Deceived Wisdom: Why What You Thought Was Right Is Wrong

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9781908739346: Deceived Wisdom: Why What You Thought Was Right Is Wrong

A skeptic's guide to debunking popular science myths and much "received wisdom" that is just plain wrong

Accessible, clear, and humorous, this book answers questions people have pondered over for a lifetime, such as: Why did your mother remind you to take off your coat when inside, or you won't "feel the benefit" when you leave? Why would someone advise that what you need to cool down is a nice cup of tea? And must you really let red wine breathe first to improve its taste? It also covers why urinating on a jellyfish sting does not help, why cellphones won't give you cancer, and why recycling aluminum cans is not a waste of time. With clear and witty writing, this book examines the science behind many popular myths, revealing why many "truths" we think we know, we don't really know at all.

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About the Author:

David Bradley has contributed to and edited several books, including The Bedside Book of Science. He has also written for New Scientist, the Telegraph, and the Guardian.


'At last, a book that blows away many of the urban myths that we've come to accept without questioning. Well written and engrossing' -- --Dr John Emsley, author of 'Nature's Building Blocks' and other popular science books; 'Let it be announced from the rooftops that David Bradley has compiled this charming book, Deceived Wisdom, showing that some of the popular Old Wives Tales and things you could have sworn were true because you heard them down the pub are, with the appliance of science, just another charabanc of retired shoe manufacturers ... Good things come in small packages, and I read it in a single session. It's a book you can dip into, one of those things that no well-stocked shelf in the Smallest Room should be without ... if you want a stocking-filler for the geek in your life, especially if they are teenagers and mightn t have come across these before, then this has to be it.' -- --Henry Gee, Occam's Typewriter; 'I can't recommend this book highly enough. Not only is it entertaining, but it is also extremely informative, smart, and thorough. While Bradley discusses some complex topics, his clear writing makes reading about these brainteasers a breeze.' -- --Kim Lacey, Guru Magazine; 'This is a brilliant book, which presents some really pertinent information in a fun and enjoyable manner ... Bradley reinforces what science is really all about: questioning what you know and never accepting something just because somebody else tells you it's true.' --Paul Blakely,

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