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Posted By Peter Bentley
Last week Alex Dickson began his "Smooth Bookcase" radio show on Glasgow's Smooth Radio with a summary of my most recent book. This is what he said in his friendly Scottish accent:

...A quick look at a great fun paperback for anyone who has ever split a drink, burned the toast, had a computer crash, slept through the alarm, or made the bath overflow. In other words, all of us.

Peter J Bentley, writing as the undercover scientist, explains why these things happen, medically or technically for instance, in a way that a schoolboy could understand. I mean, there's a lot of talk about running cars or lorries on chipfat, but could you explain in one syllable words how, exactly? Well, he does. And did you know that lightning can and does strike the same place, twice?

I promise you, this is a fun one that is fascinating. Ever got the juice from chilli peppers in your eye? Not pleasant, because the chilli peppers contain a chemical which fools your nerve ends into believing they've been burned. Well he sets out his book in the form of a day when everything goes wrong for you, and he explains all of those everyday accidents and how they happen.

Science, he tells us, governs everything - or to be more specific, there's a set of scientific principles that rules everything around us. He makes it so understandable, and as I said, fun. He points out, as a kind of warning, that if we'd not invented superglue we'd never have been able to stick our fingers together. And if the mp3 playes hadn't come along, we wouldn't be able to drop the entire lifetime music collection down the toilet by accident.

The benefits and the perils of science by Peter Bentley, and his Undercover Scientist, from Random House.

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