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Imponderables (1986)

af David Feldman

Andre forfattere: Kas Schwan (Illustrator)

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Serier: Imponderables (1)

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675734,381 (3.62)2
Why does an "X" stand for a kiss? Which fruits are in Juicy Fruit® gum? Why do people cry at happy endings? Why do you never see baby pigeons? Pop-culture guru David Feldman demystifies these topics and so much more in Why Don't Cats Like to Swim? -- the unchallenged source of answers to civilization's most perplexing questions. Part of the Imponderables® series, Feldman's book arms readers with information about everyday life -- from science, history, and politics to sports, television, and radio -- that encyclopedias, dictionaries, and almanacs just don't have. Where else will you learn what makes women open their mouths when applying mascara?… (mere)
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Viser 1-5 af 7 (næste | vis alle)
Firstly, this book is 30 years old now so many of its facts are a bit dated and some while difficult to discover back then are easily googled today. Information about payphones, 1980's credit cards, and old business practices is occasionally interesting but no longer useful. While I enjoyed reading it, I think I'd recommend something more contemporary for any reader who isn't interested in outdated trivia.

I didn't doubt the truthfulness of the author or his thoroughness, but I was often frustrated that he didn't consistently cite his sources. There were plenty of tidbits that I wanted more information about and having the name of the author's source would've been helpful. For instance, he explains that the color blue was thought to have protective properties and was used to ward boy children. However, he doesn't say when, where, or on what authority he knows this. He also claims without context that in a wedding ceremony the father-of-the-bride would remove a shoe and hand it to the groom, who would tap the bride on the head with it to signify the transference of ownership of the woman from father to husband. As amusing as that is, I wish I knew where and when it was a custom.

I attempted to research association between the color blue and boy children. I discovered that as recently as the 1920's there were as many groups in the USA that associated pink with baby boys as blue, and the eventual scheme our culture settled on had more to do with fashion than superstition. However, in looking for a magical association with the color I as it relates to boy children, and found that there are claims that ancient Greek, Semitic, and Chinese people had this superstition, which resulted in it being spread to other countries which were influenced by those cultural megaliths. Unfortunately these claims were largely unsourced. I found plenty of references claiming that the modern superstition being derived from African slaves in the US believing that spirits could not cross water, but this was also attributed as a superstition of European origin in other places. Either this belief was common across multiple cultures in many historical eras, or its origin is thoroughly muddled.

There was plentiful documentation on the color being used to ward evil spirits away from buildings and even the clothing of adults in recent history. In the American South a tint called "Haint Blue" (haint meaning ghost, and related to "haunt") is still a popular choice in exterior home painting at least partly as a result of this traditional belief. However, I couldn't find anything about it being used to protect boy children specifically. There was a single passage in a biography of Saint Paul that in his time a Jewish boy child's foreskin would be sewed inside a blue cloth bag and that would be used to ward off evil, but that wasn't solidly attributed to any historical source. While this book's claim remains plausible, I couldn't really confirm it even with modern resources at my disposal. ( )
  wishanem | May 27, 2021 |
This series has answered many questions for me and prompted many more. It's truly fascinating and well written. ( )
  benuathanasia | Sep 5, 2012 |
This was a fun read to pick up and go through in segments. It's basically one of those 'random question and answer' books, and I have to admit, I learned a few new facts that I don't think I'll ever forget: for example, ever wonder why you can't buy shelled 'cashew nuts', though you can buy all other nuts still in their shell? It's because... *drum roll please*... cashews aren't nuts, they're seeds! Mmm-hmm, it's true! And if you want to know more, read this book (or you could Google it, but which one is more fun?).

I'll be the first one to say, it makes great bathroom reading. *heehee* ( )
  dk_phoenix | Jun 16, 2009 |
Look around -- the world is full of perplexities, puzzlements and peculiarities, all just begging to be explained. Imponderables provides the answers. Inside these pages are innumerable insights into science, nature, history and daily living, written both to entertain and enlighten.
  rajendran | Feb 23, 2009 |
This collection of answers to commonly contemplated conundrums elicits amusement at almost every page turn. Check it out! ( )
  derebrary | Nov 26, 2008 |
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» Tilføj andre forfattere (1 mulig)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
David Feldmanprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Schwan, KasIllustratormedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Bernstein, TedOmslagsdesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Fodero, PatriceDesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet

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For my parents, Ray and Fred Feldman—the best.
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What is the difference between "partly cloudy" and "partly sunny" in a weather report?
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Originally published in 1986.
Later reprinted in 2004 as: Why don’t cats like to swim?
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Why does an "X" stand for a kiss? Which fruits are in Juicy Fruit® gum? Why do people cry at happy endings? Why do you never see baby pigeons? Pop-culture guru David Feldman demystifies these topics and so much more in Why Don't Cats Like to Swim? -- the unchallenged source of answers to civilization's most perplexing questions. Part of the Imponderables® series, Feldman's book arms readers with information about everyday life -- from science, history, and politics to sports, television, and radio -- that encyclopedias, dictionaries, and almanacs just don't have. Where else will you learn what makes women open their mouths when applying mascara?

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