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Do Fish Drink Water?: Puzzling and Improbable Questions and Answers
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Do Fish Drink Water?: Puzzling and Improbable Questions and Answers

3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  452 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Is it true that elephants are afraid of mice?
How much gold does the United States store in Fort Knox?
Why do I get a headache when I eat ice cream too fast?
How did the "seventh inning stretch" originate?

As the official webmaster for Xerox, Bill McLain was surprised by the kinds of questions he was receiving, like whether people born blind can see in their dreams and why rab
Paperback, 296 pages
Published November 1st 2000 by Quill (first published July 21st 1999)
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Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who are curious
This was a very informative book. I learned some (not a lot, because I am already pretty well-versed in trivia). The book is out of date, it would be interesting to read a more modern version (this was published in 1999). The book covers many topics: Animal Kingdom (e.g. Do fish drink water?), Clothing and Apparel (e.g. Where did the idea for underwear come from?), Finance (e.g. Does the government still print two-dollar bills?), Food(e.g. What is the difference between jelly, jam, preserves, an ...more
Mar 16, 2013 Nathan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The author claims that this book contains the answers to a variety of trivia questions that he has been asked over the course of his career.

However, he hasn't made the effort of actually providing correct answers. Sometimes he repeats urban legends as facts, other times he makes claims that are both ludicrously untrue and easily checkable. (E.g. the German word "Gesundheit" is not "German for 'God bless you,'" which he claims on p. 109. Any first-year student of the language would have told him
Oct 04, 2015 Matthew rated it really liked it
I think that this book is very interesting and educational, with super cool facts I find extremely interesting! Let's not give away what this book is about but dolphins MUST stay conscious to breath, so how do they sleep...??? Also "a group of dolphins is called a pod. Being social, they tend to congregate ( Socialise and communicate ) and spend their entire lives with their Podmates!" That's all i'm telling you.
Apr 14, 2008 Allison rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Lighthearted fun, good to read out-loud to someone for a laugh. The facts are educational but told in a entertaining way. The book also contains internet resources for further information. I would rather those pages have been used for a couple more "improbable questions". I mean, if someone is reading a book, they probably want the answers delivered in that format instead of doing more research through anther medium. But, overall, a fun book. Would make a cute gift :)
Dec 22, 2009 Jen rated it did not like it
This book was very disappointing. Several of the answers (such as where the phrase "mind your p's and q's" comes from) propogate legends and myths rather than admitting that we don't know the answer. Even the answers that were legitimate seemed incomplete.
Hana Anderson
The book Do Fish Drink Water was wrote by Bill Mclain. The genre of this non-fiction book is informational. The book has various different kinds of interesting facts on where pizza came from, on government, even to how dolphins sleep. You can learn many things from reading this book.

I believe the main point of this book is to teach people things they would not know, and to interest them with learning about the strange facts as well. The author put in very strange and weird facts, such as, that d
Jason Tyne-zimmerman
Jun 09, 2010 Jason Tyne-zimmerman rated it really liked it
A truly fascinating book...some of his answers are incorrect and others don't answer the question at all, but all-in-all an entertaining book which does answer many...if not all...the enduring questions of our time:

Are denim and jeans the same thing?
Does the government still print two-dollar bills?
Who were the Knights Templar?
What does the word mistletoe mean?
Where did the term "dark horse" come from?
Was there a real Count Dracula?
What does "Waltzing Matilda" mean?
In my grandmother's day, where
Don't let the quirky title of this trivia book fool you. This is not a very interesting read. Typically, I find that the most interesting trivia books are the ones that either ask really off the wall questions or those that have some kind of game component to it. This book tries to be the former and fails quite miserably at it. Practically none of the questions are all that quirky or funny, nor does Mr. McLain's writing make the answers interesting or funny. This is a book of straight up useless ...more
Joel the goat
I learned while reading that fish dont drink water at all. They gain water through osmosis the water will seep into them. Basiclly the water goes through little holes in there body to recive water. I just wonder if they will do like a question about shoes, but thats just me being me and what i want to see. So i think the author just wrote this book to answer hard questions.

so while reading I came across some good questions and questions I already knew. One that I already knew
Mar 30, 2016 Paul rated it it was ok
This is a bizarre piece of history--a trivia book based on Internet Searches before Google became popular and before Wikipedia existed.

As such, the author gets certain pieces wrong, sometimes providing incorrect answers & perpetuating urban legends.

