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Killer Cartoons
The Addams Family does science
Randall Munroe’s twisted comic takes on science and technology.
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This is one of two Randall Munroe books I’ve read, and it is (by design) the funnier of the pair. It’s a collection of posts from his blog XKCD, which is made up of cartoons he draws making fun of things—mostly scientists and computers, but lots of other things too. There’s one about scientists holding a press conference to reveal their discovery that life is arsenic-based. They research press conferences and find out that sometimes it’s good to serve food that’s related to the subject of the conference. The last panel is all the reporters dead on the floor because they ate arsenic. It’s that kind of humor, which not everybody loves, but I do.

Here’s my review of the other Munroe book I’ve read, What If?, where he takes absurd queries (“From what height would you need to drop a steak for it to be cooked when it hit the ground?”) and uses them to explain scientific ideas. He doesn’t crack quite as many jokes as in XKCD, but it is very informative. You’ll learn about things like ballistics, DNA, the oceans, the atmosphere, and lightning.

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