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

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★★★ ½

If you’re worried that the house will blow away, or that some prankster will attach jet engines and send it blasting off into the distance…

Then this is the book for you!

If you have ever been curious about how to dig a hole, how to cross a river or how to jump really high – then look no further!

If you want to beat a high jumper, you have two options:
1. Dedicate your life to athletic training, from an early age, until you become the world’s best high jumper.
2. Cheat.

Much like Munroe’s first book – we learn how to do seemingly mundane things in (quite possible) the most complicated and convoluted way possible.

So if you are curious about all the weirdly specific things out there – this book is for you!

Okay. So.

This book was fun, but it didn’t work as well for me this round.

The first book was tied together by this question-answer format where Munroe was seeking the answers to wild and weird questions sent in via internet – a concept which I loved.

However this round…it just didn’t appeal to me as much. Maybe it’s cause we just have Munroe picking random-ish things to calculate? I don’t know.

But what I once found charmingly specific because a bit much to follow:

Without shielding, spacecraft break up in the atmosphere. When large spacecraft enter the atmosphere without a heat shield, between 10 percent and 40 percent of their mass usually makes it to the surface, and the rest melts or evaporates. This is why heat shields are so popular.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. I did have fun within these pages (I loved the tea-kettle-river segment!).

If I ever have the need to throw the wildest pool party in the world or (for some reason) needed to find out if I was born in the nineties…then I guess I have the right book for that!

Interested in this one from Randall Munroe? Buy it here:  Amazon

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