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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Two New Nick Daws Books - Just in Time for Christmas!

Sixty Second Science books
Thought I'd let you know about two books I wrote a while ago, which have just been published by my regular clients The Lagoon Group.

The books - pictured above - are 100 Science Myths Explored and 100 Science Mysteries Explained. The brief was to write them in language that a 12-year-old could understand, but that an adult with an inquiring mind would still find enjoyable.

The books were actually very interesting to research, though challenging to write. One item I found particularly difficult was trying to explain what is at the heart of a black hole in 250 words or less, in terms a 12-year-old could understand!

To give you a flavour of the books, here's a sample article from 100 Science Myths...

A goldfish's memory only lasts three seconds


This commonly-held belief has been proven to be completely false.

Research at the University of Plymouth, England, in 2003 demonstrated that goldfish could learn to remember a daily routine.

The goldfish in the Plymouth study were trained to push a lever in their tank to earn a food reward. When the lever was set to work for only one hour every day, the fish soon learned to operate it at the correct time each day.

Other studies have shown that goldfish have a memory span of at least three months, and can distinguish between different shapes, colors and sounds.

ORIGIN: One (slightly tongue-in-cheek) theory is that this myth arose as a method of making goldfish-owners feel less guilty about keeping their pets in small bowls.

If the fish can't remember anything that happened more than a few seconds ago, so this theory goes, they will never get bored with their tiny homes!

In fact, goldfish are more intelligent than we give them credit for. They can even be taught tricks, such as swimming through a hoop, using the same reward-based training methods used with circus animals.

Goldfish really aren't as stupid as we've been led to believe!

As the above may indicate, the books are written in US English, as America is Lagoon's most important market.

The books aren't actually that easy to find online. They are sold as novelty items rather than through bookshops, so they aren't currently available on Amazon (as far as I know). You are most likely to see them in standalone displays at gift shops, tourist attractions, drugstores, and so on.

I did, however, find them on sale at this rather unlikely online venue, at the bargain price of 5 UK pounds each. The series (though mine are the only two books in it) is known as Sixty Second Science.

A perfect stocking-filler as Christmas approaches!

Update: The books are available in a few more online stores now, including the British Heart Foundation store in the UK and this store in New Zealand. Keep searching online for "Sixty Second Science" or the book titles to see if there is a distributor in your country yet.

Just heard that the US stockists are The books aren't on their website at the time of writing, but you can email them for ordering information.

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Blogger Chris Ciolli said...

They sound like really fun books. Where can they bought in America, any ideas?

9:31 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

Thanks for your interest, Chris. I don't know the answer to this, I'm afraid, but will ask my publishers if they can suggest anything.

Incidentally, the books are available in a few more online stores now, including one in the UK and one in New Zealand. Hopefully as word gets around they will become easier to find, so keep searching for "Sixty Second Science" or the titles of the books to see if there is a supplier in your country yet.

10:11 AM  
Blogger Twisties34 said...

Some fish seem to prefer certain types of music also. I had a goldfish for about 8 years who appeared to love heavy metal videos. Each time they would come on the TV he would swim as close to the TV as he could to watch, as soon as it finished or a quiet song came on, he would literally turn tail and swim down the other end of the tank with his tail towards the TV.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

LOL. A headbanging goldfish. Who'd have thought it?

11:17 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

Just heard that the US stockists for my Sixty Second Science books are The books aren't on their website yet, but you can email them for ordering information.

11:21 AM  

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