The Book of General Ignorance
But you're wrong, there's more to it than that. And while we're on the topic, here are a few more facts and observations that are sort of related to the original subject but perhaps not so much. All in all, a useful resource for debunking those who presume to have knowledge of trivia that is superior to yours. Very good for reading just a bit of before bed, palate-cleansing during frantic essay writing, or sitting down with for an hour straight, thinking 'just one more page' I haven't actually seen much of the TV show, but I do follow qikipedia and have heard my mother hooting away with mirth when watching the tv show.
The book isn't as funny, most of the time, but it does succeed in being Quite Interesting. It covers a lot of facts I've read elsewhere in other books some of which I suspect of tak Very good for reading just a bit of before bed, palate-cleansing during frantic essay writing, or sitting down with for an hour straight, thinking 'just one more page' It covers a lot of facts I've read elsewhere in other books some of which I suspect of taking their topics at least from here, if not the text and a lot that I've never read elsewhere.
If general knowledge sort of stuff is your thing, this and the New Scientist books are probably your best bet Mar 31, Rowena rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Any fans of general knowledge. Shelves: education. I watch the BBC's Quite Interesting comedy quiz show this book is based on or is it the other way around?
After watching the show and reading this book, I want to know what exactly are we taught at school? So many misconceptions, for one. I found the book very interesting and also humourous. I definitely learned a lot of cool facts from it. How many penises does an European earwig have?
The European or Black earwig carries a special one in case the first one snaps off, which happens quite frequently. I love trivia cue me spending hours on Cracked. I especially love strange trivia. Penis trivia? This book was easy to get through too - one can pick it up at any point again to discover something new about the universe.
I'm a huge fan of the TV series QI. Any lover of the Stephen-Fry-run quiz show should enjoy this, a How many penises does an European earwig have? Any lover of the Stephen-Fry-run quiz show should enjoy this, as will anyone who likes, well, penis trivia. And who really invented the telephone, etc. Shelves: own , general-knowledge.
Great little book of snippets of facts that one is unlikely to know. In fact it is written in such a way that it often turns misconceptions on their head with a touch of humour at the same time. The result is normally something like, "Oooh i didnt know that!
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Would you ever! Fun book full of interesting facts and unique snippets of information. I was finding it hard to dedicate a lot of time to reading each day, so this book was ideal, being divided into short, fascinating segments -- because I was picking the book up irregularly, it meant I was not constantly having to remind myself of where I left up.
Overall a fun, light read. Shelves: science , history , non-fiction , trivia. Bloody brilliant!
One of the most fascinating books I have ever read. Highly enjoyable and highly recommended! Sep 25, Felicia rated it did not like it Shelves: nonfiction. Some things wrong in this book: 1. Saying they are not means that the author has a misunderstanding of phylogenetics. They are sister taxa, meaning that they are more closely related to each other than they are to their next closest extant relative anteaters.
They are also more closely related to each other than to any other taxon. Therefore the two types of sloth are related. To say they are not just because their skeletal anatomy is different is grossly negligent [a side note: they say that the two-toed has 6 cervical neck vertebrae. It does, but only because three are fused together. Sloths are xenarthrans. This means they belong to a group of mammals that have weird fusions in their skeleton. Most xenarthrans have fused tibiae and fibulae, a heavily fused pelvis called a synsacrum , and fused cervical vertebrae.
A tinamou and a swan have different skeletal anatomy the swan has many more vertebrae than the tinamou and there are different bones fused in the swan's pelvis compared to the tinamou but I'm not sure who would say they aren't related. Figure 1: Bradypus three-toed and Choloepus two-toed are sister taxa 2. The authors state that whales and "most other mammals" have them. Baculi are found in Primates minus humans , Rodentia mice, rats, squirrels, gophers, porcupines, beavers , Insectivora shrews, moles, hedgehogs , Chiroptera bats , Carnivora dogs, cats, raccoons, weasels, mongooses, hyenas, bears, seals, walruses , and Lagamorphs rabbits, hares, pikas; although this was discovered in The baculum is not found in Edentata anteaters, sloths, armadillos , Pholidota pangolins , Macroscelidae elephant shrews , Scandentia tree shrews , Dermoptera colugos or flying lemurs , Artiodactyla pigs, deer, cattle, goats, sheep, hippos, camels , Cetacea whales , dolphins, porpoises , Tubulidentata aardvark , Perissodactyla horses, tapirs, rhinos , Hyracoidea hyraxes, dassies , Sirenia manatees, dugong, sea cows , and Proboscidea elephants, mammoths, mastodons.
There are several extinct clades of eutherian mammals that also lack baculi Creodonta, Condylarthra, Desmostylia, and Embrythopoda. Most eutherian placental mammals do not have baculi. Yes, there is no stub of bone protruding from the nasal bones on the skull, but the nasals have thickened, rough bone marking the base of the horn. This is an indication that some sort of soft tissue sits there. This is another instance where the author does not have an understanding of phylogenetics.
