- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: John Murray; 01 edition (24 Sept. 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1848549563
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 624 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions Paperback – Kindle eBook, 24 Sep 2015
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"What If? maintains a delightfully free-wheeling tone throughout, especially when complicated calculations lead to whimsical results...Despite all the hard facts and gigantic numbers, it never feels like a textbook--and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to enjoy it. A" --Entertainment Weekly "Catchy and approachable...There's plenty of scientific rigor behind his elaborate explanations but he punctuates them with sly humor and winningly primitive cartoon diagrams...A cut above so many popular science and technology books." --NPR.org
"Consistently fascinating and entertaining...Munroe leavens the hard science with whimsical touches...An illuminating handbook of methods of reasoning." --Wall Street Journal "It's fun to watch as Munroe tackles each question and examines every possible complication with nerdy and methodical aplomb, his distinctive scribblings providing clever running commentary of peanut-gallery jokes as his train of thought (sometimes) happily derails. The delightfully demented 'What If?' is the most fun you can have with math and science, short of becoming your own evil genius...We feel the tug of Munroe's playful yet existentially-tinged worldview, and all that geek logic and number-crunching becomes unexpectedly poignant." --Boston Globe
"Munroe has hit on a wonderful form of science and engineering communication that can do so much--extolling the value of analytical thinking, examining data, and doing back-of-the-envelope calculations--while entertaining readers at the same time... an incredibly fun book with quirky, hand-drawn pictures." --American Scientist "[What If?] has solved my annual birthday-present and holiday-gift dilemmas for a large group of people...What makes Munroe's work so fantastic is a combination of two elements: his commitment to trying to answer even the weirdest question with solid science, and his undeniable sense of humor." --Huffington Post "Munroe takes inane, useless and often quite pointless questions asked by real humans (mostly sent to him through his website), and turns them into beautiful expositions on the impossible that illuminate the furthest reaches, almost to the limits, of the modern sciences..The answers are all illustrated with XKCD's trademark stick figures...and these are eminently approachable." --Newsweek "What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions includes old favorites, new inquiries and the mix of expert research and accessible wit that has made Munroe a favorite among both geeks and laymen."--TIME "Loaded with the same dry wit and blank-faced stick figures that populate xkcd, What If? is that rare book that will have you laughing as you learn just how a mass extinction might unfold." --Discover
"Wide-ranging and strangely poignant...This book is tons of fun...Munroe's spiffy essays do tend to resemble the sort of lectures that cool professors give on the first day of class...It's quality entertainment." --Washington Independent Review of Books "Munroe's brilliant What-If? column--which features scientifically rigorous, utterly absurd answers to ridiculous hypotheticals--has been on the bestseller lists since it was announced in March. Today, it hits shelves and: It. Is. A. Triumph." --BoingBoing "What If? is a fast, engrossing read...The charm of What If? lies in the ease Munroe has jumping past intensely interesting conclusions and onto his next thought, tangent, or consequence. It's as if Munroe is a unseen stage technician pulling back the curtain -- the answers were always there, we just needed someone who knew how to show us. Even he seems surprised at what he finds." - Nerdist
"Those who enjoyed the irreverent style of Allie Brosh's best-selling memoir, Hyperbole and a Half, will enjoy Munroe's serious and silly musings on everything from science to romance." --Library Journal
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Science's most intriguing questions answered by the web's favourite writer, the genius behind xkcd.com.
Munroe's hilarious and compelling answers explain everything from the odds of meeting your one true soulmate to how many humans a rampaging T-Rex would need to eat a day.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product description
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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.
I really recommend this as a book for anybody that likes to think and ponder. I wish there was more.
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this and may even retain some of the more useful information (e.g how to make the most unlikely cocktail).
He has always had an interest in the sciences and studied maths at degree level, so I was a little nervous that this book might be childish or too simplistic. However, this has not been the case at all. It has covered enough complex bits to keep him interested and uses plenty of brilliant witty humour to make it a highly entertaining read. I think I'll be reading it next!
In all seriousness, I think this may be my favourite gift from Christmas '14 and will probably still be my favourite gift of Christmas '15 as well (unless Munroe gets around to releasing Vol. 2 in the interim - please-oh-yes-please!). What if? is just a fantastic collection of scientific thought, humour and bizarre scenarios. I'm (painfully) forcing myself to read in blocks to eek out the enjoyment for a few months, but so far everything has been exceptional or better. Probably the worst section to date has been the one dedicated to scenarios involving lightning... which says a lot about a book, if the questions on plate tectonics and people jumping are MORE exciting than good, ol'fashioned lightning!
I find it vaguely disturbing that I found myself waiting for the "extreme" questions that he chooses not to delve into unless via a single cartoon, or in some cases not even to touch at all.
All in all, here is someone with social awareness, and an extremely funny and dedicated exploration of the stranger side of life, physics and the universe.
Highly recommend for absolutely everyone from the point that they can start to read upwards!
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