By October 25, 2010 0 Comments Read More →

All Facts Considered

Click here & listen to a great interview with NPR librarian Kee Malesk, celebrating the publication of her book All Facts Considered: The Essential Library of Inessential Knowledge. In her twenty years researching the mundane and the marvelous, Malesk has collected a vast store of tidbits gleaned from the stories filed by NPR’s reporters. Learn more in this story on NPR’s website, where you can also read a brief excerpt from the book. Sure to be a slam-dunk gift for librarians far & wide this holiday season! Here’s a sample of what you’ll find:

A Few Of Malesky’s Favorite Facts, Distilled
(Full explanations of these tidbits of knowledge can be found in All Facts Considered.)

Red hair, the rarest human color (less than 2 percent of the population), is caused by a variation in what is called the “Celtic” gene.

George Gershwin wrote Rhapsody in Blue in about three weeks and found his inspiration in the sounds and rhythm of a train as he traveled to Boston.

Tiny parasites — eyelash mites called Demodex — live and die on the faces of most of us; they walk around, eat, rest, mate and lay eggs.

The great Russian epic Doktor Zhivago was first published in Italy, not in the Soviet Union.

A Steinway grand piano comprises about 12,000 individual parts, and it takes 450 skilled artisans to create one.
Candidates in the 2008 U.S. elections spent as much money on their campaigns as it cost to build the nuclear submarine USS Jimmy Carter.

At any given moment, there are 10 quintillion individual insects on Earth — flies, mosquitoes, beetles, bees, etc.

There are 785 million illiterate adults in the world, and two-thirds of them are women.

The oldest zoomorphic structure in the U.S. is Lucy the Elephant, a former hotel in Margate, N.J.

The first e-book was the Declaration of Independence, typed into a computer in 1971 by the founder of Project Gutenberg.

Thanks to Barbara Genco for the link!

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About the Author:

Mary Burkey is an independent library consultant in Columbus (OH). An enthusiastic audiophile, she has served on all four of ALA's audiobook award committees as well as the Audies. In addition to writing the "Voices in My Head" column for Booklist, she is the author of Audiobooks for Youth: A Practical Guide to Sound Literature (ALA, 2013). Follow her on Twitter at @mburkey.

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