DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Dec 2 2013

The Know-it-All

by Hope L

The book of general ignoranceOkay, I’ll just admit it:  I vacillate between two extremes:  either I feel like I know everything about everything, or I feel like I know absolutely nothing about anything.  And as annoying as I know it must be, you could call me a ‘Know-It-All’ most days.

But after reading The Book of General Ignorance: Everything You Think You Know is Wrong by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson, I’m convinced that I’m a ‘Know-Nothing.’

Here are a few examples that perhaps you don’t know either:

“No ostrich has ever been observed to bury its head in the sand.  It would suffocate if it did.  When danger threatens, ostriches run away like any other sensible animal.”

And

“What killed most sailors in an eighteenth-century sea battle?  A nasty splinter.  Cannon balls fired from men o- war didn’t actually explode (no matter what Hollywood thinks), they just tore through the hull of the ship, causing huge splinters of wood to fly around the decks at high speed, lacerating anyone within range.”

Or

“Whips were invented in China seven thousand years ago but it wasn’t until the invention of high-speed photography in 1927 that the crack of the whip was seen to be a mini sonic boom and not the leather hitting the handle.”

Say what?!!!  I had noooo idea!  This last one, however, some of us knew in the back of our minds …

“Work is a bigger killer than alcohol, drugs, or war.  Around two million people die every year from work-related accidents and diseases, as opposed to a mere 650,000 who are killed in wars.  …Worldwide, the most dangerous jobs are in agriculture, mining and construction.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the year 2000, 5,915 people died at work – including those who had a heart attack at their desks.”

I’ll remember that next time someone says their job is killing them!  And if I say it aloud, youll  just have to call me a know-it-all.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Darlene December 14, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Thanks Hope that was a fun and thought provoking post, I have skimmed that book and it is pretty interesting.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: