“ Publisher: Bauer Consumer Media „
~The Product ~ My 'Wonderwall'!~
Wonderwall is not an actual word in any dictionary but I felt the sub-title well-fitting if one takes the urbandictionary.com definition, 'A barrier which separates the mundane from the Transcendent Reality. A true Wonderwall will always have a crack, or a slit or an opening which allows anyone a glimpse of what lies beyond the Wonderwall'! This magazine is anything but 'mundane' and once one takes a moment or two to 'a glimpse of what lies beyond' will be fascinated by its contents.
In the words of the magazine's producers on 'Wonderpedia
Our mission is to answer the questions we all have about the world we live in while inspiring a thousand more. From the most important moments in history to futuristic technology, from the far reaches of outer space to the inner workings of the human mind, each and every month we'll take you on a voyage of discovery. Welcome to the world of wonder'. http://www.wonderpediamagazine.co.uk/Mag​azine/
These monthly issues of the £2.95p magazine have 100 pages, including the front and back cover. The publication displays the contents page with sub-headings such as Nature, History, Technology, The human body, Science and World events. There are some advertisements; a few have full page layouts. The magazine has pictures and images on every page to compliment the subject being discussed.
So what makes this magazine one of the top issues that stands out for me from the millions sold every month throughout Britain?
~My Usage Experience 'wanderlust' ('a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about'
http://dictionary.reference.com} If not in person, then in mind :~) ~
I have picked out the issue of this magazine that was first released in June 2012 that I purchased as an example of my reading experience of these enlightening magazines. The first issue I purchased is the first published in the series, then price on the introductory offer of £1.99p. Initially what caught my eye to this publication was the large colourful lettering of the title 'Wonderpedia', with smaller lettering underneath promising, 'discover something new'. Then as my eyes drifted onto the bold titles of some of the articles within the magazine I was very excited. The main cover proudly presented under the sub-heading 'The human body', 'Hidden Secrets Of The Brain', with red lettering 'What makes a psychopath? And 'Hunger games, can you make your mind fat?' A couple of other articles were advertised also. There are so many articles within these thought-provoking magazines that I will just point out a few facts from some of the articles, but this isn't easy as this is a remarkable publication with numerous gems of information!
~'Morning Rush hour in the swamp'~
...showing a picture of a very lengthy alligator and an unsuspecting terrapin on the same log but no attack in process! How? I was amazed at the site of this picture, has Photoshop been involved? No, 'the reason behind this apparent show of harmony is simple', both these creatures are poikilothermic. 'Alligators are not at their most active when their temperature is between 28 and 33. The terrapin...knows...it doesn't have anything to fear' yet! 'Both creatures are filling up on sunshine to make themselves warm up enough to glide back into the water.
Once there, they'll be back to their usual roles of hunter and pray'. When I finished reading this one page article I was smiling from ear to ear, thinking how funny that these two, at 9:30am, could be sitting on the same log sunbathing. But the strange scene, although picturing the terrapin's back to the alligator, shows his head slightly turned towards the scary crocodilian, obviously ensuring that he is ready to glide off the log should the 'hunter' warm up before him! :~D
~'The Man Who Understands (Half) The World~
...is an article I found fascinating. It reveals the astonishing talent of an American forty-eight year old man called Alexander Arguelles 'who can speak fifty different languages. So is he some sort of genius? Not really. But he is living proof of what the human brain can be trained to do'. I was very surprised to read that as a child, Alexander actually 'lagged behind the rest of the class and always came bottom in tests' in French. What changed in this person's life so that he not only made a turnaround but in fact, is now renowned for his learning abilities?
Well, it began when Arguelles was twenty-four and learning German, 'one of the most difficult languages to master', he notes, "I suddenly became obsessed with learning," recalling, "Vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation. Every day I practised for 14, 15, 16 hours. "Alexander learned a technique-'the shadow and the scriptorium system', which 'rapidly increased his learning speed and opened the door to mastering even more languages'. As soon as this industrious man had mastered one language, he moved on to the next'. This passionate globetrotter' feels that 'languages are like a visa-effectively he has 50 different passports in his mental suitcase'.
I was in awe as I continued to read more astonishing facts about this conscientious man. Then I felt a deep sense of excitement when I read the final paragraph! Although many consider Alexander to be a 'language savant', But, with enthusiasm I read 'recent scientific studies have reinforced his own theory that intelligence is not a prerequisite for becoming multilingual, rather a result of it. In fact, scientists have discovered that the more languages someone speaks, the more nerve cells are created in their brain. This doesn't just apply to the learning centre; the entire brain reaps the benefits. "Learning languages is like a brain booster,
"neurologist Scott Pierson explains.
As I read the final two sentences, I felt quite emotional, having known close ones to me that have suffered from the disease mentioned. 'Test also show that multilingual people who develop Alzheimer's will be affected by the disease up to five years later than their monolingual counterparts'. Was I inspired by this article? You can bet on it! I am in the midst of learning my very first language, Italian! :~)
~'Questions & Answers'~
What do you think 'is the world's most dangerous sport'? This two page article surprised me! The answer, Base jumping. This section goes into the percentages of fatalities from the various bases chosen to jump from, but happily it does note safer areas chosen for a more successful result!
'Can plants smell', this got my brain thinking before I read on. Apparently, 'even plants have a sense of smell'. I was taken aback to read that 'their leaves are able to take up scent molecules from the air and process them. This allows them, for example, to smell diseases in plants of the same species nearby'. When I went on to read that this then, readies 'their own immune systems through the production of specific antibodies' I was amazed. There are plenty more questions and answers to fascinate and enlighten the reader over these five pages.
~'The Hidden Power Of Psychopaths'~
...has, what made me feel, a most intimidating and unsettling picture of a man's face looking predatory! This full ten page article presents some pretty, what I found, and shocking, daunting but also astonishing facts. 'One person in every hundred is a psychopath, often without knowing it...charismatic, charming and ruthless; they often hold positions of power.' The reader is presented with people considered to have psychopathic tendencies and are considered to be such; we are given examples like Mitt Romney, Brian Dugan and Andes Breivik, among others.
'How do you spot a psychopath? What are they actually like?' The article discusses how criminal psychologist Robert D Hare and his team have 'carried out thousands of field studies in psychopathic clinics...his research led him to develop the Psychology Checklist Revised' (PCL-R). There are what I found to be astounding results within the article. But I won't spoil these findings for the readers of this review; back copies are available through the Wonderpedia website.
Instead I will comment on another discovery that I found intriguing though. 'The neuroscientist Kent Kiehl' explains that 'The entire brain structure of psychopaths is programmed for evil'. During copious amounts of studies, having 'sat opposite hundreds of psychopaths, studied their behaviour and analysed their brain structure, he not only noticed reduced activity in the amygdala, but also a thinned-out area in the limbic system-precisely the part of the brain where feelings are processed.
Psychopaths have noticeably less grey nerve substance in this area of the brain than normal people; there is a reduced brain mass in the prefrontal and the orbitofrontal cerebral cortex. The functions of this region are, among other things, social behaviour and feelings of guilt'. After completing the article, I found myself meditating on the facts and commentary I had read, feeling both staggered and enlightened, especially contemplative by the biological findings.
I found this to be an extraordinarily fascinating eight page piece in this journal. To find out that there is over 'seven hundred tons of litter' making 'its way into our oceans every hour' I found deeply shocking. I was appalled to read that 'about 90% of the rubbish in the ocean is made of plastic' and 'when the various types of plastic decompose, dangerous toxins are released'. The review goes on to describe the different types of plastics, their effects on the environment and to wildlife. But, what came on the final two pages had me totally enthralled!
There are four pictures and images of an amazing Recycling Tower that 'South Korean scientists have developed'; it is 'a floating filter system called the Plastic Fish Tower. This huge spherical contraption is designed to move through the oceans and separate plastic rubbish from biological material'. I giggled as I read that 'the tower doubles as a vacation resort where cruise ships can dock'. I will not comment on this article anymore as it will be a fun surprise to read from the actual Wonderpedia article how the tower gets its fuel, what more is planned for its 'resort' features and many other gems of astounding information.
~The Hungry Brain~
...is yet another article that had me spiralling through varied emotions, from awe to wonderment. Under the sub-heading 'can your brain dictate whether you get fat or stay slim'? the article begins its seven page answer. I smiled to read that 'researchers have discovered that what, when and how we eat is not always under our control', as this would be a great retort to my son's next teasing on the subject! :~) This portion has an array of examples, facts and figures that support the initial opening statement.
But what I found particularly eye-opening and had me glued to the page was the picture of a magnifying glass overlooking the substances Glutamate, Aspartame, Phthalates, Antibiotics and Guanylic Acid. Such beverages and edibles as 'cola, crisps, cheese-many foods contain messages that hack into our nervous system, sending out false messages and turning our brains into tyrants fixated on eating' the article alerts the reader. The final sub-heading poses the question so many of us would love to know that answer to, 'can I re-program my operating system'?.. to enable a change in self-destructive eating habits can be avoided. I'll leave the reader to find out in the back issue of this informative magazine!
~The heart: Inside The Body's Engine Room'~
...looks at this 'high-performance motor that could put any sports car to shame'! The opening paragraph had me dumbfounded with its figures on the heart's capabilities. Things I thought I knew but didn't! 'If the heart were a sports car, the motoring industry would be in trouble; hardly anyone would need to buy the latest model, because the old one would just keep on going. Cars are built to withstand 3,000 operating hours, after which the first parts begin to break...but the human heart only begins to reach its full potential after 3,000 hours. Till then it runs on check mode, like a test drive in the womb. As soon as the heart begins to work properly, it can perform at a level that would turn an engineer green with envy. With the heart set-up, turning and conditioning, the heart offers approximately 700,000 hours of continuous service without a break, service, tyre or oil change.'
