Wednesday, December 10, 2008
In my Real Simple magazine, they had some authors write letters to Santa as their childhood selves. The one by A.J. Jacobs was particularly funny, so I thought I'd get his book from the library. Hilarious. He decides he's going to read the Encyclopaedia Britanica from A to Z. The book not only goes over the odd things that he's learned (like how Rene Descartes had a thing for cross-eyed women, or this bit about Pythagoras that I liked,
According to the encyclopedia, members of the brotherhood , [which Pythagoras founded] were told to "refrain from speaking about the holy, wear white clothes, observe sexual purity, not touch beans, and so forth." That's what it said: do not touch beans.... It didn't say whether that meant all beans, or just certain beans like kidney or pinto. Just those four words.)
but he talks about how he tries to fit all of these new factoids into his daily conversations. This is something I'm always trying to do, so I felt like we would be two people of the same heart. He chronicles his quest to go on Jeopardy, join Mensa, and use his new found trivia knowledge to compete in the crossword puzzle tournament hosted by Will Shortz.
It was hilarious. The only down side was maybe 8-10 incidences of foul language, maybe 12. I normally wouldn't stand for that, but I was hooked.