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What Einstein Told His Barber: More Scientific Answers to Everyday Questions [Paperback]

Robert Wolke
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 7 2000
What makes ice cubes cloudy? How do shark attacks make airplanes safer? Can a person traveling in a car at the speed of sound still hear the radio? Moreover, would they want to...?

Do you often find yourself pondering life's little conundrums? Have you ever wondered why the ocean is blue? Or why birds don't get electrocuted when perching on high-voltage power lines? Robert L. Wolke, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh and acclaimed author of What Einstein Didn't Know, understands the need to...well, understand. Now he provides more amusing explanations of such everyday phenomena as gravity (If you're in a falling elevator, will jumping at the last instant save your life?) and acoustics (Why does a whip make such a loud cracking noise?), along with amazing facts, belly-up-to-the-bar bets, and mind-blowing reality bites all with his trademark wit and wisdom.

If you shoot a bullet into the air, can it kill somebody when it comes down?

You can find out about all this and more in an astonishing compendium of the proverbial mind-boggling mysteries of the physical world we inhabit.


Arranged in a question-and-answer format and grouped by subject for browsing ease, WHAT EINSTEIN TOLD HIS BARBER is for anyone who ever pondered such things as why colors fade in sunlight, what happens to the rubber from worn-out tires, what makes red-hot objects glow red, and other scientific curiosities. Perfect for fans of Newton's Apple, Jeopardy!, and The Discovery Channel, WHAT EINSTEIN TOLD HIS BARBER also includes a glossary of important scientific buzz words and a comprehensive index. -->

Frequently Bought Together

What Einstein Told His Barber: More Scientific Answers to Everyday Questions + What Einstein Told His Cook + What Einstein Told His Cook #2 The Sequel
Price For All Three: CDN$ 49.79

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Review

Praise for Robert L. Wolke's What Einstein Didn't Know:

"Wolke is a glib and entertaining writer....This is the book for anyone who claims to be overwhelmed by the science of everyday things....It's a fun read."
--The San Diego Tribune

"Fascinating....Will provide hours of fun and knowledge for kids of any age (and we mean up to 90) and offer helpful tips and satisfy the curiosity of the average householder."
--Baton Rouge Advocate

From the Back Cover

Praise for Robert L. Wolke's What Einstein Didn't Know:

"Wolke is a glib and entertaining writer....This is the book for anyone who claims to be overwhelmed by the science of everyday things....It's a fun read."
--The San Diego Tribune

"Fascinating....Will provide hours of fun and knowledge for kids of any age (and we mean up to 90) and offer helpful tips and satisfy the curiosity of the average householder."
--Baton Rouge Advocate

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Everything is moving. You may be sitting quietly in your armchair, but you are far from motionless. Read the first page
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Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Little Fast a Little Slow June 20 2002
Format:Paperback
What Einstein Told His Barber
by Robert L. Wolke
This book is imaginative and entertaining. It explains in simple terms the hows and whys
of many things we observe often but really don't understand.
His editor has done a fine job with spelling and punctuation, but he needs
someone to check his math:
p13 "In one experiment, out of 500 .30-caliber machine-gun bullets fired
straight upward, only four landed within 10 square feet
(3 square meters) of the gun".
While 10 feet is about 3 meters, 10 square feet is about 1 square meter and would
lie within 22 inches of the gun - not a very safe place to wait.

p26-27 "There is a certain speed called the ESCAPE VELOCITY, 25000 mph,
that an object must achieve to circle the Earth in stable orbit and
not fall down."

Actually the speed needed for circular orbit is less by a factor of
the square root of two, about 18000 mph. On p.121 the author has
astronauts orbiting at the proper speed.
Escape velocity launches an object into a parabolic trajectory which
Escapes (imagine that) the earths gravity and never returns.
p33 (and p.64) Speed of light 186,000 miles per second (3 million kilometers per second)
Oops! That should be 300,000 kilometers per second.
p81 Author computes 621 degrees Fahrenheit to be twice the absolute
temperature of 80F.
This should be 519.7F; but it is only because of sloppy conversion
from Fahrenheit to Celsius and back.
p103 (and p120) "Earth is sailing around the Sun at more than 10,000 mph
(10600 mph on p120)
It is actually about 66,675 mph - higher by a factor of 2 Pi (6.28...).
Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to Understand Science Books Feb. 4 2002
Format:Paperback
As the title saids, this book is about answering real life conundrums. There is a lot of "what if" questions that are readily answer. A reader with some background in high school or college physics will enjoy this book. As a student getting a science PhD, I find this book very entertaining to read. It answers questions in understandable English.
Certain things I think can be explained a little better, like why the atmosphere is thinner at higher altitude. Or the difference between static friction and rolling friction. But these are just nicky-picky little things.
Overall, this book is a joy to read. If you are curious about how things in life work or scenarios that you take for granted(like why birds don't get electrocuted standing on wires), you should pick up this book. You'll undoubtebly learn a lot.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent entertaining education June 4 2001
Format:Paperback
The book is an easy reading if you have a little flair for natural sciences. Well chosen topics and arrangements. The humor is sometimes entertaining, sometimes odd. The "bar bet" category is redundant (imagine yourself offering a bar bet that it is not cold in outer space - what do you talk about in the pub???). Altogether better than many other competitors (like the series on "imponderables"), because it is a little more advanced, a little more serious, and a little more space devoting to each topic (typically a few pages a topic) .
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