is 'a web comic of romance, sarcasm, math and language' that has grown in popularity even with non-science types. It is sometimes too technical for me, but the iconic stick-figure drawings are always a delight and creator, Randall Munroe
, manages to throw in enough easy ones to keep me interested.
has a section called, “What If?
” to address crazy wonder questions. This book is a compilation of some of those questions and Munroe’s perfectly scientific answers along with some adorable stick-figure comics. Some of the pressing questions answered by this book are:
If we hooked turbines to people exercising in gyms, how much power could we produce?
What would happen if the moon went away?
What would happen if the Earth stopped turning but the atmosphere didn’t?
If your cells suddenly lost the power to divide, how long would you survive?
And my personal favorite:
What if I took a swim in a typical spent nuclear fuel pool? Would I need to dive to actually experience a fatal amount of radiation? How long could I stay safely at the surface?
If you already follow “What If?
” on the web, there are new questions in the book so it is still worth a read. It’s a fun one to read with curious older kids, too. They aren’t going to want to read the former NASA scientist
’s answers in great detail, but they will enjoy the cartoons and a condensed version of the answer.