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Archive for November, 2010

Just Say “No” to The Handy Physics Answer Book.

Posted by Mr. Oettinger on 11th November 2010

The Handy Physics Answer Book.
by P. Erik Gundersen

P.Erik Gundersen's THE HANDY PHYSICS ANSWER BOOK.In any economy, but especially in our nation’s current state of economic despair, prudent financial decisions are on most people’s minds.  Therefore, I feel compelled to tell my readers not to waste any money on this horrible publication.

I paid only one penny for The Handy Physics Answer Book at a second-hand shop, and boy do I wish I had that penny back!

The author of this book demonstrates a complete absence of knowledge about how to interest anybody in science (especially physics).  Just a look at the cover reveals the most trite and overused images of a prism, Einstein’s tongue photo, and a mushroom cloud.  Clearly, low-budget clip art and an unimaginative cover are no ways to gather any interest in science (or anything at all!).

Inside the book, one finds that it is filled with physics questions presented completely out of context.  The only organization is by physics topic (sound, light, electricity, etc.).

Some typical questions are:

  • “What is drag?”  The answer should simply read: “This Book.”
  • “What is a decibel?”  The answer should read: “The intensity of a scream from boredom caused by this book.”
  • “What is the voltaic pile?”  The answer should read: “The brown mess left atop The Handy Physics Answer Book by an animal who found a perfect place to poo.”

Believe me that the suggested answers are much more interesting and entertaining than the book’s answers.

In short, don’t bother with this book, it is a worthless piece of drivel, and you will be infinitely more wealthy, both economically and cognitively, without ever knowing about this horrible science book.

I investigated the claim by the author on the back cover of the book that he developed the curriculum for “Physics and Technology” in New Jersey.  An internet search turns up no information about this curriculum.  Clearly, his curriculum made no splash in the world of science education.  Not a surprise considering the awful state of his book.

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