Fountain of Useless Knowledge

Posted on December 31, 2013 at 6:00 am

by Kelsey Hudson

My ability to remember an author or fictional character’s name is questionable at best, but I do have a great memory for remembering little bits of useless information. Growing up, there was an equal chance you’d find me with an encyclopedia or world almanac as you would Harry Potter or Little House on the Prairie. Now I could easily spend a few hours at a time digging through Wikipedia pages, MentalFloss.com, and assorted History Channel and PBS clips.

All this means my family has decided I’m not allowed to play trivia games with them anymore, but I am certain I’d be a fair contestant on Jeopardy (provided I wasn’t pitted against Watson). Despite a growing need to explore the vast corners of internet trivia, browsing through a good book of random information, the odder the better, is always an experience.

One of my favorites is Don Voorhees’ The Incredible Book of Useless Information, which provides a bevy of useless information including the total hours an average American spends in the bathroom, which trees are most often struck by lightning, and which state was the first to require license plates (but not supply them).

If you’ve been dying to know about the remaining colonies of cannibals or the details behind frogs frozen in hail stones, Random Obsessions and the Almanac of the Infamous, the Incredible, and the Ignored will cater to a love of the more bizarre facts.

The Visual Miscellaneum gives a unique perspective into the statistics encountered with this kind of trivia. This illustrated guide, provides a new way to dig through everything from the most commonly chosen World of Warcraft names to the most common motive for breakup.

And in closing, yak hair is considered the best kind of hair from which to make a clown wig! Check out more trivia books below.

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