Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical QuestionsBook - 2014
Millions of people visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. His stick-figure drawings about science, technology, language, and love have an enormous, dedicated following, as do his deeply researched answers to his fans' strangest questions.
The queries he receives range from merely odd to downright diabolical:
• What if I took a swim in a spent-nuclear-fuel pool?
• Could you build a jetpack using downward-firing machine guns?
• What if a Richter 15 earthquake hit New York City?
• Are fire tornadoes possible?
His responses are masterpieces of clarity and wit, gleefully and accurately explaining everything from the relativistic effects of a baseball pitched at near the speed of light to the many horrible ways you could die while building a periodic table out of all the actual elements.
The book features new and never-before-answered questions, along with the most popular answers from the xkcd website. What If? is an informative feast for xkcd fans and anyone who loves to ponder the hypothetical.
From Library Staff
From the creator of the popular XKCD comic strip, a witty take on the world of science and geeks. Munroe explains the laws of science in a way that every savvy reader will enjoy and offers serious answers to absurd hypothetical questions.
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Ethan_4518 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 17
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And the author's math checked out unlike Lee Child's Jack Reacher books:
We’ll imagine our storm measures 100 kilometers on each side and has a high TPW (total precipitable water) content of 6 centimeters. This means the water in our rainstorm would have a volume of:
100km x 100km x 6cm = 0.6km^3
That water would weigh 600 million tons (which happens to be about the current weight of our species).
As comedian Ron White said about hurricanes, “It’s not that the wind is blowing, it’s what the wind is blowing.”
Search YouTube for “gallium infiltration” to see how strange this is.
apricity - This is my single favorite word in the English language. It means the warmth of sunlight in winter.
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