Whenever my wife and her mother go to X-treme Nail Spa in Orland Park to get their cuticles cuter, I while away the hours at the nearby Barnes & Noble. I'm a very discriminate buyer of reading matter. It's a matter of taste, and the pocketbook.
A few days ago I grazed among the inviting shelves and came away with a few books I'm likely to read. 'Likely' unless they join their brethren of 'likely-to-read-books' I may never get to...unless modern medicine grants me another lifetime.
The books we choose to read must say a lot about who we are exactly. Whoever I am, these are the four I left B. & N. with: "Twenty Years At Hull-House" by Jane Addams; "Name That Movie-100 Illustrated Movie Puzzles"; ""Technology-The Surrender of Culture to Technology; and, "Are You Kidding Me? Fun Facts That Feel Like They Can't Be True". So what's my profile? A frustrated social worker who loves movies and trivia, but suffers from a technology agita? Whatever.
The book jacket of "Are You Kidding Me?" says that Harry Bright and Jakob Anser "take great pleasure in regaling each other with bizarre factoids". Let me regale you, gentle reader, with ten 'bizarre factoids' that may leave you asking for more.
1. The Big Bang Theory was the brainchild of a Catholic priest, Pere Georges Lemaitre.
2. In their "Principia Mathematica" Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead used 362 pages to prove that 1 + 1 = 2.
3. After ten years 70 % of your pillow will likely be dust mite excrement.
4. In "Gulliver's Travels" Jonathan Swift described the two moons of Mars 150 years before they were discovered.
5. Disney's Dumbo could fly, right? But an elephant, in fact, is the only mammal who can't jump. Figures.
6. The human brain can't distinguish between a sneeze and an orgasm. So add a little pepper to your relationship?
7. "Rock and roll" originally was an African-American euphemism for sex. DJ Alan Freed used the term to see if the FCC would notice.
8. Originally, the game of Monopoly was an indictment of Capitalism.
9. "The King and I" is banned in Siam (Thailand). Historically and culturally, it is inaccurate, and , hence, offensive. Dancing with the King would have been verboten.
10. If you spent $7 million a week since the birth of Christ, you'd have spent less than the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will cost taxpayers between 2009 and 2019.
And this is only scratching the surface of this wonderful lode of trivia fun. Get a copy and see.