Tag Archives: Random Facts

I like GOOD

wayneAs I’ve said before on this blog, I really like to know random information. I’m almost positive that my desire for knowledge comes from my need to be the center of attention in every social situation and also to compensate for my unreasonably good looks. Pretty people are, after all, usually dumb as bricks. I, however, am smarter than the average bear, and I like to prove it.

But you can’t just toss out any old fact at a party and expect people to bow down and worship you (unless that fact is that you’re God…but even that might not work if you’re North of the Mason-Dixon line or west of the Rockies, zing!!!). No, to really win friends and influence people you need to have juicy, hard-hitting, hip knowledge.

For example: how many prisoners are there in the US? The answer is 2.3 million. What percentage is that of the world’s total prisoners? 25%. Isn’t that a little strange? Yes.

Also: What was the third most profitable criminal enterprise in the world last year? Human trafficking. How many victims were there? 27 million. Does that make you sad but also impressed at the breadth of my knowledge? Absolutely!

But where oh where can I go for hip knowledge?

Well, if you’re a literalist, you can go to WebMD, but if you’re completely awesome, you need to check out GOOD Magazine. More specifically, you should check out their YouTube videos (seriously, does anyone read anymore?). The magazine was founded in 2006 and focuses on social issues, politics, and sustainable living, and their videos focus on pretty much the same things. They’ve got videos on topics ranging from the Super Bowl, to the world’s oil addiction, to the industry surrounding death, to internet porn, and besides being incredibly informative (and usually pretty moderate) they’re also well-designed and have great music.

So go check out GOOD Magazine and their videos. Here are a couple of my favorites:

GOOD: Jailbirds

GOOD: Alcohol Olympics

GOOD: Circle Rules Football – This will be played at Curtis Arboretum as soon as Persephone’s done doing her time down in Hades. Who’s in?

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I like following rabbit trails on Wikipedia

brainiac11There is almost nothing more satisfying to me than knowing a little bit about a lot of things. People always use the phrase “inch deep and a mile wide” as if it’s a bad thing. Pffff. Does anyone (who’s cool) really care if you can explain the evolution of Greek theater? The answer is no. But all the cool kids will like you if you throw out the fact that Aeschylus, a Greek playwright, died when an eagle dropped a live tortoise on his head. Do you know anything else about Aeschylus? No. But nobody cares because they all think you’re cool and intellectual now.

With that result in mind, I spend hours of my life following rabbit trails on Wikipedia, arguably the most powerful tool for making yourself seem intelligent since the invention of glasses. Did you know that Eskimos don’t actually have a ton of different words for snow like everyone always says they do? I did. Is that true? Wikipedia says it is. Did you know that one of Nightcrawler’s (from X-Men) powers is to almost disappear when he’s in the shadows? I did. But I wouldn’t have if I didn’t devote time to storing up this mass of random facts.

So how does one get started in the art of random fact retention? Well, here’s a nice little list of great jumping-off points for you to learn all sorts of random things in the wonderful world of Wikipedia. The key here is to find something you’re sort of interested in and then just keep clicking the links you find on that page until you feel like you’ve got enough random facts stored up to sound learned. Also, if you just pronounced the last word in the previous sentence as “lurnd,” then you probably shouldn’t waste your time on Wikipedia; no one will ever think you’re smart.

Godspeed and good hunting.

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