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59 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Curious, idiosyncratic and eccentric in the best possible way
"There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't"

I would describe myself as fairly scientifically-illiterate: yes, the joke above made me giggle; yes, I can work out pretty swiftly what dihydrogen monoxide is - but e, laws of thermodynamics, and Einstein?... um, no. And yet I enjoyed this book.

I like...
Published 19 months ago by Roman Clodia

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Science Magpie: Simon Flynn - An interesting idea, but doesn't really work for me
Ho-hum, another month, another miscellany filling up the 2 for 3 discount tables at the front of the local Blackstones or Waterwells. This one is based around science, a world with rich pickings of interesting and unusual facts to fill up a miscellany. This one has a bit of a difference, it also includes artistic endeavours, poems jokes etc, that have been inspired by...
Published 21 months ago by Victor


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly interesting!, 20 Nov 2012
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This review is from: The Science Magpie: A Hoard of Fascinating Facts, Stories, Poems, Diagrams and Jokes, Plucked from Science and Its History (Icon Magpie) (Hardcover)
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Great idea; a bathroom book for the more erudite and scientifically minded. Full of interesting if somewhat useless knowledge, though presented in a haphazard way. Clearly designed to be picked up, leafed through, and put down again quickly. I'd say 80% of the time you'll find yourself reading something fascinating, funny or both. Unfortunately the other 20% of the time you may find you've glazed over halfway through the segment you were reading, as a few bits are a bit on the dull side (or were to me anyway). Nonetheless, overall a very nice bathroom companion, conveniently released just before the Xmas holiday....
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely gift for a science enthusiast, 15 Nov 2012
By 
Ms. R. L. A. Amelan "Rachel" (Wilmslow, Cheshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Science Magpie: A Hoard of Fascinating Facts, Stories, Poems, Diagrams and Jokes, Plucked from Science and Its History (Icon Magpie) (Hardcover)
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This book is a positive Aladdin's cave of things scientific and I have had a wonderful time dipping into its contents. Indeed, I have spent some time sharing its interesting details with my friends and acquaintances, albeit with mixed reception as they simply failed to share my general enthusiasm!

On the day of writing this review, however, one person was so delighted with the varied facts presented that he said that he was going to purchase it that very night. Another, a minister of religion, was delighted to read a debate on whether Hell was exothermic or endothermic and thought the tome generally fascinating.

For me, the book offered brief introductions to quite a variety of scientific fact and the scientists themselves. It certainly could not be called a volume for serious study - it is much more a Christmas or birthday present. I felt that I could obtain a more comprehensive grasp of subject matter elsewhere and the endless lists relating to prize winners, elements and so forth could prove tedious to some, although it would be a boon for quiz enthusiasts.

I did feel moved to read out the more "exciting" sections to work colleagues who looked at me strangely. Frankly, I find information concerning why your tea is cooler when flying high in an aircraft wonderful, and the thought that heaven could actually hotter than hell if you take some of the evidence is marvellous to contemplate. Occasionally, I felt drawn to research some information further and used the services of "Uncle Google".

There is a brief guide to particle physics also but I thought that this tour was a little too whistle stop for my liking and I felt that I needed clearer diagrams. The neutrinos and different types of quarks, served up within a very few pages, could be a little indigestible for the tyro.

The book itself is in hard back and I did wonder whether I would have liked it to have far more illustrations, and perhaps in colour but this is a matter of taste.

In summary, I can recommend it as a splendid little volume to stuff down a capacious Christmas stocking or offer as a birthday gift.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and interesting for the curious, 29 Oct 2012
By 
Thrud Fan (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Science Magpie: A Hoard of Fascinating Facts, Stories, Poems, Diagrams and Jokes, Plucked from Science and Its History (Icon Magpie) (Hardcover)
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As the title sort of suggests The Science Magpie is a hotchpotch of scientific facts, quotes and other science based writings scattered randomly in a book.
It doesn't seem to be in any particular order and a lot of the headings on the contents page are not self explanatory so this is not a reference book and I personally would be bored reading it from cover to cover. What it is is a good dip in a read with some truly fascinating stuff inside.
Not all the content is worth having for example quoting Tom Lehrers brilliant song of the elements word for word just fills up space and you really have to listen to his stuff to enjoy it.

