"Simon Flynn's cornucopia of curious facts, anecdotes, and quotations . . . is sure to entertain and surprise."--New Scientist
From the Large Hadron Collider rap to the sins of Isaac Newton, The Science Magpie is a compelling collection of scientific curiosities. Expand your knowledge as you view the history of the Earth on the face of a clock, tremble at the power of the Richter scale, and learn how to measure the speed of light.
Simon Flynn was the publisher at icon Books for many years and is now a qualified science teacher. He has degrees in chemistry and philosophy.
Throughout the nineteenth century, swarms of locusts regularly swept across the continent, turning noon into dusk, demolishing farm communities, and bringing trains to a halt as the crushed bodies of insects greased the rails. In 1876, the U.S. Congress declared the locust "the single greatest impediment to the settlement of the country." From the Dakotas to Texas, from California to Iowa, the swarms pushed thousands of settlers to the brink of starvation, prompting the federal government to enlist some of the greatest scientific minds of the day and thereby jumpstarting the fledgling science of entomology. Over the next few decades, the Rocky Mountain locust suddenly--and mysteriously--vanished.A century later, Jeffrey Lockwood set out to discover why. Unconvinced by the reigning theories, he searched for new evidence in musty books, crumbling maps, and crevassed glaciers, eventually piecing together the elusive answer: A group of early settlers unwittingly destroyed the locust's sanctuaries just as the insect was experiencing a natural population crash. Drawing on historical accounts and modern science, Locust brings to life the cultural, economic, and political forces at work in America in the late-nineteenth century, even as it solves one of the greatest ecological mysteries of our time.
Hypatia was a Greek mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who invented the hydrometer in about 400 AD. Described as a charismatic teacher, she was seen as an evil symbol of the pagan science of learning and she was eventually murdered by Christian zealots.
For many women in years gone by, the invention process was fraught with danger and difficulty. Not only did they face the hardship and obstacles of inventing, they also had to contend with the sexism and gender discrimination of a male world that believed women had nothing to contribute.
Scientific women came to the fore with momentous innovations which were impossible for men to ignore. During World War Two, Austrian actress Hedy Lamarr became a pioneer in wireless communications, developing a "Secret Communications System."
More recently, 20-year-old Ann Makosinski has invented the ingenious Hollow Flashlight which converts radiant body heat into electricity. Meanwhile other women continued inventing in the domestic sphere with Miracle Mops, long-lasting lipsticks, and magic knickers.
In every walk of twenty-first century life women have been challenging themselves (and men) to shape the way we live. Some of the incredible innovators featured include Myra Juliet Farrell, Sally Fox, Rosalind Franklin, Helen Murray, Anna Pavlova, M ria Telkes, Giuliana Tesoro, Halldis Aalvik Thune, Ann Tsukamoto, Margaret A. Wilcox, Ada Lovelace, and many more.
The 150 remarkable women in this book show all too clearly that not only can invention no longer be described as a male dominated domain but that a woman's inspiration and ingenuity will probably be driving the life-changing ideas of tomorrow's world.
Recent polls suggest that fewer than 40 percent of Americans believe in Darwin's theory of evolution, despite it being one of science's best-established findings. More and more parents are refusing to vaccinate their children for fear it causes autism, though this link can been consistently disproved. And about 40 percent of Americans believe that the threat of global warming is exaggerated, despite near consensus in the scientific community that manmade climate change is real.Why do people believe bunk? And what causes them to embrace such pseudoscientific beliefs and practices? Noted skeptic Massimo Pigliucci sets out to separate the fact from the fantasy in this entertaining exploration of the nature of science, the borderlands of fringe science, and--borrowing a famous phrase from philosopher Jeremy Bentham--the nonsense on stilts. Presenting case studies on a number of controversial topics, Pigliucci cuts through the ambiguity surrounding science to look more closely at how science is conducted, how it is disseminated, how it is interpreted, and what it means to our society. The result is in many ways a "taxonomy of bunk" that explores the intersection of science and culture at large. No one--not the public intellectuals in the culture wars between defenders and detractors of science nor the believers of pseudoscience themselves--is spared Pigliucci's incisive analysis. In the end, Nonsense on Stilts is a timely reminder of the need to maintain a line between expertise and assumption. Broad in scope and implication, it is also ultimately a captivating guide for the intelligent citizen who wishes to make up her own mind while navigating the perilous debates that will affect the future of our planet.
Why did Uuq become Fl? Why is the sky blue? Why is the sky black? What is spaghettification? There's a problem with the typical pub quiz. It always features far too much sport, 1980s pop and celebrity gossip -- and not nearly enough science.How Many Moons Does the Earth Have? is the ultimate solution. Test your knowledge to the limit with a sizzling collection of brain-stretching, science-based questions in two eight-round quizzes. Turn the page to get the answer immediately -- and as each answer page explores the subject in more depth, this the only quiz that's just as entertaining to read from beginning to end as it is to play competitively. Where was the Big Bang? What links the elephant Tusko and Timothy Leary? What is the significance of 6EQUJ5? Science explainer extraordinaire Brian Clegg tells all . . .