Preface xvii
Chapter 1 The Magnificent Human Body
1(74)
1 How many cells are in your body?
2(2)
2 Why do the young and the elderly get sick more easily?
4(2)
3 What are birthmarks?
6(1)
4 Why is blood red?
7(1)
5 Why are we attracted to unhealthy foods?
8(2)
6 Why do we have nightmares?
10(1)
7 How do braces make your teeth straight?
11(2)
8 Why does the human body reject all other blood types except type O?
13(1)
9 Why do we cry?
14(2)
10 What is juvenile diabetes, and how can you get it?
16(1)
11 Can you drown from drinking too much water?
17(1)
12 Why does your heart stop when you sneeze?
18(1)
13 Why does a spinning motion cause nausea?
19(2)
14 What makes people's bones break, and how do they eventually heal?
21(2)
15 Why do we get goose bumps when we are cold?
23(1)
16 Why do we have fingernails and toenails?
24(1)
17 What are people made of?
25(1)
18 How does your heart pump?
26(2)
19 Why does blood in our veins look blue?
28(1)
20 Why is chicken pox so much worse for adults than it is for kids?
29(1)
21 Why do some people find it hard to remember things after they have had a head injury?
30(2)
22 How many organs are there in a person's body?
32(1)
23 How do you get hiccups?
33(1)
24 How did different skin colors come to be?
34(1)
25 What makes someone tone-deaf?
35(1)
26 What is human hair made of?
36(1)
27 Why do we age?
37(1)
28 What makes our eyes twitch?
38(1)
29 How does our body prepare for cold weather?
39(1)
30 Why does an extra chromosome cause Down syndrome?
40(1)
31 How do we grow?
41(1)
32 How do our brains work?
42(2)
33 Is there anything we can take to stop a heart attack?
44(1)
34 How does anesthesia work?
45(1)
35 What makes us right-handed or left-handed?
46(1)
36 Why does our hair go gray or white when we get old?
47(1)
37 How do we see color?
48(1)
38 Will we ever find a cure for cancer?
49(2)
39 How tall can people grow?
51(1)
40 Sometimes when I fall asleep, I awake with a muscle spasm. What causes this?
52(1)
41 How fast can a person run?
53(1)
42 When you look at something for a long time and then look away, why is the image still in your head but in a different color?
54(1)
43 Why do people's past injuries hurt when a storm is coming?
55(1)
44 Why can't we keep our eyes open when we sneeze?
56(1)
45 Are tanning booths safe?
56(1)
46 What is the doctor or nurse listening for through a stethoscope while taking your blood pressure?
57(2)
47 Why does liquid come out of some people's noses when they laugh?
59(1)
48 How many muscles are in the human body?
60(2)
49 Why do we blink?
62(1)
50 Why do people turn red when they get embarrassed?
63(1)
51 How am I the only one in my family with blond hair?
64(1)
52 What makes our eyes go bad?
65(2)
53 Why does helium make your voice go really high?
67(1)
54 Why are the pupils of our eyes black?
68(1)
55 Do identical twins have the same fingerprints?
69(1)
56 Why do they give iodine tablets to people who have been exposed to radiation?
70(2)
57 What is an autopsy?
72(3)
Chapter 2 Wonders of Our Sea and Land
75(30)
58 Why does it seem that most thunderstorms happen later in the day?
76(1)
59 Why is snow white, and where does its color go when the snow melts?
77(1)
60 Why does the Great Salt Lake have salt?
78(1)
61 What is the lowest temperature known in nature?
79(2)
62 Why does the horizon look like it touches the ground?
81(1)
63 How do you cut diamonds?
82(1)
64 Which way does the Earth rotate?
83(2)
65 What is the Bermuda Triangle, and why have people disappeared in it, never to be seen again?
85(1)
66 Why do rivers meander?
86(2)
67 Do lightning rods protect houses, or are they drawing in the lightning?
88(1)
68 If heat rises, why is a mountaintop colder than the bottom?
89(2)
69 Why are the oceans salty?
91(1)
70 Why is the Earth round?
92(1)
71 If there is no air in space, how is there air on our planet?
93(1)
72 What prevents skyscrapers from sinking into the ground?
94(1)
73 Why does it rain?
95(1)
74 What is the hardest material on Earth?
96(2)
75 How far is it to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean?
98(1)
76 What keeps the Earth in its orbit?
99(1)
77 What are the special conditions on Earth that allow it to support life?
99(1)
78 How do we know the Earth's age?
100(2)
79 How is dirt made?
102(1)
80 Why does the Earth have gravity?
103(1)
81 What creates the wind?
104(1)
Chapter 3 Science in the Sky
105(42)
82 Why do we sometimes see the Moon in the daytime?
106(1)
83 What will happen to the Earth if the ozone layer keeps ripping?
107(1)
84 What are the white lines that you often see behind airplanes?
108(2)
