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Monday, November 10, 2014

What if? : Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

         Here are the answers to all of those science questions you might have, with accurate information that even the novice scientist can understand. Randall Munroe, the author, is a former NASA roboticist and the creator of the webcomic xkcd whose purpose is to provide what this book’s subtitle claims, along with stick figure illustrations.                                                                              
            The author’s approach is to present actual questions from the public, one per chapter, and then provide answers honestly and humorously.
            If you want to know what would happen if you made a periodic table out of cube-shaped bricks, each made of the corresponding element, you might be sorry you asked because the results, if possible, would be fatal.
           Could we wipe out the common cold if each person on earth stayed away from one another for a few weeks? Yes, if everyone had a healthy immune system; however the rhinovirus would find harbor in those people with compromised immune systems and again would infect the healthy after the experiment’s end.

            Some other questions are:
 -- How long could a person live if his/her DNA suddenly vanished?
 -- When will the bandwidth of the Internet surpass that of FedEx?
 -- How quickly could we drain the oceans on Earth and how would the Earth change as we drained the water?
 -- Could we build a LEGO bridge capable of carrying traffic from London to New York?

            For the answers to these questions and more, be sure to read this book!

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