From Publishers Weekly
O'Connor, a contributor to the New York Times
Science Times section, has amassed more than 100 peculiar tidbits on everything from the potency of Spanish fly to the cancerous effects of cellphone use. O'Connor easily waxes on about whether bicycle seats cause impotence or if knuckle cracking can lead to arthritis. While regular Times
readers will remember many of these topics, the newly casual tone of the discussions will either entertain or distract, depending on one's tolerance for anecdote. For instance, in exploring the infamous "Will eating poppy seeds make you fail a drug test?" conundrum, O'Connor got right to the point in his 2005 column ("a couple of bagels heavily coated with poppy seeds can result in morphine in a person's system for hours"), but here he begins with the retelling of a Seinfeld episode where Elaine, after a bagel breakfast, tests positive for "You know, white lotus. Yam-yam. Shanghai Sally." All of O'Connor's research is backed by legit scientific studies, but he refers to them only in passing. A bibliography would have been welcomed. Nonetheless, medical receptionists take note: this is a great book for the waiting rooms of physicians, dentists and psychiatrists alike. (June)
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About the Author
Anahad O'Connor is a reporter for The New York Times covering science, health, immigration, and life in the greater New York area and contributes the weekly column "Really?"--named for his favorite word in journalism--to the paper's Science Times section. He lives in New York City.