Because there’s more to life than 140 character opinion pieces and hastags about Kim Kardashian’s behind, we’ve compiled a list of ten Twitter accounts that will make you smarter, from arming yourself for the pub quiz to learning the basics of astrophysics to making sure you always have a Shakespeare quote up your sleeve.
After all, with 500 million tweets sent each day across the world, there’s got to be something out there worth reading.
1 | @GreatestQuotes
We could all do with some uplifting quotes to see us through the day, and we’re not talking about the kind of stuff your auntie posts on Facebook. GreatMindsQuotes sources its wisdom from some of the greatest minds in history, from the likes of Plato to Henry Ford, to give your day that extra bit of meaning. Remember:
"The act of taking the first step is what separates the winners from the losers." - Brian Tracy
— Great Minds Quotes (@GreatestQuotes) November 12, 2014
2 | @Neiltyson
American astrophysicist, cosmologist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson knows more about science than you. Follow him for an illuminating range of tweets covering everything from relativity to Interstellar. Only about 80% should go over your head.
Relativity. Gravity. Quantum. Electrodynamics. Evolution. Each of these theories is true, whether or not you believe in them.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) November 10, 2014
3 | @Awad
Sometimes conversation can be a bit frustraneous and can leave you feeling diffident. Often, it can feel like you need a dragoman just to understand all the hendiadys, epanalepsis and synecdoches people come out with. A Word A Day can help you with this, assisting you in growing your vocabulary day by day so you’ll be suitably prepared to impress should you bump into any Mata Haris.
Mata Hari: A seductive woman who works as a spy. http://t.co/weL79g1zY4
— A.Word.A.Day (@awad) November 7, 2014
4 | @Mindblowing
Did you know your body is at its weakest during the hours of 3-4am? Or that an unexpected message from the person you care most about can have a positive physical affect on your body? MindBlowing knows all this, plus thousands of other tidbits perfect for casually dropping into conversation.
Chocolate kills cancer cells.
— Mind Blowing (@MindBlowing) October 2, 2014
5 | @OmgFactsAnimals
Ignore the Twitter handle and trust us with this one. If the natural world is your thing, you won't find a better Twitter account detailing the habits and evolution of the world's non-human population. For instance, did you know that octopuses are deaf? Or that elephants are the only animal with four knees? Now you do.
Currently there are about 2 million species on the planet that we know about and at least twice that many living and dying around us everday
— OMG Facts ANIMALS (@OMGFactsAnimals) October 28, 2014
6 | @Uberfacts
Wide ranging facts about every aspect of life. For example, did you know that burning off that Big Mac meal from McDonalds involves six hours of walking? Or that each day is gradually lasting longer? Follow UberFacts to learn all this and more, including the difference between and idiot and a moron.
An idiot is technically an adult with a mental age below 3 years, while a moron is a person with a mental age of 7 to 12 years.
— UberFacts (@UberFacts) November 12, 2014
7 | @IAM_Shakespeare
The Bard once said “misery begets a man with strange bedfellows” but what he actually meant was "misery begets a man who doesn’t follow a Twitter account handily tweeting his entire works, 140 characters at a time". Of course, some tweets are more exciting than others…
— Willy Shakes (@IAM_SHAKESPEARE) November 12, 2014
8 | @Brilliant_Ads
If Don Draper were A. real and B. around today, Brilliant Ads would no doubt be his Twitter account of choice. Featuring some of the most innovative advertising campaigns ever, from Lego to Porsche, this is the Twitter account to browse when you’re suffering from creative brain freeze.
9 | @Qikipedia
Q.I may not be to everyone’s taste but you can’t argue with the facts on their Qikipedia page. Ran by the Q.I. “Elves” the account shares facts and quotes throughout the day, ensuring you always have something impressive, if a bit random, to make you sound like Stephen Fry, which is no bad thing.
In 1992, three people in Beijing were hospitalised with 'twisted intestines' caused by over-enthusiastic hula-hooping.
— The QI Elves (@qikipedia) November 10, 2014
10 | @RealTimeWWII
Thankfully, not many of us have had to fight through a World War. For those interested in learning about WW2 without turning on the History Channel, RealTimeWWII is an essential follow, tweeting daily updates on the “real time” progress of the war, including detailed maps, propaganda posters and original photographs.
German troops sweeping into southern France, annexing puppet Vichy regime- Nazis fear French would help Allies invade pic.twitter.com/PymByCHnbu
— WW2 Tweets from 1942 (@RealTimeWWII) November 11, 2014
Any we've missed?