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How to Dunk a Doughnut: The Science Of Everyday Life
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How to Dunk a Doughnut: The Science Of Everyday Life

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  213 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
From "the man who put the fun into physics" (International Herald Tribune), an entertaining and accessible look at the science behind our daily activities.
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 15th 2003 by Arcade Publishing (first published 2002)
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Jan 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is very little really to add to this book review that is not already said in its write up. It is basically a series of papers on various everyday subjects from how house hold tools work to counting up your grocery bill. THe science is accessible and interesting and is presented on subjects which most if not all of us will recognise and understand - and to me that is the best type of science, the type you do not realise is there - but once you do know its there you feel intrigued to learn m ...more
Kirsty Darbyshire
Jun 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
I can only presume that this book was either titled for an American audience more familiar with doughnuts than biscuits, or that the alliterative version of the title was considered to be more eye catching everywhere. There's really very little about dunking doughnuts here but there is plenty of other stuff to read

Each chapter of the book delves into a different branch of science approaching it from the point of view of everyday life. If you already have an idea about the branch of science in qu
I have rather mixed feelings about this book, on the one hand it takes everyday things (like dunking a biscuit) and explains the science behind why these happen the way they do, which is great and likely to introduce non-science types to science. However, on the other hand there were a few bits of this book that got a little too in depth and technical about the whys and wherefores, which as I science geek I enjoyed but since this written for 'normal' people I felt it kind of missed the point. Cr ...more
May 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
This books is great for dounut lovers with sense of humor!
Aug 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amusing and informative, if not occasionally more on the dense side.
Rob Slaven
Mar 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fisher's offering is a work written by a scientist but well and accurately aimed at the non-scientist. Where many before him have failed, Fisher has succeeded in crafting a work which does well at dancing the line between too technical and downright insulting. The author very carefully defines his terms once upon first use and then rightly expects his audience to remember them. He is accessible without being annoying.

As to his content, Fisher is widely varied while staying fundamentally true to
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book really sparked my interest when I found it in the second-hand store over half a year ago. The egg on the cover caught my eye, the 'science for the people made accessible' subject woke up my inner nerd and reading it brought back long-forgotten maths and physics classes (which I loved, by the way).
In highschool I made the choice to study Alpha classes instead of Beta classes, therefore I only have a very limited knowledge of physics and other Beta subjects, although I never lost intere
Oct 10, 2013 rated it liked it
In my continuing pursuit of non-fiction science books, I picked up this gem from my local branch.

I feel like I don't have much to say about it. Objectively it was interesting, but it did get a little complicated in parts. I'm not sure how interested a casual reader would be in the topics. The writing was pretty decent and tried to be accessible, so points for that. Fisher pointedly avoids going on tangents, but some of the hints of these are almost more tantalising than what is actually offered
Jun 13, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: interested casual readers
Shelves: nonfiction, science
A fun and interesting book, if only because it was interesting to read a book aimed at non-scientists for a change. The actual science inside though, is a mix between on-the-dot analysis and frustratingly unintuitive dead end approaches. I just can't agree that the scientific method is all there is to science.

It's just backwards to come up with a probable explanation first and then trial and error it to death. Certainly in real science, evidence is frequently misleading, but if you make up fooli
I can't recommend this book at all. If you want a better combination of science and entertainment, I suggest reading Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution, or Last Chance to See.

Read my full review at my book review blog
I liked that it was easy to understand and that it dealt with things that are commonplace. I did think the author got distracted at times and focused too much on his personal life, making this feel a bit more like experiential journalism (a la A.J. Jacobs) than a book about science. Also, though the scenarios were commonplace, sometimes the science itself didn’t come with enough examples or explanation to make them stick for the non-scientist reader.

I got bored a couple times, but I got a few re
Jan 05, 2016 rated it liked it
A fun, light non-fiction read. A scientist takes a look at the scientific principles of common, everyday things. Written in straight forward layman's terms, it makes for a pretty decent "beach read" type book. Stories, anecdotes, and examples mix together to give the reader a nice basic insight into both scientific phenomena and the mind and life of a scientist. Some chapters were more interesting than others. The chapter on estimating grocery store bills was a little blah, for instance. But ove ...more
Sep 11, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was a toss up between 1 and 2 stars. I decided to be generous as I liked the bits on how to throw a boomerang and the bit on food/taste. The rest either assumed to much prior knowledge or just wasn't that interesting. I'm sure there are much better examples of popular science books on similar subject matter.
Dec 24, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: a scientist
Maybe it was my high hopes but this book didn't catch my attention for very long. Not for your everyday person. The book goes a bit too deep into the science without enough interesting tidbits. Granted it's a book based on science but it just wasn't interesting in the way economics were to Freakonomics. I like science but wasn't a huge fan of this book.

Mar 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
It's been a couple of months since I read this, but I still remember how enjoyable it was. It was just the right amount of technical detail and very fascinating subject matter. Very approachable for someone with scientific interests.
Jul 30, 2007 rated it liked it
I think I expected too much from this book- but the author IMO couldnt find the right footing... Whether to delve deeper into science or not. I have a feeling that there are other books out there to introduce / teach science to a non-scientific audience that might do a better job.
Jan 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant book! A very clear and humorous explanation that includes both lay-terms and formulas explaining the science of everyday life. Easy and quick read. I really hope this guy has put out sequels.
Jun 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Sep 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For all my non-technical friends - you should read this.
Apr 30, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting enough, though as I'm not a scientist some of the explanations took further research to properly understand.
Jul 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
how mathematic formula can be present in such an interesting way
Chris Miller
May 16, 2016 rated it liked it
This was a fun read. A bit too technical for me, but I think that was its point. To bring the science of everyday life to the surface.
Apr 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Amusing essays on the chemistry & physics of cooking, eating, ball catching, boomerang throwing, and sex.
Sep 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fall-2011
Had good expectations for this book, but I quickly lost interest.
Jan 07, 2010 rated it liked it
so much! interesting facts and funny stories, a great read.
Aug 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
The first chapter was really good. Subsequent chapters were progressively less connected and incomplete.
Mar 22, 2010 marked it as past-reads
Read in 2005
Gerard Walsh
rated it liked it
Mar 01, 2010
rated it it was ok
Jun 14, 2014
rated it really liked it
Oct 28, 2011
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