Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Book 19: What If?

TITLE: What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
AUTHOR: Randall Munroe
STARTED: June 1, 2016
FINISHED: June 26, 2016
PAGES: 303
GENRE: Science

FIRST SENTENCE: This book is a collection of answers to hypothetical questions.

SUMMARY: [From BN] 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.


THOUGHTS: The Husband warned me that this book was best read in chunks. He read it start through as his only book and found it to be "too much." I read this a little bit each night while half-watching television. That was perfect. I was able to understand the science and laugh at the jokes. If you like xkcd or the What If website, you'll love this book. It's funny and informative. My favorite part was actually the running bit about the worrisome questions people have submitted.

RATING: 7/10 [Very Good]

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