We get a whole lot of books at the radio station, many that we don’t feature on the show, some that we do, and a few that we request. What If? was a request. (Sadly, we weren’t able to book the interview, but we got to keep the book!) One of my favorite comics to read is XKCD, I encourage you to peruse the archives, because chances are you’ll find something that makes you giggle. The author of XKCD is a gentleman named Randall Munroe. He used to work for NASA and now he makes a living drawing/writing a webcomic that features stick figures and is replete with science and math stuff. He also has another website–What If–where people ask him insane and outlandish–but often very smart–questions. No matter how absolutely absurd the question, he attempts to answer it.
The book is a collection of many of these questions and answers and it is amazing. If you know me, you know that math causes me to break out in hives, and as much as I love science, it’s never been a subject in which I have excelled. (Side note: I failed every single physics test I took in High School. Every one. Big fat F. But I stayed after school every day and did my homework with my teacher [sub side note: she used to wear a pink suede fringe-y jacket to class] and got an A on every homework assignment. She was completely befuddled by my inability to pass her tests and ended up giving me a B in the class. Perseverance kids, it’s not just a motivational poster.) Randall Munroe’s book is WAY over my head, but it was a joy to read. If I could go back in time and bring this book with me, I would find a cure for my artithmophobia [hyperbole] and become a physicist.
Here’s an excerpt from the book over at Vulture.com.
Here’s a link to an interview Randall did that is equal parts awkward and adorable: The Colbert Report