Title: Question Everything
Author: New Scientist
Page Count/Review Word Count: 282
The real reason that I have this book is because a good friend of mine, a hip-hop artist called Antix, has an album of the same name. That tenuous link was enough for me to buy it when I had a chance to, and it turned out to be a pretty interesting read, and one that Antix would enjoy, too.
There’s no complex idea behind it, but it can get complex at times – simply put, it’s a series of questions and answers that have appeared in New Scientist over the years, sorted by subject (Earth, Space, Physics, Meteorology, Chemistry, Evolution, Biology, Health, Cognition, Alcohol, Eating, Transport and The Rest).
Some of the questions are deep, like ‘why is the night sky black, even though it’s full of stars?’, and some are trivial, like ‘why doesn’t your own snoring wake you up?’, but all of them somehow seem to fit into the category of questions that you’ve wondered about absent-mindedly at least once in your life. It’s kind of cool to get answers to questions that you didn’t realise that you’d asked, if nothing else.
It can also be a little depressing at times – it turns out that the answer to a lot of the ‘what would happen if?’ questions is that we would all die. If the earth was hollow, for instance, we would be screwed – bet you’ve always wanted to know how long it would take to circumnavigate the globe if you jumped straight through a hole in the planet, though. Get ready to have that question, and plenty more, answered comprehensively.