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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
He'll Tell You No Lies
Cecil Adams doesn't know from humility: On his web site home page, he's touted as "World's Smartest Human Being," and he claims that his reason for being is to stamp out ignorance. But the man has lots of clout to back him up. His column, "The Straight Dope," runs in your finer weekly newspapers (it's syndicated by the fine people at the Chicago Reader) and offers answers to any question posed by his readers, no matter how arcane.
The breadth of his knowledge — well, his knowledge and the researching abilities of his oft-cited, lowly assistant, Ed Zotti — is incredible. "Angels, how many can dance on head of pin"; "aging, variations in, due to relativistic effects from rotating earth"; "Amway"; the late-20th-century phenomenon of the automatic teller machine and why braille is found on its face; "zinc deficiency, and fingernail spotting"; "Zappa, Frank, as son of Mr. Greenjeans" — Adams's columns delve into every subject imaginable and unimaginable.
Triumph of the Straight Dope promises to inform the reader of arcane trivia, but it also tells the story of a man who seeks to reverse the trend of global dumbing. Pray that he is successful.