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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 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.
Looking for trivia books filled with fun facts and trivia questions and answers? Answers to Questions You've Never Asked will entertain you for hours Fun facts for kids of all ages: When you take the most absurd parts of history, science, economics and geography, you end up with a pretty confusing picture of humanity. Why do we have borders, what’s the furthest you can get from the ocean, how do you qualify as a country and why did Vikings wear those silly helmets? These are just a few of the strange questions that bounce around the head of YouTube sensation Joseph Pisenti, aka RealLifeLore. Trivia questions and answers: In his channel, Pisenti presents illogical truths in a logical manner. In his debut book, Pisenti builds on this nonsensical humor of the universe with in-depth analysis of empires, economies, and ecosystems as he helps answer the ridiculous. Why, you ask? Because someone has to. Using line drawings, graphs and charts, Pisenti not only details the absurd, but he also provides explanations on why things are…and why they aren’t. Answers to: • Where can I move to so that I’m never tempted by McDonalds again? • How far into the Pacific does Trump’s wall stretch? • If Plato came back to life, what would he think of modern democracy? • Why do all empires fail? • Who decides what countries are allowed to participate in the Olympics? • What makes Finland so great? Witty, thought-provoking and occasionally snarky, Answers to Questions You’ve Never Asked is for anyone who beams with curiosity and has a belly-button.
The nonfiction debut from the author of the international bestseller Sacred Games about the surprising overlap between writing and computer coding Vikram Chandra has been a computer programmer for almost as long as he has been a novelist. In this extraordinary new book, his first work of nonfiction, he searches for the connections between the worlds of art and technology. Coders are obsessed with elegance and style, just as writers are, but do the words mean the same thing to both? Can we ascribe beauty to the craft of writing code? Exploring such varied topics as logic gates and literary modernism, the machismo of tech geeks, the omnipresence of an "Indian Mafia" in Silicon Valley, and the writings of the eleventh-century Kashmiri thinker Abhinavagupta, Geek Sublime is both an idiosyncratic history of coding and a fascinating meditation on the writer's art. Part literary essay, part technology story, and part memoir, it is an engrossing, original, and heady book of sweeping ideas.
Misconceptions, misunderstandings, and flawed facts finally get the heave-ho in this humorous, downright humiliating book of reeducation based on the phenomenal British bestseller. Challenging what most of us assume to be verifiable truths in areas like history, literature, science, nature, and more,The Book of General Ignorance is a witty “gotcha” compendium of how little we actually know about anything. It’ll have you scratching your head wondering why we even bother to go to school. Think Magellan was the first man to circumnavigate the globe, baseball was invented in America, Henry VIII had six wives, Mount Everest is the tallest mountain? Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong again. You’ll be surprised at how much you don’t know! Check out THE BOOK OF GENERAL IGNORANCE for more fun entries and complete answers to the following: How long can a chicken live without its head? About two years. What do chameleons do? They don’t change color to match the background. Never have; never will. Complete myth. Utter fabrication. Total Lie. They change color as a result of different emotional states. How many legs does a centipede have? Not a hundred. How many toes has a two-toed sloth? It’s either six or eight. Who was the first American president? Peyton Randolph. What were George Washington’s false teeth made from? Mostly hippopotamus. What was James Bond’s favorite drink? Not the vodka martini. From the Hardcover edition.
A captivating, humorous, and downright perplexing selection of nineteenth-century inventions as revealed through remarkable–and hitherto unseen–illustrations from the British National Archive Inventions that Didn’t Change the World is a fascinating visual tour through some of the most bizarre inventions registered with the British authorities in the nineteenth century. In an era when Britain was the workshop of the world, design protection (nowadays patenting) was all the rage, and the apparently lenient approval process meant that all manner of bizarre curiosities were painstakingly recorded, in beautiful color illustrations and well-penned explanatory text, alongside the genuinely great inventions of the period. Irreverent commentary contextualizes each submission as well as taking a humorous view on how each has stood the test of time. This book introduces such gems as a ventilating top hat; an artificial leech; a design for an aerial machine adapted for the arctic regions; an anti-explosive alarm whistle; a tennis racket with ball-picker; and a currant-cleaning machine. Here is everything the end user could possibly require for a problem he never knew he had. Organized by area of application—industry, clothing, transportation, medical, health and safety, the home, and leisure—Inventions that Didn’t Change the World reveals the concerns of a bygone era giddy with the possibilities of a newly industrialized world.
From the No. 1 bestselling author of What If? - the man who created xkcd and explained the laws of science with cartoons - comes a series of brilliantly simple diagrams ('blueprints' if you want to be complicated about it) that show how important things work: from the nuclear bomb to the biro. It's good to know what the parts of a thing are called, but it's much more interesting to know what they do. Richard Feynman once said that if you can't explain something to a first-year student, you don't really get it. In Thing Explainer, Randall Munroe takes a quantum leap past this: he explains things using only drawings and a vocabulary of just our 1,000 (or the ten hundred) most common words. Many of the things we use every day - like our food-heating radio boxes ('microwaves'), our very tall roads ('bridges'), and our computer rooms ('datacentres') - are strange to us. So are the other worlds around our sun (the solar system), the big flat rocks we live on (tectonic plates), and even the stuff inside us (cells). Where do these things come from? How do they work? What do they look like if you open them up? And what would happen if we heated them up, cooled them down, pointed them in a different direction, or pressed this button? In Thing Explainer, Munroe gives us the answers to these questions and many, many more. Funny, interesting, and always understandable, this book is for anyone -- age 5 to 105 -- who has ever wondered how things work, and why.
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