Top Ten Tuesday: Weird or Funny Things I’ve Googled Thanks to a Book

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Thank you to Astilbe @ Long and Short Reviews for coming up with this fun prompt!

A question mark on a foggy window. It looks like it was made by someone’s finger recently. You can see something green and fuzzy through the foggy window that might be a forest, but it’s too obscured to know for sure. Here are some of the amusing things I’ve googled thanks to books. I sadly only remember the name and titles of a few of the books that prompted my searches, but I’ll edit this post if I can think of more of them.

There are explanations of my searches in this post as well so you’ll understand what I was thinking.

1. What happens if you drink tea that tastes like bitter almonds?

(A teacher had assigned us to read Roald Dahl’s “The Landlady” that featured this sort of tea.  Her explanation for what was happening in that scene weirded me out so much I looked it up later online and confirmed that this is not something anyone should be brewing or drinking!)


2. How long can smallpox remain active in frozen corpses?

3. How long can the 1918 flu remain active in frozen corpses?

4. How often are the viruses and bacteria in glaciers dangerous to humans?

(I’d been reading about the melting permafrost and glaciers. Some doctors worry our next pandemic could come from a virus or bacteria that has been frozen for a very long time. For example, there are bodies of people who died of the 1918 flu, smallpox, or other dangerous diseases and then were buried in places where it is always cold. So it’s possible we could see some of these illnesses come back if anyone were to, say, decide to relocate a cemetery or explore a melting glacier and not realize they might have been exposed to something deadly.)


5. Do birds remember which humans were nice to them?

(If you were curious, crows apparently do! They can hold grudges for a lifetime, too, if you’re unkind. And they will bring gifts to humans who are nice to them sometimes.).


6. Did Neanderthals have blue eyes?

(No, probably not. We don’t even think the first humans with blue eyes showed up until about 7,000 years ago, and Neanderthals died out long before then!)


7.  Why were kids allowed to run around everywhere on their own in the 1980s?

(Okay, so I technically googled this after watching the first season of Stranger Things…but a lot of older books feature fairly young kids going all over the place without any adult supervision or even without telling the adults in their lives where they were going, too. My parents gave us freedom to play outside without them as long as we followed some basic safety rules like avoiding large bodies of water and sticking together as a group, but they also generally knew where we were going, who we were with, and about when we’d be back based on our previous patterns. It confuses me a little to think of not having such information about your kids!)


8. What do spies do in retirement? Are they ever even allowed to retire?

(Yes, they can retire. Unlike what happens in some novels, you can retire from this profession and not be in any danger. Ha!)


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46 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Weird or Funny Things I’ve Googled Thanks to a Book

  1. Haha the questions about corpses makes me think of some possible sci-fi. It is an interesting question though. What would happen if that happened. Things will travel even quicker with the current population.

  2. Almond tea? Or does it just taste like almonds?

    Frozen corpses???????? lol

    Love your questions and I don’t think spies are allowed to retire.

    • The Internet said it tasted like almonds. Possibly slightly bitter. So I don’t know.

      And maybe the Internet was wrong about that last one!

  3. I remember reading an Enid Blyton book in which five siblings (including a baby) rowed with their gear to stay on a nearby island for a month! Yes, much more freedom to roam in the past!

    Wonderfully thoughtful questions!

  4. Ha, I like your thinking with some of these questions! Though for the 1918 flu, I wouldn’t worry about that one too much. It (or at least, its descendents) been circulating in the population all along, so a reintroduction from a corpse would quite possibly be a non-event. That strain didn’t die out (though some flu strains ultimately have). Smallpox would be more of a worry, because we’ve stopped vaccinating for it and most people are not immune.

    My TTT.

  5. Deanne @ Vegan Book Blogger

    Fascinating topics to google especially about diseases and frozen corpses. Very valid question.

  6. I love that birds hold grudges. So fascinating! Great list!!

  7. I love the question about spies – there’s a great story in the making there!

  8. #5 is interesting and the crow thing is true. Friends of friend tried to help a baby crow out of being caught in their patio furniture and the crows did not like that. They dive bombed them in their backyard for weeks.

  9. Joanne

    What fun things to Google! There are some really entertaining posts today 😊

  10. What interesting things to google. The illnesses are a bit scary, I never really thought about that. I was from that generation in the 1970s who ran around the neighbourhood or hopped on my bike and took off. Looking back on it, we were one of the last generations with that kind of freedom. My kids grew up in the 1990s and 2000s and I always knew where they were and who with, at least I think I did.

  11. Your last search made me instantly think of the movie Red, which is a funny comedy about retired spies. This then also makes me realize I don’t think I’ve read many spy novels, though I have a couple on my shelf! Since I enjoy the genre, perhaps it’s a good time to read them. 😉 Thanks so much for visiting my website today!

  12. Some interesting and very specific questions! I find myself trying to deduce the type of books you were reading to come up with those questions 🙂

  13. You have Googled some fun things. Have a great week!

  14. Questions 2 to 4 are kind of creepy, that’s how science fiction horror movies work. 😂

  15. I really want to learn more about crows! I have several books on my TBR that should help. 🙂 And I remember back in the 1980s how much my sister and I were allowed to do on our own. I imagine our parents did a bunch of checking up on us behind the scenes that we weren’t aware of, but there was a lot more freedom then compared to what I’ve seen among my friends who have kids now.

    I went a different direction with my TTT this week:

  16. You must have the best list of the day!!!!! #3 –oh my! Great work!

  17. Poinsettia

    Fun list! The fact about crows is really interesting!
    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

  18. I love that list! I am however now worrying about frozen diseases 😶

    Have a great week!

  19. I know that cyanide tastes like bitter almonds and you definitely should not be drinking tea laced with cyanide! And I’m so fascinated by crows and how smart they are. I’d love to make friends with some crows some day.

  20. So interesting! But the question about kids in the 80s makes me laugh. I think it’s the era but also the place. I grew up in the suburbs a little earlier than that 🙂 and we were definitely free to roam, ride our bikes, and be untracked for hours at a time.

  21. You’ve had some very intriguing Googles and thanks for the context too!

  22. Let me google some of these myself because now you got me curious about several of these.

  23. Your google search bar looks exactly like mine would after reading those books!! But I have to be honest, you’ve got me very curious about some of those answers, and I did know all the facts about the crows specifically because I had googled it in the past. And now that you mention it, I always did wonder how other kids got away with just roaming around freely in the ’80s while my parents were so [insert overdramatic sigh] overbearingly nosy. Great list!

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