Our Own Devices 

by Edward Tenner

An entertaining, often detailed look at "body technologies" such as shoes, chairs, and helmets. I found the basic subject interesting (e.g. there are seven basic styles of shoes). But some of the side anecdotes were even more fascinating: cross-cultural differences in walking, "ninja rocks" (spark plugs shattered to make ceramic fragments), "urban living leads to a superior grasp of detail at the expense of the ability to detect larger patterns," and the Taiwanese technique for bowling (lighter balls and a different grip) which imparts enough spin that accuracy is less important. 

Posted: Fri - October 1, 2004 at 07:48 PM