Presented with humor and a bit of ballyhoo, this collection of 50 demonstrations of scientific tools, phenomena and principles includes a description of the history and science behind each topic. The chronological organization offers a nice way to chart the progress of science in many areas, from Stone Age tool-making through Zhang Heng’s seismometer, Jenner’s vaccine, Darwin’s “revolutionary evolutionary book,” Yeager’s sonic boom and the science-in-process of the Large Hadron Collider. With occasional, possibly frustrating exceptions, the experiments have clear directions and helpful sketches provided by James. Presented like recipes, they require relatively easily found materials. Each includes a “catastrophe meter,” pointing out difficulties and the possibility for injury, and a “Take Care!” label, identifying potential trouble spots. Occasionally, Connolly’s breezy explanations are careless or incorrect: Fossils can be traces of a soft-bodied creature; ligons (lion/tiger hybrids) have occurred in nature, not just from DNA manipulation. But overall this is both entertaining and instructive, a welcome follow-up to The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science (2008) and useful for science-fair projects, classroom or recreational group activities and home explorations. (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 5, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7611-5687-1

Page Count: 391

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2010

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This clear, detailed explanation demonstrates that we know about climate change through research by scientists and students at home and in the field—patient observation and investigations that lead to information about Earth’s climate history. Environmentalist Cherry collaborates with photojournalist Braasch to distill the information in the latter’s adult Earth under Fire (2007), adding examples of young people whose participation in citizen science projects through their schools supports the ongoing work of documenting these changes. The topically organized text is informative and accessible, explicit in its message, positive in tone and particularly useful in its broad array of examples and suggestions for student involvement in both inquiry and solutions. Numerous small photographs show children and adults around the world, a wide range of affected wildlife and effects of climate change on the landscape. A lengthy “Resources” section includes both books and a variety of information and action sources with Internet addresses. The scientists whose work is described are listed in a separate index, identified by position. A must for school libraries, and science teachers may want copies of their own. (index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-58469-103-7

Page Count: 66

Publisher: Dawn Publications

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2008

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An installment in the Information Revolution series provides an overview of current and predicted advances in technology as applied to the entertainment field. Oleksy (see above) attempts to cover the latest innovations in television, movies, video games, the Internet, music, sports, and radio. The book is written in the style of an extended newsmagazine article, complete with pull quotes, man-in-the-street comments, and poll results, and is unlikely to attract youthful browsers. Dedicated techies will find little that is new and may be annoyed by inaccuracies, e.g., it has been a long time since 40 megabytes was ``more than the entire storage system of most home computers.'' With a combination of current information that will soon be dated in the fast-moving world of technology and some mild predictions, this seems headed for a short shelf life. (b&w photos, index, not seen, glossary, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8160-3077-4

Page Count: 118

Publisher: Facts On File

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1995

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