Archive for October 1, 2012

Book Review: All Facts Considered by Kee Malesky

All Facts Considered – The Essential Library of Inessential Knowledge, by NPR librarian Kee Malesky, covers a wide variety of interesting facts, some worth knowing, some not. Here’s a small spray of topics covered:

–The abbreviations et al. (Latin, et alii or et aliae) and etc. (Latin, et cetera) have the same basic meaning: and others, and the rest, and so on. The difference is that et al. should be used when referring to people, and etc. when referring to things.

–The platypus and the anteater are the world’s only monotremes, or mammals that lay eggs.

–Male seahorses get pregnant.

–A cheese connoisseur is called a turophile.

–It takes nearly a year and about 450 different laborers to make a Steinway grand piano, which has over 12,000 parts.

–18th century physicians used a tobacco smoke enema to revive drowning victims.

–Frankenstein is not the name of the monster, it’s the name of the scientist who fabricated him; in the book, he named his creation Adam.

–Martin Van Buren was the first president born in the United States; all the earlier presidents were born in the colonies.

There are many, many more. Good book.

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