Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Pumped for the Almanac

I'm in the minority here, but I actually get excited when a new almanac is released.

The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2007 has been on the stands for several months. Usually, I snap up a new almanac as soon as it's published, but this year I waited to see if Santa would drop it down my chimney. He did.

I had previously been a Time Almanac man, so this is my first experience with the World product. I like it. I'm disappointed the publishers didn't wait a few more weeks and include results from November's election, but all that is available on the book's website and will of course be included in the 2008 edition.

Where else can you find, in one book, a listing of all four-year colleges and universities in the U.S., population figures by state and county, a list of the world's tallest buildings, Olympic champions dating back to 1924, and statistics for every sort of crime and disease imaginable?

I look something up daily. Today, for example, I learned that the editors consider Pres. George H. W. Bush's vomiting on the prime minister of Japan in 1992 the most embarrassing presidential moment of the last 35 years. (Bush II's impromptu shoulder massage to the German Chancellor in July came in at number 5).

See, learning can be fun. Who knows when this stuff might turn up on Jeopardy?

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