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Do Fish Drink Water? (Collins) [Paperback]

Bill McLain
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

9 Sep 2011 Collins

Have you ever wondered why cats purr or whether it can really rain frogs? Bill McLain answers and expands upon these problems, leaving you knowing much more than just a simple answer to the puzzling and improbable questions that he was asked when webmaster for a major website.

Spanning the spectrum from useful to bizarre to downright comical, the questions range from animal and human behaviour to geography and medicine. As the official Webmaster for Xerox, Bill McLain was responsible for handling all mail from Xerox’s external web site. However, he was quickly surprised by the kinds of questions he was receiving, questions like whether people born blind can see in their dreams, where the lowest point on Earth is, and why rabbits are associated with Easter.

McLain began to answer each and every question he received. The result – collected in Do Fish Drink Water? – is a surprising, funny, and informative collection of facts. McLain’s answers – often as wild as the questions – prompt entertaining anecdotes about where he found them, and how he’s played a role in inventions, long-delayed reunions, and even a marriage or two. He also provides an extensive list of web sites where he conducts research, offering an informative guide to making the most of the Internet.

As for the title question, although fish do drink water, their primary method of obtaining fresh water is through osmosis. The water seeps into their body through tiny holes in their skin.

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (9 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000724049X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007240494
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 793,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Kirkus Reviews
A fun, fact-filled snack for the terminally informed. Who would ask or answer a question like, ‘Do people who were born blind ever dream?’ The answer is a Webmaster at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. And yes, blind people hear and feel in their dreams. McLain provides intriguing questions and answers along with subsections like Did You Know?, Factoids, and references to Web sites and Internet resources for further information (including Santa;s e-mail address). The many diverse facts are enlivened by the author’s wit. If going to the beach this August and being out of touch with our information overload makes you feel like a fish out of water, then this is the book to take along.
San Francisco Chronicle
A veritable Internet legend known for having all the answers.
San Jose Mercury News
The legions who have dropped him a line have dubbed McLain… Prophet, Answer Dude, Webmeister, Guru of Locating Unusual Information.

About the Author

Bill McLain

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intresting but american 16 April 2007
This book is very intresting and full of great facts.

However if you are not american, i dont reccomend buying it. many of the questions are very american, e.g. "most terrifying of all is the 'roundabout'... there are no stop signs or rules for yielding", and he explains what a british roundabout is... "who was the youngest american to go up into space?"... "what caused the fire that destroyed san fransisco?"...

Good book, but i reccomend the QI book instead for british buyers.
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2.0 out of 5 stars General Ignorance 22 April 2009
By Lupin
Unfortunately Bill McLain has fallen into the trap of believing everything he reads on the internet and not investigating the reliability of his sources. There are several glaring mistakes in this book e.g the people previously called Eskimos are all known as Inuit whilst this only applies to a proportion of them. Many other sections would probably benefit by being prefixed with 'It is believed in th US that..' or 'The general consensus is that...' '...but no one knows for certain.' The book is quite US centred. I agree with the previous reviewer who suggested the QI books for a more researched read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Great ! 21 May 2012
By Michelle - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great service, great product. Very impressed ! I received the book WAY earlier than expected. I would definately order again.
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