Shocking Science: 5,000 Years of Mishaps and Misunderstands

Steve Parker, Author, John Kelly, Illustrator Turner Publications Inc $16.95 (63p) ISBN 978-1-57036-269-9
""Scientists mess up occasionally, like everyone else."" Offering ample proof for this statement, this diverting volume spotlights a random selection of ""blunders, hoaxes, unlucky accidents, and bizarre beliefs"" that have emerged over the centuries. Parker's breezy, occasionally glib text and Kelly's (The Robot Zoo) amusingly hyperbolic cartoon art expose unconventional theories of how the world began, outlandish tenets about the shape of the earth and the motion of the planets, misguided medical hypotheses, early attempts at flying (with and without planes), disasters at sea and wacky inventions (e.g., Thomas Edison's sound-powered sewing machine, which required continuous shouting to activate). Copious illustrations and brief blocks of type make this not just a trove for trivia buffs but a prime pick for reluctant readers. All ages. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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