Ingram, Jay 1945-

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Ingram, Jay 1945-

PERSONAL:

Born 1945, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

CAREER:

Science journalist and broadcaster. CBC Radio, host of program Quirks and Quarks, 1979-1992, host of The Talk Show, 1993, and of Cranial Pursuits; contributor to Canada Live, 1993-94, and to The Health Show; Discovery Channel, beginning November, 1994, currently cohost and producer of Daily Planet.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Two Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television, and Radio Artists (ACTRA) Awards, including Best Host, for work on Quirks and Quarks; Sandford Fleming Medal, Royal Canadian Institute, 1984, for work popularizing science; McNeil Medal for the Public Awareness of Science, Royal Society of Canada, 1997; Michael Smith Award for Science Promotion, Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, 2000; three Canadian Science Writers' Awards; honorary doctorates from Canadian universities, including Carleton University, McMaster University, King's College, and McGill University.

WRITINGS:

NONFICTION

Twins, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 1988, published as Twins: An Amazing Investigation, Greey de Pencier Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1988.

The Science of Everyday Life, Viking Press (Markham, Ontario, Canada), 1990, revised edition, Penguin Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2006.

Real Live Science, Greey de Pencier Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1992.

(With Doug Herridge and Nancy Moore) Explore! A Book of Science, 4, Addison-Wesley (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1992.

Talk, Talk, Talk: An Investigation into the Mystery of Speech, Viking (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1992, published as Talk, Talk, Talk: Decoding the Mysteries of Speech, Anchor Books (New York, NY), 1994.

(With Doug Herridge and Nancy Moore) Explore! A Book of Science, 5, Addison-Wesley (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1993.

(With Doug Herridge and Nancy Moore) Explore! A Book of Science, 6, Addison-Wesley (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1993.

The Burning House: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Brain, Viking (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1994.

(With Sylvia Funston) It's All in Your Head: A Guide to Your Brilliant Brain, Grosset & Dunlap (New York, NY), 1994, published as A Kid's Guide to the Brain, Greey de Pencier Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1994, revised edition published as It's All in Your Head: A Guide to Your Brilliant Brain, Maple Tree Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2005.

The Barmaid's Brain and Other Strange Tales from Science, Viking (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1998, W.H. Freeman (New York, NY), 2000, published as The Barmaid's Brain, MJF Books/Fine Communications (New York, NY), 2005.

Living Zen: A Guide to Awakening, Zenzone (Landisville, PA), 2003.

The Velocity of Honey and More Science of Everyday Life, Viking Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2003.

Theatre of the Mind: Raising the Curtain on Consciousness, HarperCollins (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2005.

Also author, with Doug Herridge and Nancy Moore, of teachers' guides to Explore! A Book of Science, 4, 5, 6, 1995. Author of weekly science column, Toronto Star. Former contributing editor, Owl. Some of Ingram's works have been translated into French and Japanese. Author of the Jay Ingram blog.

SIDELIGHTS:

Jay Ingram is well known in Canada as a television producer and host of science programming on radio and television. Through his contributions to programs such as Quirks and Quarks and Daily Planet, a daily science program airing on the Discovery Channel, he has helped to popularize science and promote better understanding of it among the general public. One of his earliest books, The Science of Everyday Life, also helped to accomplish that goal. In it, twenty-four short, nonfiction stories explore some of the mysteries found in our daily life, including the workings of a bee's brain, the phenomenon that causes wintergreen Life Savers candy to give off greenish light when they are crunched in the dark, and the processes that created the universe. In a review for the Queens University Web site, Tiffany Nguyen recommended this book either for general reading or for classroom use, stating: "In daily life, there are so many things that people take for granted, never taking time to examine them in detail or to appreciate them. In this book, through the technique of transforming complex curiosities of the natural and physical sciences into entertaining anecdotes, Jay Ingram has highlighted the need to appreciate the natural resources for science in our everyday lives."

Ingram explored the mysteries of the human brain in the book It's All in Your Head: A Guide to Your Brilliant Brain, written with Sylvia Funston, and also published in Canada under the title A Kid's Guide to the Brain. Intended for an audience of third- through sixth-grade students, this book explains how the brain manages human thinking, senses, emotions, and memory. Experiments are included, all using common household items, in order to illustrate various points made in the book. Ann Joslin, reviewing It's All in Your Head for the School Library Journal, called it an "excellent introduction" to the study of brain function. Kathryn Hulick, a reviewer for Odyssey, commented that the book will "keep you busy and thinking hard." Another recommendation came from Deb Nielsen, who summarized in Resource Links: "Excellent, enduring, everyone should see it!"

Ingram wrote for a broader audience in The Barmaid's Brain and Other Strange Tales from Science. The book is a "hugely entertaining collection" of essays on various topics of popular science, wrote David Pitt in Booklist. Pitt found that the author combined "interesting and unusual" subject matter with "snappy" writing. Some of the topics Ingram covers are the phenomenon of laughter, optical illusions, scientific theories about witchcraft in early America, why moths are attracted to light, and the reasons why some people, such as the "barmaid" of the title, are able to remember a long list of items, such as drink orders. It is "a clever, witty book," stated Susan Salpini in School Library Journal. A Publishers Weekly reviewer was also positive, saying: "In these humorous and winning tales, Ingram displays a genuine wonder for the world around him; pop science fans will enjoy following these entertaining investigations."

