Miscellanea and Ephemeron
02/26/2006 Archived Entry: "Book review: Odds'R, The Odds on Everything Book"
Review by Ida Vega-Landow
You don't have to be good at math or a whiz at statistics to enjoy this book. It's a collection of quizzes on topics fascinating to the human condition; Life or Death, Health & Happiness, Love & Marriage, and everything in between. Roger Schlaifer has collected the odds on everything to do with these diverse topics and arranged them in a humorous multiple choice format to test your knowledge of Life As We Know It.
Let me make it clear that answering all these questions correctly will not give you the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. (We all know the answer to that is 42!) But did you know that, if you are in the ninth and lowest circle of Hell according to Dante's Inferno, it's because you committed the sin of A) Blasphemy, B) Treason, or C) Being Unbaptized? And if you had been arrested for witchcraft during the infamous Salem witch hunt and trials of 1692, what would have been your odds of being executed? Either A) 1 to 3, B) 1 to 6, or C) Zero -- they all got away on their brooms. And in Roman Catholic liturgy, the busiest patron saints are those watching over mortals in which of these unfortunate conditions? A) Depression, B) Demonic Possession, or C) Dying Alone.
This is a fun book! If you enjoyed multiple choice quizzes back in school as much as I did (because there's always a one in three chance that you're right, and if you're a fairly intelligent person the odds are on your side anyway), then you're going to love going through all the questions on your favorite topics before turning to the next page to see if you got it right. Schlaifer always gives the questions on the right side of the book and the answers on the left side, so it's possible to sneak peeks if you're the one reading the questions aloud to a crowd of curious knowledge seekers. And if you're taking a quiz alone, it's okay to cheat by looking ahead. Either way, you're sure to have fun finding out what the odds are of you drawing a Dead Man's Hand at the poker table. If you're a high school kid, find out in which sport you have the highest odds against making it to the pros, as well as the odds that teenage girls don't consider oral sex as really "having sex".
Personally, I was both proud to learn just how much I knew about some topics, and humbled to learn just how little I knew about others. I think I can safely estimate that I got an average of two out of three answers correct. And, as any Meat Loaf fan will tell you, two out of three ain't bad. Oh, by the way, the answers to the questions in the second paragraph are B) Treason (according to Dante, the ninth circle of hell is for traitors like Judas and Brutus), B) 1 in 8 (over 150 people were arrested for witchcraft during the Salem witch trials and hunt, of which 20 were executed, 3 died in prison, and one 80-year-old man was pressed to death by heavy stones), and A) Depression (seems there are 9 saints watching over the possessed, 17 guarding the depressed, but only one -- my personal favorite, Saint Francis of Assisi -- watches over those dying alone. And you thought he only cared for animals!).
The Wapshott Press
Ontology on the go!
"Ontology on the Go!"
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