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Mental Floss Presents Condensed Knowledge: A Deliciously Irreverent Guide to Feeling Smart Again Paperback – Apr 15 2004


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Mental Floss Presents Condensed Knowledge: A Deliciously Irreverent Guide to Feeling Smart Again + 1,001 Facts that Will Scare the S#*t Out of You: The Ultimate Bathroom Reader + Book of Secrets
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (April 15 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060568062
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060568061
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 18.3 x 2.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #49,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert I. Hedges on July 4 2004
Format: Paperback
I subscribe to "Mental Floss" and have since the first issue. I love it and couldn't wait to buy this book. Largely, I was very pleased with the book. I particularly like the way the book is broken down into major subjects like "Condensed Art History" and "Condensed Physics". I especially enjoyed the science sections and the "Condensed Pop Culture" chapter. I was particularly impressed with the analysis of the confusing lyrics in Steve Miller's "The Joker" (yes the line actually IS "Some people call me Maurice, 'cuz I speak of the pompatus of love.") The solving of this mystery alone is worth the price of the book.
I really sat on the fence on whether to give the book four or five stars. I would give it 4 1/2 if that were an option, but there were a few little thing about the book that bugged me enough to prevent a five star review (although I do give the magazine five stars.) The first (minor) error I noticed is in the chapter "Condensed General Science" under "Sexy Animal Facts", where the author states that "A goldfish has a memory span of only three seconds". I hold a degree in Biology, and can categorically say that is untrue. This is an urban legend and supposition, which has been disproved in several studies in animal behavior in which goldfish were taught to swim in elaborate mazes over the span of several days. If they only had a three second memory, they would be unable to complete the maze correctly with ever improving times day after day (which shows that learning occurs.) The television show 'Mythbusters' did a primitive version of one of these studies on one show, by the way. This isn't a big point, but is worth noting.
I object to the politically correct use of the terms of 'BC' and 'BCE' instead of 'BC' and 'AD'.
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Format: Paperback
I subscribe to "Mental Floss" and have since the first issue. I love it and couldn't wait to buy this book. Largely, I was very pleased with the book. I particularly like the way the book is broken down into major subjects like "Condensed Art History" and "Condensed Physics". I especially enjoyed the science sections and the "Condensed Pop Culture" chapter. I was particularly impressed with the analysis of the confusing lyrics in Steve Miller's "The Joker" (yes the line actually IS "Some people call me Maurice, 'cuz I speak of the pompatus of love.") The solving of this mystery alone is worth the price of the book.
I really sat on the fence on whether to give the book four or five stars. I would give it 4 1/2 if that were an option, but there were a few little thing about the book that bugged me enough to prevent a five star review (although I do give the magazine five stars.) The first (minor) error I noticed is in the chapter "Condensed General Science" under "Sexy Animal Facts", where the author states that "A goldfish has a memory span of only three seconds". I hold a degree in Biology, and can categorically say that is untrue. This is an urban legend and supposition, which has been disproved in several studies in animal behavior in which goldfish were taught to swim in elaborate mazes over the span of several days. If they only had a three second memory, they would be unable to complete the maze correctly with ever improving times day after day (which shows that learning occurs.) The television show 'Mythbusters' did a primitive version of one of these studies on one show, by the way. This isn't a big point, but is worth noting.
I object to the politically correct use of the terms of 'BC' and 'BCE' instead of 'BC' and 'AD'.
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By Jon on June 20 2004
Format: Paperback
Sumptuously sassy and chock-full of learning, this new book from the makers of Mental Floss the magazine comes at you in full force, in the same cleverly spun style that IS Mental Floss. Covering pretty much any and every old subject you can think of, this easy to follow guide will fill you to the brim with a delightfully enjoyable collection of fact-flowing goodness.
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Format: Paperback
What a treat... a whole book of mental_floss fun! I have been a fan of the floss crew from the beginning and couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. The delightful "Campbell's Soup" look of the cover including Nutrition Facts, Directions and Ingredients is a true indication that the contents are "M'm M'm Good!" The organization of the subjects makes the book easily a "pick up for a few minutes and learn something new" kind of book. However you will have a hard time putting it down and definitely keep coming back for more. Condensed Knowledge and a subscription to mental_floss magazine are both a must if you have a taste for fun!
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By Sue on May 26 2004
Format: Paperback
Each chapter of this clever collection of fascinating facts from an impressive group of contributors is as interesting and as much fun as the one before. I'm ecstatic to finally have my faith in the value of chocolate documented! Now I also know how to sort out those pesky mosquitos that plague us every summer, how all those pricey beauty treatments work, where those 'alien invaders' like kudzu came from, and can hold my own with the best of them in a conversation about the biggest, smallest, fastest, slowest - even thickest - mammals. Add all that to the real scoop on renowned scientists like Darwin and Mendel. And this is all from just one Condensed Knowledge chapter! There are fourteen more equally as good. This is a keeper - a real treat.
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