back to article Let XKCD's Randall Munroe satisfy your curiosity in this excerpt from his book, What If

Read an extract of the book that's hit the top of the New York Times and the Sunday Times bestseller lists this weekend - What If: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by XKCD's Randall Munroe. The science-inspiring missive was reviewed by El Reg here, now read Munroe's answer to the question of how much …

  1. The Vociferous Time Waster

    It's excellent

    Bought it on Kindle, read it already. It's excellent. Couldn't put it down.

    1. richardcox13
      Thumb Up

      Re: It's excellent

      Just received a nice dead tree edition... and wondering what's happened to the time :-)

      There have been some updates compared to the online versions (plus some extras), so worth it even if you do read

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: It's excellent

        But can you mouseover on the tree version?

        (PS, there must be an app for captions when holding the phone over the images... there must be?)

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: It's excellent

      It is excellent - and I have a hardback on order, just as I have the paperback of the cartoons.

      But exactly what is the point of an electronic version of a set of blog posts that are already online?

      Other than Randall's tip jar - why collect a bunch of bits that are freely available online, zip them and charge $15?

    3. Steve I

      Re: It's excellent

      "Bought it on Kindle, read it already. It's excellent. Couldn't put it down."

      Well, no you can't - it's digital. You could put the Kindle down though...

  2. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Been following XKCD for yonks, and 'What If' since it started., Always interesting, fun and zany.

    Couldn't read the link above - I'm not prepared to enable the laundry list of javascript :(

    1. Old Handle

      That's what "temporarily allow all this page" is for. (Assuming you're using NoScript). Although it looks like you actually only need to allow one domain, albeit a big one:

  3. ratfox Silver badge

    should be required reading for geeks

    Mine is on order.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    heading to buy my copy now

    This'll be one to put on the coffee table, along with Sorayama.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. tony2heads

      Re: heading to buy my copy now

      I think that the wife would not appreciate Sorayama

  5. stuartnz

    Share and Enjoy

    I'm loving my Kindle copy. I thought of El Reg when I read his spirited defence of non-SI measurement units, someone should email him the list of this august site's own system. I also bought the audio upgrade for the added fun of hearing Wil Wheaton reading the book. All in all, a very "splendid and worthwhile" e-book, to make an HHGTTG reference, obligatory when talking ebooks, science and humour.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Share and Enjoy

      I definitely think we should all adopt the metric foot, it just seems right somehow :)

  6. Gene Cash Silver badge


    Really? Is it that hard to link to

    And FYI, for the idiots that bought an electronic edition of a website, the hardback copy has a few interesting design easter eggs. (not that I really care, the money goes to Randall either way, I just hate seeing Amazon or B&N get a large chunk.)

    There's one Unicode typo I did notice...

  7. The Vociferous Time Waster

    Why buy the electronic copy of things from a website?

    1) the guy has to make some money somehow

    2) there is content in the book that is not on the site

    3) the kindle edition was on my kindle app before the dead tree versions were delivered

    1. Friendly Neighbourhood Coder Dan

      Re: Why buy the electronic copy of things from a website?

      Presents in general. While reading the article I thought it would be a great idea for a friend's birthday.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course the Force

    Operates outside physics.

    Yoda merely moved the universe slightly so the appearance of a 'spaceship' in a 'swamp' was replaced by the appearance of a 'spaceship' 'not in a swamp'

    Cf Shrödingers cat, Infinite improbability drive, et al. The Force operates to select a collapse of the quantum probability wave into the desired illusion of classical reality.

    Let's face it, without infinite improbability, how can you hear those spaceships blowing up in a vacuum? Or get a decent sort of Harrison Ford hunk to fall for a cockteasing lardslab like Leia?

  9. Juan Inamillion


    I got this message initially when accessing this article in Safari:

    "You have reached the bandwidth limit for viewing or downloading files that aren't in the Google Docs format. Please try again later"

    Tried Firefox - all OK. Back to Safari - all ok now...


    1. Frank Bough

      Re: Huh?

      Google fuck with Apple apps all the time - just try using gmail via IMAP from Mail.

      1. Extra spicey vindaloo

        Re: Huh?

        Should have set gmail up as an Exchange email address, works perfectly on iOS.

    2. Andy Mc

      Re: Huh?

      I'm seeing that message on Firefox on Windoze.

      1. jjk

        Re: Huh?

        ...aaaand I see it in Firefox (17.0.1) on Linux (RHEL 5.8).

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