Randall Munroe Of xkcd On 'How To' Book Of Scientific Advice : Short WaveRandall Munroe, the cartoonist behind the popular Internet comic xkcd, finds complicated solutions to simple, real-world problems. In the process, he reveals a lot about science and why the real world is sometimes even weirder than we expect. His latest book is called How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems. (Encore episode.)
Say, for instance, you're trying to throw a pool party tomorrow, but your pool is empty. How about going online and ordering roughly 100,000 bottles of water to fill it up? But then, how long would it take to unscrew all those bottle caps? And what's the fastest way to get all that water out of the bottles and into the pool?
This thought experiment is not really about filling a pool, of course. But asking a question that leads to another question, and then another. For Munroe, it's a process that reveals a lot about science and why the real world is sometimes even weirder than we expect.
Also in this episode, Munroe tells us some creative ways to figure out if you're a nineties kid. One involves the chickenpox. And Maddie's mom makes a quick guest appearance on the podcast! (Encore Episode.)