HOW DO THEY DO THAT? by Caroline Sutton

HOW DO THEY DO THAT?

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

This diverting hodgepodge of information may remind readers with long memories of the old, random Book of Knowledge. And these are mostly questions that spring, in everyone, from a childlike curiosity. ""How do they get the stripes into Stripe toothpaste?"" ""How can they tell what a dinosaur looked like from a single bone?"" ""How do they decide who is pictured on US paper currency?"" (The answer to the first may surprise you-the toothpaste isn't striped inside the tube.) Many of the queries are old-hat (on salmon migration, sawing a woman in half, preserving a mummy, etc.); some--on notating choreography, detaching a fresco from a wall--refer to nothing more extraordinary than specialized skills. And a question like ""How do they pick Nobel Prize winners?"" is over its head here altogether. But the explanations vary in length--from a paragraph to a few pages; they are careful to indicate the limits of knowledge (how a firefly flashes is known--but not, still, why); they are clear yet not cut-and-dried, informal yet not cutesy. For fact-fanciers, then, 150 variegated, easy-to-take capsules.

Pub Date: July 15th, 1981
ISBN: 068801111X
Publisher: Morrow