Don’t Be A Dunce, Learn This Trivia

by Kevin Burton

   Read into this what you will, but the American election day today, coincides with National Dunce Day.

   That’s from the mouth of the National Day Calendar to your ears, through me, a humble reporter.

   “National Dunce Day is celebrated on Nov. 8 each year. The day commemorates the death anniversary of the Scottish philosopher John Duns Scotus,” reads the calendar’s Dunce Day article.

   Yes, the man most remembered for stupidity had the name, “Scotus.”  His name is now a mild insult for a person who is slow learning or stupid. 

   “John Duns Scotus was a Scottish Catholic priest and Franciscan friar, university professor, philosopher and theologian,” the article reads. “He was born in 1265 or 1266 and passed away unexpectedly on Nov. 8, 1308.”

   “His views ranged from brilliant to downright laughable,” the article reads. “Duns Scotus believed that cone-shaped hats increased learning potential. He was of the opinion that knowledge would flow from the point of the cap down and into the head of the wearer, making that person smarter.”

   Wow, never knew there was an actual person behind the dunce concept and the funny hat. Based on his dunce cap theory, I have elected not to investigate or pass along the so-called brilliant side of John Duns Scotus. Sorry if you were looking for that.

   But since we’ve landed on this topic, this is a good time to plug a great book, “A Confederacy of Dunces.” by John Kennedy Toole.

   My college sociology professor once gave us a syllabus with this book on it. “This doesn’t have anything to do with the topic, I just think it’s a great book,” he told us.  I immediately decided to write my term paper on it.

    (A warning: the language in this book is much worse than I would normally recommend.  I reread the book maybe four years ago. I remembered it as hilarious but somehow forgot how bad the language is in places.)

   The National Day calendar suggests wearing a dunce cap as a way to celebrate the day. They also suggested going to a library. Do people still go to libraries?

   Their best suggestion is to learn something new. I am always up for that, so let’s go there.

   Now I’m not sure this is all news you can use. And I’m not sure I buy it all. But drop these facts from into casual conversation and you’ll never ever be considered a dunce.

   Bet you didn’t know that:

   “All polar bears are left-handed.”

   “It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.”

   “A snail can sleep for three years.”

   “Women blink nearly twice as much as men.”

   “You can’t kill yourself by holding your breath.”

   “The average woman consumes six pounds of lipstick in her lifetime.” 

   “The liquid inside young coconuts can be used as a substitute for blood plasma.”

   “Pearls melt in vinegar.”

   “It is possible to lead a cow upstairs, but not downstairs.”

   “Donkeys kill more people annually than plane crashes.”

   “Apples, not caffeine are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.” 

   “Elephants are the only animals that can’t jump.”

   “The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue.”

   “Like fingerprints, everyone’s tongue print is different.”

   “A duck’s quack doesn’t echo, and nobody know why.”

   “The first product to have a bar code was Wrigley’s gum.”

   “Dentists have recommended that a toothbrush be kept at least six feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush.”

   “The strawberry is the only fruit with its seeds on the outside.”

   “There are 318,979,564,000 possible ways to play first four moves, per side, in chess.”

   “The average person eats 60,000 pounds of food in his lifetime.”

   “The average person spends 24 years of his life in sleeping.”

   “You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television.”

  “Turtles can breathe through their butts.”

   There you have it kids, from Some of these facts, I’m not sure on which side of the dunce line they fall. In any event, Happy Dunce Day and don’t forget to vote! 

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