Can Reindeer Fly? : The Science of Christmas Paperback
An irresistible stocking-filler: a hilarious romp through the science of Christmas. How does snow form? Why are we always depressed after Christmas? How does Santa manage to deliver all those presents in one night? (He has, in fact, little over two ten-thousandths of a second to get between each of the 842 million households he must visit.) This book contains information on how drugs might make us see flying reindeer, how pollution is affecting the shape of Christmas trees and the intriguing correlation between the length of our Christmas card list and brain size.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 352 pages
- Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
- Publication Date: 07/11/2002
- Category: Popular science
- ISBN: 9780753813669
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by DSD
Imagine a collection of journal abstracts collected along loosely associated theme lines and you have the making of this book. In other words - a great collection of factoids but not much of a story. This book is broken up into 12 chapters and two appendices (which seem to have been tacked on arbitrarily). Each chapter supposedly focuses on a Christmas related element e.g. The Bethlehem Star, Miracle, Snow (which touched on a pet peeve of mine i.e. while USA, Europe, China and Russia are freezing their butts off in December us folks down South are in the midst of Summer - but this distinction never seems to cross this and many other author's minds). In any event while each chapter does cover material related to it's title, the author also takes extreme poetic licence to cover just about anything else there after (which isn’t covered in any of the other chapters) e.g. in the Giving and Shopping chapter he goes on a self confessed diversion about the theory of lost socks! Towards the end of the book you can hardly turn a page without seeing a reference to at least one academic institute, two papers and three researchers (and perhaps the odd lab mouse/rat/worm) which leads to very tedious reading. That said however, I did learn some interesting things but wouldn't recommend this book for your casual reading list.
Review by isabelx
Everything you could ever want to know (and more) about possible identities for the Star of Bethlehem, mechanisms for virgin birth, the psychology of giving, the properties of snow and many other Christmas related subjects.