, “Little drops of water make a mighty ocean.”
* Meow! Four million cats end up on the dining table every year in Asia. [p.106] Since cat food is not a hot favorite in India or the U.S., I can’t vouch for this ‘feline delicacy.’
* Don’t tell this to your girlfriend but Kangaroos have three vaginas. [p.3] Good Lord, one vagina is more than most men can handle.
*Contraceptive pills work well for gorillas too. [p.192] Does that mean they’ll work on Salman Khan and Narendra Modi? 😉
* Apparently, a single edition of the New York Times contains more information than an average 17th century Englishman would have been exposed to in his entire lifetime. [p.92] I wonder what the 17th century Englishman would make of the humongous library that the Internet is.
* Airlines are flying slower today than than they were in 1960 to save on fuel costs. I have no doubt that airlines are hated more than politicians.
* The book defines Nomophobia as the fear of being out of cellphone contact. [p.82] Wow, I wonder what the word is for “Fear of Keyboards.” 😉
* Vatican City has the highest crime rate (600 crimes for a ‘city’ with a resident population of just 800) [p.77] If you ask me, not in the least surprising considering the Catholic priestly passion for pederasty and other venal sins.
* Ambidextrous has an antonym called ambisinistrous (equally bad in both hands) [p.75] Indian mobs hurling stones and glass bottles are rarely ever ambisinistrous.
* It pays to fly Economy class in airlines. Why? Because 69% of passengers in the back of a plane survive crashes compared to 49% of those who sit in the front (First Class and Business Class). [p.145] Ha ha ha. At last, something the 99% can revel in.
* We are losing languages at the rate of one every two weeks. [p.13] I hope we lose Urdu soon because that’d leave the Pakis speechless to badmouth India. 😉
* Washing hands properly could save a million lives a year. [p.263] How I wish hospital staff would follow this good practice.
* Half a pound of botulinum toxin is enough to kill everyone in the world. [p.135] The big question is: Is humanity worth saving at all.
I wouldn’t recommend buying 1,227 Quite Interesting Facts ($15.95) although I find it amusing.
You see, I think the only books worth buying are either classics or those by eminent academicians (and these can be had for a song on Amazon or at the libraries from their “cast off” lot).
But if your library stocks 1,227 Quite Interesting Facts, don’t hesitate to pick it up.
Makes for nice bed-time reading or leafing through on the subway ride to the office.
It’d be remiss on my part not to mention that the interesting ‘facts’ in the book were put together by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson and James Harkin.