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What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to…
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What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions (original 2014; edition 2014)

by Randall Munroe (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,202892,946 (4.2)1 / 55
Member:jxn
Title:What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
Authors:Randall Munroe (Author)
Info:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2014), Edition: First Edition, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe (2014)

  1. 10
    13 Things That Don't Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time by Michael Brooks (Othemts)
  2. 01
    Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel by Michio Kaku (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Rigorous scientific descriptions of ridiculous things
  3. 01
    Au fond du labo à gauche: De la vraie science pour rire by Edouard Launet (dClauzel)
    dClauzel: Discussions amusantes sur la science. Des questions hypothétiques, des expérimentations qui n’auraient jamais eu lieu d’être, et surtout l’envie de partager.
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English (86)  German (1)  Hungarian (1)  French (1)  All (89)
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
OK so it is a bit geeky but actually this book is full of gems!

The depth of science knowledge displayed in this book is outstanding and the way links are made is both clever and slightly frightening. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jun 26, 2017 |
Not a read-in-one-sitting kind of book. Glossed over a lot of the math, but the analogies were fun. ( )
  mrsrobin | Jun 24, 2017 |
The man behind the popular webcomic xkcd started a side project where he uses science and math to answer unusual and often quite obscure questions. This is a collection of some of the better questions from the site and also lots of new material. Each question is taken at face value, and if the answer is unsatisfying, they go Mythbusters and add more layers of power/absurdity until the whole thing is delightfully ridiculous - and yet somehow, still scientifically reasonable. It's a fun read and a different way of thinking about the world.

A note on the audio: Wil Wheaton is good, but I got the impression there were some cartoons and visual gags I missed. ( )
  melydia | Jun 23, 2017 |
When I first picked this book up I thought "well, I might get through it in a couple of months." Nope. Try a couple of days. Usually I'm not the type of person to be into drawings in books in general, but this works for some odd reason. I don't know if it's the weird questions taken seriously by a certified engineer but I love it! ( )
  Alana_Platt | May 21, 2017 |
A back of the toilet book if there was one. In small doses entertaining. In large doses, redundant. ( )
  kallai7 | Mar 23, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Randall Munroeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Barry, PatrickCover designersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gleason, ChristinaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kankaanpää, JaakkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Setterborg, GabrielTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Svenn, GöstaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Svenn, Helena SjöstrandTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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.
Dedication
First words
Introduction
This book is a collection of answers to hypothetical questions.
Q. What would happen if the Earth and all terrestrial objects suddenly stopped spinning, but the atmosphere retained its velocity?

A. Nearly everyone would die. Then things would get interesting.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Science is a tool
That can be used to answer
folks' freaky questions.
(lturpin42)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0544272994, Hardcover)

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

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 a large and passionate following.

Fans of xkcd ask Munroe a lot of strange questions. What if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent the speed of light? How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? If there was a robot apocalypse, how long would humanity last?

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

The book features new and never-before-answered questions, along with updated and expanded versions of the most popular answers from the xkcd website. What If? will be required reading for xkcd fans and anyone who loves to ponder the hypothetical.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:30 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"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 a large and passionate following. Fans of xkcd ask Munroe a lot of strange questions. Whatif you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent the speed of light? How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? If there was a robot apocalypse, how long would humanity last? In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations, and consults with nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, complemented by signature xkcd comics. They often predict the complete annihilation of humankind, or at least a really big explosion. The book features new and never-before-answered questions, along with updated and expanded versions of the most popular answers from the xkcd website. What If? will be required reading forxkcd fans and anyone who loves to ponder the hypothetical. "--… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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