Product DescriptionThink your life's too easy? Complicate it a bit by exploring the most convoluted ways to accomplish simple tasks with How To: Absurd Scientific Advice To Real-World Problems. It's full of highly impractical advice for everything from landing a plane to digging a hole. [Read more]
Top ReviewsHow to write a review on Amazon
by SeeOurBeach (5 out of 5 stars)
September 20, 2019
You could just click on the "Create Review" and just start writing about anything.
I'm not sure anyone really validates the contents. For instance, if you look at the 1-star review, it complains about failing to share the audio version of this book in portugal.
It is obvious that when one writes a review, you can give any number of stars for any reason:
"5 stars - Wonderfully informative! I've been held hostage by a mad hermit for the past 20 years and managed to get this book by someone who disposed it in my prison (a very deep well on some salt plains). Didn't know half this stuff existed. This 'web' thing sounds really cool. Can't wait to try some of this out when I get out."
"4 stars - cuz I really like numbers that are squares (and '1' does not count)"
"3 stars - Great book but the people drawings lack faces thereby hiding the true and raw emotions of the characters.
"2 stars - The book fails as a door stop because of the slick cover"
"1 star - The book lacks clear instructions for most of the projects. For instance, I live on a fault line and wanted to try out the Tectonic Plate electrical generator. After a convincing argument in the book), I was expecting a shopping list and directions. But nooo... rather than put some work into it, the book just dismisses it as "ridiculous and technically infeasible". If I could give zero stars for this gross omission and author laziness I would."
Thanks for another great book, Randall!
Great Read, But Not Munroe's Best Work
by barbara Hertenstein (4 out of 5 stars)
September 4, 2019
I am very fond of Munroe's work, so when this was announced for only 10 quid, I was very intrigued. As a long time follower of Munroe's work, incuding XKCD and the What If? blog, I was disapointed to find some of the humor in this book mising. Unlike What If? (The book), it had half the cartoons/drawings, and would not be something that I would read again and again. I was still able to enjoy the maths behind the questions, but at the expense of a laugh. Would recommed for anyone who enjoys the science side of the conversation, but for anyone looking for laugh out loud humor, stick to XKCD or What If?.
I am rating this four stars because I am largely a math nerd, but it you are looking for a What If? #2, this is not the book for you.
Hope this helps,
by JKT (5 out of 5 stars)
September 10, 2019
My 15 year old son got this book and immediately tore into it. This boy HATES reading but having liked the comic series online, he was willing to give this a try. Judging by how much he comes out of his room to say "Mom, Mom - guess what he just said - it's so funny" and then relays what he was reading about - I'd say my reluctant reader is a fan.
If you like the comics you'll like this book. Same humor just expanded on in paragraph form.
If you survive the solution, you'll have solved the problem!
by scott-gamer (5 out of 5 stars)
September 5, 2019
Randall Munroe maintains his high standard of humor in this book, taking problems and going for the absurd, extreme solutions. He points out the drawbacks to the solutions, such as if you build a lava moat around your house to keep ants out, you'll always be downwind of the lava.
Buy this book!
Do NOT implement the solutions!
Great easy read
by Chad Evans (5 out of 5 stars)
September 3, 2019
Just got this today on day 1. Eleven year old boy loves it. Great fun comic graphics, fun intro to how to think about things logically, light math as examples, and just very approachable.
a fun read
by Amazon Customer (5 out of 5 stars)
September 23, 2019
I doubt anyone would buy this without being familiar with the author and his online comic strip XKCD, and the associated "What if?" feature. They're free online so go visit xkcd.com if you haven't already. Also, this is not his first book. Since you know what you're getting here, there should be no surprises- this is more of the same; fun and thoughtful explorations of what is (in theory) possible. I majored in physics- I don't know Randal personally, but he is my kind of guy. I give this book two thumbs up.
Great, funny book.
by Jason LaDue (5 out of 5 stars)
September 5, 2019
I laughed until I cried. People on the bus stared. Highest recommendation possible for a lovely time. Will read again.
A Fun Way to Understand Some Cool Problem Solving
by Ed Cuneo (5 out of 5 stars)
October 14, 2019
Munro does a great job of taking a potentially dry subject and making it very personable. As a person who likes science and likes to problem solve (especially problems I get myself into!) I enjoy his take on very real stuff. But the most valuable take away from this book is that it is one you can read to children and give them the gift of learning - that problem solving does not have to be burdensome and a worry. I've enjoyed Munro's books for this very reason and I think he's probably written with this audience in mind.
An instant classic!
by Dan McNair (5 out of 5 stars)
September 21, 2019
Full disclosure: I'm a big fan of Randall Munroe in general. I've read the entire corpus of Xkcd, the webcomic that started it all, and I own all his books. "How To" is a fitting addition to my library. I especially enjoyed the chapter about How To Land a Plane. The aplomb with which his test pilot interviewee handled the outrageous scenarios made me feel much safer in the air! It's refreshingly light on actual practical advice and refreshingly deep with science concepts that will get you thinking about the world in a fresh way.
good long book
by Lothlorien (5 out of 5 stars)
September 6, 2019
this book is amazing,but i gets boring on some parts. my favorite chapter was how to land a plane. so this is a very good book
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