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Cool Stuff and How It Works Hardcover – October 17, 2005

4.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

We revel in working and playing with high-tech gadgetry, addicted to our cell phones, computers, digital cameras, and MP3 Players and more, but we rarely stop to think how these things actually work. Even home appliances such as refrigerators and microwave ovens use technology that many people don't understand yet take completely for granted. This colorfully illustrated picture book uses advanced imaging technology such as X rays, scanning electron micrographs, and infrared thermograms, along with traditional graphics, to reveal the workings of all this and more, from the Internet and computers to advanced textiles, space-age materials, and medical marvels. Even conveniences as basic as a match and a lightbulb are dissected with brilliant photography. Includes numerous examples where man-made inventions mimic the example of nature, such as fluorescent lights from bioluminescence and Velcro from the burr plant. Summed up with a technology time line, biographies of groundbreaking inventors, and a glossary of "techno terms," this will rate high on the "cool" factor, whether at home, school, or library. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"...a fascinating, thorough look at modern technology." -- Library Media Connection

"For any curious kid finding his was in the modern world, this is the book to own." -- Practical Homeschooling

"Teens who enjoy taking `stuff` apart in order to find out how it works will spend hours poring over this eye-opening book." -- Science
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 12
  • Lexile Measure: 1120L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: DK Children; First American Edition edition (October 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756614651
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756614652
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 0.9 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #623,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Woodford writes popular science and technology books for adults and children. He studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University. His books include the bestselling "Cool Stuff" series for Dorling Kindersley, and he also writes the popular science education website Explain that Stuff.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Through the use of cutaways and exploded views pictures reveal the internal workings of objects and explain various layers and how elements are assembled. This provides fascinating explanations of objects that may otherwise remain a mystery. No need to take apart your MP3 player, you can see inside the player on page 71. There is an explanation of how MP3 compression works along with a 3-D graph.

There are six main chapters:

Connect: Microchips, cell phones, fiber optics, digital radio, voice recognition, satellite, Internet...

Play: Soccer, fabric, cameras, games, guitars, compact discs, MP3 Players, headphones, Fireworks...

Live: Light bulbs, mirrors, solar cells, microwaves, aerogel, shavers, washing machines and robots.

Move: Motorcycles, cars, wheelchairs, jet engines, navigation, space probes, elevators, wind tunnels and space shuttles.

Work: Digital pens, laptops, virtual keyboards, laser printer, smart cards, robot worker, fire suits, radio ID tag, glue and wet welding.

Survive: Laser surgery, robot surgery, MRI scan, pacemaker, cells, vaccination and antibiotics

You may enjoy reading about how fireworks explode and why they display various colors. The pet translator helps you to find out if your dogs barking indicates needy, happy or assertive behavior. Virtual keyboards make using a PDA much easier now that you can type on any flat space.

One of the most fascinating DK books in print. A must have for every library and school, not to mention home library.

~The Rebecca Review
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Format: Hardcover
From iPods to medicine, washing machines to motorized wheelchairs, and scanners to flash sticks, the latest modern technological innovations are reviewed in a vivid survey of the science behind the invention. The latest devices present in our daily lives, from solar cells and microwaves to compact discs, are surveyed in a lively, photo-packed chapters which include plenty of colorful visual powers, diagrams, cut-aways and scientific detail to intrigue grades 6-9.
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Format: Hardcover
Kids are surrounded by technology these days, but unfortunately fewer and fewer of them appear to know how their gadgets or the world around them works.

This book is a good introduction, even if it is a bit lightweight.

There's a mix of ordinary things like electric shavers and guitars, the somewhat exotic like fiber optics and things mostly on the drawing board like fuel-cell cars. In all, more than 90 objects, processes and technologies are described.

The explanations are all essentially superficial and profusely illustrated. It's enough to get a young person interested and perhaps move them along to considering learning more about technology.

Jerry
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my high school students to read in their free time. It is one of their favorite books.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The inside of the book is as interesting as the Cover of the Book. DK books are specially very good, but this tops it. Explanation of various technology is excellent, my 8 year old loves the book. He reads it aloud so that I can learn new things as well. A must buy for inquisitive children.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Came in very good condition. Has information in the book on a lot of subjects. Electronics, shoes, space, medical technology among other things. A good book for those who want to know about various subjects but like to read a readers digest version not an entire "something for dummies" or "idiot's guide to something" on each subject. Even though it was written in 2005 a lot of the information is still pertinent in today's world. Only reason I gave it a four star rating instead of a five was that I couldn't find a digital version for the same price.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was bought as a Christmas gift for my 9-year-old son and it has been a big hit. The book is big and colorful and has great photo layouts of the "insides" of all kinds of neat devices. The photos and captions explain how the devices work. If you have a child who is always asking "How do they do that?" or "How does that work?" then this book is a great choice.
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By Mark B. on September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 7 year old son kept asking me how something is made or works.(especially electronics and about current technology) This should help to answer his technical questions that I can't completely answer. I was very impressed with the detailed photos and short but informative basic descriptions on how these gadgets work. I think I will learn a lot from this as well. Can't wait for story time!
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