Tag Archives: Challenge

World Book Encyclopedia A

Recently, Dirk posted about A.J. Jacobs, a man who tried to follow all the biblical laws for a year. I recommend you read about him, his thought are interesting. Anyway, before delving into the Law, Jacobs also read all the Encyclopedia Brittanica and wrote about his experience. This spurred on a debate between Dirk and I about actually reading through the encyclopedias. I think I said, “it would be really interesting do that.” And Dirk said, “you wouldn’t do that” and from there it got interesting. I assured him I would be able to read them all if I wanted to and trash-talk ensued. I’m not one to back down from a challenge. Especially if its a really random one.

So now I’m on page 67 of ‘A’ my parent’s World Book Encyclopedias. Dirk has looked over at me many times in the evening and laughed as I was deeply immersed in the proper use of an abacus(which is really cool by the way) or the many functions of an adverb. Right now I’m in a tedious 11-page article about advertising. UGH.

I think what really gets at Dirk (he tried to discourage me frequently) is that he is truly the reigning champion of random information. He is extremely inquisitive and loves to know a little bit about everything. Now he is going to be married to a woman who knows just as much random information as he does. Its killing him.

It should be noted that these encyclopedias were published in 1973, the year after my parents got married. Some of the information is dated, but some things never change. Things like using an abacus, or John Adams’ presidency never change. I know that many of the articles of the ‘A’ book were probably never read–unless of course, my dad has already read them all, which is highly likely–so after 34 years, my parents will get their money’s worth out of the investment of these books.

Poor Josiah.


Alright I feel the need to correct a few of Kathy’s errant statements above.  First of all, I will still be the king of random information and I will continue to collect it the old fashion way:  asking questions and watching other people do stuff.  For example I recently learned that if you put old detergent or the wrong detergent into a dishwasher it will bubble up like crazy, spill out on to the floor, mess up the sensors, and the water won’t all get drained out.  That water can and will sit in graduated cylinders all summer and smell bad.  To fix the problem you just run a couple more cycles and it should fix itself.  Or that transpiration is part of the water cycle.  Okay I knew that already but I was reminded of it as we were teaching cycles at school.  Anyway, enough of that.  I give Kathy a hard time and “encourage” her (I like that better than discouragement) because I want her to know at least as much as me.  That way this random information trend will be a Littlefield family trait and I won’t be the only weird one.

Poor Josiah




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