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Saturday, July 23, 2016

What if ? funny and intelligent answers to scientific questions

What if ? funny and intelligent answers to scientific questions

Well written, funny, and a nice chapter-at-a-time book to have handy when idle time unexpectedly arrives.

What if? What if someone was capable of answering all of the questions you asked as a child? Would it be satisfying? This is a book that answers various of the exciting scientific and engineering questions that are discussed in pubs, dorm rooms, and online.

Randall Munroe takes a lot of these "what if" questions and answers them in a transparent and well-reasoned manner which shows knowledge and humour. and better than that, he takes these astonishing questions and extends the ideas to improbable extents. Working at the limits shows some interesting consequences especially explosive ones.

I love science. As a novelist and not a very rational person I find books like 'What if?' to be enlightening and pleasant practices in both imagination and science. Some of our biggest advances come from asking off the wall questions that have no relevance in daily life. Some day one of the questions in this book might open someone's mind to a new possibility in a completely unrelated field. 

That is the joy and reward of speculation. Beyond the science, the writing is just plain fun. I laughed my way through the first half of the book.

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