Friday 15 December 2023

Book ~ "And Then You're Dead: What Really Happens If You Get Swallowed by a Whale, Are Shot from a Cannon, or Go Barreling Over Niagara" (2017) Cody Cassidy and Paul Doherty

From Goodreads ~ A gleefully gruesome look at the actual science behind the most outlandish, cartoonish and impossible deaths you can imagine. 

What would happen if you took a swim outside a deep-sea submarine wearing only a swimsuit? How long could you last if you stood on the surface of the sun? How far could you actually get in digging a hole to China? Paul Doherty, senior staff scientist at San Francisco's famed Exploratorium Museum, and writer Cody Cassidy explore the real science behind these and other fantastical scenarios, offering insights into physics, astronomy, anatomy, and more along the way.

Is slipping on a banana peel really as hazardous to your health as the cartoons imply? Answer: Yes. Banana peels ooze a gel that turns out to be extremely slippery. Your foot and body weight provide the pressure. The gel provides the humor (and resulting head trauma). 

Can you die by shaking someone s hand? Answer: Yes. That's because, due to atomic repulsion, you've never actually touched another person s hand. If you could, the results would be as disastrous as a medium-sized hydrogen bomb. 

If you were Cookie Monster, just how many cookies could you actually eat in one sitting? Answer: Most stomachs can hold up to sixty cookies or around four liters. If you eat or drink more than that, you re approaching the point at which the cookies would break through the lesser curvature of your stomach, and then you d better call an ambulance to Sesame Street." 

I came across this book and it sounded interesting and wacky ... and it was.  The range of subjects was all over the place.

I liked the writing style.  It was technical yet amusing.  The chapters are short and chunky.

What would happen if you were in a plane and the window popped out?  First of all, you don't want to be in the window seat because you are going to get sucked out (thus benefiting the others sitting next to you because you are going to plug up the hole because the window isn't big enough for your whole body to get out).  You're going to notice that it's very windy and cold out (your nose will become frostbitten in seconds).  Because of the change in the air pressure, you would keep breathing like everything was fine but you'd pass out after 15 seconds ... then be brain dead in four minutes.  I usually request a window seat when I fly ... hmmmm, maybe not anymore.

What would happen if you are about being attacked by a swarm of bees?  A fella named Michael Smith tested on himself to see what were the least painful spots to get stung (he discovered it's your skull, your middle toe and your upper arm) and the most painful spots to get stung (he discovered it's your face, penis and inside of your nose).  Ouch!

What if your elevator cable broke?  Contrary to popular belief, jumping up isn't going to save you (you'll still land and cause an organ pile-up).  You have a better chance of surviving if you lay flat out on your back.  Good to know!

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