Why Girls Can't Throw:...and Other Questions You Always Wanted Answered

( 4 )


Warning: the truth can be shocking, seductive, offensive, outrageous...even disgusting!

Are you perplexed by the mysteries of the universe, confounded by the workings of the human body, prone to pondering the great imponderables? At long last, the answers are here for every inquiring mind that's not afraid to face up to the cold, hard facts of life. The author who brought you That Book . . . of Perfectly Useless Information now addresses the quirky, the eclectic, and the ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (14) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $1.99   
  • Used (8) from $1.99   
Why Girls Can't Throw

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price


Warning: the truth can be shocking, seductive, offensive, outrageous...even disgusting!

Are you perplexed by the mysteries of the universe, confounded by the workings of the human body, prone to pondering the great imponderables? At long last, the answers are here for every inquiring mind that's not afraid to face up to the cold, hard facts of life. The author who brought you That Book . . . of Perfectly Useless Information now addresses the quirky, the eclectic, and the essential conundrums of our age in Why Girls Can't Throw . . . and Other Questions You Always Wanted Answered, including:

  • What's the kindest way to tell a friend he has halitosis?
  • Is it cheaper to send yourself as a package to Australia rather than fly on an airplane?
  • Are there any benefits to smoking?
  • Is it true that Keith Richards used to regularly replace all the blood in his body?
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The structure of Symons's genial entry in the humorous trivia genre is simple, if hardly scientific: the author thinks of a question ("Would it kill someone if you dropped a coin off the top of a skyscraper and it hit them?") and then contacts an expert, who is usually annoyed by Symons's questions (he calls many authorities more than once), for the answer (in this case, no; the coin wouldn't be moving fast enough). More often than not, Symons (That Book... of Perfectly Useless Information) eschews the specialist route and just calls up a friend who might know something; an out-of-work actor mate tells Symons why thespians won't say the name of the play Macbeth (long ago, when most towns had a theater, if a play was bombing, they'd put on an old standard like "the Scottish play," making it a harbinger of bad luck). After about 20 or 30 of these entries, the effect begins to pall, especially since many of the answers are based on dodgy anecdotal evidence. But then, this is a book designed for skipping around, and there's always something better just a few pages away-who knew, for instance, that three popes have died during sex? (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060835187
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/7/2006
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Mitchell Symons is the author of Why Girls Can't Throw, as well as This Book, That Book, and The Other Book. The creator of dozens of crossword, trivia, and humor books, Symons is a columnist for London's Sunday Express.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Why Girls Can't Throw

...and Other Questions You Always Wanted Answered
By Mitchell Symons

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright ©2006 Mitchell Symons
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060835184

Chapter One

Why Girls Can't Throw

...and Other Questions You
Always Wanted Answered

Q Considering you can buy a plot on the moon from the Sunday newspaper classifieds, to whom would you apply for planning permission if you wanted to build on it?

If you think this is an extraordinary question, you will be amazed by the answer. It turns out that this whole area is a potential legal minefield. Here's why. In the 1960s, when space travel proved to be feasible, the Americans and the Russians could agree on just one thing: that no one country should own the moon (remember: there was a time when the Americans feared that the Russians might get there before them). To this end, an Outer Space Treaty was signed in 1967. However, an American named Dennis M. Hope saw a loophole in this treaty: while no country could own the moon, there was nothing to stop an individual, and so, on November 22, 1980, he filed a declaration of ownership -- or rather the exclusive right to administer legal rights to a piece of the moon, and, indeed, all the planets and all their moons.

Call him a lunatic (think about it) if you will, but he's a rich one. And adiligent one. He duly divided the lit surface of the moon into individual square acres. He also made a deal with the U.S. Navy for its satellite to photograph it so that he would be able to provide his customers with photographic "proof" of their landholding.

He called his business the Lunar Embassy and there are "ambassadors" throughout the world. Britain's Lunar Ambassador is Francis Williams (and his wife, Sue) who, through Moon Estates, will "sell" you a unique acre of the moon -- with a deed, constitution, property map, and mineral rights -- all for $20.

