MY head is full of stuff. Lots of it helpful; some of it borderline obscene; most of it completely useless.
I am not sure how so much useless information seems to get into my head and then stay there when the stuff I really need (“where are my keys?” “When is it mum’s birthday?”) just seeps out seemingly at will.
I don’t know why I know when the Canadian Ice Hockey Federation changed their rules, or who invented scissors. I just do.
So pub quizzes are made for me: a rare opportunity to use this useless stuff that inhabits valuable cerebral space.
Recently, a small team of us entered the quiz at the Plough in Taunton.
The team was graced by the Gazette’s own Phil Hill. Phil doesn’t really have a specialist subject – unless you count “who’s round it is” as a specialist (never his being the common answer), but his vaguely porn star Movember moustache at least led to confusion and breathlessness in our female opponents.
After a hard fought battle we came second, out of ten teams, which really pleased us.
Although we were gutted to find out that we had missed first prize by just half a point.
If only we had allowed our third man Dave from Musgrove Park Hospital to use his smartphone….
But what’s the point?
Knowledge is power? No, it is just knowledge.
And does knowledge make you clever? No, it just means you know stuff. Facts, after all, are just facts. There is nothing special about them.
What makes you clever is emotional intelligence; or the ability to understand context and psychology.
The skill of learning from mistakes and recognising the lessons of history; or the innate quality of being able to understand other people’s needs and desires; these are the qualities that mark out the really clever people, and make us the people we would really like to be.
Sadly, I got stuck with stuff instead.
Oh, 1926 and Leonardo Da Vinci as you ask. Surprising eh?