Why Can't Elephants Jump?: And 113 Other Tantalizing Science Questions Answered
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Why Can't Elephants Jump?: And 113 Other Tantalizing Science Questions Answered

3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  190 ratings  ·  22 reviews
From the editors that brought you Why Don’t Penguin’s Feet Freeze? and Do Sparrows Like Bach?,an exploration of the weird and wonderful margins of science—the latest in brilliant New Scientist seriesWhat’s the storage capacity of the human brain in gigabytes? Why is frozen milk yellow? Why do flamingos stand on one leg? And why can’t elephant’s jump? Is it because elephant...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by Pegasus Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Unsurprising, as all these books go. As a serial reader of quite interesting facts (as well as a devoted fan of QI) I could wish there was less repetition -- both within a book when similar principles govern multiple answers to questions or several people have different but very closely related answers to a given question, and between books.

Still, reading enough of these -- in my experience, anyway -- you quickly learn to identify the questions that will have quite interesting answers, and skip...more
C.C. Thomas
This is the third book in a series by the editors at New Scientist magazine. The magazine is divided into sections and is answered by a variety of people--some questions have many answers and it's almost like following blog posts on the computer.

It is unclear who is answering some of the questions---researchers, scientists or general readers. It seems more like random readers of their blog so I'm not sure how much credibility I can give to their answers and many answers seem to even contradict o...more
I like these books. They're fun and informative and pretty easy to read.

Every time I read one I say I'll start following the Last Word website that a lot of these come from, but I never remember. Maybe this time I really will?

I look forward to the next one when it comes out.

And for the record, the consensus was that technically it depends on your definiton of "jump", but no, elephants can't really just because of the realtionship of their size to their mass.
Being a trivia buff, I'm always drawn to books with questions like these. This one is unique in that it is a compilation of questions from real readers of New Scientist magazine and the answers are given by readers as well (hopefully, ones who know something about the topic). I love the range of inquiries over everything from bodily functions. But, the informality (and sometimes incongruity) of the answers makes me lack confidence in their validity, and more than once I found myself questioning...more
Why Can't Elephants Jump? contains questions and answers submitted by readers of New Scientist magazine. Each submission is signed with the name and location of the person who wrote in, although there are times when the submission is anonymous. While this doesn't always give us an idea of the expertise of the author (some of the writers sign with their job title, and are indeed experts), it does give the reader the advantage of having many different answers from different angles.

Some of the ques...more
Another in the bestselling science series that asks readers to submit questions for other readers to interact and attempt to answer.
Sometimes with hilarious results but also with a serious side for a reader to learn more about science in general.
Some answers by the nature of the reader responding to the question are rather high brow and scientific but to be fair this is a pretty accessible read for anyone whatever their knowledge of the subject.
Well worth reading.
What is good about this book, is yes it is sciency, but it is fun science that everyday people ask and everyday people, plus a few professionals try and answer.

It is a quick read but very enjoyable. This is book four I think, it refers back occasionally as past questions are reexamined, or variations at least. There is some super science things in there, but a lot is very simply explained, especially about distance or swimming in jelly or mercury.

A very fun read and to quote Pocahontas, "you'l...more
Nicholas Whyte

Another great collection of New Scientist columns with readers asking questions and other readers answering them. Lots of interesting trivia; two different answers given for why we westerners tend to eat a sweet course at the end of the meal (not totally sure I believe either of them); the title question is answered somewhere in the middle; at the very end, a question about how Big Ben is kept on time is answered by someone who had actually had the job of...more
Daniel Wood
Chucklesome and enlightening.
As a Trivia lover, this funny books with many "scientifical answers" was easy to read and pretty interesting, is perfect to have in the bathroom.

Come amante del trivial pursuit questo libro che risponde ad un sacco di domande strane ma scientifiche, è stato facile da leggere e piuttosto interessante, come l'edipeo enciclopedico della settimana enigmistica. E' il volume perfetto da lasciare in bagno.

Omar .h
I love the little every day questions answered in this book that make you wonder about even the smallest of things. It shows the true potential of scientists because this book allowed its readers to send questions to the scientists who made this book, this allows your voice to be heard in the world of science. That is why it is a 5/5.
Another throughly enjoyable book in the New Scientist's Last Word series. I was amazed, fascinated, educated and amused. I find that despite the small size of these books, they take me a while to read because of all the information I'm taking in. I most definitely will read any other books in this series I can get my hands on!
هيا الأسير
i just realized that i spent 10 months reading this book LOL.
its a lovely book actually, gives scientific answers to questions i never thought about. My biology teacher recommended it for me and im really grateful.
Richard Barnes
Great fun - a light-hearted, yet big scienced look at a wide range of topics. Why is poo like it is? What about hills where water flows uphill?

Many questions answered.
Richard v
I always enjoy these little books - sometimes it's the gratification of knowing the answer, or having some of my knowledge refreshed, or learning something new.
Has it's moments, but most explanations could be whittled way down and still get their point across.
I love the Last Word page of the New Scientist, so it's no surprise that I love these books!
Jeff Wetherington
Some interesting questions/answers...but a LOT of useless conjecture-style questions.
Bibliophile 14
Nice for bed-time reading
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