ABC TV's Surfing Scientist is back with 40 Super Human Body Tricks that will reveal your inner superhero.
We all know we can use our body to run, jump, throw, catch, dive, somersault, cartwheel, surf, read, talk, listen, think and laugh. But did you know we could detect electromagnetic radiation, sense the frequency of pressure waves in air and remotely identify thousands of volatile chemicals? This book shows you how, and all you need is your body, some household items and an appetite for fun science experiments, to:
See your pulse with a straw heart rate monitor
Learn how to become invisible
Make your skin crawl with a bizarre optical illusion
Use soundwaves to move a straw and discover how your amazing ears work
With step-by-step instructions and photos, amazing facts and bizarre scientific trivia (between the day you were born and your 70th birthday you will fart 410,625 times; grow about 1,365,000 km's of head hair; blink five hundred million times!), you'll discover just how super your body really is!
Ruben Meerman is a surfer with a physics degree and a graduate diploma in science communication. He appears on RollerCoaster and Catalyst (ABC TV), and performs hundreds of live science shows for thousands of kids in schools around Australia.
The Surfing Scientist: Super Human Body Tricks
Author: Ruben Meerman
Question: What's new in your third book?
Ruben Meerman: As usual, it's packed with forty simple, safe and yet amazing experiments and science activities for kids. This time, they're all about the human body and how it works.
Question: What do you mean by 'Super Human Body Tricks'?
Ruben Meerman: Most people take their ability to see, hear, feel, taste, smell, move, speak and think for granted but these are all absolutely extraordinary. No machine can do any of these things nearly half as well so I reckon they all deserve to be called 'super powers'.
Question: Every kid would like to have a super power that makes them special. Any advice on this topic?
Ruben Meerman: I love super heroes as much as kids do but I actually reckon it's a good thing we humans are so alike. It puts us all on a pretty level playing field.
Question: Did you discuss any super powers humans don't have in the book?
Ruben Meerman: Yep. Most kids would love to have the super power of invisibility so I tossed in a really cool experiment using vegetable oil and two glass bowls. It looks like magic and clearly demonstrates why human invisibility will, sadly, probably remain impossible forever.
Question: Did you discover anything that amazed you while preparing this book?
Ruben Meerman: Absolutely! My background is in physics and I had no idea, for instance, that we all have so many types of receptors in our skin. Some detect heat, others cold, another type detects slow vibrations while another senses fast ones. Amazing!
Question: What's your favourite trick in this new book?
Ruben Meerman: Um, that's like asking a parent to name their favourite child - I can't choose. They're all equally amazing in their own unique way.
Question: Speaking of parents, are there any surprises in this book for them?
Ruben Meerman: I reckon everyone will be fascinated by their own vestibulo-ocular reflex. You can use the video camera in any mobile phone to see it. It's a bit freaky but absolutely amazing to see how your own eyes react when your body rotates.
Question: Kids get nagged about eating healthy food and being active all the time. Is this book like that?
Ruben Meerman: No way sister! The activities will certainly make kids (and parents) realise just how extraordinary their bodies really are. If that raises their interest in health, then yaye! But it's not the focus.
Question: Have today's high-tech kids got the patience for the simple science activities in this book?
Ruben Meerman: Are you kidding? Kids are the best scientists in the world! All they need is a gentle nudge in the right direction and they'll focus with awe-inspiring drive and determination.
Question: So, did you cover any of the gross stuff like farts and snot, that most kids seem to love?
Ruben Meerman: Of course! There's an edible yet terrifyingly realistic fake blood recipe and a horrible fake snot recipe, plus a freaky 'broken nose' prank in the book. I reckon young grossology students will be more than satisfied.