Can You Drill A Hole Through Your Head And Survive? That is a question I have often asked myself while at various department meetings, ped days, and other such situations my employer forces on me. Now, thanks to the very informative and fun to read science based factoid book edited by Simon Rogers, I know the answer is yes. Page 22 says you can drill a hole through your head and survive, you just have to be careful where and how deep you drill it. Unfortunately, Rogers does not provide the requisition form I will need for the electricity and the permission form, 4 copies, I will be asked for to bring said drill --paid out of my own pocket I might add-- to the meeting.
I am a sucker for factoid books. I am a big fan of the Uncle John's Bathroom Reader series and very much enjoy the Imponderable Books series. Can You Drill a Hole Through Your Head is a little less tongue and cheek than the Imponderables and a little more scientific that the Uncle Johns. Editor Simon Rogers has taken the best columns from the Guardian's Life supplement. Each of the "180 fascinating questions and amazing answers about science, health, and nature" is answered by a scientist. The answers are informative and easy to understand if lacking a bit in humor (see the answered by a scientist part). Fortunately, the questions themselves are interesting and sometimes just wacky:
Can you die from heartbreak? Well, yes and no. Heartbreak no, an ensuing heart attack after losing a loved one, yes. Other fun questions include Does having different sized elbows matter -there's something I have never wondered about--, Do pregnant women make the best wine tasters, Is it safe to eat mud, How dangerous is the backstroke, and Are Chow chows the most stupid animals in the world -if you take administrators out of the equation, it would seem they are down there on the evolutionary scale.
Other questions are a lot more serious such as Is there a link between underarm deodorant and breast cancer, What is biodynamic farming, and Could nanotechnology turn the world into gray goo?
My favorites questions in Can You Drill A Hole Through Your Head And Survive are those I am sure few, if any, have wondered about such as Are pizza ovens a major source of pollution (Please do not let an ecologist read that one) and Is it time to start culling seagulls -I would have though pigeons would be first up.
I wish a better and more precise table of contents had been devised for this science based factoid book. As is, the chapter sections are a little too general to help you find that article you want to share with someone.
Can You Drill A Hole Through Your Head is a great bathroom book, a perfect gift for the nerd scientist in your family, and something Cliff Claven probably learned by heart. It is one of those books you keep close at hand just because it is so cool.