The same photograph appears in Scott Foresman - Addison Wesley Science Insights: Exploring Matter and Energy -- another 1999 book that Pearson Education is currently peddling to middle schools -- in a section titled "Density and Buoyancy."
In each of these Pearson books, the photograph is accompanied by labels that purport to identify the four liquids and the four solid materials in the beaker, and purport to tell the densities of all eight substances. Here are the labels displayed in Exploring Physical Science. The labels for the liquids appear to the left of the beaker, the labels for the solids appear to the right of the beaker, and each label comprises two lines of type:
Howard P. Lyon, educated in music and in physics, is a professional violinist. Since 1994 he has analyzed various "science" textbooks published by Prentice Hall, and he has catalogued much of the erroneous material and pseudoscientific misinformation that those books contain. He also has investigated some of the claims that Prentice Hall has used in promoting the books to unwary educators. He lives and works in Erie, Pennsylvania.
William J. Bennetta is a professional editor, a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, the president of The Textbook League, and the editor of The Textbook Letter. He writes often about the propagation of quackery, false "science" and false "history" in schoolbooks.
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