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Know It All Great Inventions: The 50 Greatest Inventions, Each Explained in Under a Minute

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Universal change is often the ultimate result of one individual’s lightbulb moment—an invention that triggers a ripple effect across countries, continents, or even out into space. Know-It-All Great Inventions looks at fifty of these great ideas that really did change the world. It covers a wide range, from early days (the wheel) through materials (the invention of steel an Universal change is often the ultimate result of one individual’s lightbulb moment—an invention that triggers a ripple effect across countries, continents, or even out into space. Know-It-All Great Inventions looks at fifty of these great ideas that really did change the world. It covers a wide range, from early days (the wheel) through materials (the invention of steel and plastic) to communications (the alphabet, printing press, and Worldwide Web) and the conveniences of—relatively—modern daily life (refrigeration, indoor plumbing, and central heating). It is a sharp reminder that almost every aspect of life in the second decade of the 21st century is the result of someone’s bright idea, one that they actually made work. Along the way you’ll learn the stories behind each and every invention, revealing and intriguing in equal measures.


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Universal change is often the ultimate result of one individual’s lightbulb moment—an invention that triggers a ripple effect across countries, continents, or even out into space. Know-It-All Great Inventions looks at fifty of these great ideas that really did change the world. It covers a wide range, from early days (the wheel) through materials (the invention of steel an Universal change is often the ultimate result of one individual’s lightbulb moment—an invention that triggers a ripple effect across countries, continents, or even out into space. Know-It-All Great Inventions looks at fifty of these great ideas that really did change the world. It covers a wide range, from early days (the wheel) through materials (the invention of steel and plastic) to communications (the alphabet, printing press, and Worldwide Web) and the conveniences of—relatively—modern daily life (refrigeration, indoor plumbing, and central heating). It is a sharp reminder that almost every aspect of life in the second decade of the 21st century is the result of someone’s bright idea, one that they actually made work. Along the way you’ll learn the stories behind each and every invention, revealing and intriguing in equal measures.

48 review for Know It All Great Inventions: The 50 Greatest Inventions, Each Explained in Under a Minute

  1. 4 out of 5

    Monique

    Review written: December 2, 2017 Star Rating: ★★★½☆ Heat Rating: N/A An Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book was received free via Netgalley for an honest review. Boyle's list of greatest inventions is an excellent one and he gives his reasoning for each right in the book. While geared more toward young adults and adults, it is still accessible to younger children who already have a bit of a science background. It is definitely not meant for reading in one sitting, though. I liked the plet Review written: December 2, 2017 Star Rating: ★★★½☆ Heat Rating: N/A An Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book was received free via Netgalley for an honest review. Boyle's list of greatest inventions is an excellent one and he gives his reasoning for each right in the book. While geared more toward young adults and adults, it is still accessible to younger children who already have a bit of a science background. It is definitely not meant for reading in one sitting, though. I liked the plethora of other information in the sidebars and the features on various inventors. They gave good additional context and created links to other inventions and people. Overall, the format was easy to read and well thought out. I even managed to learn a few things! But, overall, it did not scream "read me". I didn't get excited by the stories or find them particularly compelling. It's good if you want to get a quick handle on something and its list of resources at the end provides plenty of options for getting more information. This review is ©December 2017 by Monique N. and has been posted to Netgalley.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Manzoor Elahi

    Accompanied by beautiful illustrations, David Boyle's picks about the inventions like the Cement, the Plow, Global Positioning System (GPS), Anesthesia, the Birth Control Pill, the Credit Card, and the Lavatory effect just might turn you into a lover of Science & Engineering. It worked for me. The book is structured as a chronological series of one page discussions of breakthroughs throughout history. The articles range from Ancient history (the Alphabets, Abacus) through modern day discoveries Accompanied by beautiful illustrations, David Boyle's picks about the inventions like the Cement, the Plow, Global Positioning System (GPS), Anesthesia, the Birth Control Pill, the Credit Card, and the Lavatory effect just might turn you into a lover of Science & Engineering. It worked for me. The book is structured as a chronological series of one page discussions of breakthroughs throughout history. The articles range from Ancient history (the Alphabets, Abacus) through modern day discoveries like the Smart Phone. This format is good for getting an appreciation of the progress of inventions through history without necessarily delving into details.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marjolein

    Full review to come!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Pop Bop

    Interesting Factoids I enjoyed this book, but I think you have to approach it as very introductory, more like an annotated list of greatest hits. If you don't really know why a particular invention is important, or have a general sense of how it works, the entries here probably aren't going to be that illuminating. On the other hand, for each invention you do get a sense of the age and culture from which it emerged, (lots of China, India, and the Arab countries here), and a sense of how it fit in Interesting Factoids I enjoyed this book, but I think you have to approach it as very introductory, more like an annotated list of greatest hits. If you don't really know why a particular invention is important, or have a general sense of how it works, the entries here probably aren't going to be that illuminating. On the other hand, for each invention you do get a sense of the age and culture from which it emerged, (lots of China, India, and the Arab countries here), and a sense of how it fit in to the needs of its time. Naturally, details are skipped, issues are glossed over, a bit of attitude intrudes here or there, and nitpickers could go nuts over many points, (along the lines of "let's have a really big argument about who "invented" the TV"). I thought that for a young STEM oriented reader this could be an intriguing introduction to science, engineering, math, medicine, and both the scientific method and the practical, applied, "inventive" method, and if the idea is to get kids jazzed about science, well, this struck me as a fine place to start or a nice way to keep going. (Please note that I received a free advance will-self-destruct-in-x-days Adobe Digital copy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jim Gallen