Had some fun nuggets for sure, but there are much better examples out there.
Sep 06, 2015 Margret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a fun book with lots of interesting questions and trivia. My favorite question is Why are eggs associated with the Easter bunny? My granddaughter has been reading it and she loves it, too.
Jul 12, 2014 Kerri rated it did not like it
I tend to like trivia, but this book was dated and boring. Also, the author's style was not funny, even though he obviously tried. Cringe-worthy.
Raving Redcoat
Jan 23, 2016 Raving Redcoat rated it liked it
An interesting collection of trivia. Well worth keeping on your shelf for a quick tidbit or two.
Paul Longo
Sep 10, 2014 Paul Longo rated it liked it
Lots of inaccuracies but still entertaining.
Jul 20, 2013 Meredith rated it it was amazing
As a person who loves obscure facts, I thought this book was great. Questions about things you've always wanted to know, but never got around to actually googling, and questions you may have never thought about, but now that you've heard them you are dying to know the answer to, are answered in this book. Its a quick read, and in my opinion really delightful. It'll arm you with enough trivia to bust out facts at parties when the conversation gets stale, or when you are playing trivia games.
May 11, 2009 Janet rated it liked it
My mother’s penchant for asking bizarre reference questions led to this book. I have beta fish, and Mom wanted to know if they drank any of their water. The brilliant reference librarian I usually bother with Mom’s quest for knowledge suggested this book and the rest was history. Ancient history, that is, which is why I can’t remember when I started or finished this book. It lived at Mom’s house, and I only visited it upon occasion.
Maia B.
Feb 24, 2011 Maia B. rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is full of interesting questions with their answers. For example, who knew that the "Yongle dadian," an encyclopedia of the Chinese Ming dynasty, had 22,937 chapters in 10,000 volumes?????

2,000 Chinese scholars worked on the book for 5 years before they finally finished it.

That's the kind of question you'll find in this book - silly, unnecessary, but totally need-to-know.
Sep 18, 2010 Marilyn rated it liked it
Easter Island so named bc it was discovered on Easter. Hmmm..... Toads are dry, brown, warty, and creep. Frogs are green, slimy, and they hop. Broken chains at bottom of Statue of Liberty symbolize freedom from tyranny (we share that heritage with France the gift giver). Oldest and tallest trees--sequoias in CA. Good stuff I will teach my babies.
Mar 13, 2014 Elaine rated it did not like it
This book is a lot of fun trivia... if it weren't the age of Google. I don't know when this book was written, but this author is a webmaster for Xerox, and he basically looked up this stuff on the internet and published a book about it. You could also easily look up all these questions on the internet now, and find these answers. Not impressed.
Jo and Hali
Jun 03, 2011 Jo and Hali is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
this book isn't a story but what it is, is a book with a bunch of facts like do dolphins sleep, or do fish drink water. There's even some stuff about social studies... not that its pleasant.
you can find this book at "Half Price Books" in the clearance section. If you cant find it ask the people at the front desk.
May 17, 2013 Sherri rated it did not like it
There were some things that I found interesting, but I felt like I needed to Google everything that I found interesting just to make sure that it was true... A lot of his information is false, and a lot of myths are stated in his "factoids" sections.
This book is total garbage.
Lincoln Lo
Sep 02, 2008 Lincoln Lo rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Trivia Fans
Do Fish Drink Water has a lot of fun Trivia type of information. Was it entertaining? Only when it talks about things that interest me. I would recommend the book to be a coffee table book, and if you want to do me playing birtual jeopardy with your tv ; )
Joe Paulk
Apr 02, 2008 Joe Paulk rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a good general knowledge read. A few of the entries are a bit dryer than I expected. It is a great book to leave on the coffee table or bathroom and let the kids pick up and read. My son has learned a good deal by these underhanded methods of mine.
Mar 30, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Answers to some of those things you think about in the shower. Short, informative sections make this an ideal read aloud for teachers when there are a few minutes to spare. Also recommended for those who require a literary accompaniment to the john.
Feb 26, 2013 Kristi added it
perfect book to pick up and read a bit here and there - small sized sections, random information - but interesting and thorough. now I've got a bunch MORE books and websites to check out, thanks to its suggestions after each section!
Apr 09, 2008 Christie rated it really liked it
Mr. McLain worked for Xerox as webmaster and had a reputation for being able to find the answer to any question. This book is a fascinating read. I liked to read it before going to bed. It often kept me up later than I'd planned.
Feb 22, 2008 angrykitty rated it really liked it
i like getting little info nuggets, and so this book was perfect for that. i even used the stories in class. the one they liked the best was the one about who invented the toilet as it used the word "crapper"......
I ♥ Bookie Nookie (
if you like to know answers to strange questions (like do fish drink water?)you will love this. good to take on a plane/if you know you will bw frequently interrupted or if you have a short attn span
Jun 16, 2008 Ashley rated it liked it
This book is kind of cool because it answers questions such as: Do people who are born blind ever dream? and What makes us yawn? Some of the questions are really interesting but some are kind of boring.
Dec 04, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2010
this book is from 1999, so some info was out of date. but overall, it was a fun little read and i learned some factoids (that i'll never remember a day from now, but still a fun read).
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