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4.7 out of 5 stars24
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 22 April 2008
I bought this for my 11yr old son - He loves it.
He couldn't wait to get experimenting.
I don't think he's realised it's educational.......yet!
(although he did want to start on the alcohol experiments first)
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on 7 February 2009
Why aren't there more books like this? Human beings are inquisitive creatures and will stop at nothing in their continual pursuit of knowledge. I still haven't been able to acquire a deceased hamster in order to fossilise it but I did eventually manage to find a slightly willing victim to test out the theory 'aluminium foil on a tooth filling really hurts'. The book is full of experiments you can carry out without breaking any laws in the safety of your own home. If you are an inquisitive human with a sense of humour you will really enjoy this book!
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on 9 January 2009
A superb way of engaging with practical science around the house. Tried some of the experiments with my kids and they thought there were great fun (especially the fizzy drink and mints test!). Good read too.
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on 12 December 2007
I bought this, along with two other books as stocking stuffers but really they're great for anytime of the year. One of the others was DRESS YOUR FAMILY IN CORDUROY by David Sedaris, and the other was DON'T STOP ME NOW. You can't go wrong with any of these. Now, as far as HOW TO FOSSILISE YOUR HAMSTER, if not only on the practical side, it's funny as heck. Even if you don't want to do this stuff, it's great reading. Kids and adults alike. BUY IT NOW!
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I've had this book for a little while, I loved reading the experiments even though I didn't try them. I've put the book aside for my grandchildren, who at 7 and 6 are embryonic 'Blue Peter kids' who are just going to love having a go at the experiments contained within. They don't own a hamster, thankfully and the springer spaniel is probably a bit on the large side for fossilisation.
Weak jokes aside, this book - and the other New Scientist publications - are an absolutely marvellous way of engaging everyone with science. If science was the subject that had you sitting looking out of the window at the back of the class, idly hoping that the teacher would catch their long hair / tie in the Bunsen burner, this is the book that will show you some of the things you missed.
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on 11 August 2009
I've never been much of scientist, but I have to admit that dating a physics geek has made me want to know a little more. But I don't want boring texts books - I want things I can actually see being done, and that are, more importantly, fun .

So, for my birthday, treated myself to a selection of books published by New Scientist magazine, including 'Does anything eat wasps' , 'Do polar bears get lonely' and this one, 'How to fossilise your hamster'.

While the first two are books answering various questions, this book actually contains lots of experiments , of the type that can be easily and safely performed in your own home using easily obtained ingredients. These experiments are divided up into categories depending on which room would be the best room to perform them in, and each experiment takes about a page and a half to explain, so there's nothing too heavy going . Some experiments are accompanied with easy to understand diagrams that illustrate the results or how to set things up correctly .

Experiments range from turning eggs green using the water from cooking red cabbage, measuring the speed of light using a chocolate bar and a microwave, washing your clothes with conkers, and of course fossilising your hamster (although you should make sure it's dead first!)

Over the last couple of days my daughter and myself have done a few of the experiments - such as leaving dirty coins in cola to clean them, and testing out the theories that hot water freezes faster than cold water, and that a snapped strand of spaghetti will always snap into 3 pieces .

We plan to go shopping on tuesday to get a few items needed for some of the others - we're both particularly keen to try the coke and mentos experiment, having watched it on youtube .

We've had fun with the book so far, and we plan to have much more . Some of the experiments can be a little messy (which of course will delight the youngsters but leave the oldies with plenty of cleaning to do).

I like the range of experiments, and especially like the fact that no special equipment is required . The explanation of the results of some of the experiments can be a little basic - but then this book does claim to be aimed at the 'armchair scientist' so I wasn't really expecting too much detail - and I can always supplement the information with a quick web search.

I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone with an interest in science who wants something uncomplicated and fun . I'd also very much recommend this to parents, as it seems a great way to encourage a child's interest in science .

Overall, a great fun book, highly recommended.
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on 11 December 2007
How to Fossilise Your Hamster is a really good fun book that would make an ideal Christmas present. I just picked up a copy for my niece and had a read through and found it really entertaining. I also really like the complete randomness of many of the experiments. This is full of really unique ideas that come right out of left field. Although not all of them appealled to me, there's something here for everyone, and it's all good fun. Which I think is the point.
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on 27 October 2007
There are wonderful ideas in this book to stimulate all of us. Curiosity keeps us going, though we need some practical abilities.
Thanks to Lucy's review, I looked at Peter Cave's CAN A ROBOT BE HUMAN? collection of philosophy puzzles. Lucy is right. That also should make anyone think and more deeply - and be amused - for like Hamster it covers a whole range of fascinating topics...but with the Robot book you don't have to risk getting wet, you can lie in bed or sit in the armchair, with a drink, and be a philosopher...thinking some unthinkables. Hamster and Robot excellent combination.
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on 19 October 2013
I bought this book as part of a birthday present for my friend's 8yr old grandson. He absolutely LOVES science and seeing chemical reactions - so this book is perfect for him.

He can create his own scientific experiments that are all designed around everyday household items... but most importantly, they are all SAFE to do!!!
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on 12 April 2013
You know those weird questions that pop into your head and you wonder who would ever know the answer to it? A bit like Myth Busters and Open University rolled into one, these books are great to dip into and learn something new. Good even with only the most basic science knowledge.
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