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University of Useless Knowledge

Updated on January 28, 2013

Welcome to the University of Useless Knowledge

This light-hearted lens will be of interest to those wishing to pursue learn all manner of inutile, ineffectual, and perhaps even incomprehensible stuff.

Here at the University of Useless Knowledge, we pride ourselves in being able to meet the exacting needs of nerds, nincompoops, and in many cases, just nice noodles or noggins with way too much time on their hands looking for a good time.

If you feel you fit into any of the above categories, feel free to plop yourself down and tickle your funnybone. If not, please "take a hike" to the next sandbox over (reserved for linear thinkers who wouldn't dare color outside the lines or forget how to connect the dots!)


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"It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information."

-- Oscar Wilde --

Meet Our Factitious Faculty Members - Many of whom have spent far too many moons in our ivory tower.


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First from the left: Professor Rurtherford Ramsbottom - A graduate of the Secular School for Scandal, he earned his reputation as a skilled statesman in Satanic skullduggery -- i.e. the art of upsetting Adam and Eve's apple-cart in the Garden of Eden thereby dislodging all sorts of puffing adders, vexatious vipers, and wicked worms and wreaking havoc with their well-laid plans to frolic in the hollyfuds.

Second from the left: Professor Desdemona Dullard - A piffling personality whose only claim to fame is having consumed far too many drams of whiskey from a champagne glass which is more than likely why she became addicted to being a nuisance, and why she has been nominated by her colleagues for a permanent chair in the highly-esteemed League of Holy Humbug & High-Falutin Hogwash.

Second from the right: Professor Mortifer Meandricus - The sort who had a nose for bureacratic bungling which gave him an edge on the competition, allowing him to rise to the highest ranks of the civil service where he earned a golden handshake from the Great Golden Goose for having made such a humongous hash of every picayune project that he touched with his professionially-manicured pinkies.

Far right: Professor Willard Wallop-Wassup - A fine figure of cylindrical emptiness, who has a gift for speaking off the top of his hat (if he possessed one), of things without parallel such as "Who the heck is Borey the Bald?" and "Exactly what did Sir Abednego Bink have to say about things outside the enlightened realms of democracy?", both of which earned him a medal as "Tumble-Bug of the Year" by the Institute of Innocuous But Interesting Stuff.


Fairy Facts 101 is one of our most popular ludicrous lecture series brought to you in partnership with the International Association of Boffin Bean-Counters and sponsored by the Blatherhood of Insufferable Stuff in cooperation with the Faculty of Flashing Astonishers.

In a world fixated on categorizing and quantifying everything under the sun, determining how many fairies are capable of dancing or are currently dancing on the head of a pin is certainly well worth knowing.

For those interested in learning what current research says about these legendary nocturnal know-it-alls that formerly inhabited meadows, forests and four-leaf clovers, and from time to time exhibited a fondness for kicking up their heels, abducting children, and changing shape when the spirit moved them, this priceless information will be invaluable.

While fairies are believed to be extinct according to biologists, theologists from the Faculty of Fine-Tuning & Fanciful Faith claimed to have a document written by a curious clergyman named Olaf Oof who provided an amusing account of their passage through a park full of plastic flowers at 10:55 pm on Sunday, March 22, 1847, following a forgettable feast at the mirthless manor of their happy-challenged host, Lord Leap-A-Lot and his spouse, Lady Love-Handles.

Instructor: Hopton Wafers, PhD (Little Sodbury in Avon), Director of the universally respected International Association of Boring Boffin Bean-Counters, Honorary Chairperson of the Blatherhood of Insufferable Stuff, Adjunct Professor of the Faculty of Flashing Astonishers, and prominent researcher in the little known field of how to identify and categorize miniscule merry-minded munchkins correctly and when to measure their performance in flight as opposed to their stationary status.


Image Credit: Ron Leishman -

How do you measure progress in life when ... - Some things just keep on getting smaller and smaller?

