I, Frederic, am an information junkie always on the lookout for new or unusual bits about the human condition and the grand adventure of life. Mary Ann's father used to read the encyclopedia for pleasure and relaxation. Although Mary Ann has inherited the information seeking gene, she's usually too busy with day-to-day tasks to give it full rein. Doesn't matter. My curiosity is enough for both of us; it's a wild thing that has never been tamed.

One of my favorite new books is 1,227 Quite Interesting Facts to Blow Your Socks Off. The authors, John Lloyd, John Mitchinson, and James Harkin are the creators of the BBC quiz show QI and the best-selling Book of General Ignorance which has sold 1.2 million copies. Whereas the information in that release was about misconceptions, this one is shimmering with facts that stir up our imagination and stretch our minds. I viewed my journey through this book as a fascinating trip and a great way to spend some spare time.

Here's a sampler of "Quite Interesting Facts:" which are sourced at http://qi.com/1227US/

"Fred is Swedish for 'peace.' "

My Brain
"The human brain takes in 11 million bits of information every second, but is aware of only 40."

Travelers Beware
"It is unsafe for travelers to rely on 'St. Christopher' anymore: he was removed from the calendar of saints in 1969."

Why My Feet Hurt
"The average person walks the equivalent of three times around the world in a lifetime."

Widespread Fear
"More than one in five Americans believes the world will end in their lifetime."

Respect Animals
"The animal rights group PETA claims that cows can suffer humiliation if people laugh at them."

Military Presence
"The United States of America maintains a military presence in 148 of the 192 United Nations countries."