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What’s the science behind the theory of “six degrees of separation”? How do stones “skip”? When visiting a new place, why does getting there always seem to take so much longer than returning home? In The Velocity of Honey, the host of the Discovery Channel Canada’s Daily Planet and best-selling author Jay Ingram muses upon these and many more mysteries that puzzle and perplex. With his trademark wit and wonderment, Ingram makes the science of our lives accessible and fascinating. From mosquitoes to the Marvel Universe, baseball to baby-holding, Ingram’s topics are diverse. In some pieces, he explores the science behind many of our proverbial expressions, common sayings such as “Time flies when you’re having fun” and “It’s a small world after all.” In others, he highlights intriguing links between the world of art and the world of science. Delightful and surprising, Jay Ingram’s essays not only help to humanize and promote our understanding of science, they also remind us of the mystery that is the essence of all scientific pursuit.
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Jay Ingram is the author of several bestsellers, including Talk, Talk, Talk; The Science of Everyday Life; and The Burning House, which won the 1995 Canadian Science Writers Book Award. He has also written three children’s books and has hosted several radio documentary series, including Cranial Pursuits and The Talk Show.From Publishers Weekly:
Science can uncover the origins of the cosmos and the blueprints of life itself, but it can also explore some of the most inconsequential phenomena known to man. No less than three essays in this charming collection concern the spillage of breakfast foods, including the title piece on dripping honey and further investigations of why toast always falls with the buttered side down and why coffee stains are ring-shaped. Other topics probed by Ingram, host of the Discovery Channel's Daily Planet and author of The Science of Everyday Life, include the physics of coin-spinning, stone-skipping and paper-crumpling; the math talents of animals and infants; the six degrees of separation myth; and the cognitive psychology behind a range of desultory human capabilities, from catching a fly ball to working an ATM machine. Though the scientific theories Ingram unearths are fascinating, more hilarious is the disproportion between effort and importance, as with the elaborate experimental protocols scientists have developed to investigate the feeling people sometimes get of being watched. Ingram's deft, witty writing gives a real feel for science as a human process of trying to answer the questions, no matter how inane, that happen to get stuck in one's craw.
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