Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words by Randall Munroe

Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words

byRandall Munroe

Hardcover | November 10, 2015

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Have you ever tried to read up on some incredible part of the world, only to find yourself faced with incomprehensible terminology and jargon? It's nice to know what the parts of a thing are called, but it's even more interesting to know what they do. What if you had something that could clearly explain it all using simple words?
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Thing Explainer, by Randall Munroe, does just that. Using line drawings and only the thousand (or, rather, "ten hundred") most common words, he provides simple explanations for some of the world's most interesting things: our food-heating radio boxes (microwaves), our very tall roads (bridges), and our computer buildings (datacenters). He also explains the other worlds around our sun (the solar system), the big flat rocks we live on (tectonic plates), and even the stuff inside us (cells).
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Where do these things come from? How do they work? What do they look like if you open them up? What would life be like without them? And what would happen if we heated them up, cooled them down, pointed them in a different direction, or pressed this button? In Thing Explainer, Munroe gives us the answers to these questions and so many more. Funny, interesting, and always understandable, this book is for anyone-age 5 to 105-who has ever wondered how things work, and why.

About The Author

Randall Munroe is the author of the  New York Times  bestseller  What If?, the science question-and-answer blog What If?, and the popular webcomic xkcd. In 2006, he left a job building robots at NASA to draw comics on the Internet full-time. He lives in Massachusetts.
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Details & Specs

Title:Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple WordsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:64 pages, 13 × 9 × 0.59 inPublished:November 10, 2015Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0544668251

ISBN - 13:9780544668256

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Brilliant? a wonderful guide for curious minds."- Bill Gates "Like any good work of science writing, [ Thing Explainer ] is equal parts lucid, funny, and startling.''- NewYorker.com "Clever, intricate" - New York Magazine, The Approval Matrix ("highbrow, brilliant") "Funny, precise and beautifully designed" -The Guardian "? with witty, playful diagrams, you'll be understanding nuclear reactors ('heavy metal power buildings') in no time." -NPR.org, Best Books of 2015 "Whimsical? Munroe's masterpiece is the antidote to scientific jargon, ably demonstrating that not knowing the exact name for something doesn't mean you can't grasp how it works. The same holds for those doing the explaining: you don't need to use big words to convey meaning. If anything, it just gets in the way." -Gizmodo, Best Science Books of 2015 "Required reading for the curious." -Popular Science "This book is a feast for the eyes and a party for your brain. I cannot more highly recommend that you get this for yourself, your favorite nerd, or someone who just loves beautiful drawings." -Scientific American "One of the charms of this new book is that it imbues everything between its covers with a childlike and unpretentious sense of delight in humanity's intellectual achievements." -Tor.com "[ Thing Explainer ] soars in both explanatory clarity and entertainment value? Munroe delightfully challenges us to reassess our preconceptions and think of things in new ways." - American Scientist "Munroe's signature humor and firm grasp on the underlying science and engineering make the book a delightful and informative read." - Science Magazine " Thing Explainer overall is unintimidating and engaging, with lavish blueprint-like illustrations that draw you into just about every page? Munroe has a gift for turning his own curiosity into your own edification." -CNET "I think a lot of people will have a lot of fun reading this book. Even if you know many big ideas, it is fun to see them get very small. And if you just want to learn about how things work, then the book will show you some big ideas without hitting you with big words too. As an idea for how to write a book, I think Thing Explainer is a good one." -Nerdist PRAISE FOR WHAT IF? "To reinvigorate your sense of cosmic wonder? breeze through former NASA scientist Munroe's lively answers-peppered with line drawings-to some pretty bizarre questions about life, the universe, and everything else? Extreme astrophysics and indecipherable chemistry have rarely been this clearly explained or this consistently hilarious." - Entertainment Weekly "10 Best Nonfiction Books of the Year" "Catchy and approachable? There's plenty of scientific rigor behind his elaborate explanations but he punctuates them with sly humor and winningly primitive cartoon diagrams? A cut above so many popular science and technology books." -NPR.org "Consistently fascinating and entertaining? Munroe leavens the hard science with whimsical touches? An illuminating handbook of methods of reasoning." - Wall Street Journal "Education should aim to teach people to reason confidently about problems that they have never come across before. This book is a great deal of fun, and a masterclass in such reasoning. Like all the best lessons, you only realise you've learned something once you've finished it." - The Economist "Munroe takes inane, useless and often quite pointless questions asked by real humans (mostly sent to him through his website), and turns them into beautiful expositions on the impossible that illuminate the furthest reaches, almost to the limits, of the modern sciences? The answers are all illustrated with XKCD's trademark stick figures? and these are eminently approachable." - Newsweek " What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions includes old favorites, new inquiries and the mix of expert research and accessible wit that has made Munroe a favorite among both geeks and laymen." - TIME "Loaded with the same dry wit and blank-faced stick figures that populate xkcd, What If? is that rare book that will have you laughing as you learn just how a mass extinction might unfold." - Discover "