What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

January 12, 2019 - Comment

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER From the creator of the wildly popular xkcd.com, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask. Millions visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe’s iconic webcomic. Fans ask him a lot of strange questions: How fast can you hit a speed bump, driving, and live?

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THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

From the creator of the wildly popular xkcd.com, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask.

Millions visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe’s iconic webcomic. Fans ask him a lot of strange questions: How fast can you hit a speed bump, driving, and live? When (if ever) did the sun go down on the British Empire? When will Facebook contain more profiles of dead people than living? How many humans would a T Rex rampaging through New York need to eat a day?

In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations and consults nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, complemented by comics. They often predict the complete annihilation of humankind, or at least a really big explosion.

Comments

Anonymous says:

A total joy for anyone with an enquiring mind and interest in science I love this book! It is both hilariously funny, and thought provoking, and educational all at the same time as well as giving you all sorts of “did you know” stories to bore your friends and family for months!Its a total dip-in book. The short chapters (3-6 pages) are pretty much random, and cover all areas of science. I’ve learnt stuf about genetics that I never realised, as well as radioactivity, the periodical table and much more besides, as well as chuckling away and giggling and geneally annoying people right through Christmas Day.Age range? I’d say mid-secondary school (13ish) up to any age as I think you need a moderate grounding in science to get the jokes at times, but I can see it would be a great way for an upper secondary school pupil to really annoy their science teacher. – as well as for science teachers to really engage their pupils.

Anonymous says:

Absolute genius. Please read it. Genius Book. Randall Munroe is witty and very intellectual when it comes to giving his answers. You don’t require a degree of any sort to read this book, all the concepts are explained in a very understandable way usually through the use of analogies or metaphor. He also demonstrates his answers through his cartoons; a very clever visual. And yes, they are genuinely scientific. It’s no “ifs” and “perhaps” and “guesses”, using real data and real scientific facts, what is probably most likely to happen in these ridiculous, unlikely (but not impossible) scenarios. And you don’t just learn a bit science, you also learn some other cool facts alongside it, making it wholly entertaining.I really recommend this as a book for anybody that likes to think and ponder. I wish there was more.

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