    “Great Inventions” provides brief introductions to 50 of the most significant inventions of all time. They are divided into seven categories: Materials, Construction and Engineering, Transport & Location, Medicine & Health, Communications, Economics & Energy and Daily Life. Each section begins with a glossary. Each entry has a three second survey, a three-minute overview, three second biographies of inventors associated with the invention, an artistic rendering of the process and a one-page expl “Great Inventions” provides brief introductions to 50 of the most significant inventions of all time. They are divided into seven categories: Materials, Construction and Engineering, Transport & Location, Medicine & Health, Communications, Economics & Energy and Daily Life. Each section begins with a glossary. Each entry has a three second survey, a three-minute overview, three second biographies of inventors associated with the invention, an artistic rendering of the process and a one-page explanation of the science and history of the subject. I find this book to contain interesting facts of which I was unaware, a little science that I missed in school and some additions to my historical knowledge. This is a work you can read quickly or pick up and peruse intermittently. Either way, it is an enjoyable and edifying read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Araceli Romo

    This book is for those of us who like to explore and learn new things but do not have much time to do so. The Internet has made it very easy for exploration of different topics, but I think that there is something great about this kind of books that are put together by real experts. Know It All Great Inventions is divided into seven units: Materials, Construction & Engineering, Transport & Location, Medicine & Health, Communications, Economics & Energy, and Daily Life. The book gives readers a v This book is for those of us who like to explore and learn new things but do not have much time to do so. The Internet has made it very easy for exploration of different topics, but I think that there is something great about this kind of books that are put together by real experts. Know It All Great Inventions is divided into seven units: Materials, Construction & Engineering, Transport & Location, Medicine & Health, Communications, Economics & Energy, and Daily Life. The book gives readers a variety of study and exploration tools such as glossaries, appendices, and an index among others. I personally loved the units on Communications and Daily Life, but all the other units were very interesting as well. I think elementary teachers can use this book to create a wide variety of leaning opportunities so please check it out. I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alicia Williams

    A beautifully concise introduction to the most important inventions humans have come to depend upon. I really enjoyed the mixed format of longer entries with shorter bits of quick information! Lovely to look at and fun to read! ~*~ Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an electronic copy of the book in advance of its publication in exchange for an honest review! ~*~

  8. 4 out of 5

    Curious Reader

    Great book for kids who are interested in science. Very valuable information about the great inventions. Easy to read. Note: I received a free e-copy of the book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. Special thanks to the author for giving me a chance to read it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mrs. Europaea

    I found this text quite interesting. I cannot say I ever wondered about the creation of cement, but it was fascinating to hear the history behind it. I think many patrons will find this text useful both for educational studies and natural curiosity.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kerry Pickens

    This is an excellent bpok if you have a child that is interested in science or engineering. The illustrations are beautiful. It's probably middle school up reading level. This is an excellent bpok if you have a child that is interested in science or engineering. The illustrations are beautiful. It's probably middle school up reading level.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    This reference book lives up to its promise of explaining 50 inventions in under one minute each. Reading at my normal speed, I read each entry in 48:13:35. However, as the authors themselves note, the inventions aren't explained so much as they are introduced; the work is intended to give a quick summary for the curious or a jumping off point for the more inquisitive. As such, this book is well-suited for the classroom. I rated this work 3 stars for 3 reasons: First, it perpetuates the myth of This reference book lives up to its promise of explaining 50 inventions in under one minute each. Reading at my normal speed, I read each entry in 48:13:35. However, as the authors themselves note, the inventions aren't explained so much as they are introduced; the work is intended to give a quick summary for the curious or a jumping off point for the more inquisitive. As such, this book is well-suited for the classroom. I rated this work 3 stars for 3 reasons: First, it perpetuates the myth of the Dark Ages. Second, it lends begrudging credence to anti-vaccine movements. Third, it promotes the concept of man-made climate change, to the extent one feels the expert would rather inventions such as the internal combustion engine were never produced in the first place. All three of these stances are seen throughout the "3 Minute Overview" segments. Disclaimer: I received this book through Goodreads' Giveaways.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rose

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anggi Hafiz Al Hakam

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anggia Retno

  15. 4 out of 5

    Maxime Noisette

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    For general public. This book describes in an easy way the most used inventions of our times.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Thea

  18. 4 out of 5

    Becca

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tima

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sophie Crane

  21. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

  23. 4 out of 5

    Melissa T

  24. 5 out of 5

    Fleet Sparrow

  25. 5 out of 5

    Manda

  26. 4 out of 5

    Emyl

  27. 4 out of 5

    Micielle

  28. 4 out of 5

    Melly Mel

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

  30. 4 out of 5

    amy

  31. 5 out of 5

    Leona

  32. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

  33. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  34. 5 out of 5

    Carol McFarlane

  35. 4 out of 5

    Marcia

  36. 5 out of 5

    Lana

  37. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

  38. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Kennedy

  39. 4 out of 5

    Erika Messer

  40. 4 out of 5

    Charissa Rate

  41. 5 out of 5

    Gertievandermint

  42. 5 out of 5

    Stacia Chappell

  43. 5 out of 5

    Kim

  44. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

  45. 5 out of 5

    Pam Mooney

  46. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

  47. 4 out of 5

    Joann

  48. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

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