What If? 2

Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions , #2

Hardcover, 368 pages

English language

Published Sept. 13, 2022 by Riverhead Books.

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5 stars (11 reviews)

The #1 New York Times–bestselling author of What If? and How To provides his best answers yet to the weirdest questions you never thought to ask.

The millions of people around the world who read and loved What If? still have questions, and those questions are getting stranger. Thank goodness xkcd creator Randall Munroe is here to help. Planning to ride a fire pole from the moon back to Earth? The hardest part is sticking the landing. Hoping to cool the atmosphere by opening everyone’s freezer door at the same time? Maybe it’s time for a brief introduction to thermodynamics. Want to know what would happen if you rode a helicopter blade, built a billion-story building, made a lava lamp out of lava, or jumped on a geyser as it erupted? Okay, if you insist.

Before you go on a cosmic road trip, feed the residents of New York City …

3 editions

Hilariously entertaining collection of scientific answers to hypothetical questions

5 stars

A hilariously entertaining book that sets out to do what it says. People send in absurd, hypothetical questions, and the author seriously tries to answer them using what science knows about how the world works.

The result is a popular science book that entertains, yet educates, and makes you think about how the world could work if situations in the questions could really come about.

The author is, of course, careful to put disclaimers at various points of the book, telling the readers to absolutely, definitely, not to try out some of the answers for real. Doing so would probably get the reader in trouble with the law, lose his life, destroy the earth or the universe, or all of the above.

reviewed What If? 2 by Randall Munroe (What If?, #2)

La ciencia al servicio del absurdo

5 stars

El humor geek siempre corre el peligro de transformarse en una celebración de un complejo de superioridad donde lo importante no es tanto el chiste sino el demostrar lo listo que es el autor y, por asociación, sus lectores. Es muy difícil encontrar un equilibro donde el humor científico sea gracioso y además entendible por gente con una base mucho más limitada que la del autor (valga yo mismo que no soy más que un ingeniero, un umpalumpa de la ciencia). Pero xkcd lleva años siendo un maestro de este equilibrio. Su humor muchas veces puede exigir una mínima base, pero no es excluyente. Pero también es cierto que cuando habla sobre un tema sobre el que algo sabes se disfruta infinitamente más. El chiste del pequeño Bobby Tables es ya un clásico en el mundo de la seguridad, por ejemplo. La serie de libros de What if son una …

Review of 'What If? 2' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

A highly entertaining, educational read, with (at times disconcerting) questions brought to Munroe. Would have been nice if he added a few of his own ponderings, but at least I know the answers to a lot of things I'd be too sensible to deem possible. Granted, there was one question in there that younger, less jaded me had on her mind.

Enjoyable edutainment at some of its finest.

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