Really Interesting Stuff You Don't Need to Know: 1,500 Fascinating Facts (Paperback)
With added illustrations
Do you love trivia and interesting facts? This book has 1,500 fascinating and educational facts including periodic illustrations to add even more to your enjoyment. The facts cover a wide range of subjects: animals, arts, history, literature, movies, science and nature, sports, television, U.S. geography, U.S. presidents, world geography, and more; for example:
- The classic film It's a Wonderful Life originated from a Christmas card. Philip Van Doren Stern had written a short story, The Greatest Gift, and had unsuccessfully tried to get it published. He sent it out as a 21-page Christmas card to his closest friends; a producer at RKO Pictures got hold of it and purchased the movie rights.
- The Bible doesn't say how many wise men there were. It says wise men and mentions the gifts; there is no indication of how many wise men.
- Today's British accent first appeared among the British upper class about the time of the American Revolution. Before that, the British accent was like Americans.
- The video game company Nintendo was founded in 1889; it originally produced handmade playing cards.
- Frances Folsom Cleveland is the youngest U.S. first lady ever. She was 21 when she married Grover Cleveland in the White House; he was 49.
- No witches were burned at the stake during the Salem witch trials; 20 were executed, but most were hung, and none were burned.
- Roman gladiator fights started as a part of funerals; when wealthy nobles died, they would have bouts at the graveside.
- All the bacteria in an average human body collectively weigh about four pounds.
- In the song "Yankee Doodle", the term macaroni means stylish or fashionable. In late 18th century England, the term macaroni came to mean stylish or fashionable; in the song, it is used to mock the Americans who think they can be stylish by simply sticking a feather in their cap.
- George Bernard Shaw and Bob Dylan are the only two people to win both a Nobel Prize and an Oscar. George Bernard Shaw won the Nobel Literature Prize in 1925 and the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for Pygmalion in 1936; Bob Dylan won the Best Original Song Oscar for "Things Have Changed" from Wonder Boys in 2000 and the Nobel Literature Prize in 2016.
- Neil Armstrong didn't say "one small step for man" when he set foot on the moon. He said, "one small step for a man"; that is what Armstrong claims he said, and audio analysis confirms it. It has been misquoted all these years.
- Iceland's phone book is alphabetized by first name; everyone is referenced by their first name. They don't have surnames in the traditional sense; the surname is their father's first name suffixed with either son or daughter.
- Adjusted for inflation, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) is the highest-grossing animated movie of all time in the United States.
- Heroin was introduced by Bayer in 1898 and marketed as a non-addicting alternative to morphine and a treatment for cough inducing illnesses like bronchitis. The AMA approved it for general use in 1906 and recommended it as a morphine replacement; soon, there were 200,000 heroin addicts in New York City alone.
- The novel Les Mis rables was given to all officers in the Confederate army during the American Civil War. Robert E. Lee believed the book symbolized their cause.
- Tsutomu Yamaguchi is the only recognized person in the world to survive both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb blasts. He was in Hiroshima on business for the first bomb and then returned home to Nagasaki.
This is book 1 of the Really Interesting Stuff series; I hope you enjoy it, and if you do, look for other books in the series.