85 Why does the Moon have craters?
110(1)
86 How were the Moon's phases named?
111(2)
87 What is the big red spot on Jupiter?
113(2)
88 Why does the Moon change color and size?
115(1)
89 How do clouds form, and how do they get their color?
116(2)
90 Early in the morning, I saw a bright light moving across the sky. What was it?
118(1)
91 Is it possible for a human to go to Mars?
119(2)
92 What are Saturn's rings made of?
121(1)
93 How close can you get to the Sun without burning up?
122(2)
94 How long would it take to travel from Earth to Venus in a rocket ship?
124(2)
95 If the Moon is so heavy, why doesn't it fall?
126(2)
96 How big is our galaxy?
128(1)
97 How does the Moon affect the ocean tides?
129(2)
98 When is Halley's Comet going to come around again?
131(2)
99 How do planets move?
133(1)
100 What are the chances of an asteroid hitting the United States?
134(1)
101 How many constellations are there, and how are constellations and stars named?
135(2)
102 If fire needs oxygen to burn, how can the Sun burn in space, where there's no oxygen?
137(2)
103 Why, when there is a clear sky and a full Moon, do you sometimes see a ring around the Moon?
139(1)
104 How do satellites always stay in the same place in the sky?
140(1)
105 What is a black hole?
141(1)
106 What is a shooting star, or falling star?
142(2)
107 Why do we bother to send people into space?
144(3)
Chapter 4 Technology
147(50)
108 How was the Internet invented?
148(1)
109 How do helicopters steer?
149(1)
110 Is it possible for a car to run on vegetable oil?
150(2)
111 How do airplanes stay up in the air?
152(1)
112 How can a laser perform eye surgery without hurting the eye?
153(2)
113 What is horsepower?
155(1)
114 Why don't we use more wind power to generate electricity?
156(1)
115 How do remote controls work?
157(1)
116 How fast is one Mach in mph?
158(1)
117 How does Bluetooth work?
159(2)
118 Why have humans technologically progressed while all other animals have not?
161(2)
119 Why do magnets pull together?
163(2)
120 How do Legos connect together?
165(2)
121 How do rockets work?
167(1)
122 How is Styrofoam made?
168(1)
123 What types of fuel besides gasoline can be used to run cars?
169(2)
124 Why do train tracks buckle during hot weather and cause derailments?
171(1)
125 How do they decide how long airplane runways should be?
172(1)
126 What were the first guns like?
173(1)
127 What are halogen lights?
174(1)
128 Why can't we create a perpetual motion device?
175(2)
129 How do stitches dissolve?
177(1)
130 How do huge ships float?
178(1)
131 What happens when an airplane gets struck by lightning?
179(1)
132 How does a prism work?
180(1)
133 How do radar detectors work?
181(2)
134 How do cell phones work?
183(1)
135 How does a lightbulb work?
184(2)
136 How do lasers cut things?
186(1)
137 How do oxygen generators work?
187(1)
138 How do plasma television sets work?
188(1)
139 What makes a refrigerator so cold?
189(1)
140 How do counterfeit detector pens work?
190(1)
141 How does the metal wiring in a toaster heat up and stay hot?
190(2)
142 Why don't we build more nuclear power plants?
192(1)
143 How do glow sticks or light sticks work?
193(2)
144 How do touch lamps work?
195(2)
Chapter 5 Stuff I Always Wondered About
197(34)
145 What exactly is science?
198(1)
146 Why are some people smarter than others?
199(2)
147 Why do people in some countries drive on the left side of the road?
201(1)
148 Why did the Twin Towers fall if planes only crashed into the top floors?
202(2)
149 How are coins made?
204(1)
150 What is that watery haze above the road in the summertime?
205(2)
151 How can the exhaust from a car harm us?
207(1)
152 Why doesn't soap taste as good as it smells?
208(1)
153 Why don't school buses have seat belts?
209(2)
154 How do you salt peanuts in the shell?
211(1)
155 What makes a golf ball curve?
212(1)
156 Why are tennis balls fuzzy?
212(1)
157 How many people live on planet Earth?
213(2)
158 How risky is driving a car?
215(1)
159 Why is "pound" abbreviated "lb."?
216(1)
160 How do pay pool tables know which is the cue ball that needs to be returned?
217(1)
161 How do they keep the eternal flame burning on JFK's grave?
218(1)
162 Why are US elections held on Tuesdays?
218(2)
163 Why are there 5,280 feet in a mile?
220(1)
164 How do microwave ovens cook food?
221(1)
165 Why do car wheels sometimes look like they're going backward?
222(1)
166 Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
223(1)
167 Which will cause more damage: Running my car into a wall at 60 mph, or crashing my car, going 60 mph, into another car coming at me at 60 mph?
