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The Fun Way to Prep for a Party: Cram Trivia
Trivia is also weirdly memorable. Why, despite considerable effort, could I never memorize the Pythagorean thereom in school, but I can still recall from history class that Abraham Lincoln was the tallest U.S. president (6'3") and James Madison the shortest (5'4")? Our brains, it seems, have an endless capacity for quirk. And isn't quirk more fun? Aside from a bright smile and a warm hug, I'd argue that nothing trumps trivia when you're making small talk. So imagine my delight, as we enter the Month of Making Yueltide Small Talk, at cracking open the new book Listomania: A World of Fascinating Facts in Graphic Detail, an engrossing (and sometimes gross) buffet of trivia.
From the top 14 beauty-queen scandals through history to the countries with the greatest number of Nobel Prizes per capita (go, Faroe Islands!) to the most popular ways locals from around the world eat their hot dogs (think: shrimp salad, sauerkraut, carrot sticks), the book touches on topics both significant and, well, trivial. To prep you to deliver a surprising left turn to the next "So, where are you from?" question, consider these random bits: It takes 30 seconds for killer whales to mate, 21 days to sun-dry a grape into a raisin, and 5 months for a newborn to recognize its own name. You can thank us post-party.