The Bookworm Sez: Ever wonder why? This book will tell you

The Bookworm Sez: Ever wonder why? This book will tell you

How come?

It’s a common question, rather informal, with roots that go back centuries: how did something come to be? In other words… why? Why is this, that? How come you can or can’t? Or, as in “The Science of Why2” by Jay Ingram (c.2017, Simon &Schuster, $24.99), how do various branches of science explain things?

News flash: you don’t know everything. You might think you do but, no, you don’t, and that’s where “The Science of Why2” comes in. Jay Ingram is about to school you on the things you didn’t learn in school.

Is it possible, for instance, to bring back dinosaurs, like in the movies? The why not is interesting but what’s better is why woolly mammoths may be a different story. So is the tale of why ancient people might not’ve had the color blue.

Closer to home – real close, in fact – did you ever wonder why you hiccup? Yep, the answer’s in here, and so is a good remedy for them. You’ll also learn why you can’t tickle yourself and why you really shouldn’t want to.

On the subject of your body and its weirdness, Ingram explains what two things you have in common with pretty much every mammal over seven pounds. He also explains why you should wash, wash, wash your hands after using the restroom and why (eeuw) you’ll never want to go into a public pool again after you’ve read a certain chapter.

Did you ever get lost in the woods? There’s a reason for that, and it’s in this book. So is the ultra-cool reason why your knuckles go snap when you crack them. And while you’re at it, take a v-e-r-y deep breath when you read about Julius Caesar and molecules…

How do electric eels shock their prey? It’s an important question, solved by this book. So is the deep mystery of why toast always falls butter-side down. You’ll learn how humans fly, in a way; why you should never drop a wood frog in the wintertime; and why your average elephant would lose at Double Dutch…

Did you ever notice how one idle thought usually leads to another one? That’s what you get inside “The Science of Why2” – a few answers to things you’ve deeply contemplated, followed by a whole lot of fun facts about things you’ve never heard ‘til now.

Yes, it’s presented in a lighthearted, sometimes funny manner, but author Jay Ingram’s solutions to the questions posed are serious, science-based things you’ll want to drop into conversation. The best, perhaps most enjoyable part is that this book feels like a free-wheeling, mind-wandering exercise: dinosaurs lead to DNA leads to cloning leads to ostriches leads to the preservation of wildlife.

Science can be lively that way, and never boring.

You can give this book to your older teen, but keep in mind that there’s a chapter in here on hangover cures. It’s otherwise perfect for any adult who appreciates serious fun, and you know you want “The Science of Why2” yourself. So come and get it.

The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Email her at bookwormsez@yahoo.com.

More in Life

This photo of Frenchy with a freshly killed black bear was taken on the Kenai Peninsula in the early 1900s. (Photo courtesy of the Viani Family Collection)
Unraveling the story of Frenchy, Part 1

The stories were full of high adventure — whaling, mining, polar bear hunting, extensive travel, and the accumulation of wealth

File
Seeing God’s hand in this grand and glorious creation

The same God of creation is the God that made me and you with the same thoughtfulness of design, purpose and intention

Chewy and sweet the macaroons are done in 30 minutes flat. (Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Sophisticated, simplified

When macarons are too complicated, make these delicious, simple macaroons

Michael S. Lockett / capital city weekly
Gigi Monroe welcomes guests to Glitz at Centennial Hall, a major annual drag event celebrated every Pride Month, on June 18.
Packed houses, back to back: GLITZ a roaring success

Sold-out sets and heavy-hitting headliners

Michael Armstrong / Homer News 
Music lovers dance to Nervis Rex at the KBBI Concert on the Lawn on July 28, 2012, at Karen Hornaday Park in Homer.
Concert on the Lawn returns

COTL line up includes The English Bay Band, a group that played in 1980

Marcia and Mary Alice Grainge pose in 1980 with a pair of caribou antlers they found in 1972. The sisters dug the antlers from deep snow and detached them from a dead caribou. (Photo provided by Marcia Grainge King)
Fortune and misfortune on the Kenai — Part 2

In Kasilof, and on Kachemak Bay, in Seldovia and later in Unga, Petersen worked various jobs before being appointed deputy marshal in 1934

“Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement” was published in 2018 by Razorbill and Dutton, imprints of Penguin Random House LLC. (Image via amazon.com)
Off the Shelf: The power of personal voice

“A Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement” provides first-person accounts of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida

Most Read