352 pages, 8.75 × 6.35 × 0.68 in
August 15, 2010
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1848660731
ISBN - 13: 9781848660731
From the Publisher
Forget Boyle’s law, polymer chains, cellular respiration and fields of force – here’s all the really interesting stuff you never learnt during science lessons at school. But this isn’t fantasy, this is hard fact:
- Fact: The stethoscope owes its invention in 1816 to a young doctor who was too embarrassed to put his ear to a young woman’s chest
- Fact: In 1954 a Soviet surgeon grafted a puppy’s head onto the shoulder of a German shepherd dog
- Fact: Since falling off a ship in 1992, fleets of yellow rubber ducks have provided invaluable data on the currents of the world’s oceans
Totally Useless History of Science covers all the important (and some of the totally unimportant) branches of science:
- Physics: from experiments involving the slow removal of one’s stockings to the Dutchman who tested the Doppler effect by placing an entire orchestra on a railway wagon.
- Zoology: from the spontaneous generation of mice from rotting wheat to the ‘discovery’ that swallows spend their winters at the bottom of lakes
- Botany: from the rhododendron honey that makes men mad to the use of ginger as an equine suppository
- Meteorology: from showers of frogs and fish to the man struck by lightning seven times
- Astronomy: from the Greek philosopher who believed the sun was a great disk of blazing metal to the American astronomer who saw irrigation canals on Mars
From the Jacket
A cornucopia of utterly useless and bizarre facts from the Annals of Scientific Endeavor:
The civil war bullet that supposedly got a young lady pregnant.
Edison's proposal for an apparatus to communicate with the spirit world.
The surgeon who cut off his assistant's fingers while amputating a leg.
The Massachusetts physical who weighed the sould at the point of death.
The chemist who discovered nitrocellulose after his wife's apron exploded.
The California doctor who brought dogs back from the dead.
Not to mention, toxic snottites, incandescent beards, flying monks, flossing monkeys, winking corpses, radioactive suppositories, edible mud, hallucinating elephants, and much, much more.
About the Author
Ian CroftonÆs authorial credits include BrewerÆs Britain and Ireland, the 2nd edition of BrewerÆs Dictionary of Modern Phrase and Fable and BrewerÆs Cabinet of Curiosities. For Quercus he has written The Kings and Queens of England, History without the Boring Bits (2007) and Traitors and Turncoats (2009). He lives in North London with his family.