Every year, readers send in thousands of questions to New Scientist, the world's best-selling science weekly, in the hope that the answers to them will be given in the 'Last Word' column - regularly voted the most popular section of the magazine. Does Anything Eat Wasps? is a collection of the best that have appeared, including: Why can't we eat green potatoes? Why do airliners suddenly plummet? Does a compass work in space? Why do all the local dogs howl at emergency sirens? How can a tree grow out of a chimney stack? Why do bruises go through a range of colours? Why is the sea blue inside caves? Many seemingly simple questions are actually very complex to answer. And some that seem difficult have a very simple explanation. New Scientist's 'Last Word' celebrates all questions - the trivial, the idiosyncratic, the baffling and the strange. This selection of the best is popular science at its most entertaining and enlightening.
Why Don't Penguins' Feet Freeze? is the latest compilation of readers' answers to the questions in the 'Last Word' column of New Scientist, the world's best-selling science weekly. Following the phenomenal success of Does Anything Eat Wasps? - the Christmas 2005 surprise bestseller - this new collection includes recent answers never before published in book form, and also old favourites from the column's early days. Yet again, many seemingly simple questions turn out to have complex answers. And some that seem difficult have a very simple explanation. New Scientist's 'Last Word' is regularly voted the magazine's most popular section as it celebrates all questions - the trivial, idiosyncratic, baffling and strange. This new selection of the best is popular science at its most entertaining and enlightening.
Does anything eat shit? Have moles always lived in holes? Why are blondes so stupid? How much radiation can a pickled onion withstand? The world is full of really important questions. You will find none of them in this book. What you will find is plenty of nonsense, lots of lies and just enough truth to make you double check the 'facts' with a reliable source. Following the huge success of the New Scientist books - "Does Anything Eat Wasps?" and "Why Don't Penguins' Feet Freeze?" this is an alternative take on human curiosity. With plenty of detailed answers to as many ridiculous questions, if you've learnt absolutely nothing useful by the time you've finished this book, at least you'll be laughing.
Our fear and fascination with wasps set them apart from other insects. Despite their iconic form and distinctive colors, they are surrounded by myth and misunderstanding. Often portrayed in cartoon-like stereotypes bordering on sad parody, wasps have an unwelcome and undeserved reputation for aggressiveness bordering on vindictive spite. This mistrust is deep-seated in a human history that has awarded commercial and spiritual value to other insects, such as bees, but has failed to recognize any worth in wasps. Leading entomologist Richard Jones redresses the balance in this enlightening and entertaining guide to the natural and cultural history of these powerful arthropod carnivores. Jones delves into their complex nesting and colony behavior, their fascinating caste system, and their major role at the center of many food webs. Drawing on up-to-date scientific concepts and featuring many striking color illustrations, Jones pushes past the sting, showing exactly why wasps are worthy of greater understanding and appreciation.
- What time is it at the North Pole? - What’s the chemical formula for a human being? - Why is snot green? - Should you pickle your conkers? - Why do boomerangs come back? The New Scientist magazine’s ever-popular "Last Word" column produces an endlessly fascinating array of questions and answers from its readers. For all those who relish its mixture of wit, insight and scientific curiosity—not to mention those who have read and enjoyed Does Anything Eat Wasps?, the brilliantly successful previous collection—this new volume will be irresistible. Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze? includes recent answers never before published in book form, as well as old favourites from the column’s early days. This bumper collection brings together the highlights of the ‘Last Word’ in another wise, weird and wacky compendium that is guaranteed to amaze, inform and delight.
And Other Amazing Experiments for the Armchair Scientist
Author: Mick O'Hare
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks
Outrageously entertaining and educational experiments from the team behind the phenomenal international bestseller Does Anything Eat Wasps? How can you measure the speed of light with a bar of chocolate and a microwave oven? To keep a banana from decaying, are you better off rubbing it with lemon juice or refrigerating it? How can you figure out how much your head weighs? Mick O'Hare, who created the New Scientist's popular science sensations Does Anything Eat Wasps? and Why Don't Penguins' Feet Freeze?, has the answers. In this fascinating and irresistible new book, O'Hare and the New Scientist team guide you through one hundred intriguing experiments that show essential scientific principles (and human curiosity) in action. Explaining everything from the unusual chemical reaction between Mentos and cola that provokes a geyser to the geological conditions necessary to preserve a family pet for eternity, How to Fossilize Your Hamster is fun, hands-on science that everyone will want to try at home.
Do Polar Bears Get Lonely? is the third compilation of readers' answers to the questions in the 'Last Word' column of New Scientist, the world's best-selling science weekly. Following the phenomenal success of Does Anything Eat Wasps? (2005) and the even more spectacularly successful Why Don't Penguins' Feet Freeze? (2006), this latest collection includes a bumper crop of wise and wonderful answers never before seen in book form. As usual, the simplest questions often have the most complex answers - while some that seem the knottiest have very simple explanations. New Scientist's 'Last Word' is regularly voted the magazine's most popular section as it celebrates all questions - the trivial, idiosyncratic, baffling and strange. This all-new and eagerly awaited selection of the best again presents popular science at its most entertaining and enlightening.