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The New Way Things Work [Hardcover]

David Macaulay , Neil Ardley
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 46.00
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Book Description

Oct. 26 1998
The information age is upon us, baffling us with thousands of complicated state-of-the-art technologies. To help make sense of the computer age, David Macaulay brings us The New Way Things Work. This completely updated and expanded edition describes twelve new machines and includes more than seventy new pages detailing the latest innovations. With an entirely new section that guides us through the complicated world of digital machinery, where masses of electronic information can be squeezed onto a single tiny microchip, this revised edition embraces all of the newest developments, from cars to watches. Each scientific principle is brilliantly explained--with the help of a charming, if rather slow-witted, woolly mammoth.

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"Is it a fact--or have I dreamt it--that, by means of electricity, the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time?" If you, like Nathaniel Hawthorne, are kept up at night wondering about how things work--from electricity to can openers--then you and your favorite kids shouldn't be a moment longer without David Macaulay's The New Way Things Work. The award-winning author-illustrator--a former architect and junior high school teacher--is perfectly poised to be the Great Explainer of the whirrings and whizzings of the world of machines, a talent that landed the 1988 version of The Way Things Work on the New York Times bestsellers list for 50 weeks. Grouping machines together by the principles that govern their actions rather than by their uses, Macaulay helps us understand in a heavily visual, humorous, unerringly precise way what gadgets such as a toilet, a carburetor, and a fire extinguisher have in common.

The New Way Things Work boasts a richly illustrated 80-page section that wrenches us all (including the curious, bumbling wooly mammoth who ambles along with the reader) into the digital age of modems, digital cameras, compact disks, bits, and bytes. Readers can glory in gears in "The Mechanics of Movement," investigate flying in "Harnessing the Elements," demystify the sound of music in "Working with Waves," marvel at magnetism in "Electricity & Automation," and examine e-mail in "The Digital Domain." An illustrated survey of significant inventions closes the book, along with a glossary of technical terms, and an index. What possible link could there be between zippers and plows, dentist drills and windmills? Parking meters and meat grinders, jumbo jets and jackhammers, remote control and rockets, electric guitars and egg beaters? Macaulay demystifies them all. (Click to see a sample spread of this book, illustrations and text copyright 1998 David Macaulay, Neil Ardley, published by Houghton Mifflin Co.) (All ages) --Karin Snelson

From School Library Journal

Grade 4 Up-The popular "guide to the workings of machines" (Houghton, 1988) has been updated to include the digital world. Of the 80 new pages advertised on the cover, 60 are found in the added section on computer technology. Very few items (parking meters and bicycle brakes) have disappeared into obsolescence, a few new ones have appeared (camcorders and airbags), and cosmetic changes are evident throughout in the enhanced color printing. The features that made the first edition a publishing phenomenon remain. Macaulay's clear and comprehensible drawings are accompanied by Neil Ardley's explanations, and in this edition the technical writer gets credit for his expertise on the title page. The bemused woolly mammoth of the original edition continues to demonstrate his prehistorically simple ideas on such concepts as heat, pressure, fire fighting, sending messages, etc., adding whimsical entries to entertain browsers. While much of the material remains unaltered, the significance of computer technology in our world makes this new edition a vital update or new purchase.
Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolute Need for Every Household July 10 2004
By _
Few books can compare to "The Way Things Work" in the amount which they can teach the curious. Be they old or young, college educated engineers or preschoolers, everyone can pick something out of this book. Trust me; I've seen it from all ends.
When I was six, I loved the mammoths...and learned about simple machines and airplane wings. When I was in high school, I appreciated the mammoths' wit...and learned about automatic transmissions and transistors. Now that I'm in college, I've read the whole thing, and it's still a great reference book, just as entertaining and informative as it was so many years ago. And the mammoths are still funny.
For kids with insatiable curiosity, "The Way Things Work" can be a great and entertaining resource; for everyone who's ever wondered how their car drives, or why their computer works, or how satellite communications happen, it can be an immensely satisfying read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The New Way Things Work Aug. 29 2002
By A Customer
This is the best book for childern and adults I have ever read. I recieved "The Way Things Work" When I was in 4th grade. Now I have this newer version. My classmates and I both used it during my College Mechanical Engineering Classes. Everyone can learn from this book it is not just for kids but really belongs on every childs bookshelf.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BUY THIS BOOK! July 8 2002
My god, this has to be one of my favorite books. When I was a kid, I was FASCINATED (well, I still am) by mechanical things. I must have checked this book out of the library twenty times, and it never got old. It is PACKED with info, the drawings are great, and it is very educational. Well, I was at the library today checking out books for a mechanical engineering class, and there it was on the shelf. I checked it out again for old times sake, and here I am at Amazon.com (to buy my very own copy of course), writing a reveiew. Nuff said. Anyway, if you have a child, boy or girl, old or young, smart or not, it doesn't matter- this book ROCKS!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for kids who like to take things apart April 6 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My boys have thoroughly enjoyed pouring through this book. They are both the type of kids that want to see how things work and take stuff apart. Now my door knobs and clocks are being left alone as they read this book instead. My 10 yo was even taking it with him to keep reading everywhere we went.
It complements a beginning physics course as well for homeschoolers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great way to learn about how things work May 9 2012
By Canadianladybug TOP 50 REVIEWER
From levers to lasers, windmills to web sites, this book is definitively a visual guide to the world of machines. Illustrated by non other than David Macaulay, your child will explore how things work and get an understanding on how the day-to-day items in their life can work the way they do.

The book is divided in five sections:
Mechanics of movement will introduce your child to the inclined plane, levers, wheel, axle, gears, belts, cams, cranks, pulleys, screws, rotating wheels, springs and friction.
Harnessing the elements will give detailed explanation to anything that floats or fly, the pressure power, how to exploit heat and a nuclear plant.
Working with waves will give information on light, images, photography, printing, sound and music as well as telecommunications.
Electricity & automation will cover items that requires electricity, magnetism as well as sensors and detectors.
The digital domain will cover anything from bits and bytes to computers and the tools you now use on a regular basis everywhere.
The invention of machines is a section that will give your historical information about various inventions we now use daily.

Though I find the book might be a little overwhelming for a child who doesn't master reading, this book is packed with interesting information. As I was flipping the pages of the book, I arrived to a page about the toilet tank. As I read it, my oldest son was immediately interested and grabbed the book when I was done.

This book is a good reference for anyone who wants to know how things work. You could have it on your shelf and then suddenly the book is found in the living room opened to a specific page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This answered many of my child's questions Dec 9 2001
If you have a child with 10,000,000 questions on how things work, buy this book! This explains it better than any book I have found on the subject. It has even enlightened me. For more, buy the book titled HOW DO THEY DO THAT? by Caroline Sutton. This author has a series of books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Daddy, how does this work? Daddy, how is this made? Sept. 24 2001
I have a very inquisitive daughter. Enough to have me pulling my hair out! I bought this book to keep me sane. This book should be on your child's bookshelf. It is loaded with answers to your child's most typical questions on how things work. A great book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars When I was a child... Feb. 15 2011
..I was given this book (the first edition) and it transformed and informed my curious mind. I believe it has much to do with my fascination of mechanics and technology. A perfect book for kids who love to ask how and why. It might even save your CD player from being dismantled.
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