Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Really Short History of Nearly Everything

Author:  Bill Bryson
Illustrator:  Yuliya Somina, Martin Sanders
Published:  2008
When I was little I remember getting a book a big book about answers to interesting questions.  I cried when I got the book because what I really wanted was a pinball machine, but once I got over it, I read the book.  It was fun and I still have the book.  I probably got the book in 1978, but I still pull it out to share the information with my family.  This book is like that one.  It is just filled with lots of fun facts.  As a matter of fact, I can't stop thinking about some of the things I've learned. They are amazing and confusing and interesting all in one.

This book takes us from the creation of the universe up to almost present day.  I have to admit, I'm still confused about the creation of the universe.  It's just not something I cannot fathom, but I appreciate that someone has tried to explain this to me in simple language.

Here are some interesting facts I learned:
Did you know that if you dropped a brick down to the center of the Earth, it would take it 45 minutes to get there?  (I still want to know what happens if we had a hole that went from one end of the Earth to the other. Would the brick start falling back after it got to the center?   Does it just float in the center?  These are probably embarassing questions for me to be asking, but I don't know any better!)
Did you know that Isaac Newton was a bit strange?  He inserted a long needle in his eye socket to see what would happen.  Amazingly or maybe luckily, nothing happened.
Did you know that an iguanadon skeleton had one of his nails placed in his nose, like a spike, because people didn't know how its bones really went together?
Did you know that Madam Curie's paperwork is still so radioactive that you have to wear special clothes to read them?

These are the types of interesting facts listed in this book.  It would be a good tool for a student who is learning about a new topic.  Getting these fun tidbits might be the inspiration a child needs to want to learn more.  These bits of info could also be used as hooks by teachers to introduce a new lesson.

There are photographs and drawing in the book.  The photos and drawings both serve their purpose, they help reinforce the information and they are entertaining.

This book is supposed to be a "short" history, and I suppose it is, but it is a fairly large sized book with 161 pages.  I was able to sit down and read it in a few hours though.  If you are not into history, but want to be inspired, check this book out.

Check it out from the library.
Author Notes

No comments: