How to Fossilize Your Hamster

Next reading selection: How to Fossilize Your Hamster: And Other Amazing Experiments for the Armchair Scientistbook cover

OK, let’s lighten things up for a while, shall we? Enough heavy reading and downer religion for a bit. I want to experiment with booze and chocolate, and let my inner science geek come out to play.

From Amazon:

How can you measure the speed of light with a bar of chocolate and a microwave oven? To keep a banana from decaying, are you better off rubbing it with lemon juice or refrigerating it? How can you figure out how much your head weighs? Mick O’Hare…has the answers.

In this fascinating and irresistible new book, O’Hare and the New Scientist team guide you through one hundred intriguing experiments that show essential scientific principles (and human curiosity) in action. Explaining everything from the unusual chemical reaction between Mentos and cola that provokes a geyser to the geological conditions necessary to preserve a family pet for eternity, How to Fossilize Your Hamster is fun, hands-on science that everyone will want to try at home.

I got a 30% off coupon from Borders in my email this morning, so I’ll be picking up a copy and getting into it over the weekend. During the month, we’ll also talk about how to make science fun and how to communicate skepticism to the general public.

Instead of In addition to interviewing the author for this one, I’d like to interview some Skepchick readers. So if you get the book and try any of the experiments or just want to chat about it, drop me a note!


Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

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  1. OK, I particularly enjoyed “how many condoms can you wear at once.” Although that ostensibly had nothing to do with booze, I suspect one must be pretty drunk to even begin to wonder about that.

  2. I took a squiz at this book but I thought the measuring of the speed of light with a chocolate bar was a bit of a cheat. You have to read the frequency of the microwaves off the back of the oven, which is the trick that gets you over the difficult bit.

    Figure out how to measure the frequency as well and I’ll be impressed.

  3. OK, I’ll try it over the weekend. I am pretty sure I do not have any kind of tool that can read the frequency of microwaves, though. :-)

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