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Why Don't Spiders Stick to Their Webs?

And 317 Other Everyday Mysteries of Science

What happens if you fall into a black hole? Which properties give you the best chance of winning Monopoly? And why is it always so difficult to get ketchup to come out of a full bottle? Award winning science writer Robert Matthews provides answers to the most baffling, intriguing, and occasionally downright trivial questions submitted by members of the general public. From the mysterious fate of odd socks to the farthest reaches of the universe, this collection unravels the science behind the world around us. Entertaining, enlightening, and often inspired, this book is a must-read for all inquisitive minds.

Robert Matthews is Visiting Research Fellow at Aston University and Science Correspondent for The Sunday Telegraph. He writes regular columns for, among others, The New Scientist and Focus magazine, and has published papers on a range of subjects from cryptography to cosmology. Most famously, his research on Murphy's Law (why toast always lands butter-side down) won him a discourse to the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

"A good mix of questions and answers, entertainment and education, it will make an excellent "thinkers" Christmas book."

– Publishing News

"This year, the scientifically curious reader can find answers to many hundreds of conundrums, such as: Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze (Mick O’Hare, Profile, £7.99); Why Don’t Spiders Stick to their Webs (Robert Matthews, Oneworld, £7.99): Why is Yawning Contagious? And Do Elephants Ever Forget? (Guy Campbell, Buster, £7.99).

– Financial Times

"Matthews has done a heroic job in revealing the science behind a broad and entertaining range of questions. Ideal fodder for the curious mind."

– Roger Highfield - author of Can Reindeer Fly? The Science of Christmas and The Science of Harry Pott