Almanacs Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything


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Almanacs are wholly remarkable books. They have the uncanny ability to be very useful even though they are entirely made up of useless information and trivia.

Almanacs are usually put out yearly. Sizes vary anywhere from a small pamphlet to a thick novel. They serve as wonderful sources of information on important dates, history, weather, geography, populations, production, astronomy, and governments. Much of the information is presented in the form of statistics. More specific almanacs are also published which narrow in on certain topics.


Almanacs can be traced all the way back to the ancient Persians and Romans. Back then they mostly contained information on the movement of the heavens. Over the years they expanded to cover the calendar, weather forecasts, first aid, recipes and numerous random facts.

Some Popular Almanacs Published Today

  • Whitaker's Almanac which lists everything from heads of state to Olympic winners.

  • The World Almanac which lists facts, figures, history and all manner of statistics on world nations.

  • The Statesman's Year-Book provides data on the political, economic and social situation of most countries.

  • The Old Farmer's Almanac which still makes yearly weather predictions.


Almanacs can provide beneficial information in many different situations. For example:

  • A person baking a cake can look up the number of teaspoons in a tablespoon, which is three, by the way.

  • A person looking for a new religion can browse through well-organized summaries of everything from Atheism to Zionism.

  • Someone travelling to Moldova can read the country's current statistics, as well as a brief history.

  • Someone in need of a falling star to wish upon can look through the extensive astronomy information, including the times of meteor showers.

  • A husband who is buying a present for his wife on their seventh anniversary (Wool or Copper) could look up the common gift for that year, which happens to be a desk set.

It is more difficult to find a use for other information. For example, the gestation period of a hippopotamus (238 days), or Belgium's annual corn production (276 metric tons).

Other uses for these books have also been found. They are wonderful if you are studying to go on a trivia quiz show. In an emergency, less important pages can be removed to start a fire. Steadying a wobbly table, and creating a booster seat for a child are further uses. The possibilities are endless.

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