As for developing your land, well, this is trickier. I checked with a lawyer and, once he could stop giggling, he told me that planning would be fraught with difficulties.

"Even supposing that they have perfect title -- "

Dennis Hope is certain that they do.

" -- against any other claimant on earth, what about people from other galaxies? Would they accept our jurisdiction? If not, who would arbitrate? Meanwhile, there are no planning regulations yet in place: if and when the moon is sufficiently well established to be developed, these might turn out to militate against individuals developing their land -- at least in the way they want to."

Obviously, the whole thing's a parcel of bollocks but, hey, no one forces anyone to buy anything and it's only twenty bucks for what is really rather quite an unusual gift.

Q Are there any benefits to smoking?

Yes, there are -- and I say that as an evangelical nonsmoker. It had been known for some time that smokers were less susceptible to Alzheimer's disease, but researchers at Reading University, backed by scientists at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, conducted tests that demonstrated how nicotine not only relieves the symptoms of Alzheimer's patients (by prolonging their attention span) but might also arrest further decline. The implications of these findings are extraordinary, as it could even lead to nicotine -- in the form of patches rather than cigarettes -- being used to help schizophrenics and those with attention deficit disorder. But that's not all! A 2001 study from Tel Aviv University suggests that sufferers from ulcerative colitis (a condition of the guts which you really don't want to know any more about) who smoke recover quicker than nonsmokers do. But that's not all! According to the New York Times, "Nicotine literally alters the availability of important brain chemicals involved in feelings of reward and well-being. There is evidence that cigarettes make task performance easier, improve long-term memory, reduce anxiety, increase tolerance of pain and reduce hunger."

Q Is it true that, given an infinite amount of time, a chimpanzee with a typewriter could produce the complete works of Shakespeare?

The question this really raises is: "How long is infinity?" and, as such, is more philosophical than it is literal. Having said that, however long infinity is, it's not long enough for a chimp to press enough random typewriter keys to churn out Shakespeare's entire output. Let me illustrate this:


Yes, that's what I got from approaching this task in the same way as a chimp would, and it doesn't bear much resemblance to "to be or not to be that is the question" (even if you leave out the spacing). Given that there are twenty-six letters in the alphabet -- and assuming a typewriter that doesn't have any punctuation marks on it -- the chances of producing that tiny phrase would be one in twenty-six to the power of thirty (a figure much too large for my calculator to work out) correct keystrokes in a row, that's ignoring spaces as well as punctuation. The odds against that are so huge that it is safe to say it wouldn't happen from, well, here to infinity -- and beyond. As for the complete works . . .

Q How and when did the American accent evolve?

I had an idea that it might have had something to do with the fact that the American accent evolved from West Country accents (for example, the Plymouth Brethren who colonized America on the Mayflower) as opposed to the Standard English you hear on Radio 4 News, but that was as far as my thinking took me. So I turned to linguist and philologist Dr. Caron Landy, and her reply startled me.

"It's not so much that their accent evolved as that ours did. We were the ones who changed words, not them. All emigrant languages have a tendency to linguistic nostalgia, and they preserve archaic forms of pronunciation long after we've dispensed with them. Let me give you an example. The final 'r' you'd associate with American English is a distinctive growl produced near the back of the mouth. This sound is standard in the west of England (Shakespeare would have growled his final "r" sounds), in the north, and in Ireland. Most of the settlement in North America in the nineteenth century from the British islands came from the north and west of England and from Ireland (especially the six northern counties of Ulster)."


Excerpted from Why Girls Can't Throw by Mitchell Symons Copyright ©2006 by Mitchell Symons. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2015

    Girls can throw!

    I don't understand why its now permanetly a title of a book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2014

    Pink Ipad

    Kiss your hand three times, post this on three other books, and look under your pillow

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2013

    This is messed up.


    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)