New York City book signing: Charlie McDonnell will be at Books of Wonder on October 21, 2016 at 6pm.
Fun Science: A Guide to Life, the Universe and Why Science Is So Awesome is a wholly remarkable book. It was written by YouTuber and filmmaker Charlie McDonnell, illustrated by Fran Meneses, and published by Quadrille Publishing. Chapter one begins like this:
“The universe,” it says, “is INFINITELY large—and infinity is probably the most difficult concept to get your head around. What is the most infinite infinity you can possibly think of? Ok, now double that. Now double it again. Now, sit there and double infinities for a couple of hours. Put the book down if you like, save your arms. I can wait.”
After a while, the style settles down a bit and it begins to tell you things you really need to know, like the fact that the Milky Way and Andromeda will combine in four million years, “making it the most dragged out ‘will they, won’t they?’ love story in the history of the universe.”
Charlie McDonnell was the first vlogger in the UK to get over a million subscribers and currently has more than 2 million. He is also a musician and the author of Fun Science (October 2016, Quadrille). @charlieissocoollike
The first wonderful thing about this book is that it’s from the angle of science communication and science popularization. “I am not a scientist,” Charlie McDonnell says. But he is a science fan. This is, then, the ultimate science fanboy book. It gives us fellow non-scientist science-fans something to aspire to.
With an eye on the four-minute attention span of the YouTube generation, Fun Science is written and designed in digestible chunks with varying font size and interjected illustrations. Using cartoons and puns as memory aid may at first seem like it’s aimed at a very young audience, but the content is not so basic that adults already know this stuff. Seriously, did you know:
- The beginning of the universe did make a noise, but it wasn’t a bang so much as a whine.
- There is a black hole at the center of our galaxy.
- There is a big “thing” called the Great Attractor pulling galaxies toward it, but we can’t see it because a supercluster of galaxies called Norma is blocking our view.
- Diplodocus could whip its tail so fast it could probably break the sound barrier.
- Scientists have bioengineered a glowing pig.
- You use 27 bones to give a thumbs up.
- We dislike the smell of people with similar immune systems to us.
- We have nine senses, not five.
- The biggest cell can grow up to one foot long!
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