The sentence in question reads as such, "This creature [what humans evolved from] descended from squirrel-like tree-shrews, which in turn evolved from hedgehogs, and before that, starfish. The fallacies in that sentence.enter site
The Book of General Ignorance - AbeBooks - John; Mitchinson, John Lloyd:
That sentence implies that we know direct ancestry. In paleontology under the phylogenetics framework, it is not possible to know that one species directly led to another and so on. It is not possible to know that the population of fossil specimens you just found is the ancestral population that led to another species. There is nothing that differentiates that population from another found, say, 10 miles away as being the ancestral population. Another sentence: "The latest comparison [the book was published in ] of genomes of humans and our closest relative, the chimpanzee, shows that we split much later than was previously assumed.
This means we quite possibly interbred to produce unrecorded and now extinct hybrid species before the final separation 5. What is a "hybrid species"? I have three science degrees including a Masters in Paleontology. I have never heard of this. If it is different enough to be called a species, then call it such. Also, the authors clearly have not heard of ghost lineages. A ghost lineage exists when a divergence dating analysis puts the date of speciation divergence before the age of the oldest known fossils from either of the resulting lineages species.
The time between the divergence date and when the first fossils show up is the ghost lineage. Paleontologists might not find the fossils in this period of time for a number of reasons. The area where the fossils should be found may not have any sediments rocks dating from that time. Maybe they were deposited but then the environment changed and they were eroded away.
The Book Of General Ignorance
Maybe they were never deposited in the first place: during the time in question, the environment was erosional rather than depositional. In erosional environments, nothing can fossilize. Fossilization can only happen in depositional environments where the dead can be quickly buried and stay covered. Another reason why we may not have found the fossils in the ghost lineage is that we may not have searched all of the sediment dating from that time. Which just means we need to go searching some more.
Another thing wrong in the last sentence I quoted: If the supposed "hybrid species" are unrecorded, absence of evidence is evidence of absence. You can't just go making them up if there is not evidence that they ever existed. So to say that it has largely been replaced by the hot plate is false. As a biochemistry major in undergrad, I can assure you that there are some experiments in high school and college that can only be done with the heat of an open flame. In high school, I remember being tested multiple times on my ability to start a Bunsen burner and keep it going.
All are dogs. The same species. The creation of dog breeds is an example of artificial evolution, in which the creation of new breeds or sometimes species is often accelerated. If I could give it 0 stars, I would. I really thought QI was better at science than this. These errors are disgraceful. Additionally, I don't like that some of the facts are repeated.
A question will be asked and in the answer, the authors will mention the answer to another question that is asked later. I also don't like how pedantic some of the questions are, as if they are written with the purpose of tricking you based on the wording. I have to say that in the end, I regret reading this. As someone with three science degrees, I found that I already knew a third to a half of this book.
Additionally, my view of QI and the books that spawn from it is much less favorable considering how horrible they were at explaining some aspects of science in this book. I understand that they are trying to explain complex subjects such that everyone could understand them. However, especially when it comes to anything having to do with evolution, they either didn't care, didn't understand themselves, intentionally got it wrong, or simplified it too much because all of their explanations in this field of science are wrong.
May 09, Al Young rated it liked it. The Book of General Ignorance purports that everything you know is wrong which means its either because we have longtime cultural memes like cannibals cooking people in big pots or technically true Mauna Kea in Hawaii is taller than Everest from base to tip but starts under sea level or just unlikely the most dangerous animal is the mosquito.
So, there's things like Loofahs aren't Sponges, Cashews aren't nuts, Chameleons don't change their color to match their background and moths aren't at The Book of General Ignorance purports that everything you know is wrong which means its either because we have longtime cultural memes like cannibals cooking people in big pots or technically true Mauna Kea in Hawaii is taller than Everest from base to tip but starts under sea level or just unlikely the most dangerous animal is the mosquito.
So, there's things like Loofahs aren't Sponges, Cashews aren't nuts, Chameleons don't change their color to match their background and moths aren't attracted to light. All stuff that won't make you a better husband, more productive at work, or get you into college, but the type of things you might talk about at the right type of parties.
In , the internet is powered by this kind of stuff because it makes for the best clickbait on social media. So, I give credit that most of the book is filled with stuff that I wouldn't probably know. This is the perfect size to give the answer and then move on- not too short but not too long. It also is a relatively short book but doesn't "feel" short. The book is based off the British Show QI, which I wasn't familiar with, and although it has a British slant, there were maybe only a couple of times where I might have missed the reference.
It seemed to be written for an universal audience. As far as these books go, it does a good job. It is 'bathroom reader' style material, but that's a good thing. Recommended for those who think similarly. Sep 23, Scott Klemm rated it liked it. Some previous reviews have mentioned the lack of documentation. Undoubtedly, the vast array of topics would require endnotes nearly as long as the text itself.
