Book cover

For decades, human historians have let their prejudices blind them to the facts, resulting in works of incredibly biased history. For all of human history, we are told, the decisive factors involved have been humans. Humans invent this, humans discover that, humans win the spelling bee. Well, it’s time to start replacing this biased history with the truth, a truth that will show the decisive contributions of other species.

The first salvo in this long process of factual correction is Giraffes? Giraffes! by Dr. and Mr. Doris Haggis-On-Whey, the first volume in their series, The Haggis-On-Whey World of Unbelievable Brilliance. In this groundbreaking text we learn that a giraffe coalition actually created the Red Sea in 4064 BC, that giraffes actually invented television in 400 AD, and that Galileo actually stole his ideas from a team of Viennese giraffe physicists. And these are only the human things! In no other book is the great Giraffe-Giant Panda War even mentioned. Humans just didn’t care.

In itself, such a stunning work of science would be a major contribution to society, but the H-O-Ws have gone further. Instead of following traditional scientific practice and presenting their results in a long, boring, and densely footnoted book published by a university press with a pretty cover but none-the-less not really read by anyone, especially those people who buy it because they saw it reviewed in the New York Times and now to look smart they feel they have to have it on their bookshelf.

No, the H-O-Ws break further ground by presenting their results in a lusciously illustrated children’s book. Yes, the H-O-Ws have bypassed the traditional scientific community, which was probably too biased and insular to accept their work anyway, and gone straight to the scientific community of tomorrow: the children of today. In their stunningly beautiful hardcover tome they express their results in the simple, large font, densely illustrated language that anyone can understand. And, unlike those university press books, their elegant hardcover is the kind of thing you wouldn’t mind sitting on your bookcase, taking up space to say how smart you are. Even if you’re not.

Editor’s note: Dave and Toph Eggers have been going around pretending that they are the ones responsible for the book. While the claim is so patently absurd — neither of them are even scientists! — that you would certainly never be taken in by it, I thought I should just mention it in case you have some stupid friends who bought their lies, now you can look all superior by telling them that you know the truth.

Those who enjoy this fantastic work will probably also like the BBC educational film series Look Around You, now airing on BBC America and available on DVD.

posted April 05, 2005 08:46 PM (Books) (1 comments) #


Home: Spring Break
Stanford Interactive: What classes should I take?
Stanford: Another New Beginning
Stanford: Taxonomies of Love
articles: the finest of the short nonfiction form
Giraffes? Giraffes. No, seriously, giraffes!
Stanford: Radiant Garden City Beautiful
SFP: The Story So Far
Stanford: Frown
Get Arrested
What Journalists Don’t: Lessons from the Times


Are you getting backhanders from Peter Serafinowicz?

posted by Robert Brook at April 22, 2005 08:15 AM #

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