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

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Let there be lights!

When I stopped in at one of our local stores, I didn’t cringe when I saw all the holiday decorations on display.

Cabbage, potatoes, salmon and an assortment of pantry staples make for a culinary challenge. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Take a culinary pop quiz

Get creative with what’s in your pantry

This undated John E. Thwaites photo, perhaps taken near Seward, shows the S.S. Dora grounded. (Alaska State Library photo collection)
Resilience of the Dora, part 3

Her long career had come to an end at last.

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Sometimes I wonder, who needs who

Dog whispers we are not. Suckers for unconditional love, you bet.

Meredith Harber (courtesy)
Minister’s Message: Don’t let termination dust bring you down

If I’m honest, this time of year is the hardest for me mentally and emotionally.

Pieces hang on display at the Kenai Art Center for the open call show on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘They felt like they could share with us now’

Art center open call offers space for new artists.

The Cosmic Hamlet Entertainment film crew prepares for a new scene to roll on the set of “Bolt from the Blue” at the Kilcher Homestead on Sept. 28. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
‘Bolt from the Blue’ film features Homer

“The Office” star Kate Flannery cast in feature film produced in Homer.

These old-fashioned doughnuts don’t skimp on the fat or sugar. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Memories of old-fashioned doughnuts

My recipe is for old-fashioned doughnuts, and since I make these maybe twice a year, I don’t skimp on the sugar and fat.

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: October is here again

The days are shorter. We are losing nearly six minutes a day. It’s getting colder.

This John E. Thwaites photo shows the S.S. Dora near Sand Point, Alaska. Thwaites sailed as mail clerk on the Dora between at least 1905 and 1912. (Alaska State Library photo collection)
Resilience of the Dora, part 2

The S.S. Dora touched lives on and became part of the history of the Kenai Peninsula and Southcentral Alaska.

Steller Sea Lions can be seen in an enclosure at the Alaska SeaLife Center on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska SeaLife Center to Alaskans: We’re still here for you

You rallied and kept us alive. Today, we’re writing to say thank you.

A wood-carved whale hangs in the Nikiski Senior Center on Sept. 23, 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Nikiski Senior Center)
Whale of a job

Nikiski Senior Center gets addition to dining room.