In general, the book appears to be well researched and reliable. However, no one can be an expert in every field of knowledge, and Lloyd and Mitchinson are not infallible. Fruit flavored ice would be what Americans would call a snow cone. In the discussion of Julius Caesar p. The German word for king is koenig. Kaiser means emperor. Was Adolf Hitler a good Catholic? You would think so according to this book. At this point in time Hitler had not acquired full power and could not afford to alienate a large segment of the population.
Jul 06, Isaac Cooper rated it it was ok Shelves: abandoned. We all know the show QI, hosted by Stephen Fry and other comedians. Tree nuts include walnuts, butternuts, hickory, pecan, chestnut but not conkers , beech, oak acorns, tan oak, hazel, filbert, hornbeam, birch and elder. Peanuts, almonds, pistachios, Brazils, cashews, coconuts, horse chestnuts and pine nuts are not nuts. Pretty entertaining stuff … Not!
Nov 07, Spencer rated it it was amazing. May 22, Steven Peterson rated it it was amazing. This is a gimmick book--but a pleasant one at that. The front jacket matter includes the following comment that lays out the essence of this work: "Misconceptions, misunderstandings, and flawed facts finally get the heave-ho in this humorous, downright humiliating book of reeducation based on the phenomenal British best-seller. Just enough to pique one's interest! First, it was not cake being referred to, it was brioche, a different thing entirely. Second, the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau claims to have heard the line in Here's a new one for me among others : "What Edison invention do English speakers use every day?
The whip! I don't know if all the answers to the questions posed are correct, but it's quite enjoyable to run through the questions and test your knowledge against the answers provided in the book. Sep 20, Sam Quixote rated it it was amazing. The tallest mountain is Mauna Kea in Hawaii from base to tip but some of it is below sea level so the highest mountain is Everest from sea level to tip. Henry VIII has 2 wives, his other 4 marriages were annulled. The most dangerous animal that ever lived is the mosquito, having killed an estimated 45 billion humans since we've been around.
Hitler was not a vegetarian whose favourite dish was Bavarian sausage and who was not an atheist but a catholic. Who invented champagne? The steam engine? Th The tallest mountain is Mauna Kea in Hawaii from base to tip but some of it is below sea level so the highest mountain is Everest from sea level to tip. The telephone? Where does ring a ring of roses come from? Who blew the nose off the Sphinx? What has a 3 second memory?
How do lemmings die? I'll stop there but if any of the above tickles your fancy, you'll love this book. Full of amazing facts disproving a lot of the common knowledge we take for granted, and written up very clearly by John Lloyd, this is a fantastic read and great for conversations. Some will say it's a bog book but I found myself taking it out of the bathroom and continue reading it until I was finished. Great stuff, highly recommended. Oct 08, Alex Jurado rated it really liked it Shelves: 1st-quarter-reading-list.
I choose this book because it tells you the common mistakes people make when answering common questions you think you know the answer too. I find this book interesting because this tells me what to answer to people if they have a question like, "Where is the driest place on earth? I thought it was the Sahara desert.
It also makes me look smart. This book does not have a particular plot, other than to inform people. My favorite quote from this book is th I choose this book because it tells you the common mistakes people make when answering common questions you think you know the answer too. My favorite quote from this book is that, "Half the human beings who have ever died, perhaps as many as 45 billion people, have been killed by female mosquitoes. The book is written in a 3rd person point of view. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy informational books and would like to know about new and interesting facts.
Mar 29, Kendra rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Everyone. I love, love, LOVE this book! My kids and I have had a fabulous time finding out how wrong we have been about so many things, and it has come to be a matter of celebration when we manage to answer a question correctly.
QI: The Book of General Ignorance - The Noticeably Stouter Edition
Who knew a chicken could live for about two years without its head? It makes sense that the healing properties of we call penicillin were discovered a very long time before Fleming. And I have to say that the truth behind the invention of the telephone came as quite a shock! As a final note, I'm more than a little disturbed that some reviewers have knocked this book because of its British perspective.
This is a problem for you? We Americans or U. I've never met anyone who couldn't stand to broaden his or her horizons quite a bit, myself included.
The Second Book of General Ignorance
This book now lives on a kitchen bookshelf with the dictionaries and the cookbooks. A glorious book by any standards. If you love knowing things, and love being amazed, then this book is for you. What this noticeably stouter version will tell you is that weird habits, behaviours and solid facts we all know are wrong and misreported. How is that not wonderful. John Lloyd , John Mitchinson.
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QI: The Pocket Book of General Ignorance is an illuminating collection of fun facts, perfect for general knowledge, trivia and pub quiz enthusiasts. This number-one bestseller is a comprehensive catalogue of all the interesting misconceptions, mistakes and misunderstandings in 'common knowledge' that will make you wonder why anyone bothers going to school.
Now available in this handy pocket-sized edition, carry it everywhere to impress your friends, frustrate your enemies and win every argument. He's with Einstein: 'There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle.