Monday, July 18, 2016

Thing Explainer - Randall Munroe

This was a book, which, after I finished reading it, filled me with an overwhelming sense of regret: I should have read this 20 years ago... Never mind the fact that the book was only published last year (2015)

From nuclear bombs, computer data centers to tectonic plates, from dishwashers, space shuttles to Large Hadron Collider, from animal cells to skyscrappers... This book explains more than 60 complex technical, physical or biological phenomena using just a thousand common words, and beautiful line drawings. It distills the essence of each of these topics to its bare bones and teaches us about them without using incomprehensible jargon.

And, what makes it even more enjoyable is the wry humor that fills every page. For example, consider this entry for the Saturn V rocket, describing its rocket nozzles: "Fire comes out of here. These should point to the ground when you're going to space. If they start pointing to space, you're having a bad problem, and you will not go to space today."

This book is truly one of its kind, and worth every penny. I love pizza and often use it as a standard to compare prices. Skip a medium-size pizza and buy this book; the knowledge gained will last a life time, for you and your kids.

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