You Can Fill A Book With Useless Information

YOUR TURN

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We human beings seem to have a love affair with useless information. More than once, books have been published containing nothing but basically unusable information.

In 1977 a New York publisher put out a book entitled "Fascinating Facts." It was so successful that two years later, in 1979, he put out a second book entitled "More Fascinating Facts." Not satisfied with that, in 1983 he put them together under the title "2201 Fascinating Facts."

What's fascinating about all those facts is that they are so completely useless.

Here's one: Earth weighs 6,588,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons. Why in the world would anybody want to know that? Beats me. Well, maybe it would help to think of that number next time you step on the bathroom scales.

Here's another: When potatoes were introduced into Europe by the Spanish conquistadors in the 17th century, they were blamed for a sudden outbreak of syphilis. I suppose any excuse is a good excuse.

And another: The drug thiopentone can kill a human being in one second if injected directly into the bloodstream. Now what can we do with that tiny gem of information? Well, next time you get a flu shot, it might be a good idea to take a moment out to read the label on that vial just in case someone got his bottles mixed up.

And another: People condemned to the guillotine in France had the top of their head shaved, but two locks of long hair were left hanging at the temples. So, if the tour bus stops in Paris and somebody starts shaving your head, run like blue blazes.

And, of course: Most tropical fish could survive in a fish tank filled with human blood. Now, that one I'm just going to have to see for myself, but I need some blood. Any volunteers?

Also: Oak trees are struck by lightning more often than any other tree. Okay, next time a storm blows up on the golf course, I'm headed for the nearest tall pine.

Not to mention: The banana tree cannot reproduce itself; it can only be propagated by the hand of man, and is not a tree. That, at least, is something I can relate to. I once worked for an Air Force major named Frank Guelich who planted banana trees to shade his house, sweated over them, fed them, watered them, babied them for two years, got them growing tall and proud, and nearly died of a heart attack when they sprouted a load of bananas and keeled over sideways, permanently out for the count.

Well, there you have just seven out of twenty-two hundred fascinating facts.

Want just one more? In 1976 a Los Angeles secretary named Jannene Swift officially married a 50-pound rock.

The book does not give the name of the rock.

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