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Why Sh*t Happens: The Science of a Really Bad Day

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Why Sh*t Happens: The Science of a Really Bad Day Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Have you ever fallen victim to Murphys law? Sometimes bad things just happen. In Why Sh*t Happens, esteemed British scientist Peter J. Bentley takes readers on an informative and amusing tour through the least lucky, most accident-prone day of their lives. From sleeping through the alarm clock and burning breakfast to getting caught in the rain and navigating a slippery road, Bentley brilliantly explores disaster and mishap on a molecular level. In the process, he explains the science behind each accident, arming readers with the knowledge to understand what went wrong and how they can steer clear of future harm.
Science is respected, trusted, and according to Bentley, largely misunderstood. Why Sh*t Happens urges readers to arm themselves with the power of science in order to better understand the world around them. When a car engine is damaged by the wrong gasoline or a computer is attacked by a virus, science is not to blame, but rather can provide an explanation of what happened.
In a text that exudes charm and wit, Bentley reveals the causes behind a wide spectrum of mishaps, including why that razor nick won't stop bleeding, why metal sparks in the microwave, what makes chewing gum stick in hair, and why milk tastes sour when it goes bad.
Sh*t will always happen, but now readers will know exactly why. Enter, if you dare, the world of everyday disasters.
Peter J. Bentley, PhD, is one of the most creative thinkers working in computer science today. A senior research fellow and professor at University College London, he is well known for his prolific research covering all aspects of evolutionary computation and digital biology. He is the author of the popular science books Digital Biology and The Book of Numbers, and is a regular contributor to BBC radio.
In Why Sh*t Happens, esteemed scientist Peter J. Bentley tackles the realm of everyday disaster by taking readers through the least lucky, most accident-prone day of their lives. Bentley explores accident on a molecular level, arming the reader with an essential understanding of what went wrong and explaining how to prevent future bouts of misfortune.

Science is respected, trusted, and according to Bentley, largely misunderstood. Why Sh*t Happens urges readers to arm themselves with the power of science in order to better understand the world around them. When a car engine is damaged by the wrong gasoline or a computer is attacked by a virus, science is not to blame, but rather can provide an explanation of what happened.

In a text that exudes charm and wit, Bentley reveals the scientific truths from which our daily aggravations originate: for example, why that razor nick won't stop bleeding, why metal sparks in the microwave, what makes chewing gum stick in hair, and why milk tastes sour when it goes bad. Sh*t will always happen, but this book will teach readers exactly why.

"Things go relentlessly, inexorably wrong in this account of a day in the life of a hapless hero who should have stayed in bed. Bentley begins with his hero's failure to hear the alarm clock, a mishap the author uses to discourse on human sleep and dreaming. Next comes a fall from slipping on shampoo in the bathroom and a chance to explain what makes soap soap. (It's a marriage of alkali and oil that allows soap molecules to wrap up oil and grease from your skin while letting dirt dissolve in water.) What follows is the inevitable nick while shaving, and Bentley's exegesis on skin, hair follicles and blood-clotting mechanisms, and why blotting with tissue not only can introduce bacteria to the cut, but also disrupt the cells trying to close the wound. And so it goes through several dozen brief chapters that chart more examples of Murphy's law at work. There's burnt toast for breakfast. A tank full of diesel fuel instead of gasoline. Another fall while running after the bus. Chewing gum that gets in his hair during the ride. A missed stop. Getting soaked by rain. Lost. Stung by a bee. Of course there are more problems at the office, like liquid spilled on the keyboard and computer viruses. Then our hero arrives home and promptly spills red wine on the rug . . . All this sh*t is simply the means by which Bentley can disgorge his vast knowledge. Along the way he offers a very brief discussion of the origin of water and similarly brief briefs on the immune system and the sense of pain. Nonetheless, the author is solid in his discussions of modern technologycell phones, CDs, glues,dyes, springy ('air-filled') sneakersand he even offers helpful tips (see wine stains, for example)."Kirkus Reviews

"Everyone has one of those days when nothing seems to go right, but why? Unlike others who have broached the question, British computer science guru Bentley actually escorts readers through a really bad day, exploring the science behind all the little things that can go wrong: he looks at why you slept through the alarm (to explain the nature of sleep); why you then slipped on the spilled shampoo (a look at the nature of cleansers and lubricants); why that torrential downpour soaked you on your way to work (a look at the cycle of water in nature). This journey through the day, if sometimes strained (getting chewing gum stuck in one's hair on the bus), is a neat device for explaining the science behind everyday things such as how clothing is woven and why fabric is so strong (until it rips when you bend over) and how capsaicin in chilis fool the body and provoke a burning sensation. Each chapter ends with a brief tip on how to avoid future mishaps. Hopefully, readers and librarians won't be put off by the title and miss Bentley's reader-friendly explanations of the science behind everyday life."Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Everyone has one of those days when nothing seems to go right, but why? Unlike others who have broached the question, British computer science guru Bentley (Digital Biology) actually escorts readers through a really bad day, exploring the science behind all the little things that can go wrong: he looks at why you slept through the alarm (to explain the nature of sleep); why you then slipped on the spilled shampoo (a look at the nature of cleansers and lubricants); why that torrential downpour soaked you on your way to work (a look at the cycle of water in nature). This journey through the day, if sometimes strained (getting chewing gum stuck in one's hair on the bus), is a neat device for explaining the science behind everyday things such as how clothing is woven and why fabric is so strong (until it rips when you bend over) and how capsaicin in chilis fool the body and provoke a burning sensation. Each chapter ends with a brief tip on how to avoid future mishaps. Hopefully, readers and librarians won't be put off by the title and miss Bentley's reader-friendly explanations of the science behind everyday life." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

