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mental_floss: The Book: The Greatest Lists in the History of Listory Paperback – November 1, 2011
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From the Back Cover
For ten years, the knowledge seekers at mental_floss have been hunting and trapping the world’s rarest facts, locking them into captivating lists for the world to admire. Thanks to their tireless efforts, Mental Floss: The Book is packed with a decade’s worth of the smartest, quirkiest stories around, including:
Five Presidential Fashion Flubs
Seven Shameless Abuses of Diplomatic Immunity
Five Units of Measurement Weirder Than the Metric System
Four Toys That Have Gone to War for America
Seven Reasons Mister Rogers Was the Best Neighbor Ever
Five Things Your Body Can Do After You Die
Six of Baseball’s Strangest Trades
Four Foods People Actually Die For
Seven Things Walmart Has Banned
Four TV Shows That Changed the Course of History
Ten “Q” Words That Aren’t “Q-U” Words
Four Horrifying Parasites to Keep You Awake at Night
Eight Fake Archaeological Finds
Five Articles of Clothing That Caused Riots
Four Memorable Moments in Cross-Dressing History
Five Doomsdays We’ve Already Survived
And 124 Other Extraordinary Lists!
About the Author
Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur met as freshmen at Duke University, where they parlayed their cafeteria conversations into the first issue of mental_floss. magazine They have collaborated on more than ten books together, including Condensed Knowledge, Forbidden Knowledge, and The mental_floss History of the World.
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MENTAL FLOSS, THE BOOK arranges lists of related materials into 14 chapters including '10 Cheat Sheets for Impressing a Diplomat, President or Pope,' '10 Lists to Lighten the Mood at the E.R.,' '10 Food Lists to Make Your Mouth Water,' '10 Pop Culture Lists to Break Out on the Red Carpet,' '10 Lists That Mean Business' and so on. The '10 Lists of Lemons' chapter, for example, includes lists of 'The Five Most Annoying People in History,' 'Six Unit Coversion Disasters,' 'Four Infamous Quarantines,' 'Six Dangerous Works of Art,' etc.
I can't say all the information in MENTAL FLOSS, THE BOOK is new to me but the way it was packaged is appealing. This is the kind of book you can read cover to cover or just pick a page at random and dive into some new and interesting trivia. In short, it's a hoot. Recommended.
By the way, the 5 'most annoying' chaps are Marconi, Caravaggio, Schopenhauer, Pete Best and Biagio de Cesena?!? Right, I didn't guess 'em either!
Here are a few examples:
Five Presidential Fashion Flubs (did you know that Thomas Jefferson sometimes greeted dignitaries while wearing his PJ's?)
Questions that probably need answers Immediately (can a pregnant woman drive in the carpool lane - appears that is a yes)
Eight Everyday Items Brought To You By NASA (smoke detectors is on the list, so are cordless tools... but something is conspicuously missing!)
The Stories Behind 9 Muppet Favorites (did you know Kermit was born in 1955 and originally made his appearance on a show called Sam and Friends?)
6 Laws Of Cartoon Physics (such as the fact that weapons never work well and you can pull anything out of a bag or coat)
Missing Body Parts of Famous People (While Stonewall Jackson is busied in Lexington, VA, his arm... well that is busied elsewhere...)
Six Tasty Foods Names After People (Graham crackers and nachos are on this list..)
When both my boys were home a few months ago this book was on the coffee table (yes in the family room we still have a coffee table.... sounds so 70's when I type it out...) and we poured over this book. We took turns sharing random facts, sometimes laughing out loud, others times saying "What? How can that be?"
In the end we all felt we knew a little more and were a little more prepared if we were ever chosen to be on Jeopardy. A lot of fun and this will be sitting out for myself s well as company for a long time.