I guess I should admit to skimming some of this. But it's sort of a book version of Straight Dope or How Things Work. It was filled with interesting 'how do they do that's on a wide variety of topics. The rest of this is just interesting quotes from the book.
Pressure from the railroads led the U.S. government to divide the country into four time zones, which were synchronized at noon on November 18, 1883 when the master clock at the U.S. Naval Observatory transmitted the time to major cities via telegraph.
Someone once said that the only function of the appendix is financial support of the surgical profession.
The medical term for the normal age-related changes of the voice is presbylarynx.
Intriguingly, Americans, who were the tallest in the world from colonial times to after World War II, have been surpassed by the Dutch, Swedes, Norwegians, Danes, British, and Germans, according to a study in Economics and Human Biology led by economist John Komlos. Komlos argues that universal access to health care and greater social equality in Northern Europe, relative to the United States, have led to healthier and taller populations.
About 1,000 species of normal, or commensal, bacteria inhabit our bodies. In total, we are lugging around a few pounds of bacteria. These bacterial cells, which are smaller than our own cells, significantly outnumber the human cells in our bodies.