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Monday, December 7, 2009

Do You Remember the Time...No, Really, Do You?

Hello, hello!  Welcome to another post here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!  The days seem to be speeding by in their quest to greet the coming year...hopefully all of you already have your holiday shopping well underway (or finished if you're REALLY lucky!).  Today's post is a slight variation from the norm presented here.  What's that?  No, I'm not going to post something risque (mind out of the gutter people), nor will I be talking about something totally unrelated in any way to how is it different?  Well, in this case, I have not actually read the book!  (Shocking isn't it?)  How can I review it then?  I'm not really, more like giving a sneak peek at the treasures it holds AND giving YOU the opportunity to win a copy of your very own (thanks to Caitlin at FSB Associates)!

First things first though....tell me you haven't ever experienced a "I know that" moment only to have it turn into a "I use to know that" one?  Yeah...that's what I thought.  Everyone's done it before....I mean no one can remember every single thing they learn, or read (okay, well there is at least one person....she actually remembers every single moment of her life and can recall it when asked, but aside from this lady....), it's just impossible.  Looking to brush up on some of these random facts and skills?  Check out the following article from Caroline Taggart, author of I Used to Know That:  Stuff You Forgot from School, courtesy of FSB Associates for 12 jewels of wisdom ready for your next holiday party....

12 Days and 12 Facts for This Holiday Season
By Caroline Taggart,
Author of I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School

Ever catch yourself saying I Used to Know That?
Each holiday season brings another round of cocktail parties, family get-togethers, and corporate gatherings -- and invariably, lots of small talk. It's easy to feel overwhelmed when discussing politics, literature, and other intellectual "stuff," especially when what is thought to be general knowledge is often long-forgotten. Enter I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School. From English and Literature to Math and Science, from History and Geography to Religion and Other-Worldly Topics, this book leaves you equipped to handle any topic of conversation.
Here we've cherry-picked twelve fun facts for the holiday season -- one for every day of Christmas (or whatever holiday you prefer!) Quiz yourself to see how much "stuff" you need to brush up on before hobnobbing with the boss or office crush.

1. On building sentences: Just what is a "clause"? (Not to be confused with Santa Claus.)
Answer: A clause contains a subject and a verb and may stand alone as a sentence or as part of a sentence (when it is often called asubordinate clause): Santa Claus loves cookies but can't eat them without milk.

2. How many bones is the spine made up of?
Answer: 26 small bones called vertebrae (Be careful lifting all those heavy holiday boxes.)

3. Acclaimed author Charles Dickens (1812-70) wrote which Christmas classic?
Answer: A Christmas Carol. The miserly Ebenezer Scrooge tries to ignore Christmas and is haunted by the ghost of his former partner, Marley, and by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come, who show him the error of his ways.

4. The first chapter of this famous book opens with "Call me Ishmael." Name the book and author. (Hint: it makes a whale of a gift!)
Answer: Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Melville is also the author of Pierre and the unfinished Billy Budd.

5. There's a name for the process of watering your Christmas tree? Who knew?
Answer: Grab the kids and give them this science factoid as they nurture the family tree: Osmosis is a form of diffusion that is specific to the movement of water. Water moves through a selectively permeable membrane (that is, one that lets some types of molecules through but not others) from a place where there is a higher concentration of water to one where it is lower.

6. Can you name all 6 wives of Henry VIII, father of the Church of England?
Answer: (Listed in order) Catherine, Anne, Jane, Anne, Catherine, Catherine. They are often remembered as divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. Sure makes you think twice when complaining about bad relatives.

7. Who was the 16th President of the United States?
Answer: Abraham Lincoln (R, 1861-65) and yes -- he really was born in a log cabin on a winter's day. Notably famous for many reasons including his Gettysburg Address: "Four Score and Seven Years ago our fathers brought fourth upon this continent a new nation conceived in Liberty . . . "

8. 'Tis the season to be jolly giving! Don’t forget to tip well this season -- etiquette coaches will tell you that means no less than 18%. So just how much should you tip on a bill of $50?
Answer: Percent means by a hundred, so anything expressed as a percentage is a fraction (or part, if you prefer) of 100. So 18% is 18 parts of 100, or 18/100 or .18. If your bill is $50, multiply 50 by .18 to get your tip total of $9. If you're feeling generous, a 20% tip would require you to multiply 50 by .20, for a total of $10.00
50.00 x .18 = 9.00
50.00 x .20 = 10.00
Percentages can also be holiday-relevant when it comes to figuring out in-store sales. In this case, you want to multiply by the inverse of the percentage listed. So if you have a $50 sweater that's on sale for 25% off, multiply 50 by .75 for your total of $37.50. That same $50 sweater on sale for 40% off would equate to $30, or $50 multiplied by .60.
50.00 x .75 = 37.50
50.00 x .60 = 30.00

9. Brr, it's cold outside. But just how cold does it have to be to get some snow around here?
Answer: Did you know that the freezing point of water is 32 degrees Fahrenheit? Keep an eye on the temperature and watch your footing for ice on the ground. (See previous fact about those treasured vertebrae!)

