This is a guest post from Laura Cococcia from The Journal Of Cultural Conversation. Laura is a genius who used to work for Google. Today she has saved you from the unformed half-wittery I was about to publish this morning. Someone please ask her about her singing group. I wasn’t brave enough.
Mental Floss Presents Condensed Knowledge: A Deliciously Irreverent Guide to Feeling Smart Again
At my singing group last week, one of my fellow singers said that The Police was his favorite band until he found out that the song “Every Breath You Take” is really a song about a guy stalking his ex-girlfriend. And that Sting admitted it.
Source? Mental Floss Presents Condensed Knowledge: A Deliciously Irreverent Guide to Feeling Smart Again. And all this time I thought it was a love song.
As I get older, my brain gets mushier. It was high time I brushed up on something to stay useful in this world.
But, I’d be lying if I said that Mental Floss is a veritable encyclopedia.
It’s even better.
In summary, it lists 15 categories of information (from performing arts to geography to economics), that include short summaries of accurate knowledge in a flippant tone.
Condensed Knowledge is what I call a Coffee Table book.
But don’t just leave it on the coffee table. Pick it up and read something new once a day. Invite friends over and quiz each other. Or if you have no friends, you can quiz yourself.
Here are a few fun facts that I learned by reading the book:
1. Sigmund Freud was an unabashed cocaine advocate who regularly shared it with his sisters, friends and patients (page 295).
2. There are as many chess games as particles in the universe (page 92).
3. Somalia isn’t really a country; its classification as one is a mistake on most world maps (page 108).
4. A human is born with 300 bones, but the number of bones you have as an adult is 206. (where did they go?) (page 96).
5. The jaw breaking, multi-syllabic word “anacephaleaosis” simply means “recap.” (page 162).
There you have it. Maybe you guys are smarter than me and knew this stuff already. If not, now you know five new things to impress your friends and dates.
If you want to know more, you’ll have to get the book. Hopefully we can all be collectively smarter in the next few months.
Laura Cococcia works in global advertising and is the editor of The Journal of Cultural Conversation. An NYC resident, she is a voracious reader, obsessed traveler, committed foodie, and aspiring author. You can follow Laura and TJCC on Twitter.
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