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Friday, November 2, 2012

Fact. Fact. Bullsh*t!: Learn the Truth and Spot the Lie on Everything from Tequila-Made Diamonds to Tetris's Soviet Roots-Plus Tons of Other Totally Random Facts from Science, History, and Beyond! (Kindle edition) by Neil Patrick Stewart

Before You Try to Impress Your Friends with All of Your New-Found Factoids, Verify Them 

Published by Adams Media in 2011

This book was a first for me in a way. Fact. Fact. Bullsh*t! was the first book I ever read on my phone thanks to the Kindle app for my android phone. In a way, this book was made for reading on a little phone screen. It is entirely composed of a topic with three "facts" that follow. After that the reader will find out that at least one of those "facts" will be correct and at least one will be incorrect, or bullsh*t as the title notes. The  facts and the bullsh*t answers are explained.

This makes for fairly interesting short-term reading but it is not built for the long haul. This would be a great book to have for standing in line at the bank or if you have to wait for a bus or a train because you can get in and out of a topic in just a few minutes.

But...some of Stewart's facts are more factual than others. For example, he incorrectly states as a "fact" that Thomas Jefferson was the fourth president and the third vice president. In reality, he was the third president and the second VP.

Janet Guthrie at the 1977 Daytona 500.
When it comes to the NASCAR set of "facts" there are multiple problems. He addresses the widely held belief that Danica Patrick is the first woman to race for NASCAR's Winston Cup, which he notes is incorrect, but on multiple levels that he fails to mention. Danica is not the first woman to race in NASCAR, which he correctly notes. However, he only mentions Janet Guthrie, who first competed in NASCAR in 1976. Other women competed in NASCAR's top level as early as 1949, but they are not mentioned. Also, he fails to note that Danica never competed for the "Winston" Cup since its name was changed in in 2004. Also, he notes in his "fact" section that the largest NASCAR event can hold as many as 170,000 fans. That is incorrect. The Brickyard 400 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway has 280,000 seats available.

So, in short, this is a fun little book but don't trust everything that you read in it. Before you try to impress your friends and co-workers with your newfound factoids, verify them.

I rate this book 3 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Fact. Fact. Bullsh*t!

Reviewed on November 2, 2012.

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