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Mental Floss Presents in the Beginning: From Big Hair to the Big Bang, Mental_floss Presents a Mouthwatering Guide to the Origins of Everything Paperback – 1 Nov 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Collins Publishers (Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006125147X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061251474
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 18.4 x 23 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 847,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Fun Facts That You May (Never) Use 29 Mar 2009
By DaisyDo - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am surprised that there are not more reviews for this book. This was the first Mental Floss book that I purchased.

If you're someone who has moments when you're doing something and ask yourself "I wonder who invented this?", or "Have people really been using this for a hundred years?" then you'll thoroughly enjoy this book. If you're someone who has a few extra minutes to kill and likes reading short entries with fascinating information that you'll probably never use, then you'll enjoy this book.

One of the major highlights of this book is the humorous slant that it is written in, which can only expected from Mental Floss. There are also sketched drawings throughout the entries. It is, by no means, written like an encyclopedia.

My only complaint is that there is not an index in this book; instead, it broken into "chapters" which are listed in the front of the book. These chapters include***:

"Arts and Literature": From Shakespeare to Jazz.
"Bad Stuff": Mythical Creatures, Drugs, Epidemics, and more fun/depressing things.
"Fashion and Beauty": From the basics like Soap and Lotion to Hairstyles and Swimsuits.
"Food and Drink": From what eat like Pasta and Gum to the Dishwasher and Toaster.
"Fun and Games": From Boardgames to Roller coasters.
"Government, Law, and Money": From the Royal Family to Taxes and Coupons.
"Pop Culture": Batman and beyond! (Sorry I couldn't help myself, hehe.)
"Romance": Why do we get married? Who invented breast implant?
"Science and Medicine": The Big Bang, Flight, Prosthetics, Electroshock, Organ Transplants, oh my!
"Spinning the Globe": Increase your knowledge of foreign affairs (and how they got that way)!
"Traditions": Religion to Holidays.
"Useful Stuff": From the Wheel (how stereotypical) to air-conditioning, traffic lights, scissors, and even staples.

***I did not list all the entries of the chapters, but listed a few to give you an idea of what they included. There are plenty more entries in the chapters, but I do not have the time nor the patience to type them all out and doubt you have the patience to read them.

All in all, this is a great addition to anyone's bookshelf.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
More fun and interesting facts from "Mental Floss" 3 Jan 2008
By Pugmom - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Mental Floss" has done it again- provided a book of fascinating trivia written with their witty and often laugh-out-loud trademark humor. The topic this time is beginnings- or the history and origins of many different things. The entries are divided into chapters, which are as follows: Arts and Literature; Bad Stuff (epidemics, evil creatures, karaoke); Fashion and Beauty; Food and Drink; Fun and Games; Government, Law and Money; Pop Culture; Romance; Science and Medicine; Spinning the Globe (culture and places); Traditions; and Useful Stuff (inventions). Each entry is about one page long. Some of my favorites were the histories of dogs, cats, and guinea pigs (which surprised me) and Aerobics (no, it didn't start with Jane Fonda).
A must have for the trivia lover or fan of other "Mental Floss" publications.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great but not their best 9 Jun 2011
By Erica H - Published on
Verified Purchase
I've been reading Mental Floss magazine for years and own many of their books. This is probably my least favorite. It's got great information but seems to lack the wit and humor that their known for. I'd recommend it if you are a big fan of mental floss, but if not, I'd suggest you start with one of their other books!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
They did it again 29 Aug 2008
By Guy P. Harrison - Published on
Format: Paperback
Mental Floss does great work. Their mag is funny and always loaded with useful information. This book is outstanding as well. It's more painless learning done in the same style as the magazine.

The text is layed out well in magazine style so it makes easy reading while standing in line or waiting on a plane. They packed tons of material in it, from the origins of mohawk hairdos to popcorn. It's not all silly trivia, however. There is much that is important here that we should all know about history, science and technology but unfortunately don't. So start reading "In the Beginning"!

I highly recommend this fun and handy reference work.

--Guy P. Harrison, author of

Race and Reality: What Everyone Should Know About Our Biological Diversity


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining, but a lot of overlap with the magazine 2 May 2013
By AlgeBrad - Published on
Verified Purchase
This isn't a terrible book, but most of the material is a repetition of material already presented in the magazine. Disappointing.
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