Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Book Review: 100 THINGS YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO KNOW

My daughters know me well enough to know that I find collections of odd facts and little-known information fascinating, so for Father's Day last year, they bought me Russ Kick's 100 Things You're Not Supposed to Know. And that's exactly what it is: a listing, with accompanying documentation and detail, of a hundred "dirty little secrets" of life in the modern world, many of them having to do with items of interest that the government of the United States does not see fit to publicize and that corporate America does it best to not let see the light of day. Near-nuclear explosions, little known legal facts (such as the police not legally being obligated to help you when you are in danger), biological oddities, and gems of information about religion (the LORD's actual name is given at Exodus 34:13, if you're interested, and it isn't flattering). I love these kind of books and hearing this kind of stuff; it inspires independent thought and a distrust of all accepted wisdom, which can be taken too far but in general is the healthiest way to live in an intellectual sense. There's knowing, for example, that the Bush Administration was full of shit about the effectiveness of the War on Terror, and there's the actual (shockingly low) number of actual terrorism arrests made in the ten-plus years since 9/11: 131 of the 174 the Justice Department claims turned out to not be about terrorism, according to their own case histories. This book is full of little nuggets of information that will help the reader sort through the waves of nonsense and bullshit that are pumped at us each and every day..

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