Have you ever wondered whether a black cat crossing your path really brings you bad luck? How about what the funniest joke in the world is? Are you really connected to Sir Richard Branson by just six degrees? And how can you tell whether someone is actually lying? Richard Wiseman seems to spend his life cogitating over these kinds of questions, but unlike all the rest of us, he then decides he is going to find out what the answer is for once and for all.
Quirkology is a fabulous collection of Richard’s experiments, many of which produce some true surprises. His book successfully brings the fun into science and makes you think about those odd little aspects of life which we take for granted or believe without question. I just love his audacity in his search to find the truth. I have seen Richard speak and watched him perform his magic tricks (he is a magician as well as a scientist) and his book reads exactly like he speaks in person. It is entertaining, engaging and informative all at the same time. It’s a tough book to put down, and if you are ever looking for fascinating after dinner conversation or trivia, this is definitely the book to turn to.
If offered a jumper which had been rubbed in dog poo but not thoroughly laundered, or one which had been worn by a serial killer and thoroughly laundered, which would you prefer to put on? What do you think the majority of people said?
The one point I laughed out loud? Soon after he had been talking about Freud, the following line appeared
“Although Freud claimed to be a scientist, many of his ideas are completely untesticle”
Freudian slip perhaps? Or a deliberate ploy to see if you were paying attention. In either case, I absolutely loved this book and am looking forward to a sequel.
Date Finished: 3 May 2005
Challenges: 4/8 of category 6: Science and Scepticism; W from the A-Z Challenge