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How To : Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems

How To : Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems by Randall Munroe

Author: Randall Munroe


Availability: 1 in stock (can be backordered)


Page Count:336

Date Published:3 Sep 2020



The bestselling author of What If? returns with a collection of heroically overcomplicated solutions to everyday issues. From ageing his friends by testing the radioactivity of their teeth to getting to appointments on time by destroying the moon, the methods employed in this paean to pointlessness are mystifying, maddening and endlessly fascinating.

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 highly impractical advice for everything from landing a plane to digging a hole.

Bestselling author and cartoonist Randall Munroe explains how to predict the weather by analysing the pixels of your Facebook photos. He teaches you how to tell if you’re a baby boomer or a millennial by measuring the radioactivity of your teeth. He offers tips for taking a selfie with a telescope, crossing a river by boiling it, and getting to your appointments on time by destroying the moon. And if you want to get rid of this book once you’re done with it, he walks you through your options for proper disposal, including dissolving it in the ocean, converting it to a vapour, using tectonic plates to subduct it into the Earth’s mantle, or launching it into the sun.

By exploring the most complicated ways to do simple tasks, Munroe doesn’t just make things difficult for himself and his readers. As he did so brilliantly in What If?, he invites us to explore the most absurd reaches of the possible. Full of clever infographics and amusing illustrations, How To is a delightfully mind-bending way to better understand the science and technology underlying the things we do every day.

Praise for How To:

‘Totally brilliant’ Tim Harford

‘Laugh-out-loud funny’ Bill Gates

‘Wonderful’ Neil Gaiman

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