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Why are Orangutans Orange? by New Scientist
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A standard offering from New Scientist, but this time, with full colour photographs. Some of them are very startling and lovely. Some of them are very startling and gross -- there is a completely horrible fungus, for example, Arsoe rubra. Gaaah.

Also, if insects make you feel anxious, as they do me, then avoid. I also didn't need to know that populations of bedbugs are up in the UK. I have been paranoid about them ever since my week of work experience with a pest control company. (I made their database, back in 2006 or so. Now I know entirely too much about insects.) ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
Why are Orangutans Orange? is yet another instalment in the popular Last Word series from the New Scientist. I say yet another as this is a series that could go on endlessly, given science never runs out of questions. Thankfully these questions and answers are entertaining and therefore that is no bad thing.

This follows the previous format where a question is provided by a reader and answered by readers, some of whom are experts, some of whom have a layman’s knowledge but some personal experience. A slight difference in the format is this title in the series includes photographs – a nice addition to the book.

They do say if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and this applies here. They have the winning format, with a variety of questions on various topics and a good array of answers.

Indeed about the only issue I have with the book is that sometimes the array of answers can create confusion about what the correct answer is, therefore don’t read this book expecting to come away with definitive knowledge. You may be left wondering about the exact answer, given that some of the reader responses go in very different directions. However, that in itself is something that has always been a bonus in the Last Word column.

Science is all about questions and all about questioning answers and nowhere more aptly demonstrates this than in the Last Word. Embracing the culture of constantly seeking to challenge, constantly looking to know more, constantly questioning and welcoming participation, this is a great example of science at its best. Interesting, fun, collaborative and entertaining – another excellent instalment.

Originally published on Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dave. I received a copy of the book from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. ( )
  donnambr | Jan 12, 2013 |
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New Scientistprimary authorall editionscalculated
O'Hare, Mickmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Illustrated for the first time, with eighty full-colour photographs showing the beauty, complexity and mystery of the world around us, here is the next eagerly awaited volume of science questions and answers from New Scientist magazine.

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