Filled with trivia, book aspires to know everything

“An Answer for Everything - 200 Infographics to Explain the World” by Rob Orchard, Christian Tate, and Marcus Webb (Bloomsbury, 320 pages, $25).

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“An Answer for Everything - 200 Infographics to Explain the World” by Rob Orchard, Christian Tate, and Marcus Webb (Bloomsbury, 320 pages, $25).

By Vick Mickunas

When we were kids many of us enjoyed reading annual editions of “The Guinness Book of World Records” and “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” They provided conversational munitions for Boy Scout campouts, fishing trips, and long walks to school.

It has come to my attention there’s a magazine, “Delayed Gratification” which aspires to “look back on big events after the dust has settled to tell our readers what happened next and to seek out the stories that were missed or mistold the first time around.”

The magazine’s editors recently published a big book which aspires to have the answers for everything, As I perused it I began having flashbacks to my youth sitting around the campfire sharing amazing world records and tying some Boy Scout believe it or knots.

I learned things. Here are a few: humans outnumber many animal species on the planet. Population estimates are: 7,860,000,000 humans, 1,511,021,075 cattle, and 850,320,154 pigs.

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Can you guess which creatures outnumber us? Here’s a clue; we eat a lot of them. That’s right, chickens. There are 25,915,318,000 chickens! And where are they? Some places where the most chickens live: 1. Brunei. 2. Guyana. 3. Trinidad and Tobago. 4. Bolivia. 5. Dominican Republic.

I have interviewed Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, twice. I’m always shocked to hear that some people think the 1969 moon landing was staged. According to this book 49% of Russians think it was faked. But then 19% of Americans think our government uses aircraft “chemtrails” to control the population.

Here’s a chart showing which countries had the most economic growth since 2000. The US is on top with 21.4 trillion dollars. China is right behind us with 14.3 trillion. Japan is a distant third with 5.1 trillion.

Of course there are records here, too. Some bizarre ones. Did you know that there were 33 people in the longest human tunnel traversed by a dog on a skateboard? How about this one; the greatest variety of cheeses on a pizza? Did you answer 254? Nice job!

I’m a word guy so I dug the section on new words that were proposed. My favorites; “beerboarding” is attempting to extract information from a person by getting them drunk.

“Hepeating” is when a woman’s suggestion is overlooked, but accepted when repeated by a man.

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“Nonfrontational” is when someone initially avoids direct confrontation then posts their discontent on social media. Then there’s “woemance” which is a toxic relationship characterized by constant moaning about one’s partner.”

I am always checking Wikipedia for info on authors. I was intrigued by their list of people and groups who have the most heavily edited pages on Wikipedia. Here’s their list of those with the most edits: 1. George W. Bush. 2. Donald Trump. 3. Michael Jackson. 4. Jesus. 5. Barack Obama. 6. Adolf Hitler. 7. Roger Federer. 8. The Undertaker (I was like, who? He’s a pro wrestler and actor. I don’t get out much). 9. Britney Spears. 10. The Beatles.

Vick Mickunas of Yellow Springs interviews authors every Saturday at 7 a.m. and on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. on WYSO-FM (91.3). For more information, visit www.wyso.org/programs/book-nook. Contact him at vick@vickmickunas.com.

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