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Weird Science: Mad Marvels from the Way-Out World

Overview

What's WEIRD about science?  How about two-headed cows, animals with ears on their knees, crop circles, frogs falling from the sky, and scientists from the planet Venus? It's all here--and more--as this continuation of the much-loved series takes kids on a scientific ride to the wacky side. With two members of America's popular Weird hunter team at the helm, budding mad scientists will enjoy a wacky cross-country journey they'll never ...
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Overview

What's WEIRD about science?  How about two-headed cows, animals with ears on their knees, crop circles, frogs falling from the sky, and scientists from the planet Venus? It's all here--and more--as this continuation of the much-loved series takes kids on a scientific ride to the wacky side. With two members of America's popular Weird hunter team at the helm, budding mad scientists will enjoy a wacky cross-country journey they'll never forget.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The team behind Weird History and other books in the Weird series detours into the world of science and finds no shortage of strange-but-true phenomena. In eight chapters, the writers explore bizarre animals (such as giant tube worms that live on the ocean floor); the feud between (and unusual habits and beliefs of) Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla; alchemy; inexplicable events (like “meat storms” and spontaneous combustion); and a crop of hoaxes and debunked theories. The clean, accessible design is enlivened by color photographs (often accompanied by drily funny captions) that should further entice readers intrigued by the odder side of life. Ages 8–12. (July)
School Library Journal
Gr 6–8—In attempting to interest students in science, this book offers an unusual look at the quirkier aspects of biology, zoology, physics, and chemistry. The eight haphazardly organized chapters include material on topics such as two-headed dogs and cows, the Moon landing, Einstein's brain, and Ted Williams's head. Interesting and informative facts are mixed with conspiracy theories and rumors. The weird and gross factor of every topic is emphasized, and explanation is dumbed down with unnecessary side comments. Some factual errors erode the more valuable information presented: snails are not bugs, but mollusks, contrary to what is stated here. In discussing Premarin, the hormone replacement drug, the authors say that urine is taken from mares expecting "calves." In discussing crop circles, the text mentions possible forgeries but the illustration accompanying it does not say if those shown are real or fake. Often there is confusion between the text and the photo captions, leading to possible misinformation. The illustrations include historical photographs, charts, and cartoons. Of limited use as an addition to science collections.—Eva Elisabeth VonAncken, formerly at Trinity-Pawling School, Pawling, NY
Kirkus Reviews
From "Zany Zoology" to "Medical Marvels & Mishaps," the creators of Weird U.S. (2011) scout out wonders--mostly of the astonishing or gross-out sort--from scientific fields. In haphazard order in each chapter but in enough detail that readers won't feel as if they're being barraged by unsubstantiated facts and factoids, Lake and Fairbanks report from "Weird Central" on a dizzying array of topics. These include naked mole rats and giant tube worms (their candidate for "Weirdest Animal Alive"), Mike the Headless Chicken, feuding inventors Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, Silly Putty, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge disaster, how to produce both static electricity and X-rays from Scotch tape, the strange fates of Einstein's brain and Ted Williams' head, and several dozen related diversions. Though written in a casual "hey, get this!" tone ("Spider senses aren't all that. Moth and cricket senses are much cooler"), the entries are laced with such need-to-know information as the evaporation temperature of diamond, the common ingredients shared by air and chocolate, and the difference between "ligers" and "tigons." Photos of the aforementioned head, the bacteria paintings of Alexander Fleming, crop circles, geysering soda bottles, two-headed animals and more add equally memorable visual notes. Riveting fodder for casual browsers and budding scientists alike. (Nonfiction. 10-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402760419
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 6/5/2012
  • Series: Weird Series
  • Pages: 120
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Matt Lake is a journalist whose work has been published in the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Baltimore Sun. He lives in Lutherville, MD.

Randy Fairbanks studied filmmaking at NYU Graduate Film School in New York City. He appeared regularly as “Uncle Randy” on the weekly radio program Greasy Kid Stuff on WFMU, and his stories about the character were featured in the online magazine WORD.COM. In 2007, he wrote The Weird Club. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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