After reading this initial paragraph I was overwhelmed by excitement to find out more. The article goes on to show the most amazing and captivating pictures of the arteries within this extraordinary pump, the early stages of a babies development within the womb, clearly showing that after only 'four weeks after conception, the cells that will eventually grow into the cardiac muscle begin to pulse rhythmically', the first beats! I have to admit that looking at the images and reading about the baby's cardiac development at such early stages made me well up with tears of joy, awe and maternal emotions. The article continues with such enthralling sub-headings as 'Why do surgeons operate on the heart without a general anaesthetic'? And 'How does my heart heal itself'? This I will leave for the reader to observe for themselves in this issue!
~The Biggest Machine In The World'~
...is a title that had me compelled to read on! I smiled at once when I came to the opening paragraph describing the Hadron Collider, instantly recognizing the machine that I had read about in 'The New Scientist' magazine. But I felt very enthusiastic to read on after seeing the two page picture of the site where this momentous structure is held. The article reveals that a staggering 'one hundred metres beneath the earth' and 'on the border between France and Switzerland, lies the large Hadron Collider. Hailed as the biggest experiment of all time, it will greatly further scientist' understanding of the universe'.
I was very impatient to read on, to see what new information the article would reveal from the magazine, 'The New Scientist', that I had read some time previously. I was most captivated to read that 'every atom in the accelerator is able to deflect, slow down and influence the course of the particle beams, so the physicists need it to be microscopically clean. To achieve this, they inject high-intensity but low-energy beams inside the machine to get a squeaky-clean pipe while vacuum pumps evacuate all the molecules released from the pipe in the process. Any loose electrons left in the way are put to use cleaning the pipe surface-as bunches of protons pass by, they electrically repel the electrons, sending them smashing against the pipe wall forming an ultra-high vacuum'.
I was astounded when I continued to read on and find out that 'within that microscopic space there is about ten billion times less pressure than you would find, say, vacuum-packed food. Following the clean-up, you would need to travel for 130 kilometres in the vacuum before encountering a single atom'! So many more intriguing facts are to be found in this breath-taking article.
~'Crime Scene Facebook'~
...had I instantly involved as I am very interested in this social media. The article reveals that 'if Facebook were a country, then its population of 900 million would make it the third largest country on Earth' but 'one without a police force'! I was appalled and dismayed as I read that 'the crime rate on Facebook has risen by 540% in the last three years alone. Scammers, terrorists, stalkers and murderers-they're all operating under the blue and white flag'! This revealing and shocking article furnishes the reader with examples of the above statements.
Under the heading 'Big brother is watching' I felt reassured if a little curious to read that 'Facebook not only stores data from all of its users, it also monitors our actions, making it the largest surveillance state in the world. The social network runs around 25 billion security checks each day, which amounts to 650, 00 user actions per second. This is known as the Facebook Immune System (FIS)', here the writer compares this to, what I felt most interestingly, 'our own body's immune system. It not only sniffs out attempts at fraud on the site, such as spam attacks, but also defends against attacks from outside, like worms and viruses'.
I felt particularly frustrated, saddened and apprehensive to be reminded that when I went on to read 'where FIS cannot succeed, however, is in preventing serious crimes- no software can identify a rapist or a terrorist cell. And so serious criminals remain active on Facebook, taking advantage of the anonymity of the network. Because another chilling statistic states that if Facebook were a country with 900 million inhabitants, then there would be at least 68 murders every day'! I didn't feel overly alarmed by reading these shocking statistics, it made me feel appreciative that the magazine had done their research well, and thereby informed its readers of the dangers, so that we in turn could be far more careful in the way we make decisions and choices regarding social media sites.
~Would I Recommend? 'One Hit Wonder'? No, this is one that will run and run!~
As you will notice from my review, I went through a roller coaster of emotions whilst reading through the eye-opening and at times, breath taking articles with their spectacular pictures and images. There is something in these magazines that would surely appeal to a variety of interest, from technology to world events. I don't think anyone would be able to read through the articles without raising eyebrows in surprise, smiling with pure content or raising a tear, either in joy or by empathy.
In the words of the Editor, "Wonderpedia is as surprising and unpredictable as the world we live in - with facts and figures as diverse as our imaginations. From the most important moments in history to futuristic technology, from outer space to the inner workings of the human mind, each month we invite you on a voyage of discovery to explore the amazing world we live in".
I have only presented a few of the numerous articles to be found in this one issue of Wonderpedia. Any media that can evoke such varied emotions, be thought-provoking, motivate positive changes and furnish comprehensive up-to-date information is well worthy of some of our time! I have been an avid reader throughout the eight months since the first issue and now will be looking to purchase an annual package instead of going to my local store.
These issues can be bought through high street stores or online at
There are currently three offers available on the Wonderpedia website, one of these being: 'Get 12 issues for just £20 - saving 66%, then £30 annually thereafter'.
Thank you for taking the time to read my review :~)