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Third Place Books welcomes Randall Munroe—creator of the hugely popular webcomic xkcd—to the stage at Lake Forest Park! With University of Washington astronomer Emily Levesque, Randall will be discussing his latest book What If? 2: Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions. This essential book includes illustrated answers to vital inquiries such as:
Here's what you need to know before you purchase your ticket (not nearly as interesting as the above, but still important you read):
Copies of What If? 2 and other books by Randall Munroe will be available for purchase at the store. This event will include a public signing and time for audience Q&A. (And yes, the weirder the question, the better.)
The millions of people around the world who read and loved What If? still have questions, and those questions are getting stranger. Thank goodness xkcd creator Randall Munroe is here to help. Planning to ride a fire pole from the moon back to Earth? The hardest part is sticking the landing. Hoping to cool the atmosphere by opening everyone’s freezer door at the same time? Maybe it’s time for a brief introduction to thermodynamics. Want to know what would happen if you rode a helicopter blade, built a billion-story building, made a lava lamp out of lava, or jumped on a geyser as it erupted? Okay, if you insist.
Before you go on a cosmic road trip, feed the residents of New York City to a T. rex, or fill every church with bananas, be sure to consult this practical guide for impractical ideas. Unfazed by absurdity, Randall consults the latest research on everything from swing-set physics to airplane-catapult design to clearly and concisely answer his readers’ questions. As he consistently demonstrates, you can learn a lot from examining how the world might work in very specific extreme circumstances.
Filled with bonkers science, boundless curiosity, and Randall’s signature stick-figure comics, What If? 2 is sure to be another instant classic adored by inquisitive readers of all ages.
“What If? is one of my Internet must-reads, and I look forward to each new installment, and always read it with delight.”
—Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing
“Randall Munroe is a national treasure.”
“With his steady regimen of math jokes, physics jokes, and antisocial optimism, xkcd creator Randall Munroe, a former NASA roboticist, scores traffic numbers in NBC.com or Oprah.com territory. One key to the strip’s success may be that it doesn’t just comment on nerd culture, it embodies nerd culture.”
—Wired, in an issue featuring “the people who have shaped the planet’s past 20 years”
Randall Munroe is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers How To, What If? and Thing Explainer, the science question-and-answer blog What If?, and the popular web comic xkcd. A former NASA roboticist, he left the agency in 2006 to draw comics on the internet full time. He lives in Massachusetts. (Photo credit: Adrianne Mathiowetz)
Dr. Emily Levesque is an astronomy professor at the University of Washington. She has observed for upward of fifty nights on many of the planet’s largest telescopes and flown over the Antarctic stratosphere in an experimental aircraft for her research. Her academic accolades include the 2020 Newton Lacy Pierce Prize, a 2022 Fulbright U.S. Scholar award, and a 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship. The Last Stargazers is her first popular science book.
Want a signed edition of the featured book, but can't make it to the event? Order through our website or over the phone, and write your request for a signature or personalization in the comments field at checkout. Please call the hosting store if you're placing your order within 24 hours of the event.
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