Review: Why Pi? and Go Figure! by Johnny Ball

Why Pi? by Johnny Ball

We have had a book by Johnny Ball called Think of a Number for a while, which is
a great book. I just recently ran across another Johnny Ball book called "Why Pi?" which is even more fun than the last one. 

My daughter has been reading the book to me aloud tonight, she has been so intrigued by it. On one page there is a graph of things that make sounds, with the decibals in progressing order. Then we got to this:

"218 db - a pistol shrimp snapping its claw under water."

This is the sound level AFTER the entry, "210 db - one ton of TNT bomb.

Okay, the shrimp is louder than a ton of TNT, and 2/3 as loud as a meteor hitting Russia? (the next entry was a 1908 meteor recorded).

We had to check this shrimp out! We looked up this website, These shrimp are so loud that a submarine can hide near them and avoid sonar detection, not to mention the fact that the explosion of the snap is as hot as the surface of the sun.

There are all kinds of scales like this, disasters, wattage of lights, energy consumption, weird and wonderful measurements, and a lot more, all presented in a very easy to understand format. Lots of science and math blended together, with some math history as well. Fun, well, as my daughter calls it, amazing, book.

Julie Brennan


Go Figure! A Totally Cool Book About Numbers by Johnny Ball