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What Einstein told his Barber: More Scientific Answers to Everyday Questions
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What Einstein told his Barber: More Scientific Answers to Everyday Questions

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  769 ratings  ·  86 reviews
What makes ice cubes cloudy? How do shark attacks make airplanes safer? Can a person traveling in a car at the speed of sound still hear the radio? Moreover, would they want to...?

Do you often find yourself pondering life's little conundrums? Have you ever wondered why the ocean is blue? Or why birds don't get electrocuted when perching on high-voltage power lines? Robert
ebook, 288 pages
Published July 29th 2009 by Dell (first published March 7th 2000)
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It's been almost 40 years since I was in high school, so the refresher was welcomed. Besides, some of what I learned was wrong, but Wolke corrected & taught me in a very easy, often humorous manner. Each topic was well structured & many of the topics were prerequisites for others. He kept the tech speak to a minimum, using every day words to unravel the mysteries of every day life, explaining the tech terms as they came up.

Why does a drop of coffee leave a darker brown around the edges r
D Books
This book doesn’t have anything to do with Einstein or his barber. The title is just a clever ploy to market a book about everyday science. Seeing how the author of the book is a professor at a university, he tries to capture the reader’s attention in probably the same way he would his students’ attention in a classroom. The only difference is that he has turned his stand-up lecture into a Q&A book and he probably is one of those few professors that wouldn’t put you to sleep while lecturing. ...more
Bill Carson
Mar 20, 2014 Bill Carson rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any Person interested into Science
Recommended to Bill by: My Grandma
The book "What Einstein Told His Barber" is a very good book. I have many reasons on why I like this book but, first thing is first. This book is not actually about what Einstein told his barber. It's actually a book about the explanations of modern phenomenons. But, Robert Wolke named this book "What Einstein Told His Barber." because it's a thought of if Einstein went to the barber the content of the book would be what Einstein would tell his barber. I would definitely recommend this book to s ...more
I love this book. I read it years ago and just picked it up again. The questions range from the mundane ("why do clothes get wrinkled?") to the abstract ("if everyone in China jumped at the same time, could it alter Earth's orbit?"), but overall it's a really interesting selection of questions. The answers are very well-written -- clear, concise, and funny enough to stay interesting. On top of that, it's well-organized, in that complex questions have a basic answer, and then sections for follow- ...more
A fun read overall! The author did botch up a few things here and there (his explanations for why things are opaque or transparent, two mutually exclusive phenomena, were exactly the same...for example), but these were very rare cases and the staggering amount of scientific information in there certainly outweighs them. He covers most branches of physics with a bit of thermodynamics. I already knew most of what was in there but I enjoyed his style of writing and his fun way of simplifying comple ...more
Regina Glei
entertaining science snitbits, but the writing style was not my cup of tea. The author tried to be funny but it felt forced and the book would have been better without the attempts at humor.
Daniel Frank
Excellent read, learned an amazing amount reading this book. Highly entertaining, and makes great dinner conversation. Well, with me at least.
Love useless trivia type books.
What makes ice cubes cloudy? How do shark attacks make airplanes safer? Can a person traveling in a car at the speed of sound still hear the radio? Moreover, would they want to...?

Do you often find yourself pondering life's little conundrums? Have you ever wondered why the ocean is blue? Or why birds don't get electrocuted when perching on high-voltage power lines? Robert L. Wolke, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh and acclaimed author of What Einstein Didn't Know,
Jocelyn L.
I read "What Einstein Told His Barber" by Robert L. Wolke. This book is a collection of questions about wide variety of topics and their scientific answers. Sort of like textbook chapters, these questions are divided into seven main categories. The categories are basically Newton’s three laws of motion, light, heat, the earth, the heavens, water, and material objects. Since all of the questions under one category are related, it is sort of like reading a chapter of a textbook. They are arranged ...more
David Saharkhiz
This book is pretty basic, but even as a self-proclaimed science dork I'm ashamed to admit I learned a fair bit: why coffee stains form rings (as opposed to circles), the wicked low vapor pressure of tungsten, and how rear-window defrosting works. This book also contained some interesting anecdotes: why the Fahrenheit system, for example, is so silly. Much of the humor falls flat, but the author held my interest when I wasn't skipping around. Give this to someone for Christmas and ruin action mo ...more
This book has nothing to do with Einstein, but everything to do with fundamental laws of the universe.

Answering questions on how and why things happen the ways they do..

Why the sky is blue?
How do planes fly?
What causes a sonic boom?
How does sunscreen work?

And many, many more..

