Authors: Editors of Cracked.com
Authors: Editors of Cracked.com
Publisher: A Plume Book
(Published by Penguin Books)
The highly talented editorial team of Cracked.com has put together a fascinating paperback entitled You Might Be A Zombie and Other Bad News comprising twenty articles that have appeared on its website and another eighteen that are new to the book. For those of you that are unfamiliar with Cracked.com, it is an online extension of the well-known American humor magazine Cracked, which was founded in 1958.It is the fastest growing comedy brands online which is best known for its funny and informative lists and non-fiction and cultural commentary.
As the introduction states: “You hold in your hands the most mind-blowing nuggets of information federal and local anti-headsplosion laws allow us to print on anything that's not a tarp. In these pages, you will find answers to questions you didn't even know you should be asking.” And that is precisely what we have, as the editors tell us about such things as the five most horrifying bugs in the world, the four most bad ass Presidents of all time, five fun things that will kill you, four mytholofical beasts that actually exist, and the list goes on and on where the answers to these, as well as many other questions.
Did you know that shellac, which is a wood-finishing product, is also used as a food additive? How about the six most terrifying foods in the world such as casu marzu-a medium size lump of sheep's mik cheese that has been deliberately infested by a cheese fly?
An entire chapter is devoted to five famous inventors who stole their big idea. Did you know that Galileo did not invent the telescope, as commonly believed. It was a Dutchman, Hans Lippershey that in 1608 completed the construction of the first telescope and attempted to receive a patent for it but was turned down. When Galileo heard about Lippershey's work in 1609, he built his own telescope, one that could see a little farther than Lippershey's. Although Galileo never registered a patent, his name always crops up as synonymous with telescopes. Here is one that threw me for a loop. We always think of Sir Alexander Fleming as the scientist who discovered penicillin. In 1897 Ernest Duchesne used the mold Penicillum glaucoma to cure typhoid in guinea pigs. Unfortunately, other scientists did not take him seriously and he never received a patent. Ironically, he died of a disease that could have been easily treated with penicillin. How about the invention of the light bulb. I guess you will all say, that is an easy one, it was Thomas Edison. Sorry, wrong again. It was Heinrich Gobel who was probably the first one to have created the first light bulb back in 1854-a version that we have today. Incidentally, he tried selling it to Edison who told him that there was little practical use for it. However, soon after Gobel died, Edison bought the patent from Gobel's poor widow that he had initially dismissed as impractical at a cost much lower than its actual worth. Gobel must be turning over in his grave!
This is only a sampling
of the many gems scattered throughout this fascinating and fun book.
Easy to read and digest, this is a book that will have you shaking
your head long after you have put it to bed, and no doubt, it will
appeal to a wide audience that will eagerly await the next
installment. Very often books of this nature can sometimes be quite
bland, but the lively informative content together with a great deal
of humor mixed in makes it both cool, entertaining and educational.
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