HOW TO: XKCD's Randall Munroe finds the humor in taking silly questions very, very seriously

One of my favorite genres of book is the popular engineering book, a rare breed that combines physics and engineering to establish the full range of ways to address a problem (for example, if you want to talk about whether solar can ever replace fossil fuels, it's useful to know how many photons penetrate the Earth's atmosphere every day); no one does this genre better (or funnier) than Randall Munroe, the creator of the wonderful XKCD webcomic, whose 2014 book, What If? combines Dear Abby with extreme physics ("How fast would a human have to run in order to be cut in half at the bellybutton by a cheese-cutting wire?"); now there's a companion volume, How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems, which picks up where What If? left off. Read the rest