Hello. Nice to meet you.
I think I might have been a couple of years older than you are now when I discovered the Straight Dope book. I hadn't heard of alternative newspapers, and I don't think anybody had heard of the internet. Of course, this was back before the Earth's crust had cooled, and the Sun was still in the T Tauri phase
I've been to Cambridge a few times, and it is lovely. I love the Kings College chapel. Have you read any of Susanna Gregory's books? She has a series that is set in Cambridge around the time of the Black Death, 1340s and 1350s, that I like very much.