224(1)
168 If I dug a hole through the Earth and slid through, what would happen when I reached the other side?
225(1)
169 Is there a particular reason why interstate speed limits are usually about 65 mph?
226(1)
170 How is paper made?
227(1)
171 Why are manhole covers round?
228(1)
172 Why do we have leap years?
229(2)
Chapter 6 Captivating Chemistry
231(28)
173 How can carbon monoxide be so dangerous but have no smell?
232(1)
174 What is it about onions that makes us cry?
233(1)
175 What makes the colors in fireworks?
234(1)
176 If water is made of hydrogen and oxygen, why doesn't it burn?
235(1)
177 How is glass made?
236(2)
178 How do they know how many calories are in food?
238(1)
179 How is gasoline made and how does it power cars?
239(2)
180 What is fire?
241(2)
181 What part of a flame is the hottest?
243(1)
182 What is lead made out of?
244(1)
183 What makes ice float?
245(2)
184 How do they separate oxygen from air to make oxygen tanks?
247(1)
185 How does yeast rise in an oven?
248(1)
186 I saw about one hundred train cars go by heading west that were labeled "Molten Sulfur," What is molten sulfur, and what is it used for?
249(1)
187 Why does a helium balloon float, while an air-filled balloon does not?
250(2)
188 Both oil and water are liquids, so why don't they mix?
252(1)
189 What causes paper to yellow over time?
253(1)
190 How are the elements organized in the Periodic Table of Elements?
254(3)
191 I've heard of hard water, but what is heavy water?
257(1)
192 What is in shampoo that makes it clean your hair?
258(1)
Chapter 7 The Strange World of the Atom
259(26)
193 What is quantum physics?
260(1)
194 What happens when you split an atom?
261(2)
195 How do glow-in-the-dark objects work?
263(2)
196 Can you really use your tongue to tell if a battery is dead or not?
265(2)
197 Do cell phones give off radiation? Can you get cancer from using one too much?
267(1)
198 Why is radiation used in treating cancer?
268(1)
199 What makes an object transparent?
269(2)
200 How do atomic bombs work?
271(2)
201 What does Einstein's equation, E=mc2, have to do with atomic bombs?
273(2)
202 Why do doctors give you lead shields when you're getting X-rays?
275(1)
203 What is plutonium, and why is it used in bombs?
276(1)
204 What is an atomic clock?
277(2)
205 If we can't see atoms, how do we know what they are made of?
279(2)
206 What exactly is radiation, and what does it do to your body?
281(1)
207 How does static electricity make items cling together?
282(3)
Chapter 8 Science Through the Ages
285(12)
208 Why was 1905 called Einstein's extraordinary year?
286(1)
209 Did Isaac Newton develop calculus?
287(1)
210 When and how did E. coli develop?
288(2)
211 When did we first discover the existence of another planet by telescope?
290(1)
212 Who or what built Stonehenge?
291(1)
213 How did they figure out the speed of light?
292(1)
214 How did dinosaurs become extinct?
293(2)
215 How did the Ice Age happen, and when will be the next one?
295(2)
Chapter 9 Plants, Animals, and Other Living Things
297(26)
216 How does wood come from a seed?
298(1)
217 Do fish sleep?
299(1)
218 Why do plants have roots?
300(1)
219 Why do skunks smell so bad?
301(1)
220 Why do snakes bite?
302(2)
221 How do flowers get their colors?
304(1)
222 Do cats see in black and white?
305(2)
223 Humans can't grow back arms or legs, so why can some animals, like starfish, regenerate their limbs?
307(1)
224 How are bumblebees able to fly with such small wings and a big body?
308(1)
225 Why do birds chirp or sing?
309(1)
226 Why do sunflowers always face the Sun?
310(2)
227 What were the first dogs on Earth?
312(1)
228 Where can you find bacteria?
313(1)
229 Which animals are the most intelligent?
314(2)
230 Do pet owners and their pets understand each other?
316(1)
231 Why does a dog wag its tail when it is happy?
317(1)
232 How do scientists know how old dinosaurs are?
318(1)
233 How come parrots can talk, but other animals can't?
319(1)
234 Why do cows rechew their food?
320(1)
235 Why do dogs drool?
321(2)
Chapter 10 Sound and Music
323(10)
236 What is a sonic boom?
324(1)
237 Is music mathematically based?
325(2)
238 Why does sound travel faster underwater?
327(1)
239 Why is it so quiet after a snowfall?
328(1)
240 How do compact discs work?
329(2)
241 What makes sound when two things collide?
331(2)
Chapter 11 At the Fringes of Science
333(14)
242 Are we alone in the universe?
334(1)
243 How does brainwashing work?
335(1)
244 How does a magician saw a lady in half?
336(2)
245 If humans could fly, how big would their wings have to be?
338(1)
246 Why can't we invent a time machine, and what is a time warp?
339(2)
247 Is telepathy real?
341(1)
248 How many joules of energy would be fatal to a human?
342(1)
249 Is spontaneous combustion possible?
343(1)
250 Why do people say our "fate is in the stars"?
344(3)
Acknowledgments 347(1)
About the Author 348