Monday, June 30, 2014

The truth about stupid

Forrest Gump nailed it when he said, "Stupid is as stupid does." I'm always at amazed at how little people seem to know.

I am going to warn you now, this post is for people who already know stuff. Because those that are surprised about things that should be common knowledge, seem to have little-to-no interest in gaining more knowledge. No one knows everything but there are something people should just… you know, KNOW.


Now I can often come off as a snooty intellectual or history buff or trivia nerd. There is more to the world that I don’t know than what I do. But I revel in learning new things. So you can imagine my dismay when I learned of some of the following facts about common knowledge:

  • 23 % of Americans today thinks the Sun revolves around the Earth
  • 12% of adults in the US think Hamburgers are made from Ham
  • Almost 30% think Ben Franklin was once a US President (including some Congressmen and women!)
  • 18% of movie-goers in 2001 had no idea Pearl Harbor had even happened and over 20% of movie watchers didn’t know there was an actual Titanic that sunk (that’s MILLIONS of people!), and thus shocked by the movie’s ending
  • As of 2008, almost 14% of 10th graders couldn’t identify where the United States was on a map of the world. 
What the hell is going on? Who are these people and how are they able to even graduate the 4th grade let alone high School? My God these are facts that the poorest children in the poorest parts of the world know. 

Look I get it. “History is boring,” or “I’m just not good at math” or my favorite “i just don’t test well.” How many excuses for stupid are we going to tolerate in this society? For crying out loud people, WE HAVE THE INTERNET!
Now commonly, I am prone to rant in this blog but in light of offering something new, I offer some incredible tidbit meant to enlighten my fellow citizens. Now I am well aware that most of them don’t read and are likely not going to see this, but indulge me, dear reader.
  • The Mona Lisa painting doesn’t have eyebrows or eyelashes.
  • Honey is the only food that doesn’t spoil. 
  • Buttermilk does not contain any butter. It’s usually a simple recipe containing lemon juice, white vinegar and milk
  • Japan is commonly thought of as a tiny island nation, but it's actually about the size of California. In fact, it's larger than many European countries.
Sure, these are all arbitrary but look at what the internet can do for us. And now, I am just that many facts smarter and I can go to bed forever more knowing my honey won’t spoil.

Wish I could say the same for the intelligence of some of my countrymen.


  1. It is a little saddening to learn about some of these facts (especially something like the not knowing the Earth revolves around the Sun) - what resources are these from?

    Also my main reason for commenting was that the Mona Lisa was painted with eyebrows and eyelashes originally but they've faded or eroded over time although there are some arguments that fashion at the time was to shave eyebrows but you know, the painting is over 500 years old so what can you do?

  2. First of all Fiona thanks for reading and I always love comments! First, all the facts I spoke of are verifiable via the internet but here is a taste of some of what I found:

    As for the Mona Lisa, I went to 5+ years if Art School and minored in Art History and I can tell you quite assuredly, both discussion points are valid. The arguments against are that Leonardo Da Vinci was an inventor and that he was deeply displeased with his most famous work and left details unattended because he wanted to get back to his research. As an aside, his most fascinating feat to me, was that wrote all hi science notes backwards in Latin. Whew! Talk about your extra security measures.

    Anyway, thanks again for reading. It does dishearten me to learn about the deplorable nature of our educational system, especially as a single Dad of four. I just have to work extra hard at homework time.