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Deceived Wisdom: Why What You Thought Was Right Is Wrong

3.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1908739346
ISBN-10: 1908739347
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'At last, a book that blows away many of the urban myths that we've come to accept without questioning. Well written and engrossing' -- --Dr John Emsley, author of 'Nature's Building Blocks' and other popular science books; 'Let it be announced from the rooftops that David Bradley has compiled this charming book, Deceived Wisdom, showing that some of the popular Old Wives Tales and things you could have sworn were true because you heard them down the pub are, with the appliance of science, just another charabanc of retired shoe manufacturers ... Good things come in small packages, and I read it in a single session. It's a book you can dip into, one of those things that no well-stocked shelf in the Smallest Room should be without ... if you want a stocking-filler for the geek in your life, especially if they are teenagers and mightn t have come across these before, then this has to be it.' -- --Henry Gee, Occam's Typewriter; 'I can't recommend this book highly enough. Not only is it entertaining, but it is also extremely informative, smart, and thorough. While Bradley discusses some complex topics, his clear writing makes reading about these brainteasers a breeze.' -- --Kim Lacey, Guru Magazine; 'This is a brilliant book, which presents some really pertinent information in a fun and enjoyable manner ... Bradley reinforces what science is really all about: questioning what you know and never accepting something just because somebody else tells you it's true.' --Paul Blakely, www.unpopularscience.co.uk

About the Author

David Bradley has contributed to and edited several books, including The Bedside Book of Science. He has also written for New Scientist, the Telegraph, and the Guardian.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Elliott & Thompson (April 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908739347
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908739346
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,022,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By brian on February 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wish I knew the author would have used something other than snopes.com or Wikipedia as his main source of information. For a book with such a topic, I was expecting an interesting read rather than a book based on popular advice. Too bad, because the topics he chose were enticing enough to purchase the book.
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Format: Hardcover
It would've been an interesting idea to have a book like this, but there were so many things wrong with this book I just couldn't get myself to find anything worthwhile about it.

A lot of the questions are so bland:
"Does chlorine sting your eyes?"
"Are bad habits the same as addiction?"
"Are some forms of fire-retardant asbestos safe?"
"Don't apple macs get viruses?"

For other questions the answer is so obvious:
"Do mixing higher and lower case letters with numbers make a good password?"
"Can you travel into another dimension through a black hole?"
"Does your brain shut down when you sleep?"
"Will your mobile phone fry your brain?"
"Will slapping someone destroy 10,000 brain cells?"

Sheesh.

Half of the space given to the 'answer' is just filler explaining the question, even on the most basic ones, such as "Will licking the bowl give you worms?" Here are the first two sentences from the answer to that question, if you're curious (p.20):

"Cake-makers are often inefficient in scooping out all of the sticky mixture of flour sugar, and eggs from the bowl. This gives anyone hanging around the kitchen the chance to dip their finger into the bowl for a sweet and gloopy taster before the washing-up gets done."

Real page-turner, right? He doesn't get to the answer until halfway through. By the way, his source for the answer to that question is themangotimes.com, which, according its own description, is the "Personal website and blog for Andy Fletcher. Dentist, Homeschool Dad, Jimmy Buffett, Mango". I'm not kidding.

Other sources he uses include:
Wikipedia
WebMD
Psychologytoday
Snopes
coffeetea.about.com
blog.sciencegeekgirl.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is best enjoyed a little bit at a time, like a chocolate sampler. David Bradley provides clear, basic explanations of what's really going on with all those old wives' tales, "common sense" explanations that don't fit the facts, and other bits of common knowledge that aren't quite true.
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By Iain on January 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Entertaining, funny & interesting. David combines well informed science writing with wit, reality and a good dose of skepticism.

Well worth the read
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By Suly on October 31, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Fascinating, insightful witty; a wonderful, informative read.
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