The Science Magpie

All posts tagged The Science Magpie

The Science Magpie – Simon Flynn

Published May 26, 2014 by bibliobeth


What’s it all about?:

From the Large Hadron Collider rap to the sins of Isaac Newton, The Science Magpie is a compelling collection of scientific curiosities. Expand your knowledge as you view the history of the Earth on the face of a clock, tremble at the power of the Richter scale, and learn how to measure the speed of light.

Simon Flynn was the publisher at icon Books for many years and is now a qualified science teacher. He has degrees in chemistry and philosophy.

What did I think?:

This book caught my attention when I was at my local library and I couldn’t resist checking it out as in my other life away from blogging, I am actually a (geeky) scientist. On the whole, it was filled with some interesting facts and trivia and I did manage to find out things that I didn’t previously know, which was my aim of reading it, as my speciality is usually biochemistry. Some parts however, I did find a bit hard to get through, and anything involving physics went right over my head I’m afraid! So, just an idea what scientific treats are in this book – we have the Periodic Table, binary, the Richter scale, biological classification, genetics, evolution, threatened and endangered species and a short history of the atom to name a few. But don’t worry, if this all sounds a bit scary, the author makes things a bit lighter with poems and diagrams and even several scientific jokes:

“The moment a bar of gold walked into a pub, the landlord shouted A U, get out!”

Or how about some real molecules with some very funny names? Like ARSOLE – a ring molecule containing arsenic and DIUREA which it should be no surprise to learn that it is used in the fertiliser industry.  If that didn’t really float your boat how about an experiment or two that you can do at home? For example, making your own pH indicator scale that tells you how acid or alkaline a solution is simply by using some red cabbage, a kettle, a pan and some glass jars or bottles. There is also a second experiment that allows you to measure the speed of light using just chocolate, a microwave and a ruler. Sounds fun, right? Or how would you like to compare your intelligence to a fifteen year old taking exams in 1858 with a few example questions. On second thoughts, maybe you don’t want to do this, I was hideously embarrassed.

Lastly, there is a great little Appendix in the back of this book (although I wish it had been larger and included reminders of the physics education I am sorely lacking) and it gives a great little summary on the structure of atoms, the biology of the cell, some basic genetics and explanations of Newton’s laws. In general, I did enjoy this book and am glad I read it and definitely appreciated the lighter side that the author brought to the text, proving that yes, science can be interesting and fun!

Would I recommend it?:


Star rating (out of 5):

3 Star Rating Clip Art

WWW Wednesday #41

Published May 14, 2014 by bibliobeth

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday, and thanks as ever to MizB for hosting.

To join in you need to answer 3 questions..

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book covers to take you to a link to find out more!

What are you currently reading?:


So, I’m actually a scientist in my non-blogging life and I couldn’t resist this quirky little book which I picked up at the library. I’m not that far into it yet but it’s really interesting so far!

What did you recently finish reading?:


I’ve actually had a really good reading week and managed to churn through a couple of books. I’ve just finished this fantastic debut read which I am going to be reviewing with Luna’s Little Library so be sure to come back on Thursday to see what we thought! (although I think I’ve just made my thoughts quite clear…)

What do you think you’ll read next?


I can’t wait for this one! I’m a big fan of Jane Austen and Pride & Prejudice and this story tells it from the servants perspective. I’ll be reviewing it with my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads as we try to catch up with our Richard and Judy Book Club books. This is from the Spring Book Club selection this year.

What are you reading this week? Please leave your link and I’ll come pay you a visit! Happy Reading Everyone.