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Far Out: 101 Strange Tales From Science's Outer Edge Paperback – October 1, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Pilkington is a freelance journalist, writer, and editor. As well as writing the "Far Out" column for the Guardian on which this book is based, he has also written for The London Times, Fortean Times, Arthur, and The Wire, among others. He also edits the highly praised anthology of cultural marginalia, Strange Attractor, and runs Strange Attractor Press.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Disinformation Books; 1St Edition edition (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932857877
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932857870
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,147,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Review of Far out: 101 strange tales from science's outer edge. New York: The Disinformation Company by Mark Pilkington.
Reviewer W. P. Palmer

Yes, this is a strange book full of strange pieces, usually only two or three pages long, that test out the edges of science. Some of the accounts of research that purports to be science definitely are a part of science, whilst others probably are not. If different readers were asked to categorise these brief accounts into two piles `science' or `not science', then it would be unlikely that any agreement could be reached. In other words, there is no agreed workable definition as to what science is and this book successfully demonstrates this fact. This could be a useful exercise to try out with a science class.

Many of the stories relate to medical discoveries and cures. For example, one of the more credible pieces of apparatus said to cure cancer was invented by Dr Royal Raymond Rife (see Pilkington, pp. 90-92). These pages can be compared with the Wikipedia entry at URL: [...]. Orthodox medicine has never accepted Dr Rife's claims as they were never independently replicated. Pilkington reports some recent progress in experiments on the Rife microscope. The Wikipedia entry mentions that many of those who copied Rife's apparatus were definitely fraudulent. It is interesting to observe that both the Wikipedia entry and the Pilkington book use the same photograph to illustrate the story.

There are sections that attempt to describe experiments that explore the boundaries between science and religion (Chapter 89- Curses, foiled again), or (Chapter 97- the weight of the soul). #89 gives the results of experiments that have investigated the effectiveness of curses and the effectiveness of prayer.
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By Jeremy Kintana on April 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a great little book. The stories of the crazy "scientific" ideas that have cropped up over the years are hilarious, but realizing that a large number of people bought into these ideas is even more hilarious. Some of these stories are cliff-hangers though. The author hints that some of these apparently crazy ideas may have some validity and may be developed some day. What one can get out of this book is twofold. (1) People will LIE and will hang on to that LIE for as long as possible and (2) people have an unreal capacity for fooling themselves. Have fun!
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By T. Edmund on August 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
Mostly a collection of 'old' science which of course sounds crack-potty today (not sure how 2013 will fare in a century) but also a few modern bizarro theories.

Overall the tone is humorous and skeptical although at times the author laments the 'giving up' of research of some oddball areas. Other reviewers mention lack of in-depth discussion, but I liked the flighty articles that were brief enough not to offend or bore.
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By Roxy on October 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This little book is a gem that is loaded with fun to read snippets that are humorous and sometimes quite thought provoking. It is tiny so it very portable for reading while waiting. Great fun.
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