It's all here in Naked Science, my first book, which promises serious science, but with a sense of humour.
There are over 250 true science stories, all written in a straightforward and amusing style. You can start and stop wherever you want and it will definitely provide you with the perfect "impress your mates" ammunition guaranteed to brighten up any dreary conversation.
If you like the Naked Scientists website, radio show and podcast, then you'll love Naked Science.
A brain centre for sarcasm? Oh sure - I'm really going to believe that, aren't I?
Researchers from Israel's University of Haifa have described how they homed in on the part of the brain responsible for comprehending sarcasm. The team compared the ability of two groups of patients with brain injuries to understand sarcastic comments. One group had damage to the front-most part of the brain, known as the prefrontal cortex, whereas the second group had damage to structures further back in the brain. The patients with damage to the prefrontal cortex, and particularly the region known as the right ventromedial prefrontal cortex (just above the right eye), had the most difficulty understanding sarcastic remarks. It is a finding that fits with what we already know about this part of the brain which seems to be heavily involved in complex social interactions, personality and pragmatic language processing.
What could be more attractive than magnets . . . and swallowing them?
American radiologists in late 2004 warned parents of the dangers of swallowing more than one magnet at a time. Swallowing foreign objects is common among all children, but luckily, 80% of the swallowed objects pass harmlessly through the gastrointestinal system on their own, single magnets included. Consuming more than one magnet can spell disaster, however - because the magnets are attracted to each other across the walls of the intestines, with the result that loops of bowel become locked together. The ensuing life-threatening tangle can lead to tissue death and/or perforation of the intestinal wall.
But who wants a bird's-eye-view of