Fun, quirky popular science explaining the real reasons why everything always goes wrong - the various truths behind Murphy's Law. The law of laws, Murphy's Law, sits above all others like an uninvited guest at the feast. Whatever your field of endeavour Murphy is there to trip you up, delay and frustrate you. The more your endeavour, the greater the uptrip. Is there a rational explanation? That's what this book is here to provide. In fact, a closer look at Murphy's Law can give us some insights into us and the increasingly tangled lives we lead. Intended as light reading for the popular science market, this book presents the fullest ever analysis of Murphy's Law, peppered with examples such as why does your toast always lands butter-side down? (it has nothing to do with the butter) Why does your queue always go slowest? Why, when you lose something, do you keep looking in the same place over and over?...And why is it suddenly there the 20th time you look? Why do you think of the right thing to say just after you've put the phone down? Why is the tune you hate most the one you can't get out of your head?
Why do you think of five important things to remember for tomorrow just as you're about to fall asleep? Why do you take the same wrong turning every single time? The first part of the book shows that, however odd the external phenomena at work, there is generally a scientific explanation. But why then do we continually fail to recognize or remember the explanation? The second part of the book goes on to show how much of Murphy's Law stems from the way our own mind works - its physical limitations, evolutionary biases, and social impressionability.
Richard Robinson is the author of 10 books of popular science including the Science Magic series (Oxford University Press) which was shortlisted for the Aventis Science Prize. He works full-time as a science presenter, and is regularly invited to perform demonstrations around the world at science festivals, universities and schools. He has performed at festivals ranging from the Edinburgh Science Festival to the Korean Science Festival, and lectured at universities ranging from the UK to the Ukraine. He holds a BSc in psychology. Illustrator Kate Charlesworth has drawn regularly for New Scientist and has illustrated a wide variety of publications including The Cartoon History of Time.