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Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This one appeals to the inquisitive child in all of us., 9 Aug. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Bill Nye The Science Guy's Big Blast Of (Paperback)
In a world where kids are exposed to more pseudoscience than real science, it's refreshing to have someone like Bill Nye to present the genuine thing. Like his highly successful PBS series aimed at fourth graders(but enjoyed by hordes of science-bereft grownups), Big Blast of Science is infused with Nye's straight-forward perspective on the universe, and his passion for the remarkable way it operates. Everything, in Nye's view, is a marvelous machination of science, from the kitchen toaster's warm convection currents, to the counterclockwise spin of water draining out of the bathtub, to the kneeling Indian girl making us ponder infinity on a box of butter. He was that geeky guy who helped you pass high school chemistry, who won the Boy Scout Pinewood Derby without too much help from his dad, who saved the frat party by fixing the cocktail blender, and gave up a respectable engineering job to teach your kids some science. Without people like him we'd be looking up h! oroscopes instead of telescopes and putting more faith in the Psychic Friends Network than the National Science Foundation. At first glance, we might assume Big Blast of Science is a book just for kids. The inimitable Science Guy, clad in his signature blue lab coat and winsome bowtie, and looking cooler than absolute zero, pops out of a flashy purple cover surrounded by whirling planets, moons, and stars. With schoolboyish sincerity, he thrusts toward us a flask from which bubbles the subtitle: "A Highly Cool Handbook for the Laws of Nature." Kids, of course, will recognize immediately his zany, Disney-ish style and easy-to-understand delivery. They'll want to try all the science experiments in the book, especially the ones that require matches, rubberbands, clothespins, and adult supervision. But be aware that this little tome will find its way into Mom's and Dad's hands after the kids have gone to bed. Not only does America's "Sultan of Science" explain physics on! a level everyone can follow, he also gently reminds us the! re's a lot about the universe we need to know -- basic stuff we should have gotten in high school but didn't because we spent too much time outlining chapters, looking up vocab words, and bubbling in answers to test questions. We don't want this to happen to our kids, and neither does Nye. The message here is clear: It's never too early or late to become science literate. We owe it to ourselves, our children, and our planet, to do so. Nye assures us we can understand the familiar things -- gravity, electricity, the behavior of light -- plus the weird stuff, like entropy and quarks and the laws of thermodynamics, if we "just do it." And doing science is what Big Blast of Science is all about. Nye's advice is, grab the kids, the paper towels and cardboard tubes, baking soda, vinegar, scissors and scotch tape, lemons, drinking straws, safety pins, food coloring (no experiment should be done without food coloring!) and whatever else is laying around. Be curious, experimen! t, think about what it means, find out how the universe works. The whole idea is so deliciously simple and fun, we wonder why we didn't think of it ourselves (and why our fourth grade teachers never thought of it either). Buy this one, and know that Bill Nye won't mind if you spill lemon juice and vinegar on it. He won't care if you draw mustaches on the pictures of him or color his lab coat pink. We can tell from the way he explains things that he's an easy-going kind of guy. He won't even mind if you give this book to your kid's teachers, which you probably should. Chances are, they'll put away those monotonous worksheets and vocab lists and ask you to start saving egg cartons, popsicle sticks, 2-liter soda bottles, and leftover birthday balloons so they can do some real science in the classroom.
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A Customer