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What time is it at the North Pole? How did Santa manage to deliver all those presents in a single night? Why doesn't superglue stick to the inside of the tube? How can ants survive being nuked in a microwave?!? Do fish fart?
All these and many other essential questions are answered in this superb little book, which has been compiled from the 'Last Word' column in the New Scientist magazine. Following on from the hugely successful best seller from 2005, 'Does anything eat wasps?' , the editor at New Scientist have gone on to publish this in order to further enlighten the reading public. And to get rid of those annoying little questions that you ask yourself, or get asked and cannot answer.
You can't put a price on knowledge, especially the trivial and entertaining stuff, but this title can be picked up really cheaply. Only around £4 in the shops new. And at not much over 220 pages, it is a very accessible book, even for the youngest of curious minds. Although perhaps you have a minor drawback right there. As mentioned in another review, it is very short, so if you are very interested in some of the topics contained you would have to look elsewhere to satisfy your hunger for better explanations. Although there are a wide range of subjects covered, so space was always going to have to be shared out reasonably thinly. The human body, illnesses, the natural world and food and drink are all covered, as well as, of course, transport (was bound to be included).
I got this in a stocking from my girlfriend; [admit it, you get a stocking too... :-) ] and had it read cover to cover in about a day. So hard to put down a book that sets out to fill you in on just why exactly things are the way they are.
And this knowledge comes from some surprising sources. As well as the highly in depth, and no doubt very accurate, answers from university professors and the like, there are also responses from people as young as 8 or 9 years old!
The truth, it would appear, really is out there!
And, about some things at least. in here too.
For those of you who just have to know some of the stranger facts about this amazing world we live in, this is a must read. And for those of you who do not.... well your curiosity may well be sparked by reading even a few of the Q and A's in this.
Why you would need to know half of this stuff though is obvious. What else are you going to talk about in the pub? Just how did that referee not see a foul like that? Why can John never get a woman? Does my bum really look that good in these jeans?
OK, so maybe there are plenty of more pressing questions that need answered. But there will always be a place for the odd one straight out of left-field.
Because sometimes you just need to know why sheep run ahead of your car instead of just stepping off the road.
And seriously, Santa surely must give those poor penguins extra thick socks when no one is looking.