Ingram published a kind of sequel to The Science of Everyday Life with the book The Velocity of Honey and More Science of Everyday Life. Using the format of the earlier book, The Velocity of Honey and More Science of Everyday Life illustrates the natural processes and laws behind such common occurrences as a stone skipping across the water, why people frequently awake just before their alarms go off, and how a mosquito can find its prey even in a dark room. Reviewing the book for the American Scientist, Diana Lutz remarked: "The greatest attraction of The Velocity of Honey and More Science of Everyday Life is Ingram's intelligent but gentle, even self-deprecating, personality."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Alberta Report, November 2, 1998, review of The Barmaid's Brain and Other Strange Tales from Science, p. 38.

American Scientist, March, 2001, review of The Barmaid's Brain and Other Strange Tales from Science, p. 174; November 1, 2005, "A Self-Help Book of Science," p. 566.

Booklist, August, 1994, Bryce Christensen, review of Talk, Talk, Talk: An Investigation into the Mystery of Speech, p. 2001; October 1, 2000, David Pitt, review of The Barmaid's Brain and Other Strange Tales from Science, p. 308.

Books for Young People, April, 1988, review of Twins: An Amazing Investigation, p. 15.

Books in Canada, November, 1989, review of The Science of Everyday Life, p. 10; March, 1993, review of Real Live Science, p. 30; May, 1996, review of The Burning House: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Brain, p. 26.

Canadian Geographic, October, 1989, review of The Science of Everyday Life, p. 102.

CM Magazine, July, 1989, review of Twins, p. 171; March, 1993, review of Real Live Science, p. 58.

Emergency Librarian, March, 1989, review of Twins, p. 23; March, 1993, review of Real Live Science, p. 12; May, 1993, review of Real Live Science, p. 50.

Equinox, November 1, 1989, review of Science of Everyday Life, p. 157.

Library Journal, July, 1994, review of Talk, Talk, Talk, p. 93.

Maclean's, November 9, 1992, John DeMont, review of Talk, Talk, Talk, p. 113; February 6, 1995, review of The Burning House, p. 11.

New Scientist, June 5, 1999, Robert Matthews, review of The Barmaid's Brain and Other Strange Tales from Science, p. 50; January 15, 2005, "Sticky Stuff," p. 51.

New York Times Book Review, April 8, 1990, Carrie Gottlieb, review of The Science of Everyday Life, p. 20.

Odyssey, October, 2007, Kathryn Hulick, review of It's All in Your Head: A Guide to Your Brilliant Brain, p. 48.

Psychology Today, March, 2001, Paul Chance, review of The Barmaid's Brain and Other Strange Tales from Science, p. 79.

Publishers Weekly, June 20, 1994, review of Talk, Talk, Talk, p. 102; October 2, 2000, review of The Barmaid's Brain and Other Strange Tales from Science, p. 71.

Quill & Quire, August, 1989, review of Science of Everyday Life, p. 27; October, 1992, review of Talk, Talk, Talk, p. 24; November, 1992, review of Real Live Science, p. 34; September, 1994, review of A Kid's Guide to the Brain, p. 74; November, 1994, review of The Burning House, p. 26; November, 1994, review of The Burning House, p. 26; October, 1998, review of The Barmaid's Brain, p. 33; October, 1998, review of The Barmaid's Brain and Other Strange Tales from Science, p. 33.

Resource Links, February, 2006, Deb Nielsen, review of It's All in Your Head, p. 35.

School Library Journal, July 1989, Sylvia S. Marantz, review of Twins, p. 86; July, 1989, review of Twins, p. 86; December, 1995, Denise L. Moll, review of It's All in Your Head, p. 115; February, 2001, Susan Salpini, review of The Barmaid's Brain and Other Strange Tales from Science, p. 145; January, 2006, Ann Joslin, review of It's All in Your Head, p. 150; October, 2006, review of It's All in Your Head, p. 52.

Science Books & Films, November, 1989, review of Twins, p. 87.

Science News, March 5, 2005, review of The Velocity of Honey and More Science of Everyday Life, p. 159.

Scientific American, December, 1993, Philip Morrison, review of Real Live Science, p. 136.

SciTech Book News, December, 2000, review of The Barmaid's Brain and Other Strange Tales from Science, p. 16; March, 2002, review of The Barmaid's Brain and Other Strange Tales from Science, p. 17.

Times Educational Supplement, July 8, 1994, David Self, review of Talk, Talk, Talk, p. 31; October 11, 1996, review of The Burning House, p. 8.

Western Report, November 2, 1998, review of The Barmaid's Brain and Other Strange Tales from Science, p. 38.

ONLINE

CM,http://www.umanitoba.ca/ (February 22, 2008), Bob Piper, review of A Kid's Guide to the Brain.

Daily News, McMaster University Web site,http://dailynews.mcmaster.ca/ (February 22, 2008), "Journalist Jay Ingram among Honorary Degree Recipients at McMaster Fall Convocation Ceremonies."

Discovery Channel Canada,http://www.exn.ca/ (February 22, 2008), biographical information about Jay Ingram.

MentalHelp Net,http://www.mentalhelp.net/ (October 16, 2001), Vincent Scordo, review of The Barmaid's Brain and Other Strange Tales from Science.

Queens University Web site,http://euc.queensu.ca/ (February 22, 2008), Tiffany Nguyen, review of The Science of Everyday Life.

Speakers Spotlight,http://www.speakers.ca/ (February 22, 2008), biographical information about Jay Ingram.

Theatre of the Mind Web site,http://www.theatreofthemind.ca/ (February 22, 2008), biographical information about Jay Ingram.

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Ingram, Jay 1945-

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