I liked the writing style and it got across some quite complex ideas in an easy to understand way.
If you like and are interested in science this is a good, fun and interesting read, I do feel though that if you know a lot of, are heavily into, science or work in a scientific background some of the more trivial stuff maybe quite boring.

I've knocked one star off because I feel it has gone too far into the hotchpotch style and would have benefited from a bit more of a structure.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book to dip into, 20 Jan 2013
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An interesting selection subjects and facts. I bought the Kindle edition but I think an actual book would have been better for dipping in and out of.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A mish mash of non-interesting details, 8 Dec 2012
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I was hoping to find some treasure in this book, but I found it very easy to put down and very difficult to resume reading. After 20 pages or so I gave up and went onto a more interesting book
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Neither one thing not the other, 28 Nov 2012
By 
H. Ashford "hashford" (Sheffield, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Science Magpie: A Hoard of Fascinating Facts, Stories, Poems, Diagrams and Jokes, Plucked from Science and Its History (Icon Magpie) (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I decided to get this book because I wanted a book full of interesting titbits, completely irrelevant to almost everything, but entertaining to read. Something that I could pick up and put down after a few minutes.

Unfortunately, this was made impossible by the large chunks of text, sometimes 2 or 3 unbroken pages of droning text, which I invariably ended up skipping. It's written far too much like a scientific report to be entertaining at a glance. But on the other hand, the science in it was much too simple to be interesting, and not covered in enough depth. Most of it I knew better from my standard GCSE courses.

On occasion he did pull up a gem, like Charles Darwins pros and cons of getting married (which included 'better than a dog') a student's answer to the question to is hell endo- or exothermic, and the large Hadron Collider ripoff but he invariably spoiled it, as with the Torino Impact Hazard Scale where he took a full page explaining what only really needs a sentence.

Flynn needs to decide whether he wants this to be scientific and informative or light hearted and entertaining.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 11 Dec 2012
By 
Chris Widgery (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Science Magpie: A Hoard of Fascinating Facts, Stories, Poems, Diagrams and Jokes, Plucked from Science and Its History (Icon Magpie) (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I love the idea that this book is trying to execute. It's trying to be a Schott's Miscellany for science. It certainly jumps around all over the place, but it lacks the wit, humour and, dare I say it, erudition of Mr Schott (how long ago was that now, anyway?) It's probably trying to be a toilet book, of which I am, to my wife's disgust, a devotee. But it's just missing something. It's hard to say what, but I think I'd best sum it up as charm. It feels random, as if it's trying just a little bit too hard. Sorry, but it didn't really work for me
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Should have been much better., 13 Nov 2012
By 
Glasgow Dreamer (Glasgow Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Science Magpie: A Hoard of Fascinating Facts, Stories, Poems, Diagrams and Jokes, Plucked from Science and Its History (Icon Magpie) (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is simply a pitch for the lower end of the Christmas book market.

It is a collection of passages relating to science in general. Some pieces are dull and worthy; some are light and entertaining; some are direct quotes from other works, including songs and poems; some are nothing but rather banal attempts at humour, of the kind which may be passed around friends as supposedly witty emails.

There is no organisation apparent in the layout of the book. Different subjects run into each other at an alarming rate, and sometimes I felt that a previous topic had not been dealt with in enough detail before being abandoned in favour of something completely different.

It is a toilet book - the constant jumping around from subject to subject guarantees that it won't hold your interest for any more than ten minutes at a time. Overall, a rather poor effort, a pale imitation of several other similar collections currently available.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Would give it zero if possible., 21 Nov 2012
By 
Manda Moo (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Science Magpie: A Hoard of Fascinating Facts, Stories, Poems, Diagrams and Jokes, Plucked from Science and Its History (Icon Magpie) (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I love science but this book left me cold and un-engaged.

Trying to jump on the bite sized information band wagon, it is both poorly written, laid out and just plain dull.

I hate to say that about any book but I really cannot find anything better to say.

Please avoid.
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