Useless Underthings U Need to Know


  • The loincloth was probably the first undergarment worn by homo sapiens. King Tut was buried with 145 of his favorite loincloths.
  • In the late 19th Century, the standard undergarment for men, women and children was the "unionsuit" (longjohns).
  • Bras did not exist until 1913 when one lady decided to tie two handkerchiefs together with ribbon. It was not until 928 that Maidenform introduced modern cup sizes, and the rest they say is history!
  • Word-lovers and wordpeckers will surely be intrigued by the fact that the word "underpants" did not enter the English lexicon until the 1930s.
  • Married men change their underwear twice as often as single men (probably because there is a designated domestic diva at home who's willing to do the weekly wash in the case of married men).
  • 65% of men prefer boxers or briefs, and 24% of men admit to having a lucky pair of underwear.
  • 36% of women prefer bikini briefs, 21% prefer thongs, 18% prefer boyshorts, and since 1965, with the invention of seamless pantyhose, some women have opted to doff their briefs altogther!

New courses to put a spring in your step!

Linear Thinking And The Art of Walking A Straight Line: This course will appeal to those who need something more challenging than learning how to connect the dots or dot "i's and cross t's.

Deconstructing the Devil Wears Preada: Feminism, Fetishism & Fashion: For women who need guidance on how to select clothing that will not itch, slip off in public, or split apart at the seams after only one wash.

The Rhetoric of Pillow-Talk: Always a crowd pleaser, this course will end the confusion between political sweet-talking and wooing whispers from passionate paramours of the public purse.

How To Win Friends and Influence Dragons: This course is ideal for anyone with anyone who hasn't a hot clue about "frenemies" let alone dungeons, dragons, or damsels-in-distress and daring dudes riding hobbyhorses.

Knitting for Noobs: Finally a course that addresses the difficult-to-meet needs of those with fidgety fingers, light fingers, or those who haven't learned what can be accomplished by removing their thumb from their mouth.

Tightwad Times: The Good Life On a Dollar A Day: An excellent introduction to budgeting on beans when you haven't got a nest egg or a golden goose; taught by a former Wall Street trader and winner of the "Golden Parachute Award" for 2009.

Yarnbombing & Yo-Yos: This is an advanced course for those who have learned how to knit (and don't know what to do with all the baby bonnets and scarves sitting in their drawer), and needle-nosers who prefer a vigorous finger-fitness routine.


Image Credit: 2010/10

BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW THAT ... - Cockroaches and socialites are the only things that can stay up all night and eat anything.


Image Credit: Illustration of cockroach by

Books are useless! I only ever read one book, To Kill a Mockingbird, and it gave me absolutely no insight on how to kill mockingbirds! Sure, it taught me not to judge a man by the color of his skin...but what good does that do me?


-- Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

Knights-In-Shining Armor and Know-It-Alls Share One Thing in Common - They love to look at themselves in the mirror, hear themselves talk, and embellish the fac

So, it's not surprising that they are both collectors of curious facts, which when they are not slaying dragons, they can tantalize avid admirers over a spot of tea or a pint of ale.

1. Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors (which is probably why most Knights-in-Shining Armor and Know-It-Alls do not have Paraguay on their list of 100 places to see before they leave the planet).

2. Human teeth are almost as hard as rocks (although neither Knights-in-Shining Armor nor Know-It-Alls who tend to live in glass houses or sandcastles would consider pulling their teeth out and throwing them at their mortal enemies just to win an argument.)

3. In Tokyo, they sell toupees for dogs (which is probably why you won't find them in the Japan anytime soon).

4. One in every four Americans has appeared on television (but in the case of Knights-in-Shining Armor and Know-It-Alls they always muscle their way to the head of line which is usually why they get top billing on reality-tv shows, talk shows, and talent shows).

5. The United States has never lost a war in which mules were used (although both the Knights-In-Shining Armor and the Know-It-Alls want to know why Americans always get involved in wars either led by elephants or donkeys? Do you think that Americans know that the elephant is the only mammal that can't jump, or that the placement of a donkey's eyes in its' heads enables it to see all four feet at all times?)

6. You're born with 300 bones, but when you get to be an adult, you only have 206 (but neither of these two boneheads will admit it!)

7. There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball (which is why neither Knights-in-Shinging Armor or a Know-It-Alls would spend time counting them or whacking them into 18 wee holes just for the fun of it!)

8. The national anthem of Greece has 158 verses. No one in Greece has memorized all 158 verses. (And don't ask the Knights-In-Shining Armor or the Know-It-Alls to do it, they can't sing, besides they're too busy eating that lamb on a spit).

