What exactly are your chances of being struck by a meteorite?
Think you're having less sex than the French?
How high will sea levels actually rise?
We live in an increasingly uncertain world. There's so much to worry about it is often hard to know what to really panic about. But stay calm! For Panicology is the perfect answer to the conundrums and questions that bedevil modern life. Putting a lit match to the lies, headlines and statistical twaddle that seeks to frighten us, it explores 40 reasons for worry: from binge-drinking to Frankenstein foods, bird flu to alien abductions - and explores what, if any, effect they will have on your life.
Why worry in ignorance when you can be a happy, informed sceptic?
Briscoe, the statistics editor at The Financial Times, and science writer Aldersey-Williams (The Most Beautiful Molecule) join forces for a wide-ranging appeal to "worry less" in about public health, social policy, terrorists, declining resources and other sources of media-generated hysteria (except for earthquakes and cars, which we could stand to worry about more). While these British reporters turn up a few surprises (some demographers now worrying about "negative momentum," when "a shrinking population goes into an every-steeper spiral of decline") and some cheeky bits (the Continent prefers the bidet while Anglo Saxons don't, "the French buy less soap"), many of their themes are well-worn: the "obesity plague," flu scares, environmentalism gone awry, and health scares implicating power lines, cellular phones and genetically engineered foods. Despite some familiarity, Briscoe and Aldersey-Williams demystify a huge list of tricky subject matter with precision and humor.