“The Book Of General Ignorance” – Everything You Think You Know Is Wrong

The Book Of General Ignorance (2007)I picked this one up at the library after hearing about it on Kevin Smith’s Smodcast a while back.  I’m kind of a trivia junkie so I figured I’d really enjoy this.  Essentially (as the tile suggests) these are little nuggets of information that are pretty much universally thought of as “truth” when in reality they’re complete bullshit.  It’s an interesting read if you enjoy tidbits of info such as:

  • How many moons does the earth have?  At least 7.
  • The hottest part of a chili?  It’s the central membrane.
  • A jalapeno = 4,500 SHUs (Scoville Heat Units) which means it needs to be watered down 4,500 times until you can’t taste it any more.
  • The hottest chili is a “dorset” which chimes in at 923,000 SHU – holy shit!
  • What effect does alcohol have on brain cells?  It doesn’t actually kill them (YEA!!!)  In fact, it just makes new ones grow less quickly.
  • A hangover actually comes from the brain shrinking due to dehydration.  The brain itself feels no pain… it’s actually the membrane around the brain.

A couple of hundred pages of stuff like that.  Some are more interesting than others for sure but it definitely held my interest.  My one big bitch was that there was many times way too much info about a particular nugget of info.  For example telling me that Columbus did not in fact discover America but some other dude did is kind of cool.  Going on for a page and a half about said dude’s back story and where Columbus actually landed was not.

Some folks may really like this.  For me there were some interesting stuff and other stuff that I just skipped over.  Definitely a good bathroom book!

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