What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is your next read. I don't care what sorts of books you typically like, this is what you should read next. Not necessarily cover to cover, but get a copy, put it in your bathroom, and let your family / pets wonder why you are in there for so long...and giggling.
Randall Munroe (of XKCD web comic fame) maintains a blog titled "What If?" wherein he attempts to apply rigorous scientific methods to answer completely ridiculous questions. The book contains many entries from that blog (so go there and read some for a taste) as well as even more (51%) that are making their first appearance in the book. Munroe's sense of wit and insatiable curiosity shine throughout. Each question is answered in anywhere from 2 to 6 pages, and the reasoning provided is accessible to the layman. If you are curious to know more, Munroe provides a helpful list of sources at the end.
As I've traveled for the holidays I've had this book with me and it never fails to find a reader. I loved it, and I think you will too.
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Posted by Adam Jones at 11:54 PM