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What If? 2: Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

Tekijä: Randall Munroe

Sarjat: What if? (2)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
7271729,880 (4.33)23
Essays. Science. Nonfiction. Humor (Nonfiction.) HTML:The #1 New York Times bestselling author of What If? and How To answers more of the weirdest questions you never thought to ask
 
The millions of people around the world who read and loved What If? still have questions, and those questions are getting stranger. Thank goodness xkcd creator Randall Munroe is here to help. Planning to ride a fire pole from the Moon back to Earth? The hardest part is sticking the landing. Hoping to cool the atmosphere by opening everyone??s freezer door at the same time? Maybe it??s time for a brief introduction to thermodynamics. Want to know what would happen if you rode a helicopter blade, built a billion-story building, made a lava lamp out of lava, or jumped on a geyser as it erupted? Okay, if you insist.
Before you go on a cosmic road trip, feed the residents of New York City to a T. rex, or fill every church with bananas, be sure to consult this practical guide for impractical ideas. Unfazed by absurdity, Munroe consults the latest research on everything from swing-set physics to airliner catapult??design to answer his readers?? questions, clearly and concisely. As he consistently demonstrates, you can learn a lot from examining how the world might work in very specific extreme ci
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 17) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Readers familiar with xkcd, Randall Munroe, What If, How-To or anyone with a passing interest in physics will be well-served by this book. The TL;DR version of this book would be questions of the sort of ‘what if..’ put forward on a site, where a former NASA robotics engineer with a penchant for dry humor answers these questions with more than a tinge of sarcasm.
Questions range from the genuinely curious (can we burn a piece of paper using moonlight?), to the slightly macabre (how much sunscreen would you need for landing on the surface of the Sun?). In case you’re wondering, the answers are no, and not that much.
On a tangential note, many researchers and engineers I talk to on a daily basis are disenchanted by the field, either by the difference between their expectations and reality, or because they’re disillusioned by the assumption that science and maths are tough, and it’s not possible to understand them in detail, unless you put in disproportionate amounts of effort.
Randall is one of the only people I’ve encountered (who’s not a researcher) that still displays an infectious, childlike wonder for STEM, and distills advanced concepts to their essence. This book is a great read for that alone, along with the fact that it’s also a good source for collecting bucketloads of trivia. ( )
  SidKhanooja | Sep 1, 2023 |
I enjoyed some of the topics but some of the questions/answers were just way-too-far-out-there. Some I read in-depth out of interest, while others I just skimmed over. The illustrations were really cute though. 3.5 stars ( )
  Ann_R | Aug 7, 2023 |
I only wanted to read this book because it was on NPR's Books We Love 2022: Favorite Comics and Graphic Novels list, and I have a goal of reading all the books on that list. When I checked the book out of the library I was disappointed to find that it does not fit my definition of a graphic novel, being predominately told in text with some minimalist, stick-man, doodled cartoons acting as little humorous accents or providing useful graphs, maps, or other information like the illustrations you can find in most PowerPoint presentations. They do not convey the majority of the narrative, but they do help to break up the big blocks of text.

I thought about returning it unread, but flipped through and glanced at a few chapters and found myself quickly intrigued and amused. And, hey, my beef is with NPR not Randall Munroe, so I went ahead and read it anyway.

Basically, it's a science trivia book with a gimmick. As the Maps for Curious Minds series I read recently puts its trivia in the form of colorful maps to keep the reader engaged, this one adds a little bit of sugar to its science medicine by employing it to answer ridiculous questions.

Many of the questions just involve calculating areas and quantities (Have we manufactured enough paint to cover the entire surface of Earth?) or time (How long would it take to read all the laws that govern your life?), but a depressing amount involve the complete destruction of Earth or at least all life thereon.

Even when things get heavy, the chapters are short and punchy, making this a good candidate to be read in small chunks over the course of several weeks (perhaps in a small room with a porcelain throne). The author writes in an easygoing and humorous style and the cartoons, as I pointed out above, do break up those blocks of text.

Still, it is just trivia and silliness, so I have no real desire to go back and read the first one in the series, and I'd only read a hypothetical next one if NPR were to classify it as a graphic novel on some future list. ( )
  villemezbrown | Apr 20, 2023 |
A follow-up volume of science humor coming out 8 years after the first one. Sixty-four ludicrous but reader-educating scenarios are analyzed using concrete numbers and innumerable little comic drawings. The recurrent Wikipedia-style "[citation needed]" annotations of blindingly obvious facts are considerably amusing in themselves. Don't we all need such generators of smiles?
  fpagan | Mar 31, 2023 |
Witty and informative ( )
  Dior_Eluchil | Mar 26, 2023 |
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Disclaimer

Do not try any of this at home

The author of this book is an internet cartoonist, not a health or safety expert. He likes it when things catch fire or explode, which means he does not have your best interests in mind. The publisher and the author disclaim responsibility for any adverse effects resulting, directly or indirectly, from information contained in this book.
(Introduction) I like ridiculous questions because nobody is expected to know the answer, which means it's okay to be confused.
1. Soupiter

What would happen if the Solar System was filled with soup out to Jupiter?
--Amelia, age 5

Please make sure everyone is safely out of the Solar System before you fill it with soup.
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Some of the questions and answers previously appeared on the author's What If? blog at xkcd.com, sometimes in different form.
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Essays. Science. Nonfiction. Humor (Nonfiction.) HTML:The #1 New York Times bestselling author of What If? and How To answers more of the weirdest questions you never thought to ask
 
The millions of people around the world who read and loved What If? still have questions, and those questions are getting stranger. Thank goodness xkcd creator Randall Munroe is here to help. Planning to ride a fire pole from the Moon back to Earth? The hardest part is sticking the landing. Hoping to cool the atmosphere by opening everyone??s freezer door at the same time? Maybe it??s time for a brief introduction to thermodynamics. Want to know what would happen if you rode a helicopter blade, built a billion-story building, made a lava lamp out of lava, or jumped on a geyser as it erupted? Okay, if you insist.
Before you go on a cosmic road trip, feed the residents of New York City to a T. rex, or fill every church with bananas, be sure to consult this practical guide for impractical ideas. Unfazed by absurdity, Munroe consults the latest research on everything from swing-set physics to airliner catapult??design to answer his readers?? questions, clearly and concisely. As he consistently demonstrates, you can learn a lot from examining how the world might work in very specific extreme ci

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