10. Everyone knows Santa and his elves live in the North Pole. But what about the South Pole (aka Antarctica)?
Answer: The South Pole was discovered by Roald Amundsen (1872-1928, Norwegian), who was also the first to sail though the Northwest passage, the sea route from Pacific to Atlantic along the north coast of North America. Antarctica is the only continent that contains no countries -- instead, it is a stateless territory protected from exploitation by an international treaty. A good place for the elves to protest low wages?

11. Which Ocean is bigger: the Pacific or the Atlantic?
Answer: The Pacific Ocean is larger at 69,374 square miles -- that's almost double the Atlantic, which comes in at 35,665 square miles. Making it even more astonishing that St. Nick can cross the globe in just one night.

12. Remember the reason for the Season! Can you name a few things that both Judaism and Christianity have in common?
Answer: Both are monotheistic religions that share the first five books of the Christian Old Testament. Both religions view Jerusalem as a sacred site, the former for the Wailing Wall (contains the remains of the temple that was thought to be the place where God resides on earth) and the latter for Christ's burial and resurrection site.

Happy Holidays to all!
©2009 Caroline Taggart, author of I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School


Author Bio
Caroline Taggart, author of I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School, has been an editor of non-fiction books for nearly 30 years and has covered nearly every subject from natural history and business to gardening and astronomy. She has written several books and was the editor of Writer's Market UK 2009.
For more information please visit Amazon.

Interesting, right?  That's what I thought too!  Would you like to get your hands on a copy of your very own?  No problem!  As previously mentioned, Caitlin over at FSB Associates is graciously letting us hold a contest to win ONE copy of this title!

How to enter:
Read over the post and try to guess the answers to the questions as they come.  (No Googling for the answers!)  Leave a comment with the number of questions you got right BEFORE reading the answers along with your email address (sorry, but if I can't contact you, you can't leave your email in some fashion for me...).
(Simple, huh?)

Extra entries:
+4 - if you are a follower of my blog (old or new, both get the points!)
+2 - posting the contest on your blog (sidebar, actual post, either one is A OK)
+2 - sending a tweet about the contest Be sure to leave the link!  No linky, no count-y)
+2 - if you ALREADY entered my other contest (I'll double check, but list it just in case)
+1 - for entering my other contest now
(it ends 12/11/09 so you only get this extra point if you enter prior to its end!)

(Sorry guys, but it's not up to me this time...)
No P.O. Boxes please.
All entries must be received by midnight CST on Friday, December 18th, 2009.
The winner will be drawn no later than Monday, December 21st, 2009 and contacted via email.  Winner will be chosen using
On that note, please include your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win!  To avoid spammers, feel free to "code" such as me(at)somewhere(dot)com.
Once the winner has been emailed, you will have 72 hours to respond back.  If a response is not received within this time frame, another name will be drawn. 
Mailing information will be forwarded to the Caitlin at FSB Associates for shipment ONLY and then discarded.

Happy holidays and as always....happy reading!


The1stdaughter said...

That looks like a great book! Actually it looks like the kind my hubby devours in just a week or so. He loves random info and so even if I don't win it I may have to pick it up as a gift for his birthday in the new year. Thanks for sharing!

+4 Already a follower!
+2 I'm just about to tweet about this!
+ 2 I am pretty sure I entered the other contest you have. :)

Thanks again!

Gina said...

The1stdaughter: Gladit might come in handy there and good luck!

Marjorie/cenya2 said...

This book sounds like fun for the
whole family.
I would love to win it.

I follow by google reader and
book blogs.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I got eight right! Awesome looking book.
My e-mail is lindseypro at aol dot com

throuthehaze said...

I only got 5 right.

+4 follower

throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Gina said...

Good luck to all the new entrants! Don't worry if you didn't get all the answers....some of them are quite tricky!

sharon54220 said...

This book sounds like lots of fun.
Would love to be entered.

+5 new follower

Thanks for the chance

Marilu said...

I would love to win this book. Please count me in.
I got 9 questions right! (1 entry)
I am a follower (4 entries)
Posted on my blog (2 entries)
for a total of 7 entries! I think....Hope I did that right!
lovemykidsandbooks AT gmail DOT com

Gina said...

Yay! More happy entries....good luck guys and welcome to the site!

Anonymous said...

I only got 6 right, I obviously need to read this book! :)


Marjorie/cenya2 said...

I tried but I only got one answer right, boy do I need this book.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

I posted earlier but was somewhat
ashamed I only knew 1 answer.
Retirement does that to you.

Gina said...

Not to worry guys....that's why they're in the book! It's all things we learned at one time or another, but simply forgot along the way....good luck to you both!

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