Wondrous Science Mysteries to Start Debates

Ever have this situation?

You and a friend argue about a scientific fact, say why the sky is blue. You go on for a few moments, passionately offering point and counterpoint UNTIL one of your whips out your smartphone and Goggles it. Mystery ended. So is the debate.

I stumbled on a book, The Where, The Why, and The How, that offers up mysteries still eluding science (and Wikipedia). This is exactly the book for me, and possibly you. I know that one of the greatest deciding factors for purchasing a smartphone was the ability to look up information anytime, anywhere. Before this I had (sill have) a slew of books to do the same job: Full Webster’s Dictionary, Dictionary of Idioms, Cambridge Guide to English Usage, heck I even have a dictionary of punctuation (can you tell I was an English major).

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I discovered The Where, The Why, and The How at the San Diego Comic Con (the only place where I allow my inner accountant to take a backseat). This book drew me in. Not only with the art, but also the mysteries. Here lie questions that still beg for speculation. The debate is still ongoing.

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You may not be aware, but squirrels bury up to 5000 nuts each fall and in the spring, they can find them again. What’s weird is that a squirrel can’t detect another squirrel’s buried nut. But it can detect a nut buried at the same depth by a human. Apparently squirrels have a stealth nut technology.

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This illustration pairs with “Why do we hiccup?” Believe it or not, this still eludes science. They think it is a vestigial nerve reaction related to frogs when they go through tadpole phase. One interesting cure for hiccups mentioned is swallowing a spoonful of sugar. Who knew that Mary Poppins had such a long lasting effect.

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I love this illustration. It details how stars are born in interstellar nurseries. So of course artist Jenny Volvovski created an actual nursery. I love the nurse “gravity” which pulls the stars together.

Go out and buy this book (or order online). It’s very worth your time. If nothing else, you can start up a fresh debate around the household.

Tim Kane

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