Why Things are & why Things Aren't

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Ballentine Books, 1996 - Humor - 284 pages
Washington Post columnist Joel Achenbach refuses to take "I don't know" for an answer. In Why Things Are, he gave you a world of answers in a nutshell. Well, once again it's time to get cracking. Just ask Achenbach, who's out to crack every mystery in the book. After all, why stop asking why when there's no end of questions left to be asked?
* Why is the Oval Office oval?
* Why is it so darn hard to lose weight?
* Why did Napoleon keep his hand tucked in his vest?
* Why is Muzak everywhere even though people claim they dislike "elevator music"?
* Since we're mostly made of water, why don't we slosh around more?
* Why are people so obsessed with talking, thinking, and hearing about sex?
* Why is the interior of the Earth still hot after 4.6 billion years of letting off steam (and lava)? Why doesn't this thing ever cool off?
Truly outrageous and outrageously true. That's the name of Joel Achenbach's game in this wildly original collection of questions and answers. If you have a taste for the unusual, here's a book that's just as fun as a box of assorted chocolates--but far less fattening.

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Habitually Bad Habits
The Outer Limits
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About the author (1996)

Joel Achenbach is a reporter for "The Washington Post", and the author of six previous books, including "The Grand Idea", "Captured by Aliens" and "Why Things Are". He started the "Washington "Post's"" first blog, Achenblog, and has worked on the newspaper's national Style magazine and Outlook staffs. He regularly contributes science articles to "National Geographic". A native of Gainesville, Florida and a 1982 graduate of Princeton University, he lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and three children.

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