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1,342 QI Facts To Leave You Flabbergasted (edition 2016)

by John Lloyd (Author)

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Member:Scarlet-Aingeal
Title:1,342 QI Facts To Leave You Flabbergasted
Authors:John Lloyd (Author)
Info:Faber & Faber (2016), Edition: Main, 368 pages
Collections:Your library, Read in 2017, Humour, NetGalley, Non Fiction
Rating:****
Tags:Non Fiction, Humour

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1,342 QI Facts To Leave You Flabbergasted by John Lloyd

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Another annual collection of facts from the QI team. The books are still enjoyable, but once you have seen the editorial hands massaging the facts it becomes less rewarding. The push for brevity has had the unintended consequence of removing some much-needed context: sometimes, when you read one of the facts, you need to know more. I should stress, it's not that you necessarily want to know more, only that you need a little bit more qualification in order to appreciate the information given. Entries like "Bacteria invented the wheel" (pg. 333) require more context; on its own, it means nothing, but 'some bacteria use wheel-shaped motors in their tails' (which is accurate, according to the cited source) is almost as concise and much more informative. It also, when you think about it, makes the fact much more mundane than the editorial phrasing they chose.

This massaging of facts is sometimes just innocently clumsy ("No one knows why scientists don't have tails" (pg. 3)) but sometimes it is deliberately misleading. A fact on page 5 that "Sabre-toothed tigers never existed" is not, despite what you might conclude solely from that line, suggesting these cats never roamed the Earth. Rather, the cited source reveals it is just splitting hairs about the word 'tiger' as they were not closely related to modern tigers. The QI team manufactured a misleading 'fact' using semantics, and it is this sort of editorial intervention that means the cited sources – and consequently, an internet connection – are required at hand in order for the book to remain a rewarding read. The book cannot stand on its own.

With that particular bee out of my bonnet, these QI fact books do remain a quick and easy pleasure. Some of the facts are cleverly written (like the 'Bouth' fact on page 84), some are cheeky (the ship-salvage industry tried to get weather forecasting banned (pg. 61)), some make you laugh (the man who swam the Panama Canal who was declared an honorary ship (pg. 314)) and some are, yes, quite interesting (the first passports had written descriptions instead of photos (pg. 68)). An entertaining read, with some caveats. ( )
  MikeFutcher | Apr 7, 2017 |
I would like to thank Faber and Faber for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.

There's not a lot I can say about this one. It is what it says it is; a book full of weird, funny and interesting facts that will have you either chuckling, WTF'ing, or scratching your head.

Here are few examples:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar was originally called A Week with Willie Worm.

In China, it's illegal to reincarnate without filling in a government Reincarnation Application form.

Men who watch a lot of porn have smaller than average brains.

In the 18th century, chickens were known as "cacklers" and eggs were "cackling farts".

"The Copper-Penis Owl" is the monster used in Hungary to scare children into behaving.

I now find myself throwing out random useless facts during conversations, lol. As an added bonus, my point score has gone up when watching QI on TV! ( )
  Scarlet-Aingeal | Jan 13, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0571332463, Hardcover)

The sock-blasting, jaw-dropping, side-swiping phenomenon that is QI serves up a sparkling new selection of 1,342 facts to leave you flabbergasted. Trees sleep at night. Google searches for 'How to put on a condom' peak at 10.28pm. There is no word for time in any Aboriginal language. Scotland has 421 words for snow. Emoji is the fastest growing language in history. Astronauts wear belts to stop their trousers falling up. The name Donald means 'ruler of the world'. Tanks are exempt from London's Congestion charge. The anti-spam industry is worth more than the spam industry. Florida has more bear hunters than bears. Selfies kill more people than sharks. Two-thirds of deaths in the world go unrecorded. On each anniversary of its landing on Mars, the Curiosity rover hums 'Happy Birthday' to itself. Nostalgia was classified as a disease by the Royal College of Physicians until 1899. 1 in 3 children pretend to believe in Santa Claus to keep their parents happy. Black coffee drinkers are more likely to be psychopaths. When you blush so does the lining of your stomach. Quidditch, Digestive biscuits and overdrafts were all invented in Edinburgh. The world's only Cornish pasty museum is in Mexico. Nobody knows why the Oscars are called the Oscars. Las Vegas hosts an awards ceremony for people who make awards. In 2015, America's 'National Hero Dog Award' was won by a cat. A group of unicorns is called a blessing. If there are any facts you don't believe, or if you want to know more about them, all the sources can be found on ebsite.

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 08 Jan 2017 21:29:58 -0500)

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