Monday, December 1, 2008

57. Does Anything Eat Wasps?

The title: Does Anything Eat Wasps? And 101 Other Unsettling, Witty Answers to Questions You Never Thought You Wanted to Ask
The author: New Scientist
Publication: Free Press, 2005
Got it from: My sistah, Christmas 2006

Oh, crap. Now has that stupid "click to look inside" feature now, just like Now that dumb logo is going to appear on all the pictures I steal from their site.

Here's a question you never thought to ask: why did Kathryn buy $35 worth of fruitcake just because she liked the box it was in? It is a question for the ages and one which no scientist will ever be able to unravel.

This here book is divided into several subject categories based on the questions asked: the body, plants and animals, weather, etc. For instance: how fat does a person have to be to be bulletproof? I won't give away the answer, but let's just say that you'd be so fat your cause of death is unlikely to be lead poisoning anyway. How long will it take before my guinea pig Fluffy just becomes bones after he dies? Answer: it varies depending on conditions. Is the north of England rising and the south really sinking? I already knew that one going in.

In short, this book had some interesting and some boring questions. The section on how long a human head can remain conscious after detaching from the body was riveting but also made me want to throw up for three days afterward. However, the plethora of questions about beer and wine was tedious and got old fast. Really, was it necessary to find a way to slip in alcohol questions every chapter? Yawn. Overall, I'd rate this book a B.

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