Teeth, claws, horns. These are animal defenses we’re familiar with. What about slime? Toxic explosions? Blood shooting from an eye? Learn about these and other totally cool and utterly gross ways that animals protect themselves in Rebecca Johnson’s When Lunch Fights Back: Wickedly Clever Animal Defenses.
This is a short, intriguing book for older children and anyone interested in fun (and rather disgusting) facts about animals.
What would happen if you had a mole of moles? Or if everybody on planet Earth decided to jump up and down at the same time? How high up would you have to drop a steak for it to be cooked by the time it hit the ground? Former NASA scientist Randall Munroe has been amusing the internet with his stick figure drawings since 2005, mostly on the popular website xkcd.com, but the popular comics website is also home to a column where he answers hypothetical (and very often insane) questions about physics, space, chemistry and just about everything else.
If you’re not a fan of what happens to your food from one end of your body to the other, stop reading this review right now! For those that are curious, Mary Roach’s Gulp is the book for you. Roach humorously covers both silly and taboo topics: pet food taste-testers, internal deodorizers that keep bathroom odors away, resourceful prisoners who know just where to hide unbelievable amounts of contraband, and, yes, even the constipation that may have killed Elvis. For me, the chapter describing an American surgeon in 1825 that used a wounded trapper as his own lab rat stuck with m
Based in Roman Egypt, Agora is about a female professor and philosopher, Hypatia, who teaches young men about science. Encouraged by her father, she surrounds herself with information in the great library of Alexandria and is constantly testing new scientific theories.
Through his organization Edge Foundation, John Brockman asks academics and artists to respond to a provocative question about science that will bring something new to a discussion.
Perhaps the best essay in Wild Comfort is the piece that launches the collection, The Solace of Snakes. It’s possible that it’s my favorite essay because of her cunning implementation of snake tins (sheets of metal) to give snakes a proper home in a cleared field. Kathleen Dean Moore further explains her recordings each day as she carefully lifts the snake tins and examines the life beneath: “A large vole. . .
David Rothenberg's Bug Music is a highly readable and eccentric investigation into an aspect of nature too easily taken for granted. Bugs produce very mathematical sounds based on natural cycles. What human ears are able to delineate is really only the tip of a very large iceberg connected to other icebergs. Delving deeply into the sounds of cicadas, crickets and katydids, Rothenberg is not afraid to suddenly go big-picture on his readers. He aims for nothing less than a direct connection between a cricket’s chirp and jazz band’s rhythm section.
Equal parts science and history, Sam Kean’s The Disappearing Spoon takes the reader on a journey through the periodic table of elements and the people who discovered them. This quick and candid read is full of fun facts and asides—did you know that nineteenth century mercury laxatives have allowed historians to ac
Wesley the Owl is a fascinating story about the 19 years Stacie O’Brien shares with Wesley, a barn owl. Stacie, an employee at Caltech, is offered the opportunity to raise a barn owl. She immediately accepts the offer and throws herself into the arduous but overwhelmingly poignant task of creating a happy and long life for her new feathered baby. Wesley thrives in Stacie’s care, and Stacie, in return, becomes the best owl mother a
I've been a massive fan of the TV show Doctor Who since I was 13. Even at its worst, the show excites me and inspires me like nothing else. Although principally seen as a science fiction show, it's always played a little fast and loose with real science. Or has it?