Neil Shubin’s Your Inner Fish looks like the kind of book that inspires something akin to lust in me – science, but offbeat and with social/historical content mixed in as well. I can’t wait to devour it, especially after seeing that it addresses what I consider to be some of life’s great mysteries:

Or consider hiccups. Spasms in our diaphragms, hiccups are triggered by electric signals generated in the brain stem. Amphibian brain stems emit similar signals, which control the regular motion of their gills. Our brain stems, inherited from amphibian ancestors, still spurt out odd signals producing hiccups that are, according to Shubin, essentially the same phenomenon as gill breathing.

How’s that for an interesting info-nugget to share at dinner?