Mad science gone wrong
How To Make A Tornado was a Christmas present, so it was always going to be difficult to write a bad review about it, but luckily it turned out to be filled with genius, so it has taken away the need to write a cryptically faulting review that sounds OK in the surface, but cuts like a scalpel beneath the surface. The only criticism really is that it’s easily forgettable, which could have been solved with a few well placed graphics to elaborate on the bizarre science contained in the book.
The New Scientist don’t really do a very good job of selling the book in the introduction, but if you ignore that and read through the first couple of chapters you’ll find a collection of some of the craziest scientific experiments, breakthroughs and failures in history. The extended title, The Strange And Wonderful Things That Happen When Scientists Break Free is a good indicator of what to expect and while it isn’t entirely promoting an unfettered scientific Renaissance, it seems to imply that scientists do some amazing things when the shackles come off.
Taken from back issues of New Scientist, How To Make A Tornado hones in on the madder world of science to pull together a who’s who of nutty, wild and insanely unfeasible science. This is the most recent book in the series, so a lot of the most amazing madness is covered in earlier books, but there is still more than enough wild scientifica to make this a good read.
It’s broken up into sections like mad research, the yuck factor (mainly faeces based stories, although whale snot does put in a good cameo) and lovie sexington and all that stuff (essentially rude science, so sperm, average willy length and orgasmatrons a go go!)
You’ll find out how to make a tornado (obviously), but you’ll also discover the temperature of heaven & hell, how it feels to die by a number of different death methods, the weight of a soul (although the conditions involved meant that the findings might not necessarily be accurate) and the general extremes that scientists will go to to test their theories.
How To Make A Tornado is funny, interesting and not completely pointless, despite telling you that it is at the very beginning. Even if you’re not a boffin, you should still enjoy the madness of scientists. If there’s one thing that we’re sure of, it’s that they’re not to be entirely trusted with science.
How To Make A Tornado by the New Scientist review: 4.2/5