How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems
The world's most entertaining and useless self-help guide, from the brilliant mind behind the wildly popular webcomic xkcd and the million-selling What If? and Thing Explainer
For any task you might want to do, there's a right way, a wrong way, and a way so monumentally bad that no one would ever try it. How To is a guide to the third kind of approach. It's full of...more
Then this is the book for you!
If you’re worried that the house will blow away, or that some prankster will attach jet engines and send it blasting off into the distance...
If you have ever been curious about how to dig a hole, how to cross a river or how to jump really high - then look no further!
If you want to beat a high jumper, you have two options:Much like ...more
1. Dedicate your life to athletic training, from an early age, until you become the world's best high jumper.
This book has some crazy, but well explained and profound ideas for more or less daily problems and gets one interested in the technology and physics of many ignored details of life. Mind games, creativity techniques, free associations ...more
Many thanks to Brooke at Penguin Random House for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review
So… How To. I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it. I painfully choose to give this 3.5 stars. I am honestly as shocked as the rest of you. There were quite a few things I loved and quite a few things I didn’t. I’d like to get the negative out of the way so here we go.
For starters, this book is not What If. I know you’re probably thinking Yeah, no sh*t I (foolishly) expected this to be like What ...more
Did you ever wonder how to build a lava moat around your house or how to send a package from space? Well, you're in luck! Randall Munroe's How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems explains how to do these and several other weird things you might have wondered about. I'm not saying you're weird if you've pondered these things; I'm saying they're weird questions. Don't blame me: The author himself claims they're absurd. Other absurd questions asked (and answered) in this ...more
Fortunately, I had a great time with both, seamlessly upping my chuckle factor by a few magnitudes as I learn how wrong it would be to make a really, really huge teakettle. *hint* (the rivers of lava might make your homeowner's association a bit upset.)
The most fascinating feature, other than just ...more
I really love that we can ask physics ridiculous questions like, “What kind of gas mileage would my house get on the highway?” and physics has to answer us.Most of the rest can be illuminated by his approach to most topics in this book. Tongue firmly planted in cheek and nerd flag raised proudly high. Frankly, I have no idea why it's taken this long for the creator of the brilliant xkcd comic to tell us the winning ...more
Randall Munroe is the engineer/cartoonist behind that science positive comic strip with the stick figures that you may have seen before.
I've been a fan of his for years now. He has an absurdist sense of humor and marvelous creativity, both of which are on full display in his latest book How To.
How to answers many every day and not so every day questions such as how to dig a ...more
Since this is a non fiction book, there’s no plot or main characters to talk about.
How To is informative and easy to read. A lot of How tos in doing things. Even how to send a package. There are some useful informations that I think I can use. For example how to take a selfie with Venus in the background, how to blow out birthday candles with a jet engine and most interesting part is how to dispose of the ...more
There are chapters on how to take out a drone with a tennis ...more
Want to know how to have a pool party? It's not as easier as it sounds. First you have to build a pool, and to build a pool, you're gonna need a lot of math, and math is fun!
No, seriously. Math is fun.
This book revolves around the literal how-tos when it comes to doing things. Let's take our pool for example. Do you know the compression strength of the material you're about to build your ...more
I laughed out loud a LOT while listening to this one. It takes extremely ordinary scenarios and applies ridiculous amounts of science and physics (and humor!) to answer questions. I learned a lot of really fascinating and digestible tidbits of info, and I am much more equipped to take over the world and destroy everything than I was before finishing. Highly recommend!
How To works by taking straightforward questions (“How to Jump Really High”, “How to Ski”) and answering them ...more
Sure, you could fill your swimming pool with a hose, but you might need to resort to bottled water; and if you need to empty them all quickly, you might consider using a nuclear bomb. This is how it would work . . .
There are also helpful (?) instructions for how to heat your home with lava, which sports ...more
Well, whatever it is, this book is a refreshing remedy, and a perfect high-note to end my 2019 reading with. I earnestly don't think I had a single problem with "How To: Absurd Science Advice for Common Real-World Problems". ...more
An accurate description of everything I’ve worked on in my career
Not as funny as What If, but still pretty funny. I think having people write in ridiculous hypothetical scenarios just produced better content than taking ordinary things and coming up with absurd ways to do them. It’s just not practical!
That being said, there are some real gems in here (see how to land a Roc, yes the mythical bird), and also the constant references to studies you have to believe no one would have been dumb enough ...more
I loved What If and now I'm a fan of How To. I guess I need to find a copy of Thing Explainer. I'll have to write a letter to the author, earn money to pay for the book, drive to the author's home....
As with many pop-science books, I wish the author used more civilised units of measure instead of feet, gallons or—I don't know—empty milk bottles.
Note: I listened to the audiobook, which misses on the excellent drawings and jokes; ...more