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Seriously curious : the Economist explains : the facts and figures that turn our world upside down / edited by Tom Standage.

Contributor(s): Standage, Tom [editor.] | Economist Newspaper Limited [contributor,, associated name.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Economist books (Series): Publisher: London, England : Economist, 2018Copyright date: ©2018Description: 262 pages : illustrations, maps, charts ; 20 cm.Content type: text | still image | cartographic image Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781788161367; 178816136X.Subject(s): Curiosities and wondersDDC classification: 032.02 Summary: Smart, savvy answers to universal questions, from the highly popular The Economist Explains and Daily Chart blogs-a treat for the knowing, the uninitiated, and the downright curious. Seriously Curious: The Facts and Figures that Turn Our World Upside Down brings together the very best explainers and charts, written and created by top journalists to help us understand such brain-bending conundrums as why Swedes overpay their taxes, why America still allows child marriage, and what the link is between avocados and crime. Subjects both topical and timeless, profound and peculiar, are explained with The Economist's trademark wit and verve. The Economist Explains and its online sister, the Daily Chart, are the two most popular blogs on The Economist's website. Together, these online giants provide answers to the kinds of questions, quirky and serious, that may be puzzling anyone interested in the world around them. Want to know why exorcisms are on the rise in France or how porn consumption changed during a false alarm missile strike warning in Hawaii? We have the answers They are sometimes surprising, often intriguing, and always enlightening.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Some questions you never think to ask. Others, you didn't know you didn't know. And some facts are so surprising they cry out for answers. What can a president actually do? Why do cities sink into the ground? Why is Australia seemingly invulnerable to recessions? Why do people in couples do more housework than singletons?The brilliant minds of the Economist collect these questions. Individually, they might seem bite-sized and inconsequential, but taken together they can reveal a whole new world.

Includes index.

Originally published in 2018 by Profile Books Ltd. in Great Britain.

Smart, savvy answers to universal questions, from the highly popular The Economist Explains and Daily Chart blogs-a treat for the knowing, the uninitiated, and the downright curious. Seriously Curious: The Facts and Figures that Turn Our World Upside Down brings together the very best explainers and charts, written and created by top journalists to help us understand such brain-bending conundrums as why Swedes overpay their taxes, why America still allows child marriage, and what the link is between avocados and crime. Subjects both topical and timeless, profound and peculiar, are explained with The Economist's trademark wit and verve. The Economist Explains and its online sister, the Daily Chart, are the two most popular blogs on The Economist's website. Together, these online giants provide answers to the kinds of questions, quirky and serious, that may be puzzling anyone interested in the world around them. Want to know why exorcisms are on the rise in France or how porn consumption changed during a false alarm missile strike warning in Hawaii? We have the answers They are sometimes surprising, often intriguing, and always enlightening.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Booklist Review

This collection of 110 brief essays (one-and-a-half pages, max) considers various current-day conundrums, presents pertinent facts, and offers possible explanations. The simple premise is both intriguing and addictive, as the meandering range of topics is sure to ensnare just about every reader at some point. Entries are sorted by broad categories, such as food, sex, economics, and medicine, and given attention-grabbing titles: "What Do Robots Do All Day?"; "Why Are Wolves Coming Back in France?" The facts reflect data collected by scholars, government agencies, international organizations, think tanks, and other seemingly reputable sources, and are occasionally accompanied by charts or graphs. The analyses reflect commonsense logic and readily acknowledge incongruencies and contradictions. Standage, prolific author (Writing on the Wall: Social Media the First 2,000 Years , 2013) and deputy editor at the Economist, maintains a breezy style, keeping the barrage of information accessible and manageable. This sequel to Go Figure: Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know (2016) is in turn bemusing, informative, provocative and always interesting.--Kathleen McBroom Copyright 2018 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

Lucid answers to a wide variety of topical questions.Standage (Go Figure: Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know, 2016, etc.), deputy editor of the Economist, gathers posts from that magazine's blogs, conveying facts, charts, tables, and theories in pithy responses to more than 100 quirky and often genuinely perplexing questions. Organized into 10 sections, the posts focus on global habits (why the exorcism business is booming in France, for example); love, sex, and marriage (attitudes to same-sex relationships around the world); food and drink (how wine glasses have gotten bigger over the years); science and health (what people want at the end of life); technology (what do robots do all day?); games (why tennis players grunt); language (how the letters of the alphabet got their names); holidays (why Easter moves around so much); and, not surprisingly, economics (does longevity always increase with national wealth?). Some of the answers are surprising, others self-evident. Why are Chinese children born in the year of the dragon more successful? Those born in the dragon years "are thought to be destined for success," so "parents believe in them," making success "a self-fulfilling prophecy." Why does Boko Haram prefer female suicide bombers? Shock value. Why are yurts going out of style in Mongolia? Mongolians, it seems, "are heeding the siren song of modern living." What's the easiest way to get rich in America? Be born to extremely rich parents. Many responses distill solid research and convey interesting information, such as the complex genome of wheat and the causes and consequences of Swedes' predilection to overpay taxes. As to the question about tennis players' grunts, it seems that "the speed of their serves and ground-strokes increased by 4-5% when they groaned," most likely caused by "the extra tension created in the athlete's core muscles by the grunt."A lively compendium of fun and facts. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.