9. The moon is moving away at a tiny, although measurable distance from the earth every year. Do the math and you will clearly see that 85 million years ago it was orbiting the earth at a distance of about 35 feet from the earth's surface. This would explain the death of the dinosours; the tallest ones, anyway. (All of which simply goes to prove that Knights-In-Shining Armor and Know-It-Alls are really glad they weren't around 85 million years ago!)

10. Even though the Earth weighs around 6,588,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons, scientists have never accused it of being obese and in need of a fitness routine!


Image Credit: Roman Moris - 4089332749_fb63dd0c36

Facts Source:

What's is as an effective study habit?

"Once you've learned to study in a bathing suit on the grass with muscled men throwing frisbees over your head, you can accomplish almost anything."

-- Susan Rice --

And now a word from one of our graduates ...


Image Credit: Vimrod cartoon -

Who said there are no gender differences in the world of "Useless Knowledge"?

"Bachelor's degrees make pretty good placemats if you get 'em laminated."

-- Jeph Jacques --

Accolades from one of our graduates

Students enrol in the University of Useless Knowledge for all sorts of reasons. What they learn, however, isn't necessarily what they think they signed up for.

Somtimes people see a course [like Waking Up to Wonk, offered last fall] as a relatively inexpensive group therapy, but what they leave with is something else. While most people in North America are asleep a good deal of the day, waiting at airports for trains to arrive, those who get in touch with their inner imp learn learn how to appreciate the fragrance of plastic roses and exercise their green thumbs by watching grass grow one blade at a time.

In this fast-paced world, there's a hunger for useless knowledge according to Jorrock Wormley, who having finished his course in Waking Up to Wonk learned that "understanding" is a noun meaning "a cerebral secretion that enables one having it to know a house from a horse by the roof of the house. Its nature and laws have been exhaustively expounded by Locke, who rode a house, and Kant, who lived on a horse" (which is something he hadn't a clue about before signing up for this course).


Image Credit: - 354903117

Quote from "The Devil's Dictionary" by Ambrose Bierce, Wordsworth Editions Limited, Hertfordshire, England, 1996, p. 244.

Smarty Pants Poll

So Smarty Pants, which useless fact isn't true?

See results

Santa wants to know if you're ready to sock it to the Tree of Knowlege?


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Useless Knowledge Bookshelf

The Utterly, Completely, and Totally Useless Fact-O-Pedia: A Startling Collection of Over 1,000 Things You'll Never Need to Know
The Utterly, Completely, and Totally Useless Fact-O-Pedia: A Startling Collection of Over 1,000 Things You'll Never Need to Know

For those who haven't a hot clue about zombies and zippers, or little known facts about Aristotle and that old American favorite, the "Barbie" doll.

The Amazing Book of Useless Information: More Things You Didn't Need to Know But Are About to Find Out
The Amazing Book of Useless Information: More Things You Didn't Need to Know But Are About to Find Out

For those who need to exercise their noodles and mirth muscles -- what do you mean there's a place in West Virginia named "Looneyville" (and who would admit to living there?)

The Best Book of Useless Information Ever: A Few Thousand Other Things You Probably Don't Need to Know (But Might as Well Find Out)
The Best Book of Useless Information Ever: A Few Thousand Other Things You Probably Don't Need to Know (But Might as Well Find Out)

A "must-have" manual, especially for those who might be stressed out of their socks and need something to wonder about like, "what was the first meal ever eaten on the moon...cheese?"

The Essential Book of Useless Information: The Most Unimportant Things You'll Never Need to Know (The New York Times Bestselling)
The Essential Book of Useless Information: The Most Unimportant Things You'll Never Need to Know (The New York Times Bestselling)

Some have described this treasury of titillating triva as a cornucopia of pointless facts -- which is why you need to read it!


Feedback from Friends of Useless Knowlege - What piece of useless knowlege would you like to add to our repository of ripsnorting research?

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    • studyaids profile image

      Steve Jones 

      7 years ago from Birmingham UK

      A very useful and interesting lens indeed.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This experience was totally useless! ;D

      Funny lens, thanks for sharing!

    • Tiggered profile image


      7 years ago

      Good to see that sense of humour is not dead yet :)

    • dezwards profile image


      7 years ago

      Your lens made me smile :-) When it comes to amazing your friends, there's nothing as useful as useless knowledge! Many thanks.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Gathered some useless facts ,thanks:)


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