What If?

What If?

Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

eBook - 2014
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Writer and artist Randall Munroe, creator of the webcomic xkcd, answers a compendium of bizarre hypothetical questions regarding science, society, and survival with fact-based explanations. Includes black and white illustrations.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [2014]
ISBN: 9780544272644
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xii, 303 pages) : illustrations


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sit_walk Nov 16, 2017

You don't really need another opinion on this book, but here's one anyway: this book is witty, informative, and supremely readable. Just a blast! And you'll learn something too. :)

Nov 13, 2017

Lots of effort put into this book - just thinking of all the research that had to be done is tremendous in itself. It takes a special type of mind to answer all those questions and Randall Monroe did a great job in doing so!

Jul 29, 2017

This book had a lot of funny questions in it and the science that was used to explain the scenarios and there probabilities was amazing. Well written book and hard to put down.

Mar 28, 2017

This book is really interesting and a fun book to read. I would recommend this book to anyone who is curious and likes to learn about the world around them. This book is not just for learning though, you can read just for the humor and the book is full of it.

laurengail Feb 13, 2017

If you try this book and love it make sure to check out xkcd online. This is a great book for older kids that are just getting their feet wet with long form non-fiction. They can read through the questions/answers that interest them and skip the ones that don't.

Jan 18, 2017

Have you ever had a really dumb question, but wanted a serious answer? Fear no more, because Munroe, a former astrophysicist at NASA, is here, bringing his expertise in science, mathematics to good use: by answering questions like “what would happen if everyone on earth jumped at the same time?” and “If every person on Earth aimed a laser pointer at the Moon at the same time, would it change color?” Munroe formulates his answers with a mixture of hard science and lighthearted humor, in a way that makes even the most complex of mathematical theories easy to understand. Unfortunately, more often than not, the answers result in blowing up the Earth or wiping out humanity. Filled with smart answers to (kind of) stupid questions, What If? is odd, thoughtful and absolutely hilarious. 5/5 Stars.
- @Apis of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

This is a very interesting, and educating, book. I love how this book gives you legitimate answers to questions that may seem absurd and irrelevant. This novel answers a lot of crazy questions, that one may not be willing to ask out loud. It teaches the reader cool facts that are not regularly known. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone with an absurd-seeming question they would like answered, or anyone looking to learn some cool information.
I would rate this novel 3.5/5
- @potterhead of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

AL_KATI Oct 21, 2016

Remember the good ol' day of Bill Nye the Science guy? This is for you!

JCLHopeH Jul 26, 2016

This is a perfect book if you don't want to commit to a long story arc, just picking it up whenever it's convenient. Sometimes I hopped around to the illustrations that caught my eye, other times I worked methodically through the Q&As because I didn't want to miss a bit of this humorous and informative collection. Good coffee table book and conversation starter!

Jun 25, 2016

Fun and informative. You don't have to be a science geek to understand Munroe's answers to these very imaginative questions. Although some left me wondering about the questioners themselves.

JCLHopeH Jun 25, 2016

True to form, Randall Munroe brings a lot of humor to scientific exploration when it comes to addressing absolutely crazy, unrealistic-but-compelling questions from the Average Joe. Fun even if you don't consider yourself to be science-minded. Plus those illustrations are always a win!

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Dec 20, 2017

Ethan_4518 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 17

Dec 08, 2015

green_turtle_570 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over


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Nov 17, 2014

And the author's math checked out unlike Lee Child's Jack Reacher books:

We’ll imagine our storm measures 100 kilometers on each side and has a high TPW (total precipitable water) content of 6 centimeters. This means the water in our rainstorm would have a volume of:
100km x 100km x 6cm = 0.6km^3

That water would weigh 600 million tons (which happens to be about the current weight of our species).

Nov 17, 2014

As comedian Ron White said about hurricanes, “It’s not that the wind is blowing, it’s what the wind is blowing.”

Search YouTube for “gallium infiltration” to see how strange this is.

apricity - This is my single favorite word in the English language. It means the warmth of sunlight in winter.


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