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FACTS FROM THE TOO MUCH INFORMATION AGE THAT DON’T HELP ANYONE

Ah, the Information Age. It really is a remarkable thing and an interesting time to be alive. Anyone on earth can now have the greatest research library ever assembled right at their fingertips. Why speculate about anything anymore when you can Google it and find out? The capital of Cameroon? Bam, it’s Yaounde, population 1,430,000! Who gets the most rainfall? Bam, Mount Waialelale, with a whopping 460 inches per year! The least? Piece of angel food! It’s the Atacama desert in Chile, with zero rainfall for the past 400 years. Cross those two bad boys off the vacation destination list. Practically anything you want to know is available on the internet, plus plenty you don’t need to know. In many ways, this current day can be called the “Too Much Information Age.” Consider these facts:

An American develops Alzheimer’s disease every 70 seconds. If you are one of them, this knowledge won’t help you at all, you’ll just forget it in about 30 seconds. You will, however, remember what you had for breakfast the day you entered grammar school, which, again, won’t help the situation a bit.

Bernie Madoff even stole money from members of his own family. Does that make anyone feel any better? Well, maybe some.

According to sworn testimony, former President Clinton’s erect penis has a distinctive curve to it. How’s that for too much information?

Warren Buffet’s net worth slipped from $65 billion to $40 billion during the recent financial collapse. He has had to drastically cut back on nothing at all. 

The total amount of man hours wasted playing Halo 3, just one dumb-ass video game, adds up to over 1,536,000 hours. That’s 64,000 years nobody can ever get back and do something else, maybe even something useful. 

A trillion is a one followed by a dozen zeros, which still doesn’t describe it any better than “a whole shitload.” 

Adolph Hitler loved children. Other people’s, that is, since he didn’t have any of his own, a good break for any potential Hitler heirs. Nobody could possibly want to go through life as Hitler, Junior. And a break for the rest of us. 

Speaking of grand-scale murderers, Joseph Stalin kept a piece of what he thought was Hitler’s skull on his desk for years. It turns out it wasn’t authentic when the Soviet equivalent of the Antiques Road Show guys told him it was worthless as anything other than an ashtray. Which was quite a coincidence, since Stalin was using the skull as his “good luck ashtray” once the eye sockets broke apart from being used to open his beer bottles, when he called it his “good luck beer bottle opener.”

There are over 162 million websites on the internet. This is one of them.

As it turns out, angels never congregate on the heads of pins, so no accurate measurement of how many of them can dance on one has been possible. However, four out of five dentists agree that the correct answer would be seventeen. The fifth dentist never agrees with anyone anyway, so who cares what he thinks?

And speaking of best guesses, entries in the online dictionary Wikipedia can be changed by anyone who feels like it, which doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence in its accuracy. Most of us are sort of sticklers for encyclopedia entries being written by people who know what the hell they’re talking about.

Approximately 6% of all people ever born are alive right now. That’s pretty meaningless, no? Plus, that’s another one of those best-guess propositions, so that figure isn’t exactly etched in stone.

The world’s most popular first name is Mohammed. Second most popular? A surprise there: Butch.

There are 44 kings and queens in the world today, all claiming to be ordained by God, as good an explanation as any for the fact that their subjects haven’t risen as one and tossed their high-living asses out in the street.

In 2007, the last year for which these statistics are available, airlines throughout the world misplaced 40 million pieces of luggage, 10 million more than the previous year. Out of the 40 million, 1 million were never recovered. Which sort of makes you wonder where a pile of 1 million suitcases could possibly be hidden. Less puzzling is the fact that airlines drag their feet when it comes to reporting these statistics.

People in Canada actually think that being Canadian is on the level even though the rest of the world knows Canada is really America-Lite. Most people are too kind to point out the truth, just like they do for the people of France-Lite, the “nation” of Belgium.

The longest running drama on American television was the western Gunsmoke, with 633 episodes from 1955 to 1975, all of which had the same cast of James Arness as Marshall Matt Dillon, Milburn Stone as Doc, Amanda Blake as Miss Kitty, the owner of the Long Branch Saloon who dressed like an Old West bar whore (and looked exactly the same after 20 years) and Clem Fuller as (what else?) Clem the big beefy bartender, with the exception of the whacky imbecile sidekick deputy role, with Ken Curtis as Festus Hagin replacing Dennis Weaver as Chester Goode after a few years. The show was as comfortable and predictable as an old beat-up shoe, which every member of the cast except Miss Kitty started to resemble after a while. Odds are you probably won’t watch it on the Nickelodeon reruns, or even like it much if you do, but this is the Information Age and this is more information you don’t need and really won’t remember all that well but that you can’t delete completely. No sense fighting it. That would be like living in the Bronze Age and avoiding bronze.

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