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Curious Folks Ask: 162 Real Answers on Amazing Inventions, Fascinating Products, and Medical Mysteries (FT Press Science) Kindle Edition
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More About the Author
Seethaler earned a bachelor of science in biochemistry and chemistry from the University of Toronto, a Master of Science and a Master of Philosophy in biology from Yale University and a Doctor of Philosophy in science and mathematics education from the University of California, Berkeley. She has studied theories of learning and the extensive literature on people's alternative ideas about mathematical and scientific concepts. Her dissertation research examined how eighth-grade students and undergraduates make sense of scientific controversy, with a focus on the genetic engineering of food.
Her passion is to help people rediscover the wonder about science that we all shared as children, before we had concluded that science meant facts to be memorized from a textbook. Back then science meant bugs and slugs, trees and seas, stars and scars, rocks and... (well, you get the picture). Science is also a way of approaching problems and a way of thinking about the world that we can each apply to making better reasoned health, political and consumer decisions. Unfortunately, precollege and even college science classes often fail to teach us how to do this. To fill that gap, her book Lies, Damned Lies, and Science: How to sort through the noise around global warming, the latest health claims, and other scientific controversies (FT Press Science, 2009) is an empowering yet palatable set of tools for making sense of the health and science-related issues we encounter in our daily lives.
Top Customer Reviews
Here's a sampling of the questions:
Is a lightsaber (yes, the Star Wars sword) possible?
Why does my radio crackle with static or some other interference?
Since contact lenses move with your eyes as they move, how are bifocal contact lenses possible?
Why is it so difficult to make a hearing aid that works?
Why do certain electrical cords (those used by fans, in particular) curl over time? Certain others do not.
Why is the adhesiveness of white glues, such as Elmer's, stronger than that of glue sticks?
How come I can use cold water in my washing machine but I have to use hot water in my dishwasher?
Seethaler is a Science Writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune. She holds a B.S. in Biochemistry (University of Toronto), a M.S. in Biology (Yale) and the Ph.D. in Science and Mathematics Education (Univ. of California-Berkeley), thus, readers can be confident that her answers are based upon good data and reliable information sources.
Highly recommended for school, public and college library collections and consideration for gifts to bright, curious and inquisitive individuals of all ages.
R. Neil Scott
Middle Tennessee State University
"Curious Folks Ask" is the book to read by the incurably curious, the hopelessly nescient, and even the pseudo-omniscient in need of humility and reality. The entire book is a collection of questions and answers organized into 8 categories: ingenious inventions, chemical concoctions, body parts, bodily functions, pesky pathogens, assorted ailments, uniquely human, and health nuts.
This reader likes Seethaler's book quite a bit. It's a book that one can read in a few sittings or read sporadically during the day to turn empty minutes into mini science lessons. If one has no interest in a question topic or finds it too difficult, one can skip and move on to the next one. I surprised myself by skipping very few questions, and even gave a cursory read to the "skipped" ones.
Some of Seethaler's answers seem to have been written by a politician. She begins on topic and somehow she disarmingly ends up on a somewhat related but different topic. Her book is so fascinating, however, that these few transgressions are easy to forgive.
In a nut shell, I enjoyed this book, learned from it, and would recommend it.
This book covers the following topics:
Chapter 1 - Ingenious inventions
Chapter 2 - Chemical concoctions
Chapter 3 - Body parts
Chapter 4 - Bodily functions
Chapter 5 - Pesky pathogens
Chapter 6 - Assorted ailments
Chapter 7 - Uniquely human
Chapter 8 - Health nuts
Chapters 1 & 2 discuss inventions and scientific explanations of how things work. Chapters 3 through 8 are all about the human body including diseases, evolution, and nutrition. I personally would have preferred much more of the first two chapters about inventions, mechanics, and physics and much less of the later chapters on health and diseases. In the first chapter Seethaler attempts to answer the question of whether a light saber is possible, and she briefly summarizes that topic as written by Michio Kaku in "Physics of the Impossible", a book which I have read and enjoyed. If you are interested in futuristic technology from a physics perspective, I recommend you read that book instead.
"Curious Folks Ask" seems to be very well-researched, but unfortunately Sherry Seethaler provides us with very few of her sources. The book has no footnotes, endnotes, or bibliography. Occasionally she will mention a specific book. Sometimes she provides the reader with a link to a website such as NASA's page with the current count of known exoplanets or the World Health Organization's page about a certain medical condition.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Reminds me of things I learned but have forgotten over time. Good refresher. Also tea I learned that in high school.Published 3 months ago by M
Useful tidbits of information about all sorts of things. This is a good resource for both the public speaker and the curious.Published 4 months ago by Edward J. Vasicek
An interesting little book covering all manner of questions from science to economics to ... well, some of them are unclassifiable. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Ray Anselmo
This was an interesting book. It was more like a FAQ manual. It made for good reading and was entertaining. This may prove quite useful to the trivia pursuit crowd.Published 18 months ago by Jude-Farley Pierre
Interesting collection of short explanations on a wide range of subjects. Fun reading when you want to kill a few minutes.Published 18 months ago by Kevin Curtis
Lots of great information into easy to understand language. Sometimes there was more than I needed to know. I like how the topics are arranged.Published 23 months ago by Ellessay
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