A Self-Help Book of Science

From American Scientist:

Honey_1 The Velocity of Honey’s 24 chapters are short meditations on questions that are probably never going to make the cover of Science or Nature, such as why toast falls butter side down and why time seems to speed up as we grow older. You might call them crossword puzzles for the scientifically minded—they offer a mental workout for its own sake but also soothe and amuse. In fact, author Jay Ingram calls The Velocity of Honey “a self-help book.” Its essays “reduce stress,” he says, and offer “a brief interruption in the ridiculous rush of life.” Ingram, who hosts the Discovery Channel’s science program Daily Planet, says he picked the topics for their appeal—adding with characteristic self-irony that this means their appeal to him. Somehow, he says, that turned out to mean there is a lot of physics and psychology and not much in between. (Ingram himself has a master’s degree in microbiology from the University of Toronto.)

But the greatest attraction of The Velocity of Honey is Ingram’s intelligent but gentle, even self-deprecating, personality. Maybe I’m getting old, but I”m increasingly reluctant to buy a book by a brash young man who wants to buttonhole me and convince me that science is dead or everything bad is good for me. I’d rather spend the time with someone who asks me with a twinkle in his eye whether I’d venture to guess why toast always falls butter side down.

More here.