How to

How to

Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-world Problems

Book - 2019
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"For any task you might want to do, there's a right way, a wrong way, and a way so monumentally complex, excessive, and inadvisable that no one would ever try it. [This book] is a guide to the third kind of approach. It's full of highly impractical advice for everything from landing a plane to digging a hole." -- From book jacket flap.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2019
ISBN: 9780525537090 (hardcover)
0525537090 (hardcover)
Branch Call Number: 502 MUN
Characteristics: 307 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

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From Library Staff

A former NASA roboticist and creator of the webcomic xkcd, Munroe has written a hilarious and supremely unhelpful DIY-guide. This instruction manual for solving everyday problems via unusual means features science and lots of wacky creative thinking.


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susan_findlay
Feb 18, 2020

Completely impractical (but scientifically grounded) life advice from the author of xkcd? What more could a lifelong science geek ask for? :-)

Bizarre and entertaining. Wonderful quick read.

i
illuzhin
Jan 27, 2020

It's surprising how much solid science one can pick up when an example is stretched to its absurd extreme.

FPL_AdamL Dec 05, 2019

This book finds the humor in math, science, and life. It makes a great way to take a 15 minute break to laugh and feel smarter!

a
armstrongest
Nov 26, 2019

This book takes really simple concepts and mixes absurdity and applies real mathematical solutions to them. The forward says it all. It's a book of really bad ideas, and that's the point.

It pushes you to consider the extreme physical limitations of physics and what happens when you try to reach them. It does in a way that is the opposite of most books on physics. It uses humor and absurdity.

In using absurd humor, the book ends up sparking anyone who's even remotely curious into learning more about the subject. In some case, like in "How to Play Tag" he states that it's impossible to "WIN" at tag... you simply choose to stop playing, and then goes on to explain that eventually, the slowest person will be "IT" for an infinite amount of time. This is stuff which is obvious when you think about it, but it's something you rarely think about.

Randall has the ability to break down even the simplest thing into its core components and then proceeds to break apart those as well into even simpler things. By doing this, he makes really difficult to grasp concepts easy to digest, even if the practical application is realistically improbable.

g
GracieLucy
Nov 04, 2019

Stupid. Tried to read but couldn't. Finally gave up - waste of time.

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