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on April 21, 2018
For me, who is not a scientist, this book was sometimes fascinating and sometimes completely boring. It was so boring I didn't finish it. So if you are of the science minded bent, you will devour this book and wish it were longer. If not of that persuasion, you will wish you never started it.
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on April 9, 2017
We think we understand the basics, the foundations of science are what we think of a solid!
Think again.
Mainstream science has far to many assumptions and we all know what happen when we assume anything.
The young minds out there have got their work cut out for them just staying open enough to challenge those pesky assumptions.
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on February 5, 2018
A great book that starts out with several Nobel laureates baffled by a hotel elevator, a metaphor for science where a lot of really intelligent people are just at a loss to explain certain things. The book then goes through 13 things that current science can't explain and in a lot of cases there isn't even a theory or worse multiple completely contradictory theories. Lots of detail and references to current and historical research. Surprisingly engaging, not the dry exposition you might think.
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on January 1, 2018
I love it and so does my daughter. I love it when scientist say this doesn't make sense but this is what the facts show or "that was weird!"
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VINE VOICEon November 11, 2008
This is an outstanding book. It's a thought-provoking examination of thirteen problems in science that have puzzled-- and sometimes embarrassed and angered-- scientists for years. Though it is scientifically rigorous, it is at the same time very readable.

The book is a greatly expanded version of an article that the author wrote for New Scientist magazine. Brooks considers a wide range of issues, including what dark matter and dark energy might be, if they are anything at all; why the Pioneer spacecraft is apparently violating the rules of physics as it leaves the solar system; why scientists decided that the Viking landers on Mars didn't detect life, despite consistent evidence that they did; whether an alien civilization has already contacted us but we weren't listening carefully enough to notice; why death and sex exist, despite their nearly complete lack of evolutionary advantage; how experiments continue to show that cold fusion may be a real phenomenon, despite abundant proof that it can't exist; why the placebo effect works, despite evidence that it doesn't actually exist; and more.

All of this is tied together by a theme: The world's best experts can't always figure things, out, even when large numbers of them agree; indeed, sometimes those experts prevent things from being properly examined, let alone figured out.

The general tone and style of the book reminded me of Carl Sagan, Stephen Jay Gould, and John McPhee. There is a LOT to chew on here, but the bites are correctly sized and very tender. The author has a PhD in quantum physics, but he's also a good magazine feature writer. The balance of real science and entertainment is perfect.

I enjoyed this book very much, and I think it will easily repay any reader for the time and money invested in it.
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on September 17, 2013
The unexplained fascinates me. This book is about the unexplained. This book has 13 anomalies to ponder and none can be explained (yet). With a storyteller's style, each anomaly is described without the mathematics usually found in scientific journals. Each anomaly is illuminated, calmly, and then jaw drops when you understand.
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on June 25, 2017
Having aligned myself with "scientific thinking" for most of my adult life, I find it refreshing to realize those deep thinkers before (and "above") me were (and continue to be) as unclear about the "facts" as I was/am.
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on October 23, 2017
Loved the book. Arrived in great shape for a used book. I spent practically all weekend reading it, and Michael Brooks has made me look the universe differently. Dark matter & dark energy are spooky and mystifying topics, for starters.
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on November 30, 2017
Really solid book. The 13 items are some obvious but others not so much, Makes you want to read more about each one
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on September 17, 2014
This is a great book about 13 scientific conundrums that defy explanation and may never be answered even by the greatest minds. You will be fascinated, thrilled, and unable to put it down. Learning about these topics has been as educational for me as it was entertaining.
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