Some interesting facts (of many) in this book:

1. Everyday the sun shines 3 times the world's annual energy consumption
(That means we'd only need to capture on 1/10th of a percent of the earth's surface to keep up with our
As another reviewer has said, in the end, this really has very little to do with Einstein, but that's okay. This book is more about the weird little passing questions that occur to the average joe on the street. People who make a habit of reading Cecil Adams' "The Straight Dope" column will no doubt appreciate both the questions and the often conversational, sometimes humorous tone Wolke uses for laying his knowledge on us. This is certainly a book where you can skip around--Wolke even suggests ...more
To anyone who's delaying the reading this book because of the fear that it might be too complex, too "Einsteinian", don't worry about it. On the contrary, "What Einstein Told His Barber" is nothing more than a series of short, east to comprehend discussions and explanations of things we all experience in our world everyday. (See the book jacket for examples of items discussed by the author). Some items may be familiar to the reader, other items may clarify some long since forgotten points learne ...more
If a kid asks you to explain mundane everyday happenings like why does lightning strike, or why doesn't water flow uphill, the probability of you having to create an explanation out of thin air is quite high. The fundamental processes are so ingrained in our psyche that we would be loathe to explain them, kinda like teaching another person how exactly to ride a bike. You may end up embarrassed in front of the kid.

Robert Wolke takes up the challenge and hits the doubts right out of the park. I ha
with somewhat forced wit, a chemist covers an impressive swath of thermodynamics and other physics, but with some glaring errors, both historical (e.g. Einstein's photoelectric effect paper did not come 'long before' his special relativity paper--they both appeared in 1905) and physical (e.g., pressure at a surface can move that surface even though pressure is not a vector quantity and Newton's third law errors--the moon pulls on the earth just as much as the earth pulls on the moon). It feels l ...more
Kelanth, numquam risit ubi dracones vivunt
Questo è un libro che nella sua semplicità e chiarezza è meraviglioso. Contiene tante piccole domande che sicuramente ogni tanto tutti noi ci poniamo o ci siamo posti. Questo è un libro che possiamo tranquillamente affiancare al romanzo che stiamo leggendo, anzi è utile magari tenerla sul ripiano basso della libreria per prenderlo in mano ogni tanto. Le risposte ai nostri perchè di tutti i giorni con la spiegazione scientifica, dettagliata e facilissima da interpretare. L'autore ha pubblicato al ...more
Todd Martin
What Einstein Told His Barber has nothing to do with Einstein or barbers (I suspect marketing research shows that slapping “Einstein” on any cover makes the book appear smart and boosts sales), it’s really just a collection of scientific explanations of things we encounter every day. The book is structured in the form of question and answer, and is grouped into chapters with themes such as motion, light, heat and gravity.

Wolke writes in a way that is entertaining and easy to understand and atte
Ron Joniak
Lovely easy-reading book that dives into the science of the happenings around us. This book strictly limits understandings to a surface level education making for an easy read. For this reason, it was easy to read on the go.
I like these books, this is the second of the lot that I'm reading and it's pretty much organized the same way. There are some topics that are more interesting than others, but it's a fun, educational book to flip through and learn something. I wish I had them as a teenager, teenage me would have been a lot more interested in these science explanations, as it is, it was a good refresher on some physics concepts, and as I read some of the questions, I tried to answer in my head and then check to ...more
Clever title for this science small-talk book. Answers a wide variety of science questions in layman's terms. Quite entertaining and informative.
I wanted it to be like 'The Disappearing Spoon' which I read last year and thoroughly enjoyed. It was much more basic and a bit too droll for my tastes.
This book is really interesting to me. It talks about many different topics that Einstein 'Pondered.' It is not really what he told his barber (if he even had one, which it doesn't exactly look like!), but what he would have talked about with any person. One of the topics i found really interesting was talking about the question "If every person in china jumped of a 6ft ladder at the same time, would it be enough force to knock the world into a new orbit?" The book tells you a short answer to co ...more
don't get this in e-audio format, you'll be frustrated that you can't skip over all the stuff you already know/don't care about.
I kind of wanted it to be a lot better. It was ok and I love picking up information like this, but it got a little long as an audio.
menjawab pertanyaan-pertanyaan usil sehari-haru
This book gives scientific answers to everyday questions in a very simple and cool way. Sometimes science may become confusion or hard to understand, but in this book it is quite simple and fun.
I believe that, as any scientific material it may not be that fun to read in a continuous way, but this book is written in a form of entries, that make it easy to stop and take a break with another book.
In conclusion it is a cool book to read, that answers many simple things that one may wonder but never
Ashish Seth
I was fond of such books as a kid. But these books are so much unpopular here. Many of the known concept this book helps to revise. It also strengthen the facts with detailed explanation. But this book gets boring in some parts. Also the writer contradicts many firmly held beliefs. I hope these books get more read by.
Jerry Cook
Okay, I probably shouldn't be reviewing this book. The title sounded interesting, so I checked it out. Within the first few sentences, it said something like, "Well, this doesn't have anything to do with Einstein" I was incredibly surprised. (Perhaps it says that in its description, but I lost trust in the book and author because the title was quite clear about what it should have been about). In short, I didn't read it, but it seems to have been given high reviews so there's probably something ...more
IMO, not as interesting as What Einstein Told his Cook.
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Robert L. Wolke is professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh and a food columnist for The Washington Post. As an educator and lecturer, he enjoys a national reputation for his ability to make science understandable and enjoyable.
He is the author of Impact: Science on Society and Chemistry Explained, as well as dozens of scientific research papers. His latest book, the fourth
More about Robert L. Wolke...
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