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Go Figure! Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know

March 4, 2017

go figure questions the bottom stepThis is a book published by The Economist and is a collection of various articles they have published over the year, all based on random facts/questions you may have been curious about, but not had the time to find out. It claims to have, “bought together the very best clever people” The Economist has to offer to answer your profound and peculiar questions.


The back of the book shows a few key questions that we have probably all pondered at some time or another:

“How do Hurricanes get their names?”

“Is chocolate healthy?”

“Why so many Korean’s are called Kim?”

The book itself is divided into sections (Mind-stretchers, Global curiosities etc) and these are made up of short chapters (2-5 pages). Each one explains a burning question you have always wanted to be answered and some are pretty interesting. The first section tackles mysteries like,

“The hidden cost of Gingham Style”

go figure questions the bottom stepYes, that is correct. With this video being watched more the 2.6 billion times on Youtube alone, not only is it one of the most watched clips in history, but at a length of 4.12 minutes it’s also cost humanity a total of 180 million hours, (approximately 20,000 years!). This begs the question, what else could have been achieved in this time? One answer is we could have constructed another 3 London Olympic Parks or 25 Empire State Buildings. Makes you think, how much time are you wasting away as an individual, scrolling through Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat and Twitter videos.


Another eye-watering statistic is,

“Which countries lose the most on gambling?”

No it may not come as a surprise that the top ranking country is the US, after all its home to the original gambling mecca of the world, Vegas. However, were you aware of how big this loss is? Approximately $142.6 BILLION! So the lesson to be learnt here is, don’t gamble in the US, it’s obviously very unlucky.

Final Thoughts

Whilst there were some fun and amusing answers in this book it seems to mainly be made up of facts about Korea, Japan and China, with a sprinkling of things you actually wanted to know. Although I did find the answers to a few questions I have wondered, if anything it made me feel as though I still needed to jump on google to find out the in-depth answer to the question.

This book would be the ideal gift for Dad/Granddad at Christmas when you can’t think of something, or if you happen to have a friend who will be appearing on ‘Who wants to be a millionaire?’

It should be named, ‘Things you didn’t know you didn’t know, because you didn’t really want to know them’

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