An esteemed scientist takes readers on an informative and amusing tour through the least lucky, most accident-prone day of their lives. From sleeping through the alarm clock to getting caught in the rain, Bentley brilliantly explores disaster and mishap on a molecular level.

Synopsis:

Have you ever fallen victim to Murphys law? Sometimes bad things just happen. In Why Sh*t Happens, esteemed British scientist Peter J. Bentley takes readers on an informative and amusing tour through the least lucky, most accident-prone day of their lives. From sleeping through the alarm clock and burning breakfast to getting caught in the rain and navigating a slippery road, Bentley brilliantly explores disaster and mishap on a molecular level. In the process, he explains the science behind each accident, arming readers with the knowledge to understand what went wrong and how they can steer clear of future harm.
Science is respected, trusted, and according to Bentley, largely misunderstood. Why Sh*t Happens urges readers to arm themselves with the power of science in order to better understand the world around them. When a car engine is damaged by the wrong gasoline or a computer is attacked by a virus, science is not to blame, but rather can provide an explanation of what happened.
In a text that exudes charm and wit, Bentley reveals the causes behind a wide spectrum of mishaps, including why that razor nick won't stop bleeding, why metal sparks in the microwave, what makes chewing gum stick in hair, and why milk tastes sour when it goes bad.
Sh*t will always happen, but now readers will know exactly why. Enter, if you dare, the world of everyday disasters.

About the Author

PETER J. BENTLEY, PhD, is one of the most creative thinkers working in computer science today. A senior research fellow and professor at University College London, he is well known for his prolific research covering all aspects of evolutionary computation and digital biology. He is the author of the popular science books Digital Biology and The Book of Numbers, and is a regular contributor to BBC radio.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594869563
Author:
Bentley, Peter J.
Publisher:
Rodale Press
Author:
Bentley, Peter J., PH.D .
Author:
Peter J. Bentley, PhD
Author:
Bentley, P. J.
Subject:
Popular Culture - General
Subject:
General
Subject:
Popular Culture
Subject:
Science
Subject:
Humor
Subject:
General Reference
Subject:
Science Reference-General
Subject:
Reference
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20090331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
7.00 x 5.00 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Reference » Science Reference » General

Why Sh*t Happens: The Science of a Really Bad Day New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
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Product details 320 pages Rodale Press - English 9781594869563 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Everyone has one of those days when nothing seems to go right, but why? Unlike others who have broached the question, British computer science guru Bentley (Digital Biology) actually escorts readers through a really bad day, exploring the science behind all the little things that can go wrong: he looks at why you slept through the alarm (to explain the nature of sleep); why you then slipped on the spilled shampoo (a look at the nature of cleansers and lubricants); why that torrential downpour soaked you on your way to work (a look at the cycle of water in nature). This journey through the day, if sometimes strained (getting chewing gum stuck in one's hair on the bus), is a neat device for explaining the science behind everyday things such as how clothing is woven and why fabric is so strong (until it rips when you bend over) and how capsaicin in chilis fool the body and provoke a burning sensation. Each chapter ends with a brief tip on how to avoid future mishaps. Hopefully, readers and librarians won't be put off by the title and miss Bentley's reader-friendly explanations of the science behind everyday life." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , An esteemed scientist takes readers on an informative and amusing tour through the least lucky, most accident-prone day of their lives. From sleeping through the alarm clock to getting caught in the rain, Bentley brilliantly explores disaster and mishap on a molecular level.
"Synopsis" by ,
Have you ever fallen victim to Murphys law? Sometimes bad things just happen. In Why Sh*t Happens, esteemed British scientist Peter J. Bentley takes readers on an informative and amusing tour through the least lucky, most accident-prone day of their lives. From sleeping through the alarm clock and burning breakfast to getting caught in the rain and navigating a slippery road, Bentley brilliantly explores disaster and mishap on a molecular level. In the process, he explains the science behind each accident, arming readers with the knowledge to understand what went wrong and how they can steer clear of future harm.
Science is respected, trusted, and according to Bentley, largely misunderstood. Why Sh*t Happens urges readers to arm themselves with the power of science in order to better understand the world around them. When a car engine is damaged by the wrong gasoline or a computer is attacked by a virus, science is not to blame, but rather can provide an explanation of what happened.
In a text that exudes charm and wit, Bentley reveals the causes behind a wide spectrum of mishaps, including why that razor nick won't stop bleeding, why metal sparks in the microwave, what makes chewing gum stick in hair, and why milk tastes sour when it goes bad.
Sh*t will always happen, but now readers will know exactly why. Enter, if you dare, the world of everyday disasters.
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