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Science of the Magical
Science of the Magical: From the Holy Grail to Love Potions to Superpowers | Matt Kaplan
21 posts | 6 read | 1 reading | 26 to read
From the author of The Science of Monsters, this engaging scientific inquiry provides a definitive look into the elements of mystical places and magical objectsfrom the philosophers stone, to love potions to the oraclesfrom ancient history, mythology, and contemporary culture. Can migrations of birds foretell our future? Do phases of the moon hold sway over our lives? Are there sacred springs that cure the ill? What is the best way to brew a love potion? How do we create mutant humans who regenerate like Wolverine? In Science of the Magical, noted science journalist Matt Kaplan plumbs the rich, lively, and surprising history of the magical objects, places, and rituals that infuse ancient and contemporary myth. Like Ken Jennings and Mary Roach, Kaplan serves as a friendly armchair guide to the world of the supernatural. From the strengthening powers of Viking mead, to the super soldiers in movies like Captain America, Kaplan ranges across cultures and time periods to point out that there is often much more to these enduring magical narratives than mere fantasy. Informative and entertaining, Science of the Magical explores our world through the compelling scope of natural and human history and cutting-edge science.
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MrBook
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These are the books that were up before my #Finance display, it was #Language & Lit Display. 😁

Have you read any of these?

#LitsyLovesLibraries #MrBooksDisplays

Beccas Made in America by Bill Bryson. As an Australian your version of English baffles me. This book clarified a few things 👍🏻 10mo
Aloisi_tribe No but now I have a bunch more books to add to my TBR. 😁 10mo
85 likes2 comments
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keithmalek
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Mehso-so

Quite entertaining, but often absurd. This book has lots of interesting facts, but Kaplan wastes his (and our) time offering up theories about ridiculous fairy tales like the story of Adam and Eve, writing that if Adam and Eve had eaten a fungus equivalent to magic mushrooms, then this nonsense might have actually been real. Kaplan knows better than this, but he pretends not to.

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keithmalek
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keithmalek
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Fascinating!

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keithmalek
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Sword swallowing Part 2 of 2

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keithmalek
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Sword swallowing, Part 1 of 2 #StopThinkingAboutFellatio

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keithmalek
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Regarding the film Rain Man.

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keithmalek

Nicotine replacement therapy, the current strategy for helping folks stop smoking, is only effective 7 percent of the time.

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keithmalek
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keithmalek
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keithmalek
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keithmalek
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keithmalek

Nevertheless, by the fifteenth century, arsenic trioxide was so widely used to kill royalty that it came to be known as the powder of succession.

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keithmalek
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keithmalek
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Gina So that is fascinating 2y
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keithmalek

A foaming mouth or frantic kicking of the feet indicated that Ares, the God of war, was behind the seizure. Delirium was a spell cast by Hectate, the goddess of sorcery. It's easy to be amused at the behaviors of our ancestors, but were the Greeks really behaving all that differently from many people today? When I did rounds in the ER as an emergency medic in 1998, I heard many people say, "I'll pray for you," as their loved ones were wheeled off.

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keithmalek
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Teller of Penn & Teller

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LectricSheep
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#dressesoncovers I think I want this woman's outfit. Also her magical powers. Each of this book's chapters covers a different kind of magic in myth and folklore, from enchantment to transformation to prophecy. Kaplan adds a new scientific lens to fields that we usually dismiss out of hand as hopelessly chimerical. #readjanuary

JenP Sounds interesting! 3y
saresmoore Ooh, intriguing! 3y
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bblake24
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Pickpick

This book is smart and sassy and full of conversation starters. Also filled with reminders of why we tend to move away from ancient rituals. Like sticking fish in us to make a man fall in love... #LesPoissons #LovePotionNumberNeverMind

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JSW
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Pickpick

Highly enjoyable and accessible read. Kaplan writes respectfully and with humor; the goal is always to understand and appreciate, not to disdain or judge, beliefs and lore. Nice blend of science, myth, anthropology, etc.

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JSW
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