Michele Nasti

Thoughts on what I learn

[BOOK] What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

This book is just fun.

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions is a series of scientific and absurd questions, answered with a mix of seriousness and funny sarcasm. Some questions whose answers I found hilarious are:

  • What if you throw a baseball to 99% speed of light?
  • What happens to earth if all the population of the world stay in the same place and jump simultaneously?
  • What if a earthquake of 15th grade magnitude strikes the earth?
  • (very actual) will we be able to remove common flu from the world by practicing physical distance?

... And many, many more.

You don't need a phisics degree to understand the logics. Sometimes, it's more about human psichology than other. And indeed, it's the human aspect that made this book so enjoyable.

The author, Rundall Munroe, authors also the super popular nerdy comic xkcd on the Web. The book is full of his drawings that will, at least, make you laugh.

You can find the book here on the italian Amazon.

Note: from the units of measure's perspective, the author is familiar with both the International and the Imperial System; you may find references to both. I wonder how we got here with this confusion in how to measure things; and more importantly, why just a couple of countries refuse to adhere to an international standard? I guess it's because they believe to be the greatestest and don't want to be them changing. I mean, this stuff should be used to fix communication problems in business, science, transports, etc. So yes, why are we complicating our lives like that? I'll never know. As the author of the book wrote,