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

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  341 ratings  ·  45 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...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published July 21st 1999)
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Carmen
Nov 17, 2013 Carmen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: People who are curious
Shelves: non-fiction
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 The book is out of date, it would be interesting to read a more modern version (this was published in 1999).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
Nathan
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...more
Allison
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 :)
Jen
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...more
Jason Tyne-zimmerman
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...more
Christopher
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
11/4/11
60
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.

11/7/11
100
so while reading I came across some good questions and questions I already knew. One that I already knew...more
Meredith
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.
Janet
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.
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.
Marilyn
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.
Elaine
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
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.
Sherri
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 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition 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
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.
Sarah
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.
Kristi
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!
Christie
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.
angrykitty
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 (bookienookiereviews.blogspot.com)
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
Ashley
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.
Sarah
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).
Lora
Good, silly stuff, but honest answers about some interesting questions people asked this guy online (I think he works at IBM). He includes the websites he uses to answer each question.
Rosemary
Another fun book of imponderables. This one offers not only the answer to the imponderable, but also odd facts and tid bits related to the subject at hand.
Sam
This book rocks... It's a collection of strange questions and their answers. Great for trips and places where you can only read a little bit at a time.
Paul
I think this interesting book with a whole bunch of facts is really good to read. Is a book with a lot of answers and facts.
Maria
A fun book on interesting, puzzling and Improbably questions and answers. Good source for conversation items and trivia.
Nicole
Oct 16, 2008 Nicole rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: those who like pointless trivia
Recommended to Nicole by: no one
Interesting but mostly pointless information about often overlooked events of everyday life and our world.
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