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Ensuring QI can sound the klaxon for years to come.
on 24 December 2012
Reading this book I can't help wondering if the main reason for releasing it (and making it so cheap to ensure maximum readership) was so QI could cotinue to correct common assumptions by providing so many new ones! Now 20p may seem cheap but an incorrect fact isn't worth little - it's worth less than nothing.
I've no doubt they're are some interesting titbits in here but the problem is with it that it's time consuming to find out if they are true. Thankfully there is an online source checker (awkward to use as it requires you to end the page numbers, which aren't on the kindle version) and I checked the interesting fact that "50% more US Soldiers committed suicide in Afghanistan in 2012 than were killed in action". To my suprise The Guardian appeared to be the source of this, and I was thinking that I might have dig deeper to find where The Guardian had got its questionable data. Opening the link there was no need, as The Guardian article (actually the headline alone did) disproved the very thing that sourced it, the 50% greater suicides are from the entire active US service, compared with combat deaths in Afghanistan alone. Still the number of suicide sounded pretty high, but then less than 5 mins of checking and using a calculator revealed that, actually, the suicide rate in the US military is the same as the normal population - that might not be interesting, but it is true.
Now I'll see if 10% of football injuries really are caused by goal celebrations and the average science paper is read by 0.6 people...