Science Book Reviews : The Handy Science Answer Book, published by The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Elementary and Secondary General Science Education ; Science Facts - Trivia - Explanations - Misconceptions

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The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, The Handy Science Answer Book

          The Handy Science Answer Book (paperback, 523 pages) doesn't only provide answers to common questions. It is better described as a gold mine of facts. It is so extensive that the index alone is 48 pages.

          The books contains considerable information in the form of tables, e.g., elemental composition by percent mass of the sun, energy equivalences (90 pounds of coal = 1 million BTU), life spans of various animals, the names of male and female animals, the current populations of various species of whales, etc. Some of the tabular information may be considered science "trivia" rather than "actual science", e.g., how fast various animals can run (the cheetah can run 70 MPH = 112.6 km/h). Some of the non-tabular information could also be considered trivia (narrative about the world's largest diamond, the magnitude of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the dimensions of the Eiffel Tower, and how the term "technobabble" was coined.)

          The book has a strong environmental emphasis (explanations of the controversies surrounding radiation, radon, and asbestos, how plastics can be made biodegradable, the hazards of burning PVC plastic, the meaning of "nuclear winter", how to read recycling symbols,....)

          It contains a 24 page list of suggested books for further reading.

          Because this book is very difficult to locate in book stores, it is much more convenient to buy it online.

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