In case you hadn't heard (or never look at the sidebar), I just had a book published called 1,001 Facts That Will Scare The S&#t Out Of You. It's part trivia, part humor and all snark, and the perfect reading companion for those special moments in the crapper.
Here are a few selections from the book, just for you.
FACT: The Classic Mayan civilization thrived for over 600 years before collapsing abruptly in the ninth century. The cause of their extinction is unknown, and still debated today, more than 1,100 years later.
By nerds with nothing better to do.
FACT: Jaundice is a common condition that occurs in about 60 percent of newborn babies, but one that can indicate kernicterus, a devastating brain ailment.
Ever hear the Old West legend of Jaundiced Jake? Probably not – he was yella.
FACT: When a Culpepper, Virginia woman was raped and murdered in 1982, suspect Earl Washington confessed to that crime and four others. Though Washington was shown to have an IQ of 69, and the court found his confessions dubious, he was sentenced to death for the Virginia murder. Washington was exonerated by DNA evidence in 2000 and released from prison.
The first seeds of doubt were planted when Washington claimed that he killed the radio star. Everybody knows video was behind that.
FACT: During the 1983 electrocution of convicted killer John Evans in Alabama, smoke and sparks emerged from his hood and leg electrodes, one of which caught on fire. When physicians found Evans’ heart still beating, he was given a second jolt, which also did not kill him. A third jolt of electricity finally did the job, but left his body charred and smoldering. The execution lasted a total of fourteen minutes.
Isn’t everyone supposed to get fifteen minutes of flame? Evans got shorted.
FACT: In 2008, Tanzanian witch doctors sanctioned a series of murders in which at least twenty-nine albino children were hacked to death for their body parts, believed by local customs to bring good luck.
Because being an albino didn’t suck enough already.
FACT: In 2009, a twenty-six-year-old mother in North Dakota faced child neglect charges for drunkenly breast-feeding her infant. Police witnessed the incident while responding to a domestic abuse call at the home of the woman, who they say was “extremely intoxicated.” She was arrested because alcohol can pass from mother to child via breast milk.
Local headlines: “Loaded Boob Charged With Loaded Boob” and “Lit Twit Hit For Unfit Tit.”
FACT: The Tri-State Tornado of 1925 was the deadliest in American history, killing almost 700 people across Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri. It also had the longest duration of any tornado before or since, taking almost 3½ hours to cut a record 219-mile path of destruction.
Sounds like my grandma driving to the beauty shop.
FACT: Scientists have discovered evidence of an asteroid collision 3½ billion years ago that likely created a massive tsunami which swept around the Earth several times, flooding everything except the highest mountains and wiping out nearly all life on land.
So just about the time you get your cave dried out and re-draw all those stick figures on the wall, here comes the motherfucker again.
FACT: The newborn mortality rate is in America is more than twice that of Finland, Iceland, or Norway. The only developed country in the world where the newborn death rate surpasses the United States is Latvia.
You can’t really blame anyone for not wanting to be born Latvian.
FACT: When blonde hair became fashionable in ancient Rome, thousands of Nordic blondes were captured or slain by Roman soldiers so that their hair could be used for wigs.
Must've been before blondes started having more fun.
FACT: One 17th century treatment for acne: chop the heads off two puppies, hang them by their heels to bleed, mix the collected blood with white wine and apply the concoction to the face. A similar serum of “Dog’s Blood” was also once considered an effective treatment for tuberculosis.
Who came up with this treatment, a cat?
FACT: The IOM also estimates that 50 percent of bad reactions to medicine result from errors in how they are administered. Common causes for these errors, are “environmental factors such as lighting, heat, noise, and interruptions that can distract health professionals from their medical tasks,” say The American Hospital Association.
Lighting? Heat? Noise? At least they aren’t easily distracted. “Hey, doc, will it throw you off if I blink?”
FACT: Research shows that the average American has one more hour of free time every day than he did in 1965, but spends 40 percent less time with his children now.
That’s why they call it free time.
Want more? Buy my book! Thank you.