My favorite nonfiction author is back with a sequel to the delightful, improbable, educational What If – creatively named What If 2. If you like The Martian, Bill Nye, and the rambling arguments held on The Big Bang Theory, you’ll probably want to read a Randall Munroe book IMMEDIATELY, and why not start with this one?
If you’re not familiar with Randall Munroe, he’s the author of (obviously) What If, but also How To and The Thing Explainer (see my and Brenda’s blog posts about those), all of which explain the everyday and the cosmic and the impossible in terms of real science and (thankfully) comprehensible language. Munroe, who trained in physics, became popular first for his webcomic xkcd and then his blog, which was the original form of What If.
In What If 2 he covers a broad swath of questions including a fire pole from the moon to the earth, a lava lamp made from real lava, and how to hold onto a helicopter blade while it’s spinning. Interspersed between these (and many more) questions are my favorite bits, the “Weird and Worrying” questions that are even more off-the-wall and, frankly, make you wonder a bit about the asker.
If you need a laugh and you love science, definitely give this book a try!
Do you miss going into the library and talking to the librarians? Well, we miss talking to you! Join Stephanie, one of our Information Services Librarians, every Thursday at 2pm on Facebook where you can ask a librarian anything. Need book recommendations? Curious what a librarian does? Want to learn how to use different resources? Ask her anything!
If you have questions for your librarians, you can also call us at 563-326-7832, email us, or message us on social media. We are answering our phones Monday through Friday from 9 to 5pm. Leave a voicemail, send an email, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!
Growing up, I was always curious about anything and everything and I still am. As a result, my poor parents, and really any adult who happened to be near me, were often subjected to my numerous questions: Why is the sky blue? Is cracking my fingers really bad for me or do you just find it annoying? Are my eyeballs really going to pop out of my head if I sneeze with my eyelids open? And many many more questions…
Now that I’m an adult, I find myself on the receiving end of those questions every day as well as having questions of my own. How do I answer these questions? Well, I look them up either online or in books. One of my favorite places to look for answers when I don’t have books nearby is a YouTube Channel called AsapSCIENCE. (They also have another channel called AsapTHOUGHT where they add a social conscience twist to science.) On the AsapScience channel, Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown have made hundreds of YouTube videos about a wide variety of science subjects.
As I was walking the new shelves, I discovered that Moffit and Brown had come out with a book called AsapSCIENCE: Answers to the World’s Weirdest Questions, Most Persistent Rumors & Unexplained Phenomena that goes into more detail than their YouTube channel does on certain popular questions, rumors, and unexplained things that are populating our everyday lives. Filled with illustrations as well as easy to understand definitions of difficult terms, Moffit and Brown tackle the important questions: What are eye boogers? How can I cure my hangover? Is binge watching tv really bad for me? Crack open this book to answer those burning questions about the 5 second rule, what would happen if you stopped sleeping, and even if the zombie apocalypse could really happen. They even have the answers to my blue sky, cracking fingers, and sneezing questions!
Have more questions that this book doesn’t answer? Come visit the library and our reference librarians can help you find the answers.