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Mental Floss presents In the Beginning: From Big Hair to the Big Bang, mental_floss presents a Mouthwatering Guide to the Origins of Everything Paperback – Bargain Price, November 6, 2007

3.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur met as first year students at Duke University. Ignoring the lures of law school and investment banking, the pair co-founded mental_floss and have been grinning ever since. Maggie Koerth-Baker is a freelance journalist and a former assistant editor at mental_floss magazine, where she consistently astounded Will and Mangesh with her amazingness.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006125147X
  • ASIN: B002ECEFE4
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,857,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am surprised that there are not more reviews for this book. This was the first Mental Floss book that I purchased.

If you're someone who has moments when you're doing something and ask yourself "I wonder who invented this?", or "Have people really been using this for a hundred years?" then you'll thoroughly enjoy this book. If you're someone who has a few extra minutes to kill and likes reading short entries with fascinating information that you'll probably never use, then you'll enjoy this book.

One of the major highlights of this book is the humorous slant that it is written in, which can only expected from Mental Floss. There are also sketched drawings throughout the entries. It is, by no means, written like an encyclopedia.

My only complaint is that there is not an index in this book; instead, it broken into "chapters" which are listed in the front of the book. These chapters include***:

"Arts and Literature": From Shakespeare to Jazz.
"Bad Stuff": Mythical Creatures, Drugs, Epidemics, and more fun/depressing things.
"Fashion and Beauty": From the basics like Soap and Lotion to Hairstyles and Swimsuits.
"Food and Drink": From what eat like Pasta and Gum to the Dishwasher and Toaster.
"Fun and Games": From Boardgames to Roller coasters.
"Government, Law, and Money": From the Royal Family to Taxes and Coupons.
"Pop Culture": Batman and beyond! (Sorry I couldn't help myself, hehe.)
"Romance": Why do we get married? Who invented breast implant?
"Science and Medicine": The Big Bang, Flight, Prosthetics, Electroshock, Organ Transplants, oh my!
"Spinning the Globe": Increase your knowledge of foreign affairs (and how they got that way)!
"Traditions": Religion to Holidays.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been reading Mental Floss magazine for years and own many of their books. This is probably my least favorite. It's got great information but seems to lack the wit and humor that their known for. I'd recommend it if you are a big fan of mental floss, but if not, I'd suggest you start with one of their other books!
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Format: Paperback
"Mental Floss" has done it again- provided a book of fascinating trivia written with their witty and often laugh-out-loud trademark humor. The topic this time is beginnings- or the history and origins of many different things. The entries are divided into chapters, which are as follows: Arts and Literature; Bad Stuff (epidemics, evil creatures, karaoke); Fashion and Beauty; Food and Drink; Fun and Games; Government, Law and Money; Pop Culture; Romance; Science and Medicine; Spinning the Globe (culture and places); Traditions; and Useful Stuff (inventions). Each entry is about one page long. Some of my favorites were the histories of dogs, cats, and guinea pigs (which surprised me) and Aerobics (no, it didn't start with Jane Fonda).
A must have for the trivia lover or fan of other "Mental Floss" publications.
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Format: Paperback
Mental Floss does great work. Their mag is funny and always loaded with useful information. This book is outstanding as well. It's more painless learning done in the same style as the magazine.

The text is layed out well in magazine style so it makes easy reading while standing in line or waiting on a plane. They packed tons of material in it, from the origins of mohawk hairdos to popcorn. It's not all silly trivia, however. There is much that is important here that we should all know about history, science and technology but unfortunately don't. So start reading "In the Beginning"!

I highly recommend this fun and handy reference work.

--Guy P. Harrison, author of

Race and Reality: What Everyone Should Know About Our Biological Diversity

and

50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God
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This isn't a terrible book, but most of the material is a repetition of material already presented in the magazine. Disappointing.
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Hey... we all want our kids to ace those SAT's... and we're tired of nagging them to study/learn more..... and we freak out in the middle of the night wondering..... will my child get in??? I ordered a bunch of these types of books-- they are delightful. And... they make the necessary SAT learning -- FUN. Invest in this fun stuff -- while they prep for their SAT's...Invest in the hard core SAT prep stuff too.... but at least this is fun!
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