Fun ways to test your knowledge

We’re planning yet another summer trip, so I did what I always do when I’m trying to learn about (what is to me) a foreign locale:  I got one of those DK Eyewitness travel guides.  They’re fairly familiar to everyone now, but once upon a time — say, about twenty years ago — they burst upon the travel book scene with the power of a nuclear explosion.  Instead of a few random photographs, or some scratchy hand drawings, the DK books were glorious bursts of color, with every sight getting its own little photograph.

When my son was born, I started learning the wonders of DK’s illustrated war histories.  My son is a very peaceable little guy, insofar as he’s never gotten into a fist fight with anybody.  However, he’s always found weapons fascinating.  His bookshelf sagged under the weight of the various DK books about weapons and warfare. I always leafed through the books too.

You’ve probably realized by now that I like the DK publishing model.  In a visual age, one that often seems to spell the end of printed word books, this company has managed to meld images and words in a way that works.  And surprisingly, given the incredible number of photographs in each book, and the nice glossy paper, the books aren’t overly expensive.

Anyway, there’s a reason I’m waffling on about DK publishing.  I got an email from someone at DK asking me to link to a General Knowledge Quiz that DK hosts, in exchange for which I could get a DK book.  I actually get a lot of offers like that.  Sometimes I like the gift being offered, but not the product I’m supposed to promote.  When that happens, blogger ethics (which are a much higher standard than journalist ethics) lead me to reject the offer.  Alternately, sometimes I like the product, but couldn’t care less about the gift.  In that case, I’ll blog about the product, just because I enjoy passing along useful information.  My favorite situations, though, are ones that see me liking both product and gift.  In that case, I’ll blog about the product and disclose the fact that I’m receiving compensation for doing so.

The DK General Knowledge quizzes are fun, way too much fun.  They have a fresh interface, range from easy to quite hard, and cover a variety of subjects.  If you’re in the mood to waste a little time, or if you want to keep one of your kids busy for a few hours this summer, the quiz page is a good way to go.  Please check the quiz page out so that I can, in good conscience, get a free book from one of my favorite publishing companies.