Brilliant Answers by AQA 63336
|Brilliant Answers by AQA 63336|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A selection of the best questions and answers from AQA in 2008. There's something for everyone and some light entertainment to boot.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 160||Date: October 2008|
|Publisher: Profile Books Ltd|
|External links: Author's website|
Do you need an answer to a question? Have you got your mobile handy? Right – text that question to 63336, the Home of Any Question Answered, and for £1 you'll have the answer within minutes. It might seem like magic but it's actually the result of a lot of people being on hand to research your problem and give you the solution. Over the years 1.7 million people have asked over fifteen million questions and as a special treat at the end of each year AQA lets us have a look at some of the most interesting questions and answers that they've seen in the course of the year.
Of course it would be fun to go through and growl at the ones they get wrong but what surprises me every year is just how remarkably accurate the answers are. They're clear and concise too with just about every answer giving the drift of the query as well as the information you wanted and all in a limited number of characters.
When I first heard about the service I imagined that most of the questions would involve the time of the last tube from Leicester Square or the phone number of a B&B near the station in Northampton and whilst I'm sure that they do get a lot of enquiries along those lines that's not the thrust of this book. For a while now I've argued about the merits of having the air conditioning on in the car or having the window open. I knew that both had an effect on fuel consumption but I had no idea which was better. Well, AQA have supplied the answer and it's all down to the speed of the car.
Talking of green matters, did you know that the first Saab cars were all green and that the colour was 'chosen' because they had a lot of this colour paint left over from wartime aircraft production? From expensive cars to the cheapest – AQA will tell you where you can buy a new car for about £1277. Just a hint – it's a long drive home.
I remember the advert about 'coughs and sneezes spread diseases'. Well AQA has some facts to back this up. Did you know that a sneeze has a spray radius of fifteen feet and can release up to forty thousand droplets. It makes you nervous about what you breathe in doesn't it? On that subject, did you know that your right lung is actually larger than your left lung (because of the position of the heart) and takes in more air? I wonder if the lovely people at AQA could tell me if I stand a smaller chance of catching a cold if I stand with my left side to someone who is sneezing.
The book is packed with gems like these and there's something for everyone because there are very few questions that AQA won't answer. Obviously they won't give medical advice but for the most part it is Any Question Answered.
So, do they ever get it wrong? Well, there's a delightful section in this year's book about the answers given by people who applied to join AQA but didn't make it and I'm going to quote one of them because I have a dreadful admission to make: have we asked the questioner had a non c of e prime minister? Back came the reply:
AQA believes Gordon Brown is not a nonce. He is the sixth post war PM to have not won an election, only has one eye and he will shortly lower interest rates.
I was offended. Did the researcher not know that the Prime Minister doesn't set interest rates? Had the devolvement of the function to the Monetary Policy Committee not filtered through?
I completely missed the really funny bit.
Talking of missing, there are occasions when AQA is stumped. They're few and far between but they do happen and some unanswered questions are given in the back of the book and if you can provide AQA with the correct answer there could be a special edition T-shirt in the post for you.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If questions and answers float your boat then we think that you might enjoy this year's collection of the best questions from New Scientist magazine – Do Polar Bears Get Lonely
You can read more book reviews or buy Brilliant Answers by AQA 63336 at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Brilliant Answers by AQA 63336 at Amazon.com.
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